This evening, Syfy presents Christmas episodes for Eureka [8/7C], Warehouse 13 [9/8C] and, for the first time, Haven [10/9C]. Eureka’s Do You See What I See? is a slight bit of froth; Warehouse 13’s The Greatest Gift is a successful riff on It’s A Wonderful Life and Haven’s Silent Night is a genuinely unnerving tale of Christmas in July.
When a Christmas surprise gets hijacked by a child’s holographic storybook, the inhabitants of Eureka – with a very few exceptions – find themselves animated: first in rough CG form [think Dire Straight’s classic Money For Nothing Video], then classic TV limited animation [and Sheriff Carter’s Jeep turns out to be named Carl – best bit in the ep], anime and, finally, polished CG [‘sninjas!].
Next up, Pete [Eddie McCormack] disturbs an artifact in the Christmas Aisle of Warehouse 13 and wakes up to find himself in a Warehouse run by Macpherson [Roger Rees] and two brand new agents [Raymond and Jane] – and no one remembers him! Over the course of the ep, Pete must somehow get Myka [Joann Kelly], Claudia [Allison Scagliotti] and Artie [Saul Rubinek] to trust him and find a way to fix things before Macpherson sells off all the artifacts – or at least the most dangerous ones – on the black market.
In Haven, though, things are really weird! Everyone is hanging up Christmas decorations and not anything wrong with Christmas Eve being in July – all except Audrey Parker [Emily Rose]. At first she thinks it’s an elaborate joke – but then, people start disappearing!
Only a missing girl and a snow globe seem to offer clues as everyone in twon vanishes – even Nathan [Lucas Bryant] and Duke [Eric Balfour]!
Do You See What I See? Is a slight, silly bit of fluff that is likely to appeal to younger kids and bore older kids and adults. Even though a kind of inspired silliness is one of the keys to Eureka’s success, it’s really the only part of the formula that’s here. The silliness undercuts what drama there might have been, rendering it rather useless.
It is cool though, to see Taggart [voiced by Matt Frewer] as a polar bear – and Jo [Erica Cerra] is just as hot when she looks like Snow White.
Warehouse 13 fares much better by playing the ep as straight as possible. While Pete is working out what happened to create the circumstances in which he finds himself, we get see how his absence changed things for the worse. It’s very George Bailey, but Pete doesn’t have a Clarence to help him figure things out.
The result is a suspenseful hour of primo Warehouse 13 lunacy.
The most effective Christmas ep, though, is Haven’s Silent Night. As Audrey and Nate make their rounds, she begins to notice people putting up Christmas decorations – in July! When she points this out to Nathan, his response is ‘And your point is?’ A cry for help finds the two rescuing a man whose ladder disappeared, leaving him dangling from some decorations.
Other things don’t add up, either – a half a woman’s body found on the beach [severed cleanly; not an animal attack; the changing population number on the Welcome to Haven Sign, and more. It even gets to the point where someone disappears in front of them and Nathan doesn’t remember the guy [Stan, at the office]. Throughout, Silent Night is a quiet build that picks up speed as it goes – until it comes down to Audrey and one other person and Audrey is the only one who figure out a way to save the town.
On the whole, Syfy’s Christmas Tuesday succeeds. Two of the three Christmas-themed episodes are excellent and the one that doesn’tr measure up does have a some technical cool to it.
Grade: Eureka: Do You See What I See – C
Grade: Warehouse 13: The Greatest Gift – B+
Grade: Haven: silent Night – A
Final Grade: B+