Eureka Ep. 5.05: “Jack of All Trades” provides many different emotional beats

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Eureka Review, Season 5, Episodwe 5, “Jack of All Trades”
Written by Jaime Paglia and Eric Wallace
Directed by Jaime Paglia
Airs Mondays at 9pm ET on SyFy

This week’s Eureka provides laughs, body swapping, an emotional confession, a dark moment, a potential character departure and a marriage proposal.  That’s a lot of ups and downs for one episode, but “Jack of All Trades” reaches these extremes with ease.

Residual effects from the Matrix are still occurring as Jack’s conscience first swaps bodies with Fargo, then Zane, and finally Allison.  It appears that since Jack was the only one connected to the Matrix wirelessly, his brain is acting as a sort of WiFi hotspot.  The swaps occur randomly and make for some mostly hilarious situations.

Some of the actors, particularly Colin Ferguson (Jack), Erica Cerra (Jo), Kavan Smith (Andy), and Joe Morton (Henry) find themselves playing outside of character during the Matrix storyline as virtual (and evil) versions of their characters.  “Jack of All Trades” takes the idea of playing out of character to a whole new level as Colin Ferguson plays the roles of Fargo, Zane, and Allison while those respective actors (Neil Grayston, Niall Matter, and Salli Richardson-Whitfield) take turns playing Jack.  It is uncanny how effective these four actors are at portraying their co-stars’ characters- they’re all able to portray the subtleties of the characters they have swapped with, making it easy to get caught up in the body swapping as if it is real.

The funniest swap belongs to Jack and Zane.  They swap bodies while Allison and Jack are in bed together and Zane and Jo are in the shower.  This is especially uncomfortable as there has been tension between the four of them since the Matrix.  Zane is continuously disgusted with being stuck in Jack’s body (“I’m so doughy” and “I’m half scarecrow and half Andy Griffith!”) and he manages to wreak some havoc for Jack by harassing a female driver while posing as the Sheriff.

This part gets a bit confusing…While Allison is in Jack’s body, Jo confesses to Allison (thinking it is Jack) that she has thought about the possibility of the two of them (Jo and Jack) together.  Allison doesn’t tell Jo she’s inside Jack’s body and tells Jo that he has never thought that way about her.  This is probably untrue, but Allison figures it’s better to just hurt Jo than there be a chance Jo and Jack could end up together.  It’s a very uncharacteristically dark move by Allison, but she feels threatened and finds an opportunity to protect her relationship.  Jack later proposes to Allison, but it begs the question: Would Jack have proposed had he known of Jo’s true feelings?

The final scenes provide a couple other serious moments after an especially comedic first three quarters of the episode.  Fargo finds out that Holly’s conscience may still be alive within the Matrix, but he makes the decision to shut it down in order to stop the body-swapping and save Jack.  Later, Grace tells Henry that she has to leave for a while to figure out her emotions since she is still traumatized by the Matrix ordeal.  As expected, the events of the Matrix are continuing to affect the people of Eureka.

Christopher Laplante

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