Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Idiot Box: Warehouse 13 4x13 - “The Big Snag” Review

Last week, I mentioned my sort of love hate relationship with this show, how as much as I enjoy the project overall, individual week to week episodes can sometimes be dragged down under the weight of boring filler that gets in the way of what I find interesting about the series. I recognize that it isn't entirely fair to come to like one piece of a multifaceted show and then criticize it for not emphasizing that piece over the other stuff I don't care about, but being a fan with a daily review blog, I can't not see and talk about the show from that frame of reference. This weeks episode is once again illustrative of my back and forth regard for Warehouse 13.

Well, for once I liked the Pete and Myka A story better than the B plot, but that's only because the B plot was barely present to like, and as much as it didn't add anything to the storyline I'm actually interested in, the noir parody stuff was mostly funny. Its just that, I don't know, if you're going to go with the cable model of shorter seasons, it seems like you could do a lot more to jam pack them with important stuff. Most sci fi/fantasy shows on major networks with the typical 22+ episode count often need a few filler episodes in there, but with a show like Warehouse 13 where we're limited to 10 or 12, getting to the freaking point is a bit imperative.

The Big Snag follows Pete and Myka trapped in an unfinished hard boiled detective novel, forced to play the roles of a gumshoe and his gal friday and solve the case of a missing artifact or be trapped in black and white limbo forever. It's the kind of cute meta excursion the show is usually very good at, and provides a lot of opportunities for silly banter between the two leads that I gather a lot of fans really like, but for me, it all just comes across as a bit of a waste. More than that, the extended focus required to set up the gimmick leaves the usually much better side stories with less time to develop.

So...are we gonna get any more with that immortal lady or James Marsters? Nope. I know its only the third episode, but technically that encompasses the first 30% of this whole season, and we still haven't seen any indication of the main story progressing. And it wouldn't be so bad if the whole Artie car stealing subplot had a little more substance to it. When you only have so much time to get something meaningful going in an episode that is otherwise a kitchy genre pastiche, why waste it on magic gloves and reiterating the point that Artie's got anger issues?

Even so, the show does what its trying to do here very well, even if I think the endeavor is a bit superfluous at this point. We've had enough episodes like this in the past, and ever since the start of this season with the destruction of the Warehouse, Jinx's brief undead stint, Evil Artie, dead Leena, and the overall much darker tone this show has taken (that I have loved), I just don't think we needed another one, especially when we haven't even really gotten into the main story for this second half yet. Then again, if only based on how I sound to myself reading this back, I'm probably just being a dick about it, so if you're a fan, you'll most likely have no problem. 

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