Warehouse 13 3.07 “Past Imperfect” Review

A column article, Shot For Shot by: Tom Carroll
Pete helps Myka catch a dangerous killer--the man who murdered her previous partner. Meanwhile, Artie, Claudia, and Steve interrogate a dog that is a key witness to the theft of an artifact.

Warehouse 13 airs Monday nights at 9:00PM EST on Syfy.

What is your comfort level?

Guys: Does it make your motor go to jump 15 busses laid end to end using your kid's plastic Big Wheel with a jet engine strapped to the back that was just salvaged from a Messerschmitt Me-262 (look it up: it's the coolest WWII plane ever)?

Ladies: Would it float your boat to perform the basket toss cheerleading maneuver at halftime of the Auburn/Alabama football game using a base of four men displaying the muscle power of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, The Big Show, Randy Orton, and John Cena?

While each of these situations may seem fairly inane, don't think the writers of Warehouse 13 haven't thought about employing them. This season the show seems hell bent to place Pete (Eddie McClintock) and Myka (Joanne Kelly) in situations that, while they don't involve jet engines and WWE Superstars (yet), may seem downright uncomfortable to them, and to us watchers.

For instance, take this week's episode: "Past Imperfect." In the show Pete helps Myka track down the man who killed Sam Martino (Gabriel Hogan), Myka's previous partner (and undercover lover), an act that basically sucked out all joy in her life and set her psyche back a millennium or three.

This really is serious business and the fact that both Pete and Myka treat it so gives the show an emotional boost that can be MIA when one more or less upstages the other. Bits of the story are told through flashback, so we get to see a different side of Myka, one that is ass over teakettle in love ... so different from the cynical pseudo crone (a bit harsh? Maybe ... so sue me) that she metastasized into afterward. In that other, happier reality, Myka wasn't so different from the loopy Pete. And that reveal really is the show's heartbeat.

And it's really refreshing to watch an episode where Pete is very much the voice of reason. Yeah, I didn't stutter.

The other wonderful part of this episode is that it allows Myka's real life counterpart, Joanne Kelly, to display all of her character's sides in ways that are as enticing as they are essential. She starts out humorous, shifts to grave (good play on words, huh ... grave?), and finally ends up devoid of humor. Props to Ms. Kelly. She nailed it.

The other half of the show's story arc involves Artie (Saul Rubinek), Claudia (Allison Scagliotti), and Steve (Aaron Ashmore) interrogating a dog that was witness to the theft of an important artifact. You read me right – Benji rears his ugly head in Warehouse 13. It was bound to happen: the show went to the dogs.

Enough yucks.

It all makes sense in a kooky Syfy way since it helps move forward the season-long plot arc about a mysterious uber-group elbowing in on the Warehouse. Anyone can write a witness into the show, but when the witness is a dog, it isn't a huge leap of faith that we're going to be given a gift wrapped scene showing Arnie mind-melding with this shaggy spectator. It highlights one of the major strong points of the show, humor rubbing shoulders with tension. When it works it is magic, and believe me, it's working here.

While it was essential for Myka and Pete do the heavy lifting in this episode, and the B-Team Bombers decide if they should use Kibbles ‘n Bits or Gravy Train to loosen the dog's tongue, I hope the Warehouse 13 writing team can mix things up the composition of the teams a bit more.

Warehouse 13 walks a delicate balance between gags that are, well, gaggy, and action that can really be quite taut and dramatic. “Past Imperfect” is a great example of this and if the series were to maintain a similar tone from week to week, I'd be more pleased than a beaver at a Lincoln Log convention. But considering the up and down whiplash of the previous 2.5 seasons, maybe we shouldn't expect miracles.

In fact, I'll go out on a limb and say that next week we might just be seeing Ray Mysterio on a jet propelled tyke's trike, tossing a cheerleader over 15 busses laid end to end. Considering that the episode is called, “The 40th Floor,” the Mexican Mastermind from the 619 had better make sure he has enough gas in the tank.

Tom Carroll is a writer and artist who has worked in video games, online media, and comic books. Most recently he worked for Interplay Entertainment (Giants: Citizen Kabuto for PS2) and Rockstar San Diego (Midnight Club series and Red Dead Redemption). He wrote P.O.D.: The Nexus (2008, Zondervan Press, a division of Harper-Collins), and has his own comic property, The Gun Nose Chronicles, in development. He currently writes for Game Developer magazine and Comics Bulletin. Tom is also entered in a jingle contest. Help him win by going to the Corky's Pest Control website and voting for “It Hurts.”

Community Discussion