"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Monday, October 27, 2008

Eureka: From Fear to Eternity

Another episode, another pregnancy. In a move that shocks probably nobody, Allison Blake is pregnant. Okay, so that wasn't the main point of the episode. The main point was Zoey started to age rapidly due to the radiological exposure she suffered in a previous episode. Carter had a couple staredowns with Eva Thorn but not who turned out not to be so evil after all. She helped Carter save Zoey and Zane save the town (and his relationship with Deputy Lupo). Oh, and they had this really cool nano-foam. And did I mention Carter got fired?

If all of that makes very little sense, forgive me. It was, in fact, not a bad episode, but the events did run together a bit. I actually found it enjoyable, and it was nice to see the Thorne story get resolved. But the resolution underscored a major problem with this series this season: as a villain, Eva Thorne was just not terribly interesting.

That is not to take away from the fine acting of Frances Fisher, who was excellent in the role all season (or half season, if this is the mid-season finale). It’s just that while the role allowed Thorne to be mysterious, I don’t think anyone ever believed that she was truly evil. In fact, it turns out that Thorne herself was a victim back in 1939, when she was exposed to the same radiation that accelerated Zoey’s aging. It just happened to have the opposite effect on Thorne. No real reason was given—just a one in a million exception. Guess the writers couldn’t think themselves out of that scientific puzzle.

Overall, I’d call this episode a success, but I can’t help but wonder where Eureka goes from here. While I like Zane as a sidekick for Carter, I can’t help but miss the tension and the petty jealousy that Stark brought to the show. While they’ve replaced Stark’s roles in the show, they’ve not been able to replace his presence or the dynamics he brought to the relationships.

That’s not to say I want Stark to return. In fact, a major part of the problem I had with Eureka so far has been the utter predictability of every episode and event. I’d rather see the writer’s adapt to the changing landscape of the show, develop a couple of new and interesting villains, while continuing to create scientific puzzles worth pondering.

What Worked
The acting of Frances Fisher. Now that the Thorne character has reached the end of her arc (for now), I now appreciate the subtle glimpses of good that was hidden under the cutthroat corporate veneer throughout the season. Nice work, Ms. Fisher.

What Didn’t Work
The bickering between Jo and Zane was inane, pointless, and irritating. I am certainly not out of touch with the dynamics of dating relationships today, but the whole issue just didn’t make any sense to me at all.

No comments: