Entertainment Magazine

Review #2365: Eureka 4.16: “Of Mites and Men”

Posted on the 17 August 2011 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: Gregg Wright

It was disappointing to hear how far along the filming for season 5 of “Eureka” was when the cancellation was announced. Now that six-episode season 6, that will never be, is looking pretty good compared to the current situation, in which the story of Eureka must be wrapped up in a single, standard-length episode. With the recent controversy over AMC’s handling of “Mad Men”, “The Killing”, “Breaking Bad”, and “The Walking Dead”, it’s easy to feel some despair about television in general. I won’t say that a higher budget would always result in a better product, but it’s frustrating to see television’s storytelling potential wasted by penny-pinching TV execs. I’m at least glad to see that the creators of “Eureka” weren’t interested in delivering a watered-down version of “Eureka” just to continue the show. Better to try and end it on a high note.

Review #2365: Eureka 4.16: “Of Mites and Men”

But on to the actual episode. The isolation test was a great way of delving into both Jo and Zane’s relationship and the Fargo/Holly/Parrish triangle. I like that Zane is still refusing to give up on going to Titan. For a while there, I thought he was doing a pretty horrible job of proving his worth as an astronaut. Everyone’s behavior made a lot more sense after the reveal that Zane has been purposefully pushing everyone’s buttons.

I know some are probably a little bothered to see Wil Wheaton becoming type-cast as “the jerk”. I’ve already made clear that I think he’s a great addition to the show, and I’m glad to hear that he’ll be sticking around for a while. I haven’t seen as much of Wheaton in this type of role as others have, so I suppose I haven’t become as tired of it yet. But on the topic of Parrish himself, I do enjoy him in his current role, but I certainly wouldn’t mind if the writers eventually decided to expand the role a bit to make a bit less one-dimensional.

It’s also interesting to see the continued involvement of Senator Wen. I like that they’re not just writing her as an outright antagonist, but are still using her as something of a source of conflict. Her acceleration of the Astraeus construction may have contributed to the issue with the construction mites, and her refusal to immediately re-instate Allison played a part in Carter and Allison’s minor relationship strife. It’s not much, but I’m interested to see how her presence affects the mission preparations in subsequent episodes. (It was also nice to see another “Stargate Universe” veteran this week in the form of Peter Kelamis.)

And Deputy Andy is back! Seriously, I keep thinking Kavan Smith’s chipper delivery will become a tired joke, but it hasn’t. I hope Andy remains a part of the show right up to the end. Carter’s comedic moments aren’t the tour de force they were in “Up in the Air”, but he’s still fun to watch. Check out Ferguson’s acting when we first see him in the suit. It’s subtle, but he did a really good job of looking uncomfortable in it.

Unfortunately, there was no Astraeus mission update from Fargo this week to open up the episode. Hopefully we’ll get a better idea of how the candidates are doing. But for now, we can guess that Jo will probably go, possibly along with Zane. Grace seems set to go, and Henry currently appears to be staying behind. Allison is probably staying. Still, there’s two or three episodes left before the final selection. A lot could happen between now and then, no to mention the continued threat from the Consortium, which could certainly shake things up a lot.

In the wake of the cancellation news, I’m probably going to have to fight the urge to over-appreciate any new episode of “Eureka”. “Of Mites and Men” doesn’t really break any new ground. It follows the established trend of delivering a scientific/technological mishap that ties in with the running story arc. But it does so with as much success as it (almost) always does. One could attribute formulaic tendencies to “Eureka”, but it’s never formulaic to the degree of an average procedural. Individual episodes seem to be crafted with the more discerning viewer in mind.

Rating: 8/10

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