|Eureka and Warehouse 13|
Eureka (2006 - )
Warehouse 13 (2009 - )
This is a crossover that makes sense to have happened and, um, was partly really good. Both Eureka and Warehouse 13 are shows produced by the Sci Fi Channel (now annoyingly and oddly rechristened the SyFy Channel... yikes!) and both shows share a similar light comedy/adventure tone.
Eureka is a show about a small, secret town in the United States named Eureka where the most insanely intelligent scientists all come to work together to make huge scientific advancements. Jack Carter is a U.S. Marshal who in the first episode stumbled into Eureka and after helping solve a major problem in the town found himself appointed the town sheriff. Anywhere else in the country, Carter would be considered very intelligent. In Eureka though, he was looked at as an idiot. That said, Jack Carter's wits and common sense day in and day out end up saving the town citizen's from themselves and their scientific screw ups.
To me the show feels like how I always felt Buck Rogers should be played. Usually Buck Rogers is played where everyone looks up to Buck and think he's an awesome hero. But, come on, a guy from the distant past lands in the furture? Everyone is going to scoff at him even as he consistently saves their bacon. Sheriff Carter is Buck Rogers minus being in the future. That said, Carter has had his experiences in time travel. Shortly before this crossover, Sheriff Carter and a number of other citizens of Eureka found themselves thrown back in time to the founding of Eureka. While there the gang accidentally... changed things. One of the changes they made was that they accidentally brought a scientist, Doctor Trevor Grant, from the past with them into the future. Douglas Fargo, formerly a low level flunkee, also came back from the past to find himself now the head of the town's industrial complex, Global Dynamics.
SyFy's crossover event started with Douglas Fargo paying a visit to Warehouse 13. What is Warehouse 13? Well... you know at the end of Raiders Of The Lost Ark when they pack the Ark Of The Covenant away into a crate in a warehouse? Imagine if they told the story of that warehouse where the Ark is stored and the people who work there, with crate after crate filled with powerful artifacts. That show would be Warehouse 13. Warehouse 13 is a storage facility for all sorts of potentially dangerous artifacts. Lots of ammo to start stories with right there, with the staff having to hunt down and store dangerous artifacts out in the world or having to deal with problems caused by the tons of artifacts already in the warehouse.
Back on point, the start of the crossover finds Douglas Fargo being loaned out to Warehouse 13 to update the warehouse's out of date computer system. Warehouse 13's own resident computer geek, Claudia Donovan, works with Fargo to get the update up and running. Claudia is also in the middle of a rough patch with her boyfriend. She's much smarter than he is and on top of that she has to keep her job at Warehouse 13 under wraps from him. Nerdy Douglas Fargo wouldn't seem to be a threat to her relationship but... they are sort of kindred spirits.
The computer upgrade starts smoothly but then quickly goes straight to hell as a hidden element of the old system pops to life: a hidden failsafe set to look for security breeches and embodied in the form of a holographic projection based on the system's designer, Hugo Miller. Holo Hugo begins shutting the staff out of the systems an taking over the warehouse. Two of Warehouse 13's agents, Pete Lattimer and Myka Bering, are dispatched to find the real Hugo Miller, now a babbling fool in a mental facility, in the hopes that he can help set things right. Gonna spoil now so, if you feel the need, skip to the next paragraph to remain "unspoiled". It turns out using one of the warehouse's artifacts, Hugo had tried to copy his mind into the computer system but instead had actually moved half of his brain processes out of his head and into the computer. Thus real Hugo's literally having lost half his marbles. The gang manages to move the missing half of Hugo's brain back into his head, thus regaining control of the warehouse. His brain restored, Hugo packs his bags and prepares to head off to Eureka with Fargo. Also, at the end, Claudia's relationship totally emplodes, leaving no barrier to her starting a relationship with Fargo.
To back up a second, this half of the crossover was solid. Fargo's arrival directly started the plot rolling. He and Claudia have a fun relationship and he and Claudia's work together strongly contributes to the climax of the story. Good times.
Now... onto Eureka. I should say, I am a big Eureka fan as well as, clearly, loving a good crossover. So it really made me sad that the Eureka half of this crossover... was pretty eh. Given how Warehouse 13 ended, you'd think we'd be seeing more of Hugo Miller, seeing as he left for Eureka with Fargo. Nope. Not even a glimpse or mention of Hugo. Okay. Fine. The episode starts with Fargo anxiously awaiting the arrival of Claudia who is coming to Eureka to pick up more tech to help with the Warehouse 13 artifacts. The one thing that does work in this episode is Fargo and Claudia. From the minute she steps out of her car and addresses the Eureka gang with, "S'up, bitches?" she's a lot of fun. And she and Fargo have fun nerdy chemistry between them.
Now, a typical Eureka plot starts with strange things happening and the gang having to figure out exactly what science project has gone wrong to cause the problems. Usually the cause and the solution are clever and entertaining, For this episode, things start bad when giant redwood trees spontaneously appear inside the Global Dynamics building. Then other things start popping up all over town like WWII era planes, early model ICBM missiles, old mine fields... Again, gonna spoil and tell you the cause... which is weak rather than cool. You know Doctor Trevor Grant, who they brought from the past? It seems that since he came from the past he is filled with particles that make him a magnet that attracts all sorts of other stuff out of the past and into the present. Only he's been in the present for quite a few episodes... and he just starts attracting this crap now? They yadda yadda over that by saying this property in him has been slowly building. So for weeks I guess he's been pulling little crap from the past without noticing. But... it's weak. Much less clever than normal. Usually the problem of the week is caused by something more entertainingly complex. This episode starts with Trevor Grant being pumped full of nanites to help detox him from drinking and smoking, those nasty 1940 habits! These end up being part of the solution with the big brains reprogramming the nanites to cleanse his system of the time travel particles. But, again, that is such an easy technobabble solution to the week's big problem. Especially because, usually, they would have found a way to make Grant's detoxing the cause of the problem: the Eureka scientists try to do right by him and help him clean up his system and instead accidentally cause a time warp calamity. Seriously, I was hyped for that to happen. I was so excited thinking that to solve the problem Trevor Grant was going to have to keep drinking and smoking, that cleaning out his system was part of the problem. But, nope. He Grant was a big old magnet (even though he didn't seem to be before) and tiny magic robots inexplicably were able to "demagnetized" him. Eh.
In amidst the "eh", Fargo and Claudia still provided some fun, getting caught in a mine field yet still kind of making out while potentially about to get blown up. Some fun scenes. But I also have a minor complaint with them too. Okay... when the Eureka time travelers came back to the altered present, they swore each other to secrecy about what had happened. Nobody but them would ever know things had changed. Cut to Warehouse 13. Part of that episode had Fargo inadvertantly playing with an artifact which allowed Claudia to, "See Fargo's whole life flash before HER eyes." They blew it off as a quick joke. Mainly the two of them needed to discover that particular artifact to help solve the show's main plot problem. But, for me? I wanted Claudia to accidentally see all that time travel crap when Fargo's life flashed before her! Just made sense. And it didn't even have to go anywhere plotwise! She's cool. She wouldn't rat them all out. But it would have been funny for her to mention it to the Eureka crew and watch them all crap their pants that their secret had been leaked. And, again, even if nothing really came of it, having this character from Warehouse 13 suddenly in on the big secret on Eureka would have given more of an impression that the shows really did have a shared reality. But no, screw that. She blinked during that part of Fargo's life, Hugo Miller ended up not showing up in Eureka, and the dull scientist from the 40s for no reason is suddenly a time magnet.
I will say as a Eureka fan this event did get me more interested in Warehouse 13, but I'm not positive it would have won any Warehouse 13 fans over to watching Eureka. Sad that maybe one of Eureka's weakest stories ended up being part of their crossover episode.
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