[Review] - Eureka Season 5, Episode 4 "Friendly Fire"

Courtesy of NBCUniversal
Myself, I'm not into role playing. But when else in television history could a show - any show - have had a touching moment of characterisation so subtly played and well acted that it could have brought someone to tears, and have it be about Dungeons and Dragons? Age of the geek indeed.

Eureka has always been a show that loved to hang a lampshade, usually with Carter doing the decorating. So, when, in an episode that draws more then one inspirational line from Ghostbusters, everybody gets in the game, you could pretty much guess that things are working again. 'Cause it is. After a rough three weeks that did not impress me at all, the show we've come to know has finally returned. It's crazy, it makes it's own kind of sense, and it's fun to watch. "At least some things are back to normal."

Hit the jump for the spoilercy review.

There wasn't anything about this episode that felt wrong, or rushed, or ill conceived. This felt like an hour of Eureka, not a half hour like we got last week, and not the title sequence that we got the two weeks before that. It felt like a well made episode of Eureka, because it was. The writers found the niche again, and I hope they stay there, because I want more.

It's not to say there wasn't some residual effects from the Euretrix. Long shadows hang over the cast. Grace can't help but think of the man who nearly killed her, Fargo is still coming to terms with Holly's death, and the love-tetrahedron between most of the rest of the principles dominates their sideways glances. Luckily for us, and them, this is Eureka, and pretty soon something will go horrible wrong and try to kill people. This week on the big wheel of Science-Doesn't-Work-That-Way: Fireball of Doom. Don't get me wrong, I've always loved the shows consistent use of vaguely scientific ideas as plot devices, but the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 mantra must be inscribed above the door of the writer's room. At least, usually, it's internally consistent in it's insanity.

Fargo returns to his greatest strength in this episode: being the cast butt monkey. I thought his 'grief cheat' patch might be the MacGuffin, wherein the whole town starts going through the stages, but that wouldn't cause Carter and Jo to dress up as Spangler and Venkman and go running through the corridors. No one on the cast benefited from the departure of Nathan Stark more then Neil Grayston, who was able to move from a secondary comedic relief to be a well rounded, complex primary character. His original role was, however, where he found the most success, and one that the show often returns him to when all else fails. The five second silent looks of confusion and apathy he is given by Henry and others was the episodes crowning moment, and just shows that when this cast is given the right material, they are truly top notch.

The biggest failing of the episode was, not surprisingly, the after effects of the mind rape the Astreaus crew suffered. Not the actual content of the episode, that was well handled. Jo's indecision was finally resolved, and Allison and Carter seem to be back to normal. My biggest issue with it was, considering that their 'ordeal' lasted all of two and a half episodes, their reactions seem like over reactions. I've been saying for weeks the Euretrix story line, do be done well, deserved more time, to drive home the after effects. In universe, it might have been weeks or months, but to us, it was over in a flash. What it does is make the characters seem either petty or childish, especially Zane, who last week seemed to come to terms with everything the fastest, but this week is practically laying in the aisle, throwing a fit. Hopefully now we can move beyond this, and it can be forgotten as a misstep.

Biggest disappointment of the episode: You have a flying fireball on the loose. You have a scene where a car explodes. How does the sheriff's truck get out of this episode with only a slightly melted tire? It's just not right!
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.


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