Views from the Stalls and Views from the Sofa - My reviews and thoughts on all things theatre and television. Follow me on Twitter @LikeTheMonth_

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Eureka - 'Clash of the Titans' - Episode Review

What’s the Story?

When Titan Rover, Tiny, explodes on return to Eureka (RIP Tiny, perhaps she will get a Deputy Andy style rebuild?), Carter heads the investigation into the explosion and the dispersal of poisonous methane gas across the town. Meanwhile, a Department of Defense ‘Auditor’ (Wallace Shawn) arrives to assess Jack and Allison’s relationship, Fargo and Holly grow closer (or do they?) and Henry and Grace plan their wedding, with added ‘help’ from Jo.

 What’s the Verdict?

Love was most definitely in the air this week in Eureka, with a sweet, romantic and amusingly innuendo-laden episode that begins, cements or disrupts the relationships that have been building throughout the season.

The 'disaster of the week', a leakage of poisonous gasses into the town from the waste generated by Dr Huggins slighty-too-realistic Titan simulator, was clever and interesting but the episode was ultimately all about the characters. The arrival of Wallace Shawn’s brilliant D.O.D ‘Relationship Auditor’, Warren, forced Jack and Allison to confront how they felt about each other, but each of our main characters were also left assessing their own relationships themselves in this episode.

I’ve made no secret of my love for Jo (Erica Cerra) in these reviews and I continue to both love her and be frustrated by her in equal measure. I’m getting to the 'TELL HIM YOU WANT HIM TO STAY' 'shouting-at-screen' stage! One of the reasons why I love the character however is that she is so multi-faceted. All the characters in Eureka are well rounded, but I find Jo in particular so brilliant because she does not fit into any one 'box', just as people can’t be stereotyped or categorised in life. She has always had that supposedly secret 'girly' streak and I wasn’t surprised to see her so excited with her wedding magazines. Although this was amusing of course, it was also a great insight into her character and how much she really does want to marry herself and have her own 'fairytale' moment. With Zane proving more and more each week that he is a good guy at heart, this episode made me realise just how much I want Jo to get that happy ending.

Grace and Henry continue to be wonderful together, it is nice to see they are continuing to explore the issues between them but that they have been able to overcome these together. Eureka writes ‘happy relationships’ incredibly well; whereas on other shows when characters pair off it marks a downturn in the drama or emotion of a story, it is nice to see the writers giving a couple a chance just to be happy together. I’m sure there will be problems that come their way but Joe Morton and Tembi Locke have infused the characters with such warmth you can’t help but root for them.

Speaking of rooting for characters, as much as I love Wil Wheaton and his portrayal of Dr Parrish, I am firmly situated on Team Fargo (Sorry Wil!). Neil Grayston and Felicia Day seem to have instantly sparked off one another and it was their quirky, awkward and yes, innuendo-laden conversations that provided this episode with most of its laughs. Holly’s insecurity that if Fargo got to know her, he wouldn’t like her anymore, was completely consistent with what we know about the character already and Day pitched this scene perfectly. I was also struck by the fact that although Holly hasn’t been there long, her presence at Henry and Grace’s wedding, which was of course only their ‘closest friends’, felt completely natural. In fact, it felt inconceivable that she wouldn’t be there (What? Ok, sorry, but I had to get one in!).

Last but by no means least of course, we have Jack and Allison. Their relationship was the one under overt scrutiny here and it threw up a slightly different dynamic between them. Although Allison seemed playful when questioning Jack about his commitment to the relationship, it did cast things in an interesting light. Of course, we all know that they are perfect together, but according to Warren they care ‘too much’. Also, bit harsh of him to tell them just before he married their two friends! Colin Ferguson and Salli Richardson-Whitfield’s reactions were excellent and I’m sure they will find a way to convince Warren otherwise.

Overall, this episode of Eureka was the kind that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside; sweet and funny it gave us some interesting insights into the characters and subtly changed the dynamics of each relationship, while never failing to make me smile.

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