I watched two episodes of Eureka (I show I loved) recently and I wrote up these notes apparently thinking to publish them somewhere and then I forgot. But then I saw these notes and oh, did I remember!
So I rewatched episodes 2 and 3.
(Quit now. Spoilers ahead: )
Episode 2 resolves around the fact that in the pilot, the wife we met turns out to be a clone. The guy wanted to start a family and move to Eureka, the girl didn’t. They split up. He REPLICATED her and started a family with the replicant. How many shades of NOT OKAY is that? I can’t remember if i felt horrified by it at the time, but…
Episode 3 is dude who has been stealing his wife’s memories and genius to promote himself for decades. At least they admit that’s oodles of wrong. The punishment is pretty much a slap on the wrist, although he does have to leave without his wife, but he was already living with the knowledge that he was a fraud and a thief, so I don’t really like much will be different for him. The worst punishment he seems to suffer is that his wife took his memory fixer device. He still gets paid for his ‘work” in this episode and he probably has plenty of money. So what if he never works again? He’s rich and no one is going to tattle on him, so he can probably still get more employment, even if he can’t be the golden boy hero wiz of every story the way he used to be. He can even skate by saying he is retiring to mourn the loss of his marriage and he just hasn’t felt the same since. Point is, he was a major creep and a criminal for years and faces no punishment, while his soon to be ex-wife has to reconstitute her life as best she can. His weak sauce justification, “I gave her a good life.” To which Henry says, “No, you stole her life.”
The husband sees her a pet. As long as he gives her a pat on the head and some food and a bedroom, why should she be mad that he stole her memories and exploited her genius?
The replicant creator’s excuse was, “I didn’t want to live without you.” But the sheer violation…. And can you imagine finding out that you’ve been repeated raped by your ex for years? That he created a you to willingly submit to his rape for years. I’m so revolted by the idea. And how did she find out? The replicant died in the first episode and her parents were notified and her parents called her to find out WTF. And then she was all WTF? Which is why she came to Eureka to find out what was what.
And dumb-ass Allison is like, “But your son…?” Like this woman had anything to do with that child that she never even knew existed. It would be like “waking” from a concussion to find you suddenly have a 5 year old son who you’ve never seen, but he has all these memories of you as a mother. I can only imagine the trauma. Here at least the villain is dead, but the consequences of his actions live on. What does this woman do now? Does she try to raise this son she never had. What does she tell her parents? What if she walks away? Is that even a choice? Suddenly she’s mired with the consequences of the decisions her ex made without her consent or permission. She *thought* she tapped out before things got complicated and suddenly she’s front and center of all of these inherited problems.
And I appreciate that the purpose of Eureka, at least in part, is to highlight both the good and the bad in technology and show how the technology can be abused. (like Malcolm says in Jurassic Park , “You were so busy trying to find out if you could, you didn’t stop to think about if you should.”) But this level of abuse should have real consequences not just for the innocent bystanders, but for the people who create them. And I realize that in the real world rich, crafty white men get off easy while everyone else bears the consequences, but in my scifi, can we at least pretend that someone gets justice? That it’s not women who suffer at the hands of men who need all their needs met and exceeded and their egos stroked so they never have to hear the word, “no” or live in a world where other people are smarter than them or equally deserving of consideration.