Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Warehouse 13: Season 4, Episode 6: Fractures

 Jinks is enjoying the ultimate research project – trying to find some Artefact that will allow him to disconnect from the metronome without dying and without hurting Claudia. Except the Warehouse is huge (as he whines to Artie. Who knows) and he doesn’t want to involve Claudia since she will stop him. And Artie is considering moving in with Dr. Vanessa Calder (and is both encouraged and teased mercilessly for it).

In the Artefact issues we have a little place in South Dakota where a nice young lady called Kristen is organising items in a thrift store and finds a full length mirror. And a light by it marked “click me”, she does and there is a figure in the mirror – a young woman with too much eye shadow. They touch through the glass, there’s a purple flash, the sound of breaking glass and Kristen emerges looking very different. Yes, it’s Lewis Carole’s mirror again, and that is Alice possessing Kristen who comes out and starts kissing a priest before stabbing him. She drives off in a big van, causing chaos on the roads until she looks in the mirror, sees Alice who urges her to “show some skin”. While distracted unbuttoning her top, an armoured van crashes into her van.

In the hospital she is patched up and tethered to the bed, yelling death threats and Pete and Myka show up to interview the wounded priest about Kristen’s possession. Interviewing Kristen looks like it’s going to be difficult – but Kristen recognises both of them and knows their names (from the last time they dealt with Alice, who possessed Myka). Pete speculates telepathy, but Kristen just becomes more disturbing and more creepy.

At the thrift store they spray random objects until they find the shards of Lewis Carole’s mirror – and the label confirming what it is – which they encountered before and locked it in the Dark Vault. They realise then that Kristen is Alice

In the hospital, Alice/Kristen seduces an orderly and gets free – and the address to L’Etoile, which she is looking for for some reason – and she plays with a shard of the mirror. Pete and Myka arrive to find her gone – but they do find a very confused Kristen – who is no longer possessed by Alice. She describes exactly what it was like to be trapped in Lewis Carole’s mirror, which Myka remembers. They figure that Alice has jumped into another body – any body – just as an ambulance screams away leaving the driver behind.

At the Warehouse, Claudia knows something’s up with Jink’s unwillingness to go out in the field. He used to like action now he’s happy to take a back seat, researching which, in turn, grounds Claudia. Any issues are interrupted by Myke and Pete calling so Claudia can set up tracking the ambulance. It also leaves Jinks and Claudia the job of finding a new Artefact that can contain Alice and figure out how the mirror was removed from the Dark Vault in the first place.

In the Dark Vault they find one of the gems the evil priest has been leaving behind while stealing Artefacts that Jinks and Arte saw last episode – Jinks tells this to Claudia and is surprised to find that Artie hasn’t told Claudia about it as he said. Lena arrives and, as an expert of the Warehouse, she has an idea on what they need. A hookah pipe that draws out a person’s soul and traps it (Alice contains several Artefacts). Claudia climbs a mountain of unsorted Artefacts to reach it – and in doing so dislodges a stick that shocks Jinks – and causes red and blue energy to shoot between the two of them. He manages to convince Claudia everything is fine – and he’s just being protective because Artie told him about her “phantom pains” (actually pain from Jink’s injuries) but Lena isn’t convinced – she saw their auras switch and she’s seen it before and it didn’t end well.

Pete and Myka follow the newly possessed Alice just as he moves bodies yet again – and leaves a burning petrol station behind. In desperation, they call Artie to bring him up to speed. He’s less than pleased with them interrupting his lovely date with Dr. Vanessa. They tell him she’s in Rapid city South Dakota and heading to L’Etoile, wherever that is. Artie knows – it’s the restaurant he’s currently eating in. he looks up to a waitress pouring them some free champagne, and in the reflective surface, sees Alice and she has a knife. He tells Pete to get their quickly – pushes Alice away and he and Vanessa make a run for it (she’s quick on the uptake). They meet Pete and Myka outside and conclude that Alice is hunting Artie.

Using mirror glasses, Pete and Myka circulate through the crowd looking for Alice while Lena, Claudia and Jinks bring the hookah. Alice sees them coming and body jumps again – and again before they catch her. She could be anywhere and anyone.

So they set a trap – using Artie as bait in a hotel lobby and putting Jinks, Claudia, Myka and Pete on the exits – and Dr. Vanessa after she insists and refuses to be protected especially as a Warehouse Agent, even if she is the doctor. Myka also finally shows some compassion for Alice – how being in the mirror for a few hours made Myka feel alone and isolated, and Alice was locked up for about over a century – and we learn that Alice went mad in the first place because she accidentally killed her mother in front of the mirror.

Alice arrives, body switches again – and kidnaps Dr. Vanessa – and then possesses Vanessa to kidnap Artie, and then possesses Claudia (will someone please cover their eyes?!) who breaks the hookah and tries to stab Artie. Artie, of course, has flashbacks to all the visions he’s been having of Claudia stabbing him in relation to the Astrolabe – but Jinks moves in the way, getting stabbed in the shoulder – which causes Claudia/Alice to stagger back from the reflected pain of it. He then holds up the glass to her eyes and teslas it – creating the light that puts Alice back in the glass which they then goo.

In the aftermath, Artie decides to end his relationship with Dr. Vanessa – it’s just too dangerous for her, he can’t stand putting her at risk. She protests that this can happen to any agent, their jobs are dangerous, but he can’t stand the thought of her dying because of him (especially with the angry priest). Vanessa is angry and makes it clear when he comes to his senses, call her – because she’s going nowhere.

Also this means that Claudia and Jinks have to have the awkward decision about them being linked. She nixes him unhooking himself from the metronome. And Jinks tells everyone about the diamonds and Artie’s life work being destroyed.

And Artie starts ranting to himself about Evil priest Father Adrian – secretly overheard by Lena

One thing we did get this episode is the character interactions. They’ve been a little shaky this season, what with all the stress, but one of the things that really makes the show is how everyone bounces off each other. They really interact well, they feel like friends, they feel like family – I bet the actors really get on well together because they have a lot of natural chemistry (especially Artie, Claudia and, to a lesser extent, Jinks).

So we have a woman possessed by an evil woman. And what does she do? Become more sexual. It’s a trope, a nasty trope and a common trope that a short cut to an evil woman is to portray her as sexual. Did we need her to stroke and kiss the priest? Stabbing and punching him pretty much established her as evil.

Vanessa, Vanessa – at the beginning I was eager to see her become a new agent, a regular, active character especially the way she rejected being babied by Artie. But then she becomes a hostage, her whole part in this show is to hurt Artie and he breaks up with her to protect her. Not so good.

Ok, Alice, Alice, Alice – I’m glad Myka, at least, finally called out how this girl has been treated. She was a girl, who was traumatised and then lived the deeply ableist and common “insane person is dangerous” trope that need to end yesterday. So this girl – a girl with no special powers or abilities – was locked up in a magically isolation cell for over a century. And everyone was going alone with this? There was no attempt to remove her from the mirror and put her in therapy or a secure hospital? The only consolation is that, with the shard of the mirror gooed, we can hope Alice is actually dead and not suffering centuries of torture