Eureka‘s final episode, which I watched with great reluctance purely because I simply didn’t want to say goodbye to such a clever, warm hearted show – you know the idea; if you haven’t watched the episode then has the show really ended? Alas it has – ended on a pitch perfect note with “Just Another Day”.
It provided a fitting goodbye to the people we have grown to love over the last five years and as well as neatly tying up Jo Lupo (Erica Cerra) and Zane Donovan (Niall Matter)’s relationship – a marriage proposal! Just what the script doctor ordered – and resolving Henry (Joe Morton) and Grace (Tembi Locke) legal issues – Beverly Barlowe (Debrah Farentino) redeems herself somewhat by providing inside information that frees Grace from prison where she was being held on espionage charges – and giving Jack a chance to say goodbye to the town that in many ways profoundly altered and improved his life.
Even Holly (Felicia Day) got enough of her recently wiped memory back – the perils of having your consciousness downloaded into her new cloned body which glitches a little when you least need it too – to remember she loves Fargo (Neil Grayston) and wants a future with him.
The episode also saw the return of his grown up daughter, Zoe (Jordan Hinson who is about to graduate from Harvard (a far cry from the juvenile delinquent we met in the pilot episode), Matt Frewer as “Biological Containment Specialist” Jim Taggart who though lovably odd and passionate about his scientific endeavours had quite possibly the worst most cartoonish Aussie accent ever, and the surprise return of Dr Grant (James Callis), everyone’s favourite 1947-originating 21st century transplant, who now goes by the futuristic name (in his words) of Trent Rockwell.
He plays a pivotal role in the episode – *spoiler* he buys Eureka and keeps it up and running in a surprise move at the end so Eureka can continue in our hearts and minds, if not in reality – and it was a delight to have this charming rogue make one last appearance.
It followed almost immediately from the events of the penultimate episode, “Double Take” where the Department of Defense announcing they were closing down Global Dynamics, and by extension, the quirky town of Eureka, after one too many incidents.
The news of course left the tight knit town devastated and “Just Another Day” opens with people walking up and down Main Street with moving boxes, something that a surprisingly glib Jack Carter (Colin Ferguson), Sheriff of the town and the one who “holds it all together” in the words of Holly, takes in his stride. Outwardly he appears untroubled by the closure of the town, professing to his wife, Allison Blake (Salli Richardson-Whitfield) that he will be relieved when he can move to a quieter life that isn’t continually interrupted by one bizarre scientifically-created problem after another.
Allison of course is offended by Jack’s offhand behaviour – we know that this is simply Jack’s way of coping with the loss of a town and people who have enriched his life immensely; it’s something that’s confirmed later on as he hurtles down a wormhole and sees his life in Eureka flash before his eyes in a moving montage to the events of the last five seasons and 77 episodes – and leaves Jack to speak to Henry who is desperately trying to save his wife, Grace form being jailed on spying charges. She is only in that position because of actions taken by an alternate Henry whom the current Henry replaced in this timeline.
And so begins the final episode of what is arguably one of the most innovative, clever and perfectly put together shows to grace our screens. It effortlessly managed to combine drama, humour and intelligent story lines with quirky characters into a show that could have so easily been just another show about an odd little town with idiosyncratic citizens but somehow transcended all that, becoming one of those rare shows that finds a place in your heart, as much as your viewing habits.
And this episode was a more than fitting end to such a fine show.
Leaving aside syfy’s shortsighted, though financially motivated, decision to cancel the show when it was nowhere near “jumping the shark” – heck it wasn’t even near the ocean! – if the show had to end (and I still desperately wish that wasn’t the case), then this was the way to do it.
It had everything that has endeared this show to so many.
An unexplainable mystery – wormholes erupting all over town including bisecting each other which resulted in poor Deputy Andy 2.0 (Kavan Smith) once again ending up in pieces – which Sheriff Carter deals with as he has every other odd event that has afflicted the town.
Heartfelt moments between many of the major characters – the moment where Allison begged Jack not to plunge into the wormhole and Jack shared why he had to do it was vintage Eureka; heartfelt and real, only made all the more so later on when Allison revealed she was pregnant with their baby – which didn’t descend, at any point, into corny, hokey sentimentality but rather served the storyline and underscored why these finely wrought characters mean so much to us.
A neat conclusion to several relationship “what ifs?” that didn’t feel forced or thrown in for the sake of it but organically grew out of the need to have some closure. While Eureka may continue on, thanks to Dr Grant, we won’t get to see it sadly so the producers of the show did as much bow tying as necessary to make us feel like we had said goodbye properly.
And a clever end that neatly paid homage to the way the show began.
This was one of the best final episodes of a TV show I have ever seen.
While it is never easy to say goodbye to a show you love deeply, it is made just a little easier when the makers of the show go to the huge amount of trouble that the people behind Eureka did to say a proper farewell (thankfully syfy relented and have them the extra episode to do just that), and allow you one last precious, and authentic true-to-the- spirit-of-the-show closure episode with the residents of this unique town.
Thank you Eureka for five seasons of the most marvellous heartfelt, wacky, fun, clever drama a guy could want and for going out in such style.
I doubt we will see a show like this as good as you made it for quite some time to come, if ever.
Here are the tweets I saw in the lead up the screening of the episode in the US, a clear sign, if we needed one, that this show mattered just as much to the actors and the producers as it did to the legions of loyal viewers.