Eureka has consistently delivered laughs, drama, mixed with just the right amount of science. Season 4 continues with the winning formula, but provides a welcome shake-up that quite literally messes with the fabric of reality.
Founder’s Day celebrates the town's inception and all the familiar faces are out to remember how and why Eureka was constructed. The first 10 minutes act as a reintroduction to the main characters and reminder as to the whereabouts of the absentees. Zoe is off studying at Harvard and Tess has broken up with Carter. This is no laborious reintroduction to old stories however, with Zane proposing to Jo within minutes. As nostalgic as this may be, I was anxious to see what problem Eureka would throw at Jack Carter and whether an overlaying theme would be introduced, such as the [not so good] artefact story of season 2. Not one to disappoint, writer/producer Jaime Paglia has delivered on both accounts and as the episode credits rolled, the foundations were set for an incredibly fresh set of scientific shenanigans.
The premise of the episode is that Carter et al. are transported to the very moment in time that Founder’s Day is set to celebrate. A faint sepia tone asserts the shift in time with the town Sherriff finding himself trapped with the gang in 1947. Although this revelation delivered quite the wow factor, the real highlight of the season premiere, was the introduction of new character, Dr Trevor Grant; played by the excellent and ever diverse James Callis of BSG fame. The character fits him like a glove, with the right amount of charm, charisma and intellect, topped off with authentic accent (I’ve hardly spent any time in 1940’s America, but it sounds good to my ear). After some humorous confusion watching the penny drop for each character, the team gets to work on building a way to get... Back to the Future. I must draw attention to one of the funniest moments in the show's history (no pun intended), Fargo’s recollection of how he ended up naked in the past. Think Terminator parody complete with Austrian accent.
Dr Grant eventually sees the light and is recruited to help Carter and Co. get back to their own time. Inevitably, this is successful, but this makes the ride, no less exciting. Carter and Alison share an unnaturally long tongue-less embrace before their return and even my usually grumpy expression melted away, as the two finally act upon their blatant sexual tension. However, it isn’t until the gang return to present Eureka, that things really get interesting. As any Sci-Fi geek will know, time travel can have unexpected consequences. By messing around with the past, Carter and friends have inadvertently changed the course of history. The town appears the same, but things are certainly not as they left them. Major differences are the absence of Kevin’s autism, Henry is married to the mystery woman that worked in the museum, Zane is in prison and clearly out of love with Joe, and Tess has returned to Eureka. The last detail was perhaps the only one I was a little disappointed by. After the fanfare surrounding the Carter/Alison kiss it was frustrating to have yet another obstacle inserted between the star-crossed lovers.
I was extremely impressed with the season 4 premiere and appreciate the decision to have a very thorough spring clean of Eureka and its inhabitant's lives. I’m thrilled with James Callis’ arrival, possibly my favourite TV actor, and can’t wait to see how he will fit into future plots. Hopefully, now Kevin will actually be introduced to the show properly, as after 4 seasons, he is still merely a prop that appears every now and then when the story requires it. Within this new reality, he is no longer the one dimensional savant and perhaps will deliver more than some creepy insights once every 4 episodes. However, without a doubt one of the better season premiers we have witnessed this spring, that not only delivers a fun and exciting trip into the town’s past, but also provides some incredible possibilities for future episodes. Now please excuse me while I try to think of more reasons to love James Callis...
His hair, that’s another one… god he has great hair.
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