[photos: Steve Wilkie/Syfy]
There’s an interesting polar opposite going on in this episode, as we explore the relationships between Artie and Vanessa while at the same time getting a glimpse into the new dynamic between Steve and Claudia.
And at the center of is all is the mysterious Brother
Data Adrian, who seems to be pulling a lot of strings even though he’s not in the episode.
HERE BE SPOILERS!
The opening scene is just fun, with Artie worrying and fussing over his new jacket and the team giving him the business because he’s got a girlfriend now. Lots of “oooOOOOOoohh….”-ing going on. The only problem I have with the whole setup is that we haven’t seen any of these monthly little get-togethers between these two, so the fact that they’re in a relationship feels really out of left field.
But it’s Warehouse 13, so I’ll play ball. And it gives the dog something to do for this episode…
Steve is still trying to get detached from the metronome, and it’s harshing on Claudia’s mellow because Jinxy isn’t his old self. But you know, I don’t think I’d be my old self either if I was a reanimated corpse…
Artie suggests that Steve get Claudia to help him find a way to get off the metronome before something happens and she finds out anyway. Steve has got to tell her what’s going on.
In a thrift shop in Rapid City, South Dakota (near the warehouse, remember): a very modest young lady wearing a sweater and pearls (oy) is helping the local priest organize the shop. We see where this is going, right? She goes to the back store room, where a big fancy mirror awaits. Through her own Alice-like tendencies (pushing the button on the camera after reading the note that says “push button” – very much a shout-out to the original story), this young lady suddenly starts acting very un-ladylike. Batting her eyes at the priest, and basically going Street Corner Barbie on him before leaving the shop to find someplace called “le étoile” – French for “star”….
… and also the name of the restaurant where Artie and Vanessa are having their date.
Meanwhile, Pete and Myka have figured out the big fancy mirror – now in pieces on the floor – is Lewis Carroll’s mirror, which is supposed to already be in lockup at the warehouse. So these two are about to be dragged into the mystery of Artie’s Missing Artifacts the hard way as well, and Artie’s eventually going to have to come clean on this, or the whole thing’s going to blow up in his face. It may anyway.
The rest of the episode is chasing Alice Liddell around as she jumps from body to body – using a shard of the looking glass – to get close enough to Artie to kill him. And she very nearly succeeds in doing so, even managing to take over Claudia and Vanessa each in turn as she gets close to her goal.
There is also a nice bit of world-building in this episode, as it’s revealed that Alice in Wonderland was written as a guide to capture Alice if she ever escaped from the mirror, with clues scattered throughout the book (actually written by Warehouse agents). It’s a bit of a nod to the National Treasure type of stories, and it makes me curious to see an episode play with this more. What other books out there could be similar Warehouse-scribed secret society manuals?
It’s also nice to see Lindsay Wagner get something to do besides talk in a scene. The fact that she gets to be on location, and be the love interest, and have a fight scene, and get possessed by a demon (well… you know) all in one episode was fun to watch. Because come on… it’s Lindsay Wagner. She needs this kind of stuff all the time. (I’m still irritated about Dee Wallace, guys.)
She even gets to play the jilted lover, as Artie realizes that this whole curse he’s brought on himself is going to put her smack dab in the middle of Danger Town, and he just doesn’t want to do that to her. Despite the fact that she’s a warehouse agent herself and is fully aware of the risks that come with the job. As Pete pointed out to Myka last week, where will a warehouse agent find a solid meaningful relationship with someone outside this crazy circle of life they’re all in?
Artie has now deflected attention from pretty much everyone, and they’ve all had a chance to compare notes after this incident. So now you have Pete the Intuitive, Myka the Brain, Steve the Lie Detector, and Claudia the Hacker all aware that Artie the Grump is hiding something – and it’s a very big something. So now that the entire team is on board the mystery train, where will it lead?
And what’s Leena’s angle in all this? After the entire “Leena’s the mole” story arc, it’s highly unlikely they’d make her the patsy who’s been helping Brother Adrian steal artifacts from the warehouse. So, who’s the next likely suspect? Could Artie be doing it subconsciously? Or could it possibly be H.G. Wells? We haven’t seen her since the warehouse un-exploded, so what’s her story?
Certainly, Artie’s ranting to the air in the storage room would seem to lend credence to the theory that he’s becoming a little unhinged, so it would be easy to buy the notion that he’s subconsciously sabotaging his own work out of guilt. But when would Adrian have put the notion into his head? Is it hypnotism? Some artifact at work? Is it too soon to tell?
And really, why would Artie keep this whole thing a secret anyway? It’s not like he owes Adrian. It’s not like there’s any “professional courtesy” going on here. Adrian’s making this personal, and he’s demonstrated by sending Alice to kill Artie, that he’s willing to break the rules of sportsmanlike conduct. Given that the whole team is aware that something is up, it’s only a matter of time before Artie spills the beans – intentionally or by accident – and everyone gets on the problem of the Brotherhood.
Assuming it’s not all just made up in Artie’s head.
Personally, the writers should have left the warehouse exploded and dealt with the much more dire consequences of that. But I get that it’s a light-hearted show and that scenario just would not have played well with our ensemble. It’s more suited to something like Alphas, but not Warehouse 13, which is more like a comic book – and we all know nobody stays dead in comic books.
So why should the warehouse be any different?