|In Short:||Attack of the Mad Scientists! (And not in a good way.)|
|JACK:||(voice over) But that’s Eureka for ya. Same town. Big changes.|
I was all excited, just one episode past, to see where Eureka would go with this rebooted world of theirs, but it seems my excitement may well have been misplaced. 'Cause where did they decide to go? Zombies. And, unless they’re being battled by Elizabeth Bennett and her sisters -- or occasionally by the Winchester boys -- I don’t really feel any particular fondness for zombies.
Sure, there were moments of goodness in here, and the whole rigamarole ended with one exceptional moment of very goodness, but all in all, "All the Rage" did nothing more than test my patience. (I like the new opening, though. Way to catch everyone up, Carter!)
So, to commence. We have Fargo faking his way through as the newly anointed head of GD, and Alison -- looking gorgeous in the much more casual wardrobe allowed in her new role as a mere factotum -- is clearly ambivalent about her effective demotion, but is being very supportive. Carter is struggling with the domestic realities this new reality brings, since Tess is all set to move in with him, and Henry is also having domestic issues, as his wife is all but a stranger to him, yet "If I didn’t know better, I’d say you have a little crush on your wife," opines Trevor Grant.
Ah, yes, Grant. Grant, too, is having trouble acclimatizing to this new world around him, and is desperate to find a place for himself. With his past accomplishments left unaccomplished and his whole era long-over, he is lost and alone, and inveigles Henry into helping him work on the device that originally brought him through time, not in an effort to send him back -- "You’ve seen too much, I mean, it would be potentially catastrophic!" Henry scaremongers -- but to perhaps repurpose it for some unspecified space age use. It’s not much, but it’s all he has. Thereafter the two of them discover they are making tools in Henry’s garage disappear through touching them, effectively keeping them out of the events of the episode, which is probably good for them (I’m not sure Eureka newcomer James Callis or even old hand Joe Morton would have been able to keep a straight face around all the zombies) but not so good for us, since Henry would probably have come to the answer much, much quicker than anyone at Global managed (I mean, I figured it out after about 1.3 seconds, and I’m no brilliant scientist) and have thus put an end to this farce sooner, to the relief of all.
Speaking of brilliant scientists, in this one we have Wil Wheaton guest starring as one Dr. Isaac Parrish, head of Non-Lethal Weapons Research at GD. General Mansfield (my least favorite TV General -- I even like General Beckman better) demands results of Fargo now, dammit, now, and so Fargo goes to get an accounting out of Wesley Crusher... discovering on the way that "Other me is kind of a jerk." (Yeah, we all figured that out last week, Fargo.) Zane is working with Parrish, ‘cause now that he’s not dating Jo we need some reason for him to be in the show, and he looks so super-hot it’s astonishing Jo managed to restrain herself at the onset of some teasing innuendo. Wes gives Fargo a demonstration of his experiments, none of which seem to be working according to specifications, and tempers run hot. They soon begin to run hotter, the general antagonism and bitchiness level raises about a thousand percent in the space of one commercial break, and it’s pretty certain that Something Is Not Right at Global Dynamics. (Well, when is it?)
It takes everyone an unconscionably long time to figure out what made everyone go crazy Hulk Smash! mad -- it was one of the non-lethal experiments, of course! -- but when they finally do, the only truly funny moment of the episode occurs. Carter supplies his usual simplified idea from which world-saving inspiration almost always comes, to which Fargo mocks: "Hello, I’m Sherriff Carter. I’m gonna save the day with my everyman logic, ha ha ha." Of course, that’s the bedrock on which the whole premise of Eureka is founded, but Neil Grayston delivers the line so perfectly that it surprised a laugh out of me, even as I was shaking my head in abject despair and wishing this painful episode would just end already.
End it finally does, and it is only the character interactions adorning this conclusion that mitigate somewhat against the insanity and inanity of what had come before. Jack tells Jo he misses her (aw!), Grant and Henry bond a little at being the victims of Henry’s wife Grace’s practical joke (cute!), Carter dumps Tess on her ass (seeya, Tess!), and I end the episode with a much greater feeling of optimism for the new Eureka than I was experiencing mere minutes before, with the Disaster of the Week playing out so ridiculously. I can only hope that this was a mere bump in the road, and that we’ll never see this idiotic episode’s like again.
As for Wil Wheaton, he was just kind of… y’know. There. It was undeniably good to see him but I can’t help but feel a little cheated. Wesley Crusher would never have turned the brilliant scientists at Global Dynamics into a gurning, moronic mob of homicidal zombies. Never!
What's next? Doogie Howser comes to town and transforms everyone into werewolves?
|Jack/Alison angst:||Carter breaks up with Tess, and yeah, it’s pretty much gotta be ‘cause of his 1947 kiss with Alison in this season’s first episode.|
|Jo kicks ass:||Check. A lot!|
|Fargo causes mischief:||In that the alternate him sucked at people management, yep.|
|Or a Global Dynamics experiment runs amok:||Check. Killer bees!|
|And/or a newly-implemented technology malfunctions:||Not this time.|
|Henry comes up with a solution:||No, actually, it’s a Tess/Carter/Fargo solution.|
|Carter saves the day:||Nope!|
-- Rachel Hyland