It's the beginning of the end for Warehouse 13 as we kick off the Syfy stalwart's final season. It's also the beginning of the beginning, in a few different ways: Claudia coming into her own as the next caretaker, Pete and Myka's relationship—they are so endgame—and the conclusion of Paracelsus's reign of terror as the Warehouse's most persistent problem. There are six episodes in this hiccup of a swan song and Warehouse 13 just isn't the sort of show to go out on such a big downer as its heroes losing against a wholly monstrous adversary.
Lots of Warehouse 13's past baddies have espoused the ever-chilling "end justifies the means" philosophy, but Paracelsus embraces it completely. He also lacks the emotion that has driven so many of the Warehouse's former enemies—including Sykes and, for a time, H.G.—and which allowed us to humanize them even as they did awful things. Paracelsus is just a cold bastard who simply wants to do a science and make a discovery at any cost... and then use that discovery to further his own power, of course. He also tends to be the smartest person in the room at any given time, which makes him even more of a threat; in I Wear the Black Hat, the always-awesome Chuck Klosterman wrote that a true villain is the person who "knows the most and cares the least," and I think that pretty succinctly sums up ol' Paracelsus.
Regardless, I'm fully confident that Paracelsus will be defeated or reformed by the end of the series. All we have to do is hold on and enjoy the ride.
If you're a little fuzzy on the deets of Warehouse 13's Season 4's finale, here's the scoop. Paracelsus barricaded himself inside the Warehouse with Claudia, planning to smoosh some artifacts together and most likely build something nasty. Myka's cancer storyline was a thing that I'd forgotten about until this episode; same goes for Claudia's secret sister Claire. Not gonna lie, I'm infinitely more interested in the Myka and Claudia stuff than the Paracelsus stuff, mostly because I'm lazy and jaded and I assume he'll be disposed of eventually.
Anyhoo, "Endless Terror" saw the return of Mark Sheppard as formerly deceased Warehouse 2 expert Benedict Valda, who is alive and loyal to his alternate-timeline caretaker. I feel a bit guilty because my gut says that any appearance by Sheppard in any capacity should always be met with cheering and flailing, but I'm just so over Paracelsus, and the possibility that Valda survived the restoration of the timeline in order to potentially de-bronze Paracelsus is disappointing. It's not that his delicious evilness isn't, well, delicious, but at this point in the series, we have so much to explore in our agents' personal lives: Pete and Myka, Artie and Vanessa, Claudia and Claire, Claudia and the warehouse. I'd rather we focused on the smaller stories, rather than more cat-and-mouse shenanigans with another power-drunk madman.
Then again, so far, all Valda has done is enter his dearly departed alternative self's vault, so maybe the dude is harmless.
Haha, yeah right.
In a way, "Endless Terror" fell short as a premiere, though I'll admit that it was mostly the knowledge of this being Warehouse 13's final season that raised my expectations so high. It wasn't a bad episode, but it was only an average episode. It wrapped up the biggest problem plaguing the Warehouse at the conclusion of Season 4 and it set us up for the rest of Season 5, but given that this we've only got six episodes total until the end, I wanted it to feel more special, you know?
Even the alternate future generated by Paracelsus's meddling in the past failed to generate much excitement, though the line about P only tweaking the timeline—as opposed to completely altering the history of the world—provided some nice attention to detail and totally made sense for him. It also reinforced the notion that the Warehouse is a world within itself. While we didn't actually get to see the brave new world outside the alternate-future Warehouse, given Myka's comments, I think we can assume it's not terribly different from our own.
However, I'd be remiss not to note that time travel—frontways and backways and every other which way—has become to Warehouse 13 what dead Winchesters are to Supernatural. When it happens so often, and usually with the same outcome every time, it becomes routine and a little boring.
I'm still thrilled to be back in the Warehouse, though, and the series has given itself a few strings in need of tying that could prove to be a promising challenge in the next five weeks. While huge, sweeping, save-the-world types of stories have been Warehouse 13's bread and butter from the very beginning, it's the characters that we care about, and it's the characters that we'll miss when the show goes off the air. Let's wrap up the apocalypse and get down the the personal, people-driven stories that are going to last in our minds after the credits roll, okay?
– "Don't try to explain time travel. It never makes sense and it always makes my head hurt." —Pete Lattimer, the voice of television viewers everywhere
– Do you think Myka is REALLY fine?
– Claire theories! Calling all Claire theories!
What did you think of the Season 5 premiere? What are your hopes for the rest of the season?
AIRED ON 5/19/2014
Season 5 : Episode 6