Okay, I just need to get this out the way first of all. People who make Eureka? When ice melts - even magic nano-ice - it generally leaves things wet. But bad science aside, last night's show was pretty cool.
(Yes, I really did mean to do that pun. I'm sorry.)
"Have An Ice Day" had more than a slight sense of deja vu about it - The first day of a new boss (on flirty friendly terms with Sheriff Carter) at Global Dynamics and everything goes wrong with a disaster that could wipe out the whole West Coast within hours? Wasn't that the plot of season 2's "Try, Try Again" (helpfully re-run last week to reinforce the familiarity)? - but maybe the writers should rework old stories more often, because this felt like the most balanced, coherent episode for awhile, in terms of moving along subplots as well as central disaster of the week, and keeping the characters familiar and believable.
That said, it was also an episode where the plot relied upon a certain amount of temporary stupidity on the parts of its characters; Zane being the only person in the room when Taggart was attacked, while also being the person in charge of the temperature control system when everything is freezing and acting entirely differently than normal should've rang alarm bells way sooner than it did, and Tess not realizing the stalling tactics of comedic Russian security officer (And, really? A Russian who loves the consumerist American society so much he loses track of his job? Did I blink and miss us returning to 1989 or something?) were just two of the "Well, okay, but only because I'm enjoying the show" moments of the episode. That such things don't immediately throw me out of the show is as much down to the actors making it work, even if it's in a screwball over-the-top manner; Colin Ferguson, guest-star Matt Frewer (who should really come back to the show full-time, even with that appallingly-bad accent) and Jamie Ray Newman deserve recognition for their work, and their ability to make more of their material than should sometimes be possible.
Also nice was that - Zoe's future career plans aside - this was pretty much a standalone episode; after weeks of continuity-heavy episodes, it felt like a nice break... and a better one than the clip show that preceded it, for that matter. That said, that it was the second-last episode of the season seems odd, because it highlighted the lack of momentum the show seems to have going towards its season finale; all the long-running plots (The Signal, Kim2, Allison's pregnancy and relationship with Carter) have been resolved for the most part, leaving the only hanging threads the relationship ones - and of those, only Zoe's college plans are actually bringing any sense of urgency or confusion, barring a last-minute wrench thrown into the Jack/Tess relationship (which'll mean, of course, such a wrench is due next week). It's strange, to have enjoyed this episode so much, but be left at the end of it thinking that the series as a whole feels like it's run out of steam too soon. Maybe next week, everything will be different... or perhaps I'm just expecting too much from the admittedly lightweight show in the first place.
Next week: The end of the season! Everything becomes magnetized! And Zoe explodes in a swimming pool? We should be so lucky.