With only a few episodes left until the end of season four, Eureka’s episodes do not disappoint. In their quest for Titan, the Eureka team continues to struggle with misbehaving technology. I guess it is important to work the bugs out before you go into space. And this episode is full of them; bugs, that is.
“A bunch of commandos abducted Joe”, Sheriff Jack Carter’s (Colin Ferguson) first line of the episode leads viewers to believe that more odd things are happening in Eureka, but nothing out of the ordinary. It’s just Carter and Alison Blake (Salli Richardson-Whitfield) having breakfast together. They are both off to Global Dynamics to meet with Senator Wen (Ming Na) who will not let Alison return to work after her last experience (Episode 15) of having Beverly Barlowe (Debrah Farentino) inside her head.
Meanwhile, Jo Lupo (Erica Cerra) finds out from Larry Haberman (Christopher Jacot) that she has passed her latest exam to be on the Astreus Mission. As she does a happy dance, Zane Donovan (Niall Matter) appears. He explains that Jo’s most recent lab training in the middle of the night is to find out what the mission members are made of. This explains why everyone is in their pajamas. It also explains Carter’s first sentence. Moving the story along, Jo receives a message to report to Level Q.
We are introduced to Dr. Senagusta (Ellie Harvie) as the scientist responsible for constructing the ship’s hull, and Dr. Fung (Benjamin Ratner) who has been having trouble with the interstellar communications systems. Stargate fans will remember Allie Harvie as Dr. Lindsey Novack , the scientist with the hiccups. You may also remember her from “The Sixth Day” (2000) as Rosie.
Senator Wen makes herself comfortable in the Director’s chair at G.D and makes a remark to Carter to, “Stand there and look pretty.” She continues her discussion with him to inform him that he is now working for her by providing extra security. Her comments and attitude make her easy to dislike. Not that Carter has decided that he dislikes her. He seems to be maintaining that Jack Carter professionalism by not allowing his opinion of Senator Wen to become obvious. However, when she insists he wear a suit and tie, his expression says it all.
Jo Lupo finally finds her way down to Level Q where she meets Fargo (Neil Grayston), Dr. Holly Martin (Felicia Day) and Mr. Personality himself, the one and only Dr. Parrish (Wil Wheaton). Their new test facility is quite cramped for four people. It looks little bigger than a bathroom stall. But it gets worse. As the group are directed by Larry, through a video screen, to take off their clothes and put on coveralls, they discover that Zane is a stow away. Now there are five of them in cramped quarters.
Alison has decided to head to her lab only to discover that it is already occupied. Mark Timmons (Peter Kelamis) has taken up residence. Conveniently, he is supposed to be one of the top cardiologists in the world, and the perfect person to deal with Henry Deacon’s (Joe Morton) heart problem, which was brought to our attention in a previous episode. Alison is pretty much dismissed from her own lab, since Mark has been informed she is not working for G.D. at the moment, and Henry and Grace (Tembi Locke) have just entered the lab for a private consultation.
Now that the story line has been established, odd things begin to happen. Jack steps into what is supposed to be an elevator, only to discover that it is just an empty shaft. In the lab the entire structure vanishes!
Fortunately, Alison is there to save him. While the group in the lab on Level Q are not enjoying making monotonous Origami swans and placing them on a wire, Holly Martin maintains her enthusiastic explanation that the purpose behind the task is to be able to handle monotonous work in space. Jo insists it is arts and crafts. Zane strips down. Dr. Parrish also continues his overly friendly attention to Holly, much to Fargo’s annoyance.
Carter grills Dr. Fung about the collapsed elevator, accusing him of causing the problem. As they speak, there is a powerful shaking. The men have been standing on a surface covering a cement casing over a large hole. The surface shakes and disappears beneath their feet as Carter manages to save Fung in the nick of time. Deputy Andy (Kavan Smith) has the answer. The floor supports have disappeared. They are made of reinforced tungsten, but Andy informs Carter that they have tiny serrations. Carter observes that the missing elevator was also made of tungsten. Andy is excited now. A pattern has developed.
Larry loves his job. He is in charge of everything that happens inside the lab on Level Q and to the five people inside. He turns up the heat as they continue to work on their origami. The bathroom is not working and Zane seems to know Jo’s last test score, leading her to believe that Zane hacked the computer and altered her score. To make matters worse, Larry plays “Car Wash” by Rose Royce to irritate the group further. It seems that Holly is beginning to realize Parrish’s social flaws when he won’t share his origami paper with her. Fargo, on the other hand, is happy to share. Then the power goes off.
Henry and Grace argue about the safety of Dr. Timmons experimental heart surgery; Henry is pro, Grace is con. The couple’s problems are a sub plot to the main story for yet another episode. But later developments will bring their relationship front and center in the story line for the season.
As Carter and Deputy Andy pursue their suspicions, Carter falls over part of a ship’s hull built into a hallway in G,D. We are introduced to Dr. Senagusta’s mites as they scurry away from the newly created Astreaus hatch. Carter’s best line, “They (the mites) are eating G.D and building a whole ship.”
Carter and Deputy Andy discover that the group in isolation on Level Q may be in trouble. Larry can no longer access his control panel since the mites have built a wall between him and his control panel. The panel controls ventilation, power and other important systems. As Andy explains how screwed they are, the mites discover that he is also made of tungsten. Soon, Andy is no more use to Carter, and the ceiling over the isolation lab begins to give way. Alison comes up with a plan using Dr. Fung’s communication protocols.
They are going to use a bug bomb that will reprogram the mites, but Carter has to get close. Carter runs a gauntlet of hulls and bulkheads on his way to the group in the isolation chamber and just manages to get through a forming blockage, but he gets snagged by his tie in a wall that forms right behind him and around his tie.
Naturally, he drops the bug bomb. Snagged on one side of the hallway, with Holly trapped in a doorway and her team trapped behind her in the chamber, things are looking rather bleak. Fargo comes to the rescue. He gets everyone working on his plan to create a device to reach the bug bomb using Parrish’s origami swans. Moments later, Carter sets off the bomb and the mites are neutralized. It is great to see that the writers are using different members of the cast to come up with the solutions to the problems that plague G. D every week. Carter saves the day, and his friends. Go Carter!
At the end of the day, Fargo and Holly meet at Cafe Diem, Holly is now more attracted to Fargo, Henry and Grace announce they are getting married, or, to keep their cover, renewing their vows, Alison is placed back in charge of Global Dynamics, and, although Zane finally gets pardoned so that he can go into space, he decides that it really is not for him. This season Eureka has focused on setting up dramatic story lines in which the characters head into space on a mission to Titan. However, with so many things going on in their lives, and the many plot twists, we are not sure who, exactly, is going.
Looking back on the series, it is quite remarkable that it lasted five seasons. Eureka has gone through a lot of changes since its very first episode. But even with those changes, Ed Quinn (Nathan Starke) leaving because he was not happy with the direction the show was going, Jordan Hinson (Zoe Carter) being moved from a primary character in seasons 1 to 3 to a recurring character in season 4, as well as the addition of and disappearance of several characters through its four years, the show manages to entertain and surprise. Amy Berg, writer and Executive Producer said of the cancellation of the show, “Everyone is asking why. It is as simple as a kiss, really.
We are the network’s golden child in every way, except profit margins. Fact is, Eureka is an expensive show to make. And we could not maintain the quality of our show with the cuts it would take to make us profitable for Syfy’s new parent company. Our creative execs at Syfy fought hard to keep us. Trust me, they LOVE us. We just could not make the numbers work.” It looks as if science fiction does well when produced in movie form, but not so well in a weekly format.
With the release of movies like Rise of The Planet of The Apes and Cowboys and Aliens, we may just have to accept that television will be the venue for cheaper shows like wrestling and reality series and movies will be the venue for the amazing special effects we’ve come to know and love. If that is the case, I would rather get a 90 minute fix of great sci-fi than none at all. Where is science fiction going in the future? What do you think?
Eureka returns Monday August 22, 2011 on Syfy with “Clash of the Titans” We include the extended sneak peek below courtesy of Syfy!
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