Eureka, Season 5, Episode 2, “The Real Thing”
Written by Bruce Miller
Directed by Michael Robison
Airs Mondays at 9pm ET on SyFy
After last week’s premiere focused entirely on the Astraeus crew and the virtual world in which they currently reside, “The Real Thing” brings some attention back to the real world. The episode goes back and forth between the two realities. Though this could be potentially confusing to the viewer, the transitions are quite seamless. In the real world, the people of Eureka work together to find the Astraeus. In the virtual world, minor glitches and discrepancies in the Matrix are causing some of the Astraeus crew to realize something is off. Though everything seems to be moving in a positive direction throughout the episode, the closing scene is one of the darkest and most shocking of the entire series.
Eureka’s season 5 has had two episodes each with dark material and big reveals. This week’s big reveal is that Senator Wen is working with and may even be in charge of the Consortium, the group who captured the Astraeus. The darkness of the episode is the death of a major character for only the third time in the series. Holly reveals to virtual Carter that they might be trapped in a virtual world and for that, Senator Wen unplugs Holly from the Matrix thus killing her. Felicia Day’s Holly, though a bit neurotic early on, grew into a pleasant character. It is not only shocking to see her killed so suddenly, but it may be even more shocking to see the pure evil that exists within Senator Wen. What motives could Wen possibly have that would cause her to murder an innocent woman so effortlessly? Ming Na’s portrayal of Wen brilliantly keeps the character’s stern personality throughout the episode while showing just enough potential sympathy to keep the viewer from thinking she’s evil. That is, until her true self is revealed.
The differences between the virtual and real worlds are quite interesting. Now that the viewers are in on the secret (unlike the last episode), the small nuances that make the virtual characters different are more obvious, yet extremely subtle. Colin Ferguson is doing an especially good job of portraying both the real and virtual Carters. There is a chilling evil that seems to reside within the virtual Carter. It is very similar to what was observed in Andy in the last episode before knowing of the virtual reality.
Though the episodes have been dark this season, there’s always room for humor on Eureka. The funniest moments this week come in the form of real world Andy and Carter. The dynamic between these two characters is as entertaining as ever. The two of them go on a mission to “borrow” some equipment from a protected facility. Since Andy is a police robot and finds it difficult to do wrong and lie, this is endearingly difficult for him. During the break in, Andy seems joyful of the adventure he gets to share with Carter. After they get caught, Carter wants Andy to help him break out of their jail cell. Since they can’t get through the unbreakable bars, Carter very amusingly delivers a distressed, commanding “Dig robot dig!” to Andy. It’s the little things.
It is clear that some of the characters trapped in the virtual world are realizing that things may not be what they seem. Allison and Grace are the first to start realizing strange happenings and unusual characteristics, but it is Holly who first figures out the specifics, resulting in her death. Hopefully Allison and Grace will be able to figure things out without the Consortium noticing. Zane and Fargo won’t be too far behind, especially if Holly is replaced in the Matrix with a virtual Holly.
The preview for next week’s episode reveals Beverly, clearly disapproving of Holly’s elimination, helping Carter enter the virtual world to help the captives. Though she was instrumental in the crew’s capture, her morals may prove to be the key to their rescue.