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There's a Storm Brewing at WAREHOUSE 13

Episode 403 “Personal Effects”

… in which the team goes on a scavenger hunt!


After Steve and Claudia get his stuff from the dead agents vault, there’s a briefing in the office – in which Artie tells them about a ping on an artifact in Devil’s Lake, North Dakota. It’s an artifact that Steve recognizes as one of the collection Sykes had. Figuring it’s a safe house, Artie sends Pete and Myka to retrieve the artifact.

Except it’s gone, and it’s not the only one that was in the house.

Turns out, Sykes had a bunch of them, and a kid named Jesse stole them from the basement of the house and went to pawn them – except for an old pipe that makes magic swirly smoke, so he figures there’s something to it.

It’s fun to watch Pete be… well, Pete, as he revels in kicking down the door to Sykes’ safe house. Even though they’re too late, he and Myka get some good opportunities for banter in this episode, and they play better than the “tentacles” snarkasm Pete kept throwing at Myka during the Cthulu episode. (That’s two weeks I get to mention Cthulu in a WH13 recap. Sweet.)

The rest of the episode is pretty much split between Pete & Myka chasing Jesse and the weather-controlling pipe, and the rest of the team scrambling all over town trying to retrieve the other artifacts.

Another fun bit is to find Mrs. O’Leary’s cowbell among the artifacts still at the pawn shop, and to hear Artie recount how it not only caused the Great Chicago fire of 1871, but also the London fire of 1666. And when they divide up the list, Pete gets in “Don’t say ‘easy’. We’ll miss dinner.” It’s those bits that make this show fun to watch, mostly.

What’s not very fun is to see the episode waste the talents of Dee Wallace. You know her from Cujo and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and Critters and all sorts of movie-of-the-week projects. She’s got such a career rap sheet, that it’s a crying shame to see her play the hospital administrator and utter inane lines that any character actor could deliver. The character had nothing to bring to the episode except to bring us into Jesse’s reason for doing everything he’s doing – a younger brother dying of a heart malady.

Wallace gets no scenes of substance, which makes me think she took the gig to have Warehouse 13 on her resume.

And the resolution of Jesse’s story is hackneyed at best. He’s the black sheep, never amounted to anything, never took care of his little brother properly. And so he uses the pipe to call down lightning, causing his own death so they can give his heart to little brother.

There are so many things wrong with this. 1) They’re on the roof of a hospital, and they make no effort to revive Jesse? 2) The hospital administrator tells the transplant team to prep for surgery immediately? What about paperwork? How was the transplant team already there and ready to scrub in? And why do they make no effort to revive this kid who’s just been struck by lightning? 3) Why wasn’t Dee Wallace given more to do?

On the up-side, we get a new kink in the revival of Steve Jinks. It seems that he and Claudia now are connected, because she’s the one that did the reviving. During their retrieval of a bird cage artifact, Steve gets scratched and Claudia feels the pain. She doesn’t realize it, but Steve figures it out at the hospital later. This could give us a new twist on Artie’s vision of Claudia stabbing him with the knife. Could Steve eventually gain control of Claudia?

The other bit that adds to the overall “theme arc” for this season is Artie coming unglued while holding onto the golf club of Bobby Jones, and that tantrum runs dangerously close to revealing what Artie is hiding – and serves to fuel Leena’s suspicions that something’s up with Artie, and she confronts him about it at the end of the episode.

This now brings to three, the number of people who could very easily tumble onto Artie’s secrecy and start snooping. Pete’s already had a vibe. Steve still has the ability to tell when someone is lying. And now Leena has actually heard Artie ranting about what he’s had to do to save the world.

If it’s handled right, it could lead to some very interesting circumstances come season finale time.


[Official Show Site at Syfy]         [Previous recap: “An Evil Within”]

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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