Last night's awesome Eureka didn't just provide a suitably epic (and romantic!) conclusion to the Warehouse 13 crossover - it gave James Callis his meatiest role yet, forced Henry to deal with his unexpected marriage, and almost unraveled time itself.
In last week's recap, I mentioned two things that I wanted to see: James Callis needed more to do as Dr. Grant, and Henry needed to deal with his timeline-created marriage to a woman he doesn't know. Well, I got both in a big way with "Crossing Over", which felt like it crammed about three episodes' worth of storytelling and arc progression into just forty-five minutes. (Considering Eureka's historically slow pace with unfolding its larger narratives, I am definitely not complaining.)
It was particularly nice to see Henry finally connect with his wife, even if it was just a little slow-dancing. (I'm guessing Grace is quite rightly still waiting for a rather more metaphorical type of dancing.) The show hasn't made it too explicit yet, but Henry's subplot is an interesting test of whether true love exists. If one version of Henry fell in love with her and married her, shouldn't that be good enough for our version of Henry? More importantly, if the other Henry trusted her so completely that he would marry her, does that mean Henry can trust her with the secret of the altered timeline? These seem like the big questions for these characters, and after this episode I've got a lot more faith that we'll be getting answers soon.
But let's leave the strictly Eureka stuff aside for a moment and talk a little crossover. If there was one thing wrong with the generally stellar Warehouse 13 side of the crossover, it was that Fargo really didn't get to interact with anyone other than Claudia. (Well, Artie too, but neither were exactly thrilled about spending any time together.) It would have been nice to see more of how Fargo dealt with Pete and Myka, particularly since they're the show's stars.
So I was glad to see Claudia actually got scenes with a decent percentage of the Eureka cast, in particular with Sheriff Carter. His deadpan observation that Claudia is "a little shy though - needs to come out of her shell" was probably the line of the episode, although there were plenty in contention for that title. I'd probably give the consolation prize to Fargo's anxious remark "But my head is where my head is."
It was fun to see Claudia seamlessly integrated into the Eureka crew for the episode, and I was pleasantly surprised how natural it all felt. (Her ease with explaining complex technical stuff to Carter felt particularly right.) This is a formula that could definitely support further crossovers down the line - and Claudia's promise that she'll see the Fargonator around feels like a pretty good indication that more will be in the works. (If I may be forgiven a fannish digression, my vote is for Carter to get the temporary assignment of Sheriff of Univille.)
As for the burgeoning romance between Claudia and Fargo? The end of the episode was a sad but necessary reminder that both of them have to go back to their own shows, and the fact that they're clearly perfect for each other is pretty much undone by the realization that they live in what are still essentially different fictional universes. I guess the most we can hope for is they don't completely sweep the crossover under the rug in future episodes. (I will be seriously pissed if Claudia goes right back to that useless hardware hunk Todd.) But in the meantime, we'll always have the minefield, I guess. Here's to Claudia and Fargo. (I refuse to give their romance some dopey portmanteau, though for the record - it's obviously Clargo.)
Just like genre heavyweight Rene Auberjonois almost stole the Warehouse 13 crossover episode, James Callis nearly overshadowed Claudia's visit with his best (and, not coincidentally, most extensive) performance to date. He's been great since his first appearance - although it must be said his American accent has improved immeasurably - but this was the first episode where it really seemed like he fit into modern day Eureka. His opening singalong to "Car Wash" was hilarious, and it's a tribute to Callis's immense talent that he made the "off the hook" line not completely cringe-inducing.
The episode title "Crossing Over" doesn't just refer to Claudia - this was also the episode where Dr. Grant finally crosses over from 1947 to 2010, both metaphorically and, unfortunately for him, literally. His attempt to reconnect with 1947 via his time bridge unleashed the full fury of the past, endangering the entire space-time continuum, but he didn't flinch when told the only solution would keep him in 2010 permanently. (Carter was less thrilled with that aspect of the plan.) He also has to come to terms with all the cultural change, and quitting smoking is just the most obvious adjustment. His suave but anachronistic pursuit of Allison is hard to read in terms of what it means for the series. Are we headed to another love triangle with Carter and Allison? (Or, considering the imminent return of another time-lost character, will we soon have a love quadrilateral on our hands?)
Then there's Carter proclamation that he doesn't trust Dr. Grant. He's certainly got good reason - Grant did risk stranding Carter in 1947, after all. But this seems to go beyond mere resentment, and Carter's instincts are rarely, if ever, wrong. I've been struggling with Grant's trustworthiness since he was introduced, particularly considering James Callis's history playing...well, you know who. And yet everything we saw from Grant in this episode - and, indeed, since he arrived in 2010 - suggests his heart is in the right place, and his decision to send away the time bridge is a pretty major gesture of good faith.
When Eureka has introduced characters with ulterior, possibly sinister motives in the past, such as Beverly Barlowe and Eva Thorne, the show generally tips its hand right away that they're up to something. We've had no such indication with Dr. Grant. I officially have no idea where the show is going with his character, but as long as Eureka keeps churning out episodes as good as "Crossing Over", I'm OK with going wherever they want to take us.