Welcome back Eureka fans!
Last weeks excellent episode was written by Andrew Cosby, Amy Berg, and Jamie Paglia. The story opens with everyone feeling a little weird due to their changed circumstances in the alternate reality. Remembering that Carter (Colin Ferguson) was in love with Jo (Erica Cerra), Allison (Salli Richardson-Whitfield) is very uncomfortable having Jo stay with them.
Before continuing my review, we include the promotional trailer for “Jack of All Trades” courtesy of Syfy for your enjoyment.
S.A.R.A.H, the smart house burns the toast, prompting Carter to ask the house if she is okay. She replies that she is experiencing some minor “RF interference” and promises to run a self diagnostic. As I think of this moment, an insignificant thing like burnt toast could have been used as a metaphor for what happens to the smart house later in the episode.
Deputy Andy (Kavan Smith) then appears. He and S.A.R.A.H have obviously been snuggling again, although I have never been able to figure out how one snuggles with a house. Allison complains, “It’s getting crowded around here”!
Obviously four is company, but six is a crowd!
Poor Fargo (Neil Grayston) is mourning the loss of his beloved Holly(Felicia Day)who was killed off in the last episode. He moons over a box of her belongings and keepsakes. But this being Eureka, we know that Fargo’s grief is going to be messed with. Enter Fargo’s assistant, Larry Haberman (Christopher Jacot) with a reminder that Fargo has to get down to the Grief Counseling Lab.
Vincent (Christopher Gauthier) seems to be the only happy Eureka denizen. He has his restaurant back and it has been improved and updated; time for a grand reopening. Meanwhile, Henry Deacon (Joe Morton) enters the restaurant looking for his wife Grace Monroe (Tembi Locke).
He leans down to give her a kiss, but she turns away. Her feelings are still a little uncertain toward Henry. After all, in the alternate virtual reality Henry had told her that their relationship was not going to work. This obviously deeply hurt her.
Vincent brings over pizza from his brand new oven which he brags is wood burning and completely carbon neutral. I am not sure how that is accomplished, but it sounds cool. Grace is not interested and chooses to head back to her office, apparently doing her best to avoid Henry. Vincent advises, “Give her some time, we don’t know what they went through in there”.
Bunny therapy really sounds pretty warm and fuzzy. The perfect thing when you are grieving. Fargo is not very impressed by this. Since he is about to give up on the counsel of bunnies, the two scientist/therapists offer an alternative. Yes, they have a pill for it. Well, not a pill, exactly; more like a skin patch. Fargo looks intrigued.
In Jo Lupo’s office, we observes that Jo is on the phone complaining that Senator Wen (Ming-Na) brain-napped 28 of Global Dynamic’s top scientific citizens for some nefarious purpose planning to steal secret inventions designed by the gifted citizens of Eureka.
However we all know that Eureka’s version of Thelma and Louise will get caught by the good guys in the end. Carter enters and gently asks Jo if he can have his smart house back now that Allison has returned. Jo’s house is almost finished being built…again, so that should not be a problem. However, Jo is still thinking she may leave Eureka. Jo admits to Carter that Zane (Niall Matter) seems to be, “pissed at me about something”.
Dr. Isaac Parrish (Wil Wheaton) has called Jo. She and Carter make their way down to the lab to find Parrish very angry that Zane has turned his work area into a storage locker. Zane is cataloging all of the equipment from the Neural Network Facility that Beverly Barlowe ( Debrah Farentino ) was responsible for. Jo becomes distracted by the gun that Zane invented to catch an imaginary dragon in the other reality. “Wen used the blue prints to make a functioning model”.
As Zane, Carter and Jo are talking, Parrish takes the opportunity to try to rid his lab of Zanes stuff. Zane and Parrish scuffle knocking over a container of something that looks like a ball of fire. Parrish insists that he has his “I-Fire” under control, but, this being Eureka, the fire has its own ideas. It flies around the room smashing things and gets out of the lab. Parrish gives Zane an evil look. Carter remarks, “At least some things are back to normal”.
This is where Parrish gets to spout the Technobabble that is well known on other sci-fi shows. Fortunately, Wil Wheaton has lots of experience with this sort of thing. His character tells us that the I-fire is made up of nano-robots that seek out fire to put it out, but Parrish has also been using the I-fire to start fires for controlled burns and, he has lost control of it because of some RF interference. Gee, what are the chances of that happening?
Meanwhile, Kevin and Allison, and little Jenna are at the skateboard park, where Kevin is showing off his skill. Grace drops by to confide in Allison. She is having a harder time readjusting than she expected. Allison admits to her own trepidation about Jack and Jo. She receives a call from GD to return at once. The “Friendly Fire” ball is up to no good.
Carter and Jo creep carefully into a room dressed up like the Ghost Busters. A noise grabs their attention. Jo springs to action, dousing a scientist with fire suppressant foam. The poor man complains that everyone abandoned him after the fire ball went to work extinguishing their Bunsen burners and the lights.
Jo offers, “Maybe it’s not so dangerous?”
Just then, an alarm goes off, and Jack responds, “You had to say it!” They race down the hall to discover Fargo casually walking toward them with his leg on fire. He does not seem to be the least bit bothered about anything, and asks Carter and Jo if they have seen Holly. Both of them are somewhat surprised at Fargo’s behavior.
The fire ball, or as Parrish likes to call it, the firefly, is headed down level by level to the fusion reactor. They arrive just as Parrish is attempting to coax the wayward thing-a-ma-jig into a cylinder. Not surprisingly, their arrival creates turmoil and the ball of fireflies flies off again. Before it gets away completely, Jack managed to hit it and slice it into two fire balls that head out of the building in opposite directions.
Zane and Parrish look at a real time map of Eureka that shows energy sources, telling Carter and Fargo that the fireflies will go after the most powerful energy sources first. As they stare at the map, they see that there are still lots of heat sources available for the fireflies.
Parrish comments, “I don’t think everyone got the memo, sheriff”. Fargo surprises everyone by showing unexpected anger at Parrish’s remark. His grief patch seems to be working overtime. Fargo shows off his newly acquired patch. “I got it from the guys in the Bereavement Lab. It’s helping me cope with my grief.”
Once Fargo has been contained, Carter asks how they can contain the fire balls. Zane offers a solution; high voltage generators. They come to the conclusion that what must have caused the problem in the first place was something to do with Zanes equipment.
Allison has just dropped the kids off and is talking on her phone to Carter as she drives toward GD. She becomes the next victim of the wonder that is Parrish’s firefly. It goes after the hot engine of her vehicle forcing her to abandon ship, I mean car. The fire ball blows up Allison’s engine.
You just know that if it is not Carter’s jeep that gets destroyed, it has to be someone close to him. Since it was not that poor jeep, Allison’s vehicle is our consolation prize. She tells Carter to take care of the problem and she will call Deputy Andy for a ride.
Speaking of Andy, he is visiting with Vincent asking him to shut off his oven until Eureka is safe from fire balls. “What am I going to serve?” demands Vincent. Andy replies, “Have you considered an ice cream social?”
Henry and Jo wait for one of the fireflies in an open field. The generator has been turned on. While they wait, they discuss the odd behaviour of their colleagues toward them. They easily capture the little fire ball. Meanwhile, Zane and Carter are not having as much luck. They too discuss what happened in the alternate reality. Zane is not buying that Carter would not be in love with Jo. He believes that Carter would act exactly as he had in the matrix given the same set of circumstances. Just as Carter protests his innocence, the other Firefly shows up. Unlike Jo and Henry, they are not able to contain the ball of fire. Their remote is not working.
The next stage of grief for Fargo is depression. Everyone meets in his office. He sits on his couch acting like the world is coming to an end, and the big secret that Carter was trying to keep from Jo, gets “outted”, “You and Carter were doing it in the matrix”, Fargo tells Jo. Zane joins Fargo on the couch, while Henry determines that the primary remote, the one exposed to the interference was damaged beyond repair. That’s why it did not work for Carter and Zane.
Jo and Carter begin looking for the firefly all over again. They find out it is on its way to Carters house where Kevin and Jenna are playing video games. Andy and Allison are also rushing toward Carters house. Kevin did not get the message to power down. Andy decides it must be because of the RF glitches. They must be getting worse. Allison tells Kevin that he and Jenna have to get out of the house. Of course, that is easier said than done.
Kevin and Jenna cannot get out of the not so clever smart house. So, Carter shoots his way through a very rock resistant sky light. This also, apparently, doubles as an escape hatch since Carter is able to deploy a ladder that gives him access below. Carter hurries into his home to save the kids buts gets attacked by the fire ball and tossed over a counter. Jo rushes to his aid accompanied by more explosions and flashes of light.
Meanwhile, Andy and Allison have been working to get inside through the door. Andy manages to short circuit the door and pop it open. Everything inside is now on fire. Carter rescues Kevin and Jo rescues Jenna. Everything seems to be fine now, except for Andy who is worried about his girlfriend, the house.
As Carter and Andy cautiously look inside the charred remains of the smart house, the firefly is again on the move. It flies out through the skylight. Carter thinks for a minute, then realizes that he is responsible for the fire ball. At the same time, Henry and Zane come to the same conclusion.
Everyone meets in Graces lab where she and Allison explain that the fireball is attracted to Zeta waves, which everyone who was connected to Beverly Barlowes Neural Network have been exposed to. It also seems that the problems with S.A.R.A.H were caused by the same thing.
Fargo is getting paranoid and anxious now as well, so Allison removes the grief patch. “No more grief cheating,” she insists. They still have the problem of the runaway fire ball. Allison explains that it still is heading toward a heat source.
The only likely one left for it to head to is the group of people at Cafe Diem. Typical of the series, just as Vincent assures one of the guests at the restaurant that they are perfectly safe, the fireball arrives through the chimney of the wood burning stove.
Carter to the rescue. He has a generator with him which works perfectly, drawing the fire ball out of the restaurant and after him. Carter runs down the street virtually screaming like a little girl. Jo, meanwhile races toward him in her police cruiser, screeches to a halt, and fires that handy rife that Zane invented, capturing the fire ball in a form of energy netting. Yay!
Back at the lab, Grace and Allison are attempting to determine if being connected to the neural network has caused any problems for them. Since it does not appear that they will solve the problem any time soon, Allison says good night with the intention to head home to her kids. Henry walks in and he and Grace agree to talk, to solve whatever problem is between them.
At Cafe Diem, Carter is babysitting in the background. Jo sits at the counter as Allison approaches. Jo is still considering leaving Eureka. Allison reminds Jo that she saved Allison’s kids and asks her to stay. “We need you here. I saw the look on Zane’s face when he thought he lost you. He needs you too.” Allison heads back to Carter as Zane walks into Cafe Diem. After a few words between them, Zane and Jo make up.
The only one left now is Fargo, whom, as we saw at the opening of the episode, is again looking at the keepsakes he shared with Holly. Parrish comes into Fargos office. “She told me she wasn’t into role playing,” Parrish comments. Fargo reminds him he was playing the role of an “ass hat”.
Then as Parrish accepts that he was being an “ass hat”, he asks Fargo if he wants to play (Dungeons and Dragons). Holly’s death seems to have brought them closer together. If one good thing has come out of her death, it is that these two seem to have forgiven each other and are no longer rivals.
Overall, this was a good, “moving the story along”, episode with some funny moments. I was disappointed that Carters Jeep did not get clobbered yet again, or failing that, Andy did not get flattened. Kavan Smith is a good looking man, but watching his character undergo some kind of negative experience is funny, especially since Andy always takes it so well.
Now that everyone will have made peace with their relationships, thanks to Senator Wen and Beverly Barlowes meddling, it will be interesting to see what is next for our favorite Eureka people in “Jack of All Trades!” tomorrow evening on Space Channel in Canada and Syfy in the United States!
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