Warehouse 13: 3... 2... 1

... in which some familiar faces return to help solve a mystery spanning a century.

Oh boy. I was pretty excited when I saw that H.G. Wells would be back this week, but ‘3… 2… 1’ in no way lived up to my expectations. Actually, aside from a few select moments that built off past history and relationships, I found this episode bloody awful. Not even the absolutely hilarious moment in which Pete licked the nacho cheese off the Farnsworth and Artie and Claudia recoiled in abject horror and disgust could save this one.

Where to even begin? Maybe with the good stuff. As noted, I laughed pretty hard at the cheese-licking scene, so that was a winner. I also quite liked the few moments in which Pete, Myka, and H.G. got to work through lingering resentments, disappointments, and past mistakes. It was good to see that while Pete and Myka have mostly made amends following her decision to leave, that wound is not completely healed, and it will take time for them to completely get past it. The emotional damage inflicted by H.G.’s betrayal and Myka’s abandonment was extensive and should take awhile to repair. I also quite liked H.G. taking a step toward true redemption by using her “lessons learned” to stop Crazy Daniel from killing a whole stadium full of people in a sad and misguided attempt to get retribution for his father’s death. Her subsequently recognizing that she threw away a chance at new happiness when she betrayed the Warehouse 13 crew, and attempting to apologize to Myka for her mistakes, was a very nice moment and a much needed one, if they are trying to leave the door open for her to return to the fold some day.

Unfortunately, these few moments took up precious little time in the hour, leaving us with stilted dialogue, odd editing, and generally flat story-telling for the remainder. The flashbacks to 1893 were particularly awful, with very forced banter, cardboard characters, cartoon villains, and a crazy editing style that called far too much attention to itself. If these segments were supposed to function as some kind of backdoor pilot for the rumored H.G. Wells spinoff, they did a truly terrible job of presenting a show that I’d want to watch. The concept sounds a lot better on paper than it appeared in the execution here, and I hope that, if they take the series any further in the development process, they seriously overhaul the thing. Jaime Murray as H.G. and the steampunk touches are really the only elements that worked for me.

I was also quite irritated that they brought back the charming Jack and Rebecca from Season 1’s ‘Burnout’ and Season 2’s ‘Where and When’ and then completely failed to do anything remotely interesting with them. These are characters that I was already invested in, especially in the potency of their doomed romance, and here they had zero chemistry. All their canoodling and flirting fell completely flat. (Seriously. There was more romantic tension in that “we had a good thing, huh?” moment between Myka and H.G.!) I don’t know whether to blame the actors or the writing, but they managed to take a tertiary part of the show I quite liked and ruin it. Sigh. Better luck next time?

Other Thoughts

It was great to have present day H.G. around, but I missed Jinks.

Who didn’t realize that the crazy dude with the satellite dish was the adult version of the little boy in the space helmet the minute Rebecca started talking to him?

Yea, Pittsburgh! With “made for t.v.” inaccuracies! Although located on the Allegheny River, the Pirates ballpark is called PNC Park, not Allegheny Field.

Final Analysis: The first clunker of the season and probably one of the weakest episodes of the entire series for me. Very disappointing.

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

8 comments:

Mark Greig said...

I actually really liked this episode. It was great to see HG again and the the 1890s segment was fun, although the shaky-cam and knock off Hans Zimmer score were annoying. All in all, not a great episode but still enjoyable.

Jess Lynde said...

Thanks for commenting, Mark. I was curious to hear why others thought the episode worked, because it seems my husband and I are the only ones who actively disliked it.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you didn't mention the best part of this episode--Ianto!!!!! Gareth David Lloyd was rockin' some awesome threads yet again on my TV. I was too busy squeeing to bother with the rest of this uneven episode. BTW, how does a rocket launched in the 1890's not burn up on reentry?

Ellen said...

Hear ya!

The fact Gareth David-Lloyd was in it was actually the reason I watched this episode. I had not seen Warehouse 13 before so I cant really say anything in context to the series in general but despite some weaknesses I quite liked that episode - particularly the 1890 flashbacks you disliked so much. ;-)

Jess Lynde said...

Okay, this may come as shock to some readers, but I don't watch Doctor Who or Torchwood. I'm only vaguely aware of the particulars of those shows. So while I'm aware of a character named Ianto, I couldn't pick him out of a line-up. Which is why I didn't mention him. Sorry!

Perhaps if I did know Gareth David-Lloyd as Ianto, it would have tempered some of my dislike for the 1893 flashback stuff!

Billie Doux said...

I'm behind with Warehouse 13 and am catching up on On Demand. The fact that Gareth David-Lloyd is in this one just made catching up even more appealing.

Billie Doux said...

And now I've caught up, and I actually rather liked this one. I like H.G. but I don't love her. If they were able to add our Ianto to the cast of the proposed spinoff somehow (although I don't know how they'd retrieve him from 1893), I might actually be more interested in the possibility.

The cheese moment made me gag. :)

Jess Lynde said...

I think the proposed spinoff is supposed to be set in the 1893 era. So we can see H.G. at her steampunk heights, doing her Sherlock Holmes-style investigations as a Warehouse agent with Wolcott as her Watson. So no worries on how they'd include your Ianto in the cast!