Last week's mid-season premiere didn't have much time to fully explore the ramifications of Artie's acts while under the influence of the evil-doing astrolabe, but it's okay because that's what this week's episode was for. While it was nice to seemingly close the door on Leena's loss sooner rather than later, I think my propensity be touched by Jinks picking up the mantle and performing Leena's old job with Artie's blessing was inhibited by how badly I want Leena to return in some form. (Please oh please oh please oh please.)
Still, it was back to basics this week for the Warehouse 13 crew, or at least an attempt to return to the norm. Artie found himself exonerated by the Regents for his role in Leena's death, and reinstated as the custodian of the warehouse. He wasn't happy about this, and argued that it wasn't a harsh-enough punishment. Head Regent Adwin Kosan (Faran Tahir) assured Artie that living with the knowledge of what he did to Leena would be a far worse punishment than anything the Regents could come up with. Yay for emotional turmoil.
Unfortunately, Artie's angst translated into antagonistic exchanges with Jinks and Myka—who put on their finest we're-only-trying-to-help-by-being-kind-of-overbearing-and-dominating-your-personal-space pants—as well as a small snafu when Artie attempted to diagnose the dominant emotion that powered a porthole from the Norge and accidentally read his own feelings instead. This led to the incorrect storage of the artifact, which led to it interacting with nearby artifacts, and as is the case in so many of these incidents, that led to it almost destroying the warehouse—or at least that particular corner of it.
While Myka, Steve, and Artie hunted Da Vinci's gargoyle in the stacks, in Oregon, Pete and Claudia teamed up to hunt down an artifact that seemed to be killing the last surviving members of a former eco-terrorist club called the Last People on Earth—the LPE. The case was notable for the return of Hacker Action Claudia and Not a Complete Moron Pete, the latter of whom was sorely missed throughout many of the early episodes this season.
Hacker Claudia split her time with Guilty Claudia and spent most of her guilt-trip time bonding with the poor innocent target of the week, Autumn. The best part about Autumn, however, was that in all honesty, she wasn't all that innocent. Sure, she didn't deserve to be framed for mass-burying some construction workers alive and then forced to watch her friends get picked off one by one, but she had participated in some unsavory activities in the past, and when her former friend's brother targeted her for revenge, he maybe wasn't justified, but he also wasn't wrong. Autumn did betray Ryan by revealing his location and his role in the LPE to the government, which in turn led to his death. However, once she explained her reasoning, we saw a little bit of Claudia's own struggle in Autumn's decision, and so did Claudia.
Autumn betrayed Ryan when his anger drove him to do terrible things under the LPE banner. She betrayed Ryan in order to save future lives. Claudia struggled with her feelings of horror over what she was forced to do to Artie in order to stop his evil side from further compromising the world. It seems that she's finally on her way toward accepting her actions and forgiving herself for hurting her friend, even it ultimately saved him.
While Artie seems to have an (understandably) longer way to go, after spending the entire episode resisting his peers' urging him to watch the video of Leena's entry interview from when she joined the Warehouse 13 team, once Da Vinci's gargoyle was put down and the always-zen Jinks was successfully sorting artifacts in Leena's old digs, Artie gave in and pulled up the footage.
The revelation that Leena was aware of the dangers of the warehouse, and that she more than understood that she could potentially be killed in its service, is probably of little comfort to Artie with her loss still so fresh in his mind, but a little comfort is better than none and it's a good start. For the first time since Warehouse 13's return, we saw an Artie who seemed to be on the mend, and more importantly, appeared willing to let himself forgive himself.
What did you think of "Parks and Rehabilitation"?
NOTES FROM THE LIBRARY OF CRAZY
– Pete had some really great one-liners. "Pepper is so good in burritos; so bad in the eyes." Also, his utter delight each time he knew anything about Henry David Thoreau was precious. Also, "See! I know things!" cracked me up after I spent most of the first half of the season complaining about how badly Pete's character had been dumbed down for laughs. THANK YOU FOR FIXING HIM, WH13, KISSES!
– Fine Young Cannabis FTW.
– The monologue gets them every time. Bad guys should really just eliminate the "let me tell you my nefarious plan" part of the plan, don't you think?
– Was Pete's encounter with Ghost Leena just a one time thing? Did she move on?