Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Warehouse 13, Season 5, Episode 2: Secret Services

We’re following up on Claudia’s issue this week. Claudia’s sister, Claire, was presumed dead in a car crash, but she’s apparently alive and Artie k new about it and has been lying to Claudia. Claudia is not happy. Talking with Jinks and looking at the case it’s further clear that the car accident that was supposed to have killed her sister looks like an Artefact related badness.

She makes a big elaborate plan on how to hack in when Artie announces from the door “or I could show you”. Artie realises there’s absolutely no way he can stop Claudia researching so he’s going to help at least then he can watch her. And he’s not lying (Claudia knows, she checked with Jinks’s lie detector woo-woo).

So, Artie takes Claudia and Jinks to an Artefact they’ve used before that shows memories; not her memories, but Artie’s memories. It was a Warehouse case and, yes, Artie worked on it and she’s going to see what happened through his memories – which Claudia still finds second best to actually seeing her sister.

(Also ulterior motive is that if this is settled Artie gets to not be stared at by Jinks and his lie detector for the rest of his life. Though Jinks may do that for fun).

Back into the memories, into Claire’s school, where Claire is causing chaos by floating in a tornado and throwing dangerous black wind everywhere which she is using to break stuff and terrorise people.

As memory ghosts, they follow Artie around (looking at Claudia’s parents who died when Claire was supposed to have died).

Cut to going to Claudia’s old house and her parents trying to take Claire to see a doctor. Artie tries to take Claudia away so she doesn’t see what happens but Claudia insists – and Claire loses her temper, the black wind appears and she throws her parents’ car against a tree repeatedly. Her parents are inside and die in the crash. Claire faints.

Memory Artie and Mrs. Frederick watch. Memory Artie goes in the house to check on Claudia as a child and young Claudia identifies the music box (Frances Farmer’s Music box) as the cause of the problems which had been thrown in the fire. The fact Claudia recognised it as a child marked her as someone special to watch as Artie tells Mrs. Frederick.

But the music box was destroyed – there was no way to neutralise it so its power remained in Claire, ready to be unleashed whenever she was angry. They tried everything, sedatives, anti-psychotics, but it didn’t work; they ended up putting her in an Artefact induced coma. But Claudia now wants to know if it’s her fault – did she throw the music box into the fire?

They return to the Warehouse and Claudia walks away, unable to talk about what she saw yet. But later she decides she wants to use the Memory-Shoes on Claire’s memories. Artie doesn’t want this to happen because the Memory-Shoes aren’t safe, but Claudia rejects his mission to keep her safe all the time; and Jinks offers to go with Claudia in case Artie’s protective instincts are shutting down the visions.

They take Claudia to where Claire is kept, Artefacts keeping her healthy, but sleeping. They go back in her memories (Claire a silent guide with her eyes closed) to see Claire buying the music box at a jumble sale (even as child Claudia tells her not to with her unerring Artefact sense). On the day of the car crash, her parents argue with Claire and child Claudia keeps blaming the music box – so Claire uses her new telekinesis wind to throw it into the fire. Claire destroys it.

They come back to the present and Claudia and Artie are revealed it wasn’t Claudia who destroyed the box – and even though the silent guide Claire was in obvious distress watching the scene, she still stayed long enough so Claudia could see and be reassured.

Myka is facing a much more daunting, terrifying test – tea with Mrs. Frederick (ugh, is that tea? Is that weak, slightly tinted water what Americans call tea? What is that?!) Mrs. Frederick also wants to know about Myka’s baby making plans (because she’s had a life threatening scare and it may change her priorities) which Myka takes as a question as to how dedicated she is (because she is so very dedicated to her job). But she says she’s need to find someone anyway…

And Pete arrives and asks what about him. Myka’s come back is an awesome “see, I already have a child.” But Pete suggests having kids with him (poor Myka – for some reason it seems even worse now Pete has that tragic hair), Mrs. Frederick uses her very very useful teleport power to quickly bail on this discussion. That’s it – that’s the super power I want! TELEPORT FROM AWKWARD CONVERSATIONS! Pete suggests that in 10 years if neither of them find a significant other then… Myka suggests a murder/suicide pact. And she hopes for an Artefact that will kill them before she has to do it

That was some quality snark from Myka, good job, keep that up.

Anyway, time for the Artefact of the week – in DC a lobbyist for fracking who has a nice little in with a congressman suddenly starts drowning in a gym. Nowhere near the water. It’s an anti-corruption Artefact that kills industry lobbyists? Clearly urgent action is required to make it 10 times more powerful!

Apparently not and Pete and Myka are called in – and they meet another 2 Secret Service people as well, Elise and Ted, who they know from before. A little more pressure pushing together Pete and Myka as a couple (and more little hints that Pete really wants it to happen). They’re there because while the victim was a lobbyist there were a lot of VIPs around. They also find the victim coughed up sand as well as water – sounds unpleasant.

But the big news is they’re alllll working together and that Myka and Pete have a reputation now for doing woo-woo cases. So how do they keep the secret and work with Ted and Elise?

Investigating they find the lobbyist was pushing for fracking on protected lands; so the list of enemies is pretty huge. And Pete flirts with Elise who is very not interested. Then bothers Myka with his plan for platonic baby making

Time for the next victim to die the same way! A senator who was just ripping up a letter from a constituent, Harriet, he was ignoring. (Myka notices that Ted has a parking ticket which is apparently suspicious and will, no doubt, be relevant later). Myka also notices the water the Senator choked on was salt water. While Elise and Pete interview Diane, the senator’s chief of staff (and Pete causes minor chaos touching things) who confirms that he probably worked with the lobbyist because the senator was very much Team!fossil fuels. And both were working on the same bill; along with 10 other senators.

Pete and Myka try to call Elise and Ted – but their phones are turned off, which is odd. Myka and Pete are suspicious by all the… well, non-clues and vast assumptions. Really, there’s so little basis for their suspicions it’s beyond dubious. Convinced Elise and Ted are involved they decide to go to where Ted got his parking ticket… because… reasons.

They go and decide the best thing to do is hold their colleagues at tesla-point. Yes… really. It turns out their nefarious scheme was to get married. They kept it quiet because the agency frowns on such fraternisation. Interruption! There’s another victim

A real estate buyer with no apparent connection to anything political. (Also more tension between Myka and Pete) but they find Freddie, the new victim, went from a bar tender to mega-rich so go to his old job to check the connection. More talk about relationships (Elise re-evaluated what she wanted in life after a pregnancy scare which is definitely supposed to be a take on Myka) and Ted is convinced he sees something between Pete and Myka

Anyway to the case, they recognise the logo of the hotel and remember a big political drama in the past when a woman, Julia, disappeared during a big political shindig at the hotel. Unproved allegations of affairs, blackmail, murder et al flew after an anonymous tipster spilled lots of alleged scandal; the speculation destroyed a senator’s (Kelton) career and marriage and he committed suicide. That anonymous tipster was probably Freddie, who got a convenient “inheritance” at the same time. The senator who just drowned won Kelton’s seat after the scandal; Myka thinks someone’s out for revenge on Kelton’s behalf against these people who destroyed Kelton. And the next victim will be Nancy, the reporter who broke the story.

They go to her – and she denies all knowledge, right before she starts coughing up sea water. They use the Artefact they’ve prepared – silver from the mines of the Atacama desert, the driest place on Earth, to stop the drowning. Having saved her life, Pete and Myka brainstorm what triggered the attack – the last thing Nancy said was she had nothing to do with the conspiracy. A lie. The drowned senator also lied to his constituent when he promised to looking into her issue before tearing up her letter. The fracking lobbyist told the congressman that fracking was absolutely safe before he was attacked. Their drownings are all triggered by lies (can we have 10 of these in politics?) They talk to Nancy again and she admits she was paid to run the story – by Diane, the senator’s chief of staff who objected to Pete touching everything.

They confront Diane and she admits that they heard about the woman’s disappearance and made up the whole scandal to implicate Senator Kelton so they could win the election. They watch her in case she’s the next victim and she shows them a nifty sword hilt she has – an old souvenir that screams “Artefact” which she shows to Ted and it glows. Ted continues bickering with Elise which they have been doing since the marriage – and he lies. And starts to drown. Diane makes a run for it while Myka uses the Atacama silver to save Ted; he manages to tell her about the sword hilt.

Myka and Pete brainstorm about Alfred Dreyfus’s sword hilt (and Pete actually having some input for once) and Elise hears all this and has to digest. It also gives them time to think of Diane’s motives – she’s retiring from politics because she “doesn’t have the stomach for it.” So she’s murdering her co-conspirators out of guilt. This woman has an… interesting conscience.

With a random leap of logic they decide Diane’s last victim must be Julia – the girl who went missing that gave them ammunition for the scandal. Now that does seem a stretch. They send Elise with the Atacama silver to the hospital because Nancy and Ted’s lungs keep filling with water. They find the paper trail, including the money that was paid to Julia

They arrive at the scene just as Diane has used the hilt on Julia and is now trying to provoke her into a lie. Diane runs and barricades herself in a room – and uses the hilt on herself; then deliberately lies, claiming her innocence, that she hasn’t hurt anyone. The hilt kicks in; but Pete and Myka get to her in time to neutralise the hilt.

All ends well, back to the Warehouse (with Elise and Ted keeping their secret because of the secret marriage thing). And Pete is serious for once in saying how he’s always there for Myka and if she wants to talk seriously about babies et al, then yes, he’s therefore her. Which is kind of declaring his interest – before running away like a schoolboy.

And Claudia declares she’s not giving up on Claire.

The scene with Mrs. Frederick and Myka is awkward and there’s a big sense of “woman-must-breed” there which Myka has had to deal with before. Buuuut, pulling back a bit I think there’s another angle as well – in that the team have, again, helped save Mrs. Frederick and dealt with Mrs. Frederick up close for an extended period of time. She isn’t just some distant, ominous authority figure. In other words, Mrs. Frederick is trying to be Myka’s friend (she’s painfully awkward, her topic of conversation is terrible and Myka is terribly nervous). While Myka, of course, is seeing her boss asking questions. This is one of those dynamics that would be awesome to see play out – if only this weren’t the last season!

There is this ongoing issue that Myka – brilliant, intelligent, hard working, doing a job that has literally saved a gazillion lives – is somehow missing something because she isn’t a mother. No-one looks to Pete as a father (though, admittedly, this could be because he’s a manchild).

This whole Pete and Myka… I get it, it’s been building for 5 seasons but I feel almost like they’ve reached the last season and are now pushing the fast forward because now we have so much crammed into one episode.

The episode itself was clearly a vehicle to throw these 2 issues, the plot being fairly meh with some big logic leaps.