This article may contain spoilers.
Violation of the time-travel protocols is the least of our heroesproblems. From what we have seen, Dr. Charles Grant (formerly Dr. Trevor Grant) (James Callis) has been tinkering with time itself in order to get the result he wants. He may have hitch-hiked back to the future initially out of curiosity, but then, he went back to stop Adam Barlowe (Elias Toufexis) from stealing the Bridge Device blueprints and to save Allison's (Salli Richardson-Whitfield) life. However, if the baseball he gave Jack (Colin Ferguson0 and the opening scene where he was holding a clandestine meeting to prevent the atomic bomb from ever being built are any indication, Dr. Grant has returned to 1947 more than just once. Just exactly how is he doing that and to what end? Is he still working with Beverly (Debrah Farentino) or has he gone rogue? Will he finally learn his lesson and stop toying with the possible Butterfly Effects each time he jumps between the past and the future?
It may look like all fun and games, but each jump causes a tiny ripple which can have large and unintended consequences. Who decided that Dr. Grant gets to play God and manipulate everyone's lives?
It was highly entertaining watching the episode unfold. Jack's opportune time-jump with Dr. Grant after Allison died was immediately reassuring that she was not gone forever; particularly as killing off Allison at this point in the series would have been too heart-breaking. Thus, like Jack, we were invested to make sure that this 2nd return trip to 1947 worked out so that Allison would be alive and well when he returned.
In addition to the emotional investment, the episode also had us curious whether or not any of their actions would have further repercussions -- would the future change again simply because of their return trip? And what is Dr. Grant really up to? Is he indeed just a pawn of Beverly Barlowe?
When Dr. Grant asked Beverly, "You assume I want to go back. Why would I want to leave all this behind?" She told him what she thought he wanted to hear, "I know about your passion. How you formed this consortium of scientists who wanted to protect us from ourselves. This is a chance to restore your legacy." Interestingly, he responded, "Impossible. Whatever I do will change things." Charles knew from the start that returning to 1947 at this point could be incredibly dangerous. But Beverly's persistence in plying him ego-flattering lines, like "Einstein was a visionary -- you'll be a god" and "together you'll be unstoppable," seemed to persuade him. It was surprising when Charles said, "Okay, let's make history" and agreed to go back. Beverly seemed to be preying on Charles' vanity and fears, a double-weakness, which compelled him to agree to something that he knew was wrong. Playing the time-keeper of fate does not really seem like a role that he would agree to. So why did he?
Did he go back to ensure that Adam Barlowe never stole the Bridge Device blueprints, thereby preventing Beverly from ever having a reason to re-create the device to begin with? Was it his altruistic motive to shut-down this dangerous project once and for all?
But altruism or greed was quickly superseded by the need to save Allison. The 2nd trip to 1947 was not about becoming a god or preventing the Bridge Device from being re-created, it was all about saving the woman both Jack and Charles loved. It was interesting watching to what lengths both would employ to make sure that Allison was alive when they returned. Charles was willing to let Adam Barlowe die, whereas Jack could not simply stand by and let that happen. Yet fate seemed to have something else in mind and made sure that Adam Barlowe lived.
Thus, when Henry (Joe Morton) curiously asked Charles at the end, "Charles, what did you do?" Jack quickly came to his defense and said, "Nothing. He screwed up, but he made it right." With a hint of regret and insight, Charles added, "I thought I could make things right, but there are certain things in the universe that clearly cannot be changed." Saving a life is permissible, but perhaps taking a life is not.
While it took a bit of maneuvering to fix the broken timeline and ensure that they did not venture down that same dark path again, it was spine-tingling when at the end Beverly reported to whoever she was colluding with, saying, "I'm afraid things did not work out the way we hoped. But I do have a new target in mind." She was starring right at Jack and Allison as these ominous words rang out. What in the world is she up to now? That is what we are now dying to find out. Is she truly done with Charles Grant? Or has she found another way to manipulate time to her own ends?
If Beverly is referring to Allison, maybe she has figured out that Kevin (Trevor Jackson) is the one she needs to focus on. After all, the first trip to 1947 successfully cured him of autism and the second trip saved Allison's life. Maybe Allison and Kevin are the key to controlling time.
Even Henry alluded to that significance when he told Allison, "I've known for a while now that you two [she and Jack] were meant to be together." This was a cool nod to the first timeline that Henry manipulated to make sure that his beloved Kim (Tamlyn Tomita) would not die, but was forced to correct -- robbing Jack of the future life he had with Allison. (This was the end of the first season, for those wondering.) Henry has already seen how manipulating time does not work out, but, unlike Jack whose memory he erased of that first timeline, Henry remembers that ultimately Jack and Allison ended up together. Some things destiny will make sure happen. Jack and Allison are destined to be together, no matter what the timeline.
Finally, the time had come for Zane (Niall Matter) to figure out what was really going on. Being a genius himself, it did not take him long. Jo's (Erica Cerra) inadvertent slip when she threw his grandmother's engagement ring at him helped put the pieces together: this was not the same Jo that he had known; this was a different Jo from a time when they had meant something to each other. So when Zane said, "When this is all over, we're going to talk about that ring," we knew that he had figured it out. Jo tried to dodge him, but in the end he cornered her saying, "You're not getting off that easy. . . I'm not stupid. I know something's happened with the five of you and part of it had to do with us." When Jo stood silently not denying or acknowledging anything, he prodded her further saying, "You had my grandmother's engagement ring, Jo. Come on. Tell me what we were to each other." When she finally reluctantly said, "Nothing," Zane decided to push the matter and kissed her. He then flatly said, "Then why didn't that feel like the first kiss?" Zane knows that time has been changed, but how and why; and Jo does not want to jeopardize him by telling him and including him in a possible government prosecution of a time-travel cover-up. At this point entirely too many people know about the time-travel breach of protocol: Charles, Beverly, Andy (Kavan Smith) and now Zane. That's too many people to keep a lid on our heroestime-travel excursions. Will it matter that only Charles and Beverly are actually guilty of deliberately participating in such an egregious violation of protocol? Or will those who were inadvertently caught up in it be charged with treason as well? All these questions guarantee that we will be holding our breath to find out until Eureka returns for the second half of the 4th season.
What Didn't Work
After teasing us at the beginning of the episode with the scene of Dr. Grant meeting with a woman and man plotting to prevent the atomic bomb from ever being built, that particular timeline -- story strand was left hanging. While not an obvious cliff-hanger, it still leaves us feeling unsatisfied about what that was all about. Let's not have hanging-chads tickling our brains. For as the other man said, "Traversing a wormhole into the past, not much work." To say it like that, he must have done it before. So since when has time-travel become such an every day occurrence? When Grant said, "Let's make history," perhaps he was referring to more than just going back to 1947. Maybe he has perfected that art of traveling into the future and then back into that past? It is mind-boggling to conceive.
While Zoe's (Jordan Hinson) presence served to heighten the moment between Zane and Jo after he kissed her, it was unnecessary. It is enough that the audience resents Zoe for ditching her high school boyfriend to pursue Zane. But to now make her down right despised for getting in between Jo and Zane is uncalled for. It was funny when Zane was clueless that he and Jo were involved before. Now it just feels painful.
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
"I'll Be Seeing You" was written by Jaime Paglia and directed by Michael Robison. "Eureka" stars Colin Ferguson, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Joe Morton, Jordan Hinson, Erica Cerra, Neil Grayston, Chris Gauthier, Niall Matter, and Trevor Jackson.
"Eureka" airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on Syfy.
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