Warehouse 13's fourth season opened with a crater in the place where the warehouse once stood. H.G. Wells, Steve Jinks, and Mrs. Frederic are all dead. Claudia’s getting in touch with her dark and scary side again. Oh, and the explosion that leveled the warehouse itself also blew open Pandora’s Box (yes, that one) and sucked the world’s hope dry.
Things were looking, well, kind of hopeless.
I was struck at the conclusion to last season by just how dark Warehouse 13 was willing to get. Don’t get me wrong, I love it. I’m a Supernatural fan and I’m used to facing each episode with a handful of antidepressants. But it doesn’t change the fact that it’s a little jarring, right, to kill off three major characters in the span of 1.5 episodes, and then just keep going, plaguing the hopeless new world with riots, a downward-spiraling economy, and mass suicides. This is the same series that featured a homicidal Santa Claus a few seasons back, right?
Don’t worry, it’s cool. Amid the burning rubble and horrifying news headlines, Artie busted out MacPhearson’s pocket watch and insisted that while the watch itself wasn’t a failsafe that could restore the warehouse, their fallen friends, and the world, it WAS the key that could lead them to an artifact that could.
Of course, there was a catch—first a small one, and then later, a very, VERY big one.
Faced with only 23 hours to find the mysterious artifact that could restore everything that was lost, Artie, Claudia, Pete, and Myka found themselves trekking from South Dakota to France to the Vatican and then back to South Dakota, putting (literal) pieces of an astrolabe together and losing members of their little troupe, one at a time, along the way as if part of the worst Zelda quest ever. While the plot itself, despite moving at a hectic pace, still managed to feel a little tedious at times with the whole “go-here-and-get-this-and-go-there-and-get-that” narrative, the obvious conclusion of a restored warehouse did not, by any means, ensure happily ever after for all—sort of how Luke Skywalker facing off with Daddy Vader in The Empire Strikes Back, while essential, was also kind of a bad life choice.
So, where are we left standing with the warehouse (and hope) restored?
H.G. Wells and Mrs. Frederic are alive. I’m torn on their resurrection. On one hand, they’re awesome characters and I’m thrilled to have them back, but on the other hand, H.G.’s sacrifice at the end of “Stand” was SO PERFECT. Artie’s new faith in her and his advocacy for her freedom was a nice development for him, but I can’t help but feel like we’ve taken a step back in HER development by erasing one of her most defining moments. Sure, we KNOW what she did and what she’s capable of, but for the most part, her resurrection and the erasure of that defining moment did nothing more than reestablish the status quo, and status quo H.G is prone to making some questionable decisions.
I’m okay with Mrs. Frederic being back. It makes sense, considering her biological tie to the warehouse as the caretaker. Furthermore, her death was never a decision on her part, nor did it do much to advance the Warehouse 13 story. We’ve known about her tie since Season 2 and in a way, we’ve always been aware of her fate as it relates to the warehouse. While it was a startling death, it wasn’t an unexpected death once the destruction of the warehouse was ensured. But I love the fact that she’s totally onto Artie, even though he has no choice but to remain silent about how he saved the world.
Finally, there’s Steve (and Claudia.) As of the conclusion of “A New Hope,” our beloved Steve remains our dearly departed Steve and Claudia is TOTALLY SICK OF IT. You can’t really blame the girl; every single friend she’s made has been taken away. Armed with the magical metronome, she was reluctant to join Artie and the others on their globetrotting mission to restore the warehouse. Maybe it was just the hopelessness talking, but she believed that while all was lost, she could, at the very least, bring Steve back. She only really agreed to participate in the mission because Artie promised that restoring the warehouse would restore Steve.
Whether his decision to use the astrolabe to go back only far enough to save the warehouse—leaving dead Steve, well, dead—was a deliberate one or an unintentional limitation of the artifact itself, is irrelevant. In the aftermath of their victory over Sykes, a determined Claudia slipped out of Leena’s with what appeared to be the metronome in tow. Girl is on a mission, man, and I wouldn’t mess with her. We all know how Claudia gets when she’s running on nothing but rage and determination. I’d say let her have her Steve, but knowing what we do about artifacts and how there is always a dark side to using them, I’m guessing that would be a bad move as well.
Brother Adrian warned Artie that using the astrolabe to turn back time and save the warehouse would “create an evil that follows you the rest of your days.” At the time, I assumed that he was talking about something related to Artie himself, but is anyone else entertaining the idea that he might have been referring to Claudia?
Regardless of whether or not she’s understandably upset or in full-blown Sith lord mode, I’m still on the girl’s side. For now. It’s CLAUDIA, after all.
What about you? Where do your current allegiances lie? What do you hope we see this season?
Additional Thoughts from the “Library of Crazy”
– PETE! Everybody on this show gets such epic death scenes, but Pete’s demise at the hands of Brent Spiner’s Brother Adrian (oh hey, Data, hey) was really heartbreaking, even knowing that it was going to be reversed by the end of the episode. When asked by the dying Pete if Pete would remember being dead once the timeline was restored, Artie responded, “No, you won’t... but I will.” Pass the tissues, kids. I’m kind of a mess right now.
– We learned that the random football flying around the warehouse is an artifact tracker, not an artifact itself. AWESOME.
– “Hey Pooh-bear, you want to let me do that?” Our current incarnation of revenge-obsessed Claudia makes me long for quirky awesome Claudia and her epic bromance with Artie. I’m currently clinging to every lighthearted moment we get.