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WAREHOUSE 13 Might Make You Blink

banner_recapWAREHOUSE 13
Season 3, episode 7: “Past Imperfect”

[photos: Sophie Giraud/Syfy]

This week, we learn more about Myka’s past with the Secret Service and her relationship with Sam, the partner that was gunned down in the pilot episode. And more pieces of the puzzle fall into place for Artie and the gang as the overall arc moves along one step further.

Oh, and there’s a Prius ad in the middle.

We begin our tale in Denver, at the train station, where Pete digs for a railroad spike while Myka keeps a lookout. She spots Leo, the man who shot her partner, and quickly gives chase. Unfortunately, Pete gets whammied by the railroad spike artifact, and Myka has to come to his rescue. But she’s determined to find Leo and bring him to justice, yo.

Steve and Claudia end up at a farm in the boondocks of Michigan (I didn’t know Michigan had boondocks…), in search of a doorknob from the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory (which burned in 1911). The doorknob apparently houses the pain and suffering of the factory workers. And there’s so much of it, that Steve’s glove gets ripped. Just like Pete’s. And on the same hand. Not sure if this is coincidence or design that ties in somehow later in the season…

Flush with their success, they get out to the Prius (for the only-slightly-annoying plug), where they meet a stray dog and get hit with darts that make them fall over and go boom. When they wake up, the doorknob is gone. Now, what would someone need with a doorknob that causes a ginormous amount of pain and suffering? Hmmm?

Meanwhile, back in Denver, Myka’s flipping out because it appears Leo got away, and she’s not going to let it go this time. She’s out for blood, so Pete suggests calling the guys in the Denver office, her old stomping grounds. With her old team, they figure Leo is back in town to steal new printing plates from the U.S. Mint, since there’s a new Treasury Secretary.

I’m not a big fan of flashbacks, and there are quite a few flashbacks in this episode, but they’re fairly organic to the story and don’t feel too forced, so I’m going to accept them. They reveal, of course, Myka’s relationship with Sam and the build-up to Sam’s death. But there’s also something else brewing in these flashbacks: a card Sam intended to give to Myka the night he was killed.

One bit I wasn’t too pleased with: Myka telling everyone not to get too close or let Leo see them or he’d bolt, and then what does she do? Lets Leo see her and he bolts! Down a blind alley, where it’s impossible for him to have disappeared. And yet he has. Myka flips out, of course, leaving Pete to figure out that there wasn’t enough time for Leo to jump the wall. So where did he go? How did he get out?

Myka visits Sam’s ex-wife, and the scene is handled well. No overly emotional widow blaming the girlfriend histrionics. They’re grown-ups, and Allison treats Myka with respect and civility. I was pleasantly surprised that the writers left out the stereotypical “woman scorned” trope that we see so often in this type of scene. The card Sam had is still in Allison’s possession, and it has a recording of Leo talking with someone about killing Sam. It was a setup.

They catch sight of Leo at the train station, and when they confront him, he suddenly – in the blink of an eye – has a gun, and Pete’s shoots him dead. Only the gun was in his right hand, and Myka knows Leo was left-handed. She also knows that for the gun to show up suddenly, it had to involve an artifact. Back in the alley, Pete & Myka had synchronized their watches, which are now 47 seconds apart.

Artie, going through his card catalogue (“Google, shmoogle. I’ll stick with paper.”), realizes it’s a piece of the U.S.S. Eldridge, the ship used in the Philadelphia Experiment to develop a cloaking device. The experiment that went terribly awry, but after the ship disappeared for 47 seconds. Myka’s ready to throw in the towel, but Pete’s got her back, yo. He’s got a great line: “You only fail if you give up.” Might make a good Her Universe T-Shirt…

Back at the warehouse, Artie has pulled out artifacts belonging to “Mr. Mental” – a set of fezzes that were used in a mind-reading act. Using technology that scanned brainwaves, one hat can transmit to the other. Artie figures that the dog chased the car belonging to whomever stole the doorknob. The fez will allow Artie to see the numbers. Assuming it doesn’t come off the dog’s head and leave him comatose, or something.

And it seems to work, except for the whole “dog must chase scarab” bit. Leaving Artie limp in the chair, the dog goes after the scarab, and ClauJinx go after the dog. (ClauJinx? Like Brangelina? Needs work, maybe…) Claudia resorts to using Pavlov’s Bell to round up the dog, which they take back to the office so Artie can finish rattling off the license plate.

Myka’s figured out one of her team is the inside guy, and has the Eldridge artifact. Only she figures it’s Zach, who must have killed Sam over a promotion. But it’s not Zach. It’s Jim, the other agent on the team. I hate to say I saw this back when Myka was looking through Sam’s personal effects earlier. It’s a little disappointing to be right, but it was telegraphed from afar so loudly, anyone could see it. That’s the one big flaw with this episode. But then, Myka even points out that Pete saw it early and had to walk her through it, so maybe the episode is more about Myka’s journey to get through her blind grief so she’s back to being Myka?

It’s a good story that gives us more of the Pete-Myka dynamic, reinforcing their friendship in direct contrast to Myka’s relationship with Sam. Are Pete and Myka going to get romantic? No clue, but right now it feels more like a brother-sister vibe. Which isn’t a bad thing. Luke & Leia, Zan & Jayna, Simon & River Tam, Juni & Carmen…

Myka being Myka, she totally saves Pete’s skin when Jim pulls out the ship’s barometer just as Zach fires on Pete. Since Myka had her hand on it, too, she’s not affected either. So we get a real-time fight while everything else slowwwwwws dowwwwwn. And of course, it all works out, because it’s “Warehouse 13”, right?

At the warehouse, a search for the license plate reveals that it’s a rental, and the rental was rented by someone with a false ID, a false ID with a photo, a photo of FBI agent Sally Stukowski! Dun, duhn, dunnnnn!

Oh, and Claudia’s drooling for 24 hours now. Because she rang Pavlov’s Bell. See how that works? Irony. Gotta love it.

[Official Show Site on Syfy]

Jason P. Hunt

Jason P. Hunt (founder/EIC) is the author of the sci-fi novella "The Hero At the End Of His Rope". His short film "Species Felis Dominarus" was a finalist in the Sci Fi Channel's 2007 Exposure competition.

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