Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Idiot Box: Warehouse 13 4x11 - "The Living And The Dead" Review

When we left off with Warehouse 13 last year, one of our crew was murdered, an ancient disease was flying off to infect the world, and a schizophrenically evil Artie was dying with a knife wound in his chest. Now we're back, with a convenient artifact-y explanation for why a guy who should be dead is just in a coma, a crazy trip into the mind of no-longer madness, and a mad dash across the world and under the streets of France to put the genie back in the bottle before MSNBC gets the first reports of everyone being dead. Yeah, I still kinda like this show.

Though we are technically still in season four, for all intents and purposes, this might as well be the start of a new season, as I don't think we'll be seeing Brent Spiner or his Vatican artifact hunters again anytime soon, and this is very clearly the first chapter in a new self-contained arc. We get two storylines to bounce between, one with a lot of potential that feels somewhat wasted by the end, and another setting up what could be a very good set up of recurring villains if they manage to follow through with it. This is one of those shows that has really yet to dip in quality, at least consistently, so I have no reason to think the elements introduced here won't pay off just as much as in previous years.

First up, Pete and Myka go off to find an artifact to fix the world ending calamity, not once stopping to think about how well that turned out last time with the whole Jekyll and Hyde murderer thing. Eventually they settle on a magic ring, but in order to find it they must recruit an expert on the historical con man who owned it, only to find that this expert is actually the man himself, a wacky immortal out to reclaim the artifacts associated with him. Any time James Marsters shows up in anything I'm on board, especially when he's an antagonist (he's the whole reason I got into Smallville and Torchwood, one of which I don't regret), so I'm definitely looking forward to what he brings to this series, even if the foreboding clang at the end was a bit underwhelming.

I found myself enjoying the B plot even more, as is often the case with this show considering the second story is usually the one with Claudia and Jinx, who I enjoy a lot more than the two main leads. This time around they team up to venture into Artie's mind to wake him out of his coma, but find that he's naturally reluctant to leave, not wanting to face the world after what he did while he was evil. Artie's always been the emotional core of this show, and the one guy who can always lend legitimacy to the more serious moments I seek out amid the goofy lighthearted fare, so its good to see them giving him a nice character piece to chew on and get us all re-aligned to the character after the sudden personality change last season. Even so, I think they wasted an opportunity here for some revelations, traveling around in the mind of a guy with so many secrets without actually getting any hints to any of them.

Overall, this was a pretty good start for the next batch of episodes, maybe not quite as epic as the last one (as if it could have topped time travel and Brent Spiner), but still intriguing enough to keep me coming. I'm already much more interested in Marster's sneaky immortal con man than I am the woman chasing him, and more than I ever was with the wheelchair riding Anthony Michael Hall from last season for that matter. I really like the idea of the actual people responsible for making these artifacts famous still being alive and reclaiming them, as this was always the draw to the H.G. Wells storyline, but will probably be dropped now that she's moved on to Defiance. Oh right, I still have to write that review. Damn, I shouldn't have committed to two shows airing on the same night.

See you next week.

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