Eureka: Season 5
It has been said that all good things must come to an end; a saying that particularly holds true when applied to popular television series. Even the most enduring shows like ‘Gunsmoke’ and ‘Law & Order’ received their cancellation notices albeit after two decades of popularity. Even if the life span of a series is considerably less than those record holding runs the effect of fans remains the same; we’re sad to see it go. One of the most popular series that formed the original content programming for the SyFy channel was ‘Eureka’. This was the epitome of the quirky television show that ideally blends science fiction, drama and offbeat comedy in a format that delighted the fans and critics. During its five year run ‘Eureka’ managed to stay on top thanks in large part to creative writing, witty performances and a premise that was naturally conducive to reinvention ensuring its freshness. They have taken their audiences on journeys though the outer reaches of scientific potential and several alternate time lines. In most cases declaring a shift in the time is akin to a kid on a Brooklyn street shouting ‘Do Over’ when a stick ball play goes wrong. As demonstrated most infamously in a season premier of the original ‘Dallas’ is awaking from a bad dream of a failed season. With ‘Eureka’ the alterations in reality was done consistent with the context of the main story line and with a sense of panache that became the foundation for the popularity and entertainment quotient to always presented. Not only did the writers of ‘Eureka’ pull this off nicely top reboot the circumstances and interpersonal relationships but in the fifth and lamentably last season the once again alter reality and amazingly it worked out. This last season tossed all the well established relationships up in the air allowing the series to go out on a high note. I usually greatly dislike this particular plot device but that was because it is almost always poorly executed. In the hands of a talented group of writers, directors and actors the results can be imaginative as we see in this case.
Though it’s run the main character was Sheriff Jack Carter (Colin Ferguson). Although he has been considered one of the town’s most prominent citizens h e has always felt like an outsider. Eureka is a company town there to support a single employer, Global Dynamics. This is a high tech think tank working on projects decades beyond anything else in the world. In this town even the owners of the local garage and town diner have several doctorial degrees. A man of normal IQ such as Sheriff Carte is like a kindergarten student in a MIT lecture hall. The fun part of the premise that has remain the solid core and emotional heart of the series is Cater has one thing lacking in as town containing the world’s smartest people lack; good old fashion common sense. He is steadfast, loyal and can think out of the box; attributes that save Eureka and the world, many times over the last five years. Thanks to the shifts in reality most of the central characters have undergone radical changes but throughout it all Carter has remained a fixed point in time and space.
For five years there has been romantic tension between Carter and one of
Global Dynamics top scientists and administrators Allison Blake (Salli
Richardson-Whitfield). At present she is the head of GD’s medical division and
her once autistic son Kevin (
As this season opened several citizens of Eureka had embarked on a history faster than light trip to Titan, the largest moon orbiting Saturn. It looked as if something had gone wrong and the crew of the Astraeus was missing. They return but it appears that four years hand ensued resulting in many changes in Eureka. The town is a police state with the robotic Deputy Andy (Kavan Smith) in charge of security. Relationships are all mixed up with Cater living with his former deputy, Jo Lupo (Erica Cerra). It all turns out to be an evil plot hatched by retuning villains U.S. Senator Michaela Wen (Ming-Na and Beverly Barlowe (Debrah Farentino), the town’s double agent psychiatrist. They trapped the crew in a computer matrix construct in order to develop and harvest advance technology to sell to the highest bidder. In a well considered pacing the dispatch this matrix alternate world within a couple of episodes not letting overshadow the final season. The radically different pairings in the Matrix such as Jo and Carter wind up disrupting the real romance between Jo and Zane (Niall Matter) and Allison and Jack. The once fall guy and now heads of GD, Douglas Fargo (Neil Grayston) was in love with another crew member, Dr. Holly Marten (Felicia Day) but she was murdered in the Matrix and killed in real life. In a typical Eureka fashion Holly remains as a computer entity.
The series was afforded a prerogative few cancelled shows are given, the chance to go out on a high note. The show has always depended on its emotional core never letting the special effects and advanced technology. That always served as an amusing plot device instigating the stories but not replacing the series’ dependency on its human element. While the technology set the stage this last season once again concentrated on the relationships ranging from men and women to a robot and his girlfriend, a sentient smart house; love takes many guises in Eureka. I’m sad to see it go but I know I’ll take the complete set of DVD’s to visit on a regular basis.
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