Games People Play

Games People Play
Games People Play.jpg
Air date July 31, 2007
Written by Johanna Stokes
Directed by Mike Rohl
Episode guide
Preceded by
Followed by
"Duck, Duck Goose"
Cast | Transcript
Wiki wide.png
Season 2
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13
Season 1 Season 3

"Games People Play" is the fourth episode of the second season of Eureka.


After suffering a blow to the head, Carter awakens in what appears to be a parallel universe, one in which the inhabitants of Eureka are disappearing one by one.


Jack has agreed to let Abby Carter, his ex-wife, take Zoe back to Los Angeles for a year, as per their custodial agreement. After confronting a quantum physicist whose efforts to disprove the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle are disturbing his neighbors (and suffering a blow to the head from the scientist's spinning test device), he returns home. There he interrupts Zoe's home therapy session (conducted with what appear to be virtual reality glasses, since Beverly is out of town) to talk about her impending departure. They argue over his refusal to "fight for her" and she storms out of the room, leaving him holding the glasses.

Later that afternoon, Jack discusses the physicist's experiments with Jo, but when she walks away there is a flash of blue light and she vanishes. Searching for her, Jack discovers that not only is Jo gone. None of the other residents of Eureka remember her - as far as they are concerned, Jack has never had a deputy. He goes to Henry (working in his garage instead of at Global Dynamics), who says the earlier blow to Jack's head may have caused memory problems, and asks him to get an MRI. He does, but it shows no abnormalities.

Jack consults with Henry again and decides that a classified "Section 8" project may have caused a breach between dimensions, sending Jack to parallel worlds where some of the people he knows never existed. As he searches for an answer, more people keep disappearing - Fargo, Henry and Nathan Stark among them. After finding that all the scientists whose work could have caused the disappearances are also gone, Jack and Allison go to the sheriff's office, where he explains what is happening to him and she, believing that he is having a breakdown, sedates him and locks him in the jail cell. After Jack wakes up, he convinces her to let him out, but as she walks toward him with the keys, a blue vortex appears and swallows her. The keys fall near the cell, and Jack grabs them and leaves. He goes home, only to be told by SARAH that he and Zoe are now Eureka's only inhabitants. He prepares to take her and escape from the town.

When he talks to Zoe, Jack realizes that she has no memory of their fight from that morning, but does remember everything that happened after he left her bedroom immediately afterward. He realizes that he doesn't remember putting down the therapy glasses, and realizes that he must have tried them on, and that he is trapped inside the therapy program, with no apparent way out.

The scene then cuts to the real world, where Jack is in a hospital bed, still wearing the goggles, with Zoe, Allison and Nathan by his side. A doctor says that the goggles create a simulated Eureka, "down to the last detail," designed to help the user address his or her specific psychological issues. However, a concussion from the blow to Jack's head has interfered with the program - specifically, the part that should tell the user that he is in a simulation, and allow him to leave at will. The doctors say that removing the glasses forcibly could cause massive brain damage. Henry goes to Beverly's office to find some way to deactivate the program from outside. He finds no information that could free Jack - but does recover a small black disc that she stole from Kim's office.

Abby leaves Jack's side to go get some coffee and finds a large group of people outside the room. Stunned, Abby asks Vincent if the entire crowd was there for Jack and Zoe, to which he replies, "He's our sheriff, and she's our girl."

In the simulation, Jack and Zoe start to drive out of Eureka, but another blue vortex appears at the bridge out of town. Jack tells Zoe that the point of the simulation is to confront his deepest fear, and gets out of the car with her. They walk into the vortex together. In the real world, Jack's heart rate spikes to dangerous levels, but then falls off, and he wakes up.

After Jack has had time to recover, the throng of Eureka townspeople enter the room to wish him and Zoe well. Jack later goes to see Henry, telling him that according to the program, he has abandonment, intimacy, and entitlement issues. Jack thanks Henry for helping him inside the program, even though it was only a virtual representation of him.

Later, Jack tells Abby that he can't ask her not to take Zoe back, but he can't live without her either. He says he has decided to return to his job in Los Angeles. Abby replies that she has seen how well Jack and Zoe fit in in Eureka, and how much the people of the town care about them. She volunteers to leave Zoe there, with Jack.

The episode ends with Jack telling Zoe that Abby decided he "needed adult supervision" - her. Zoe thanks him for fighting to keep her, and they leave for Cafe Diem as SARAH plays a swell of sappy orchestral music.

Memorable Quotes

Abby Carter: SARAH, forgive me if I don’t feel the need to justify my parental choices to a talking bunker.
SARAH: Fine, don’t let the door hit you on the way-
Abby Carter: [interrupting] Yeah, you wanna piece of me?
Jack Carter: Ahem. Are you, uh, threatening the house?
Abby Carter: She started it.

Fargo: Sorry, all class 8 research is classified.
Carter: Oh. Y’know what else should be classified? Uh, a certain assistant’s American Idol audition.
Fargo: What? No-no-no, Zoe promised me she was gonna delete that!
Carter: So what’s it gonna be?
Fargo: Fine. Give me an hour.


  • This episode is very similar to a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Remember Me". That episode likewise featured a character experiencing their own subconscious fear of losing the people they care about which was manifested in a world where the population was shrinking and no one could remember those who had been lost, to the point of no one seeing anything strange in the majority of the town (or in that case ship) being empty.
  • It is also very similar to an episode of Stargate: SG1 titled Revisions. That episode was in a town where people were disappearing due to a decreasing power issue in their safety dome. The people all wore a device that linked them to a main repository. The safety dome would send people out of the dome when it shrank and erase them from everyone's memories.
  • The Joe South lyrics to Games People Play -

Oh the games people play now
Every night and every day now
Never meaning what they say now
Never saying what they mean

may well be relevant to Jack and Abby Carter's dilemmas, past and present.

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Games People Play (Eureka).
The list of authors can be seen in the page history of Games People Play (Eureka).
As with the Eureka Wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.