We start at Arkansas state prison. Something starts falling from the sky – like snow or ash. And one wall begins to melt into a lava flow. The police rush to try and get all of the prisoners out of the yard away from the lava and the growing hole in wall, but a second’s curiosity is all the inmates give it before turning and running like hell away from the spreading pool of lethal lava.
Myka and Jinks arrive to examine the hole, talking to Artie by Farnsworth to ask if there are any Artefacts that can manipulate lava. Artie says plenty – that’s why he hates volcanoes, they always cause so much emotion that they’re bound to produce Artefacts. (Pete thinks it’s a lava monster. Or wants it to be a lava monster, they’re not sure). At the Warehouse the shelves are still a bit shaky after the quakes from last week – and Artie wants to throw Claudia a birthday party. Myka doesn’t think Artie arranging a 21 year old’s surprise birthday party is the best idea ever (I think it’s awesome considering what Artie can do with Artefacts). While collecting a Black light, Artie also gets pummelled repeatedly by a small blue rubber ball that bounces off his head and a clock opposite. Artie catches it, puts it back and walks off to party plan
The clock frowns after him. That’s not good. Moody timepieces are not good.
Pete shows up at the prison and tells Myka a US Marshall has arrived (Pete has fun with that one, of course, with a TV quote) which the Marshall hears and joins in on – Liam Napier. Turns out all the inmates are accounted for. But then Liam spots Jinks and recognises him, calling him “Jersey”. He approaches with arms moving for a hug – but Jinks shakes his hand and calls him Marshall. Jink promptly tries to get rid of Liam as fast as he can. But Pete points out there could still be prisoners missing from the main building – the lava flow may have just been a distraction. Liam runs to do a full headcount, doing another TV quote which means he’s won Pete over. Oh he’s a simple man of simple tastes.
Inside the prison they find another melted hole – and 2 convicts have escaped: Barton and Davis. And the hole was opened from the outside. Switch to them meeting up with a blonde woman, getting in her truck and carefully stashing an ancient looking jug – which Davis is sure they can use to burn into a bank vault.
Pete, Myka and Jinks get the full information from Liam – the Davis was part of a gang called the Turks (an armed robber) as was Barton before leaving them. Davis’s old accomplice, Griff, is still in the prison. It seems odd to Myka that Davis would escape with Barton an not Griff and Liam goes to collect Griff. With him gone, Myka adds that someone should keep an eye on Liam – Jinks hurriedly nominates Pete. Even Pete notices Jinks acting funny – he tries to deny it in vast fumbling. And Myka makes the huge leap that Liam is Jink’s ex.
A huge leap – but an accurate one. Convoluted story leaping for 10! Jinks admits it but really doesn’t want to be stuck on an assignment with a guy who dumped him. Myka offers to hate him – because they can all totally hate him if necessary. Jinks nixes the hating and insists that he really really really doesn’t want to talk about it. Myka agrees while Pete says Liam is hunky and looks like him which makes Pete Jenk’s type. Yes, Jenks, it can most certainly get worse.
Myka shadows Liam but, of course, when he asks about Jinks she has to talk and try to say how amazing Jinks is, how terrible Liam was for dumping him and how awesome Jinks is without him. which all falls apart very quickly because Jink’s doesn’t match the picture Myka tries to pain and Liam sees right through it.
Myka and Liam interrogate Griff and between him letting himself get riled awfully easy and Myka making vast leaps of logic, as she tends to, they realise that Barton is buying his way back in the gang with stashed stolen loot he has; and that Davis dropped Griff in favour of Barton’s money. They suggest asking the other Turks in the prison what they think – and telling Griff how very helpful he’s been.
Pete and Jinks walk through the prison with Pete stubbornly talking about Liam and Jinks tells him that even though Liam was the one, they broke up because Liam kept lying – and Jinks is an infallible lie detector. In Davis’s cell they find a loveletter from his girlfriend, Anna. Pete finds a dreadfully awful love poem – which Jinks realises are instructions about the prison break from Anna to Davis.
Following up on what Griff told them, Myka and Liam go into the woods where the money was stashed. They can tell they’re on the right track when the see volcanic ash falling from the skies – and more than just ash, there are patches of lava on the floor, still smouldering. They find the stash of money – for some reason Davis et al left it behind. They also find a mobile phone – and a truck! With Anne trapped inside, the doors welded shut with lava. Next to the truck in a solidifying pile of lava (pumice?) is Davis’s body.
Liam, not being a fool, realises there’s something major going on. By, y’know, the lava. Myka uses a call to distract him while Farnsworthing Jinks and Pete about the deaths –and Barton being interested in something other than money and being willing to use the Artefact to kill
Talking to Anna, they learn that Davis tried to kill Barton once they had the money and Barton killed Davis with the jug – which is from her grandmother, from Italy. She leads them to where Barton’s going next – a diner the Turks hang out at. When they arrive it has only dead Turks and lots of lava which is going to be a real pain to clear up. Pete questions the wait staff and they learn Barton’s hunting down someone called Chris and, again, he was attacked first.
After all the secrecy, Liam finally demands to talk to Jinks – he demands to know what’s going on so he can do his job. But Jinks tells him everything would be easier for both of them if Liam wasn’t there. Ouch. Liam says speaks for himself and walks off – working with his people who share information who have directed him to a safehouse. Myka tells Jinks to go after him – personal stuff aside, he can’t track down Barton without them and he could end up being killed by the Artefact.
Myka and Pete finally track down who Chris is – or Christina rather. Switch to her answering the door to Barton. She doesn’t look happy about it.
Liam and Jinks are driving with Liam frustrated they won’t tell him anything and added frustrated that Jinks never talks about his feelings and they can’t talk about their breakup either – even though Jinks left without saying goodbye. So they have the breakup fight: Jinks is angry that Liam lied all the time but Liam is frustrated by Jink’s lie detection flagging even white lies (like pretending his lasagne was any good). Liam says he loved Jinks but didn’t like him because he was so tense feeling like Jinks was analysing him – so he tried not to screw up and made it worse. Jinks apologises and adds that he hates being able to detect lies and he hates that lies bother him so much – but ultimately that’s who he is. This comes with the added tragedy that if he couldn’t make it work with Liam he doesn’t think he can ever make it work.
Myka and Pete go to see Chris who denies knowing Barton – but Myka spots volcanic ash in her house. They talk to Chris and Pete asks about her son – recognising the signs of him around the house. On a notepad they find the tattoo of the Turks, suggesting her son is a member and a possible target for Barton. After talking about protecting him, Kyle, they finally realise that Barton is Kyle’s dad. Honestly they can make the hugest leaps of logic but can’t see the obvious if it hits them in the face. Turns out Barton is trying to save his son
Meanwhile, raiding the safehouse Liam and Jinks find no-one but do find a list of deliveries including times and places – one not far from them. They arrive and find a large number of the Turks, young Kyle and a captured security guard. They give Kyle the gun and expect him to kill the guard. Which is when Barton arrives, threatening the Turks to keep them away from Kyle. Kyle’s less than thrilled since he thinks Barton pretty much abandoned him and he isn’t impressed with Barton playing the “don’t make the mistakes I did.” The Turks aren’t buying the threats either – and go for their guns
So Jenks and Liam draw theirs as well and a shootout begins – giving the guard time to escape and Barton chance to spray lava towards the gang of Turks once he has his son clear. As he runs Barton is shot and the open jug goes flying, spilling lava everywhere, filling the entire floor of the car park. Barton and his son scrabble up a ladder just above the lava (which would probably kill them from heat alone), with Barton and a stunning lack of priorities continuing to tell his son not to join the Turks. Lava now. Son’s dubious career choices later. Myka and Pete arrive to see the lava and the bottle – and Liam leaps on a car to avoid the lava lake, telling Jinks he can escape by himself (hah you can’t lie to Jinks).
Jinks gets a car and drives it through the lava to give Liam a stepping stone to jump on and escape. And Liam takes a wonderful Warehouse operative leap of logic and guesses exactly what Jinks does for a living. Hey, that’s Myka’s shtick.
Since it looks like fun, Myka and Pete join in surfing slowly melting cars through the river of molten lava (which would totally have killed them from the heat by now). Pete and Myka get close enough that Pete and lower Myka down to close the lava pot and grab it. She goos the pot and all the lava rapidly cools into rock that is solid, hot enough to smoke but not so hot that Barton falling on it gets burned.
Barton and Kyle have a reconciliation moment before Barton goes back to prison. Myka confirms the pot is an amphora from Pompeii and Pete is hoping Liam and Jinks can get together.
Jinks is more concerned in ensuring that Liam keeps the big secret quiet. And they poke and joke a little more about the lying issue. They make their goodbyes properly with much less resentment
At the Warehouse, Artie goes all out for the party, odd hallucination Artefacts and all. And tries to hide the room from Claudia – though she sees and comments at the very very very awful choices in décor Artie has made. Claudia thanks Artie for the strange attempt at a party but tries to talk him out of it – she just wants to go to a bar with Jinks. Claudia tries to remind him that while she was a kid when they first met, she’s an adult now (though Artie has a good point about age not being linked to adulthood – Pete is a prime example). They argue, speaking over each other and Artie stops her so he can turn off the music first.
But there’s no music playing. Only Artie can hear it. Oh that’s not good. The unhappy clock? That was Beethoven’s clock
They check it out and find part of it is missing - which is why they can’t neutralise it. An Artefact needs to be whole to be gooed. Using her computer wizardry, Claudia quickly and easily finds the other half in a gallery (in between pointing out what a skilled ADULT she is to Artie). To Boston (where Artie can show Claudia where he first threw the tea in the harbour. Oh that was a good one) and quickly because the music in Artie’s head is getting louder.
When they arrive at the gallery Artie nearly sets off an alarm. He decides to stay in the car because he can’t hear anything and is becoming a liability. Claudia writes him notes that she needs him – which he denies – and “don’t make me stab you again” which Artie (wrongfully) says isn’t remotely funny (aww, c’mon it was). They go in together – but objects are clearly missing. They find an address of who bought it and the music gets even louder – Artie realises they’re moving down the dates of his songs until the point Beethoven went deaf.
They track the statue down but seeing how eager they are for it man they meet assume sit may be worth a lot of money and runs with it. They chase but Artie stops when he’s struck profoundly death by the Artefact, leaving Claudia to run ahead alone and bring him down. Artie catches up with them and the big man mocks Artie – what’s he going to do? Artie punches him hard enough to knock him over the balcony – and Claudia then Teslas him. Mess not with Artie, he has a mean right hook. They good the Artefact and Artie’s hearing returns.
Peaceful conclusion! They all meet up in a bar for cake and celebrations. Claudia demands Jinks dish on his ex since he didn’t even text her – and he tells her there’s nothing to tell. They just said goodbye in a very very good way (aww, and we didn’t get to even see a kiss?) And Artie’s surprise guest isn’t a clown as they keep guessing – it’s a live performance from Cherie Curie… who I don’t know but Claudia loves.
I liked the development of Jinks – it’s been a long time coming. I was really hopeful when he was first introduced but then him being gay seemed to be a constant source of bad jokes that was cringeworthy, especially since he was obviously a 5th character behind Pete, Myka, Artie and Claudia (the credits make that clear if nothing else). So having a full relationship – one largely lacking in stereotype and one that broke because of reasons entirely unrelated to his sexuality. It was one of the few times on television, and certainly in this genre, where we had an actual, canonical gay couple who genuinely cared and their sexuality wasn’t reduced to a joke or, entirely, a tragedy. It would have been nicer without the break up and also nicer if the break up wasn’t couched in terms of “I can never ever be in love!” which seems to be clawing up that tragedy. And if they’re going to close apparently having sex off screen it would have been nice if there weren’t clear blue sky between them at all times. But those aside it was definitely one of the much better depictions. In fact, out of all the shows we follow, it may be the best depiction of a gay male couple we’ve seen. Which is pretty damn depressing now I think of it.
I also like some more poking at Jinks’s lie detection ability and the downside to it – I’d like to see that explored more but since Warehouse 13 is apparently only going to have one more half season, it seems unlikely.
Claudia and Artie are excellent together – and I like the whole dynamic between the whole team expecting Artie to treat Claudia as a child. And yes, he does sometimes see her as the child he first met – yet at the same time even with Claudia constantly trying to prove herself, it’s pretty clear by the end that Artie has definitely being looking at Claudia as the capable adult she is. Not just at the end without the clown, but throughout the mission Artie is continually sending Claudia in alone, confident of her abilities while Claudia is the one with doubts.