From the moment, U.S. Marshal Jack Carter (Colin Ferguson) stumbled onto the futuristic town of Eureka and reluctantly became its sheriff, magic happened. Created by Jamie Paglia and Andrew Cosby, the greatest appeal of Eureka lies in the charm of its characters and their relation to each other.
While the plot sometimes relies too heavily on the latest gadget of the week wreaking havoc on the town, the charm of this show lies in its cast of characters: the affable Sheriff Carter; genius Dr. Henry Deacon (Joe Morton); funny junior scientist Fargo (Neil Grayson); the warm and striking Dr. Allison Blake (Salli Richardson-Whitfield) and the quite gutsy Deputy Jo Lupo (Erica Cerra).
As these spirited personalities deal with each week’s tech crises, they show us the best of human ingenuity and adaptability. There just aren’t too many TV shows with positive characters who are heroic without putting on the hero mantle. And there aren’t too many that genuinely make me laugh. Every Sci-Fi drama may have that one funny episode providing comic relief. Well, Eureka is that relief every week!
Eureka’s Season Four opener “Founders Day” breaks out of its own mold and sets the tone for an unusual season when these likeable “Eurekans” time jump to 1947 and the founding of the Eureka “camp” before it became a town. It’s pure delight ensues watching these characters interact in post-WWII attire, especially Deputy Jo as a “rebel with a cause.”
This season opener introduces a two-episode arc that acquaints us with Battlestar Galactica’s James Callis as Dr. Grant who meets the Eureka regulars as they try to McGyver their way out of the 1947 Army camp. Callis, though restrained in the first two episodes of this new season, might be destined to fill the caustic void left by Allison’s ex, Nathan Stark (Ed Quinn).
In an effort to be as spoiler-free as possible, I’m going out on a limb here to say this is the single best episode of Eureka I’ve seen during the last four years. Yes, there have been incredible episodes. I still tear up over Nathan’s death on his wedding day or Henry’s loss of Kim—twice. But the sharply written “Founder’s Day” and “A New World” elevate the series and starts it off with an edge leading into unknown territory…while still making us care and laugh.
Eureka has an evenly matched ensemble, unlike the mixed bag of characters on the more popular Warehouse 13. Though I love the characters, Artie, Claudia and Mrs. Frederic, and the show’s appealing steam punk allure, I don’t find the two leads, Pete and Myka, to have much chemistry, and their banter/humor is often forced. The season opener didn’t indicate that would change much.
But Eureka in its simplicity stands as a whimsical cautionary tale about not letting technology run amok and not rely on it as much as we do. “Founders Day” breaks out of its mold and offers a fresh look at the series. The more storylines they can present outside the tech disaster of the week will only energize this happy series.
“Founders Day” (spoiler here…) also contains one of the more romantic screen kisses on a SyFy show. Jack and Allison, after many close attraction tangos, seem ready to affirm their feelings for one another. Will this be the season these two finally consummate their love?
Many more surprising twists ensue at the end of “Founders Day”—it’s enough to leave one’s head spinning. If the season opener is any indication, we’re off to a great start in Eureka!
© dakinegirl (DM Lo)