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Thursday, 21 of November of 2019

Warehouse 13 – “Time Will Tell”

In this line of work, there’s no such thing as ‘no such thing.’

Warehouse 13 was, to me anyway, the linchpin program in the Sci-Fi Channel’s transition to Syfy. It’s perceived nerd appeal isn’t terribly high since it’s more about historical nerdery than it is about sci-fi nerdery, something probably more palatable to general audiences (yes, I’m suggesting a cable channel is aiming for a general audience, this is nothing new).

And Warehouse 13 continues this approachable and fun tone with its second season premiere, picking up right where it left off in the finale last year, but the series is entirely jumpable into, so if you haven’t seen the first season, you’ll be okay starting with this episode.

The premiere quickly resurrects Artie using the Phoenix (I figured he had it on him the entire time, so I wasn’t very worried about Artie’s fate (and the show would’ve suffered a great deal  without Saul Rubinek’s scowling)), so that is thankfully taken care of without much angst. Of more importance for the episode is clearing Claudia’s name, determining Leena’s fate, and figuring out who, and for what purposes MacPherson revived from the Bronze section of the warehouse.

The audience is already in on the whole Leena posing as Claudia thing (using Harriet Tubman’s thimble), so it’s more of going through the motions to get there that takes up the bulk of the episode. So Artie trails Claudia over to CERN, and we get a charming little Artie and Claudia scene, which are always fun since Rubinek and Allison Scagliotti have the most chemistry of anyone on the show. While the two end up confronting MacPherson, they’re distracted by the villain’s attempt on Joshua’s life (is he okay?).

Meanwhile, Mrs. Frederick is having coma dreams, and figures out that Leena had to be the double agent, and when you wake up Mrs. Frederick from the only decent sleep she’s had in, well, probably centuries, you  know she has to choke a bitch. Which, interestingly, is exactly what does. She finds Leena in the B&B and proceeds to choke her until the Pearl of Wisdom falls out of Leena’s ear. Turns out MacPherson planted it there, assuming total control over Leena, and now with it gone, Leena’s in the clear!

This development wasn’t left with too much suspense (Genelle Williams still being in the opening credits kind of sealed the deal). The problem with Leena is that she’s never had much to do on the show, beyond have psychic flashes that contribute little to the show. That she might’ve been a double agent actually made her character more interesting, not less. So I can only hope the show has some idea of how to use Leena better than it did last year.

Which leaves Pete and Myka investigating H.G. Wells, who is the one MacPherson unfroze from the Bronze section. But, whoops, looks like Wells pulled a George Eliot and turns out to be a woman! It’s a nice development, and Wells turns out to be a crafty and deranged former Warehouse agent (she worked at Warehouse 12 with Tesla). While making another former agent be the Big Bad can seen as bit lazy, that it’s a historical figure (with a twist) allows for a solid and exciting variation (MacPheron’s goals aren’t totally clear, but I assume he and Wells were to TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!!).

There are still some niggling issues, mainly the really horrible special effects. The wrecked warehouse, with its CGI flames, is pretty painful. While the Escher Vault is an incredibly cool idea, the CG for it was hit or miss (hit: the crazy camera work to really disorient; miss: the CG shot of Frederick’s and Artie’s legs (Neither actor is that thin)). I know CG is expensive, but if you’re going to use it, make sure it looks good. Just sayin’.

That aside, season 2 seems off to a strong, fun start. I’m eager to find out what Wells’ long percolating plan will turn out to be (I imagine it involves the destruction of the warehouse though) and how long it’ll take Claudia to damage the Philo.

FINAL THOUGHTS

  • Warehouse 13 may not make a weekly appearance in the blog rotation (sames goes for Haven on Friday), but it will make a weekly appearance in my watching, so if an episode moves me to write about it, it’ll be here. You can expect a post for next week’s shameless grab for ratings with its Firefly reunion.
  • I was tickled that the Escher Vault appeared, since the show’s promos have featured Artie, Pete, and Myka tossing a football in Escher’s Relativity since season 1. I wonder if the promo spurred on the vault, or vice versa?

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