Warehouse 13 3.09 “Shadows” Review

A tv review article by: Tom Carroll

While Claudia and Myka investigate the case of a woman who can disintegrate anyone who angers her, Pete and his mother deal with their issues after being reunited.

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

#4 of 4 Best Spoken Line Used as the song is fading out: At the end of "Silk Pyjamas" (Thomas Dolby), the session violin player says, Well … All you gotta do is play it wrong and they’re happy.

By now the secret must be out.

Jane (Kate Mulgrew), the new top regent overseeing Warehouse 13 is Pete Lattimer’s mum. Pete (Eddie McClintock) and his mom get some serious one on one time at the beginning of the episode, and it quickly becomes evident that they’ve never seen eye to eye on much of anything, especially after Pete’s firefighter dad was killed on the job. Of course there are many reasons they argue, enough to warrant making this the major story arc for the episode.

Pete and Jane end up sharing a memory exploration artifact in order to determine why a company name A to Z Technology should give Jane’s brain the little nudge it does. It turns out that Jane once took an artifact away from a young man, Walter Sykes, causing him to revert to a crippled state. Jane now understands that the A to Z Technologies sprang from the AZTECS hat worn by Walter in the past. Jane notes that Walter’s artifact let him walk but created a seed of evil within him, and she realizes that he must be the man behind the war on the Warehouse.

#3 of 4 Best Spoken Line Used as the song is fading out: At the end of the Moody Blues song "Dear Diary," the singer says, Somebody exploded an H-bomb today. But it wasn't anyone I knew.

In the present day, Claudia Donovan (Allison Scagliotti) and Myka Bering (Joanne Kelly) are hot on the heels of someone using an artifact to incinerate people. All signs point to a fired T-Shirt silk screener named Megan Reese (Alessandra Torresani), who is holed up in her apartment, apparently terrified about the fact that she can use her mind to kill anyone who makes her mad. Myka is too clever for that and susses out that it is an old boyfriend who is behind the dirty deeds. After setting a trap for the killer, the ladies manage to overcome the jilted almost lover and recover the artifact which turns out to be a pair of binoculars used by the pilot of the Enola Gay as he watched the atom bomb destroy Hiroshima. That’s what allowed him to funnel his rage and smoke anyone trying to harm his … flame.

Sorry about the … puns.

#2 of 4 Best Spoken Line Used as the song is fading out: At the end of "Another Brick in the Wall Part 2," Roger Waters shouts, Wrong! Do it again! If you don't eat yer meat, you can't have any pudding. How can you have any pudding if you don't eat yer meat? You! Yes, you behind the bike sheds … stand still, laddy!

Up until now we have seen bits and pieces of the man in the wheelchair, but never his face. Now we get the big reveal, or as the Geico Gecko says: The Big Ah Hah. Anthony Michael Hall is evil genius behind the attacks on the warehouse, and he started out a kid who was denied the power of an artifact, an artifact that enabled him to walk, to play sports, to live a normal life.

Not bad … not bad. I’m glad they held off making him anything more typically evil, like an albino in a wheelchair, or someone in a wheelchair given to fits of crazy “heil Hitler” style saluting, like Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove (which would have been fun if he were hailing posters of White Snake, The Beastie Boys, or Ice-T… What??).

This episode drives the plot forward because it gives us a clear cut picture of what is driving Walter in his war against the warehouse and its regents. If there are others involved in the war, it seems pretty likely that they two will have axes to grind against Jane, other regents, the agents, or even the warehouse itself … pretty big axes, in fact probably Thor Ice Demon-sized axes.

I have to say that the episode caused me to partially accept Kate Mulgrew as a warehouse regent (and Pete’s mother). Only partially, though, because they couldn’t give all her lines to the young Jane that we meet in the past, the one who talks like a normal person, not a mutant hamster. Mulgrew’s zany, high pitched voice she still irritates the bajesus out of me.

#1 of 4 Best Spoken Line Used as the song is fading out: At the end of "Living in the USA," Steve Miller shouts, Somebody give me a cheeseburger!!

While very good, "Shadows" was an episode where the whole was greater than the sum of the parts.

For example, the speech delivered by Pete’s father about why he became a firefighter was very moving and appropriate considering Pete never really worked out his father’s death and then struggled mightily with why his mother was so distant and never shared her role with the warehouse with him as he grew up.

In contrast, the invention of a company, A to Z Technologies, that was eventually tied to a hat with the word AZTECS on the front of it was paper thin … wait, let me say it was RICE paper thin. So flimsy that while watching the camera focus on the word AZTECS I had a Homer Simpson DOH! moment right there in my living room.

The device used to transition Pete and Jane into and out of Jane’s memory was very effective. Holding the artifact, a pair of bronzed shoes, the two turned into a stained glass window graphic, then it broke into fragments and blew away. Very quick, very fresh.

It must also be said that any scene with Claudia in it simply radiates coolness like the sun emits light. The writing team must don super sumo suits and duke it out in a ring to determine who gets to write her dialogue … well, in my imagination, anyway.

#1 of 1 Best Spoken Line Used as the Warehouse 13 review is fading out: At the end of the review, Tom Carroll is heard to say, "Shadows" was very watchable, full of inventive writing, good reveals, and very stimulating visual effects. I say: Stock the warehouse with more like this!

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. Thanks to your voting at the Corky's Pest Control website, Tom's jingle, "It Hurts," took second place!

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