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October 7, 2015

Warehouse 13: Pilot (series premiere)

by Jason Hughes, posted Jul 8th 2009 4:35PM
Warehouse 13(S01E01) The creators titled this "Pilot," but I'm going to dub it "Another Reason I Want Brothers to Fail on FOX." CCH Pounder is such a talent I really prefer her on a good show. With Battlestar Galactica gone, there's going to be a lot of scrutiny on the network's new offerings, and while this doesn't seem to have the depth and complexity of BSG, it's a perfect companion to shows like Eureka and Sanctuary.

It even channels a lot of the latter in that it deals with ancient mystical forces, albeit in the form of artifacts instead of creatures. It also has a huge facility to house and protect them, and the world from them. To take it one step further, CCH Pounder's Mrs. Frederic may be much older than she appears, and my money's out on Leena having a similar genetic disposition and possibly being Mrs. Frederic's daughter. These mysteries are barely touched on in the pilot which means there's layers. But how does the show stack up on the surface?

The casting idea appears to be modeled closer to the classic The X-Files format. Two government agents, the man more off-the-cuff and following an uncanny gut instinct, while the woman is very by the books and meticulous. These are pretty standard variations on Scully and Mulder but it works. After all, they weren't the first partnership in television and they certainly won't be the last.

While we didn't get much screentime with Mrs. Frederic, we get plenty of Saul Rubinek. He's one of those character actors who seems to have had memorable guest appearances on virtually every show you can imagine. He's always a little frantic and disheveled, which works tremedously well for Artie, the sort of "boss" for our principal pair.

The only thing that stood out as a bit odd for me was that Warehouse 13 is under the jurisdiction of the Secret Service. I'm hoping some explanation comes forth on that one because people think of protecting the President when they think of Secret Service, not gallavanting across the countryside investigating strange occurrences.

I'm glad the show addressed this very oddity in the pilot by having the people of Iowa wonder why the Secret Service would be there investigating an abuse case. It's so much easier to swallow with almost any other government agency. A lot of the fun of these investigations is the banter we've seen so far between Pete Lattimer and Myka Bering. They're a great pairing, and while the sparring has been fun to watch, I think we're going to pretty quickly see a real partnership developing with trust and support. At least they both believe in the artifacts now, though you'd have to be pretty bull-headed to doubt still.

Like the "monster-of-the-week" episodes of The X-Files, it looks like it's going to come down to our agents heading off to somewhere in the US tracking down bizarre cases that may or may not be artifact related. I'll be looking forward to seeing if they keep this straightforward, almost episodic approach, or if some deeper story emerges running beneath the weekly shenanigans. Honestly, I think I'll be okay with it either way.

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The concept does seem a little played out in the scifi world but it definitely has potential. I think it does need to take a more XFiles/BSG tone with maybe a 20% sprinkling of Eureka! lightheartedness without being goofy. Like cdan said; the zip line and the corney ass phone in a can? Seems they are reaching for a style and concept but really getting anywhere with it.
As a whole the premier was OK for me, I must say I really woke up when I saw the inn keeper!
Genelle Williams as Leena the inn keeper may be the only reason I watch this show to see if it improves. Now i really respect the role she seems to convey but i really hope the writers manage to get her skimpy as they did Allison Blake on the "Purple Haze" episode of Eureka.

July 14 2009 at 7:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to timturner's comment

How can you resist those attentive eyes of Leena's?

July 14 2009 at 7:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Like others, I have my own combination formula: X-Files meets Bones meets Ghostbusters.

I like it.

July 12 2009 at 7:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If they want this series to make it, they better start cutting out the cheese. Don't make the warehouse controller so stupid. Hooking up to a zip line to find stuff and falling to the floor???.....please. This is a top secret facility...make it look like one. Video cam/phone in a tin box.....get real. THAT wouldn't attract attention in public and i'm sure it's easy to carry around.......not. Get some James Bond tech in there....make the show more down to earth and serious and it might make it. The premise is great.......now treat it as such.

July 11 2009 at 9:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'd probably resign before allowing something to take control of me like that. I hope the female agent continues to fight to get out from under the boss lady even if it means outing her.

July 11 2009 at 9:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I can't help feeling that The X-Files and Eureka met on the set and became Warehouse 13.

July 10 2009 at 2:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I enjoyed the show, but kept thinking I was watching another ep. of the Librarian, with Noah Wylie.

July 10 2009 at 10:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Thought the 1st show was too long...should have been 90 min. But I will watch the series.

July 10 2009 at 1:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The Middleman was funnier. I'll watch 13 though.

July 09 2009 at 8:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Did this remind anyone else of The Middleman?

July 09 2009 at 11:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Friday the 13th: The Series is great one guy and one gal and the older leader go around returning cursed objects to a vault since they can't be destroyed.

July 08 2009 at 10:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Man's comment

my thoughts exactly, they just need that hot redhead, instead of the girl with the {{craaazy}} eyes. good to see that dude from Dresden Files in the bit at the beginning, but i'd much rather have seen him in another season of dresden (yeah i know, i CANT let it go!).

July 09 2009 at 1:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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