Warehouse 13 "Second Chance" Review: Mind Over Matter

Warehouse 13 S04E08: “Second Chance”

While Pete and Myka were sent to West Virginia to investigate some rusting steel workers and Claudia and Zombie Jinks headed off to Jinks’ childhood home in New Jersey to work on making him a real boy again, Mrs. Frederic stopped by the warehouse to talk some sense into Artie and confirmed a whole lot of what we’ve already been thinking:

1. The Astrolabe was the only hope to save the warehouse (and the world) after Sykes blew it up at the end of last season. Caving to Adrian’s demands that Artie undo what he did isn’t really an option.

2. She wouldn’t have done anything different herself.

3. The “evil” that Brother Adrian keeps going on about is PROBABLY Brother Adrian.

4. Oh please, Claudia is not evil. The suggestion was probably planted in an attempt to isolate Artie from his nearest and dearest allies.

At first, I thought Mrs. Frederic’s adamant defense of Claudia was practically confirmation of her eventual evil-doer status, since that’s how Warehouse 13 rolls (see: Wells, H.G., Season 2) but now that Zombie Jinks is, well, no longer a zombie but a flesh and blood human being with a pulse and everything, I don’t know what could possibly push Claudia over the edge at this point. She won her own self-appointed quest. She said she would save Jinks and she did. Everybody’s happy.

Except Artie. One would have hoped that Mrs. Frederic’s affirmation that he did the right thing—and her assurances that none of his agents, let alone his protege Claudia, would turn against him as a result of using the astrolabe—would have assuaged some of his fears, but mostly, Artie was annoyed that H.G. figured out his time-travel shenanigans and blabbed to Mrs. Frederic about them behind his back. If I were in Artie’s position, I’d be thrilled to have the backup, especially considering the fact that he wasn’t really doing such a great job of holding down the fort on his own. If Mrs. Frederic wasn’t worried, I wouldn’t be worried. Then again, slipping into the warehouse when Artie wasn’t looking to smuggle the astrolabe to a super-secret location that he is unaware of might just signify her own insecurities about the artifact’s repercussions. Thoughts?

The theory that Artie and Brother Adrian are possibly the same person, or that the Adrian we keep running into is a figment of Artie’s imagination was floated in the comments section last week. Do Mrs. Frederic’s actions, particularly her decision to support Artie, but at the same time keep him out of the loop, lend credence to this? I think you guys might be onto something. I’m getting weird vibes off of Artie these days. Maybe someone should call in Pete, you know, if that whole bad vibes thing is still part of his skill set. It seems to fluctuate.

At least Jinks is whole again. Score one (admittedly big) victory for the warehouse. A rhyme associated with the metronome sent Claudia and Jinks to New Jersey, assuming that the references to home and birth were just that. Oh, they were, but finding the cure for Jinks’ metronome dependency was a little more complicated than just sitting in his childhood living room and trying real hard.

As we know, Jinks’ sister, Olivia, was murdered... and it was her death that inspired Jinks to join the ATF and eventually, the warehouse team. What we didn’t know was that her death also served to estrange Jinks and his mother when he sought the death penalty for his sister’s killer and his mother campaigned to let the killer live in order to spare another family the pain of losing a child. That’s some pretty selfless thinking there, and it was reconciling with his mother, understanding her decision, and forgiving her that was ultimately the key to unlocking the mystery of the metronome. Also, smashing it to bits when it locked on to Jinks’ mom, an equally selfless action since Jinks’ didn’t know if destroying the artifact would kill him as well. It was a moment of pure love between a mother and her child—which, honestly, makes me wonder about the specifics of when Sykes was using it to keep his righthand henchman alive indefinitely. I mean, can you imagine those two running on pure love and forgiveness? The whole point of Sykes’ character was that he was a bitter, angry, psycho, too hung up on the past to move forward. I doubt his temporarily immortal sidekick was much better. So did they keep a soul-bonded hostage locked in a broom closet somewhere? Details details details!

Which brings us to Pete and Myka’s adventures in West Virginia and the detailed snafu behind the neutralization of some Spartan armor that kept inconveniently turning steel workers with a boxing hobby into rusting human hulks. (Gross.) Once Pete and Myka identified the artifact and determined who was using it, the usually simple matter of acquiring and deactivating the artifact was complicated by the tiny detail that it was embedded in the user’s chest. Steelworker Cody did two tours of duty in Iraq and during one of them, was present for the bombing of a museum in Baghdad where bits of the Spartan armor were reduced to shrapnel. A heightened emotional response at the steel mill, where Cody had to save his father during an equipment malfunction, activated the armor and led to Cody inadvertently making his fellow boxing-club members sick. Removing the shrapnel wasn’t an option since it was too close to Cody’s heart, so Myka just jammed a hypo of the purple neutralizing goo in his chest and hoped for the best.

It worked. Huzzah. But—details!— I thought the canon had established that the neutralizing goo is a sort of temporary solution. Artifacts can be doused and turned off, but very easily reactivated, hence the goo stations situated throughout the warehouse. So what happened there? Did Myka just leave Cody with a bunch of hypos full of goo for the next time he has an emotional outburst? I’m not advocating that we kill Cody or anything, I’m just saying that Myka’s solution wasn’t exactly a guaranteed fix and I overthink things and the devil is in the details and all that. This hasn’t been a great season for the detail-oriented among us, has it?

Additional Notes from the “Library of Crazy”

– I think I was supposed to swoon over Boxing Action Pete Lattimer, but mostly I just yawned. Can we get a meaningful job for Pete again? Remember how much awesome he brought to this season’s premiere? Can we have that back? Please?

– Okay, we get it. Claudia reminds Jinks of his dead sister. Claudia reminds Jinks’ mom of the mythical dead sister. We saw photographic evidence that she physically resembled the dead sister. Stop hitting me on the head with it, Warehouse 13, I get it! I also thought Claudia fawning over Dead Sister’s bedroom was kind of creepy.

– Mrs. Frederic’s decision to stash the astrolabe with H.G: good call or bad call? Should she keep Artie out of the loop? Admittedly, his hiding place was impressively sucky and his headspace is kind of a disaster right now. Does Mrs. F know something that we don’t? Probably.

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