By Michael Vass | September 12, 2010
The big anticipation to SyFy Network’s Eureka mid-season finale came to fruition on Friday night. The question at hand was how much of a Back To The Future-esque program would SyFy fund, and what might be the outcome to the various main characters. The result was an answer most would not have envisioned.
Leading up to this program was a central plot device. Having traveled back in time, for a still as yet unnamed reason, the 5 main characters have slightly altered the world of Eureka. This new world held deviations that have caused problems for all the characters, notably that Dr. Henry Deacon is married. Which does not even touch upon the fact that Dr. Grant, a founding scientist from 1947 Eureka, was catapulted to the future too.
The focus of Henry being married is the most pivitol. Because after the initial shock whereupon all the main characters decided to NOT tell anyone about their time travel adventure, Henry told his new wife. A departure from the agreed plan that so far has gone unquestioned among all the characters (though the series has at least implied knowlegde of this fact). A departure that must at some point be resolved.
But in this episode the focus was on the return of Beverly Barlowe, and the return of Dr. Grant to the past. It was in fact a Back To The Future rip-off. It was also the cause of the demise of Dr. Allison Blake. The writers seem insistent on not allowing Sheriff Carter and Dr. Blake to be in a relationship – seeking to avoid the Moonlighting fiasco.
The trip back in time, and the deadly consequences that led to it, was done well. Stock footage of the previous episodes (the season start) was smartly reintegrated with new footage. Some new scenes were also made. In general the logic of the episode was intact, if a bit sloppy and boring.
But the critical purposes, preventing the creation of the nuclear bomb and informing Allison of her impending future death, never occured. Nothing changed to Eureka even with an extra Carter and Dr. Grant mixing with thier past selves.
That is until the improbable happened. A message timed to perfection, creating a reaction that altered 2 critical events. One was the death of Dr. Allison Blake was averted. The other is far more confusing.
Dr. Grant and Sheriff Carter did not go back in time. The loop was broken. They did not go to the past, and now things go off the wheels. Because immediately after they fail to be in the past, they transform from their current existence to that of their selves that were transported to 1947 (the second time that didn’t happen). Sound confusing? It should.
For a show that is so keen on being futuristic to extreme, but yet not incredulous, this was just too far. Even the least scientific or sci-fi viewer had to be struck odd. It just didn’t make sense, throwing everything just seen into a malaise of uselessness. Which only got worse as the final 7 minutes of the show ticked by.
Dr. Grant disappeared into the mass of the public, though he held enough shares of GE (parent of NBC that owns the SyFy Channel) to make him the equivalent of Bill Gates over night. In fact, how was he able to get the shares of GE in the little time he had? Or the signed basebal with Jackie Robinson’s signature?
But back to the point, he just walked away from Eureka as an investigation that would certainly involve him starts? Just like the ageless woman from a season or so ago?
What about the questions that Zane suddenly has now that he has his grandmother’s ring from Jo Lupo? What about Deputy Andy who knows and openly discusses the fact that they have traveled in time against time travel protocols? What about Henry’s wife who easily could reveal way too much under interrogation?
There are just so many problems that the last 7 minutes create. Which says nothing of the beyond incredulous nature of the plot it created.
Has Eureka jumped the shark? It’s a question that has plagued this season. It might have well been answered. Sadly the answer might just be yes.