Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Eureka: Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes!

Burn Notice may currently reign supreme as Best Dramedy of the Summer, but last year's titleholder is back, baby, and it's throwing down. Eureka's season premiere was a fantastic reminder of why we loved the show so much last summer (the laughs, the quirkiness, the general awesomeness of Sheriff Jack Carter), and still managed to set a more mature tone for this season. For those of you unfortunate folk who are unfamiliar with the show, Eureka is a small town in the Pacific Northwest made up entirely of geniuses working on super-secret government projects at Global Dynamics. Oh, plus the aforementioned Sheriff, and his rebellious teenage daughter Zoe.

When last we saw our heroes, they had been living four years in the future, in an alternate time line created by Henry's desperate attempt to save Kim from being killed by the Artifact. Carter had to go back in time to stop Henry—and the dangerous paradox—thus ending Carter’s future relationship with Allison (and Kim's life). The only thing I could think of when I realized that Carter and Henry had to live those four years again is all the times when The Sims crashed on me after I hadn't saved in a while. So frustrating! You have to re-earn promotions, re-hook up lovers, re-re-decorate the kitchen...and it's always like, hello, I already did this! What I'm saying is, I sympathize with Carter, although I suppose it's a moot point now that he doesn't even remember that he and Allison were ever in love. I sympathize less with Henry, now that he's secretly an vengeful, memory-erasing maniac. Although that's a pretty sweet turn for his character to take.

Over at Global Dynamics, it seems change is in the air. And if you ask me, it's about time the Department of Defense realized that Stark is dangerously obsessed with the Artifact, and should probably not be in charge of, well, anything. I mean, haven't there been issues with this kind of thing before? (And being drugged by crazy hybrid flowers along with the rest of the town is no excuse, dude.) I actually wish we had gotten a glimpse of Fargo's reaction to the news that Allison was going to be in charge from now on. I bet it was awesome. And with Secretly Evil Henry in the mix at GD now, well...I'm pretty psyched to see where all this set-up is headed.

I also like that the show is bringing Kevin, Allison's autistic son, back into the mix. He's been largely absent since the pilot episode, which is too bad, because he gives her character some much-needed depth. But wow, is he actually becoming the artifact, or something? How X-Files is that?! I mean, he was apparently in the vicinity when it destabilized, and that amount of energy supposedly doesn't just disappear, and now he's making Close Encounters-style obsessive sculptures, so...this show is bananas!

I hope, however, that Eureka won't get too bogged down in the Artifact/Secretly Evil Henry storylines. Part of the joy of last season was that although there were overarching plots, the episodes could largely stand on their own, with quirky, self-contained mysteries. While I don't mind the more mature storytelling, I'd encourage the show's writers to keep the tone light and easy, just like the show I fell in love with last summer.