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Eureka Season 4.5 Episode 1
Reviewed by Ryan Guthrie, © 2011

Format: TV
By:   Andrew Cosby, Jaime Paglia
Genre:   Sci-fi
Review Date:   July 14, 2011

I’ve liked Eureka since the quirky music started on the first episode. It’s a fun show to watch with your brain off. But Season 3 nearly lost me. It lost its mojo. It’s because they killed Stark. Like all men with the name, Stark was a bad ass. Stark and Carter had real chemistry.

Nathan’s gone, and I have to accept this, and Season 4 is helping me forget my pain.

At the beginning of the season the characters, and no one else, went back in time and accidentally changed things and returned to a slightly different present.

They spent the first half of the season adjusting to a world that was different, but similar enough that their PIN numbers still worked. They also had to deal with Gaius Baltar/ Trevor Grant, who came back with them. The writers did their writing thing and got rid of a Stark-like character. Then they went on hiatus.

Now Eureka is back with season 4.5. It opened with a wedding. Is it Jack and Allison? Zoe and Zane? Larry and Vincent? It's S.A.R.A.H. and Andy.

AI marriage is too often neglected in the media.

Jack and Allison are all PDA with each other and Jo seems to have made peace with the fact that she and Zane, now, never had a relationship. And Fargo is finally acting like a grown-up.

My biggest problem with Eureka is the Fargo pushed the button plot device.

So then, Fargo pushes a button while playing a real-life version of Star Fox in the cockpit of a Mercury era rocket and launches himself into orbit.

Zane shares some of the blame here. He installed an ion engine in the rocket. Who said initiative gets you nowhere?

Jack realizes something went wrong in Eureka and Fargo can’t be found, hence Fargo must be on board, which should be his go-to conclusion all the time.

Fargo and Zane must join forces to stay alive. Luckily the capsule is an experimental FTL drive! So all they have to do is activate it. But they can only use it once. And there’s a device needed on earth to stop them from going splat.

It’s like Apollo 13, but with Fargo.

The capsule doesn’t have communication or control, but it has artificial gravity and a one way FTL drive. Don’t think about it.

Here, think about this; The ion engine that Zane put in the rocket' He stole it from the “catcher’s mitt” that’s needed to stop the capsule when it FTLs back. This is good because there was still about thirty minutes left in the episode.

On Earth, Henry activates the catcher’s mitt and without the ion engine, it sends an EMP throughout the town. Cue awesomeness.

Jo shows up with horses and they go all Regulator-like through town to save the day. There are jokes about sore butts. I was appropriately entertained. Now is when the show gets good.

Henry needs a new power source. They use a blinking light and a rotary phone to communicate with the capsule. NASA accepts the and they call up to space.

Two observations. One: Why don’t all Global Dynamics employees have super advanced satellite phones? Two: Even in Eureka, NASA saves the day.

Fargo and Zane bond and this time Zane pushes the button that turns on the FTL engine.

There are never consequences in Eureka. They nearly blow up the town or the world, but by the end everything is saved and forgiven.

Or is it' This episode closes with an appearance by Ming-Na, as a US Senator in charge of Eureka’s funding in what I hope will be a juicy role as a new antagonist.

This is where it should have ended, with Jack riding his horse into the sunset, but that didn’t happen. And if it did, it would probably be a supernova caused by Fargo pushing a button.

This is a good episode by Eureka standards, and a welcome return of a mostly enjoyable show to the genre wasteland of summer.

Next week, Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day. With them in Eureka, who is manning the internets?

Watch Eureka episodes free on the show's Syfy site.

Ryan Guthrie is appropriately entertained by other things besides sore butts. We assume.

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