At he conclusion of Eureka’s [Syfy, Fridays, 9/8C] mid-season finale, Sheriff Jack Carter [Colin Ferguson] had saved the day but, because he disobeyed a direct order from Department of Defense honcho General Mansfield [Barclay Hope]. Welcome Back Carter [oh, c’mon! We all knew he’d get his job back – the question was always how he’d do it] picks up exactly where the cliffhanger left off.
Mansfield has literally ordered a new sheriff of the assembly line – or at least from the genius mind of Fargo [Neil Grayston]. Not only is there a new sheriff in town, but he’s a robot. For those who have always thought that Eureka was Mayberry with geniuses, you’ll appreciate that when the new guy/bot [Ty Olsson, Battlestar Galactica, Men in Trees] introduces himself, he says, “Call me Sheriff Andy.”
Unfortunately, Sheriff Andy has a flaw – the usual flaw that robots have – he’s logical [and if ever there was a town that would be anathema to logic, it’s Eureka!]. When a stand of trees fall across the highway, Sheriff Andy examines the scene and proclaims it to be an accident – a burst of high winds. Carter, on the other hand, has a bad feeling about this. Before long, he’s proven right – gravity is behaving very strangely. Carter’s pregnant sister, Lexi [Ever Carradine] gains ten pound in a day; a communications dish shears off and more – and in a very illogical manner, several of these gravity shifts seem to target Sheriff Andy, though Fargo keeps fixing him up [with odd and hilarious results].
All of these events confound Sheriff Andy, but Carter sees patterns emerging and does what he does best – saves the day. And yet, that is not what gets him his job back. Here’s a hint: think about who became the town’s mayor in the last episode.
Welcome Back Carter is one of the smartest, most charming episodes of Eureka to date. When you consider that Eureka is a smart, charming series to begin with, that makes the ep something [and I really hate to use the word, even though it’s accurate] special. In fact season 3.5 of Eureka opens with two extremely good eps – My Face or Yours may sound like a risqué title, but the ep gives Erica Cerra [Deputy Jo Lupo] a chance to show her stuff in what seems to be a real Jekyll/Hyde situation [but is anything ever that simple in Eureka?].
Smart writing; a terrific balance between humor and drama; engaging characters; crazy situations – Eureka is in fine form and should provide a source of quality, if light, entertainment for another summer. You can’t beat that with a stick [or even a silly rebranding…].
Final Grade: B+