The altered reality of Eureka

Eureka is back, and the characters are in their most dire situation yet, but is it too dire?

Eureka is not a show that takes itself particularly seriously. Much of the ‘science’ in the show is very soft, and many of the situations the characters find themselves in are extremely reliant on plot blindness and luck to function, which can sometimes make it an effort to suspend disbelief. 

The most egregious TV sin is the undone plot, and this is a sin that Eureka commits regularly, changing and shifting its own story world multiple times throughout its run to accommodate new characters or a theme shift, occasionally even abandoning entire plotlines or sub plots to venture somewhere new.

Last season we saw the characters completely drop any hope of getting home to their original timeline without so much as a clear discussion on the topic, in order to focus on the recruitment and training for the mission to Titan. Now, after a dozen episodes building up this team and the mission, the characters don’t even get to explore Titan for a moment. The plot has been completely abandoned for another displacement story, the characters finding themselves in another new world, one in which they need to adapt and adjust to a new status quo. Again.

To see that not even this new world is real… well, it’s just too much. It doesn’t make sense anymore from a story-world perspective, and audience perspective, or even a production perspective. It’s like the writers have too short an attention span.

I’m hoping that they finish this sub-plot quickly, so the characters can get back to their real world, but that seems unlikely. Probably, they will have to continuing to work and live and solve weekly problems inside this simulated world for at least a few episodes, before we get to see any kind of rescue attempt or escape, or even an inkling of what’s going on. Also: if the bad guys really wanted to get some valuable resources, they could just take that amazing multi-participant VR/AR system they have, and partner with Nintendo or Sony to make the most amazing video game system ever. It would make quintillions of dollars.

Despite all this, Eureka is still the same fun show it’s always been. The characters are just as geekily charming as they’ve ever been, especially the new dynamic between Fargo and Marsten, played by Neil Grayston and Felicia Day respectively, their geek love is so adorable, one wants to hug them after every scene.

Next episode will likely see the return of quirky eye-rolling danger-stormed caused by the too-smart-for-their-own-good scientists of the town, and all will be right with the show. Hopefully, the season doesn’t carry the bagage of this new sup-plot too far. The show is really much better when it does the monster-of-the-week stuff, as ironic and counterintuitive as that may seem.

Eureka is airing weekly in its new time-slot, Mondays at 9pm on Syfy.