So Ren-faire episodes are apparently a thing now. That's cool, I love me a good Renaissance Faire. Pete does too, apparently—and what a fine knave he made! However, despite the title and the promo and pretty much everything we knew about "A Faire to Remember" going in, this episode was very much a Claudia's-life-is-so-freaking-sad-and-don't-you-ever-forget-it story. Those are a thing too, at least on Warehouse 13, but you knew that already.
Let's quickly go over the bullet points of Claudia's life, shall we?
– When she was 7, Claudia's older sister Claire ran amok of an artifact, which caused her to go all Carrie on the family and murder the girls' parents. Claudia thought they died in a car accident—and that Claire had perished along with them.
– When she was 12(ish?), Claudia's brother and sole caregiver, Joshua, was sucked into another dimension. Claudia watched that happen, and since everyone thought she sounded like a crazy person, they acted accordingly and locked her in a psych ward until after puberty.
– In her late teens/early 20s, Claudia escaped bedlam, busted into the Warehouse, and took Artie hostage because he was working with Josh when Josh got sucked into the void. They got Josh back and Claudia landed a job at the Warehouse, which would've been awesome except...
– Claudia is apparently Mrs. Frederic's successor, destined to be the eventual caretaker of the Warehouse. Claudia wasn't really into the idea at first and she REALLY wasn't into when extenuating circumstances almost forced her to accept her fate. The woman did time in a psych ward and doesn't like being forced to do stuff. Imagine that?
– Jinks died (plus all the baggage that came with that).
– Jinks lived (plus all the baggage that came with that).
– OH. And Claire's not dead after all. She's just been in an artifact coma for 15 years because Artie couldn't figure out how to extract the artifact's energy from her head. NO BIG.
Claudia thought she'd discovered a solution to Claire's predicament, and with a little (okay a lot) of foreshadowing from Myka, I think we pretty much understood that the procedure would be unsuccessful... but possibly not that it'd be that unsuccessful. Initially, all seemed well. Claire was surprisingly well-adjusted for a teenager who just woken up in the body of a 30-year-old. Even the news that her parents had died—and that she'd had an (accidental) hand in their deaths—went over pretty well, and there was singing and lots of "Welcome to the future, Claire!" stuff that was kind of corny but made me so nostalgic for the glorious '90s that I didn't really care. Claire grew on me quickly, and the potential for her story was exciting. It almost makes me wish that Warehouse 13 had busted her out of the coma-girl routine earlier, so that we could've explored it all in depth.
Think about it: Claire was essentially still a 15-year-old girl when she finally came to. She was horrified to learn that she'd missed so much of her life and that panic felt raw, real, and child-like. Claudia was essentially pushed into the role of the older sister, and she stepped into the protectiveness that's inherent to such role like it was a perfectly worn pair of jeans—all soft and stretchy and comfortable. It would've been an interesting dynamic to explore, though even with what limited time Warehouse 13 has left, it appears that the writers are more than capable of doing what they can with what they've got. Claudia is set to become the caretaker of the Warehouse, and with Claire's return to a comatose existence when Claudia's solution proved ineffective, Claire is as much a part of the Warehouse as any carefully cataloged artifact. Claudia's investment in her eventual responsibilities has become more personal. She'll never leave the Warehouse as long as Claire is incapacitated, and given all the implications we've gotten over the years about Mrs. Frederic being kind of immortal (or something), it stands to reason that Claudia could be with the Warehouse for a very long time.
To his credit, Artie handled Claudia's experiment with Claire much better than expected—especially considering the way it ultimately compromised Myka's life, his life, and the Warehouse as a whole once Claire's unleashed energy found a new body to occupy. I don't know how I feel about the rage-energy being what finally made Myka crack and reveal how terrified, hurt, and lonely she was during her cancer scare, but hey, Myka is an uber-professional person who's deeply private about her personal life, so I guess it works. Plus, it doesn't mean that she's happy about being so guarded; that's just how she is. Artie's blanket statement—that from here on out, the Warehouse crew is a unified team with no more secrets, that they'll all face the trials of one member as though it affects them all—has been a long, long time coming. Warehouse 13 is determined to pack all its baggage up neat and tidy before the series finale, and it's going to make me cry. I can just tell.
Compared to the emotional upheaval that was Claudia and Myka's half of the episode, Steve and Pete at the Ren-faire was kind of dull in a case-of-the-week way, though it wasn't without a saving grace: Much like Ted and Alyse last week, Oswald and Katarina were two lovebirds initially blinded to their attraction by proximity and mediocrity. It wasn't until mortal peril forced them to face their feelings—in Oswald's case, anyway—that they realized how deeply they cared for one another. Pete and Myka's turn is coming.
"A Faire to Remember" was a solid addition to Warehouse 13's final season, my personal favorite hour of the three we've seen to date. I love the feeling of everything coming together at last.
– "I thought Halloween was like gay Christmas." —Pete
– Way to make Garbage's "When I Grow Up" depressing, Warehouse 13.
– Uhhhh, y'all know the death card in Tarot doesn't literally mean DEATH, right Warehouse 13? Right? No? Okay.
What'd you think of "A Faire to Remember"?
AIRED ON 5/19/2014
Season 5 : Episode 6