I guess this is better?

Season five of Eureka is up on Netflix now, so I’ve finally gotten to resolve that bloody cliffhanger from last season. Not before a detour through a random Christmas episode (who do they think they are, Doctor Who?) that I pretty much could have done without, but hey, one episode, then we’re back to actual continuity.

Spoiler-cut for my thoughts on a pair of tropes.

So, the “you were gone for four years” thing, and specifically the “Jo and Carter are hooked up now” thing. It isn’t quite as bad as Alias, which I stopped watching after the second season precisely because of that trope: Sydney was gone for two years, and in that time, her handler managed to get over her, meet someone else, fall in love, and get married. Um, okay? I mean, yeah, I guess that can happen in reality, but as a storytelling device it was so blatantly an attempt to inject tension back into a relationship that had settled into HEA that I lost interest in the story entirely. Here at least it was four years, and Jo and Carter had known each other for a long time, and weren’t married, so it wasn’t as egregious, but . . . c’mon, Jo and Carter? It had a whiff of “we’ve tried every other pairing this show has to offer; what’s left?”

Ergo, a part of me was quite glad to find the entire thing was a simulation to deceive the Astraeus crew. (Though really, couldn’t they find a more plausible pairing than Jo and Carter?) On the other hand, it wanders off into something else I’m not fond of, which probably has a name on TV Tropes, but I call it The Gift That Keeps on Giving. I gave it that name when complaining about later Elfquest storylines: yes, Winnowill is a fantastic villain. For a while. But when she keeps on coming back and causing trouble yet again, I find her appeal rapidly fades. She was fan-freaking-tastic in the original quest, okay in the Blue Mountain story, wearing thin during Kings of the Broken Wheel, and then I just get completely bored with her after that. In a similar vein, Beverly and her subversive crew just made me roll my eyes when they showed up. Couldn’t it have been something new? Why can’t we be done with these people?

(I am apparently a terrible audience for the concept of an arch-nemesis.)

Anyway, I’m only one (real) episode in so far, so no spoilers beyond that. But feel free to discuss the tropes in the comments.

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0 Responses to “I guess this is better?”

  1. mrissa

    See, I had kind of the opposite reaction: everything about Alison makes me want to punch her, so Jo and Carter seemed far less implausible: look, it’s a person who’s not a rampaging jerk about her autistic son! Hurray, go with that! Oh, simulation? Sigh.

    (Seriously. Kevin in the alternate timeline is a different person. He has had different life experiences from word one. If there was a cure for autism, I would let my godson decide whether to take it. But if someone tried to magically switch out my Rob for a kid who had never had autism, I would SCRATCH THEIR GODDAMN EYES OUT. And I’m not even his mom, and he’s not as severely autistic as the character of Kevin, so there would be more overlap in experiences. I expect that Alison should have had the oh-yay reaction to not-autistic Kevin. But then it should have sunk in that he was no more her son than my brother Kevin is her son, and when it didn’t? Alison can DIAF as far as I’m concerned.)

    But I still don’t like Teh Dramaz style plotlines of that type in general. It’s just…that the simulation aspect does not, it turns out, negate that, and I will stop there because you haven’t seen the rest yet.

    There’s some really good stuff in S5, though.

    I think one of my problems with arch-nemeses is that people often don’t behave as though they have any clue at all how an arch-nemesis works. They skip along going, “Tra la, we gave him a stern talking-to, that should handle it!” And…no, seriously no. Figuring out where Beverly Barlow is and stopping her from doing whatever the hell she’s doing should at this point be pretty key for Carter & co.

    Although…I would also find it amusing if they did that and found that either her nefarious plans had moved on to be focused on someone else, so that her reaction was basically, “You? What are you doing here?”, or else if she’d turned over a new leaf and they stormed into her new greeting card consortium or whatever.

    • Marie Brennan

      I’m okay with Alison . . . as long as I ignore the thing with Kevin. Because yes, exactly, everything you said. She has some line after they come back about “I finally get to know my son,” and I yelled at the TV, THAT ISN’T YOUR SON. It’s a very nice boy who shares your genetic code and was raised by some other version of you. But it isn’t a simple matter of somebody un-muting a speaker so you can hear it properly. New!Kevin’s personality is not a personality that was lurking inside original!Kevin all this time, waiting for a chance to get out. He’s a different person.

      Anyway, Alison’s generally neutral to me so long as I skip over that. I don’t love her, but I also don’t dislike her. I’m more anti-Jo-and-Carter because I like friendships and professional relationships between men and women, dammit, stop turning every single one of them into — oh, good, you didn’t. And yeah, Teh Dramaz. They annoyz us.

      I would laff and laff if Beverly went the way you suggest. As for them not knowing how to deal with an arch-nemesis — okay, fair, at least the characters in Elfquest actually try to deal with Winnowill, rather than just giving her a stern talking-to. It isn’t their fault that apparently nothing you do can keep her down for long. (Short of killing her, and they have an actual in-story reason for being deeply reluctant to do that.)

  2. eve_prime

    Given that they knew how much they needed to fit into the final season of the show, and that they wanted to advance the storylines for each of the major characters, I can see that they might have to be pretty selective about which loose ends to tie up and which they’d have to choose to brush aside. Even so, Carter should have given at least a sentence or two to address the issue re Zoe, and I’d think that Allison should have been given a full episode, at least, to deal with her loss. But maybe they decided that they already had enough they needed Allison to do? I agree that it was jarring.

    (Off-topic: I’m glad to finally be in an LJ conversation where my Allison Blake icon really fits! I’d assumed my chances of that were over.)

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