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Wednesday, April 18, 2012
TV Round-Up: Game of Thrones, Eureka

Game of Thrones: What Is Dead May Never Die
As we saw last week, Tyrion clearly realizes that not everyone at King's Landing who claims loyalty to the Hand of the King is going to follow through and actually be loyal.   He replaced the head of the Night's Watch last week and this week he finds out which of his trusted advisers has loose lips.  By creating three separate stories about who he'll wed the princess to, Tyrion can figure out who's leaking information to Cersei and how to remove them from the inner circle.  Of course, having read the books, I know where a lot of this game is headed and how Cersei will fight back against Tyrion.   Clearly Tyrion sees her as a threat, but not as big a threat as he should.  

Meanwhile, all over the kingdom, things aren't exactly going well for everyone.   Balon Greyjoy forces Theon to choose between his families--the one that gave birth to him and the one that he's lived with these past several years.  In many ways, both sides have betrayed him and yet Theon seems content to be a whipping boy, unless he's whining to his father about how Balon sent him away to be a prisoner to the Starks.   It appears he's decided to side with his family (for now) with the burning of the warning letter to Robb and his being baptized into his family's religious sect on the beach.   And it's interesting to hear how both sides view the Greyjoys as one of those groups that can swing power in Westeros.  
All three episodes this year have seen various characters trying to consolidate their hold on power.  Tyrion is doing it, the Greyjoys are trying to return to it and we've got a couple other instances this week.   As we saw last week, Margaery is trying to help her new husband Renly hold onto his new found power and influence by making sure he has an heir.  Of course, the problem is that Renly plays for a different team, something that could cause him to lose his grip on power should it come out.  Margeary is shrewd though, offering to bring in her brother to help things along or pretend to be her brother in order to achieve the goal of conceiving a son.  Of course, should this happen, she'll have some amount of power over her husband for her silence.  In many ways, these developments parallel the situation between Cersei and Jamie Lanister, with each party having something they'd rather kept in the dark about their sexual preferences.
This week also treats us to an epic battle between those bound for the Wall and the Night's Watch.  It's a good think Arya is quick on her feet and tell the Watch that the slain boy their commander just killed was Robert's bastard and not the real culprit.  
Eureka:  Lost
Given that Eureka pulled a major game changer out of its hat to start the fourth season, there were moments in "Lost" when I fully expected the four plus year jump and the changes made to the town and characters to stick.    Part of me would like to think had the show been given the full sixth season SyFy promised us, that might have happened.  But another part of me realizes that the series had pretty much wound up season five when SyFy dropped the axe, so there was never any real chance of the changes being made permanent.
But I can't say I wasn't buying it for a long time.  The sense of being inside the world of 1984 was overwhelming in this one.   The episode had such an overriding sense of losing hope and futility as went along that I'm not sure it could have sustained it for long.  That said, all the copies of Sheriff Andy were creepily effective.   The smooth transition from the Andy we knew to the more sinister Andy was superbly done.  I know Eureka isn't a show that is going to garner any awards buzz, but it should for this performance.
Of course, the whole cast was just on top of their game here.  Allison's discovery that Jo and Carter are now romantically involved and raising her children was pitch perfect, as was Zane's discovery of the Jo/Carter romance.  
I really thought for a long time that Jamie Paglia had pulled a fast one on us by skipping ahead five years and not having to deal with the consequences of last year's finale--especially the part about Jo leaving town.   I will admit part of me is looking forward to seeing if or how Deputy Lupo comes back to town. 
But at least while we had one rug put back into place, we had another pulled out.   The final scene in which we see the Astereus crew is all hooked up to some virtual reality, Matrix-like device under the control of Beverly Barlow raises some interesting questions.   Is everyone hooked into the same virtual reality world or is each character experiencing their own nightmare reality designed to break them down and make them work for Beverly?  And the question of how long the crew has been missing and what the town is doing to find them will probably have to be resolved at some point.  And I'm going to guess that at some point, those under the influence will have to find a way to figure out that reality isn't exactly real and just how will they escape?  
If the next thirteen episodes are as solid as this one was, the final season of Eureka should be a treat. 


posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/18/2012 10:40:00 AM | |
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