Pete and Myka are trapped in a hard-boiled crime novel on this week’s episode of Warehouse 13!
Our primary agents are wrapped up in the day-to-day running of the Warehouse, this time using Vyasa’s Elephant to catch balls of static electricity bouncing here and there and everywhere. They get overwhelmed by a swarm, and the power slams into one of the books on the shelf, freeing blank manuscript pages and landing Pete and Myka right in the middle of a black and white Chicago around the 1940s. The pages have made the trip as well, telling them that they’re in Kiss Me, Forever, a detective novel by one of Myka’s favorite authors, Anthony Bishop.
A blonde dame with gams all the way to the floor show’s up at the “office,” calling herself Rebecca Carson and looking for her husband, who just happens to be holding Vyasa’s Elephant in Mrs. Carson’s picture. Pete and Myka also end up getting hired by the owner of the Indigo Club, Caspian Barnabas, to find the very same gentleman. Their sleuthing leads them to the KristieAnne hotel, where they find Mr. Carson dead and a shadowy figure running away, elephant in hand. When they go to Carson’s home to give his wife the bad news, there’s another shock in store: Rebecca Carson is an angry brunette woman. She tells them the sordid tale of how her husband ran off with a bottle-blonde hussy from the Indigo Club a few months back.
Pete and Myka head back to the Indigo Club and check out the faux Mrs. Carson, a torch singer named Lilly Abbott. She tells her sad tale of being a country girl in the big city, in over her head with Barnabas. She tailed Carson because Barnabas told her to, but she’s in love with someone else. That someone else happens to be a shady-looking bartender at the club. He sends a note to Pete and Myka, asking to meet in the alley outside the club. As it turns out, he’s not just the bartender, he’s Anthony Bishop himself. Pete and Myka know that the only way to get out of the book is to finish the story, but Bishop doesn’t want the story finished. When he’s here, he can be with Lilly, who is based on his much-beloved late wife.
When the duo get back to the club, they learn that Barnabas has gone to the 4th Street Bridge to buy the Elephant off of the shadowy figure. It didn’t end so well for him, and his killer (and Carson’s) is still there: the jilted Mrs. Carson. Pete almost dies from a zap from the Elephant, but Myka is able to revive him and they chase Mrs. Carson to the club where Bishop and Lilly are planning to make their escape to Bora Bora. Myka takes out Mrs. Carson in the shootout that Bishop’s novels are known for, ending the story. Pete and Myka make their way back to the Warehouse by way of the late-night fog, leaving Lilly and Bishop together, but not knowing if they’ll cease to exist now that the story is over. Back in the Warehouse, the blank manuscript pages are now filled, including the happy ending that shows Bishop and Lilly resting on the sands of Bora Bora.
Meanwhile, back in the land of Color, Artie’s been haunting the B&B for days now, always playing the song he composed for Leena. Claudia and Jinks manage to get him out into the field by finding a ping dealing with disappearing classic cars. They track one of the cars to a somewhat shady dealer who “has a guy.” There’s no way to track said guy, so the group comes up with another plan: they’re going to use Artie’s precious Scarlett as bait.
They’re still modifying a tracking system when the thief makes his appearance. Rather than trust to a half-broken tracker, Claud hops into Scarlett’s trunk when the thief comes for the car. Artie steps out in front of his speeding Scarlett, only to have it pass right through him and through the wall of the parking garage. When Claudia makes it out of the trunk, she finds that the thief is none other than the particularly pushy salesgirl from the dealership. She’s using a pair of gloves that make the cars temporarily untouchable. In the ensuing fight, Claudia manages to grab one of the gloves, while the saleswoman makes off with the other. Artie grabs the remaining glove and hops into another car to give chase.
The problem with those gloves is that since Carey Loftin, the stuntman who “created” the gloves, was known as the “One Take Wonder,” the untouchable trick only works once per glove. Both Artie and the thief are having a full-on car chase in what are now ordinary, eminently crashable cars. Artie goads the thief into a game of Chicken, which he ultimately wins, saving the cars and bagging both gloves.
All seems well enough, but Claudia and Jinks are worried about Artie’s reckless behavior in the field. Claud passes it off as snags from his first field mission in a while, but Jinks isn’t so sure. He goes to Kosan with his concerns, as the Regent had asked him to keep an eye on Artie. Kosan says that now the Regents are going to “take care” of it, and the less Jinks knows, the better it will be for Artie.
So I keep a list of favorite episodes of shows that I go through when I’m sick, just because they make me feel better: “Shindig” on Firefly, “The Empty Child” and “The Doctor Dances” on Doctor Who, “Qpid” on Star Trek: The Next Generation (note I said “favorite,” not “best”). This episode is definitely going on my Sick Day list. I loved the hell out of this one. Mad props to Joanne Kelly for being able to solidly play Myka’s desperate attempts to keep her giddiness under wraps. It was great to see Mykes being the one to really geek out over an Artifact.
The B plot did feel a little jarring this episode, for a number of reasons. The obvious one is the color transition, but given the nature of the episode, mentioning that one is a bit silly. The issue, and I’ll grant that it was only the tiniest of flaws, was the drastic change in tone. Even though Pete and Myka are solving a murder mystery, they’re obviously having a ball doing it, and the audience is having a grand time with them. When we’re dropped back into the B story, there’s almost this feeling of guilt for having had so much fun while Jinks and Claudia are dealing with Artie’s oncoming breakdown. The stories didn’t really jive with each other this week, but they were both amazing to watch on their own.
Updating the Sick Day List as we speak. See you all next week!
Best Quotes (I’m passing on all the noir quotes, just because there were too many):
Myka: “No, it’s not time travel. The 1940s were in color, much like the rest of history.”
Artie: “Does your insurance cover ‘Act of Ray Gun’?”
Things to Ponder:
- Looks like the Regents are stepping in soon. Think they’re going to give Artie some Artifact Anti-depressants?
- Anyone else catch the Raymond St. James reference?
- Artifact Rundown: Vyasa’s Elephant, Anthony Bishop’s Manuscript, Carey Loftin’s Gloves