The show follows the Secret Service personnel tasked with working at Warehouse 13, which is home to every bizarre (and potentially dangerous) artifact the U.S. government has ever collected. In Season 3, newcomer Aaron Ashmore joins the cast as the warehouse's latest recruit.
We caught up with Saul Rubinek ('Frasier, 'Unforgiven'), who plays warehouse caretaker Artie Nielsen, to pry as many details about Season 3 out of him as possible. It was not an easy task. Like his character Artie, Rubinek is skilled at guarding secrets.
(S01E13) It took a while, but Warehouse 13 finally broke away from the stale case-of-the-week episodes (and the stale dialogue) to become the summer's most amusing slice of sci-fi TV. The shift happened a few weeks ago when Roger Rees' smug and sadistic baddie, Macpherson, showed up to make trouble for the team.
Macpherson turned out to be the big bad Warehouse 13 was missing all along. He was an ex-Warehouse agent with a vendetta against Artie and the regents. His evil plots forced Artie and the agents to bond and trust each other, and they also gave the show a real sense of danger and purpose. Oh, and Macpherson also gave us Claudia and Leena, apparently.
Macpherson returned to twist the knife one more time in a season finale packed with surprises, red herrings, and a few insane artifacts (Timothy Leary's psychedelic glasses? That was a good one.)
As you may have guessed by the title, this episode dealt with artifacts relating to Edgar Allan Poe, and there was some clever trickery utilizing Poe's most iconic visions. But the title might allude to something greater: the impending and climactic battle with MacPherson set to take place in next week's finale (is it here already?).
Interestingly enough, even though this was the big episode leading into the finale, it turned out to be little more than a generic bag-it-and-tag-it kind of mission, albeit with a very personal touch. I enjoyed seeing Myka's family and her father's bookstore. We learned a lot about her character and personality just from this short time with her family.
If you think about it, the Warehouse has to be one of the most unpredictable and dangerous places on the planet. We've seen what can happen when one artifact gets out of control, or when two work in tandem. There are possibly millions of artifacts housed in there, and most of them are just lying on a shelf. What if, say, a zip line were to break and come collapsing across the tops of hundreds of those shelves, scattering artifacts about?
That would be bad.
That is what happened while Artie was away having an "adventure" of his own. Pete and Myka popped in to the Warehouse to see how Claudia was doing, only to find all hell slowly breaking loose. In Claudia's defense, it wasn't entirely her fault this time.
There was a nice balance in the episode between a surprisingly emotional situation at the prison with Pete and Myka, and the comical situation that Claudia found herself in back at the warehouse. I'm learning that I may be even more interested in the artifacts already at the warehouse than in the collecting of new ones.
Which gets me way excited about next week's episode, which is all about things going wrong at the warehouse. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.
The level of distrust between Pete & Myka and Artie was reset to earlier in the season, as was the secret keeping he was doing. It's beginning to make me wonder if originally CCH Pounder was going to have a more prominent role, as was Leena. Then when Pounder got picked up for FOX's Brothers, she pulled back on Warehouse 13 to recurring status, and we got the Claudia evolution. Which was a good thing.
This week, Pete and Myka discovered the dead body of a former Warehouse agent. The agent's life was drained by a parasitic artifact that jumped from host to host feeding on human aggression. The artifact apparently was a metaphor for the Warehouse itself. It takes and takes until you have nothing left to give, another former agent, Rebecca, told Myka in the closing scene. Rebecca's warning to Myka brought up a number of questions I've had since the show's premiere: Who is controlling the Warehouse? Are they baddies or good guys? What is the ultimate plan for Pete and Myka?
You probably wouldn't even care if I did spoil the ending, because despite a decent set-up and the potential for a pretty intriguing payoff, the ending was crap. Part of the problem was the hamming it up for the camera by James Naughton as Gilbert Radburn. At least he embraced his limited acting range and just said screw it. "I'm not very good so I'm going to go for gusto! And enthusiasm!"
And the big fight scene itself was lame as well. What wasn't lame was the artifact itself. A cloak that allows the wearer to walk through walls. Add in an invisibility element and I could have made a fortune renting it out in my high school. Until I got arrested when some nerd caved after getting caught in the girl's locker room.
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.
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?
With Battlestar ending, and Bionic Woman ended, the lovely and talented Ms. Sackhoff could use a new gig. Why not Nip/Tuck? Sackhoff is set to join the FX series for a four episode arc as Dr. Theodora "Teddy" Lowe. She's said to present a challenge for Sean (Dylan Walsh).
But wait, there's more. What's better than Katee Sackhoff on Nip/Tuck? How about some Morgan Fairchild? She will be appearing for one episode as a movie star. I suppose we could debate which is actually better, but for me, there is just something about Morgan Fairchild. Whichever you prefer, both are nice additions for the show. Read on past the jump for more casting notes from Caprica, Warehouse 13, and that crazy sounding House spin-off idea.
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