Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Warehouse 13 Season 4, Episode 13: The Big Snag

In the Warehouse Myka and Pete are trying to deal with balls of static electricity flying through the air by collecting them in an elephant statue belonging to the writer of the Vedas (the Vedas had one writer?) when they end up collecting too many, overloading things and breaking books that shower them with paper. This is not good.

Especially when they zap into black and white wearing 1940s clothing. Pete moans about time travel but Myka says the 1940s were actually in colour. They’re in Chicago and the pages that dropped down on them seem to be from a 1940s crime novel by Anthony Bishop. Apparently “Kiss me, forever” the page they found was his unfinished work – he went insane from writer’s block and killed himself; producing an artefact.

Back in colour and at Leena’s guest house, Artie is playing the piano where he has apparently been for days – stalked by Jinks and Claudia. It seems their plan to snap him out of it is to talk loudly about a possible Ping involving stolen classic cars within his hearing. After initial disinterest they keep pushing until his frustrated curiosity is peeked. And tells them to keep their Farnsworth handy in case he needs them to do research while he’s in the field. Claudia didn’t intend him to go without them! After much flailing Claudia and Jinks convince him to take them with him.

Back in Black & White Chicago, Pete has run down the street and found that the black and white goes on forever. At which point a figure arrives outside their PI office – a helpless damsel looking for someone to find her husband who has disappeared. She has a picture of him holding the elephant statue. They interview Rebecca Carson (or Pete does since Rebecca assumes Myka is an assistant). Yes the Jade Elephant is playing the Maltese Falcoln (and I think Charmed already did this plot).  Yes to escape the book they have to finish the story which the writer couldn’t do.

In colour – they arrive in a car dealership full of very very expensive cars. They go to see the owner about the cars he’s been stealing using an Artefact and he denies all knowledge and demands to see their warrants. Artie shoots the water cooler with his tesla and threatens to shoot up every car in the place. Well, this new Artie gets things done. He tells them he has a guy who gets them for him and wires money to him in exchange. Claudia checks his computer (“I’m not telling you my password,” “passwords just slow me down.”) but Claudia can’t track him since he’s not withdrawn any money yet

So they use the man to set a trap – using Artie’s precious precious car, Scarlet.

Black and White again; Myka mocks Pete for his cheesy film noir narration. They then open a door and someone punches Pete. They wake up in the Indigo Club, tied to chairs, guests of Caspian Barnabus who curious about why they’ll looking for Mr. Carson. He’s also looking for Carson, or so Myka deduces. He patronises her for being so very clever for a woman, and she breaks free because the goons didn’t tie her up properly because she’s a “dame”.  She also has secret service fighting training which quickly puts his bodyguards down and has Pete and Myka holding him at gun point. Barnabus reveals he paid Carson to find the elephant, but he wouldn’t hand it over once he had it. He pays them to find his elephant.

And yes, as Pete points out, Myka, a fan of the author, is definitely enjoying it. They arrive at Carson’s ransacked office and find a matchbook for a hotel – Kristie Ann. Seemingly irrelevant, but that was the author’s mother’s name.

They go to the hotel and Pete bribes the desk clerk to see the guest book with $100. He doesn’t even hesitate and runs off leaving them to it – Myka points out it’s the 40s, he could have bribed the man with $5. They find the name of Augustus Pitt Rivers who Myka says is a real archaeologist. In the hotel room they find a dead body and an open window – with a figure running away in the street, When Pete points a gun at them, they fire electricity back. The body is Carson’s.

They go to Carson’s home address to speak to Rebecca Carson and tell her that her husband’s dead – but a strange woman answers the door. She’s confused because she’s Rebecca Carson. She invites them in and tells them her husband took all their money and ran off with a peroxide blonde (the woman they met) who he met at the Indigo club.

To the club – where the blonde gets up on stage and starts singing. Preparing the snag her, Pete and Myka dance (technically well but not even slightly to the music they’re dancing to. And Myka has to tell Pete to watch his hands). When the song finishes, the blonde woman runs and Pete and Myka follow. They surprise her and take her to her dressing room. She’s Lilly Abbot. Lots and lots and lots of clichéd film noir lines follow. Myka strings together so many clichés that she virtually knows Lilly’s story already, convincing her to tell the rest – Barnabus had her get close to Carson to watch him. And Pete gets slapped for violating 40s sensibilities. When Carson double crossed Barnabus she knew Carson was dead she tried to get help which is why she went to them. And yes Myka was pretty awesome in that scene even as someone who doesn’t like film noir

Back to reality with Claudia and Artie bickering awesomely about technical gadgets and blaming each other for meddling with various devices. Claudia goes to fix her GPS and the man they assume is the thief approaches. Claudia climbs into the boot to continue to fix it. Artie leaps up to intervene, jumping in front of the car while Jinks tries to stop him. But the car drives through Artie – and through the wall of the garage.

Jinks is shocked that Artie nearly killed himself but, of course, Artie is panicking because “no-one else is dying on my watch”. Which is why it’s a bad bad bad idea for him to be in the field at the moment.

Back in black and white and they get a note to meet someone in the alley. Going out they find Anthony Bishop, the author himself. Myka fanpoodles . He describes how he was sucked into the book – every book is dedicated to his wife, who died suddenly. He tried to start a new book but couldn’t managed it, just thinking of his wife and one day, falling asleep at his typewriter and waking up in the book. His grief created the artefact, not writer’s block. And he’s keeping the story going because Lilly is based on his wife – he has a version of her in the book he doesn’t have in the real world. Myka says every one of his books end with an innocent being killed in a shoot-out, and it looks like Lily is the one in this book; so he won’t allow it to end so he can save her. He’s not going to help

This leaves their only lead as Barnabus who has taken a call and left the club already. Myka can’t track the call, but Pete flirts with the operator to get where Barnabus went. They arrive at the bridge where he was going to meet someone and find Barnabus’s body. He died from electric burns and has scratch marks on his body from long nails and a long black hair, suggesting he fought a woman. The only woman they know with long black hair is the real Rebecca Carson. They climb back up to the bridge and Rebecca is waiting for them – she shoots Pete with electricity from the elephant. Dramatic criminal exposition to Myka follows about being a jilted wife and Barnabus trying to take the elephant without paying. A police siren is heard and Rebecca runs, leaving Myka to successfully resuscitate Pete who goes from dead to perfectly fine in 2 seconds. Realising Rebecca is on the run, they realise she will go to the Indigo club to crab some money to help her skip town.

At the club, Bishop knows the combination to the safe and is hoping to take Barnabus’s money so he and Lily can leave. Which is when Rebecca and her electric elephant arrive.

Back in colour, the car thief stops in a garage and takes off their Artefact gloves. Claudia gets out of the car – and is attacked by the saleswoman from the garage. She knocks Claudia down with a metal pipe (with a speech about cars deserving to be driven and locking them up in museums or storage is wrong) and runs when Jinks and Artie arrive following Claudia’s GPS. She escapes through a wall – but Claudia has snagged one of the gloves during the fight that Artie uses to follow her – leaving Jinks and Claudia behind.

Back in black and white to a showdown – only Bishop is protecting Rebecca in hope that she will let Lily live. He threatens to kill them to save Lilly but Lily says she loves him but he knows nothing about her if he think she’ll let him kill people to save her. Aww how sweet – she then punches Rebecca in the face and stabs her foot with her high heel giving them both chance to run down the stairs. Pete scrambles up the stairs and Rebecca manages to punch her down them (really?)  Myka checks with Bishop if there’s any chance Rebecca could be a real person (no, he based her on his mother in law), hearing she isn’t, Myka shoots her dead.

Back in colour, Claudia has found the gloves are Carey Loftin, a stunt driver’s (which is why they only work on cars). They communicate this to Artie but in front of him the garage saleswoman crashes through a barrier. They can make any car untouchable – once. The cars are now crashable.

Car chase time, complete with cheesy music- and Artie and the woman play chicken. At the last second, she is the one who breaks and swerves off. Claudia and Jinks, at the other end of the Farnsworth try to process the recklessness of this and Claudia puts it down to his first field mission in a while. Neither of them believe that.

Back in black and white, Pete uses the elephant to open a portal back to the real world; and Bishop says goodbye to Lily – but he decides to stay. If he fades away it’s better to end with Lily. Back to the Warehouse. Reading the now completed book, they find Bishop found his happy ending.

Jinks goes to see Kosan alone to talk about his worries about Artie. The Regents have their own concern; which worries Jinks since he was asked to watch Artie for Artie’s own good – and this doesn’t sound like his own good. But Kosan won’t tell him anything – just telling Jinks to trust them.

Gimmicky episode. If you’re into film noir, the contrived plots, the dramatic dialogue, the hard boiled lines, the clichés, the aesthetics then you probably love it. Personally I can take or leave it – and I think Warehouse 13 has been on hiatus way too long for it to launch into Artefact of the week gimmicks – and rather a clichéd gimmick as well.

Personally I don’t think it went anywhere, advanced much or achieved much – only the Artie subplot had any meat at all.