Pete and Myka invade Stepford on this week’s episode of Warehouse 13!
As per usual, this week’s episode scatters the agents to the four winds. Pete and Myka are off to the ‘burbs to investigate a mysterious death. Artie and Claudia head to the Big Apple to check out some equally mysterious, though somewhat less sinister, graffiti, and Jinks and Abigail stay at home to flush out the Gooery in what seems to be necessary maintenance combined with some sort of hazing ritual. (Note: I’ve stopped calling Abigail “Pearl” in my notes. I think this means I’ve grown as a person.)
In Crown Heights, a high-end gated community, D.A. Chambers has suddenly dropped dead on his lawn. Autopsy reveals chemicals consistent with lethal injection in his system, but no signs of injection or ingestion. Pete and Myka’s investigation leads them all about the neighborhood, meeting several folks straight from the old Nick at Nite 50s sitcom lineup. The D.A. isn’t the only one affected. Just down the street, a housewife is found permanently attached to the computer guy that she’s having an affair with. Traumatizing, but at least less deadly. Our team is still mid-snoop when the friendly neighborhood security guard, Rex, spontaneously combusts into green flames. Pete and Myka put him out in time, but he’s still massively injured. A look into his background shows that his condo had recently burned down thanks to boric acid in the power outlets. Boric acid, by the way, burns green. Connection!
Further investigation shows that all three of the victims were on the HOA board. Also on the board is the next victim, an old Army vet who starts coughing up poison gas. He confesses to Pete and Myka about an operation gone wrong in Kuwait in which his unit ended up gassing an entire village. Surprisingly, once the Colonel confesses, his symptoms disappear.
All of the victims have one other connection: a batch of homemade cookies from Mrs. Malloy, local busybody and widow of the founder of Crown Heights. She’s taking revenge on the board members who denied her motion to erect a bust of her late husband by baking with salt taken from a salt mask from Sodom and Gomorrah. Of course, the board members aren’t the only ones who have had a few bites of the sinfully good cookies. Pete finds himself sprawled on the lawn with two broken legs. Myka manages to bag the mask and convince Pete that confessing the related sin (murder for the D.A., adultery for the couple, and the gassing for the Colonel) will negate the Artifact’s effect. He tells her of an accident he caused by drunk-driving, the lowest point in his alcoholism. Pete’s legs heal and the partnership grows just a little deeper for the sharing.
Meanwhile, in New York, Artie and Claudia have found the graffiti artist, a 15-year-old homeless kid. He’s scribbling complex math and programming code onto any available surface, all while in a glowing trance state. It’s a neat trick, but he can’t control it and the subsequent seizures are killing him. Bagging all of his worldly goods is unhelpful, making it apparent that Nick isn’t the one using the Artifact. Artie and Claudia are able to trace the equations to a quant at a nearby investment firm who’s using Nick’s brainpower to fuel his own career thanks to Orville Wright’s Aviator Goggles. Artie snags the goggles while Claud bonds with the kid, finally getting him to agree to come back to South Dakota until they can get him on his feet. Nick is welcomed into the family, but he has another agenda. It looks like he might be the person Charlotte texted about targeting Claudia.
Back at the Warehouse, since Artie and Claudia have both taken their turns on Abigail’s unofficial couch, now it’s Steve’s turn. He volunteers to stay behind for neutralizer flushing duty rather than heading to NYC with Claudia. The work itself goes without a hitch (for once), which gives Team Newbie a chance to bond over their respective places in the Warehouse. Steve is worried about finding a place to belong now that he’s given up most of his ties to the outside world, while Abigail confesses that both her previous occupation and her photography hobby have been ways to avoid getting entangled with the world around her. Both agree that the Warehouse and its inhabitants are their new attachments and agree to start sharing more, Abigail by bringing in some of her photography, and Jinksie by sharing his love of cooking.
Finally, in what seems like a throwaway plotline, it’s time for everyone’s annual physical. Steve isn’t particularly looking forward to it, and Pete’s acting a little weird after his. As it turns out, his testosterone is a little low, but still within normal limits. Pete spends way too much time trying to act somewhat hyper-macho until Myka is able to assure him that only a real man would have taken responsibility for his actions and turned his life around the way Pete has. Then it’s time for Myka’s perfectly normal, utterly routine physical, which ends up being neither normal nor routine. We’re left as stunned as she is by the revelation that Myka has ovarian cancer.
I loved this episode a lot. It went many fantastic places as far as character development goes. I’ll get into all of that in a second, but I have to write my most visceral reaction to the episode first. To quote my Facebook status immediately after I watched this one, “You leave my Myka alone, you mean writer people with your sad-piano end credits music!” Seriously, guys. That one just hurt. Talk about being blindsided on some idle Tuesday (or Monday, in our case). I very much hope that is something we’ll be dealing with for the rest of the season, as short as that may be.
As for the rest of the episode, that was just lovely. Claudia growing from mentee to mentor, Pete confronting a major part of his past, Steve and Abigail facing their fears of becoming part of the Warehouse family. This was just a fantastic character episode. Don’t misunderstand me. I love Warehouse 13‘s wacky Artifact episodes, but I feel like the “family you choose” has always been at the heart of this series, and this episode really ran with that. Final grade: A for both awesome and agony.
Pete: “Gated communities – for when you really miss boot camp.”
Steve: “We’re a bunch of lonely misfit toys that the Warehouse collects.”
Things to Ponder:
- Vanessa’s the super-amazing Warehouse doc. She can totally take care of Myka’s illness, right? RIGHT??
- I wonder how much truth there is in Steve’s quote about the Warehouse. Do you think that being a “misfit toy” is part of what makes someone fit to be a Warehouse agent?
- Artifact Rundown: Joseph Stalin’s Sleep Mask, Christopher Columbus’s Brooch, Sir Isaac Newton’s Cravat, Orville Wright’s Aviator Goggles, Sodom and Gomorrah Salt Mask