Warehouse 13 season 4 episode 6 review: Fractures
Warehouse 13 picks up the slack from last week's disappointment with an exciting Alice In Wonderland-themed episode...
This review contains spoilers.
What a great episode! I found myself smiling, laughing out loud, feeling happy for Artie, in suspense over the conflict, and more than a little concerned over Artie's sanity at the end. It's good to see the writers bring things back together after a not-so-stellar episode, and it was also good to get away from the exciting but manic three-stories-per-episode theme that's been prevalent this season.
We start the episode with Artie going to see now-girlfriend Dr. Vanessa Calder (Lindsay Wagner). Having a girlfriend seems to suit Artie as he is uncharacteristically compassionate with Steve regarding finding a solution to the metronome, and we actually see him smile while being teased! This is the first time we've seen the adorable side of Artie, and it's a fun change. The screen chemistry between the two lovebirds is really quite good and it's a welcome change to see Artie taking it easy while everyone holds down the fort. Of course, Warehouse agents are never really able to finish their relaxing weekends and this is no exception. Alice Lidell is back from Wonderland and seems to have a fixed desire to kill Artie.
As much as I love this episode, I have to say that this is a bit sloppy. Why Artie? Why not Myka or Pete? That's who she dealt with in the last episode she was in. If Brother Adrian sent her to punish Artie through his loved ones, why send her directly for Artie? Surely he would know that she is crazy enough to try and kill him outright, and if Artie dies there’s no reversing the astrolabe. And how did she know that he would be at L'Etouile? It's likely that he only made the reservations recently and the mirror was stolen weeks ago. Overthinking things? Probably. But the plot holes could have been easily explained and it might have bettered the episode to see Brother Adrian setting Alice on the Warehouse.
Anyway, Alice is let out of her mirror and enters the unsuspecting body of Kristin (Melanie Scrofano). Props to Melanie for a very convincing 'church girl possessed by crazy Alice' role, I especially liked her first hospital bed scene with Myka and Pete, recognizing both and putting some crazy flirt time in with Pete. Also I felt her very obvious seduction and beating of the poor male nurse was well done. Myka and Pete handle the situation fairly well until they discover that Alice has figured out how to switch bodies with the last shard of the mirror. At that point, it's definitely time to call Artie. (Aside, who else was waiting for a repeat of the Evil Dead mini mirror scene when Pete clicked the strobe light while standing over thousands of little shards?).
While Pete and Myka are battling with a body-snatching Alice, Steve, Claudia and Leena look for a way to remove and contain Alice permanently. Along the way, Claudia finds out about Artie's little secret, or part of it anyway, and Leena discovers that Claudia is feeling Steve's pain. Apparently that happens because their auras switch? Who knew? In attempting to find a solution to the Alice problem, it is explained that the story Alice in Wonderland was actually written by Warehouse agents (?) and many of the items in it are artifacts (??) and that these artifacts are currently in the Warehouse (?!?).
It's all a bit neat, and begs a lot of other questions, but there you are. The "stoner caterpillar" apparently had a hookah that can remove and store spirits. I suppose that's as good an explanation as any regarding why the caterpillar was so concerned with who people were. The artifact acquired, they race to meet up with the rest of the team.
Who, in the meantime, are thwarting Alice's attack on Artie. I especially liked the crazy, creepy fireman with an axe, and also good was the business man twirling his non-existent hair. Artie and Vanessa having a couple's argument over whether Vanessa should stay and help or not was well-written and made for a good addition. The last suspense scene with Alice jumping into Vanessa and then Claudia must have been fun for the ladies, and they both did a good job portraying crazy Alice.
There's always the obligatory moment between Myka and Pete dreading how things will end at the Warehouse, since it seems to have a nasty habit of driving people insane or killing them. Still, the writers made it poignant and it doesn't feel too forced yet.
The favourite line of the night comes from Steve, with the fantastic "Get out of my friend, you bitch!”. Honourable mention also goes to Vanessa giving Artie a piece of her mind when he tries to break up with her, "When you finally wake up and realize that cutting yourself off from the people who love you is a truly terrible idea, call me. I am not going anywhere". Well done, doc.
Claudia and Steve's scene discussing their pain connection was also sweet, and I'm looking forward to see what kind of solution the show comes up with for the metronome. The team is finally getting together to discuss Artie's behaviour and beginning to put the pieces together, past time in my opinion. The final scene with Artie going a little nuts and Leena overhearing his rant is a good push forward for the astrolabe story, leaving us feeling concerned for Artie's sanity and having a bit of hope that the team will be able to put two and two together.
Overall this was a great episode, full of foreshadowing and explanations, and one that really moves the season along. It left us looking forward to next week’s episode and the introduction of a potenially new permanent character? Perhaps she's a plant from Brother Adrian? We shall see! Until then.
Read Jennifer's review of the previous episode, No Pain No Gain, here.
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