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Review #2906: Eureka 4.12: “Reprise”

Posted on the 20 July 2011 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: Gregg Wright

As I’ve probably said to some effect in previous “Eureka” reviews, one of the things I like the most about the show is that it tries to use each technological-mishap-of-the-week to expose some current aspect of character development. Sometimes it comes across as a little bit too obvious, as is the case this time, but the fact that they attempt it so regularly is a big part of the show’s success.

Review #2906: Eureka 4.12: “Reprise”

I knew the Felicia Day episode was coming at some point, but I wasn’t sure when. I’ve liked Day well enough in the past, and she seems to deserve her status as “queen of the geeks”, but I found her unusually grating in her guest role here. Knowing that her off-screen status probably led to her being cast might be skewing my judgment a bit, but her presence seemed a bit forced into the narrative more than it might have been with a less well-known actress. I’m still looking forward to Wil Wheaton’s re-appearance, though.

This is only the second episode in the second half of the season, but it’s interesting to note that the bridge device has played a role in both episodes, as has the FTL drive. The writers are maintaining a nice sense of continuity about everything. It seems a bit convenient that the bridge device is somehow not inside the stasis field, but I suppose there would be no solution whatsoever if it was.

By this point, it scarcely warrants mentioning that, once again, Kavan Smith’s Deputy Andy provides some of the best laughs in the episode. Seeing him in the babysitter role was as amusing as one might expect, and it allowed Carter to focus on other things. There’s no mention of Andy and SARAH’s current relationship status, which I don’t terribly mind. I think it’s a good development for both characters, but I think it’s best that they don’t overdo it.

It was a little unexpected to see Kevin playing such an active role in the investigation and the resolution of the conflict. But Kevin’s talk about Carter becoming “domesticated fits in well with Kevin 2.0′s previous attitude toward Carter. Apparently, the other Carter would allow Kevin to frequently accompany him on investigations, which at first seems kind of ridiculous. But Kevin 2.0, though not the autistic savant he used to be, but the new Kevin does seem to have above-average intelligence, given how successfully he handles the situation.

Ever since the Eureka Five returned to an alternate timeline, the Jo/Zane relationship has been slowly building to the point where they would end up back together. I’ve liked the way that story has developed so far, but I think it suffered a slight misstep with how abruptly it seems to have been resolved. I think the conflict should have played out just a bit longer, now that Zane knows the truth.

Almost from the moment the scene started, something felt off about Allison’s experience. But it didn’t quite register for me that something was truly wrong until we neared the end of the episode, since for most of the experience I just assumed that it had to relate somehow to what was going on in Eureka itself. By the time the scene ended, it had become clear that this incident seemingly had nothing to do with anything else in the episode, which further raised the suspicion that something was seriously wrong.

I guess the twist caught me off guard because I didn’t expect a return of Beverly Barlowe and the Consortium to happen so soon, but I’m glad it did. The show is better off with more running mysteries and threats. To be honest, the Consortium’s goals have never been terribly clear, so hopefully this season can give some some clearer motivations and a solid plan of action. This reveal comes at the perfect moment, given that the potential threat from the government has been seemingly completely diffused. We needed something to take its place.

This episode had a few too many weaknesses dragging it down. The central plot, though executed with “Eureka’s” unique flair, feels overly similar to many previous scenarios. People in the town gradually start acting weird due to some technological anomaly, and Carter and friends have to work to figure it out. But from a less critical standpoint, it delivers the requisite amount of fun and entertainment expected from a “Eureka” episode. And the final moments certainly serve to make the episode more worthwhile.

Rating: 7/10

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