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Once in a Lifetime
Once in a Lifetime.jpg
Air date October 3, 2006
Written by Jaime Paglia and Andrew Cosby (teleplay) & Andrew Cosby and Jaime Paglia and Johanna Stokes (story)
Directed by Michael Lange
Episode guide
Preceded by
"H.O.U.S.E. Rules"
Followed by
"Phoenix Rising"
Cast | Transcript
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Season 1
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12
Season 2

"Once in a Lifetime" is the twelfth episode and finale of the first season of Eureka.


Nathan Stark is given the opportunity to investigate "the Artifact" in 2006. After it is probed, events time jump to 2010 and a whole new Eureka.


In the alternate 2010 (four years ahead of the episode's air date), Jack Carter is married to Allison Blake, who changed her name to Carter and is pregnant with Jack's child. Zoe Carter is about to graduate as valedictorian of her class. Nathan Stark left Eureka after being fired from Global Dynamics for the improper handling of the Artifact. Henry is now in charge of Global Dynamics. Henry is also in a relationship with Kim Anderson, the scientist who was working with Stark on the Artifact. Also, Jo and Taggart are in a relationship, which started when she kissed him in H.O.U.S.E. Rules.

Shortly after Zoe's high school graduation speech, something strange happens in Section 5. Carter, Jo, and several Section 5 personnel are sent to investigate. They find a charred and distorted body that wasn't there before. Allison suggests using Kim's DNA-reconstruction program to "unscramble" the body's DNA, as there are no other possible means of identification. While Kim is working, strange(r) events happen all over town, including earthquake-like tremors, flashes of light and time "hiccups". Carter figures out that these things are somehow brought from the past when his sheriff's Jeep shows up in the middle of the street with a 2007 sticker on it and his lucky charm in it (the same lucky charm as in his pocket).

They begin to suspect Walter Perkins, the only scientist in Eureka who ever experimented with the space-time continuum (Pilot). However, due to an experiment that de-aged him into a teenager, Walter has a device on his arm that stabilizes his de-aging because he is under permanent house arrest. If he goes outside it'll shut off and he'll begin to de-age again, and he doesn't want to end up in diapers. Walter also reminds Carter that he's prohibited from owning or using any complex devices (he had to petition just to get an Xbox 360).

After ruling him out, Carter has Jo compile a list of all people who have access to Walter's device and know how to use it. Carter goes to tell Allison and Henry about this. The list has come down to two people, one of which is Stark, who hasn't been in Eureka in four years. Allison asks who the other one is just as Kim comes in to Henry's office in shock.

When Kim finished reconstructing the dead body's DNA, she discovers that it's hers, presenting a dangerous time paradox. Carter confronts Henry with the information that Henry is the only one besides Stark with the knowledge and access required to use Walter's device. Kim realizes that she was supposed to die in the failed experiment with the Artifact. However, Henry used one of Walter's devices to send his consciousness back in time and save her. This has created an alternate timeline which is beginning to come into conflict with the "original" one.

As if on cue, a tornado that struck Eureka several years before reappears to wreak havoc on the unsuspecting town and disappears just as quickly. The new timeline is unraveling, and the only way to stop it is to prevent Henry from saving Kim. Henry refuses to help Carter with this, so Allison asks Stark for help. While Stark is attempting to reactivate Walter's device, Kim also tries to convince Henry of the necessity of her death. Henry eventually relents and hands Stark a piece of the Artifact that he had retained to prevent anyone else from attempting to change what he had done. Stark sends Carter's mind back to the day of the experiment. Carter intercepts Henry as he is hurrying to save Kim and holds him back until the energy surge from the Artifact kills her.

At the conclusion of the episode, Carter is looking at a photo of Kim's charred corpse as Allison walks in. Fearful that he cannot reveal future details to anyone without risking another paradox, he is encouraged when the Allison of the original timeline tells him to "Have a little faith," one of the last things he said to the Allison of the paradox timeline before he jumped back in time. He decides to embrace the idea of reliving the last four years and pursue a life with Allison again. As he told the paradox Allison before he jumped, "No time, no space, no way that we don't end up together."

Memorable Quotes

  • Zoe: [during her graduation speech] Thank you for making me and my dad a part of your family. I promise to do my share of the chores, and I'll try not to blow up the world if you don't.

  • [While watching an autopsy]
  • Allison: I'm craving red meat.
  • Carter: That's just wrong.
  • Allison: Beef jerky.
  • Carter: Okay seriously, I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

  • Walter Perkins: Well I hate to disappoint your sheriff but it wasn't me. I'm under house arrest, the temporal stabilizer keeps me from getting any younger but one foot outside that front door and its set to shut off. I don't wanna end up in diapers. Besides, part of my sentence is no technology above a class 2 rating. Hell, I had to file for special dispensation just to get that Xbox. It's only a 360.

  • Fargo: How much longer? I have to get going.
  • Kim Deacon: Why? Got a hot date?
  • Fargo: I date.
  • Kim: Okay.
  • Fargo: I do.
  • Kim: I believe you.
  • Fargo: No, I don't.
  • Kim: I know.


  • At the end of the episode, Carter and Allison have essentially the same conversation they did in "Right as Raynes" about the free coffee and whether it is their thing.
  • It is mentioned that Beverly Barlowe didn't work for The Consortium anymore, however it is changed after the paradox was erased.
  • Carter returns to the air date of the episode when traveling back in time.

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