Ten months after its last regularly scheduled episode and seven since its christmas special, Eureka finally returned to our screens on Monday following a gargantuan mid-season break. "Liftoff" ignored all acknowledgement of the passage of time in the real world, continuing to develop last year's story line as if it were 2010 again. The episode picked up - after a "previously on" reminded us all where we left off time travel wise - with a wedding about to take place. Cleverly making it seem like Jack and Alison were taking a big step (also indicating the passage of time that sadly hadn't past), the wedding was actually between deputy Andy and S.A.R.A.H - the first A.I wedding in Eureka's history. Although it seemed like it may be leading somewhere crucial to the episode at first, when the wedding was called off, I questioned the purpose of the entirety of the cold-open.
It didn't take long after for the disaster of the week to come about, when Fargo managed to accidently launch himself and Zane into space in relic of the Mercury era. With no use of the usual on board systems, the two had a very limited window to save themselves before they ran out of oxygen. It wouldn't be a Eureka disaster without some additional challenges though, so for good measure, the only device that could save the accidental astronauts was missing a key component and caused a massive pulse that knocked out almost all electronics for miles. Unsurprisingly, Jack and Henry get their heads together to think of a conveniently possible but barely plausible work around for their current set of circumstances, and set to work on gathering themselves a new power source for the device. After getting a message up to the barely function spacecraft on the plan, the day is naturally saved and everything goes back to normal. Well, almost. In the face of almost certain death, Fargo spilled to Zane about the time travel incident that altered the future of the universe. Now aware that he and Jo used to be together, Zane seems to be subtly eager to work his way back on her good side. The episode rounded out with Jack and Alison coming closer together after butting heads during the day and Fargo being brought before an oversight committee in charge of Eureka's budget.
For a return to the small screen after such a passage of time, I was expecting big things for Eureka. Given the phenomenal start to the fourth season, I was fully prepared to be immersed back into the complexities of time traveling, alas, that was not the case. "Liftoff" was perfectly acceptable TV, but was at its core just a completely standard episode of Eureka. Whilst Zane's new knowledge and the oversight committee will obviously have longer term consequences for the show, there was no significant new plot thread laid out that will take away the procedural feel to the back ten of the show's fourth season. I'm sure that there are bigger things to come in the remaining episodes, but after such a long wait for new material, haste would be appreciated.