Episode 501, “Lost”
The Astraeus comes down like a brick, all the while zoot suit drums are going in the background.
I kid you not. The incidental music accompanying the crash landing sounds like the opening percussion bars of “Sing, Sing, Sing” and it was distracting as all get out. Other than that, we have a pretty solid jump back into Eureka.
Figuratively and literally, because the Astraeus touches down right outside the town. After Fargo has his almost but not quite hilarious moment where he thinks he’s the first man on Titan, a very confused crew is surrounded by soldiers and drones and a dapper looking Deputy Andy in a suit. They’re very quickly rounded up and put into quarantine.
Where they learn that they’ve been gone four years.
And Andy seems to be in charge. But he’s not. Turns out, SARAH has taken over Global Dynamics, and there are lots of copies of Andy now.
This is where the season could have run off the rails. We’ve already had a major reset when we had the big time-travel arc and several characters went back to the 1940s and came back to find a different reality. Did the writers just give us another reset? That’s the question people should have been asking at this point, because it was starting to look like it.
Or was it?
This was one of those “through the looking glass” episodes where everything is carefully crafted to throw us a curve ball, and Eureka delivered one. The dystopian world in which the Astraeus crew find themselves is twisted up in knots: Carter and Jo in a relationship, Henry a near-lunatic hiding out in his garage, Andy being a very creepy Andy, and the entire town turned upside-down because of Senator Wen’s decision to put SARAH in charge of the whole fish barrel.
Henry’s descent into paranoia was just the right shade of Serling. And the underground bunker/spy center he’s built for himself is typical Henry. The drones are everywhere, and he’s set up a “base camp” of sorts where he can watch the Watchers.
And it was a small bit of fun to have a spaceship chase, with lasers. And seeing a nice Dr. Parrish after he’s had an adjustment from the Adrenaline Suppression System (what SARAH and Andy are using to pacify the town) was fun for everyone who remembers the bright, cheery enthusiastic pain in the neck that was Wesley Crusher.
The episode is clearly focused on Allison more than anyone else, and her adjustment to the fact that her daughter Jenna is now five, and Kevin’s in college, is the toughest of the struggles. Fargo just has to deal with his demotion to Parrish’s team. Zane has to deal with losing a girlfriend. Grace just has Henry’s loss of security clearance as her issue.
One wonders how they’ll react when they discover it’s all a simulation run by Beverly Barlowe.
Yep. Turns out the whole thing is a simulation to evoke particular responses and actions in the Astraeus crew, because they’re not really lost in space. They’re not ahead four years. Oh, no. They’re all strapped into biobeds and trapped in the Matrix.
Given that Allison is the primary focus of this story, and given that she was trapped on the ship and wasn’t supposed to be there, and given that Beverly has jacked with Allison’s brain before, it makes a certain kind of sense for Beverly to go after her again. Third time’s a charm?
But Beverly has always been a weak antagonist. She’s manipulative. So what? What can she really do? Will Eureka take her into Dr. Evil territory?
Time will tell, and there’s not a lot left. Thirteen episodes and counting.