Eureka, Season 5, Episode 7, “Ex Machina”
Written by Kira Snyder
Directed by Michael Robison
Airs Mondays at 9pm ET on SyFy
The situation regarding Holly (Felicia Day) and her virtual “existence” is becoming a bit awkward. Her “death” was shocking and sad but added some quality dark material to Eureka. Holly is later discovered in the matrix, jumps into the Global Dynamics mainframe and now resides within Carter’s smart house as a hologram of sorts. The question of whether or not this holo-Holly is actually the original Holly or just a digital copy is yet to be determined, though the writers seem to be leaning heavily towards it actually being her.
Aside from the continuously controversial issue regarding holo-Holly, “Ex Machina” doesn’t really provide anything new or exciting. The DoD (Department of Defense) comes to Eureka in order to install a surveillance system (dubbed PANOP) throughout the GD facility and strange things take place during the process. This goes on until the good folks of Eureka can catch up with the audience (ever so slowly) and realize Holly is stuck within the mainframe. Not much of a main dilemma of the week. There are no real malfunctions or antagonists, though it could be argued that Major Shaw who is in charge of the PANOP installation is the most antagonistic of the episode.
Eureka has been on for a long time now and the relationships between the main characters are strong. When Fargo tells Zane, Carter, Henry and Allison about Holly being stuck in the matrix, they don’t question him but instantly try to help him. The strange thing is that Jo has a completely different reaction and conflicts with them. In the end she abruptly changes her mind with no apparent reason. The writers first fail in having Jo conflict with Fargo and then they make it worse by not fully committing to that idea. It is expressed the Jo is doing what’s best for Fargo, but it’s hard to believe she wouldn’t at least consider the possibility that he’s right. This is a major negative point of the episode. Another writing failure comes from Fargo’s immaturity at Holly’s funeral. He knows she’s still sort of alive and others don’t, but he doesn’t even care about how others might react to his apparent cold-heartedness. It just seems like he would be a little more considerate of others in their time of mourning.
There is an interesting callback to the season premiere and the big brother vibe that existed within the matrix regarding the installation of PANOP. The matrix supposedly created a Eureka three years in the future that was most likely to occur and now two major developments from the matrix have been touched upon (big brother and a potential Carter/Jo relationship). Though the matrix storyline from the beginning of the season isn’t a central focus of recent episodes, the writers are continuing to touch upon it. Holly being stuck in the matrix, zeta waves and now the possibly predicted future continue to keep the matrix storyline afloat. When will Beverly reemerge and what other matrix-related themes will affect the people of Eureka?