Warehouse 13: No Pain, No Gain

... in which Pete and Myka investigate a hockey player with the seeming ability to instantly recover from injuries. Meanwhile, Artie and Jinks identify and track artifacts that have gone missing from the Warehouse, and Claudia joins Mrs. Frederic for lunch.

I’m not even sure I can fully enumerate the ways in which I found this episode painfully awful. So much cheesy, goofy badness. Particularly in the Myka and Pete storyline. We had bizzaro hockey. We had horrific attempts at romantic comedy. We had the awful instant pregnancy trope. We veered somehow into wacky Misery territory. And we ended on what might be yet another attempt to suggest a romantic future for Pete and Myka. Arrrrgh!!!

I seriously hope that’s not what they were going for with that final shot. Because Pete and Myka are wonderful professional partners and very good friends, and I’d hate to see their relationship get mucked up by these writers trying to take it in a romantic direction. As we’ve seen time and time again, they really suck at romance on this show. I’m hoping that they were instead just dropping pretty heavy hints that Pete’s biological clock is ticking, and that he’d really like to find his life partner. It’s the family he wants, not Myka. (She just happened to be person sharing his insane life when he started longing for kids.)

I really don’t care for the instant pregnancy plot and all the dumb jokes that come with it, but I actually wouldn’t mind exploring the root cause for this misadventure a little further. How does a Warehouse agent build a functional family life? Jane chose to quit when she wanted to start her family, and it seems that her later return to the Regents didn’t make for an easy home life for her kids (especially after losing their dad). Can Pete really balance a family with life as a Warehouse agent? Or will he have to sacrifice one for the other?

Fortunately, this episode had a few good bits to somewhat make up for the excessive groaning and eye rolling through the bulk of it. As noted above, I did rather like the reveal that Pete was responsible for accidentally wishing the pregnancy on Myka, and, to my deep embarrassment, his one-note attempts to play the sassy best friend in her sorry romantic comedy made me laugh. On other fronts, I was happy to see Artie and Jinks revealing some truths to each other and advancing the ongoing arc a bit. And I really liked the brief moments with Mrs. Frederic giving Claudia a taste of what’s in store for her as future caretaker of the Warehouse. Seeing the birth of an artifact was rather cool, and the bittersweet closing scene with Mrs. Frederic and her grandson was very well timed. Claudia certainly needs to come to terms with the fact that, in this line of work, she’s going to lose people she cares about. “Not all wonder is endless, Claudia.” The sooner she accepts this reality, the sooner she can learn to start letting go. (Maybe that’s where this business with Artie’s vision is headed, and the Jinks and astrolabe stories will converge down the line.)

Other Thoughts

Speaking of Artie’s Vision --- good lord, are they going to make us watch that snippet with Claudia stabbing him every week? We get it! Saul Rubinek is a talented actor, and the look on his face is enough to tell us what Artie is thinking. We don’t need to see the campy horror movie moment each episode. Sheesh.

This week’s Stargate refugee is Mike Dopud, who played Varro on SGU and did guest roles as different characters on SGA and SG-1. He’s also appeared in countless other genre shows over the years, including Smallville, Battlestar Galactica, Supernatural, Caprica, and most recently Continuum (here’s hoping they bring that stateside soon --- I’ve heard good things about it).

The hubby and I are hockey fans, so various parts of the hockey story really niggled at me. Certainly, the announcers in Artie’s video suggesting that a broken arm was a career-ending injury started things off on a very sour note. (A season-ending injury maybe, but career? Only if Mike was planning to retire at the end of the season.) And I couldn’t quite figure out if Mike was supposed to be playing for a fake NHL team or a minor league affiliate. They worked that establishing shot of the “Hershey Centre” to death, but that arena isn’t home to any pro hockey teams, so I felt mildly confused/irritated throughout.

Plus, I didn’t understand why Pete and Myka had jurisdiction in the Toronto area. They claimed they were sent by “the League,” but would the NHL have the authority to send in American government agents to investigate in Canada? My husband says they might, if there were concerns about what the players or staff might be bringing into the U.S. So the potential presence of performance-enhancing drugs could maybe be grounds to send in American agents. Seems like a stretch to me. Maybe they were just pretending to be Canadian authorities. (Of course, if the episode had been better, I’m guessing I wouldn’t have given the issue this much thought.)

More awfulness: Artie and Jinks shilling for Toyota. I prefer subtlety or cleverness in my product placement. This had neither.

The Hatfield and McCoy rifles being able to find each other was rather fun. And Jinks wrestling with the rifle outside the “cow with lipstick” warehouse made me chuckle.

I also kind of enjoyed Myka’s exuberant “I got my body back!” dance. It’s always nice to see her let loose a little.

Final Analysis: Some aspects were intriguing, but these didn’t really compensate for the largely painful whole. Stop trying to do romance already! Because hanging a lampshade on how bad it is doesn’t make it more pleasant to watch.

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

6 comments:

CrazyCris said...

Oooh! Continuum! I do hope it crosses over to the US, I loved it! Am impatient to hear if it gets a 2nd season!

You can tell I wasn't too impressed by this episode either since my first reaction to this post was about another show... :p

I really, really, hope they aren't jumping down the Pete&Myka rabbit hole again! :o(

Loved learing a bit more about Mrs F though! ;o)

Matthew L said...

I remember reading a spoiler? before the season began where Myka talked about the writers revisiting the possibility of romance between Myka and Pete this season.

When I read that, I was like the minions in Despicable Me..."What??!!" :)

Myka and Pete as a couple might have worked in the first season but by this time, I just can't see it. They're best friends who have each other backs and have more of an older sister/younger brother vibe more than anything. She's the serious one who's methodical and he's the fun one flying by the seat of his pants.

As a couple, just can't see it. And what does it say about this season when once again I was more interested in the little side stories than what was happening in the main storyline. :)

celticmarc said...

a) Quoting you : Arrrrgh!!!

Yup. I've commented a while ago that these 2 are perfect for BROTHERLY love. That's it. No shipping here ! (Sawyer, your input please : SOB !!!!) (thank you)

a2) I did enjoy the humour moments between Pete and Myka, BEFORE the pregnancy.

b) I really L-O-V-E-D the moments between Claudia and Miss F. Claudia is growing up magnificently on this show. Of all the characters, this one IS the best example of character growth.

b2) More nice moments between Claudia and Artie. The plush bear scene. Aww. (I'll understand if you roll your eyes) (or not)

c) Quoting you, again : Sheesh.

Ditto LOL. Dear Scyfy, you have bright people watching you, thank you. Eyes rolling.

d) I am willing to close my eyes on the more negative elements of this ep, because....of what I've seen so far, this is the "best" ep of this season...so far

Katie Hart - Freelance Writer said...

Yes, please no romance! Does Warehouse 13 have a different showrunner this season? Because they went out of their way several times before to let the audience know there wasn't going to be anything between Pete and Myka.

Did anyone else notice the double Psych guest stars? Kirsten Nelson (Chief Vick) and Timothy Omundson (Lassiter) were both in this episode.

Jess Lynde said...

Thanks for the comments, all! (And welcome to our newest site contributor, Katie!) Always nice to know I've got good company in the "no romance for Pete and Myka" department.

It's funny, I always think of Timothy Omundson as Brom Garrett from Deadwood or as Sean Potter from Judging Amy. I haven't seen his more recent work. I actually started re-watching Deadwood last night and was rather shocked at how different Mr. Omundson looked from his appearance in this episode of WH13. 2004 just doesn't seem all that long ago. And yet his IMDB page has so much work between then and now, including 95 episodes of Psych! Where does the time go?

Anonymous said...

I also don't want any pete/myka romance..They seem better as friends..This show doesn't have a good track record with romance..except artie and vanessa.
and please no more of that vision with claudia stabbing artie..
Anna