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TV Review: Eureka – “Welcome Back Carter”

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When we were last in Eureka, Jack Carter (Colin Ferguson) had been removed from his position as Sheriff. Why? Apparently, he disobeyed an order to hand Dr. Eva Thorn (Frances Fisher) to Department of Defense authorities since she engaged in a scheme to alter historical records ("From Fear to Eternity"). While the door has been left open to her return down the road, odds are that the town of smart people who have science on the brain are not too likely to hear from her in the immediate future.

Depending on how one counts, this episode either kicks off the remainder of the third season or starts the fourth. Considering the stick-it-in-summer and be done with the thing, I see no problem with a fresh start. The term 'mid-season premiere' works best when a show either starts in January and runs until May (think 24) or it splits into chunks, like Monk and Psych do.

Carter now has to do something to earn a living. What better way than to interview with the Department of Homeland Security? After all, he was a U.S. Marshal prior to being hired as sheriff. Daughter Zoe (Jordan Hinson) might not appreciate moving in the midst of the school year, but she goes where dad does. Jo Lupo (Erica Cerra) takes on the temporary responsibilities as lawperson in charge until a final decision can be made.

In ordinary circumstances, an underling without any other competition would be the natural replacement. However, Lupo has always been portrayed as someone with little in the way of people skills. She makes a great cop, but a sheriff's position requires a different skill set than Lupo's. Enter Andy — an android who looks remarkably human.

Ty Olsson does a nice job as Andy, the machine who does the job with almost too much efficiency. Some comic moments come as Olsson has to take on various things collapsing on top of him. These are sight gags one has to view to understand. At least Dr. Doug Fargo (Neil Grayston) is around to help get Andy working properly. For an android, that is.

I'll let you watch to see for yourself if what Carter's ultimate fate is. The interesting part is how things play out.

As Dr. Allison Blake, Salli Richardson-Whitfield has the dual responsibility of running Global Dynamics and being pregnant. I expected her to pop at any moment during this episode. I realize several months had passed by airtime and where things ended previously. However… the only explanation I can think of Richardson-Whitfield being preggers onscreen and off. With both Allison and Lexi, Carter's sister (Ever Carradine), in the family way, it just appears a bit odd to have the one carrying twins with less poundage.

Yes, the baby is the offspring of Nathan Stark. Ed Quinn left the show, but it's not entirely unreasonable to think Stark might return when Allison breaks water. Assuming, of course, True Blood wrote into Quinn's contract an option to act in other shows while filming the one which the actor is currently working on.

Allison and Lexi aren't the only ones with new responsibilities. Dr. Henry Deacon (Joe Morton), newly elected mayor, also now has a job which requires him to deal with the public on a regular basis. Perhaps the writers should consider adding town council members into the script at some point. It would help with a plausible storyline for Henry.

About the only cast member who did not show up this week was Zane Donovan (Niall Matters). With such a sizable cast, a person not around is hardly surprising. Besides, I get the impression Matters' contract puts him equal to a recurring guest star. You know the ones, those not there each week, but often enough to be recognized immediately by regular viewers.

Now that Thorn appears to be gone, it's possible Dr. Jim Taggart will be back at the lab again at some point. Matt Frewer is adept at playing wacky, which he proved with his portrayal of Max Headroom a few years back. Exactly when has not been determined yet. Beverly Barlowe, played by Deborah Farentino, may or may not return. Anything is possible with this show.

I do have a small nit to pick. Watch those promos! They serve a purpose in showing what is coming up so viewers will be sure and turn in. For me, they work to let me know what to focus on next time. But.. too much revealed, and there is little reason for anybody to tune in. Low ratings are a problem, folks.

Tune in Fridays at 9pm for more Eureka! Yes, the day is new. DVRs might be in heavier use because of this. Remember, you can always click on the Syfy website to watch online should you miss an episode.

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