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Eureka, “One Small Step” (4.19)

Andy (Kavan Smith) waves to the camera from where he stands on Titan.

A review of the penultimate episode of the season, written by Bruce Miller and directed by Michael Robison, after the jump…

There we go!

“One Small Step” was exactly what I’ve been waiting for ever since the show started its decline in overall quality around “Omega Girls” (4.15). It was touching, it was warm, it was interesting… Every character got some play, with Jo and Zane (my favourites and the show’s MVPs at the moment, though your mileage may vary) getting plenty. That particular thread is what I’m going to talk about first.

Back in “Up in the Air” (4.14), I found Jo and Zane’s agreement to have Jo push forward in Zane’s place to be really touching, but I wasn’t really convinced it was her secret dream like Zane was. And last week, I felt like Jo’s behaviour contradicted what was implied there – but, as I look back on it from this vantage, I realise that this was laid out all along. That Jo was inspired by Zane’s wish to go to space, and once he got his pardon, the fight left her. I thought the show was mis-playing some moments, but this episode tied up all of the moments that left me befuddled (or, as in last episode, annoyed). And not only did this episode address those disparities, but it gave us two wonderful scenes: the brief rekindling of the bromance between Zane and Fargo that they struck up in “Liftoff” (4.11), and Jo and new-Taggart discussing the past she doesn’t remember.

“You want to know if I’ll wait for you.” – Jo
“Will you?” – Zane
“I don’t know.” – Jo
[…]
“Honesty. I never thought we’d get here.” – Zane

Niall Matter and Erica Cerra, as they have all season, played the hell out of their work in this episode, and even when it was shaky, they were so strong. This leaves them in a very interesting place leading up to the finale. However, my Eureka ‘ship crush were not the strongest work done here…

… That belongs to the separate-but-parallel stories of S.A.R.A.H. and Andy, whose love story has bubbled nicely in the background all season. What was brilliant about this plot was that I was convinced, for most of the episode, that this was going to be Andy’s swan song. After the number of times the show has imperiled all of its players, I’m typically too cynical to believe anyone’s in danger, but this worked. I honestly thought there was a good chance we’d lose either Andy or S.A.R.A.H. here, and yet wasn’t annoyed when they both made it through. This was due particularly to great work by Kavan Smith and Colin Ferguson. The script was brilliant in that having Andy bravely grinning and bearing it, and having Jack constantly have to be reminded that things were bad was a fantastic way to build up sympathy and nail it in that Andy very well could die. Every time we caught up with Andy as he slowly froze to death, seeing everyone in the cast forced to watch a man slowly die before their eyes, was possibly the darkest the show’s ever gone, even with Andy surviving. I’d bet a dollar there was a draft where Andy didn’t make it through and was changed because it felt too heavy, because up until near the end this felt like Andy’s last week. I loved it. Though Bruce Miller‘s script was strong, I think director Michael Robison also deserves recognition for turning this from ‘peril of the week’ to a genuinely tense and affecting episode.

And of course, there were small bits here (Henry and Grace gently tugging over control and Captainship, Parrish being on the crew for five minutes, Jack and Allison mulling moving in together) that will obviously be explored in the finale next week. Between closing off these character arcs, Astraeus, Beverly Barlow, and addressing the time switch, there’s a lot of work to do in an hour… but I’m not at all worried they’ll pull it off. I’m really excited to see how they do it.

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Comments
3 Responses to “Eureka, “One Small Step” (4.19)”
  1. Bruce Miller says:

    R.

    You owe me a dollar — there was not ever actually a draft where Andy remained stranded on Titan.

    Bruce Miller
    EP, Eureka

    • R. Lackie says:

      How about I just buy you a drink when I finally come to LA? 😉 Well done on the episode, sir. Very good work.

      • Bruce Miller says:

        That’s a deal. We can split a one dollar bottle of fine wine….

        Thanks for the kind review. The cast and crew did an awesome job with the episode. And, as usual, writing the script was a team effort for our whole staff.

        Bruce

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