Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Warehouse 13: Season 2, Episode 5: No Pain No Gain

We begin with a standard artefact collection with Myka and Claudia dressing up as Geishas  in order to intercept a sale. Nice, simple snatch and grab, interrupted by a phone call from Myka’s sister Tracy – she’s pregnant.

This brings Myka much glee that she shares with the team (Artie’s still grumpy) before going on another ping hunt – this time a hockey player has super healing and super strength in Canada. Questioning the players doesn’t get them anywhere. But checking the X-Ray of the player’s (Mike’s) arm Myka (she who overachieves and has a ridiculous number of qualifications to the point of parody) realises that this isn’t the arm of Mike, as she just shook hands with him. Tim to go steal the real records – and Pete, alas, doesn’t get chance to drive the Zamboni.

Examining Mike’s real records they find that his bones are broken – not just his arm, but his knee and his ribs. But the Artefact has caused his muscles to grow around the breaks to support them. Without them, the injuries he’s sustained should probably prevent him walking, let alone playing professional hockey. They break into the locker room but, again, none of his items can be gooed, there’s no Artefact. They do hear him having an argument in the shower, though, with a player who doesn’t understand what’s making Mike so strong. Pete breaks it up, but sees that in the showers he isn’t strong and he’s in pain – he consults with Myka on the idea that someone is using the Artefact on him, he’s not using one.

They confront the owner who is less than amused by Myka’s tactless accusations (is it just me, or is Myka becoming better academically but becoming more socially inept?) and points out he has several players injured – players who are better. So if he was doing anything he’d do it to them. They’re surprised Mike isn’t one of the best players – turns out he’s only great in home games.

So they cast their eyes on the rink and since he isn’t as good in practice, to the fans. Of course finding one fan among thousands is difficult so they arrange a trap – setting up a competition where a fan can win a dinner with him and arranging for him to fake a severe injury.

Mike and Myka continue to develop a very Rom Com attraction (as Pete points out and mocks and decides he’s the “Sassy best friend”. Do not get me started on the falsetto and the finger snaps) which means they kiss before the game – and end up on the kiss cam.

Pete starts searching people surreptitiously during the match to try and find the Artefact. One fan is notably Not Happy by Mike kissing Myka. When Mike is hurt, Myka suddenly has painful stomach cramps and staggers to the bathroom and calls Pete. He arrives to find Myka very very very heavily pregnant.

They contact Artie and he decides it’s probably a wish fulfilment Artefact (Myka angrily points out she didn’t wish for this and just because her little sister is pregnant doesn’t mean she wants to be. Which is good – we also play up the “hormonal pregnant lady” schtick, which is not) and someone has wished it on Myka.

Pete thinks and realises it was his wish. When searching people’s bags he saw a small boy and wondered if he’d ever have a kid because who would share his life. Then he realised someone did share his life and… Myka became pregnant. He thinks back to what he was touching – a key chain in a woman’s bag.

They track her down and find she’s less of a devoted fan and more of a scary scary stalker. They find her grandfather, during world war 2, once urged a fellow soldier on, wishing him to do the impossible – and Pete remembers the dog tags on the key ring.

Judy, the woman, isn’t coming home though and she has ambushed and kidnapped Mike using her wishing dogtags. Looking round the house Pete and Myka see a picture of a cabin which is where they head to. And where Judy and the deeply disturbed Mike are as well, drinking romantic hot cider. She controls him by wishing his injuries back – and when Myka and Pete arrives she manages to hold Myka at axe-edge. She tries to wish Pete to die and he collapses to his knees – but when she checks him he’s fine, steals the dog tags and Myka gets to Tesla him. Then it’s just goo-bag and everything’s back to normal, all wishes undone. And, of course, Mike’s in incredible pain with all his injuries.

They speculate on why it didn’t work to kill Pete, and Pete guesses it only works on people you love. Judy’s grandfather used it on his best friend, Judy used it on Mike and Pete… used it on Myka (we knew it was coming, yes yes we did).

Artie is won over by the fuzzy bear. And Claudia has an invitation from Mrs. Frederick to meet for lunch (can I say again how much I love how Claudia and Artie interact?) Claudia wonders if it’s about the weird sensations she’s had lately – which worries Artie since he’s still get visions of Claudia stabbing him. Or it could be linked to Jinks’ immortality metronome connection thingy. Yes, there’s a lot going on with Claudia.

Claudia meets Mrs. Frederick, in reasonable fear of being whacked (it is, after all, Mrs. Frederick) but it turns out Mrs. Frederick is more concerned with Claudia’s destiny concerning the Warehouse – including becoming the next guardian. Something she’s worried about after getting a grey streak in her hair after it blew up and came back.

They walk through the town and Mrs. Frederick asks Claudia to check in some extra senses, to feel anything strange. The strange feeling leads Claudia to a woman in a shop. They watch as the shop is robbed at gun point and the woman Claudia sensed saves a baby’s life by taking a bullet that would have hit the baby. While talking to the injured woman, Claudia sees a chain bracelet she wears that glows.

What they saw was the creation of an Artefact. The bracelet was imbued with the woman’s bravery, becoming an Artefact. There’s no need to snag it unless it starts causing problems in Mrs. Frederick’s eyes (and it is Mrs. Frederick, never Mrs. F).

Mrs. Frederick goes on to show Claudia something else – an elderly man Claudia takes to be Mr. Frederick. He is – her grandson.

Jinks, meanwhile, uses his special lie detector ability to realise that Artie is lying about something. He follows Artie to the inventory where Artie has discovered that the Evil Brotherhood has stolen Primo Levi’s Scarf (how do they keep getting in?) He tells Jinks that Artefacts keep going missing and it’s getting round all the detection mechanisms – and that they are artefacts that have personal meaning to Artie.

They follow around and find that every Artefact that Artie has snagged has been taken, his life work being destroyed. But Jinks asks if there’s any Artefact that’s easy to find – Artie checks and finds the McCoy rifle has been taken. But he didn’t find the Hatfield rifle, so it shouldn’t be taken, which means he can use it to find the McCoy rifle. When you look through the sites of the rifle, you see where the other rifle is.

They track it down – and have some minor difficulty with the rifles automatically shooting at each other – and Jinks tells Artie about his connection with Claudia – which at least reassures him that she’s not going to stab him. they find a lot of the Artefacts, but it looks like several more of them have already been shipped

I think this show has far too few regular POC  to dress the white characters up like they did Claudia and Myka without it being problematic.

The minute they said Myka’s sister was pregnant I prepared for the worst – lots of Myka and “biological clocks” and “I’m an academically brilliant secret service agent who saves the world on a regular basis but MY LIFE IS MEANINGLESS IF I DON’T HAVE BABBIES!!!!” which I have seen and seen and seen again. Especially when Myka became pregnant and we started playing the whole “I’m hormonal, have back ache and can’t pick things up” which are also standard fodder. But it didn’t go there! In an almost unique twist, it was Pete who started pining for a child and worried about being alone. These are emotions men on TV hardly ever express – I was astonished and really pleased.

I also loved the development of Mrs. Franklin and the nature of Artefacts, but it begs the question about “all Artefacts having a downside” since Mrs. Franklin seemed unconcerned about the bracelet.

I also liked the investigation, following clue after clue, making logical steps, elminating possibilities - I like that a lot. No gut, no hunches, no magical guess work.

Remember last episode when I was curious as to whether the show threw gay jokes Jinks because it wanted to subtle analyse the pervasive effect of micro-aggressions on a gay man’s life or they were just after cheap, offensive laughs? I would like to thank this episode for clarifying the point and, really, I was very very very silly to hope for the former, wasn’t I?