Even with the disappointing news that next year’s season 5 will be the last one for Eureka, there are still plenty of episodes and excitement left for the show (currently airing season 4.5).
Eric Wallace, writer of the recent episode, “Omega Girls” — and several other Eureka episodes — spoke with BuddyTV about Eureka, his favorite moments from the show and bringing science into fiction.
This is part 3 of the Eric Wallace interview.
BuddyTV: Do you have a favorite episode — or even just a moment — from the show so far?
Eric Wallace: You know, it’s funny. I was thinking about this last night, because, obviously, there will be no more episodes after next Friday. You start to, you kind of go back through the back catalog in your mind and think about your favorite Eureka moments. And there have been so many of them.
But I can tell you a few that immediately popped in my mind.
Way back in season 1, there’s a show called “House Rules,” which is my favorite episode of season 1. Not that I don’t love all of the others. I especially love “Purple Haze,” “Once in a Lifetime,” “Invincible,” “Dr. Nobel…” I love those episodes.
But there’s a moment in “House Rules” where everybody’s… all the guys are sitting around a table. And it’s Henry, Stark, Carter and… Can’t think of the other guys. Maybe it’s Fargo, I have to look back at the episode. But Jack has taken his day off, he doesn’t want to be in Eureka anymore. He’s drinking beer, he’s eating cereal. He’s in his robes and in his slippers, and Stark is sitting there, looking at him across the table as he rants and rants and rants. And it gets to the point where Stark, without saying one word, looks at the beer glass, takes two fingers and just slides it away from Carter. It’s as if to say, “You’ve had far too much to drink, sir.” It is the funniest thing ever. It’s, to me, one of the funniest moments in our show, and there’s not even a word said. It’s just chemistry between Colin Ferguson and Ed Quinn that was so magical. And to me, that moment summed it up. That definitely pops for season 1.
In season 2, there’s a couple of different moments. I would say definitely in “Noche de suenos,” episode 206, the Spanish dream with Fargo as Zorro, battling Stark and carving his “F” in Jo’s dress. I mean, that’s as outrageous as it gets. And we managed to pull it off. That’s a really delightful thing.
There’s also a great dramatic moment in the season 2 opener, “Phoenix Rising,” episode 201, that I think was our first truly shocking moment, and it’s still one of my favorites. It’s the end of the episode where Henry, who knows the truth about everything in the other timeline and whatnot, what Jack did to save the day, that involved preventing Henry from rescuing Kim. He looks at Carter and he picks up the mnemonizer and he zaps his memory. And Carter walks out. And you’re expecting Henry — the guy we love — to erase his own memory. Instead, he takes a hammer. He smashes the mnemonizer, and it’s the most shocking moment ever, and he says, “I will never forget.” At that moment, I think our show grew up, just right there. And that was electric, it was exciting. It, to me, kind of set the tone for a whole new season. It sent us in a deeper direction that I think we’ve been able to mine in subsequent seasons.
Then… Do you want me to keep going?
BuddyTV: Oh sure. We’d love you to keep going!
Eric Wallace: Probably in season 3, there’s two moments. There’s some very funny moments in our season opener, 301, “Bad to the Drone.” But there’s a very poignant moment at the end of that episode where Carter and Zoe — specifically Zoe, Jordan Hinson — is talking down the Martha drone. Basically it’s written as Martha is a teenager that is rebelling and is a little out of control and needs to hear the voice of reason. And when Carter, as a parent, tries to talk to this mechanical teenager, it doesn’t quite work. So it’s up to Zoe to save the day. And it’s up to her to talk to Martha, teenager to teenager. That was a pretty special moment I thought — Zoe growing up. Our show growing up in the middle of this type of crazy, wild, very imaginative sci-fi conceit of “Robots Gone Wild.” Really, really enjoyed that, and again I thought it was great growth.
Similarly, the death of Stark in 304 in “I Do Over.” I mean, come on, I cried. Didn’t you cry? Everybody I know cried. I even knew it was coming. I had seen the cut five times by the time it aired and it still got me. It still gets me to this day. And that’s… That’s just great direction and that’s great writing and everyone really pulled together to send Stark off properly, I thought.
But then you have, in season 4, in “Founder’s Day,” when Carter finally kisses Allison in 1947 — wow! And they kiss again in “Stoned” and after Carter isn’t sure what to do and he mans up and says, “You know what? I’m gonna go get the girl.” That’s great.
Another great moment is in 405, in season 4, the crossover episode where Claudia [from Warehouse 13] comes to Eureka. And we discovered a really unique chemistry between the actress, Allison Scagliotti, and Neil Grayston. They’re just phenomenal together. And there’s now been at least two Warehouse spinoffs, the next Fargo spinoff on Warehouse — not spinoff, pardon me, crossover — is next week. There was another one also in season 2. They’re just fantastic together. So that was really, really, really, really special.
And then I’d have to say in season 4.5, we got to go to outer space! How great is that? We go to outer space, we get Carter on horseback — what more do you want?
BuddyTV: In addition to favorite moments, do you have a favorite Eureka character that you like to write for?
Eric Wallace: I get asked this question a lot, and I do always answer: Deputy Jo, who’s now the head of security at Global Dynamics and Fargo and Salli’s character of Allison. I just love writing for the three of them so much.
Not that I don’t like writing for Sheriff Carter. I do love to write for Zoe, actually. She hasn’t been a regular cast member of our show, so I kind of don’t count her sometimes. I don’t really do it that often.
That’s what was exciting about writing “Omega Girls” with Jaime, is really being able to grow her character up a little bit more. That’s the goal: every time we see her, she’s grown up a little bit more, she’s been out in the world a little bit longer, she’s slowly becoming a little bit more of a young lady, and that’s very exciting. I do have a special place in my heart writing for Jo and writing for Fargo. Fargo because he’s… he’s so funny. Yet there’s a sadness and a poignancy to him. He used to get dumped on a lot by Stark and now that he’s the head of Global Dynamics, people start to believe in him — especially Jo. There was a friendship that blossomed there at the beginning of season 4, really. Because it used to just be a crush, as we saw in “Your Face or Mine,” back in season 3.5. The two of them have grown so much, so it does make it very exciting to write for them, because they’re kind of unpredictable. You never know what their characters might say or do. They’re kind of the wild-card characters, I would call them.
And, surprisingly enough, the other character I have really enjoyed writing for has been Vincent. Although we haven’t gotten a chance to write as much for him as we liked. He’s such a great actor, Chris Gauthier, and so just rock-solid and contributes so much to the texture of the town and the flavor of Eureka that I think fans sometimes take it for granted. We don’t, as writers, because he’s so brilliant.
BuddyTV: OK, so similar question: What is your favorite branch of science to write for?
Eric Wallace: You know, I like physics. And we’re a show about physics gone mad, so it’s kind of like being in a candy store every day. I used to study a lot of biology in school and in college, and there’s kind of a soft spot in my heart for biology too.
But there’s something about temporal physics — playing with time, alternate dimensions, parallel realities — things that we’ve really dug into, I think, really effectively. Say in season 1 with “Once in a Lifetime” or with the going-back-to-1947 beginning of season 4. That’s been so, so fascinating to see how it affects our characters, because it’s… The science is great, but it’s how the science affects our characters that really creates the great chemistry and the great stories and whatnot.
But it is pretty fun to talk to our science adviser, Kevin Grazier, or to get on to the Internet or go to the library. Believe it or not, I still actually do that. I like libraries still. I think I’m a bit of an anachronism that way. And just read something like Warped Passages. I can’t remember… Lisa Randall I think is the author of that book. To go into that world and just read about theoretical things that physicists are working with right now. It’s just so fascinating, and getting the privilege to bring that into your stories is just a great thing.
So I’d have to say physics almost in any sense. Writing about it is just a great privilege.
(Image courtesy of Syfy)