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.
We’ve come to the end. I have to admit, I was floored when I learned that the final season of Warehouse 13 was going to be a mere 6 episodes. After a 9-month drought, I was hoping for a much more grand sendoff. However, the final episodes were not without merit. Our team of intrepid artifact hunters fought the good fight all the way to the end……a very emotional, yet appropriate end. But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
When we last left our heroes, Paracelsus (Anthony Head) had taken control of the Warehouse and the team was forced to abandon it, leaving only Claudia, the next Caretaker of the Warehouse, to defend it. Pretty simple. So, here. We. Go.
Claudia’s plan to defend home court from the inside appears to have backfired on her, resulting in Paracelsus taking control of her through her connection to the Warehouse. Clearly it’s up to Pete, Myka, Artie, and Steve to fight the good fight from outside. Incidentally, as Artie and Steve attempt to do just that, we are once again reminded of how hilarious the two of them are when their paired up. Artie throws out the grumpiness and Steve fires the snark right back. Fortunately, Myka’s return (we’ll get to that later) yields the answer to penetrating the Warehouse shield and taking the fight to Paracelsus.
Even with the team on the right path to restoring the Warehouse, our persistant villain is one step ahead and finally figures out how to make an actual time machine as opposed to a Quantum Leap Accelerator device that merely sends your consciousness through time. We’ve now entered Back to the Future II territory, where the bad guy has altered the past and created a sinister present. Thankfully, this present, while militant, scary, and full of artifact-enhanced soldiers, allows for appearances for several familiar characters, including Dr. Vanessa (Lindsay Wagner), Hugo Miller (Rene Auberjonois), Abigail Chow (Kelly Hu), and even Benedict Valda (Mark Sheppard), who met his demise back in season 2. That’s the great thing about time travel; all it takes is a quick deviation in the timeline and BOOM! dead characters aren’t dead anymore. In fact, they can even come back as evil!
The time travel fun doesn’t stop there, though! Like Doc and Marty, Pete and Myka have to travel back in order to prevent the changes that altered the Warehouse and kept the immortal Paracelsus in charge for all those centuries. Traveling back to Warehouse 9 puts them face-to-face with a new guest, Lisa da Vinci, granddaughter of Leonardo, and portrayed by Lost alum and recent Once Upon A Time villainess, Rebecca Mader. We get yet another glimpse at a Warehouse of the past, which, once again, proves to be fascinating and amusing. With Lisa’s help, and the help of what appears to be the source of the purple goo, Pete and Myka prevent Paracelsus from changing history and restore the timeline. Whew! It’s hard to believe that this was all crammed into a one-hour episode.
We’re not done, though! There is the mystery of Claudia’s sister, which still has her mad at Artie, and just when you thought it was safe to go back into the Warehouse, Evil Valda survives the timeline change and heads to the Dead Agents Vault to grab his stuff. It looks like we have plenty to keep us busy in the remaining episodes.
Ok, personal gripe/addressing the elephant in the room. So, Myka’s cancer is just GONE?! All that buildup and all that drama for nothing? Heartstrings were pulled, on both sides of the screen, for pretty much the entirety of season 4 and they treat it like Bobby Ewing showing up in the shower. (Dallas. 1986. Ask your parents.) Hell, it drove Pete to essentially help Paracelsus follow through with his plan. All I’m saying is that it seemed like it was going to be a major plot point that wound up painting the writers into a corner they didn’t know how to get out of. Since this is the end, I’ll let it slide. There is plenty more on the horizon for the team to worry about.
Whoa! Pete’s hair! Sorry. Not the point.
So, Claudia has characteristically dug her proverbial claws into her latest obsession, which happens to be her sister, who turns out to be the victim of an artifact mishap. From the symptoms she exhibits during a trip through Artie’s memories makes one think it might be something from Carrie. This story goes pretty deep, pretty fast as Artie’s memories only tell so much, which forces Claudia to go right to the source. As it turns out, Claire is alive and well, but in an artifact-induced coma in a Regent-controlled facility. Even though Artie makes it clear that many things have been tried over the years, there is no way to cure Claire of the angry telekenesis she has acquired. Claudia started the episode obessed with finding out the truth about her sister, but by the end, she’s driven to cure her by any means. We’re sure to see this crusade take place in the next episode.
Meanwhile, Pete and Myka check out some mysterious dry land drownings perpetrated by an artifact. Pretty basic stuff for a W13 episode. All it really did was create some weird tension between the two of them now that Myka is cancer-free and suddenly thinking about having kids. The fact that they spent the episode with a pair of old colleagues who secretly got married also dropped some odd hints about the status of Pete and Myka’s platonic-up-to-this-point relationship. For four years, this show has made it clear that there was never any sexual tension between the two, keeping them partners and nothing else. If this handful of final episodes tears all that down at the last minute, I’m pretty sure the fan base might revolt.
Pete-ism: “Myks! Hey! You free some eggs and I’ll free some sperm! It’s all done with ice cube trays and turkey basters!”
A Faire to Remember
Pete and Steve at a renaissance faire? Yes, please.
Their adventure at the faire was amusing, mostly because Pete was totally into it and all the goings on were wacky, but the actual effect of the artifact eluded me. Something about a gypsy fortune teller, some puppy love, and a tarot card curse. The tarot cards were the artifact, of course, but the curse kept going even after the deck was neutralized. I suppose just having everything stop after that would’ve been too easy, especially since the victim needed to step up and be the “hero” he wanted to be. Nothing would’ve been resolved by a quick finish.
Meanwhile, Claudia’s crusade commences! She even gets some unauthorized help from Myka. Naturally, Claudia has a foolproof plan of transferring some bad artifact juju by using other artifacts..because that’s always a good plan. In classic W13 fashion, there’s a downside and Myka gets to experience it by taking on that which made Claire dangerous. However, before anyone else realizes this, the Donovan sisters get to enjoy their first day together in 15 years. Claire’s 1999 mentality was pretty amusing as she laments missing things like the prom and a Garbage concert. Their reconnection was heartwarming as well, especially when they bond over their mutual love of guitar and Allison Scagliotti once again gets to show off her musical talents. This story also fulfilled the seasonal obligation to turn Myka evil for an episode. It was sad, though, that Claire had to be put under once again, but the time the sisters got to spend with each other made for a very touching story. However, with three episodes left, I’m pretty sure we haven’t seen the last of Claire.
Pete-ism: “I thought Halloween was like gay Christmas.”
Where on Earth do I even begin with this one? I can’t remember laughing this much during an episode. We’ve seen Pete and Myka back in time in the 1960s and stuck in a 1940s crime novel, but none of that could prepare me for the two of them (AND ARTIE!) being trapped in a Spanish soap opera. From the costumes, to the pure Spanish dialogue, to the slightly annoying trumpets that played every time somebody went in and out of character, the show outdid itself for the latest in a long line of over-the-top artifact romps.
Meanwhile, Steve and Claudia visit the set of Animal House in order to track down their own artifact, which is actually a clever ploy by Artie to distract Claudia from her obsession over curing Claire of her Carrie-itis. The beauty of it, however, is that this minor B-story, its artifact, and Allison Scagliotti’s boobs are all just a means to an end – that end being sassy gay Steve. I’d also like to point out how silly it was to use special effects to double Aaron Ashmore…a man who has a TWIN BROTHER. Regardless, it beautifully complimented the ridiculousness of the soap opera story and gave everyone a chance to have a boat-load of fun before the inevitable and characteristically dark finale arrives.
And I swear to Oa, if there is one more beat-you-over-the-head internal Toyota Prius commercial, SyFy’s getting a nastygram. I thought we were done with this nonsense!
Pete-ism: “Hey, I watch ‘Breaking Amish’ because I like it! Ok? I can quit any time!”
After the levity of “Savage Seduction”, we are reminded that all story arcs, like artifacts, have a downside. The latest (and last) villain puts his plan into action is, of course, Benedict Valda, fresh off his return to reality after avoiding the correction of the timeline in “Endless Terror.” Don’t try to think about it too hard. With only 4 prior episodes to work from, it was easy to tie in his return as well as the Claire Donovan conundrum. Mark Sheppard has a delightfully colorful roster of characters he has played in the last two decades, and the villainous side of the already sketchy Valda is a worthy addition.
As the plot to move the Warehouse inventory (!) unfolds, the artifact jargon spouted from Artie’s mouth reaches mind-boggling proportions. It was, hands down, the most complicated artifact use/effect to date! I couldn’t even explain it right here if I tried. But, that’s half the fun – you don’t have to understand it. Just get caught up in the drama. That drama, however, is not as short-lived as one might think after the team saves the world…once again. With one episode left, the residual effect of Valda’s plan will doubtlessly be front and center in the final hour of Warehouse 13.
Ok, now we must address the elephant in the room. We went four years secure in the knowledge that Pete and Myka were friends and partners, nothing else. There was no sexual tension that caused viewers to ask “will they, won’t they” every week. However, here, at the end, the writers felt the need to throw it in at the last possible second. Is it okay now that the series is ending? I guess we’ll just have to see how the Pete and Myka romance is wrapped up in the series finale.
Pete-ism: “Pete Smash!!”
We all knew H.G. Wells had to make one final appearance before the end. It’s always good to see Jaime Murray, even if it’s in a flashback to the glory days of Warehouse 12. An excellent way to start.
It’s not all unicorns and rainbows, however. Mrs. Frederic announces that the Warehouse’s time is ending and will be moved, thus inaugurating Warehouse 14. However, before that happens, everyone will impart the memory of their defining moment as an agent upon the Warehouse time capsule. I have to admit, from the moment Mrs. F mentioned that an agent’s defining moment was going to be showcased, I was worried a clip show was unfolding before me. Thankfully, that was not the case, because when you want a show to go out with a BANG!, a musical number is a pretty good place to start. Granted, it wasn’t in the vein of Scrubs or How I Met Your Mother, but it was definitely appropriate for W13. The entire team being forced to tap, spin, and jazz-hands their way through the Warehouse was a stroke of genius. Also, since it was a flashback, shouldn’t Pete’s hair have been his pre-season 5 ‘do? Details, details…
Also keeping in line with some of the series’ conventions, Artie drops one last bomb on the audience (and the characters), revealing that he has a son! It’s not as much of a throwaway as one might think since it was all for Claudia as she continued to wrestle with her destiny as Warehouse Caretaker. It allowed the pair to have one last heart-to-heart, and boy, was it a good one.
This particular roller coaster is just getting going, however. We kick things off with utter hilarity, bring it down for a beautiful character moment, and rev things right back up as Myka relives her defining moment where she found herself in the middle of an episode of what I’m calling Desperate House-Ninjas (coming this fall to FOX). There’s no context. Just roll with it. Back that up with an unexpected Mortal Kombat/Warehouse 13 remix, and it is very clear that this finale is going for broke. It also touches on the new Pete/Myka dynamic that has been brewing for a few weeks now. We got Pete’s perspective on this, but now we finally see Myka come to the realization as well. We’ll come back to this later…
The ninja anecdote kept the humor going, but it was followed by another emotional moment. As he rides his Segway down the aisles, as he has done many times before, Artie takes a moment and expresses his frustrations over the eventual relocation and re-staffing of the Warehouse. It’s a magnificent speech about how Artie has devoted his life to a seemingly thankless job and existence, and Saul Rubinek sells every word of it. It also turns into a moment of understanding between him and his lifelong companion as the Warehouse presents him with a single apple as a Thank You.
Still holding onto this particular roller coaster? Good, because we’re about to get silly again. We’ve seen defining moments from Claudia, Artie, and Myka, so now it’s Steve’s turn. Now, I’m a pretty big movie nerd, so I have to admit that when I saw Artie on an operating table with little red radar dishes around his head, I immediately thought Fantastic Voyage. There are times when I scare even myself. It’s also pretty clear that this segment received a good chunk of the episode’s budget since we get to see Claudia tolling around in a mini submarine and Steve floating inside Artie’s heart. It yields yet another powerful moment as Steve, who admits to always feeling like an outsider, remembers what that experience was like and what it did for him.
Meanwhile, Pete has refused to accept that his time at the Warehouse may come to an end and is determined to find a loophole that will keep the Warehouse in South Dakota. When Myka chases after him, it’s time to finally address the ginormous elephant that’s been stamping around the room since “Savage Seduction.” I know I expressed my frustrations about the sudden change in their relationship, but as I thought about it, those two crazy kids deserve to be happy. A romantic dynamic would not have worked throughout the series, but here, at the end, you can take it for what it is and know that even though the series will not continue, the lives of Pete Lattimer and Myka Bering will as they begin a new chapter of those lives together.
Up to this point, Mrs. Frederic has been showing Steve some of her own memories, including who Mr. Frederic was. Naturally, we don’t get to see any of this, thus preserving the perpetual mystery that is Irene Frederic. One memory, however, gets center stage as Mrs. F recalls how she met Leena. Like H.G., we all knew Leena had to make one last appearance, even if it was brief. If your eyes managed to stay dry during Artie’s speech, they probably weren’t after this. (And if they were, check your pulse.)
Speaking of dry eyes, when Myka finally convinces Pete to contribute his defining moment, we are treated to a dramatic and emotional montage of some of the greatest Warehouse 13 moments. This is the moment where any fan is 100% allowed to sob. Not helping the matter is Pete’s tearful speech about what the Warehouse did for him and how he doesn’t want to lose everything he’s gained in the last five years. Like Saul, Eddie McClintock pours out his heart and clearly uses his own tears over the end of the series to express what Pete is feeling as well. I plan to attend Wizard World Philadelphia in June, and Eddie will be a guest there. That man is getting the biggest hug.
The Warehouse’s time may eventually end and Warehouse 14 and a new team of agents will take over some day, but it is not this day. Pete, Myka, Artie, Claudia, and Steve get to keep chasing pings even after this hour of television ends. Like the end of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the Enterprise cruises off into the distance, but you know the mission continues.
Oh! We are not done! We get a glimpse of the future (“several decades later” according to the text) and see that Warehouse 13 is still in operation and the agent in charge is none other than series producer Jack Kenny. Whether it was intentional or not, it reminded me of J. Michael Straczynski’s appearance at the very end of Babylon 5. We also get to see that Claudia has, in fact, taken on the role of Caretaker and retained her youth. She also chose to go with a fairly questionable leather ensemble that had more zippers than it probably should have… It was also pretty amusing to hear Allison Scagliotti do her CCH Pounder impression. Don’t quit your day job, Allision. We are left with an exterior shot of the Warehouse and the voices of all the main characters once again reminding us that while the series is ending, this will always be a world of Endless Wonder.
Pete-ism: “Maybe my defining moment is all of it. Every minute that I got to spend with you guys. I’m sorry, Mrs. F. I was just scared. Scared that if I lost this, I’d go back to being the person I was before. But this is who I am now. The Warehouse and all of you – that made me a better man. If it ends tomorrow or if it goes on forever, nothing…nothing will ever change that.”