[Review] - Eureka, Season 5 Episode 10, "The Honeymooners"

Courtesy of NBCUniversal
Who could have seen that coming: Carter takes Allison to a desolate cabin in the woods, only to be driven insane and murder her terribly. Such a dark turn for Eureka...

I kid, obviously, though as they pulled up at the start, it's all I could think of. And wouldn't that have been unexpected? It was quite obvious that, last year when Sy-Fy pulled the plug on Eureka, it took the cast and crew by surprise. That the network gave them an additional episode to wrap things up was in equal parts cruel and kind, kind that they got it at all, and cruel because what can you do in one episode to wrap up five seasons of plot lines that you haven't been prepared to wrap up.

The storyline I was most concerned about was the conspiracy angle, a story line the writers have never really been in love with. The first season focused on it, then it disappeared for years, returning intermittently after the time travel (one wonders if the conspiracy was strengthened by their mucking about in the timeline). And here, it resurfaces in a way that was pleasantly unexpected, even if it did include a reveal that you could see coming. But the way the episode handled the reveal (both of them) was so well done, it distracted from the episode's other, more obvious failures.

Hit the jump for the spoiler-inclined review.

A couple weeks ago I applauded the show for cohesively bringing together several independent plot points into a reasonable and logical conclusion that, like the native Americans and a buffalo, used every part introduced before. This week, I have to tip my hat to the writers again for building the true plot of this episode to a crescendo. Hiding it beneath other A-plot types, covered in B-plot garb, only to have it whip off it's cloak and declare itself halfway through was well done, and honestly took me by surprise.

At episode's start, it looks like we're going to be treated with a redress of basically the same plot we've had every week the past few weeks: Carter and Allison argue incessantly about something irrelevant, and Holly Martin almost dies, again. Really, at this point, the writers are just playing Mad Libs with these characters. Carter and Allison are in a (noun) that starts to (verb), then they argue about the (noun)(verbing), showcasing that they are actually a terrible couple, it turns out, which is great because it means the past five years they were basically just lusting after each other instead of building an emotional relationship. Then the (noun) stops (verbing), they make up for some reason despite it not making sense considering what they said to each other in the (noun), and engage in basic cable appropriate (verbing). And Holly Martin almost dies, again.

Once again, the writers prove my point that they don't understand how to decompress story plots. Holly's memory failures come on suddenly, then disappear, then back, like someone is flipping a switch. Then, just as quickly, they fix it and everyone goes home happy. It seemed that an Alzheimer's metaphoric storyline might have been slowly introduced over a couple of episodes (I get that it's almost over, but the writers didn't know that at the time). We might have actually cared about Holly's plight if it weren't so rushed.

Actually, I doubt that. I don't think we could care about Holly. Why should we? She is obviously protected by the writer's shield of immortality, of some reason, and there is absolutely no chemistry between her and Fargo. That scene after she's been rebodied (hey, I invented a word), and Fargo gets to touch her again, lacked anything resembling real emotion. It looked like two actors uncertain what to do, or maybe one actor trying his best, and a red headed person doing very little in return. Either way, it is a stale partnership. And at this point, I don't think even Fargo cares enough to get upset when Holly dies. When it happened the first time, back when it should have stuck, Fargo literally took drugs to help him with his grief. This (almost) time, he could barely muster a tear.

Luckily, it is the Holly storyline that gets kicked severely to the curb once the actual storyline, introduced slowly as a gag in the Carter portion, gets going. At first, it seems like busy work so that Jo and Andy can put in appearances. But some nice misdirection (in both the content, and the episode title) means that by the time it overtakes the episode, you're hooked. And that they used it to pull plot points from both the first season and the time travel stuff was an excellent use of continuity. This is an example of Eureka working, of drawing from it's full history, and treating the viewer as someone who likes, and is invested in these character, and is willing to put some brain power behind what is being told to us.

And everything is perfectly in keeping with the characters it involves. Henry from season two, from our perspective, would have joined the Consortium no hesitation. Assuming that the stuff with Kim happened in this reality too, it is his obvious path not taken. And if this is when his relationship with Grace began, then it finally give them a logical origin. And Grace is the perfect patsy, since we know next to nothing about her. It might have had more impact if she hadn't been absent for the bulk of this season, but that is what happens when you don't know what to do with a character. There were no indications of her duplicity up to this point, so I assume this wasn't a planned reveal, she just made the most sense on the day.

Someone in the writer's room obviously watched Star Trek VI before writing this one, because the 'ploy' Jo and Henry use is the same Kirk and Spock use to catch the killer there, continuing this season's trend of ripping off things better then itself.

For his limited screen time, Kavan Smith was (yet again) the cast standout. His child-like glee at trying to solve the mystery was funny, and an appropriate counter to Jo's skeptism and passiveness. I've been saying through much of this season that Jo has replaced Carter as show's true protagonist, and if so, then Andy has taken Jo's place, while adopting more of Carter's personality, since Carter himself doesn't seem to be making much use of it.

For the first time this season, I'm excited about what might come next. Will Grace's arrest put Henry in danger? Will Carter realize that Allison has turned into a massive bitch, and might be brain jacked again, or will he simply leave her because honestly, he is trying so damned hard and she isn't giving him an inch. It would probably be the safest option, considering his marriage failed because he didn't put down roots, but hers ended with the husbands in the ground (or, atomized). Will Holly almost die, again?

Actually, scratch that last one. We all know she will.
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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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