There are two primary storylines to any episode of Eureka. The first of “Shower of the People” is the strange drowning deaths of two GD scientists. Not strange simply because they drowned, but because they are drowning in their cars, in Cafe Diem’s bathroom. Not normal places for a drowning. It is crazy-Eureka-type drowning. That’s the best kind.
The other storyline is the attempt to download all the data collected by “Kim” during the 20 years in space. The body is degrading and time is running out. This leads to emotional challenges and distress for Henry Deacon. The Kim subplot is the final part of the “signal / ship” storyline. I don’t imagine we’ll ever really know what information the ship / Kim gathered. No? Didn’t think so.
Those are the basics, but let’s introduce a new character to the show. Please welcome Jordan Collier! (applause goes here).
I have thought about it over the last couple of months, and I am physically incapable of referring to actor Billy Campbell as anything other than Jordan Collier (his role on the interesting yet disappointing show The 4400. You may also recognize Campbell from the recent craptacular disaster movie miniseries Meteor). Even after he shaved his beard and cut his Messiah-Hair, Billy Campbell will ALWAYS be Jordan Collier to me.
“Shower of the People” introduces Jordan Collier to Eureka as a scientist who worked as a Teacher’s Assistant for both Tess and Alison back in the day. Dr. Manlius. Tess called him “Dr. Manly” after seeing him for the first time in years. Alison had to remind her that it was Manlius. That repetition helps the viewer remember that Jordan Collier is named Dr. Manlius. Ladies, you may still call him Dr. Manly, if you wish. I will not. I will call him Jordan Collier instead.
Jordan Collier…err…Dr. Manlius initially comes off as slightly condescending (as most GD scientists tends to) and cold hearted in regards to the Henry / Kim situation, but throughout the episode he seems more pragmatic than cold. He does care, but he knows what he is doing and why. It is off-putting at the start, but Jordan Collier is a very human character and (from all appearances) a good man. That’s good. I’d hate for Jordan Collier to be a jerk.
Now, on to those character moments I so love to talk about.
The first is Carter feeling embarrassed at Alison Blake’s baby shower because he bought normal gifts, but everyone else bought (or developed) Eureka-level gifts. Carter ended up just giving her the basket he brought the presents in. Each of his three perfectly reasonable gifts was topped by the technological gifts from the scientists. I really like how hard Carter tries to be a good friend, and I have no doubt that Alison would have appreciated Carter’s gifts, but there’s something about that emotion of feeling inadequate that just rings so true. Carter doesn’t truly live in Alison’s world, or in the world of GD, but he is definitely a member of the community.
The second is a little bit of jealousy from Tess when Carter turns down a second date to go to Alison’s first birthing class. We know that Carter and Tess had their first date (of sorts) recently, and that’s going to be the new romantic subplot for Carter, but it is hard to see him not putting Alison first. I think Tess sees that, and will continue to see it.
The third is Carter being told that he isn’t drowning from the inside, but is rather feeling sympathy pregnancy pains with Alison. That’s just delightful.
Th final moment between Alison and Carter near the end of the episode. I don’t want to go into specifics in case folks still have this on their DVR, but the Carter / Alison moments are chock full of sweet and sorrow. The show does not fully resolve Carter’s feelings towards Alison (this makes sense, because I don’t think Carter will ever fully resolve his feelings towards Alison), but if this is a love triangle between Carter / Alison / Tess, it’s a very well done and adult way to do a love triangle. It’s good, folks. I think it is honest for the characters and for where they are individually in their lives. It makes sense (to me).
For all that this is a culmination of a storyline that turned out to be disappointing, and the Kim / Henry stuff wasn’t as character-awesome as it should have been, but “Shower the People” was a very strong episode.
Also – I still like Tess as a character. I even like Jordan Collier / Dr. Manlius, though I’m not sure I really want him sticking around.
I want to wonder how many new characters we need, but it is perhaps more realistic to have some cast turnover and new people joining the periphery of the town. It gives Carter more people to interact with. Carter interacting = the show.