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