Friday, September 24, 2010

James Callis on Eureka: I'll Be Missing You.

Well, I've taken my own sweet time with this post. Actually, I'm glad I did, because Blogger had some updates in the meantime, and I was able to upload some of these pictures much more effortlessly. I think I had trouble letting go of this picspam, because it will be the last one in a while.

But, sniff. The final episode with James, and yes, it's called "I'll Be Seeing You", but I'm already missing Dr Trevor OR Charles Grant, whichever you prefer (I prefer the name Trevor myself). I didn't expect much of this role, and it turned out to be so much fun. James really acted the hell out of it. 

Yet they could have done so much more with this character, so I'm torn. I wish we'd gotten to know him a little more. They had nine episodes, yet it all seems a bit rushed. This episode was disappointing to me,  because it should have given the character more depth, but after a promising beginning, it kind of fell flat with trying to save Allison instead. Yet it's an episode with some stellar moments. In the end, my biggest disappointment is that the show seems to tell us, time and again: "This show is about Jack and Allison." And I have trouble caring about those two characters. Maybe it's because they're too heroic to really be interesting personalities. Colin Ferguson and Salli Richardson-Whitfield are both solid actors, but somehow the writers are scared to give them a proper edge. Because of this, characters like Henry and Fargo become more intriguing and fun. I think we can count Dr Grant into that group too - he was so much fun, not being strictly heroic or villainous. But OK, this is a longgggg picspam, so let's get to business. 

We open with - James lighting up. Mmmmm. A promising beginning if there ever was one! 

 Ahhh. I tried smoking, didn't really enjoy it, but it's delicious just to watch someone else enjoy it. Or maybe I just have a James' mouth fetish; anything that's been in there makes me hot. Food, drinks, smokes, various parts of Tricia's body... you name it.

We find out it's 1947, and Adam comes to meet Trevor. I'm going to call the 1947 Grant "Trevor" and the 2010 Grant "Charles", because otherwise it gets too confusing.

Their accomplice comes up. She has a head for numbers, and tells Trevor to buy stocks of Johnson&Johnson.

But the real reason for their meeting is Adam's mission. He's only pretending to be a soldier; really he's a scientist who's going to try the time travel device. The idea is to go and, like Trevor anvils, "stop the nuclear bomb from being built". Well, that's one classic time travel idea. The other popular one is, of course, "kill Hitler/prevent him from being born". We already know they can't succeed, because then the universe of Eureka would be too different from our own. Same town, really big changes.

 Here, we see a Trevor who believes in himself and his science; he wants to change the world and he's not afraid to take action. I wish we'd seen more of this.

Adam is all geared up for his mission. 

And we come back to 2010, where Adam's daughter Beverly is tempting Charles to travel back in time again. 

 She says he could do so much with 60 years worth of inventions - "Einstein was a visionary, you'll be a god!" Charles, don't! Look at her creepy smile! She's eevil!

Charles is understandably excited by this prospect. I'd like to think he took some time to think about this, but it's shot like he just decided to go for it. And maybe the temptation is too great, after all. Like he said in the previous episode, he's nobody in this time, a man without a name.

-in between here are scenes with Jack and Allison having sex, and Fargo, Jo and Carter figuring out that the DOD device is still within Eureka, and looking through old files and finding the information that Adam Barlowe had a daughter. Wow. Like I said, a bit rushed.

The funny part is that they find tapes where Trevor describes Jack: "The suspect is a man of average height, weight, and intellect. Actually, scratch that - he seems a bit thick-headed to be honest." He sounds like "heh heh, aren't I clever?!" That was awesome. :D Jack looks furious. "I'm 6'1''. In 1947, 6'1'' was tall!" Jo is quick to soothe him: "You are very big. And.. .smart." (I notice that's a bit of an afterthought, heh heh.)-

Back to Charles and Beverly. He's in his gear again - hat! Vest! - and ready to go. "Let's make history," Charles says. Oh yeah, Trevor said that earlier, but I didn't find that really transcribe-worthy. Maybe because it's TV talk. I wonder why he's wearing the fedora like that, too. There was this amusing article about how James can't wear a fedora right. Here it is

*No one* wore hats in doors in those days. That much is the writer’s fault. The inability to make it look like he’s ever been in the same room with a fedora before, and has only seen them in Gene Kelly musicals, however, that’s entirely James Callis’ fault.. 

Hahahaa, oh James. I guess I should be fangirlily defending him or something, but I seem to enjoy poking him in the ribs. Or you know, in the hat. That doesn't work. Moving on.

Look at this though:
 The bridge device works again! Charles looks nervous, and Beverly is having an orgasm or something. She's seroiusly creepy.
-between here: Allison dies. Yeah. She's totally going to stay dead. I'll be so surprised if they somehow save her. -
Should I expand on that? She's there to inspect the radiation coming from this place, and then the device sends a wave of something and Henry's car is hit. Henry is ok but Allison dies and Carter is, of course, devastated. He shows up just a little too late.

I'll include screenshots of this, because I thought it was kinda awesome: 

The shed in which Beverly is working is hidden. It looks like a gorge... 

and in fact it's a shed over a gorge. So cool. There's some kind of energy field hiding it - I'm not sure how that would work in reality, but it's sweet in my imagination.  
 Carter dashes in and gets right to business, trying to beat Charles up.

But then the wave sends them both into the past. Charles seems to amusingly shield himself, instead of fighting back:

Carter is amazed they're back in 1947, but Charles is indignant: "Because of you, I've lost my hat!!" LOL! I know he doesn't know Allison died, but it just makes his petty indignation funnier.

 Jack fills him in on Allison, and James does another AwesomeFace(tm).

So many faces in one. Beautiful.

Suddenly they hear - Carter calling out to Henry on the road. It's the events of the premiere! Charles thinks the device made another wormhole. So how do they know another Charles and Jack aren't hiding somewhere in the bushes, watching them? This is the kind of plot I love, because you can go anywhere. 

 I'm going to call the Jack with Trevor "Carter" and the one with Charles "Jack" because otherwise it's too confusing. If it isn't already. 

I stopped to wonder what would happen if they just met themselves and talked to them. They choose not to, but it might be an interesting story. 

Have all of James' previous roles been terribly unphysical? It seems like he's never done this much running, jumping, fighting, etc. Feels cool and unusual. Maybe I'd enjoy seeing him in an action role, even if I hate action. 

Jack confronts Charles about causing Allison's death. (He probably blames himself too, for being too late, for not being the one who died.) 

Charles is all "Who, ME?" He points out, "I'm a man out of time - you have no idea how that feels." Why didn't we get more of him feeling out of time, and missing people he loved, and all that? It might have helped sell this scene. It seems a bit like being in 2010 was A-OK for Grant when the story demanded it, and agonizing when that was needed, and it's all a bit too convenient. 

 It dawns on Charles that they could still change things. "Allison is still alive here, with you." If they can warn her about her impending death, she can survive. 

It all seems a little risky and poorly thought out, although I don't blame them,considering the situation. It's just... how are they going to get to Allison without getting into trouble? How freaked out would she be? Would it really change things? I think I like the possibilities raised by this episode more than the actual events. 

They have to get back to Camp Eureka, of course. So a miserable, broken-hearted Charles - awww!!! (L) - sets out to hitchhike. 

 Soon enough, he gets into a truck. This wasn't a very meaningful scene, so I'll be brief: look at tiny James climbing onto a high vehicle!! (L) He is wearing suspenders!

They talk about baseball player Jackie Robinson, and Charles makes a bet - stupidly, as he won't be able to collect the money. Baseball talk is boring, but it will pay off a bit later, so maybe it's OK. 

Cut to Trevor taping his report about Jack, smoking with much gusto while doing it. Mmm. 
Just as he's saying how thick-headed Carter seemed, Jack rustles behind the window. But - isn't caught. (It seems kind of pointless to have this scene, since nothing really comes of it. Yet it was amusing, because it's Trevor being all sorts of arrogant and thinking very little of Jack. Heh heh.) 

Meanwhile, Charles-from-2010 enters his own study. "There you are," says Adam. "Yes, here I am - again," Charles says wistfully. 

Adam says he's all set, and Charles says he wants to abort the mission. It'll have more ramifications than they thought - "trust me".

Ummmm but...
a) Charles knows the device actually works and they could make a difference, and
b) does he really value Allison's life above everyone in Hiroshima and Nagasaki? It seems kind of selfish. Human, but selfish and kind of strange.

OR maybe he realizes now that a man out of time can't really find peace of mind, and that changing the past has grave consequences?

He tells Adam they should use it to change the future, not the past. Adam isn't having it; he's been preparing for this his whole life. He asks what happened in these two hours since they last saw each other. Here's where I think he should suspect that Trevor has been taking a joyride on the time machine, and is back to warn him. I would, if I were in that situation. Um, I think. Am I too hard on the characters?

The tongue!! I love the tongue!

Adam storms out, and Charles is left alone and devastated. If Adam is privy to the time travel stuff, couldn't Charles just tell him the truth? Or is he worried that they'll torture Adam and he'll tell them everything? Actually, maybe he is. Hmmm. This is all very complicated.

Back outside, the story continues to unfold exactly as it did before. I'm not including screenshots of that, because it's already a big enough post. 

Adam gets hit by a car and Allison starts to resuscitate him, with Trevor looking on. Charles and Jack watch from behind the fence. It's kind of weird with these layers: as spectators, they are in our position, sort of. 

Allison calls for starter cables. There aren't any. Turns out Charles stole them. Jack is upset, but Charles thinks this may be their only way to save Allison. How does that work exactly? 

This was a strange scene, considering Adam is Charles' best friend. Why would he want him to die, instead of Allison? Even with the feelings he has for Allison - which can't be all that intense after all. You can tell it's a difficult thing for him. But WHY does he do it? 

Maybe it's meant to be heroic: he's willing to sacrifice his friend's life, if that saves Allison, who is going to hook up with Jack. So it's a selfless act of love, he just wants Allison alive.
Or it could be that he'd rather Adam died than had to be in prison because of him. He could be making up for what he did before. 

Either way, Jack isn't into complex ethical issues like this, and he rushes off muttering "There's gotta be another way." Charles is left watching. 

In lieu of jump-starting him with cables, Allison starts to beat Adam's chest, and Trevor is alarmed: "Hey! HEY!" But Adam gasps and wakes up. Charles is horrified. He was unable to change things. Is this time travel going to amount to nothing? (Believe me, the viewers are asking the same question. There should be SOME ripples for it to remain fascinating.) 

Jack, who went off on his little hero trip, has managed to get arrested. Here comes Grant - but is it Trevor or Charles? 

 Could it be Trevor? After relishing the cigarette, he gets all tough and slaps Jack in the face. Oo, ToughJames! (This, too, seems pretty unprecedented.)

"Who sent you, Mr Carter?!" Just then, a soldier comes in to tell them that the prisoners have escaped. (I.e., Jo and Fargo, see premiere.)  
He asks the guards to attend to the escaped prisoners, and prepares for a little hand exercise...

..but when they're alone, it turns out to be Charles. Of course. I saw that coming, but I still enjoyed that he got all rough. "I had to play it real," he explains to Jack, untying him.

His face reveals it perhaps wasn't entirely unpleasant for him. I loved this so much.

"You could have not hit me," Jack suggests. Hee. He could have not smoked a cigarette, too. Maybe he really wanted one.

Charles puts on a less conspicuous coat, and they head out.

..just in time to see more of the premiere story. Trevor is ready to send Carter and Allison back into their own time.
As soon as they are out of sight, Trevor digs the device from his pocket. Busted!

Amazing expressions from both James and Colin here.
Jack: "I knew you did that on purpose!"

Charles makes an "omg, not this again!" face. Heee! I love how he, while a nice guy, can be a bit of an entitled jerk too.
"I already apologized to you how many times?" One, if memory serves. Charles changes the subject and rightfully observes that they don't have much time. Jack goes to find Allison.

The singer in the ballroom anvils "I'll be seeing you", and Jack tries to catch Allison - but just as he's near her, Carter and Allison kiss and disappear. (Kissapear?)

Jack comes back to give Charles the bad news.
"Oh, Jack, I'm so sorry," Charles says. This shocks him, probably more for himself than for Jack. Awww: 

Jack dashes off, because he has an idea. And now for a bit that annoyed me: they re-show the scenes from before with Allison and Carter in bed, Jo and Carter listening to the tapes. The new thing is that Jack has taped something himself: "Hi Jack, it's me! I mean - you! I'm in 1947 again. 6'1'' is huge!" Hee. He instructs Carter to drive over to the warehouse immediately, lest Allison die.

He gets there just in the nick of time, and Charles - with his hat on still - is all confused at what he's doing there.

..except that a second later, he morphs into his.. later self.. who's back from 1947. It's a little confusing, but I must admit, kinda awesome. I love the hat being used like this to separate between the two Grants.

Turns out Beverly is nowhere to be seen. Hmm. But if they changed something in the past, would Beverly even be there? Would any of this have happened? And if it did happen, and Jack was sucked in, why wasn't Beverly sucked in too? Or maybe she was and met her dad in the 40's and... Head hurts. Again.

Outside, they find Allison alive and Henry pulling her out of the car. Carter and Allison kiss, and Grant looks pained yet relieved: Allison's alive!

"Charles, what did you do?" Henry says.
Jack says he screwed up, but he fixed it.

I'm annoyed again. Whatever happened to saving the world? When did Charles lose his interest in stopping the nuclear bomb? Why isn't he back in 1947, thinking of applications for his awesome time machine? Is Allison's life really that dear to him?

This episode had a great premise, but it's hard to keep so many threads going. Either there are a lot of deleteds that were cut, or Charles just did a 180 and decided to save Allison. 

Inside, the gang inspects the DOD and time travel-bridge device thingy. Grant is very sorry for all he's done. Awww, AshamedJames! (L) It's so endearing! I feel like hugging him and telling him it's alright. 

Henry says they've all made a mess with good intentions, one way or the other.

Trevor looks very happy and touched by that.

Henry and Trevor really had a sort of friendship going on. I loved that. I love Joe Morton. I'm going to miss him.
Fargo shows up and says General Mansfield wants an investigation, and they all have to talk to him. Sanctions for time travel are looming in everyone's minds. But then Jack points out that only they know Trevor was involved.

I will stop here to whine that James didn't get to do more scenes with Neil Grayston (Fargo). There's a fun guy, just like James. They would have played together so well but somehow they never got to do much. Maybe on another show?

This is the last group photo with the six of them together...

And this is an awesome old-timey photo of Trevor with the 1940's guys:
It somehow makes him look even more handsome.

So Carter has come with Trevor's papers, because Trevor is going away. Um, wouldn't that be MORE suspicious if he leaves just as this DED device thing is being sorted? Oh well, whatever. Logic be damned, because this was a really good scene between James and Colin. I don't care much about Carter, even still, but I must admit Colin's a good actor.

Trevor informs Jack that he bought some stocks back in 1947, and considering the developments of sixty years, "I'm... what do you say... rolling in it." Hee! :D That was really cute. Not as cute as "70's music is off the hook!" but a nice touch. Also, he says he got a recommendation, and listened to it this time around. Was that the "buy Johnson & Johnson" thing from earlier? 

Also, this shirt is awesome on him. Chest hair!

They do the whole "character walks away and is stopped by other character", but hey, at least we get this lovely sideview, cheek bones FTW and hairline!

Carter: "Thank you... for helping me save her. I know that... um... thank you." That's really good dialogue, because there are so many unspoken things, things that a man couldn't say to another man in that situation. I loved this moment.

Grant says there's no need to thank him - "After all I put you guys through, it was the least I could do." I love that he turned out to be a good guy.

He shakes hands with Jack and asks him to say goodbye to the others. Boo, no goodbye scene with Allison? Although, in the end - Grant and Allison's relationship kinda went nowhere, but his relationship with Jack did. So maybe this was the best possible goodbye scene there could be.

Before he goes, he turns around one more time, thus revealing his beautiful belly line. Slurps!

Turns out he has a going away gift, "from one baseball fan to another". It's a baseball signed by Jackie Robinson. I could have done with less baseball references.

..Hey, wait a minute. When did he meet Jackie Robinson? And when did he buy the stocks?

Did I, like, completely miss the point of this scene?! O.o That must mean he went back into the past still - and changed some things. So maybe he did set Adam free. Or help him escape. Or have him take apart the nuclear bomb.

OK, I have to sort of admire this clever little touch. I wish we'd been shown that he went back, and that he did all these things, but hinting at it is pretty good too. Well played, Mr Paglia.

"I'll be seeing you, sport." Jack says, "Don't call me sport", but for the first time, he doesn't really seem to mind it.

Sniff! Don't go, Trevor! :(

Surprisingly, and despite all my critisisms of this episode, Dr Grant is one of my favorite James characters ever. I do hope we'll see him again. 


Robyn E. Kenealy said...

Lol kissapear!

I just had a stray thought - I wonder if the "go back in time, stop atom bomb" trope bares some relationship to our critiques of BSG over on LJ? What I mean is this: taking, for example, Oppenheimer and Einstein's guilt over the bomb into account, and the marvelous narrative intersection the personal "guilt at my creation" has to the crisis of masculinity (in that it seems, based on work by male writers, filmmakers etc) that one of the horrors of being a man, particularly in a world informed by feminism, is the realization that your actions often have scary, scary power. You might act out of interest, impulse, whatever, but your actions IMPACT, they CHANGE THE WORLD. In many cases, the masculine crisis (as represented by dominant narrative) is about the horror of realizing, not that you are powerless, but that you have power that you cannot truly control. That you're able to hurt others just by being. And then there's no clear guideline because using that power in the wrong way is wrong, but everyone has different conceptions on that wrong way.

Robyn E. Kenealy said...

So what I'm thinking is that the "stop the bomb" trope relates both to that and to the fact that it is content based, rather than structural. Rather than, perhaps, to take the lesson from Oppenheimer that it would be a good idea to avoid working for a warmongering state/empire in general, one takes the idea that the bomb, in and of itself, is the problem, rather than systemic violence, or the reinforcement of property.

To resolve the masculine crisis (which is so, so related to the crisis of philosophy, post modernity etc, because it's not about "men" so much as it is about a mode of thinking which has been dominantly associated with, and expected, of men) by assuming that the big bad is content rather than structure, or something. I'm wondering if the "stop the bomb" trope is about that?

Like killing Hitler. There are no movie, for example, about wanting to kill Henry Ford, and that fascist motherfrakker was right there in Nazi Germany building tanks for Hitler even as he was building them for the US.

tl;dr: I blame capitalism (surprise!)

Anyway, great picspam.

Nicole Anell said...

(just stares at the pics) Eureka's a whole lot of silliness, but I loved him so much in this role.