Synopsis: Jack, Allison, Henry, Jo, and Fargo adapt to the alternate timeline brought into existence by their excellent adventure. Meanwhile, “Tiny,” a bug-like robotic probe that Tess has been working on, goes haywire; everyone suspects sabotage.
Review: In this alternate version of Eureka or “New World,” Jack has just asked Tess to move in with him, Henry is happily married, Fargo is the tyrannical director of Global Dynamics, Allison has been demoted to medical director, and Jo is head of GD security. Sheriff Carter’s new deputy is Andy, the same robot that replaced him when he was temporarily dismissed in season 3. This last change wasn’t as interesting or surprising as I think that it was meant to be. I wasn’t necessarily a fan of Andy the first time around and would have been happy to never lay eyes on him again. It was, however, nice to see that Jo – who has been passed over for the sheriff gig twice – will finally have the kind of authority that she’s always wanted.
Right now it appears as though this season will be more Lupo-centric, and really, it’s about time. At the beginning of the premiere, Zane asked Jo to marry him and she didn’t respond. In this alternate timeline, Zane hasn’t proposed and isn’t even romantically interested in her. Previous episodes have offered glimpses of the softer side of the gun-loving, former Army Ranger, but as Jo grapples with her feelings for Zane and confronts her reasons for not immediately accepting his proposal, we’re bound to see more of that vulnerability; the show can only benefit from developing her character.
Notwithstanding Lupo’s heartache, bizarro Eureka is treating everyone well. Clearly, this isn’t going to last. The episode concludes with Henry telling the gang that the Bridge Device is broken, meaning that they are all stuck for the time being, and everyone agrees not to tell anyone else in town about what they’ve experienced. Even though time and space will eventually begin to unravel as the season moves forward, this little secrecy pact and the fact that they are all essentially leading idealized versions of their former lives, makes it possible to have some of the wacky, stand-alone Eureka episodes that have been so entertaining over the years – they don’t have to – and really can’t – contend with the ramifications of their journey to 1947, which allows the show to explore stories that aren’t tied to the time travel plot.
However, the “Tiny” subplot of this episode just felt tacked on and mostly inconsequential. The one piece of information that it did reveal, though, was that alternate-timeline-Fargo is egocentric/quasi-evil and has authorized at least one potentially dangerous, top-secret project – Tiny was malfunctioning because of some kind of positronic lightening overload that was a byproduct or research that Fargo commissioned. Although this episode wasn’t as impressive as last week’s, it has, at least, provided the series with a jumping off point for the rest of the season.
Odds and Ends
– After initially appearing a bit suspect, Dr. Grant helps Jack battle the positonric lightening thingy. But this guy is manipulative and I wouldn’t be surprised if his morally ambiguous nature morphs into full-on villainy. In fact, I’d welcome that shift.
– Kevin has replaced Zoe as the town’s most prominent kid. His “normalcy” feels a little forced and strange right now but, overall, I like the character. Early in this episode, Jack suggests that Kevin, who was fiddling with the Bridge Device before they all traveled to 1947, might have created this alternate world where he wasn’t autistic. Henry shoots this theory down immediately, which is sad because it’s actually a really compelling idea. Even if he didn’t know how he would change in the alternate timeline, I’d like to think that Kevin was working on the Bridge Device with some purpose in mind.