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'Eureka' - 'All the Rage' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Jul 24th 2010 2:30PM
'Eureka' - 'All the Rage'(S04E03) I guess we shouldn't say things settled down this week as our time-tossed heroes began to acclimate to their new environment. In fact, quite the opposite happened, thanks to a turn by guest star Wil Wheaton. With all those scientists working at Global Dynamics, it's always easy to slip in guest stars, isn't it?

Last week we learned that alt-Fargo is a bit of a tyrant, which is something our own timid Fargo isn't quite comfortable with. Since he's in the key role of Director of Global Dynamics, the writers apparently felt they needed to explore how he fits in with the GD family, so we can better get a grasp of him in this leadership position.

In a way, I'm glad to see him in such a pivotal role if only because it never made sense that out of the rabble of scientists, this bumbling goofball was one of our principal cast members despite being "just one of the team." Plus, it's fun watching him try and pull off "confident leader."

I could have done without the scene early on with Jo and Fargo walking through the halls, again surprised that people were so intimidated by Fargo and that alt-Fargo was an arrogant ass. We just had this revelation last week. I know the writers were using that old comic book trick of trying to work back information seamlessly into the dialogue, but they failed miserably.

Instead, Fargo should have said, "I'm still not used to the idea that these people are afraid of me."

Jo could then respond, "If they knew you, they wouldn't be."

Fargo: "That's just it. They don't know me. They think I'm some egomaniacal tyrant."

Jo: "What, the posters don't give that away?"

Sloppy writing early in an episode always makes me a little worried. Maybe in the development process, they didn't know that particular kernel had already been revealed, but someone should have caught it before airing these episodes back-to-back. Luckily for the writers, much of the rest of the episode involved screaming and yelling, which can be mostly incomprehensible.

With hints of Romero's zombie films, and 'The Crazies,' GD became the epicenter of a rage outbreak. Jo got to vent some of her frustrations out on a bewildered Zane, while everyone got to show how pissed off they are at Fargo for how he runs the place. Fargo got to tell General Mansfield to "Go frak yourself," in an obvious nod to James Callis' prior series, 'Battlestar Galactica.'

The plot played out in typical 'Eureka' fashion, with Jack coming up with the solution using his "everyman logic," as Fargo hilariously pointed out while under the rage influence himself. It's all fun and silly, but that's kind of the point with these done-in-one stories. It's the character arcs that grab hold of you, and in this topsy-turvy alternate universe, they're more intriguing than ever.

The side storyline with Henry and Dr. Grant trying to fix the time travel device that set up all this craziness felt more than a little disconnected. I'm probably being a little unfair, as it did serve the purpose of shedding a little light on the relationship that alt-Henry and his wife, Grace, apparently had. A relationship that Henry not only doesn't know anything about, but isn't comfortable in. On the plus side, she's an amazing and dynamic woman, and he could probably fall in love with her. On the minus side, she's also incredibly brilliant, and he's not going to be able to pull the wool over her eyes that he barely knows her and doesn't remember their relationship.

It also shed a little light on what Dr. Grant sacrificed with his impromptu trip to the future. He never scored a Nobel Prize, nor headed up many of the amazing projects that made him a legend in modern day Eureka. Instead, he's most known for disappearing in 1947, never to be found again. His need to be a part of something, and to matter in a larger sense than himself, adds a much-needed layer to the character.

It felt a little lazy again by the writers that we're so ready to abandon Jack and Tess. Granted, he's not married to her, so it's a little easier to tell her to hit the road, but I was looking forward to Jack struggling with this situation while dealing with the aftermath of that kiss with Allison. With 'Eastwick' cancelled, I was hoping Jaime Ray Newman could stick around. Why should everyone have to be uncomfortable in their new lives except Jack? It's his show. He should be the most uncomfortable.

I guess they want the triangle to be Jack, Tess and Grant instead. They'd better get on that next week, then, so we can have that emotional tension hanging in the air. Jack works better when he's conflicted, as he was through most of this episode. Still, this leaves Jack all alone at home with S.A.R.A.H., and he doesn't really do alone very well. Hell, he doesn't even really have Jo anymore, though where was Deputy Andy? Those repairs should have been done by now!

As a character study, 'All the Rage' did a decent enough job of entrenching the cast more fully into their new roles, and I enjoyed most of those explorations. But after a great two-part opener, it was a bit of a letdown. I didn't get the sense of claustrophobic terror I probably should have from the "zombies/crazies" sequences in Global Dynamic, and even the usually fun Wil Wheaton was relegated to an almost faceless drone in the crowd in his guest role.

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John F.C. Taylor

Deputy Andy was still being worked. Noticed him in the background in the one scene. Looked like someone was doing some work on exposed wiring in his belly. I'd have liked to have seen Jack tell Tess all about the trip back in time and its current consequences.

July 24 2010 at 7:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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