Warehouse 13 season 4 episode 8: Second Chance

Review Jennifer Cates
19 Sep 2012 - 15:57

A solid episode dealing with some serious real-life issues from Warehouse 13 this week. Here's Jennifer's review...

This review contains spoilers

4.8 Second Chance

This week’s episode is a pretty good follow-up to last week’s. There are some anti-climactic points, but also some real emotion, topical issues and a bit of epic improvisation. We start out on the lighter side of things as each set of partners hassles Artie about Brother Adrian. Artie is good enough to waylay the younger agents, but of course he can’t keep Mrs Frederic at bay. Good to see the truth out, but as is so often the case in this show, the build-up was more exciting than the results.

Mrs Frederic points out the obvious, labelling Brother Adrian as the evil that was unleashed by the astrolabe and explaining that Artie’s visions of Claudia are subliminally implanted. Personally I think that is far too simple an explanation and if the writers continue with that storyline, I’ll be very disappointed. They seem to have better things up their sleeves though, which is not to say they pulled out any big guns for this episode. After everything is finally on the table the only response we get is Mrs Frederic informing the regents and trying to find another contact in the Brotherhood? Weak sauce.

The final scene with Mrs Frederic sending H.G. out into the world again with strict orders to not contact anyone from the Warehouse was interesting. If Brother Adrian didn’t have the thimble, I would have thought that Artie used it to pose as Mrs Frederic and get rid of H.G and the astrolabe. As it is, it looks like we’ll be missing Jaime Murray for another couple of episodes.

Steve and Claudia’s segment is quite emotional, and I like to see that Steve’s storylines continue in the slightly edgy vein. Last season it was torture, this season it’s the death penalty. Guest star Laura Innes does a fantastic job as a mourning Emma Jinks trying to reconnect with her son, but we expect nothing less from the former ER star.

Jinks' conversation with Steve explaining her reasons for seeking life imprisonment instead of the death penalty for her daughter’s murderer packed a huge emotional punch. I couldn’t even claim to have something in my eye during Aaron Ashmore’s performance as Steve coming to terms with his sister’s death and healing the rift between his mother and himself, it would have had to be a sand storm. The death penalty is obviously a controversial issue in the US and around the world, and it’s rare for a television show to tackle it. I give huge props to Warehouse 13 for taking it up and humanizing it, and props to the stellar acting team that brought real believability and power to the writing.

Pete and Myka are sent off to investigate a man who is in the hospital rusting, which leads them on a trip through America’s so-called “rust belt”. They weren’t being very subtle. In any case, it’s a situation of a small town in danger of losing its only source of income, an evil mill owner who is in the process of firing most of his workers, and an out-of-place war hero trying to do good by his city. This story was the bulk of the episode, and while it tackles some interesting issues, it was a lot less satisfying than its counterpart.

We also had yet another chance to see Latimer’s lats (sorry) as he sparred with some steel mill workers, and I’m genuinely concerned that he has a serious concussion after all the head shots he’s taken, but the best I can say about Pete and Myka’s trip to Dalton, West Virginia is that the ending was pretty awesome.

While Pete’s fight with Cody Bell (played by Pooch Hall) was over the top and ultimately unconvincing, Myka injecting purple goo into Cody’s heart Pulp Fiction-style was pretty masterful. Was the moment ruined by the cheesy Purple Heart quip? I’ll let you decide. I also really loved the connection between ancient and current warfare through the artifact. A modern day warrior is implanted with a piece of armour that belonged to an ancient Spartan who fought with the 300 warriors who stood against the Persian army, we’ve all seen the movie, yes? I liked the symmetry of it all.

Overall this was a really solid episode. Some downs, some ups, and some real current issues for the US thrown in. Personally I felt as if they crammed too much politics into one episode. Good on them for making statements, but two major issues in one episode is overkill. I’m looking forward to what seems to be an exciting episode next week, is that Pete Latimer regenerating?? We’ll have to wait and see. Until next time!

Read Jennifer's review of last week's episode, Endless Wonder, here.

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