Friday, August 15, 2008

Eureka: Bad to the Drone & What About Bob, A Night at Global Dynamics

Thanks to sci fi rewind I'm finally getting caught up with this season's Eureka, though I see there is another episode up for me to watch.

And it's good to have Eureka back! Especially since there's no new Doctor Who for a loooong time.

First, a stop to comment on A Night At Global Dynamics, last season's finale. I really enjoyed it all the way up to the end, plenty of suspense and interest, plus the wonder about Henry's motives, plus Carter and Stark at their best--sniping at one another and still managing to work together and even managing a bit of grudging respect. But... then we got to the end and discovered that Henry had done all t his to save Allison's son (Yay! He's a good guy!), buuuut he'd done it in this particular peculiar, convoluted, criminal way because--his feelings were hurt. At least, I don't know how else to interpret "You didn't trust me." as his reason for not letting at least Allison and Nathan in on his little secret and thus greatly simplifying matters, keeping him out of jail, and generally making the show shorter.

I wouldn't bring it up, but Henry is still in jail for those first two episodes, so I found myself irritated about it all over again.

That said, we come to Bad to the Drone. My immediate response "Hurray! Eureka really is back!" A rogue drone, a rebellious but also mature Zoe, Allison, Stark, Carter, Vincent, Jo, Henry--the gang's all here!

Loved the whole opening with us eavesdropping along with Vincent and Zoe.

Lines like "you're going to need to be able to navigate the walk-in fridge" are one of the reasons I love this off-beat show.

Plus, I love the fact that the Allison/Carter/Stark triangle appears to finally be resolving itself--and not in the expected "the hero gets the girl" way. Stark has developed into a complex, interesting character who may actually have done some growing up over the course of the last two seasons. All of the characters have, in fact, which is another mark in the show's favor.

I do wonder, though, what happened to Callie? Will we see her again, or was last season it?

And Martha was cute. I read a bit of the writers' blog--before I watched the show, which is why I only got a paragraph in--and Jaime was talking about needing a computer-generated Martha to get her character across. Odd, because to me it was the sound that made the difference--all those little chirps were endearing and gave the sense of an actual being out exploring rather than an evil killing machine. The "point of view" shots helped, too. I'd like to see her and Zoe as friends, but I doubt she'll show up again; Eureka has done well with its secondary characters and has pulled both season arcs through satisfactorily (mostly--see above on Night at Global Dynamics), but they're not at the Stargate1 level when it comes to keeping track of everyone and everything. Few shows are.

And immediately afterwards, I watched What About Bob. A de-evolution show. Not good. Reaally not good. I know there are only so many plots out there, and I usually don't mind a recycled plot as long as it is well done, but de-evolution is one of those plots that probably never should have been used and certainly doesn't need to be re-used. And, while I'm pretty good at suspending my disbelief, I can't buy "The ionized water" as an explanation, not even when you throw in some weird radiation as the starter.

And the Reality TV gag? Um. No. Let's not. Cute little metafictional devices like that might have been cute once, but the 'nudge-nudge, wink-wink' stuff gets old fast. It's even worse when coupled with the above-mentioned eavesdropping from the show before. Yes, I liked that--quite a bit--, and it was done with a much lighter touch than the TV thing, but I really, really hope there's not going to be some cute watching the watchers moment every episode of the season.

Those major issues aside (And, yes, I consider "The whole plot was a hole" a major issue), What About Bob was still entertaining: Character interaction has always been one of Eureka's strong points, and it still is. Zoe was cute worrying about her dad, Stark was fun worrying about Allison, and the odd bits of interplay were as enjoyable as ever.

Still: I'm glad this wasn't the season opener, and I hope Best in Faux is better.

Oh, the new character? Glad you asked, because I'm not sure what I think of the Fixer. So far, the only person she's had any sort of real interpersonal bits with is Jo, which means I don't know how much of a character she is. Is she going to add to Eureka or just be a sort of one-dimensional "corporate sort of baddie"? Or has she replaced Beverly as resident plotter? We shall see.

As always, there's lots of fun stuff up on the Eureka website. Personally, I like the "Made in Eureka" and Public Service Announcements best, and the "Won't You Be My Neighbor" is funny. Can't quite forgive them for the fact that one of the "Made in Eureka" commercials really is a commercial, but the rest pretty well make up for it.

1Speaking of which, I'm really looking forward to seeing the new Stargate: Atlantis episodes, but that has to wait til Dad gets back; I enjoy watching it as a family, but it means having to put things off sometimes. I"m not being terribly patient about it.

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