Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Last night I figured out why Eureka, a show I have formerly liked a heck of a lot, has paled and felt unsatisfying, to the extent that I have actually missed some episodes of the second season1.

Mrs Stevie presented me with a DVD set of the First season, and I watched it while waiting for Verizon to get there index appendage out. No problems there. Loved it.

Then I watched a rerun of the opening episode of Season two and it hit me like a sledgehammer.

Henry couldn't know.

Spoiler Alert!
Stop reading now if you watch Eureka and don't want the show ruined for you.

At the end of season one the cast are in an alternate timeline four years in the future (2010) when all sorts of weird things start happening. The Sheriff's tornado-wrecked Jeep appears in the middle of the main street with a registration sticker three years old, for one, and an incinerated dead body turns up melded into a wall panel in the dread "Section 5" of Global Dynamics.

Things get complex when the body turns out to be Henry's life-long love, Kim, currently doing the tests that identify it.

Henry is also acting strangely, very suspiciously in fact, and Sheriff Carter figures it out. Kim was killed in an incident involving the Artifact (a McGuffin I wish they would get rid of to be honest) and Henry has used Walter's time twister gizmo from the pilot episode to go back in time and change things so she survived. Now, using the twisty logic only TV can get away with, The Universe is objecting. Or rather, the two different versions of The Universe are colliding, unlikely as that seems to me, and someone must Go Back In Time and stop Henry, destroying the current timeline in the process but putting Things Right.

We will conveniently ignore the possibility, a foregone conclusion if we buy the premise of the episode actually, that going back to stop Henry will simply make another alternate universe to run alongside the current two (and we have seen just how badly that turns out). We will instead buy into this oddly deterministic viewpoint the TV writers have that there is a "right" timeline that the Universe gets snippy about if anyone makes it didn't happen2 even if it is total hogwash.

So the plot is: Henry, sometime in the months after Kim's Death, went back through time and stopped it happening. He then marries Kim and lives with her in bliss for four years. Carter has married whats-her-face, the DOD agent, and she is very pregnant with their child. Carter is the one who gets to stop Henry. Not sure why it was Carter who went. Doesn't matter.

Four years in the Future Carter goes back in time to stop A Few Months In The Future Henry from doing the thoughtless deed, succeeds and the future universe and timeline didn't happen. Carter gets to remember it all though. Okay, I can sorta live with that since it makes a half-assed sense if you allow the rest of the show's premise to pass muster.

Thing is, Henry also remembers everything and he shouldn't because he wasn't there. Four years in the Future Henry stayed behind when Carter went back. The one that got stopped was A Few Months In The Future Henry.

Now I have to rewatch last night's episode carefully to see if I missed something or assumed some piece of dialogue that wasn't there, but I'm pretty sure Henry's dialogue is spiced with references to Four Years in the Future, er, future events. The show may have jumped the shark for me. The problem is that I did not tape last night's episode.


Now I have to invent Walter's time bollixer, go back to last night and set the video, then come back, watch the show, then go back again and stop myself from taping the show lest chrono-anachronisms start dropping out of the sky.

Of course, while I'm at it I could go back even further, wait in my driveway for Little Miss Attention Deficit and blow my horn at her as she approaches my telephone pole at warp factor 3.

  1. now being rerun on Sci Fi Channel
  2. Scot Bakula made his name in the show Quantum Leap, whose premise was that the universe needed someone to bounce around in time fixing things that somehow had happened wrong. Made no sense to me, even though the show was entertaining. I digress

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