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October 9, 2015

'Warehouse 13' Season 2, Episode 10 Recap

by Mike Moody, posted Sep 8th 2010 1:30PM
warehouse 13 when and where['Warehouse 13' - 'When and Where']

One of the fun things about watching 'Warehouse 13' is catching all the fanboy-friendly jokes and pop culture references every episode has to offer. This ep was packed with 'em from start to finish.

Did ya notice the flux capacitor fluxing on H.G. Wells' time machine? Did ya rock out with Pete and Clauds during their air guitar salute to Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure or laugh at Pete's Schwarzenegger impression ("Get your ass to Mars!")?

The show also offers a jumble of sci-fi movie and TV tropes -- mind control, rapid aging, and time travel in this ep -- but they feel fresh, fun and quirky thanks to the clever writing and the show's many surprise twists and turns.

But a series can't survive by delivering clever pop culture references and homages alone (unless that show is called 'Family Guy,' of course), and 'Warehouse 13' has plenty more to offer viewers willing to tag along for one strange trip after another.

This week's episode, 'When and Where,' delivered the usual supernatural mystery plot and sci-fi wackiness, but it also featured a great twist, some fine acting, and even a few poignant moments.

Pete and Myka quantum leaped back to 1961 to gather some intel on a murderer who used an artifact to kill three beautiful women. The episode's '60s-era set, cars and costumes had a distinct 'Mad Men' feel, but the throwback kookiness and screwball vibe reminded me of 'The Middleman,' the great but short-lived AMC Family show about an overgrown boy scout and his sexy sidekick working to save the world from aliens and mad scientists.

The '60s story also packed several fun surprises, including a great guest appearance from Armin Shimmerman ('Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,' 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer') as the 1961 version of Artie, and the reveal that Mrs. Frederick has been creeping out Warehouse agents for the past 40 years.

Back in the present day, Artie was still struggling with the Regent's decision to reinstate Wells as a Warehouse agent. The instability and divisiveness that Wells could bring to the Warehouse is potentially interesting, but I'm not very interested in watching Artie throw a temper tantrum and scowl at her in every episode. Thankfully, it looks as if Artie is finally starting to trust Wells after seeing that someone he respects, Rebecca St. Clair, was able to trust her.

Speaking of Mrs. St. Clair, I didn't expect her final scene, in which she time travels back to her own body in 1961, to be so warm and emotional. It's great to see that Warehouse agents can have happy endings too.

Wells saved our heroes' lives again, making her the second most helpful villain in the history of TV (Spike from 'Buffy' takes the top spot). But, much like Spike, she has a dark side. In a creepy conversation with Claudia, Wells revealed why she went back in time in the first place, and what she did to the men who murdered her daughter. We didn't get many details, but I don't doubt that she tried to make the killers feel "the worst pain a person can suffer."

It's interesting and fitting that the characters of 'Warehouse 13' have the ability to time travel, but they're unable to change the past, much like the central character in Wells' 'The Time Machine.' Perhaps being reminded of that fact will help Wells let go of the pain of her daughter's death and allow her to become an integrated and trustworthy part of the team?

It's hard to tell exactly what's going to happen with Wells. I keep waiting for the ball to drop and for her to unveil her evil plan, but I hope that doesn't happen. I still don't think she'll survive the season. The teaser for the upcoming two-part season finale promised that a member of the team would die -- my money's on Wells. I'd hate to see her go, but I'd rather see her go out a hero instead of a villain.

Other Thoughts:

- So the killer ice knife artifact comes from the Cinderella story? Life would be a lot darker without Disney, wouldn't it?

- Leena has pretty much become an afterthought. I don't even think we got a throwaway line telling us why she wasn't around this time.

- Eddie McClintock showed off his indie rock cool by wearing an Ashes Divide T-shirt in the opening scene. He's also a Pavement fan!

- I discovered a new way to insult my boss: "He's a bit of a sphincter!"

- I almost forgot to mention David Anders, one of the most recognizable TV guest stars and recurring character actors of the now. He did a fine job here, and I'm looking forward to seeing him again on this season of 'The Vampire Diaries.'

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No big thing, but there was a noticeable anachronism- that was a '63 'Bird, not a '61. Anyone else notice anything else?

September 13 2010 at 11:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The flux capacitor (plus multiple mentions of the phrase "Back to the Future") made this one quite enjoyable :) But for the life of me, I don't recall the episode Ms. St. Clair was in before. My son and I just looked at each other, "huh?", during the preview clips and we've both seen every episode since the beginning. Guess maybe her part was rather small in the previous ep she was in, "Burnout"?

September 10 2010 at 12:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think they're just setting up for HG to do the big betrayal probably when she figures out there there is some way to change the past & save her daughter.

September 08 2010 at 7:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Nice callout to "The Middleman" - I miss that show - it should have been given more of a chance and we never got to see the finale episode, "Doomsday Armageddon Apocalypse." But back to W13, this was a great episode and you're right, it's generally pretty light and fluffy, but they do surprise with the emotional moment that is unexpected and not overdone. This show has been getting progressively better and I think the mythology has been growing in a good way.

September 08 2010 at 4:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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