Warehouse 13: Queen for a Day

... in which Pete and Myka try to prevent a wayward Warehouse 2 artifact from destroying the wedding of Pete’s ex-wife. Meanwhile, Claudia and Jinks attempt to recover Ulysses S. Grant’s flask at a Civil War re-enactment.

I really enjoyed this episode. The artifact mayhem in both stories was largely played for laughs, but the character stuff surrounding all the hijinks was incredibly resonant and revelatory. Pete’s interactions with his ex and his later confession to Myka about why he kept his marriage a secret were the highlight of the episode for me. The first meeting between Pete and Amanda at the inn was particularly powerful. I loved the way it showed us that in many ways, the goofy, boyish Pete persona is his way of trying to bury the damaged, guilt-ridden man within. Pete often comes across like an over-the-top cartoon character, so it is a real pleasure to get these occasional reminders that he has an all-too-human side. He’s got a lot of pain and destructive behavior in his past, and while he largely tries to hide that shameful history from his new family, it is also what drives him to be the loyal and responsible partner and friend he is now. Even though it was painfully obvious he had kept his past with Amanda a secret because he was ashamed of who he was and the things he did back then, I’m glad we got to see him admitting as much to Myka, and giving her that additional bit of insight and understanding.

This episode also gave us some nice insight and understanding relative to our newest Warehouse agent. Jinks just keeps unfolding like a flower, and this week the writers did a much better job of revealing who he is than they’ve done in past weeks --- although they made me a little nervous, at first. The way Jinks was looking at Claudia in her Southern Belle getup, it initially appeared he was suddenly love struck, and I was rather perturbed by the whole thing. Seriously? You have her take down a perp in a girly outfit (which was awesome!) and all of a sudden he can’t resist her? Even though he’s supposedly gay? I know she’s fairly irresistible, but still. So I was pleasantly surprised when he instead revealed that Claudia very much reminds him of his beloved older sister, who was killed by a stray bullet when she was 20. Aaron Ashmore very effectively conveyed both the pain and the happy awe that Jinks was feeling in that moment, and I found myself welling up a bit as he looked at her with that strange mix of loss and wonder. It’s funny that they are setting up another brother-sister dynamic for the Warehouse crew, but the writers have generally done such a crappy job with the romance stuff (Artie and Dr. Vanessa, excluded) that I’m content to just roll with another sibling in the family.

Other Thoughts

As affecting as it was to see Pete taking responsibility for his past actions, and attempting to make amends to Amanda, it was also quite nice to see Amanda taking responsibility for her part in their failed marriage and trying to ease Pete’s burden somewhat.

I really loved the shot of Papa Artie looking on at Jinks opening up to Claudia with something like contentment and pride.

I know they kind of hammered the point into the ground, but Jinks is totally the Shirley in the Claudia & Steve show.

The Civil War re-enactment adventure nicely coincides with the sesquicentennial commemoration activities going on around the country this year.

I got a kick out of the bruised and battered wedding party just going forward with the wedding. Especially with Pete and Myka sitting among the guests trying to surreptitiously convince Amanda’s traumatized in-laws that the chaos was the result of ingesting some wild mushrooms. Ha!

Final Analysis: A very enjoyable episode with lots of solid character work. Plus, this is the first episode this season where the main artifact disaster was effectively tied to victims and a story they made us care about. Finally!

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

3 comments:

Jess Lynde said...

Programming note: I'll be away next week, so the review for the next episode will be about a week late and will likely be based on a single viewing.

Jess Lynde said...

Programming update: Reviews for the 8/8 and 8/15 episodes should be posted sometime later this week. Sorry for the delay!

Billie Doux said...

I liked the Star Trek reference at the reenactment, which I took to be a little homage to Jeri Ryan. I agree, Jess. Good episode.