Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Eureka - 4.9 "I'll be seeing you"

We finally got to watch the Eureka mid-season finale this weekend! (There was a one-week delay before airing it, and an 8-day delay before putting it on Hulu.) It was very exciting. Much to everyone's shock, Allison died. She actually died. Poor Jack!

But happily, this was a tale of wuv, twoo wuv, and they're in an alternate timeline anyway, so Allison was only mostly dead. (Yes!)

It went something like this. Jack and Allison regrettably woke up in the same bed. (Why don't people get married at this house? Is SARAH the bad influence, or Jack? What do Zoe and Allison's kids think about all this nonsense?) They were deliriously happy and got a 911 call from Fargo at the lab, so they walk in at the same time, very much together. Jo and Fargo take one look at them, and after some teasing, get to the point. The EMP thingy is still missing, the one Beverly got Trevor to steal for its power core, and the General is not happy, but also Henry has found a spot where all background radiation is being damped.

Jo and Jack go through Trevor's archives, and Henry and Allison go check out the anomaly.

Meanwhile, in the secret cloaked warehouse hiding the stolen EMP thingy, Beverly shows Trevor her newly-completed bridge device with which she proposes to send him back to the forties. Why he believes her motives I can't imagine, since she just finished lying through her teeth and he knows it, but he does. Maybe she wants revenge for her or her father's respective imprisonments? Obviously, she's up to no good. But she makes a power surge just as Allison and Henry arrive, so they get in the car to flee-- but too slowly-- and the blast knocks it over, killing Allison inside.

Jack had been unsuccessfully trying to get them on the phone, so he came along just in time to help drag her from the vehicle. He gets mad and drives the Jeep into the cloaked warehouse and tackles Trevor, just in time for them both to go back to the forties. Jack explains to Trevor what's going on. And, it turns out they opened a new wormhole, so they follow their past-selves around and basically watch episode 4.1 again from various perspectives, while avoiding the military authorities searching for (either one) of them! So awkward.

But actually, they figure this could be just as well, so they keep trying to mess things up to change the future so Allison doesn't die. But the time-stream keeps correcting itself. Just as Trevor gets their time-machine doodads put together to take them back (apparently he's done it enough that the science is no longer even worth wasting screentime or drama on), Jack has the brilliant idea of leaving himself a message in the archives so that he'll be able to stop Allison in future.

We watch an alternate future, in which he gets the message from himself, and leaps in his Jeep! He rushes to the cloaked warehouse, and tells Allison and Henry to run! And he crashes through the invisible warehouse door! And Beverly and Trevor both stop and stare at him, very understandably.

Just about then, Jack and Trevor shimmer and their second-time-forties selves appear in place of their future (current?) selves. Trevor's come-back doodads worked just like they were supposed to. Meanwhile, Beverly, with her keen sense of self-preservation, snuck out the back door while the going was good.

Jo arrives with the military, and they secure the missing device and all of Beverly's goodies. This means Trevor and Zane are cleared. Jack explains to Allison and Henry that Trevor made his mistakes right, and we suspect that they're now friends. (Trevor is a much better sport about losing Allison than Jack was.) The only downside is that General Mansfield is demanding a full investigation. Uh-oh.

Deputy Andy and Jo go to release Zane. At this point, he's kind of less interested in his arrest for treason than why Jo -- who in this timeline always despised him -- broke up with him and had his grandmother's ring. Zane, being actually very intelligent, can tell that something is going on with her, Fargo, Jack, and the gang.

Jo doesn't want to talk about it. Jo insists they never meant anything to each other. Jo is a very unconvincing liar. Zane dramatically kisses her and says, "That didn't feel like a first kiss!"

But before Jo can gather her wits, Zoe cheerfully pops into the sheriff's office to take Zane out to celebrate his release. Zane lets Jo go, but he's not done with this mystery. Oh, no.

Meanwhile, Jack gives Trevor an alternate identity so he can go make a new life for himself, if he wants. (But what will the General say when he disappears?) Trevor thanks Jack, and adds that he's going to do some traveling courtesy of some smart investments on this most recent trip back to the forties. Just before the credits roll, we see Beverly driving away, telling someone on the phone that things didn't work out as planned. Dramatic music!

So that was the mid-season finale. I was pleasantly surprised they didn't leave us with a major cliffhanger. We can expect a special Christmas episode and the rest of the season sometime next spring, and it looks like the Christmas episode is going to be a musical or something. This should be interesting.

In related news, Henry made an appearance on White Collar recently. :-) He was some kind of high-up federal marshal, and his character there was almost as awesome as in Eureka, though quite different. His name wasn't Henry, though. Go figure. He got to collude with Peter and Neal in bringing down a dirty marshal and vindicating a wrongfully accused FBI agent. That episode had some really sweet cars, too. I hope his White Collar role is a recurring one, because he was pretty fun there.

Monday, September 06, 2010


I'm vaguely astonished it's September already. School time, yes; school always starts when it's still hot out, so that's fine, but September? Very strange. I don't miss writing papers, but I kind of do miss buying school supplies and going to class. On the up side, this means apple season is almost here, and cool-enough-to-use-the-oven season. Yum.

The September Anthropologie catalog is up, and it's inspiring and lovely as always. The clothes are fine, but what I really want is the scenery. Yes, I'd like to order a prairie and two mountain vistas, with a paint horse - can you ship them express, please? I don't know where they did that first photo shoot, but it looks like the high plains and mountains of New Mexico. "My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here/ My heart's in the Highlands, a-chasing the deer..."

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Eureka: "Stoned" and "The Ex-Files"

I'm happy to report that the last two Eureka episodes have been good again! And there was much rejoicing. Sadly, next week's will be the mid-season finale, to be picked up again with a single Christmas episode and then the rest of the season sometime later. Sigh.

Despite the title, "Stoned" had no drug references whatsoever (at least that I caught). When Jo tries to rebuild her house (that someone blew up with his cheating rocket, LARRY), the local archaeologist teaching at the high school finds an ancient human bone and puts the construction on hold. Regrettably, several people associated with the dig turn into stone too, slowly and from the outside in. Whoops.

Even though the archaeologist was one of Zoe's favorite teachers, she cleverly and scientifically figures out that he was trying to pull a hoax with an aging potion he used in class. Zoe gets turned to stone too - and Jack finds the potion - and Allison reverse engineers it for a cure - and the local spa owner pitches in with a micro-mist to get it through the victims' petrified pores so it'll work. And they live happily ever after.

Well, kind of. Jack and Allison finally have their Define the Relationship kiss, so they're happy. Zoe and Zane really are sweet on each other, so Jo is not a bit happy. And, in a bizarre cliffhanger, Trevor has a clandestine meeting with... Beverly?? Beverly, for those of you who may not recall, was the horrifically sexy therapist from Season One, who was thankfully hauled off for treason. She made a regrettable brief return a couple seasons later in which she took Allison's son hostage and then escaped via a teleporter thingy, never to be seen again. So, naturally, when they brought Trevor back with them, it didn't occur to anyone to warn him she was Trouble.

"The Ex-Files" was quite a ride. Nathan turns up in Jack's office, re-materialized from the space-time warp and sarcastic as ever. Then Tess turns up at Alison's and chews her out for dating Jack. (Hello? Tess dumped Jack, so what's Tess' problem?) Zane shows up at Cafe Diem and is nice to Jo - nice like pre-parallel Zane. He says he's going to break up with Zoe and everything. Fargo's fifth grade-nemesis, a smart-aleck girl, turns up still as a fifth-grader and gives Fargo an earful whenever he lets General Mansfield boss him around. (In Fargo's defense, Mansfield is technically his boss.)

Just to finish out the weirdness, Beverly reveals herself as the daughter of one of Trevor's friends from the forties, which friend mysteriously turns up as well, and they convince Trevor they are part of a large web of scientists out to protect the world from evil superweapons, like the EMP generator being tested that very day at Eureka. And Only Trevor Can Save Civilization. Here's the computer code. You'll know when to use it.

They soon discover that Nathan, Tess, nice Zane, and the smart-aleck girl are hallucinations that nobody else can see. It really does cause some hilarious scenes. Meanwhile, the General is there to oversee the EMP weapon, which doesn't work right because Beverly is aiming an oscillator at it. While Fargo and Zane fiddle around with it, trying to keep it from going off, Trevor sneaks up to the computer and enters Beverly's code. It causes a minor explosion, which makes the General order the EMP transported away from Eureka, much against everyone's recommendations.

But Beverly and her dudes had actually been manipulating Trevor (surprise, surprise) and captured the EMP machine for themselves. He came back to her, all hurt, and she showed him what they really wanted: the EMP's power supply, with which they have fixed the time machine and will send him back to the forties! Ta-da!

Meanwhile, the rest of them have been exorcising their hallucinated friends. Jack gets rid of Nathan by telling Allison he's loved her for years. Allison gets rid of Tess by admitting to Jack that she's terrified of another relationship (seeing as the last one went rather badly, Nathan dematerializing on their wedding day and all). Fargo gets rid of his nemesis by out-politicking the General. And Jo...

Jo gives Zane back his engagement ring, that she's been wearing around her neck all this time, and says she's over him and he can date Zoe if he likes.

But it turns out she's telling this to parallel Zane, not hallucination Zane. Parallel Zane says, "Why do you have my grandmother's ring?"

And just then they come in to arrest Zane for messing up the EMP device (thanks for setting up a fall guy for Trevor, Beverly).


What I want to know is, why does everyone in this episode act like the EMP is the next horrible atomic bomb? It's actually much more humane than conventional weapons, because it doesn't kill people or even destroy buildings. It knocks out electronics. Yes, this will mess up a high-tech society and cause disruption in communications, mess up the food supply, that sort of thing. But it's not like an EMP actually fries people or razes entire continents to dust. It is possible to live a happy life without your cell phone. Just saying...

Cool things from Brandywine Books

The BBC has up a 26-minute documentary on Tolkien from 1968. It's rather sweet - you get to see Tolkien himself saying some of the quotes attributed to him, and sharing a couple funny stories I'd never heard before. We even get to watch him at a fireworks-and-bonfire party. There are also interviews with some of his students, varying from fan-clubbers to one earnest chap who despised LOTR as avoiding the really important things, like politics. (That one doesn't even merit a response.) The cinematography struck me as quite the period piece, complete with creepy synthesizer music. Hat tip to Brandywine Books.

Also from Brandywine: this cool youtube video on thinking and loving God. I wasn't sure where it was going, but it turned out to be an ad for the desiringGod 2010 conference. Well worth a watch. Too bad we won't be remotely near Minneapolis at the beginning of October.

And... also from Brandywine: a review of Heat Wave, the Castle tv show tie-in book, which I've been kind of wanting to read. I had no idea Lars Walker was a Castle fan.

Seriously, Brandywine has the best blog. They pretty much always have something interesting going on.

Friday, September 03, 2010


"Next, and with deep humility, [my apologies] to Balliol College - not only for having saddled it with so wayward an alumnus as Peter Wimsey, but also for my monstrous impertinence in having erected Shrewsbury College upon its spacious and sacred cricket-ground."

"There was a new porter at the St. Cross lodge, who heard Harriet's name unmoved and checked it off upon a list. She handed him her bag, took her car round to a garage in Mansfield Lane*... *For the purposes of this book, Mansfield Lane is deemed to run from Mansfield Road to St. Cross Road, behind Shrewsbury College and somewhere about the junction between the Balliol and Merton Cricket grounds as they stand at present."

Dorothy Sayers, Gaudy Night, from the "Author's Note" and page 5.

View Larger Map

Dorothy Sayers would put in a footnote about her changes to the Oxford map. I have always rather wondered about Mansfield Road and St. Cross Road, so for all you readers who have also wondered, Google Maps knew.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

It amused me!

I come across all kinds of fun stuff. Today, it was this interview with Helena Bonham Carter, who plays Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter movies. She's talking about her upcoming death scene, in which she's dueling Molly Weasley (one of the awesomest scenes of the entire book series), and fell right off a table backwards. Hee!

Also fabulous - the career of Wallace Shawn, or as one blogger put it, Wallace "Princess Bride" Shawn. He IS Vizzini! In addition to a great many other parts, he's a regular voice for the Pixar movies, doing such classics as Rex the Dinosaur and the evil insurance boss from The Incredibles. He also did some Star Trek, Stargate SG-1, The Revenge of Kitty Galore, a Kung Fu Panda spin-off, an American Girls movie, Ally McBeal, and, oddly enough, Freud in something called "Hotel New Hampshire." He has fun. IMDB is great.

This morning I had on my old long white linen skirt and an equally aged blue t-shirt with pink flip-flops - nothing fancy, believe me, though it coordinated with Meg's outfit. So we were out for our walk and I was pushing the stroller along, when we noticed a semi parked in the neighborhood. It looked like a moving truck, but the side had some faded lettering that appeared to read, "Complete cage fighting," which was different. About then the driver stuck his head out and said, "Hi, how ya doin'?" "Hi!" I called back. "Do you need directions, or are you good?" "No, I'm good. I just thought I'd say hi because I liked your dress!"

I'm not sure what to say to that!