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October 9, 2015

Warehouse 13: Magnetism

by Jason Hughes, posted Jul 22nd 2009 2:52AM
Warehouse 13: Magnetism(S01E03) We're three episodes in, guys. You need to start working together better. I loved that the artifacts in the warehouse don't like the negative energy that Pete and Myka's constant bickering gives out. There's even an alarm and a slime system that the folks at Nickelodeon would be proud of.

It looks like, at least for the time being, while Pete and Myka are off on the quest of the week, Leena and Artie will be trying to figure out who's hacked into the warehouse and what they're hoping to accomplish. It's not much, but it's something. Eureka gets by on less sometimes, but makes up for it in the charm of the community and the elements of humor that permeate the script.

I've recently been watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, because I missed it the first time around, and noticed that a lot of the strength of that show was in the characters. The humor came from their personalities and it made even a sometimes lackluster plot more palatable. So it comes as no surprise that one of Warehouse 13's creators, Jane Espenson, spent five years writing and producing Joss Whedon's baby. The reason that I'm so enjoying this series so far is Myka and Pete, Artie and Leena and the mystery of Mrs. Frederic.

All the artifacts and the big warehouse and even the boomerang football take a back seat to these characters. With Pete and Myka heading off to some new locale each week, we can get plenty of local flavor, but as with most procedurals, we're talking disposable background noise that's here one week and gone the next.

This week's case of a handful of locals acting out their subconscious desires because of a chair didn't even provide a tremendous threat. It only impacted about five people throughout the episode, and until the end they were relatively harmless. So there was again no sinister danger to anyone for much of the hour. At least on Eureka, the town is going to be destroyed, if not all of reality, a couple of times a month.

While "Mental" provided intriguing potential, the mystery solving was about as pedestrian as the first two episodes. It's in exploring the ideas behind these artifacts that Warehouse 13 could achieve something more than a fun summer romp. At this point, however, it seems content to be the fun uncle rather than the serious professor of science fiction.

Science fiction has always been about exploring our world and our views through the backdrop of the fantastic. We can look at religion, society, humanity and any other hot topic issue we want under the protective coating of fancy gadgets and sparkly lights. That's when science fiction is amazing. This is when science fiction is just having fun showing you the doo-dads and whatzits. And that's okay, too.

If you're not going to explore greater concepts with your science fiction, as Battlestar Galactica ambitiously tackled season after season, then you need to make it fun. Give us another reason to want to spend an hour in your world week after week. Warehouse 13 is certainly aiming to get there, but I'm not quite sure it's there yet.

I think I want them to aim bigger with some of the artifacts. And personalize the struggle in some way. Delve more into Artie. Have some artifact in the warehouse "attack" and have a dramatic effect on a member of the team. Give us a bit more on Leena. There's mysteries to explore here, and doing so will make us feel more invested in the cast and, thus, the show. Otherwise, it's a sideshow. And the problem with sideshows is that while they're fascinating while they're in town, once they blow out, life goes on and you don't really miss them.

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jack mckechnie

This is possibly one of the worst shows I have ever seen. The really bad part is that they keeping showing it multiple times per week in hopes someone will like it. Secret Service agents only have 2 objectives and none of them include guarding warehouses!You might be able to get away with a low level Homeland Security clerk because we really don't know what they do anyway!The early 60's style communicators would have been too hokey for even (Lost In Space). The chemical bond between the two actors is more like Acid on metal! This show is not fun...it's just bad and i get nauseated just watching the commercials. Three episodes happen to be way too many. How this network could cancel a really good show like (Moonlight) after the first season and put this show on???? Eureka is good. Battlestar Gallactica was great and even some of the SYFY movies are watchable but this...... is not!

August 02 2009 at 8:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I believe this episode may have been aired out of order as well, because Pete makes a reference to borrowing Arties car because his was still "in a lake" somewhere. ?? When did that happen? Sounded like a previous episode reference, of which there have only been 2 and I don't remember that happening in either one. Maybe I'm mistaken.

My son is digging this show, and it's a nice diversion for me until LOST returns, or something better comes along so that's good enough for me.

July 29 2009 at 9:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Too much Ghostbusters and not enough X-Files.

This show could have been so much better. They should have started out with some more 'believable' episodes. Track down some random lost Edison invention, not a chair that's been sat in too much.

July 22 2009 at 6:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The procedural element of the show wasn't that great again, but I found the squabbling betwen Myka and Pete pretty funny. I watch the show not for the artifact collecting, but because of the characters and the warehouse itself, and there is a clear direction of character development. I have a full review on my blog.


July 22 2009 at 5:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Vincent J. Murphy

Wasn't the slime at the beginning from Ghostbusters II: the old "make them all groovy and happy" slime.

July 22 2009 at 3:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The characters may *seem* 2-dimensional at this point, but they seem that way because we haven't delved yet into their baggage. Mika is definitely angry with men; her partner acts like a child. They haven't really worked together, but there are hints that they care about one another--for instance, Mika's relief when Pete comes back into the church after the explosion. They double-team Artie at the end of the episode, showing for the first time that they can indeed work as a team. I think their relationship will continue to grow and they will find themselves, despite their unwillingness, working together more smoothly. Plus, I can see the continuing attack on the Warehouse as a uniting factor for future episodes.

July 22 2009 at 2:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think it would be stupid to drop the show when its only 3 episodes in, because look what happen with Dollhouse. Many people dropped that by the 3rd episode and then they missed out on that 'potential' that they gave us in the episodes that followed. I'm really enjoying this series at the moment and hope for it to carry onto a 2nd season. Give it a chance people!

July 22 2009 at 12:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Richard Lawler

They've made the female agent completely unlikeable, and constant bickering between the agents is more like listening to kids fight than anything approaching enjoyable banter. Haven't these people ever seen a buddy cop tv show or movie before?

July 22 2009 at 12:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree with Dan. Myka is so annoying that I'm thinking of dumping this show. Even at its best moments, it's merely a summer pass the time show. It's a far cry from Eureka, which I would skip any show to see.

July 22 2009 at 11:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I decided about halfway thru last night's episode that I was over this series. The woman investigator is such a one-note character--and that one note is a real pain in the ass--that I decided I couldn't take it anymore.

Too bad...it had potential to be a fun show.

July 22 2009 at 8:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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