It’s Christmas time in the little geek town we know and love. Everyone is happily preparing for the big day.
But wait! This is Eureka. That means, things are about to go horribly and humorously wrong. “T’was the night before Christmas and all through the house”, S.A.R.A.H, Sheriff Carter (Colin Ferguson) and Allison Blake (Salli Richardson-Whitfield) are decking the halls.
This story is narrated by S.A.R.A.H., or, actually, the voice of Neil Grayston, which makes it kind of fun. In comes Zoe (Jordan Hinson) and Kevin Blake (Trevor Jackson) with baby Jenna (uncredited). They are all excited about Christmas, but, instead of everyone sitting down to a family evening together,
Apparently, Deputy Andy, in his innocence, believes in Santa Claus, and Vincent has no intention of taking that away from him. Andy offers to show Carter what they are all anticipating, Eureka decorated and covered with snow on Christmas morning. He pushes a button and for a brief moment, Cafe Diem is transformed.
But, of course, something goes wrong and the system stops working. Well, we can’t have that, can we?
Back at the Carter-Blake House, Zoe is reading “The Night Before Christmas” to little Jenna who shows no interest in going to bed. Attempting to keep her entertained, Kevin and Zoe decide that it is time to open a present. It turns out to be a HoloTown book. This is Eureka’s answer to the pop-up book. And of course, batteries are required. Kevin dashes off to grab some of his batteries and we are off on our adventure as Henry and Fargo’s device clashes with the children’s book.
Jo Lupo (Erica Cerra) and Allison accidentally bump into each other at Global Dynamics. Jo’s excuse for being at work so late is that she has given her security personnel the night off. But Allison sees right through that. Jo is hiding from the relationships she has with the people around her because she has no family in town.
She attempts to convince Allison that she really enjoys being alone at GD. It is quiet when no one is around, and she likes it that way. As soon as she speaks, her alarm goes off. “When will I learn”, she mutters as she heads off. There is a system overload that has set off the alarm. Henry and Fargo are also taking advantage of the quiet at GD.
The Super Photon Generator is experiencing a glitch. Some glitch. As Fargo attempts to repair the glitch, everything goes haywire. A wave of some sort expands away from the Generator and toward the town, overtaking Carter, Andy and Vincent, turning them into cartoon characters, or more specifically, 3-D cartoons. The credits role, beginning with the Christmas carol, “Do You See What I see?”
Deputy Andy has an explanation for their appearance, once the shock wears off just a little, “The explosion of super photons must have changed the way our eyes are translating light. It may be altering our perception.” Okay, that is as clear as mud.
The problem looks like it will not be over any time soon. Since the photons have not dissipated, the generator is still leaking. Carter will have to turn it off manually. As Deputy Andy and Carter drive to the location of the device, Carter is a bit more than perturbed.
Andy attempts to reassure him, telling him that its only midnight. As Andy speaks, suddenly it is day, then night, then day. Carter and Andy have no idea what is going on, but we, the audience, are let in on the secret. Kevin, Zoe and Jenna have been discovering all the little buttons in the HoloTown book. I think we all would like to be able to play with the real world like these three Eureka kids.
As the plot progresses in the Super Photon Generator created Holotown, it is just a matter of time before Carter changes enough to look like a cartoon character more familiar to cartoon fans; moments after the two men (characters?) avoid a cartoon deer who tells them off, Carter changes to look like Dudley Do Right.
He suddenly has a hat on and a thumb and three fingers.
However, the Jeep has had enough. It fixes its own tire then leaves in a snit. After all, Carter just ignores it and never says anything nice to it. It gets abused, fire bombed, flattened, shot into space… It has feelings, and even a name – Carl.
Allison is as equally put out by what has happened as is Carter. She demands to know what is going on. But poor Henry has problems of his own. He has a pull string and cannot speak unless someone gives it a yank, and, Fargo becomes a Bobble Head!
Since we have established that inanimate objects can become animated, the control system for the device gets its own turn to mock Fargo. Suddenly buttons appear all over the panel taunting him, “Go ahead, push me.”
As Deputy Andy and Carter climb a mountain toward their goal, Andy discovers that his “apps” appear to have become rather primitive, thus also making them virtually useless. So, time to up the danger level. Kevin and Zoe discover that throwing in some Ninja Snowmen might be fun…for the book, that is. They have no idea that the dangerous elements are attacking people they care about. Just as Carter and Andy are completely surrounded, and things are looking bleak, Jo Lupo shows up in a helicopter. She is dressed as Snow White, or Snow Jo; or, as Jo says, “Jo White”.
While Allison races to the scene, Carter, Andy, and now Jo, climb further up the mountain and immediately encounter a few more cartoon changes.
They become the “Peanuts” gang, with Carter looking much like Charlie Brown and Jo looking like Lucy.
They change again to a combination of characters from the Simpsons and Futurama, then to South Park, and then to the characters of Scooby Doo.
Finally, they become Claymation. Carter looks on the bright side, at least they are three dimensional again. It is interesting, at this point, that Jo has a group of little blue birds flying around her. At first, she wants nothing to do with them, then they grow on her when they rescue her. Once they disappear, she actually misses them. This episode gives us a glimpse into her feminine side. She does not have to maintain her tough facade when she is a cartoon.
Jo whistles for her birds and as she does, she causes an avalanche. Andy pushes her out of the way, but gets caught up in it. Bye, bye, Andy. Carter and Jo now have another problem. They have attracted the attention of a polar bear. Considering that this is the Pacific Northwest, a brown bear or a black bear might have been a better choice. Fortunately, its Taggart (Matt Frewer), our favorite Australian bushman. Ever the genteel host, he offers them penguin served up in a variety of ways.
Again, I have to say, really? Penguins are only found in the Antarctic. Fresh raw salmon would be more true to the location of Eureka. But then, talking cars and electrical panels pretty much mean that anything goes. Besides, it really is just a wonderful cartoon!
Meanwhile, Henry and Fargo are walking in the snow, presumably toward the smart house – S.A.R.A.H. Poor Fargo is concerned that everyone must think that he is a joke, otherwise, why is he a bobble head? He also theorizes that Henry has a pull string to make him take a breath and to stop over analyzing everything. They arrive at the house, but with the force field in place, they have no way to get inside. At this point, I was thinking, why does my house not have a shield? I could keep all the door to door canvassers away.
While Taggart and Jo wait for Carter to get back (he has left to find Andy), Taggart does a little psychoanalyzing, determining that Jo was working to avoid Christmas. He reminds her that everyone knows how tough she is, “but it’s okay to be a princess every once upon a time”. Fortunately, Carl the Jeep has found Andy, frozen into a block of ice; literally.
Or, maybe it was not just Carl. Allison is there as well. Carter is pleased and gives her a big claymation kiss. Then, they are off to find the Photon Generator. Once there, they discover that someone has beaten them there; Santa. But only because Keven, Zoe and Jenna have ordered it so. It turns out to be Dr. Drummond (Chris Parnell)…and his dog sled of talking dogs (more on that in a moment).
As Carter and Allison talk to Dr. Drummond, they realize that Kevin and Zoe have opened the gift Allison had meant for Jenna and that is what is causing all the trouble. Allison also realizes, that in all her efforts to create the perfect Christmas, she has neglected to make time to spend with the people she cares about. A little less obvious, but still of interest is Carters discovery that he needs to show his appreciation a little more openly, especially to his Jeep. I will be watching closely next season to see just how appreciative Carter is to all the inanimate objects in his life.
Just as everyone has determined what they need to work on (a great beginning for a New Year’s Resolutions show)a giant Snow Ninja appears, knocking trees aside and heading straight for Eureka. They split up. Carter and Jo head after the Ninja, and Deputy Andy has a heart to heart talk with the dog sled team, particular the lead dog, Rudy (Edward James Olmos).
Andy wants to be like everyone else. At least in this story, he does not want to be a real boy. Rudy tells him that standing out from the crowd is also of value. Andy realizes that being different is not so bad.
With the snow Ninja approaching, S.A.R.A.H the house shakes like a bowl full of jelly. Kevin and Zoe rush outside to see what is the matter. The Ninja is dressed up all in Ninja garb, from its head to its foot with Ninja clothing covering that evil cold coot. The stump of a carrot sat above its icy teeth and the weapon it carried circled its head like a wreath. I know, do not quit my day job!
Kevin and Zoe do what they can to alter the story line of the Holotown book once they figure out what is going on. They determine that they are unable to shut off the book, but they can add things to it to give their friends and family a fighting chance. As the Ninja begins to tear Eureka apart, Kevin causes everyone to change one more time – to anime characters. Fargo now knows how to fight the snow Ninja like a pro. Unfortunately, the snow monster changes too, and Fargo has lost his advantage.
Just in time, however, Carter and Jo show up in the Jeep that now resembles “K.I.T.T. “ the Car from the “Knight Rider” series in the way that it communicates. Jo has a weapon in her hands as well, a round ACME bomb. Carter pushes a button turning the Jeep into a rocket powered Jeep/Jet. They fly towards its maw of a mouth and toss the bomb down its throat. The explosion turns the snow Ninja into a snowy day. You have to love the symbolism. Allison and Drummond fix the Generator and everything turns back to normal. On Christmas morning, everyone drops by to celebrate, and we exit the episode with, “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas” sung by Burl Ives.
I must admit that there were some really clever features, such as my favorite Jeep clobbering and Deputy Andy abuse that just seems to need to be part of the show. We also have to give a nod to the writers for providing a turnabout scene where Carter is the one getting clobbered, first by the errant tree that the Jeep gets smacked by, and then by Deputy Andy, entirely by accident, when he pushes buttons on his chest, “What does this button do?”
I did wonder throughout the episode about what happened to Dr. Parish (Wil Wheaton), Holly Marten (Felicia Day), Grace Munroe (Tembi Locke) and Zane Donovan (Niall Matter)? It would have been nice to see them. Also, I always have hopes that Nathan Starke (Ed Quinn), baby Jenna’s father in the series, will be back for at least one more guest appearance. I really do miss his character.
There were some awesome surprises in the guest list. It is nice to see Matt Frewer in the series from time to time. I also was happy to see that the characters were saying the “C” word – “Christmas”, rather than “Happy Holidays”.
Political correctness for this traditional Christian holiday sometimes goes too far. I also would like to applaud the choice of music for this episode. The writers chose music that was suitable to the episode and not music that was politically correct.
Well done, guys!
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