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Review #3480: Eureka 5.3: “Force Quit”

Posted on the 03 May 2012 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: Gregg Wright

Written by Terri Hughes Burton and Ron Milbauer
Directed by Mike Rohl

As the final part of a three-episode saga, “Force Quit” has the task of resolving the “Matrix” situation completely and getting everything back to normal. And in addition, it also effectively wraps up the arc that began with the second half of season 4, when Senator Wen first arrived on the scene and the Astraeus project was commissioned. In that respect, the episode, and this 3-part arc, have been relatively successful. I still think that it’s a bit of a let-down that the Astraeus’s grand voyage ended up amounting to little more than a plot to kidnap Eureka scientists, in the aim of furthering their perpetually ambiguous goals.

Review #3480: Eureka 5.3: “Force Quit”

And now that this plot has been averted (albeit after Holly was tragically killed) and at least some of the Consortium captured, there’s little indication as to the where the season will go from here. It’s all about resolution, with virtually no set-up for whatever series-closing arc might be in store for us. Granted, this was originally meant to be the second-to-last season, but I suppose I did expect something more. Then again, perhaps it’s a good thing that the rest of the season is such an open book. Whatever comes next could be truly surprising. Senator Wen is no longer a threat, but it seems likely that the Consortium is still out there. I’m pretty curious about what Beverly is going to do, and whether or not her ties with the Consortium have been completely severed.

And as far as “Eureka” episodes go, this was certainly another fun one. Carter gets another chance to exercise his comedic chops, and as usual, the results are pretty hilarious. Of course, the episode isn’t all humor and hijinks. Fargo’s shock and grief over Holly’s death seems to occur mostly off-camera, but it’s made clear that he’s been pretty devastated by the experience. First he has to experience a break-up, and then find out that she’s dead. I do think that it’s still quite possible that Holly will return, in some form. Perhaps she’s stored in digital form somewhere. But at the moment, things seem pretty bleak for Fargo. There’s a rather touching scene at the end in which Carter does his best to console Fargo, but Carter can think of almost nothing to say that would help.

Also, with Beverly’s decision to aid in the recovery of the Astraeus crew, Henry is put in a pretty difficult position. An episode recap on another site mentioned an important point that had eluded me. At least in the original timeline (where Henry is from), Beverly was directly responsible for the death of Henry’s former lover, Kim, which Henry is well aware of. But Beverly’s past acts are only referred to in general terms here. Of interest is the fact that this isn’t the first time Henry has been forced to ally with Beverly and put aside his hatred for her. Back at the start of season 2, Henry joined forces with Beverly in an effort to cure Kevin of his connection to the Artifact. The shades of gray present in Henry are one of the things I like most about the character, and I’ve always liked Joe Morton’s acting. He can be surprisingly intense (or absolutely terrifying, as seen in the virtual world) when the situation calls for it.

I probably enjoyed the scenes in the virtual world more here than I did in the previous episode, which is probably thanks to the characters becoming aware of the world for what it is. And it also helps that Carter gets in on the action. The virtual Carter was involved with virtual Jo, so it’s not hard to imagine the kind of comedic awkwardness that results from that. One thing that did confuse me was how the characters were able to simply speak freely when none of the NPCs were around. I thought that they were being monitored from the outside at all times. It’s more fun, of course, to give the characters the freedom to chat about their situation and be amazed that the real Carter has arrived to save the day, so it’s a fairly forgivable issue.

Like I said, things are very much getting back to normal in “Eureka”. Even Cafe Diem is being rebuilt, which I was very glad to see, as it has become such an integral location in “Eureka”. There are still a couple of loose ends, and in terms of the larger show mythology, there’s plenty of avenues that the show could explore. The Consortium has essentially been the main, over-arching threat from the beginning of the show, and given that they’re probably not completely dealt with yet, I expect that they’ll be sticking around. I’m also hoping that the show isn’t quite done dealing with the Artifact, which was another significant story element in earlier seasons.

Rating: 8/10

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