A return to the more episodic formula, more familiar to Eureka. In an obvious tribute to the Zombie horror genre, Jack and team are up against the clock to reverse a chemical imbalance within G.D. staff’s brains that has caused them to become enraged and violent.
All the Rage begins with a quick rundown of all that has occurred in the previous two episodes that has left them stuck in an alternate reality to the one they left behind. The final words of the catchup will surely become the tag line for this season: ‘Same town, big changes’. However, contrary to the previous instalments, tonight’s episode does not concentrate on the time shift and job swapping extravaganza, instead choosing to go back to the format Eureka seems most comfortable with. A gadget goes wrong affecting almost everyone but Jack, who then uses his ‘everyman logic’ to reverse the effects. It’s classic Eureka and although lacking the depth of the earlier episodes, is still enjoyable in its own right.
With Fargo now in charge of G.D., he is desperately trying to convince his superiors that everything is under control, whilst simultaneously deciphering what exactly he is supposed to be in charge of. He is under orders to demonstrate the results of a project based around non-lethal weaponry and hastily reviews the project for himself. Wesley Crusher, who is no longer 16 and on Star Trek, is the chief scientist and not nearly as charming as when he was talking to Jean-Luc. His lab is brimming with interesting gadgetry, it’s just none of it seems to be working quite right.
Predictably, people start to act a little crazy and it isn’t long before there are enraged zombie-like weirdo’s shaking fists and acting like Mel Gibson on a good day. The stylized camera work and strobe effects are an obvious nod to old school horror movies, but in a show based largely around clownish behaviour and comedy, it is largely unsuccessful in its attempts to provide suspense. The audience is expected to consider a range of sources for the rage-inducing chemicals, but the true origins are so utterly blatant to everyone but the cast of the show, that it is a little frustrating to watch them try to pin point it.
There is a superficial sub-plot revolving around Dr. Grant and Henry’s attempt to once again reactivate the machine that acted as the bridge between space/time. It’s apparent that the writers haven’t yet decided what to do with James Callis’ character and his role in the show has not yet been defined. After the duo finally kicks the machine back into life, every time they attempt to touch one of Henry’s tools it dematerializes, leaving them horrified that they may have destabilized space time. I was incredibly excited by this prospect and equally irritated when it was revealed to be merely a practical joke played by Henry’s new wife. They might as well have said: “then they both woke up and it had all been a dream”. It’s a lazy mechanism and one that doesn’t belong in a show of this calibre.
One development that did occur and that will certainly have consequences, is the break up between Jack and Tess. It was actually one of the most heart wrenching moments we’ve seen on the show and was pretty accurate in it’s portrayal of the awkward silences and brutal weight of hearing someone tell you they don’t want you. Watching Tess turn around and say “I love you” before walking out the door, was particularly moving and was one of the only times we have seen Jack being the ‘bad guy’.
In relation to the previous to episodes, All the Rage is certainly a disappointment. The alternate reality is not developed further and the Dr. Grant, Henry sequence only aids to highlight this fact. Eureka will always run in an episodic format that relies heavily on gadgets gone wrong, but I was hoping that this season would contain an ongoing plot that would supplement the weekly adventures.
The zombie theme is a fun distraction and enjoyable in its depiction of a familiar genre, but the show simply isn’t serious enough to be able to achieve real suspense. Tess is now out of the picture, so perhaps we can finally see Jack and Allison get together (although I doubt we ever will) and Fargo is still great fun as the head of G.D. I simply wish the writers would find a comfortable role for the Dr. Grant character; he’s far too strong a presence to simply act as Henry’s wing man.
I am the Co-Founder and CTO of Entertainment Fuse. Thank you for viewing my profile. If you have any questions, comments or if you found any bugs with the website, contact me anytime. I love chatting with our community!