Seperis (seperis) wrote,

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rewatching eureka

Due to social distancing, I am making my way through every show I've ever watched in my life, blessed be Netflix and Prime. Apparently even new seasons of shows I've seen are too much for my fragile brain or something. Though Great British Baking Show is supposed to release a new season so hopefully I'll get an exception for that.

I mean, I do get why; nothing is certain right now and hasn't been for a while and that's thrown off my brain's ratios, so something has to give somewhere. My tolerance for uncertainly extends right now to learning new things only (and upgrading my tech); my visual entertainment, on the other hand, ain't going there. It doesn't just want lack of uncertainty; it wants predictability. I'm actually okay with the trade off; for me personally, losing my motivation to learn and explore is much more dangerous personally to my mental health, so if my brain compensates by watching Bones eighty times, fine.

My only real compromise on that so far is older shows I don't remember well, which is how I ended up marathoning House, which hit that sweet spot of "I saw five seasons of it live" and "But actually I don't remember almost anything but like three of the eps very well". That shit went over gangbusters (House, OTOH, got much, much crazier in later seasons).

I'm currently re-watching Eureka, which is incredibly satisfying because while yes I've seen it, I never really get tired of a town of sci-fi adventures. Also I can watch by storyline, and man, I want this show to get a reboot. Warehouse 13 disappointed me with all the focus shifting to the warehouse supervisor to the point I was skipping too much to work out what was going on when an ep wasn't about him, so these five seasons have to last.


1.) I am way more into Zane/Jo than I ever was and I was really into them before so double that.

2.) Also triple down Henry/Grace: I completely forgot how cool she is and how she settled Henry after those grief-driven, frantic seasons. He had so much bad shit happen to him--including alternate timeline shit--that he simply couldn't settle. In the pre-1947 timeline, if that had continued, I'm not sure he would have been able to settle and trust enough to make a relationship with anyone (including Grace), but the fait accompli kind of did the work for him. GRACE IS AMAZING; YES HENRY YOU DO INDEED DESERVE TO BE WITH SOMEONE THAT GODDAMN AWESOME ACCEPT IT.

3.) I always loved Henry, but now he's my favorite character, and I finally worked out why. He combines being literally the smartest person in Eureka with not caring at all how smart he is, not needing to prove it to anyone, not considering it important or particularly relevant, and also not even considering 'smart' a real thing that exists but something fake people made up to sound important all at the same time. He's a mechanic in his jumpsuit and ridiculous garage; that's not a deliberate 'look at me dressing down and being a simple man despite my genius'. That's Henry is mechanic, likes being relatively clean, and is kind of a garage slob; it's appropriate to the job that he loves. He's in GD in a suit doing astrophysics; that's the appropriate clothing for the job, not 'look at me dressing up as a super astrophysicist'. If it were appropriate to wear shorts to GD, he'd do it, it's not something he thinks about or is important or making a statement; it's fucking clothes. He's the same person and wears the clothes in the same way no matter what they are.

Henry's into knowledge, and not even the same knowledge; he respects and admires people who know their shit, are confident in their shit, and are open-minded enough to want to learn new shit whatever it may be. There is no 'smart people, dumb people' in Henry's world, at least as measured by IQ and degrees; to him, that's insane, what on earth is that about? How is it relevant?

This pretty much shows up throughout the show. He doesn't have a lot of use for dilettantes or pretension no matter how smart (or not) they are, and that makes sense; he is attracted to--and attracts--people always trying to be their best selves in whatever they do, subject or area of interest unimportant. More importantly, he makes them better. His personality is the type that everyone wants to be around and they're better and smarter because of him. He doesn't demand anything of his friends; there's no arbitrary standard to meet; it's not work to be his friend. Its just--being around him, they find themselves effortlessly and easily better because of the kind of person he is, who brings out the best in them and they bring out the best in him. I mean, there's a reason he's pretty much the caretaker and later mayor of Eureka; he doesn't just make you feel good about yourself, he makes it easy, effortless, to be better.

(If you don't believe me: Grace in season five when it came out about Beverly basically said that being with the new Henry made be different and be better and even want to be. It wasn't an effort for her to do that, she didn't feel like she was giving anything up; it was easy, natural. That is the kind of person Henry is.

See his relationship with Nathan Stark as well. His fraught relationship with Nathan is very much Nathan not being his best self, Nathan being a worse person than he should be, Nathan doing shit that both of them know is less than what Nathan is. Nathan is dilettanting and being pretentious and Henry loathes that with all his being.)

And above all, Henry's incredibly attracted to people with different knowledge bases and ways of thinking--which yeah isn't easy for Henry since he kind of knows everything and has a mind like nothing this world has ever seen--which is why he's friends with everyone, literally. In his romantic relationships, Kim and Grace are both geniuses, sure, but he fell in love with their curiosity, their knowledge, how much he enjoyed working and just being with them, how much fun they were.

(I have literally no doubt if Grace had been a botanist he'd be sitting in the dirt with her fascinated by her telling him evvvverything about some super corn or a weed she found on the road and offering his engineering expertise to help her design better watering systems. Not greater/more important/lesser/less important knowledge between them; an exchange of knowledge. Importance of a type knowledge is not a universal hierarchy; it's always a matter of context.)

Case to prove the point: Jack Carter. He and Carter's friendship is always the highlights of the show and that transparent attraction to and interest in people who are knowledgeable about their own things and open-minded about other things (or can be open-minded with a bit of nudging, Henry totally saw the potential there) really is a huge part of it. Unlike literally everyone--to a greater or lesser extent--he doesn't hang with Carter with the subtext 'not as smart as me'; that just--doesn't register even as a joke because to him, that's cloud logic 'what on earth are you talking about? what is smart exactly as you define it?'

Nope: Henry's relationship with Carter is a much cooler and far more interesting 'doesn't know the same things as me but knows shit I don't, is cool at solving problems, and is super fun to hang out with'. He doesn't try to teach Carter anything because he thinks Carter needs to measure up to some standard, but Carter learns a lot just on the strength of Henry's sheer love of sharing knowledge because that's fun for him and why not? It simply doesn't occur to Henry that people need to be something other than what they are; he likes them great as they are now, thanks. Though yeah, to stop the thing from blowing up the universe, he may need to break down a few things, not a problem, he can do that.

His approach to Carter--and to everyone, to be honest--is 'that suggestion/thing is probably wrong because Carter doesn't know enough about xyz' not 'he's not smart enough to understand xyz' which means he actually pays attention to the suggestion first, not the person making it. Which is why he's almost always the first to listen and agree when Carter is right because it's all a matter of knowledge; 'Carter may not know much about xyz but he knows about what to do in situations where something like xyz happens'.

(Henry is also one of the few characters who is good at both translating ideas into general layman terms and also translating general layman terms into science. That is only because, again, he assumes correctly that Carter (or whoever) know what they're talking about and it's just a translation issue, not a 'smart versus dumb' issue. Without Henry, this town would have blown up a thousand times and Carter's "I told you so" in the afterlife would be cold comfort.)

4.) I am now getting into Henry/Carter, which I didn't really expect, since I really loved Grace, but if it's pre-Grace or alternate universe without Grace, that works. A lot of it is the dynamic of their friendship, too. Carter--like Grace, actually--is a very stable personality and Henry does extremely well with that kind of grounding and focus; Jack helped mitigate a lot of Henry's impulses in the early seasons with just their friendship in play. A romantic relationship would probably would have worked even better.

It's not that Henry isn't very grounded, but he feels so deeply in his very close relationships that he can't compartmentalize easily. A partner to give him an emotional bedrock and absolute certainty is critical for someone with Henry's empathy and intense feelings: say what you like about Carter, but the man commits like no one's business. He will love and cherish and pay all the attention to you that you could possibly want and will not stray like ever. Yes, that can be overwhelming, but Henry takes people as-is, doesn't mind living in that kind of intensity, and also knows where it comes from when it comes to Carter.

(He--like Allison--also knows that part of that is Carter's subconscious reaction to his own carelessness in his first marriage and with Zoe and the desire to fix it. And like with Zoe, security and time mitigate the overcompensation, which is why Allison probably didn't kill him immediately during the submarine thing. Yes, it's super annoying but it's not a permanent characteristic; it'll calm down when Carter feels more secure and less like the worst loser in relationships ever.)

And truthfully, Henry would also be good for Carter above and beyond his normal level of perfection. Honestly, he's fully responsible for Carter's open mind (Carter's ability to roll with it came with the package; the open mind just assured literally nothing really fazes him anymore), and even more than Allison, Henry taught Carter by sheer Henryness to pause and think when appropriate (a lot of Carter's job requires him not to stop and think or the world will end which is great and kind of necessary but Henry's influence means Carter's also learned when that's necessary and when it's not). And a lot of Carter's insecurity about his ability to be a good partner would probably wear away fast; again, Henry has no expectations of people to be anything other than what they already are and want to be, and that kind of confidence in Carter as an intimate partner/father from the get-go would have helped Carter a lot in all his relationships, including Zoe.

God, this turned into All About Henry. I didn't mean it to, but rewatching, I really got to enjoy the unfolding relationships since I knew the plot and Henry's development I followed closely this time.

5.) But I'm also--weirdly--kind of into Allison/Stark and Carter/Stark when first time around, Nathan got on my nerves like whoa. Don't get me wrong, I still like Carter/Allison, but watching earlier seasons, she offsets Nathan much better when he's being stupid or crazy, and Nathan generally handled Carter better because he tolerates more friction than Allison will with Carter (Allison has a much higher tolerance for friction with Nathan, oddly; with Carter, she tries too quickly too smooth things over and Carter takes advantage of that).

6.) The close friendships that from between Allison, Fargo, Henry, Jack, and Jo due to the 1947 timeline split is surprisingly sweet. Jo and Fargo--and then Zane and Fargo, especially after the matrix--was fun to watch develop.

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Tags: jenn's life
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