Eureka “Lost” Review

Eureka "Lost" Review

This season premiere for Eureka is both a great event and a bittersweet one. On one hand, we get to jump back in the story after the long wait from last season’s amazing cliffhanger. On the other, it means one less episode of Eureka left before the show ends. Still, no tears, let’s buckle up and enjoy the ride while it lasts.

Cliffhangers in Space!

When we were last in Eureka things were a little crazy. The Astraeus ship was launched unexpectedly to unknown coordinates with Allison still on board. At the start of “Lost”, the Astraeus comes in to a rough landing, but the joy of surviving is short lived when the team realizes that they are actually back in Eureka instead of one of Saturn’s moons. If that wasn’t crazy enough, Carter informs them that they’ve actually been gone for four years and a lot has changed.

Let’s be honest here, I groaned “No! Not again!” when they said they’ve been gone for four years. I think the show’s writers have something against Star Trek’s Prime Directive. I understand that these time jumps are a good way to introduce a lot of change (more on that in a moment), but after having a whole season tied to time travel (not to mention Henry’s own adventures in time from “Once in a Lifetime”, the Season 1 finale) it seemed like going to the well one too many times. I think a lot of viewers may have felt a little put off with the sudden disruption to everything that happened last season (especially judging by the reaction on Twitter), but the writers do have a plot twist that bails them out and lets me appreciate this episode a lot more.

The times they are a changing… just didn’t think it would change that much

The Astraeus crew finds out just how different Eureka has become, starting with Andy and the Marthas running an AI-driven fascist authoritarian regime (with no longer housebound S.A.R.A.H. running GD as well!). Carter and Jo are now together, which Zane and Allison are not happy about. Henry was blamed for the problems with the Astraeus mission and is now the town crazy. Weirdest of all Dr. Parrish is nice to Fargo, like so nice it makes you squirm.

Whereas I had some issues with the time jump thing, the writers and the actors did a great job bringing to life the newer, different Eureka. Kavan Smith was very good as the totalitarian Andy, especially when he was being so creepy but in a polite way. Wheaton stole his scenes as Dr. Parrish and I think a big part of it was that he looked almost uncomfortable being nice to Fargo, like you’d expect Parrish to be in the same situation. I would have liked to see a little more of the conspiratorial/crazy Henry, because Joe Morton pulls that off well. Then you had Salli Richardson-Whitfield with such a touching, sad scene at the end of the episode that I swore the room got a little dusty there for a moment (no that wasn’t tears on my keyboard…I swear).

It’s not really paranoia if they’re really after you…

While Henry may be crazy and paranoid, the truth is that Evil Andy is using Dr. Parrish’s Adrenaline Suppression System (also known as A.S.S.) to turn the Eurekans into shiny, happy mind controlled people. To preempt the returnees from Astraeus from ruining his plans, he kidnaps Henry and Grace and prepares to brain wipe them. The rest of the group is able to change the brain wipe device so that it affects the Andy and the Marthas only, thereby saving the town.

I can already see one potential issue in this season of Eureka, though not necessarily a bad one. There are too many couples and moving pieces now on the “good team”. We’ve gone from Carter/Jo/Allison/Henry in the early seasons to now having eight different main characters (all of which were basically paired off). It was fun to watch in tonight’s episode, but I can see this getting a little hard to follow if all these characters are going to be involved weekly. Last season they got away with it by having some characters disappear for a couple of episodes or get kidnapped by Beverly (she must be getting good at it, she’s had the practice), but I think this is going to be harder this season based on the plot twist at the end of “Lost”. I don’t think this will hurt the show as long as there’s balance, but I’d hate to see some of the characters that were popular last season (Fargo, Holly, Parrish) just fade into the background for a number of episodes.

What the what?

Now that the reign of Andy and S.A.R.A.H. is over, Global Dynamics is back in the hands of Fargo (who’d thought we’d be happy to hear that). Carter/Allison and Jo/Zane come to terms with the new realities of their relationships. Then everything is turned on its head. All of the craziness that happened this episode didn’t actually happen. It was part of dream shared between the Astraeus crew, who are all captives of none other than Dr. Beverly Barlow!

The sound you heard around 9:58PM was all the Eureka fans going “Whew! They’re just kidnapped by Beverly.” For all the misgivings I had about the whole time jump thing, the writers did a nice setup for the next few episodes. Will they all happen in the crew’s dreams? Will Carter, Henry and Zane find and free the crew? How did Beverly get the Astraeus crew? Now that we know that the crew is in a dream state, I hope that the plot focuses more on getting the crew back and understanding how Beverly hacked Global Dynamics. It would also be interesting to see what Beverly has in mind now that she has the smartest minds of Eureka under her control. Was she hoping to learn of more ways to undermine Global Dynamics or just creating her own personal brain farm?

My Favorite Parts from “Lost”:

– The multiple Andys (or is it Andies?). I enjoyed how they were very tough and mean looking, but occasionally broke out into the cheesy smile or thumbs up we know from original flavor Sheriff Andy.
– Fargo running down the ramp of the Astraeus, planting the American flag and shouting “First!”
– “I’ve been able to work all of the bugs out of my ass!” – Dr. Parrish on his Adrenaline Suppression System (we hope!)
– Fargo and S.A.R.A.H. having a 2001: A Space Odyssey moment when Fargo tries to disconnect the GD firewalls
– Here’s a fun fact: this may be the first episode in a while where Carter’s Jeep was not destroyed (that should have been the tip off it was a dream)

So what did you think of “Lost”? Were you as wary about the whole time jump thing as I was? What did you think of a Jo/Carter pairing? What do you think Beverly is up to? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments section.

Next week we start to learn what has actually been happening in Eureka since the Astraeus disappeared. Make sure to tune into the next episode of Eureka, “The Real Thing”, airs next Monday, April 23 at 9 PM on Syfy.