Jack Carter is the the smartest dumb arse in the world, or so it seems once he’s stumbled into A Town Called Eureka. Yet for all the weird and wonderful thins to happen to Carter in Eureka, perhaps the weirdest and most wonderful is his relationship with Allison Blake.
When the US Marshall strolls into town with a fugitive, his own daughter, in toe, no one was expecting him to have to deal with the trouble that landed next. Allison Blake is an agent of the Department of Defence (DoD), liaison to the research facility based in Eureka, Global Dynamics (GD). When Carter turns up, the last thing she wants is an outsider nosing in on things he’s not cleared to see. Of course, when the town’s Sherriff asks him to take a look, there’s not a whole heap she can do to stop Carter.
It’s fairly obvious from the start that, despite the minor flirty Jack indulges in with Beverly Barlow, it’s really Allison that he's interested in. Allison however, is less available. For a start, she’s not divorced yet. And her soon-to-be-ex is the brilliant (and kind of beautiful) Nathan Stark. So there’s something of a hiccup in Jack’s quest when Nathan turns up as Head of Research at GD.
The rivalry between Carter and Stark is quite a joy to behold. All very manly, and a touch schoolyard at the same time. What is rather revealing, in more ways than one, is when while under the influence of inhibition reducing substances, Allison actually throws herself at Jack, stripping off her dress in the process, stunning body, surprisingly modest underwear. It’s only Jack’s sobriety and honesty that stops him doing anything about it. (The fool!)
With Allison and Nathan apparently getting closer, Jack decides that just maybe it’s time to leave Eureka. Only SARAH (Self Activated Residential Automated Habitat), the house in which he lives, has other ideas. So Jack finds himself trapped in his own psychotic home with a bunch of other people, but isolated with Allison. Clearly SARAH knows better than the humans since she only considers releasing any of them when Jack and Allison start hugging.
Then we get a new shift, Allison and Jack are a couple and she’s heavily pregnant with his baby. Unfortunately it’s an alternative reality that’s starting to break down, so Jack has to save the world and the price is his heart. When everything is back to normal, Allison is no longer his. Luckily only he and Henry remember the alternative timeline, but Henry soon deals with that bothersome recall.
Feelings and pheromones are running high when it seems every woman in Eureka starts drooling over Jack, and it’s surprising how quickly Allison leaps to get in their way, she’s predatory and defensive, no one is getting her man. Shame it all wears off really.
But the thing is, Allison is a smart woman and she lets her head rule most of the time, so perhaps it’s not that much of surprise that she and Nathan get back together, after all they’re both intelligent, handsome, and have a history together. And when Nathan proposes Allison agrees. Jack, though clearly cut by the loss of any future prospects, does everything he can to support her. Several times. Because he’s constantly reliving her wedding day on an infernal loop, and with every loop, Jack ends up in worse physical condition. During this time, Jack promises Allison that he’ll always be there for her. It’s so sweet! It’s also a dead giveaway that something is up. Unfortunately, Jack for all his smarts can’t stop this on his own and has to ask Nathan for help. It’s a fatal mistake - for Nathan.
Allison is expectantly devastated by Nathan’s loss. She’s also simply expectant, with Nathan’s child. So Jack does what Jack does, he’s a good friend and supports Allison in every way he can, including allowing her to have the baby shower at his place. This proves to be a bit of a mistake when, after the shower, the women who attended start dying, and while investigating Jack starts suffering severe sympathetic pregnancy symptoms. Of course, it’s the result of yet another of the wacky and dangerous prototypes produced at Global Dynamics. Still, is there anything as loving as a man who really feels his woman’s pain?
Most of the Jack-Allison relationship is the story of a friendship. As they get to know one another, they each come to respect the very different nature of the others intelligence, and I think Jack sees the pedestal he instantly put Allison on reduce in height a little, but he loves her all the more for her humanity.
Then Allison’s autistic son, Kevin, fiddles with an old piece of equipment, a relic from Founders Day. Then suddenly Jack and Allison, and a few notable others, are back in 1947 on Founders Day, meeting the founders, in particular, Dr Grant, and Allison manages to save the life of one Adam Barlow - Beverly’s father. The world turns full circle.
In 1947, Allison disguises herself as a nurse, she is after all a qualified doctor. After running into Jack, she takes him into a store cupboard to steal an army uniform - yes the classic GI and nurse are caught in a compromising, half dressed position. Naturally the group find a way to travel back to the present day, only it’s not quite the present day that they know. Allison goes home to find Kevin isn’t autistic anymore. She’s ecstatic, understandably. Only it’s not so easy on the others and they can’t get back to the world they knew. Which means that they all have to keep quiet and put up with the world as it is, instead of the world as they remember it. Then there’s another problem - Eureka founder Dr Grant travelled forward with them. And suddenly Jack has another rival for Allison’s affections. The sparing is more gentleman like, and in the end Dr Grant leaves for pasture new, or was it old?
Finally, it seems, Jack and Allison can start to build a proper relationship, though of course, it’s not plain sailing. As mentioned before, some things in Eureka keep coming around again, and in this case, that thing is Beverly, though in all fairness, Jack’s not to know that he’s kissing her given that it’s Allison’s body Beverly’s consciousness is inhabiting at the time.
The road gets especially difficult for the lovers as the Titan mission and the Astraeus spacecraft launch comes into play. Of course Eureka is not your standard office and relationships in a standard office can get complicated enough, so is it any wonder that the DoD send in Dr Warran Hughes in to assess Jack and Allison’s liaison? Apparently the DoD need to vet all interpersonal relationships (though where this hurdle was when Allison and Nathan were getting it on together I’d like to know).
At first Hughes disapproves of the relationship, meaning it either has to stop or one/both of them have to leave their jobs. Only when the couple appeal the decision and Hughes returns to judge again, does Hughes see the strength of the relationship as Jack and Allison work through yet another potentially world-ending disaster.
Finally, they are allowed to be a couple, and Jack wants to spend some romantic quality time with his gal. So he packs a lunch and takes Allison where they can’t be disturbed, into a submarine under Global Dynamics. Seriously, has this guy hit his head and lost his senses? When was anything attached to GD not dangerous? So of course, a romantic interlude degenerates into a life threatening situation. There are clearly cracks in the relationship, but just as clearly, there’s more than enough love to deal with that as the cracks start to appear in the sub. Love enough that Henry has to perform an impromptu over-the-wire wedding ceremony so, thankfully all is well by the time they resurface.
Of course that’s not the end of the story for these lovebirds. For a start Allison’s genius brother turns up to disapprove, though the real disapproval should fall on Kevin for the dangerous manner in which he tries to make Carter smarter, thereby burying all the best bits of the Jack that Allison knows and loves. When that disaster is averted, can the couple at long last be the happy honeymooners they should be? Well, what do you think?
While on the worst planned ‘honeymoon’ ever, Jack finally gets Allison to himself for five minute (between inevitable world threatening disasters) and their exchange sums up their whole relationship:
Jack: Ali, my first marriage failed because I didn't put down roots. That's not going to happen this time [takes out two wedding rings]You see, Jack did get smarter, smart enough to be honest about himself with the woman he loves, and while he’s still going to make mistakes (how else did they end up in a ramshackle cabin for a honeymoon), he does do everything he does thinking of Allison. If that’s not the perfect relationship, what is?
Allison: You put a lot of thought into this.
Allison: Jack, you’re perfect.
Gail Williams lives in her own private dungeon populated with all the weird and the wonderful she can imagine. Some of it’s very weird, and the odd bits and pieces are a bit wonderful. Well okay, she lives in Swansea with her husband and daughter. And the world’s most demanding cat. To find out more about Gail, check out www.gailbwilliams.co.uk - Dare you!