Those of you who follow @EurekaWriters on Twitter might be aware that a hostage situation recently played out in our writers office. Specifically, the last piece in our 1500 piece puzzle depicting a map of the night sky was stolen and cruelly held for ransom. Now that the ordeal is over, the story can finally be told.
First, a little back-story. Puzzles were introduced to the Eureka offices by our intrepid Executive Producer, Bruce Miller. The idea is that when you're stuck on a story problem, sometimes a little brain break is just the thing you need to let a new idea shake loose. Working on a jigsaw puzzle is a great way to spend a few minutes not thinking about story, but still keeping the brain active. We almost always have a puzzle is set up in the kitchen so that anyone can wander through and spend a few minutes indulging their inner OCD.
And so, when beloved assistant Katie Lovejoy departed Eureka for the beginnings of a feature-writing career, she sent a puzzle to the staff as a present.
1500 pieces was a little more complex than we usually go for in our casual work-puzzling but, slowly and steadily, we made progress.
Writers' Assistant Margaret Dunlap: "The puzzle is a great way to hang out in the kitchen and eavesdrop on conversations in the hall... I mean-- think about the episode we're breaking in the room. I had most of the sky map section done, and then Amy Berg totally finished it without telling me."
Well, Co-EP Amy Berg almost finished the star map. Dedicated Eureka puzzlers noted early on in the process that a piece containing a key section of the galactic equator as seen from the Northern Hemisphere had gone missing. Indeed, when those last pesky pieces of featureless black background were finally complete...
The puzzle remained unfinished. Teeth were gnashed, garments were rent... well, mostly we assumed that it had fallen off the table and had been swept up by the cleaning staff. Hey, it was 1500 pieces. We were impressed we hadn't lost more.
Then, the truth came out in the form of an insidious note:
Could it be? Was the 1500th piece not lost but... kidnapped? The first ransom demand soon followed, complete with proof of life:
From the beginning, Amy and our PA Meghan Welsh both had a very good idea who was responsible. Co-Producer (and known puzzle-hater) Paula Yoo.
So the staff took hostages of their own. Instead of the demanded $1,000,000, this was placed in the ransom envelope:
Paula-- err, the mysterious hostage taker retaliated:
But then, suddenly, a change of heart:
After much deliberation, the writing staff responded:
I won't lie to you. It was a hard time in the Eureka writing offices. Heart-wrenching emails were exchanged in which the puzzle piece attempted to convince us that it had grown to love its captors, followed by more frantic tales of being in mortal fear of its puzzling existence.
In the end, the "anonymous" kidnapper was ready to play ball:
Happily, the exchange took place with no further incidents. All is well once again with the galactic equator.
But if this happens again. We are fully prepared to go national in our search: