Warehouse 13: Season 2, Part 1

I was planning to do a single “season post-mortem” for the second season of Warehouse 13, similar to what I put together for Season 1. However, I’ve been jotting down my thoughts for each episode as the season airs and decided it might be better to do two half-season posts. This post covers the first six episodes of Season 2.

Overall, I’ve been enjoying Season 2 thus far. They haven’t really stepped up their game with the overall mythology arc or with the artifact-of-the-week plots, but they’ve expanded the Warehouse world a bit more and the team dynamic is really clicking. Most weeks, I love just spending an hour watching the characters bounce off each other, even if the artifact is somewhat lacking. The primary Warehouse team has really become a wonderful family unit. Artie’s the crotchety dad, Myka is the "responsible" and uptight older sister, and Pete and Claudia are the goofy and free-spirited younger siblings. I hope they stick with this dynamic, because I really enjoy the “close siblings" relationship that's formed between Myka and Pete. It would be more typical to go down the unresolved sexual tension route with the two leads, but I think their current vibe plays much better than a sad attempt at a romantic connection would (witness the disastrous attempt to give Claudia a love life).

As for the mythology arc, MacPherson was fun while he lasted, but I wasn’t sad to see him go. I’m intrigued by the introduction of H.G. Wells and think her steampunk aesthetic is a perfect fit for the show. I have no idea what she’s up to, but I’m curious to see where they go with it. Hopefully, they’ll bring her back into the story soon.

On to some thoughts on individual episodes …

Time Will Tell: This one was kind of a chaotic jumble for me. Too much jetting around from place to place and jumping from lead to lead. I found it a bit difficult to follow and was getting rather annoyed by the noisy title cards announcing each new destination. Plus, the ease with which everyone was able to get into and out of CERN was disturbing and not at all believable. I’m all for suspension of disbelief, but this was stretching it a bit far. I’m very perplexed about MacPherson’s endgame with H.G. Wells. Did he have some nefarious master plan, or did he just want a new artifact-hunting buddy? I do really like the twist that the renowned author is a woman, and I’m digging her steampunk toys. I look forward to this plot coming together in a more coherent way in the future.

Mild Mannered: I think no matter what they did with this episode, some part of me was going to love it because it reunited Sean Maher and Jewel Staite (Firefly). Seeing Simon and Kaylee together again was such a delight! I did end up enjoying the Iron Shadow plot, especially Pete’s excessive fanboy delight and Myka’s shiny form-fitting superhero getup. (Although I found it rather hilarious that Seymour and Loretta were so disturbed about the “recent” decline in the quality of their neighborhood. Did they just suddenly realize they live in Detroit? Hello!) It was also good to see the episode spend some time on the lingering consequences of MacPherson’s machinations for Claudia, Leena, and Artie.

Other Bits --- I really enjoy the quirky Claudia-speak; it tends to spice up any scene she’s in. “Irresistible force? Say Ni Hao, Immovable Object!” (I’m gonna start using this one in everyday conversation.)

I thought it was pretty obvious that Myka’s middle initial stood for ‘Ophelia.’ Her parents are literary after all.

Beyond Our Control: My primary reaction to this episode is that Pete and Myka talk over each other WAY too much and it drives me insane! Shut up, then speak one at a time, damn it! The bizarre movie projector artifact didn’t do much for me, but I enjoyed watching our four main characters tackle the problem together. Just a fun time. Looks like Pete and Claudia are getting love interests. I kind of like Todd, but the veterinarian is rather abrasive. The B-plot with Leena, Mrs. Frederic, Mark Sheppard, and The Pearl felt like filler. Did we really learn anything new about MacPherson’s plans? When is H.G. Wells going to make a return appearance?

Age Before Beauty: I really liked this one. The A- and B-plots were only loosely connected, but I liked the character interactions in both. Initially, I was rather put off by the “world of high fashion” setting, as it was fairly obvious that Myka would end up posing as a model. But I actually enjoyed where they went with it. I honestly had no idea what the artifact was or why it was being used until the reveal. Very clever use of the notion that a camera can capture your soul. The coda with the bad guy doing it to impress a model was a bit silly, but I liked that it turned out he was an old buddy of the camera’s creator (literally). My favorite parts of the episode were the Artie-Claudia “father figure” interactions, and Pete’s confidence boosting speech to Myka. Even though it struck me as patently ridiculous that a woman as gorgeous as Joanne Kelly wouldn’t know just how gorgeous she is, they still played the moment nicely and it was great to see that kind of partner-bonding beat. They’ve been going for the silly-playful beats lately, and I liked the change up.

Other Bits --- The running joke about Myka being fat was infuriating. This kind of thinking is exactly what leads to self-esteem issues and eating disorders! At least, she got to stand up for herself and tell everyone off. “I am not fat!”

13.1: I didn’t even think to jot down thoughts on this one until after the next episode had aired, so I guess I didn’t really care for it that much. I was particularly bothered by the excessive focus on Claudia’s romantic exploits. I love Claudia, but her ooey-gooey interactions with Todd and Fargo just made me roll my eyes or gag. That said, I did kind of enjoy the crossover concept, and the zoetrope was a pretty nifty artifact. It makes perfect sense to me that Eureka and Warehouse 13 would be part of the same ‘verse. And while I don’t believe they would send the head of Global Dynamics to do a network upgrade, I did love Fargo’s maintenance bots. I burst out laughing when they unexpectedly started shooting fire! I also really enjoyed seeing Rene Auberjonois. The hair and officious mustache for Hugo One were hilarious, and I loved Hugo's distress over his aged body after he was reintegrated. “What the hell is this?”

Around the Bend: Now, this one I liked. I always enjoy an episode that allows us to explore our characters in a more serious manner, and this one had some pretty strong material for Pete. I really had no clue what was happening to him until Myka and Artie figured it out. My husband and I suspected he was talking to himself at the cafĂ© because of the look on the waitress’s face, but we also thought maybe she was one of the Regents keeping tabs on him. I particularly liked the sequence when Myka thought Pete was drinking again and they all staged a mini intervention. Eddie McClintock was really strong in that scene. I had actually forgotten Pete is an alcoholic and was glad they mentioned it in the “previously on” intro. I also enjoyed the minor B-plot with Claudia’s distress over the “termination list.”

Other Bits --- I loved Myka’s exasperation with Pete’s museum behavior and her griping to Artie that it’s a victory if Pete doesn’t lick anything when on assignment. Pete’s reaction to the video footage of him making out with the air was pretty hilarious, too.

Tia Carrere is looking mighty fine these days. Anyone remember her as Wayne’s hot girlfriend Cassandra from Wayne’s World? She’s still got it.

Mark Sheppard got more to do this week, but I still feel like he’s not being used to his full snarky potential on this series.

That's all for now. Check back in for Part 2 after the season finale!

Jess Lynde is a highly engaged television viewer. Probably a bit too engaged.

7 comments:

Paul Kelly said...

Jess, glad to see you're still mostly positive about W13. It doesn't air over here until later in the year, but I've already read some bad reviews. I was afraid W13 was going to end up the next Sanctuary (which had a dismal second season, IMO). So I'm encouraged by your review. Thanks.

Jess Lynde said...

Well, maybe you shouldn't judge by me, Paul. I don't know that I enjoyed S2 of Sanctuary as much as S1, but I don't recall finding it dismal. However, I am revisiting the show now to do some shorter write-ups for the blog, so maybe through the process I *will* decide S2 was dismal.

Mark Greig said...

Have to agree with Paul about season 2 of Sanctuary. The opening two-parter was great but it was straight down hill after that. Fingers crossed though that season 3 is a return to form.

As for Warehouse 13, I haven’t been fully onboard with this season so far. I’m disappointed that the show hasn’t really took off, for me anyway. They seem contempt to play it safe, going through the same motions as the first season so not as to risk rocking the hugely successful boat. I was also sorry to see the Sheriff of Rottingham go. The team benefited from having a recurring nemesis as delightfully smarmy as MacPherson.

I’m probably alone on this one but Pete and Myka have been driving me up the wall this season. They seem to have become just the goof and the nag, at times squabbling like spoilt brats until daddy (Artie) steps in to tell them both off. I like Pete and Myka but I think they need to tone them down a smidgen, especially Pete who most of the time seems to be acting goofy simply for the sake of acting goofy.

Billie Doux said...

I don't watch Sanctuary, but I do watch WH13. And as I posted in some other thread, I think it's much better this season. Last season, I turned off a couple of episodes without finishing them. This season, I haven't, and I'm a lot more engaged.

Jess, you're right that the weakest part is the lack of arc and the artifacts. H.G. Wells from Dexter is a step in the right direction. And I particularly liked the scene in the model episode where Pete told Myka how beautiful she was. It was a really sweet moment between the two of them. Claudia has been a lot of fun this season, too.

And how can you beat a Firefly reunion? The only problem with that episode was that I wanted a lot more.

Mark Greig said...

They should really do an episode of Castle where all the suspects are Firefly alumni (Mark Sheppard can be the murder victim). And in an Orient Express-style twist it turns out they all did it.

padfootnmoony said...

I love Warehouse 13, it has become one of my favorite sci-fi shows currently airing! My favorite character has become Claudia Donovan throughout watching season 2.

Of course, nothing can top my love for Lost though :)

BTW, has anyone been watching Covert Affairs? It stars Christopher Graham, Piper Perabo, and Sendhil Ramathurthy from Heroes. First season currently airing on USA Network.

Patryk said...

I think W13 really took off when they stopped doing evil artifacts that control people plots and changed to evil people who control artifacts plots. Can't beat an evil mastermind when it comes to antagonists.

This 1st part of the season was fun. Watching the crossover episode after watching the 2nd part on Eureka turned out to not spoil anything. I'd prefer Fargo to Todd any day. ;)

Actually what I thought was the qeakesdt ep was the Firefly reunion. I usually don't like the eps that tie into superheroes. Especially when they have to invent a never-before seen superhero. A plot about someone trying to be spiderman or batman would be cooler. Of course stupid trademark laws spoil whatever they can. But it was great to see Simon and Kaylee.