Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Warehouse 13: Season 4, Episode 8: Second Chance

 The gang, naturally wants Artie to spill more information about Evil Brother Adrian which Artie isn’t sharing. He is sharing that there’s a ping – a man in West Virginia is rusting. Much to Myka’s annoyance since it prevents her from questioning Artie. Time for Jinks and Claudia’s turn to nag poor Artie – but Artie has another distraction – getting Jinks off the metronome so the damage he takes won’t kill Claudia. Artie is good with his distractions.

It seems to free oneself from the metronome – as Schuman once did – you have to interpret some dubious poetry (special rule, solutions have to be cryptic) and get a pure heart and a fresh start from “whence one came”.  As an added bonus, staying on the metronome will drive you insane, there’s the downside – so Jinks and Claudia are heading off back to where Jinks was born, something he’s not very eager to do.

Tag team number 3 – Mrs. Frederick, HG Wells and Lena who are not nearly so easy to distract. Artie breaks and tells them – the Warehouse was gone, Mrs. Frederick was dead and so was HG, sacrificing herself for Myka, Pete and Artie. And Pandora’s box was destroyed, hope was gone. In the face of this Mrs. Frederick says he did the right thing (thank you! Some validation of his choice at last) – but Artie also tells her what the downside is – he is creating an evil of his own making that he will have to live with for the rest of his days.

Artie tells them of the dream he has of Claudia stabbing him but Mrs. Frederick is confident that there’s no evil in Claudia, she’d know (since she’s grooming Claudia to be the next Warehouse Caretaker) – and she presents Brother Adrian as the evil (I agree he’s evil but maybe not The Evil). Artie’s still not happy with HG spilling his secret but she’s having none of it, time travel is too dangerous to handle alone.

Mrs. Frederick and HG find the Astrolabe where Artie hid it and Mrs. Frederick gives it to HG to take, run and hide with so there’s no chance of it ending up in the wrong hands or Artie undoing the day. HG is expressly told to trust no-one.

On the ping, Pete and Myka interview Mr. Biscowski, a steel mill worker who is rusting – he hasn’t used any old tools and the only enemy he has is the owner of the mill, since he’s been protesting the owner’s claimed bankruptcy which is causing him to stop paying his employees and sack people.

At the mill there’s a picket line and a brawl. They find that there was another accident in the mill on one of the gantries – and another member of the picketing line start to come down with the rust disease. While they’re doubtful Sisko, the mill owner, would be causing disasters in his own mill, it seems both the men afflicted got into fights with Sisko. All Artie has on him (being distracted) is that he used to be called Blaylock, he changed his name. At this point Mrs. Frederick steps into stop them distracting Artie in her classic fashion.

Pete searches Sisko’s office with the zappy bags while Myka distracts Sisko by interviewing him (with some awesome commentary from Pete) but before it goes any further, Pete gets a message that there’s another rusting victim unconnected to the mill – so it’s not Sisko (Warehouse 13 rule – the first suspect is never the actual suspect). But they do all go to the same gym

At the boxing gym they have another suspect – a worker who is more interested in the fight between the workers and the owner than in the truth. Time to interview everyone individually – and by that we mean a convoluted ploy to get Pete in the boxing ring, which goes predictably badly. But Artie does tell Myka that Sisko has been in trouble for labour abuse in the past. And she sees something on one of the boxer’s Cody’s arm when he took Pete down.

And then their new prime suspect, Gaffety who is against the boss, also catches the rust disease after telling them that Cody worked out with the woman who caught the disease. Watching the boxing match, Myka takes a slow motion footage of Cody’s punch and sees a glowing lattice appear around his arm just before he punches. They also learn that the foreman injured in the gantry accident was Cody’s father

Next step is to see him and they learn that Cody was with his dad during the accident and saved his life – managing to grab his arm and pull him up to safety one handed. And they also learn that Cody saved 2 lives in Iraq with the marines during an explosion in the Baghdad national museum as his father speaks up angrily to defend his son against accusations he’s using something to enhance his strength.

Doing some research with Artie they discover a display of Peloponnesian artefacts in the museum – including Spartan armour, imbued with the defiance and strength of the Spartans. Except Cody wasn’t wearing armour – but during the bomb, shrapnel was embedded in his chest. But cody hears this and goes running off in a rage.

They follow him to the steel mill where Myka talks to Sisko about him cutting corners and rigging the gantry to break in order to claim the insurance money while Pete struggles with Cody to stop him going after Sisko, appealing to his better nature and being punched a lot – giving him the rust disease as well. Myka tells Cody they need to neutralise his shrapnel but he says it’s against his heart, it can’t be removed. In  desperation, Myka injects the goo into Cody where it neutralises his shrapnel.

Jinks and Claudia are solving the riddle back at Jinks’s old home – and he is very reluctant. Apparently he had a big fight in the past. Still when they meet her she seems quite happy to see them. But there are big conversational road blocks – starting with the problem of his mother still believing he works for the ATF but also Jinks’s utter refusal to talk about his dead sister.

They try to play with the metronome in the house and nearly kill themselves because it is shockingly not that simple. (The whole pure heart thing? You know Jinks is going to have to deal with his issues). It turns out that the man who murdered Jinks’s sister was expected to be executed but that Jinks’s mother pushed against it, not believing in the death penalty and not wanting to add to another family’s grief. This angered Jinks and he couldn’t forgive her for it.

There follows a lot of soul searching and crying while Jinks looks to let go of his anger as his mother did – until we finally have a tearful apology, but the Astrolabe lights up and starts draining her life for some reason – Jenks throws it against the wall, destroying it. A self-sacrificing act of pure love that frees him from its control.

Am I the only who would kill to see a series lead by Mrs. Frederick, HG Wells and Lena?  C’mon you know you would. But why do I think Mrs. Frederick’s actions are looking sinister? I am glad his secret is finally out at last

While I’m glad we didn’t have to have a painful “my mother hates me because I’m gay” episode, I didn’t appreciate the brush off “this is New Jersey not North Carolina” uh-huh, there are anti-gay hate crimes and rejected gay teens in San Francisco, dismissing familial homophobia as a regional issue is belittling. But I did like seeing some more of Jinks’s history.

There were a lot of powerful emotional scenes here that were well done – showing not just that their interpersonal interactions are awesome but so are their heavy emotional moments. Buuut, the scenes were a bit twee. Sorry but they were