Back Of The Fridge: Warehouse Inventory #1

Sometimes, life takes over. We get it. Even though everyone is telling you that [insert movie/tv show/comic book/video game/other] is amazing and you’d love it, sometimes it just doesn’t make it on your plate at the time. It happens to us, too. Now we’re trying to fix that. “Back of the Fridge” is our occasionally-updated look back at the things we should have experienced when they first appeared, but missed along the way.

In “Warehouse Inventory,” Tek enters a world of Endless Wonder with Warehouse 13.


Season 1 (Part 1)

I wanted to watch Warehouse 13 when it first came to Sci-Fi back in July 2009. I honestly can’t remember what prevented me from doing so, though. As each season came and went, catching up became a more daunting task as each year yielded a new slew of episodes. Two trips to San Diego Comic-Con later, which yielded Open the Fridge interviews with the cast each time, I finally found the motivation to sit down and plow through the series. So, join me as we head to South Dakota where mysteries, dangers, and some really cool stuff awaits in “America’s Attic.”

Pilot

First impression: I’m definitely getting an immediate Fringe vibe, making several comparisons between the two shows. The Warehouse is Walter’s lab, Myka, Pete, Artie, Leena, and Mrs. Frederic are Olivia, Peter (same name even), Walter, Astrid, and Broyles, respectively, and instead of the FBI, our parent government agency is the Secret Service. But I’m not saying this is a bad thing. Artie is a mad scientist of a different breed, echoing Walter’s unbridled enthusiasm, but countering it with his own manic approach to the Warehouse cases.

I get a big kick out of Pete’s kid-like, wide-eyed awe of the world he’s been drawn into. Everything’s cool. Myka, however, is the other side of the coin, being drawn in just the same, but looking at it with a more analytical mind. As Artie demonstrated, Myka looks and Pete leaps.

I’ve seen enough TV to know that the “Freak-o’-the-Week”, or in this case, “Artifact-o’-the-Week” format, while fun and entertaining, usually gives way to the grand story somewhere around the end of the first season (Fringe, I’m still looking in your direction). Knowing next to nothing about what awaits me in the depths of the Warehouse, this is purely an assumption, but I look forward diving in blind with Pete and Myka all the same. Will Houdini’s wallet have a lasting effect on Myka? When will we get more info on what happened in Denver? What gives Pete is “vibes”? Above all, I’m eager to learn more about Mrs. Frederic’s and Artie’s history along with the other original agents from the early days of the Warehouse. Onward!

Resonance

More questions! This show is definitely going to string me along with all these mysteries. The artifact story (a) is all well and good, but the intriguing story (b) is the enigma of Artie’s hacker. I smell an arc!

We also get more on how Pete and Myka are the yin and yang; Pete having the knowledge of music and Myka having the book smarts, yet both of them being sharp and observant. The best example of this was their individual observations in the record company lobby to determine the business has fallen on hard times.

And, of course, we get some Tricia Helfer. What sci-fi property has she NOT been a part of?

Magnetism

I’m definitely seeing the episode formula taking shape, but that’s ok, it’s only the third episode. The artifact recovery assignments are clearly more about Pete and Myka learning to get past their differences and become an effective duo than they are about the actual artifacts. The stories are still cool, though, especially how the writers take an object, connect it to a historical person, and put a supernatural spin on it.

Just as it was in “Resonance” though, Artie’s story is the one that’s keeping me intrigued. He’s still dealing with his mysterious hacker, but it’s also making me question the Warehouse itself. Artie talks to it as if it’s alive. I am definitely NOT dispelling that particular theory, especially for a show like this. Only three episodes in and we have some pretty ominous stuff happening.

Claudia

Well, we solved the hacker mystery. However, we didn’t quite get an explanation regarding HOW Claudia hacked the Warehouse. I guess the “youthful tech whiz” trope is alive and well.

Pete and Myka take a back seat in this one, letting Artie be the focal point, which was expected as this storyline took shape in the last few episodes. Claudia is definitely joining the team now. (That’s not speculation. I know that Allison Scagliotti becomes a series regular…) I do have to say, though, some of the “just because” moments are a little silly, but I’m not going to hold it against the series. But, c’mon, Pete just happens to know how to read lips, Claudia just happens to know how to run a sophisticated computer hack, and Pete just happens to figure out that the Rheticus pieces have secret compartments and panels…

And I’m pretty sure Joshua’s lab was the same set as Walter Bishop’s lab.

Elements

I feel like this episode was rushed. If you’re dealing with a search for 4 pieces of immense power, you could stretch that across a multi-episode arc. Cramming it all into one felt really quick. I was honestly surprised when the end credits rolled. Definitely a “That’s it?!” moment. Pete and Myka were left in a cave with a pile of relics that, I assume were bagged, tagged, and taken back to the warehouse. Instead, to wrap up the episode, we establish that Claudia is sticking around, which was pretty obvious since the entire b-story was about her and how unnaturally brilliant she is. She will be a good addition to the show as a foil to Artie while Pete and Myka are out and about. When Artie’s all by himself in the Warehouse, the only other person he can interact with is Leena, and whole soft-spoken empath routine isn’t terribly conducive to witty banter.

Burnout

Dipping into the Warehouse’s history is definitely cool. I hope we see more about past agents, especially the ones in the photo of Artie and Mrs. Frederick. (At least two aren’t dead yet, right?) It is also very clear that they are establishing Claudia as the youthful whiz kid who takes Artie’s old-school approaches (and even tech) and brings it into to the digital age. I got a good laugh when she introduced her self as “Claudia Donovan, Warehouse 13: Next Generation” and flashed the Vulcan salute. Well-played.

This show does lull you into a false sense of security, though, as our heroes complete their mission and successfully neutralize the artifact, but right at the very end, we have the voice of experience shattering your good mood and speaking ill of the Warehouse, itself. As we saw in this episode, even Pete’s perpetual good mood could be overtaken by an ancient evil. Makes you wonder what darkness awaits the team.

One last thing, though. At the start of the series, we saw artifacts like Harry Houdini’s wallet and Louis Carol’s looking glass, and yet, after a setup like that, the artifacts don’t seem to be sticking with the, let’s call it “celebrity history” that you’d expect. I suppose not every episode can be 100% focused on the artifact if you don’t want to draw attention away from the characters.


Wow, already halfway through season 1! Check back soon for part 2!

Written by: Rob "T3K" Piontek

Rob is excited to be contributing to The Fridge. With one finger on the pulse of Marvel/DC and another on that of Hollywood's superhero franchises, no multi-issue arc or casting rumor is too small to report. When Rob opens The Fridge, the light inside shines green!

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