[Review] - Eureka, Season 5 Episode 12, "Double Take"


Courtesy of NBCUniversal
 Were they trying to win a contest, or did the writers have a bet to see how many references they could cram into a single episode, let alone a single scene? Aside from the Invasion of the Body Snatchers, which they couldn't help but name check, there were Aliens, Blade Runner, Battlestar, Lord of the Rings, Batman Begins, and The Shining references, and I'm sure I missed many more.

Usually when a show that isn't Family Guy or Spaced uses that many references in one episode, it is as a crutch because the plot can't support the episode. Which is why I mention it, because this episode, like last week's, is a marked improvement over the rest of the season. It didn't need a crutch. Aside from a little journey into techno nonsense at the start, and some character development sacrifices, this was a tense thriller that could have been a hell of a way to end both the season, and the series. Except that it isn't, so lets get on with it.

Hit the jump for the review, which 4 out of 5 cats agree, contains spoliers.

Colin Ferguson should look into playing against type. I know that he filmed a pilot for FOX after Eureka wrapped, and I don't know what came of that, but after this episode, he really should try his hand at villainy. His dark Carter was exceptional, in a way that he wasn't at the start of the season. He wasn't being secretive, and wasn't using his usual Carter goofiness to make his bad guy status seem manageable. He was full on Lectoring at a couple points. And he was damned good at it, clearly having taken points from Kavan Smith behind the scenes.

The season proper came to an end, not with a plot heavy opportunity to mess up characterisation, or with a crazy mess of the week, but with a taut thriller, in which characters are pushed to their breaking points as they struggle for their survival. More then one gets hunted, and more then one fails spectacularly at their missions. And considering how much the character of Allison got screwed over by the writers this year in the name of drama, it was nice to see her take on the role of 'Last Girl', fighting against the rising tide of change.

Which isn't to say it wasn't without flaws. It had a couple, mostly in the name of sacrificed time, and the unexplained. I guess next week's finale exists to close up a few gaps, but as it stands, the complete abandonment of the Henry/Grace story was disappointing. I was interested in that, and I was interested in what it might lead to. And maybe next week it will, but the show wasn't right now, and that makes me sad. That they couldn't see a way to maybe weave the duplicates into the possible mole as an out for Henry is a missed opportunity, which I think at this point is this season's motto.

The whole replace Eureka story line was good, but it lacked explanation. There is a one line reference to working on the last order given, but the NPC's last week seemed to be working under the direction of Holly Martin. This week, it seemed like Carter was their leader, and Holly just another cog. And why Holly was effected at all was never explained, since she never had an NPC counterpart. So who was controller her? I kept expecting a revelation, like it was the Senator that Beverley trapped inexplicably back at the beginning. But nothing ever approached explanation.

Which brings us to the last rant against Holly Martin. I say last because I don't see that story going much of anywhere next week, and because I need to be rid of this character once and for all. Holly Martin is a character I don't think anyone ever really understood how to use, but they kept using her because they had the actress booked, and thought they might hit on something. And they never did, so the best they could ever do was have her nearly die every week. I said before, she wasn't a a character, she was a Macguffin. She didn't progress, or evolve. She didn't have an arc to follow. She didn't go on a journey this season, because every time she did, she died, then came back. Other characters progressed because of her, and the final proof of this came at the episode's end when they hit the reset button on her, and proved that she was pointless. They used her to introduce the body printer a couple weeks ago, and beyond that she wasn' needed. I think if they had tried harder, they could have found another way to introduce the printer. Holly Martin deserved to die in those early episodes. Fargo deserved to mourn, and grown because of it, and move on. Everything else was a waste.

As to the end, I would have been fine with them ending it that way, because it's the only logical conclusion there can be. Eureka is a danger to itself, and the world. They prove this on a weekly basis. In real life, such a place would have been shut down after incident one. That they haven't by now is only the benefit of there wouldn't have been much of a show without the town. That being said, they've went out of their way numerous times to establish that Eureka isn't a military town. GD gets funding from the government, but that's it. The town itself isn't under military supervision, it's not a base. The DoD can't shut down a town; they can remove the money, and government projects. They maybe could force GD to go out of business. But the people would be free to stay if they wanted, which wasn't the vibe I got from that final shot. Granted, the town would become a ghost town, like Detroit, after the only horse in town stopped running, but still. It was the right conclusion, come to from the wrong direction. Which would be another of this season's mottoes.

So, the show is done, really. That's it. It's like selling a home. It's been sold, the account is in escrow. All that is left is to pack up the boxes. So that is next week, packing the boxes. Making certain everything is labelled and heading to the right destination, and sending them off right. The writers, creators, and actors should feel privileged to have had the opportunity. Few shows are afforded the luxury of being both cancelled, and getting a last shot. Most are just evicted, and their stuff sold at auction.

Let's hope they don't waste it.
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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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