Eureka Review: I Am Jack's Intelligence

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If you take away the techno-babble added to almost all the dialog and Godzilla like rampage Andy went on, "Smarter Carter" really boiled down to being about one thing: wanting to fit in and be accepted. For Jack, it was two-fold in both Eureka and now in Allison's family.

Fitting in (or being accepted) can be as simple as being able to understand the topics of conversations you hear as you go through your life, along with your ability contribute to those conversations. For Jack this has been his day-to-day job in Eureka, now meeting Marcus, it's going to follow him home to family.  

Carter Is Shocked

I think most of us can identify a time in our lives where we went through this (hopefully not with family.) For me it was when I spent several years working at a financial investment company. I didn’t know anything about investing, stocks, and honestly, had no desire too learn. 

Don’t get me wrong, I liked my job overall and loved the people I worked with. It was that I felt like a “dumb ol’ artist” when I was in the elevator and brokers would be having a conversation about the latest S&P 500 growth was going on. 

Thankfully, I eventually moved on to company in the computer gaming industry where I fit in completely and found it easy to be accepted. So I think we can all feel for Jack situation given he’s been the “dumb ol’ sheriff” for more than five years now in Eureka. I know I would be hard press to give up feeling equal.

What did disappoint me about the story element was that the writers felt the need to give the message that being smarter meant that Jack would care less about his friends and family. I know it was just a plot point, but they did such a great job capturing the touching side of Jack wanting to fit in, I just hated to see it marred by the black and white concept that you can’t be smart and care. 

If that were true, why would Henry and Zane go out of their way to try and help build a robotic body for Holly? Why would Allison care about how Jack was treating other people? Maybe the writers were watching The Big Bang Theory and asked “What if Jack Carter was suddenly Sheldon Cooper?” This character is the only one I know on TV that is super smart and a completely heartless jack-wagon. 

That minor complaint aside, I was very happy when Jack decided to help undo his own brain boost and go back to being “lovable Jack” for Allison. However, I think that genius Carter resulted in some of the best Eureka quotes to date.

Overall it was a good episode and I like meeting Allison’s brother Marcus. Now that Jack and Allison are 100% official, should we start calling her Doctor Carter? 


Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (20 Votes)

Jim G. is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


How in the world did you get out of this episode that the writers were trying to give the message being smarter meant less caring? I'm lost because you totally contradicted that very statement in your paragraph about Henry & Zane. And then what about the kindness of Grace, Allison, & Fargo to their friends on every show? And the disappointed with Allison Maybe the writers were giving nod to the fact that during the In Too Deep episode Jack & Allison HAD the intelligence coversation. Contrary to the dump on Allison posse, I applaud the fact that she made it clear to him AND her brother that she didn't need, nor want, a new & improved "Smarter Carter"; she simply wanted the man she married---that was kind, compassionate, lovable Jack; I don't think anything about his intelligence, or lack thereof, even crossed her mind.
If she had wanted the smarter Jack, then she likely would have been called a snob. If she wants the man she married, she doesnt support his higher intelligence. Geesh!


I didn't think of it as smart vs. caring either, more of a product of the speed at which Jack got smarter. Stories often show people acting like asshats when they suddenly get rich, or superpowers, or "cool" friends, and I think it's pretty much the same here. Or just a case of knowledge advancing faster than "wisdom"/incorporating it into his true personality.


@Sue Ann: "This episode made me quite uncomfortable with the characters. It was almost like affectionate contempt, not a sound basis for a marriage, IMHO." I second that emotion. @charissa29: "It isn't often that a show can reader's digest both Flowers for Algernon and Frankenstein into one plot." Good point. I hadn't even thought about the "Frankenstein" angle.


I agree with Robert I think with the mixture of the drug and the Zeta waves might have equaled to a bad reaction remember Jack drank about 4 cups of the stuff. And Allison was concerned that Jack wasn't acting or talking like himself not to mention the lack of sleep.So I don't think its a smart vs dumb thing.

Sue ann

I'm on vacation, so I actually got to see this episode the other day, in a motel with cable. (I have to get this show on DVD after each season is over.) I was dismayed like Jim G. at the idea that smarter equals less caring. I was grievously disappointed with Allison, too. She instantly did not support her husband being more intelligent than he had been previously. She looked to me to be treating him like a beloved pet, ignoring the possibility that this might be a positive change, given time to stabilize. This episode made me quite uncomfortable with the characters. It was almost like affectionate contempt, not a sound basis for a marriage, IMHO.


I think when they mentioned the new processor overpowering the emotion sensor in Andy, they were inferring the same thing was happening to our lovable Sheriff Carter as well. This wasn't meant to be (in my opinion at least) a comment that smart people = jerk faces. Great episode but I agree with charissa29 - body switching was epic and hilarious.


I agree with the review. Some geniuses are uncaring but it was still a distasteful stereotype. Parrish touching Jo's face and lips was hilarious.


It isn't often that a show can reader's digest both Flowers for Algernon and Frankenstein into one plot. Very impressive. It was fun to see Jack being an ass and super smart, though my favorite episode so far this season was the body switching. It was just so deliciously silly.


Spectacular episode, gets better when you think back over all that happened in it. I think Jack's personality change was a side effect of the interaction between the intelligence drug he took and his zeta waves. I didn't see it as a comment on genius vs. caring.


Seems to be more about drug addiction then intelligence.

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Eureka Season 5 Episode 9 Quotes

Andy: Something got your hard drive in a quarry boss?
Jack: Allison's brother is coming to town. I think he's checking up on the schlub his sister married.

Jack: What's the deal with your uncle?
Kevin: He's just sort of prejudice.
Jack: Against WHITE people?
Kevin: No, against dumb people - no offense.