Review: Warehouse 13 1.05 – “Elements”
Original Airdate: August 4, 2009
Rating: TV-14 (Recommended for people 14 or older)
Warehouse 13 this week was just an awesome overall episode. I really only have good things to say, and after some of last week’s skepticism, I’m happy to be back on an all-good vibe. I love the way everything is coming together with the overall plot, character development, writing and acting — things are really meshing well. As always, spoilers start now.
The very beginning of the show took me through a gamut of sentiments in a very short time. First, with the flashback scene, I was mostly confused, let’s not kid — it was weird. I just assumed it would make sense later, and just kind of let it ride and followed the subtitles. Fast forward to modern day, and we have some really nice glitch-hop setting the scene: an impressive choice for a soundtrack and for some reason this subtle artistic choice just really pleased me. Then we have the first dialogue of our regular characters, and I was loving it. The first few minutes at the Warehouse was honestly laugh-out-loud funny for me.
I was glad to see Claudia and her brother, affirmation of the Internet rumors I had read up on. The dynamic between Claudia and Artie is perfect, and I think it will bring some fresh elements of humor (and maybe some sweetness as well) to the show. I’m glad the obvious plot elements were not ignored; YouTube is a great starting point to catch up on twelve years of living, and someone needs to explain how a teenager hacked into the Warehouse network. The dialogue was fast and had me cracking up. My favorite line was Artie to Claudia: on her required hack explanation, he demanded, “I want every re-direct and every backslash!” Artie as a slightly grouchy, tech-savvy dad is very believable and fitting. Glad to see Claudia is keeping her sass as well.
New York City is the site of this week’s case, and it’s an art thief with strange abilities we’re after. Back to the more formulaic approach of earlier episodes, Pete and Myka are sent out in the field to research the possibility of artifact involvement. Pete hits up Artie to comp some show tickets, and Artie’s sarcasm has me cracking up. I also love the dichotomy of the Warehouse in general — so high tech and high budget on some levels, and yet so no-frills on so many others.
Myka is a very subdued version of herself in this episode and I love it. She’s so much more enjoyable without the yelling. The overall dynamic between Pete and Myka is very comfortable and amicable at the onset of the New York investigation. I think this is a very great thing for the show: bantering and bickering is only funny to a point. So Myka sends Pete out after a couple leads, while she pokes around at the scene of the crime for artifact ruminants or clues.
The plot of this episode unfurls quickly. Honestly, I thought the first interview Pete had was a total red herring, especially once Myka called him back so quickly. The laser-ish surface-penetrating feather found in the wall certainly trumps a Chinese star in my book, and kept up with the series’s knack for wacky and creative. I also like how the agents are learning the ways of the artifacts, and seem more comfortable dealing with the weird properties of the items they stumble upon.
A caper in a van lands Pete in the hospital, after the same molecule-changing properties of the feather are extended to him in a sneak attack. While laid up and vulnerable he confesses to Myka, “you’re pretty when you smile.” It gets a bit sappy, but in a mostly good way. No time for too much mush though, as a thick plot of Native American mysticism, secret Manhattan tunnels, shady characters and a search for the water of eternal life all play out fluidly and smoothly before the hour is up. This week’s pace was quick, and still had that nice tidy ending I appreciate.
On a Claudia note, I like her character so much. The line about going to Vegas (and being miffed when no one noticed) was well-delivered and a good comedic relief. When she jumped in to help provide the missing piece of logic, I was almost annoyed for a brief moment at the implausibility of her coincidentally solving the mystery with such happenstance. Then, I realized her advice was actually pretty believable, as it involved performing a magnetic scan, and all of her previous research (to save her brother) involved magnetic fields and their power; pretty clever plot tie-in. In the end, as Artie gave in to letting Claudia stay, I found myself smiling.
With snarky Claudia added to the mix, Artie’s character getting in on the action a lot more, and Pete and Myka being funny without being at each other’s throats, I think the show has leveled out to a base dynamic that is just perfect. I also love the mystery-solved closure at the end of each episode, as well as the trajectory of silly random gadgets and twists of science. Way to go Warehouse, you have me officially stoked! Just one question I hope you answer soon: what’s up with the football that can fly around the world?? You better explain that one to me soon!