Originally Posted by Joseph Clark
Call it predictable, but at least Eureka doesn't lead us down blind alleys and dismiss important characters and story elements quite as frequently as Fringe.
The entire conceit of Eureka now dismisses important elements and every time they decide to spin up some time travel storyline the show falls apart by just glossing over everything that would change. If the Bridge room had been on Eureka it would have formed the basis for one story and then ignored for the rest of the series.
Eureka is supposedly about a top secret research facility that hides behind the facade of a normal small town. That was the premise which Carter was introduced to in the pilot. Yet every season they just continuously ignore that to the point where they have robots casually flying down the street, a hologram on every corner, spacecraft launching, various explosions or massive atmospheric anomalies every single week. Forget the press, foreign agencies or just locals in the nearby towns, YouTube would notice that. Who needs Wikileaks for top secret project info when you can just walk into the town and see it all in the streets every week?
Eureka has constantly dismissed plot elements and characters every season with a wave of the hand. From Stark, Taggart, Tess (and the many other scientists who are never seen from again after one appearance) to the weak resolution to the Kevin story where they just did some time-travel magic to turn him into a regular kid and ignored the autism and magic glowing alien ball underneath the facility. Another element they then also forgot existed. Again.
The extent of the plot writing on Eureka is all convenient simplistic resolutions, whereby Carter will use basic high school physics to outsmart whatever is going wrong that week - "The automated cleaning laser ray is attracted to magnetic particles? What about if we get a big magnet and I drive it into the light refracting shield dome we are also concurrently inventing this episode!?"
There is nothing inventive about Eureka's science-fiction. It's all lasers, robots and holograms. I'll take a quantum-entangled typewriter over their entire "genius" output.
If Eureka didn't have such a charismatic bunch of actors it would be no better than the movies Syfy throw together on Saturday night and even then the cast are never pushed very far. Compare that to Fringe where nearly every season results in multiple character performances, shifts and interesting scenes. Eureka doesn't even try to be ambitious and every major plot line will always return to the same basic structure of every other season, with just a few job titles being exchanged and a romantic complication.
This last season of Eureka could have actually done something new by having half the staff on Mars (even if nobody in the world noticed - again) and half on the base with a jump between the two. But once more, it was back to the same garage and high street. Same location, same relationships, same stories.
Fringe has an excuse for trying to wrap things up fast. It aims high and has never really known if it will return. Eureka doesn't. It's aspirations are low and the show is always told well in advance when it's been renewed.
I give respect to a show that tries to do something creatively ambitious and brave even if it fails spectacularly. Fringe has passed that level many times over now. Very few shows on television have done that. Eureka isn't even in the top twenty.