"You know that talk is cheap, and those rumors ain’t nice/ And when I fall asleep I don’t think I’ll survive the night …" Ahem. Sorry about that musical interlude, but this episode of Eureka wedged that song into my brain. ANYway. How much do I love this show? It gives us Carter repeatedly naked, Fargo buckling swashes, Nathan eeeeevil, Henry deceptive and Allison conflicted. Plus, I get to quote a Cheap Trick song! I love this show. I can’t believe I’ve got to hand the blogging duties back to Liz next week. Maybe I can snag Henry’s mind-whammy device and convince her she’s still on vacation every Tuesday night?
The spoilers haunt my dreams …
For a while, I was obsessed with anxiety dreams. Mine center around suddenly discovering I’d never passed 8th-grade math, and Mrs. McClelland insisting I take the test. If I didn’t pass, my whole life was over. Since I’m a word girl, not a numbers girl, that was guaranteed to have me waking up in a cold sweat. But I wondered — what do math people dream about? Do they dream of diagramming sentences, or writing a personal essay? I asked a friend who was working on his PhD in math, and he said … it’s still pretty much math. Huh.
I was hoping we’d get a glimpse of more genius anxiety dreams, but alas, the folks whose heads we get to spy into are all of a lower pay grade. Still, it’s good to know Carter is plagued by everybody’s favorite, walking around naked without realizing it. Poor, poor Zoë — she’s scarred for life, seeing that. The rest of the town seemed to have enjoyed the show. (I must confess, I did too.)
A wave of shared dreaming plagues Eureka. Alas, they’re not all sharing the dream of world peace — it’s more like the everyday, normal, hideously embarrassing dreams are leaking out for general consumption. So, for example, if you dream about your hunky co-worker, his wife would see what was going on in your head. Ditto dreams about stealing research, or cheating on a test. It’s not pretty, and Carter and Jo have a mass of squabbling citizens on their hands.
Thing is, shared dreaming? It should be impossible. So should dying in a dream causing death in real life, but that seems to have happened as well. Carter thinks this has something to do with a toxic waste spill that hit him and a truck driver who fell asleep on the job, but the shared dreaming patterns and the waste spill site don’t seem to overlap. After exhausting a whole bunch of theories, Carter rounds up a bunch of the shared dreamers and has them bunk down in the café for the night. The café, it seems, has been dream-free. If they share dreams there, they’ll know it’s the people, not the place or the waste.
OK, I have to admit I think there was probably a better way to figure this out, but whatever logical objections I have to this plan are shouted down by the pleasure centers of my brain when we see those dreams. The highlights? Carter interrupting a smooching Allison and Nathan, and stepping in to kiss Allison, only to get pointers from an efficiency expert. Even better, we see Jo as an innocent senorita menaced by the fiendish Don Nathan, only to be saved by a mysterious masked swordsman, who is revealed to be Fargo. Hee! Trust me, you have to see this. Plus, we also get a flash of Henry using his mind-whammy device on Carter, which is bound to come back to haunt them.
The good dreamers of Eureka have bigger problems than embarrassment, though — some of them are not waking up. Carter et al figure out there are only 50 dreams being shared — 50 people acting as dream transmitters. They all have one thing in common — they all share the same employment designation. They’re all people with regular jobs and, most important, regular sleep schedules. Seems our efficiency expert has set up a neural network using untapped brainwaves from the working stiffs of Eureka while they sleep. Our driver was one of those test subjects, but he was moonlighting and not getting any sleep. This led to a dangerous buildup of neurotransmitters in his body, which eventually led to muscle paralysis and death. Now that there’s a rash of dream sharing, no one’s sleeping. Doh.
Ok, that’s one part of the equation, but how are the dreams being transmitted? We can thank the fiendish Dr. Stark for that — he filched a dream-researcher’s dream-transmitting device, which he’s using to let Allison tap into Kevin’s dreams. Nathan thinks that the Artifact is the key to the Unified Theory of Everything, and Kevin’s brain was the only one that could grasp it. But since Kevin’s not great at expressing himself, he wants Allison to go into Kevin’s head and tease it out. Allison is going along because she’s worried about her son — but not so much that she wants to hurt the town. She tells Nathan to shut down the dream transmitter, but he refuses. Because he’s Nathan, and therefore obsessed and potentially eeeeevil. Wheee!
The neurochemicals are still building up in the Dream Transmitters’ bodies — and those bodies include Jo and Carter. Fortunately, Eureka has the most advanced waste-filtering technologies in the world — they just haven’t been used on living bodies before. Carter, noticeably stumbling as his muscles start to shut down, goes into the waste-filtering chamber to test the technology. Basically, he has to breath in the waste-zapping gel to get the chemicals out of his body. Either it works, or he’ll drown. Nathan seems fine with either outcome, but Allison is worried. Fear not: It works. They have a cure — so hey, no reason not to go on delving into Kevin’s dreams, right hon? says Nathan. I love a man with priorities.
I also love the through-lines in this episode. Nathan appears as a seductive bad guy in just about every dream we see. Nice to know the town has reached a consensus on our Mr. Stark. The Fargo-as-Zorro dream turns out to have come from Jo — humiliating for her, heartening for him. He doesn’t blow it — he stays by her bedside when she’s paralyzed. Good going, Fargo. Carter gets seriously pissed at Allison, not so much for experimenting, but for lying to him. Then he asks Henry about the mind-whammy dream, and Henry lies through his teeth. Again, this will be revisited, I’m sure of it. Plus, S.A.R.A.H. is alive and well and in the house, and she’s her usual thoroughly excellent self. Do A.I.s dream of electric streakers? Because that offer of poached eggs and sausages for Zoë’s breakfast couldn’t have been a coincidence.
OK, now spill: What are your anxiety dreams about? And how’d you like the episode? Do Fargo and Jo have a future? Is Nathan eeeeeevil? And would it be ethical for me to kidnap Liz so I can keep blogging this show? Please?