Season three of ‘A Town Called Eureka’ is where the creators started to introduce external threats to the show. The season is sort of spilt in two halves with two different threats to Eureka.
The first half of the show introduces Eva Thorne, a corporate fixer sent to look at the budgets of Eureka and the value for money that the projects of Eureka contribute. This agenda results in pressure on the scientists and staff of Eureka, which results in one of the very best if bittersweet episodes of the entire show, ‘I Do Over’, where Jack gets trapped in a dangerous time loop after a desperate scientist tries to show his success. Eva Thorne though has another agenda that involves the history of Eureka and the dangers of an abandoned military complex that ends up threatening the residents of Eureka when she uncovers it.
The second half of the season revolves around the arrival of Tess Fontana and a strange signal from outer space that seems to be heading straight for Eureka. The story arc is one of the weaker that the show has overall but the character development and interaction in this half of the season sets up tension and emotional drive for the rest of the show. Jack and Alison face challenges in their friendship, Jo and Zane develop a love/hate relationship and Henry is challenged to face feelings of lost love.
I mentioned before, ‘I Do Over’, which is a bit bittersweet, but is an excellent example of a time loop episode. Admittedly it’s not as great as ‘Window of Opportunity’ where Jack O’Neill and Teal’c from Stargate SG-1 get trapped in a time loop, but it certainly twinges the heart strings and has an element of threat which motivates the characters.
‘Insane in the P-Brane’ is a great episode where Tess Fontan and Jack get caught in another dimension and unable to interact with the other characters in Eureka, some of whom believe they are being haunted by ghosts. It’s a bit of a sci-fi cliché but it’s a great interaction between the two characters who got off to an antagonistic start with each other.
‘You Don’t Know Jack’ is admittedly a clip show, conceived because the residents are suffering from amnesia as collection for a time capsule goes wrong, but is beautifully conceived and a great reminder of everything that has happened so far in the show.
I love season three, because is a marked changed from season one and two. The character’s are well developed and the writers show that they aren’t frightened to change things up to keep the show fresh and entertaining. They also aren’t afraid of exploring classic sci-fi plotlines and making them their own in spectacularly entertaining fashion.