Stars: Colin Ferguson, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Joe Morton, Erica Cerra, Neil Grayston, Niall Matter, Felicia Day, Roger Cross, Christopher Gauthier
Kira Snyder, series created by Andrew Cosby & Jaime Paglia
Michael Robison
Syfy, Mondays @ 9 PM
Original Telecast:
June 11, 2012

Usually on EUREKA, several storylines either converge, with the characters trying to figure out how the diverse elements are adding up to this week’s looming catastrophe, or else the plot threads unspool separately. “Ex-Machina” is unusual for the series in that the entire episode is all about one thing: the efforts of Fargo (Neil Grayston) and Zane (Niall Matter) and eventually the whole team to save the consciousness of Holly (Felicia Day).

In the previous episode, Fargohad discovered to his delight that the mind and spirit of love of his life Dr. Holly Marten, along with her visual representation, were alive and well within the computer that had trapped the consciousnesses of the Astraeus crew for a month. Holly experiences herself as being totally alive, though the facsimile town of Eureka is now empty of inhabitants, save Fargo when he visits.

On the day of Holly’s memorial service, all of Fargo’s friends and colleagues are tiptoeing around, respecting Fargo’s grief and trying to be there for him, and Fargo is tiptoeing around, trying to keep everybody from seeing that he doesn’t have any grief because Holly is still alive for him. Then the Department of Defense sends in a team, headed by Jo’s (Erica Cerra) old Army commander Major William Shaw (Roger Cross of 24), to plant observation cameras everywhere and retrieve the Astraeus computer.Fargo tries to prevent this and winds up in a cell, albeit temporarily. Fargo and Zane inform their friends of what’s really going on and work to get Holly out of the Astraeus computer. For awhile, Holly gets into the workings of GD – which has the unintended side effect of making the DoD think their spy cams are glitchy, resulting in their removal. Although there are several close calls, Henry (Joe Morton) succeeds in installing Holly into Carter’s (Colin Ferguson) “smart house,” which puts her in with S.A.R.A.H. (voiced by Grayston). Fargo and Holly are both delighted.

This of course leads to great curiosity about something the episode doesn’t bring up (although the issue may yet be raised): what’s going to happen when S.A.R.A.H.’s android boyfriend Deputy Andy (Kavan Smith) comes by for a date? Will Fargo be jealous of Andy? Will S.A.R.A.H. feel insecure about Holly? There are plenty of possibilities.

Otherwise, it’s a pleasure to see an episode of television (or any other storytelling medium) that acknowledges that as long as the spirit is still there, the person is still there. In an age when there are quite a few people who are physically “other” – paraplegic, quadriplegic, etc. – this works as an encouraging metaphor, rather than the more conventional “no, this isn’t ‘normal,’ let go of it.” Indeed, “Ex-Machina” devotes some time to Jo coming round to the notion that Holly should be saved, because Jo is still suffering from memories of her father grieving endlessly over her mother and at first can’t see that this is a different situation.

Then again, it feels like there’s perhaps one beat too many of Jo working through this issue, an imbalance perhaps caused by the lack of a more substantial B story in the episode.

We really like Holly and respond to the ticking clock/burning fuse aspect of the story, as our wily techies stay moments ahead of the DoD computer deactivation as they move Holly’s essence from here to there.

“Ex-Machina” is a solid episode, if a little less layered than many of its EUREKA brethren.

Related: Exclusive Interview with EUREKA co-creator Jamie Paglia on looking back and forward – Part 1

Related: Exclusive Interview with EUREKA co-creator Jamie Paglia on the cancellation and more Season 5 talk – Part 2


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