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H.O.U.S.E. Rules
H.O.U.S.E. Rules.jpg
Air date September 26, 2006
Written by Harry Victor
Directed by Jeff Woolnough
Episode guide
Preceded by
"Purple Haze"
Followed by
"Once in a Lifetime"
Cast | Transcript
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Season 1
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7 8 9 10 11 12
Season 2

"H.O.U.S.E. Rules" is the eleventh episode of the first season of Eureka.


Some of Eureka's prominent residents are locked inside Carter's house when S.A.R.A.H. (the house's computer) becomes fed up with the townsfolk's attitudes to one another and decides to enforce some harmony.


Fed up after Stark pulls rank on him yet again, Carter takes a few well-earned sick days. He self-medicates with beer and pizza and orders his artificially intelligent house, S.A.R.A.H., to research his options for moving out of town altogether.

His day off is interrupted when Stark, Allison, Beverly, Fargo and Henry arrive, claiming that Carter sent them emergency pages. No sooner does he deny it than S.A.R.A.H. locks the front door, trapping everyone inside and announcing that Eureka faces an imminent threat: With Henry having recently declared his intention to move away and almost everyone squabbling, the smart house fears that the town is falling apart.

The realization that S.A.R.A.H. won't free them until they work out their differences does nothing for the group's mood. Meanwhile, Lupo and Taggart, fresh from an intense paintball duel, realize that something's gone wrong at the sheriff's house and decide to break in. Because S.A.R.A.H. is located inside a military bunker surrounded by complex perimeter defenses, they must sneak into the vast underground maintenance labyrinth that runs beneath the town and find their way toward the house's location.

As frustration mounts inside the house, Henry and Stark attempt to short out S.A.R.A.H.'s electrical grid. In a shower of sparks, the house's systems go haywire and the door opens allowing the Pizza Guy to escape before the door closes again - then things turn violent and the Pizza Guy is killed by an Ion Gun. S.A.R.A.H.'s benign personality has been replaced by that of her root program, B.R.A.D. aka Battle Reactive Automatic Defense personality designed for military interrogations. Stark discontinued B.R.A.D. because the artificial intelligence ruthlessly tormented victims until they either surrendered or died. Now B.R.A.D. has assigned himself a new mission: forcing his prisoners to become best friends.

He locks Carter and Allison into one section of the house, Beverly and Fargo into the next, and Stark and Henry into the third. He then proceeds to freeze, overheat, and nearly suffocate them. Under this strain, the various couples work out a few disagreements, but B.R.A.D demands more, so they eventually feign a perfect reconciliation and Fargo offers the house their unconditional surrender.

Unfortunately, as soon as B.R.A.D. triumphantly relents, the group's words of relief betray their insincere actions. Furious, B.R.A.D. begins sucking all oxygen out of the house. The group's only hope now lies in the tunnels far below, where Lupo and Taggart, armed only with paintball guns, face off against B.R.A.D.'s perimeter-defense particle cannons. Of course, the two would-be warriors live for this kind of battle - but that doesn't mean they'll live through it. Meanwhile, Carter, Allison, Beverly, Fargo, Stark and Henry manage to find the Nuclear Generator that powers B.R.A.D and S.A.R.A.H, that is when they start hearing a tapping noise. . . Morse Code! Carter then sends Jo and Taggart a Morse code message that they need their help. Carter then asks Henry what he should send, Henry tells him to tell Jo and Taggart to damage the pipe controlling the air suction to disrupt the flow, Carter replies by saying "You do realize we'll be dead by the time I tap that message." Stark comes up with an alternative message of "crack pipe." Carter sends the message and Jo breaks the right pipe, supplying everyone with air from the labyrinth of the bunker.

B.R.A.D. then sees Zoe walking towards the door, it raises its Ion Gun and aims for Zoe. Carter sees this and immediately grabs his prized baseball bat and attacks the nuclear generator causing B.R.A.D. to go offline and lower the weaponry. Zoe enters the house but accidentally lets the door close. This is when Carter realizes why S.A.R.A.H. is doing this: because she doesn't want to be abandoned. . . again. First she had been abandoned by the military people, then B.R.A.D., then Fargo and now Carter was considering leaving. S.A.R.A.H sets everyone free after Jack promises he isn't leaving. Later Jack has a skylight put in as well as a ladder, so if they ever get held hostage again they can escape.

Memorable Quotes

  • Carter: I can't believe I survived holes in time and Cold War death rays just to freeze to death in my own dang house! (In response to BRAD locking him and Allison together and freezing them.)

  • Carter (Realization dawning): No wait... you want me to be happy because I was gonna leave, just like Fargo left you and B.R.A.D. got left before that then whatever the hell it was before that.
  • Fargo: It was a war game simulation.
  • S.A.R.A.H: Shall we play a game?
  • Everyone: No!

  • Stark: Fargo, please tell me you laid in a back door?
  • Fargo: I'd really, really like to?

  • Henry: Fargo turns a relic of war into something beautiful and life affirming and then gets chastised, because it's actually trying to help us avert disaster.
  • Stark: He got chastised, because it's holding us hostage!

  • Fargo: SARAH's gone HAL on us!

  • Jo: Hey, what's this?
  • Taggart: Nothing. Gotta go. Carter needs us.
  • Jo: You designed a paintball battle plan?
  • Taggart: Give me that. You know, you are in clear violation of the paintball rules of engagement.
  • Jo: Me? You've got a regiment of splatter-bots ready to assault my rear flank.
  • Taggart: Oh, you'll know when I assault your rear flank.

  • Fargo: When I'm stressed my subtext comes out as text.

  • Taggart: Smart mice. IQ's through the roof. Little varmints used vector formulas to keep me off their tracks.
  • Jo: How'd you catch them?
  • Taggart: Smart cheese.

  • Carter: In a town full of super geniuses, why is it that the pizza guy is the only guy with the presence of mind to walk out the door?!

  • Henry: I'm leaving Eureka, because I'm tired of watching noble ideas being turned into weapons, and here we are, here we are at the mercy of a weapon that had been turned into a noble idea.

  • Stark: Un-cuff him, Sheriff.
  • Carter (tosses the key at Stark): You know what, here. Do it yourself. And the next time one of your brainiacs tries to blow up your building, don't think I'm gonna stop him. In fact, I might help.


  • The final quote (from Carter on) suggests that B.R.A.D. was built on the foundation of WOPR (War Operation Plan Response), the supercomputer in WarGames, a 1983 Matthew Broderick film about Mutually Assured Destruction.