Warehouse 13 3.11/12 "Emily Lake/Stand" ReviewA tv review article by: Tom Carroll
SEASON FINALE: Sykes reveals his plan to get revenge on the Regents and recover the Collodi Bracelet, a plan that will cost one agent their life.
I hope you feel it like I do; that little tickle at the back of your throat and a moisture dribbling down from your right (or left) eye.
No, it’s not hay fever, though it might indicate that you’re gradually becoming allergic to the dander kicked up by musty, dusty artifacts stored on the incredibly filthy shelves within Warehouse 13.
I maintain it is the feeling you get when a particularly satisfying season of your favorite show is ending and the knowledge that you’ll be enduring reruns of various other Syfy shows or – gasp! – segueing to reality programming like X Factory, Dancing with the Dweebs, or Jersey Snore (there is an 800 number if you stoop this low and need an intervention).
But none of that has to do with the back to back last episodes of Warehouse 13: “Emily Lake,” and “Stand.” These two episodes put the gangly yet growing audience for the show hanging firmly on at the edge of a cliff, leaving them wanting more without any means of making it happen until the beginning of Season Four.
You can’t sum up a two episode finale without giving a larger than usual serving of recap, so hold out your tin cups, authentic WWI mess kits, or Victorian porcelain plates and I’ll heave onto them a honking huge helping.
“Emily Lake” opens with the Warehouse squad sussing out that Sally Stukowski sowed nanites on a painting she helped Artie and Jinks steal. Artie annihilates them and argues against any additional analysis. Neither Pete nor Myka will give up so easily! Claudia concludes the nanites clearly classify Tyler, a hacker who once endangered his community with golem’s necklace, a nifty artifact. Tyler toils for Sykes and tries to find a tutor named Emily Lake.
Following me so far?
I’ll cut the alluring alliteration. I’m sure you’re throwing things at the screen right now.
On the trail of Ms. Lake, Pete and Myka discover that she is, in fact, H.G. Wells. Crazy, that … Helena never seemed the classroom type, but in time I’m sure she’d become more like Cameron Diaz in Bad Teacher. But maybe this is actually someone else that just looks like Helena. Wait, I’m confused. Pete and Myka must be, too, but they discover that Emily’s apartment is littered with faked photos showing a background that she probably never knew. Then Syke’s right hand man, Marcus, arrives and the good girls have to take a powder while Pete and Marcus resort to fisticuffs, eventually leading to Marcus taking flight from the fifth story window without aid of a pair of wings (he should have had a Red Bull … get it?). Reunited with Emily, Pete is outfoxed by a Tesla-toting Steve Jinks and Marcus (who doesn’t seem any the worse for wear … maybe he did have a Red Bull). Emily gets nabbed.
Feeling better about this plot? It is convoluted.
In a wonderful scene, Sykes and Marcus try to get the goods from Emily/H.G., but can’t because H.G.’s memories were cleaved out of her bod by Regents using a Janus coin. While it seems like a lot of trouble, H.G.’s consciousness is stored in the coin which is inside of the Magic 8 Ball. Emily Lake, and all her fake memories, now resides inside H.G.’s bod, seemingly so the bod can go on living a normal life. Too bad Emily’s students never knew that previously she had been a brilliant scientist, then Warehouse agent, then extreme bad guy; if they had they’d have paid more attention during class. But then again, one of them might have used the Janus coin to get a Dr. Pepper out of the campus soda machine, but …
… dare I say, I digress.
Sykes and Marcus race with Pete, Myka, and Claudia to find the Janus coin because it is the only way to reunite H.G. with her bod and reincarnate one of the most evil villains ever.
Maybe we should stop and have a Dr. Pepper. This recap is exhausting.
In a little case of button, button, who’s got the button, Pete and his posse snag the coin in time to perch on the horn of a dilemma: destroy it and keep Sykes & Co. from achieving their evil machination (what Pete wants), or keep it whole and save a life, but risk that H.G. will rise again (what Myka wants). In the end, once asked, H.G. herself agrees with Pete, but the point is moot because the baddies show up again, chase Claudia (who has secured the coin), and get it for their evil little selves after disclosing that Marcus is using a body preserving riding crop to keep from being harmed.
If we’re down to the life preserving riding crop, we must be getting close to the end, mustn’t we?
Is Steve Jinks the bad guy we think he is? So far – YES. But no, in fact, he’s not. He’s helping Sykes to get information to help his BFF, Claudia, and that information comes in the form of the location of Syke’s evil lair: Skybrook 3, an abandoned airplane hangar (I hope it’s not in Compton). The Dirty 1/4 Dozen raid the hanger with really, really cool Tesla rifles (I wish I’d had one of those when I had my taxes audited a couple years ago), but they’re too late. Everything’s been cleaned out except for …
… Steve Jinks’ lifeless body!!!
You see, it never pays to be a double agent. You only end up getting double crossed.
I feel like I’m running a marathon with this recap, and the prize for finishing first is that you get to run another marathon. Whew!
Anyway, Jinks didn’t die in vain. He managed to convey a clue that sends our dynamic duo of Pete and Myka to Hong Kong for a final battle with Sykes and his slimy crew. Get ready now, because if you thought there were a lot of artifacts in a normal episode of Warehouse 13, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
Sykes is trying to get past something called a Chess Lock in a lost sanctum used by former warehouse regents. Sykes wants H.G. to unlock it, since she’s such a smarty pants and all. Tyler, the hacker we met earlier, hacks wrong and gets his. Myka, with all the pluck of a true hero, stands to meet the same fate when H.G. intervenes and uses information that she’s recalled at the last moment. This gives Sykes an entry portal into the Warehouse, which is guarded by an impenetrable shield generated by Regent Jane’s shackle artifact. That shackle activated when Marcus fired on the Warehouse with a pirate cannon that came into his possession (I didn’t stutter – pirate cannon, something else I could have used in my tax audit). Sykes uses the portal to enter the Warehouse in order to find the Collodi Bracelet that he’d used earlier in his life. He finds it and uses it to walk again, no … to run. He attempts an escape through the portal, gets caught and dies. Myka and H.G., still on the other side of the portal, retrieve the bracelet from an escaping Jane. But wait, there’s more. Sykes rigged his wheelchair with a particularly nasty WWII bomb (doesn’t everyone??), and no one can figure out how to disarm it in time. H.G. whips up a protective barrier around the good guys and sacrifices herself when the bomb detonates. Warehouse 13 is pretty much reduced to fixer upper status, but at least Myka, Pete, and Artie are still compos mentis.
Elsewhere, Claudia is trying to find a metronome artifact that keeps evil Marcus alive. She locates it and takes him out before he can kill Leena and Mrs. Frederic. Claudia has plans for the metronome … it might be used to bring Jinks back to life. Before she can work it, however, the Warehouse blast reduces Mrs. Frederic to a grisly husk.
Who would have thought that she’d receive the Shangri La treatment?
Well, I did. But don’t tell anyone.
Just when you didn’t think anything could get worse, it doesn’t. In fact, Artie pulls out a pocket watch given to him by MacPherson when the two of them were buddy buddy. What could this mean? A pocket watch artifact?
You can bet your Rolex that it doesn’t just tell time!!
Well, I’ve punished you enough with that extended recap. It was, after all, two episodes and I did leave a lot of little things (mercifully) out.
The shows were a great way to tie a lot of this season’s story arc together while still leaving the audience hanging from that metaphorical cliff. What will happen next? Who the hell knows …
… but I’m going upstairs to see if I still have my grandfather’s pocket watch in the drawer by the bathroom sink. If it works for Artie, it might work for me.
Like the rest of you, I’ll just wait for the start of Season Four.
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.