Eureka took a big step last night towards wrapping up the series, but our heroes had to get through possibly the worst day of their lives to reach the big moment. Some spoilers ahead...
"In Too Deep" finds Global Dynamics celebrating Feynman Day, which, in the spirit of the legendarily mischievous physicist, involves a lot of insane, super-science pranks. (Carter, in one of a number of great one-liners in this episode, sizes up that situation and declares he's sitting this one out.) At Carter's house, Fargo and holographic Holly are enjoying something between domestic bliss and a slow nervous breakdown — it's hard to tell which, honestly — while Deputy Andy is just trying to grab any time he can with his virtual girlfriend S.A.R.A.H. Allison, understandably, is at her wit's end, and she lets slip to Jack that she hasn't yet told her family about their engagement.
The two end up trying to enjoy a romantic day together in a submersible in Lake Archimedes, the gigantic underground lake that is the newest lab of Global Dynamics. Credit where it's very much due — after calling out the show for some shaky special effects in previous episodes, pretty much all the Lake Archimedes stuff looked spectacular. Anyway, the couple can't avoid what has to be the most serious fight we've ever seen them have, as Carter starts to think that Allison doesn't think he's smart enough — and quite possibly good enough — for her.
Things go from horrible to downright apocalyptic when some rather ill-timed mass transfer by one of Eureka's shakiest scientists leaves the submersible crippled, and Carter and Allison find themselves stranded deep underwater with seemingly no way out. Eventually, they're able to use a holographic Vincent as a communicator — Henry's instant recognition of Jack's speech patterns coming out of Vince's mouth was another great funny moment — but they're still in very real danger of drowning, suffocating, or being ripped apart by the mass transfer device. And yet...this ends up being their wedding day, as we finally get confirmation that, for all their differences and recent struggles, Allison and Jack really are meant to be together.
Generally speaking, Jack's personality doesn't seem to lend well to big, high stakes emotional drama. He's mostly a mix of straightforward and closed off that, while very much what you would expect from a practical-minded lawman in a town full of off-kilter geniuses, isn't terribly likely to get into big fights with his fiancee. Of course, when the big fight with Allison does come, he acts for quite a bit of it like a aggrieved twelve-year-old, harping on Allison's use of the word "genius" and coming dangerously close to tantrum territory. That seems about right, honestly.
What the episode doesn't necessarily resolve is just why Jack and Allison are fighting — is it because there really are deep, potentially insoluble problems in their relationship, or is it just because Fargo and Holly and Andy and S.A.R.A.H. and the kids are seriously cramping their space? There's also the third possibility, that all couples fight sometimes and it's perfectly normal, even healthy, but then the issues at hand here might go beyond just your everyday domestic disagreement.
The thing is, I can believe that Jack is capable of getting past the fact that Allison knows she's smarter than him — I don't think he could have lasted all these years in Eureka if he wasn't basically OK with always being though of as the dumbest guy in the room — but Allison not telling her family about the engagement seems like a pretty huge deal, and confronting the prospect of a watery grave might have only shifted that issue to another day, not solved it entirely. (I'm guessing the show will revisit this concern in the upcoming episode in which Allison's brother shows up to meet Carter.)
This season has spent a lot of time getting us to question Jack and Allison's relationship, first with the not entirely convincing roadblock of virtual Jo, and now with this. It's almost as though the show decided to take a good, long look at just why Allison and Carter are so perfect for each other... and blinked. I'll admit I'm not totally sure why we've needed to spend quite so much time on this — the couple always seemed to make sense in a low-key sort of way, and it's not as though either had a clearly superior relationship (with apologies to Nathan Stark) in their past that constantly demands comparison. Still, I'd say this episode has been the most effective exploration of their relationship, if only because it's largely divorced from any virtual reality contrivances. Plus, it's nice to see that, after all the hardship, the two get their big wedding. As we also saw in the season four premiere, these two always seem to be at their most romantic whenever the imminent threat of atomization hangs over them.
Meanwhile, I'm liking Fargo's story more and more each time I see it. Holly's new status as a Dungeons & Dragons playing hologram in Carter's house makes for some nice comedy — Holly's request that her hologram have bigger boobs being one of the more memorable ones — but the show is also using this situation to slowly drag Fargo into maturity. (The fact that he quite literally grew the beard also helps.) The moment at the end of the episode where Fargo congratulates Jack on his wedding and tells him to cherish every moment with Allison is maybe the first time they have truly interacted like two adults on equal terms, and Neil Grayston absolutely nails the pathos of the moment. The question of Holly's ultimate fate still hangs over the show — my guess is they're not going to kill her off again, but I'm guessing there's a pretty brutal road ahead for her and Fargo.
The show is also getting a ton of mileage out of the relationship between Fargo and Zane, which I'd say is by far the most compelling character pairing this season. It's funny — one of the stated reasons why the creative team did the timeline shift was essentially to un-mellow Zane, to break him out of the nice but neutered corner they'd written him into. I don't necessarily disagree with that assessment, but it's interesting to see just how the writers have brought him back to that sort of place over these last two seasons.
The strength of his friendship with Fargo has made his return to niceness much richer than it was the first time around. It's also made him the new head of Section 5, GD's ultra top-secret division best known for being the home of the mysterious artifact thingy in the show's early days. It hasn't really been mentioned since Tess came in to head it up way back in season 3.5 — I'll admit I had to look it up to even remember what Section 5 was — and I'm not sure whether it will serve any greater use than facilitating that massive advance in computing Zane mentioned is needed to save Holly. Indeed, what if Holly's resurrection actually ends up tying back in with the Artifact itself? Hmm. Nah. Although that would be one hell of a way for the show to go out...