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Warehouse 13: Emily Lake

... in which the Warehouse crew attempts to stay one step ahead of Walter Sykes, while ferreting out his master plan.

Son of a bitch. Well, they finally broke me. I’m not sure if I’ve ever really cried at Warehouse 13 before. They’ve certainly tugged at my heartstrings and moved me to the occasional tear or two, but I can’t remember ever being truly wrecked by an episode. Man, did they get me with this one. I had to take a break after the first hour of the finale so that I could jot down my notes and pull myself together. Sob.

I wasn’t prepared for this. Once upon a time, I thought Jinks likely wouldn’t last the season. But when I began suspecting he’d been fired so that he could go undercover, I thought for sure this twist would be the key to bringing him back home to his new Warehouse family when the threat was over. I stopped thinking he was in danger. Even after the big flashback scene in which he revealed all to Claudia and set things right with her, I didn’t see his death coming until the team pulled up outside the hangar and my husband said “Steve’s dead.” And I knew he was right. A sense of horrible dread started brewing in my stomach as Pete, Myka, and Claudia entered the hangar with guns drawn. Then I saw the look on Pete’s face as he backed towards the stairs, and the tears started welling up. And as he gently begged Claudia “Please get back to the car,” I lost it. My mind started screaming that same primal “NOOOO!” that Claudia howled as she discovered him, and I broke down sobbing. Not Jinks! Please, not Jinks.

My heart is absolutely breaking for Claudia. Like me, she thought it was all going to be okay. She thought that the reveal that Jinks was working undercover meant she would get her partner and her best friend back once they defeated the bad guy. But her happiness and certainty was torn away in a single heartbreaking moment. Sob. I can only hope that Jinks’s efforts are the key to saving the Warehouse, and that he was able to protect Claudia, even though he couldn’t save his sister. I don’t think I’ll be able to handle it, if this was all for nothing.

Even before that final emotional gut punch, this episode was really firing on all cylinders. We got the tense race for information between Sykes and the Warehouse team, the startling discovery of what the Regents had done to H.G., the shocking revelation that Marcus doesn’t stay dead for long, and some nifty new bits in the Warehouse mythos, plus lots of humorous beats along the way. All of which lead to the emotional sequence in the woods in which Pete and H.G. convinced Myka and Claudia that the Janus coin needed to be destroyed.

The debate over whether H.G. should be killed had some great moments for all involved, and at that point in the episode, felt like the emotional climax of the story. Initially, I sided 100 percent with Myka. “She has one of the greatest minds in history! It would be like burning down a library. With a friend trapped inside!” I hated the thought of losing H.G., and didn’t want Myka to lose her friend all over again. But Pete was absolutely right --- destroying the Janus coin and H.G.’s consciousness was their best move. Even though it quickly became obvious that Marcus and Jinks would arrive just in time to stop Pete, I was glad we still got the chance to see H.G. redeem herself once more by arguing Pete’s point and accepting her fate. “Myka, we have to think rationally and not emotionally. And quickly. Before I remember that I’m not this noble.” Her goodbyes to Claudia and Myka were moving, and the image of her looking to the sky and clutching her locket while Claudia shut her down, for what she thought was the last time, was very poignant. But I’m glad we haven’t lost H.G. quite yet. Especially after losing Steve.

Other Thoughts

In addition to revealing what the Regents did to H.G. and confirming that Jinks was working as a double agent, this episode had lots of interesting little tidbits. The bugs from the Van Gogh finally came back into play, and we learned that they were slowly hacking the network so that Sykes could determine where the Regents had stashed H.G. We learned that each Regent is selected for their area of expertise and unique perspective, and Jane was chosen for her insight into children. We learned that the Collodi bracelet doesn’t just corrupt your soul, it hardens your heart and makes you incapable of giving or receiving love. And we got tons of hints that Marcus is somehow undead. “You’re dead!” “You’re very perceptive.”

Pete: “Say hello to my little friend!”
The impression of Pacino just cracked me up.

Claudia: “I’ve known about the Pete cave forever. Who do you think keeps it stocked with cream soda?”
Pete: “Really? That was you?”

Myka: “You’re not gonna make me watch Porky’s again, are you?”
The thought of Myka watching that movie with Pete gave me a good chuckle.

Claudia trying to stonewall Artie was hilarious. I thought for a second she’d actually tricked him with the Fruit Combat ploy. But no. “Busted.” Tee hee!

The initial discovery of meek and helpless H.G. was very funny. I especially loved them peeking at her under the desk. And her consciousness’s later distress at what had become of her body was quite amusing.

H.G. (perturbed): “Living with a cat. In Wyoming.”
Pete: “Also, you have an American accent and a really girly scream.”

H.G. (still revolted): “But a cat?”
Pete (defending the cat): “Dickens is solid. Saved my bacon.”
H.G. (nonplussed): “Yes. I don’t know what that means.”

Given that he had almost no shot against Marcus, I was amused by Pete attempting to pull the “Man in Black vs. Fezzik” maneuver from The Princess Bride during their fight.

I definitely thought Marcus was a goner after that fall from the balcony. I was bummed that Sasha Roiz hadn’t gotten more to do on the show, so I was actually kind of happy to see him subsequently walk into the parking garage looking mostly unscathed. Surprised, but happy.

Artie: “Everyone has a choice! And as I’ve discovered, people often make the wrong one.”

Loved the Regent vault at the Valu-Mart. “Hidden in plain sight. That’s what they do.” Having to purchase a particular list of items --- related to Ancient Egyptian customs, no less! --- to access the vault was a nifty feature.

H.G.: “I regret I won’t be here to see you reach your destiny. It will surely be a glorious one.”
Claudia: “I don’t know about that.”
H.G.: “Then you’re the only one.”

I actually considered the possibility that Jinks shot Claudia. It seemed entirely possible that he’d shoot to wound her to keep Pete and Myka from pursuing him and Marcus.

The shot of H.G. seemingly in awe of getting to drink a glass of water again was a nice touch.

The song at the end was the Placebo cover of Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill.” (Correction: per Allison Scagliotti, the cover was by Track and Field.) Wikipedia tells me the Placebo cover was used in episodes of CSI, Bones, and several other series. I’m guessing I remember it from Bones and it left some vestige of sadness or heartbreak in my brain, because it was really the song underscoring the action that convinced me they were about to find Jinks dead. Just chock full of dread and loss.

Final Analysis: A powerful and devastating episode. Quite possibly the best of the season for me.

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

8 comments:

  1. Lovely review, Jess. I tend to think of W13 as being light on the drama and heavy on the chuckles; but tonight convinced me the show can do dramatic just fine. All the actors acted their little socks off tonight. I loved seeing Jamie Murray playing a more vulnerable character. We don't see it that often. I laughed out loud at Pete informing her that she possessed "a really girlie" scream and "lived with a cat". HG doesn't seem like a cat person at all.

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  2. I echo the lovely review remark!

    I had so much fin with Emily Lake! The idea of HG cowering under a desk?! Priceless!!!

    But then the moment Sykes told Jinks "I couldn't have done this without you" I was like "no... NOOOOOO!" I knew that was it. Will we ever know why? Did he know Jinks was playing him and let him believe himself to be safe? Bastard!

    Tears were definitely rolling down my cheeks. Poor Claud...

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  3. Allison Scagliotti tweeted that the version of 'Running up that Hill' used in this episode was not by Placebo, but by a band called Track & Field. Still a good version, though.

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  4. Thanks, guys! And thanks for the correction Mark. I'll update the review.

    Funny, I hesitated to say it was Placebo, because I listened to their version before I rewatched the episode, and I thought it sounded different. But it was close enough that I convinced myself it was a slightly different Placebo version. Especially since Wikipedia seemed to indicate the Placebo cover was used in the WH13 season finale. Curses! I should have known that if I said it was Placebo, it wouldn't be. :)

    Either way, I think it was a great choice for that final sequence. The shifting between the melancholy piano and the more pulsing, drum-heavy parts really helped drive the emotions as everything unspooled.

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  5. If it's any consolation, Jess, I did the exact same thing. I thought it was Placebo, too, re-listened to the Placebo version and thought... "Ah, slightly different, but, you know, that's TV for you; Queen's "A Kind of Magic" was a different version in Highlander, too" -- and went about my daily business." I blame the show for not telling us. Claudia should have looked directly into the camera during those final scenes (because an artefact was making her hyper-aware of the people watching at home) and said "I love this song by Track and Field, NOT Placebo."

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  6. It was THE BEST ep of the season, and also of the Series by now. Powerful. The show has matured. I'm very impressed.

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  7. Comments deleted, Deborah -- and I hope you put your nice comment on the finale review. :)

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  8. I can't even rewatch this episode without tearing up. Claudia's scream was so bone chilling good it gave me goose bumps it was the sound you would really expect someone to make, not a actor trying to live the part.

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