After last week's telenovela on steroids, it was nice to see Warehouse 13 get back into the swing of things with a Warehouse in peril (as usual), Claudia's missing sister, and Mark Shepard doing what he does best on these shows: playing one heck of an evil mo-fo. His alternate-timeline Valda, conditioned by his lifetime full of Paracelsus's twisted take on Warehouse ethics, picked up where fearless leader left off and set to building weapons out of artifacts and testing them on innocent bystanders. For science. And world domination. But mostly science.
Last week, I lamented Warehouse 13's decision to waste one of its precious final episodes on fail like "Savage Seduction," and while my stance on that episode hasn't changed, I'm at least comfortable with what Warehouse 13 did in its penultimate episode. While the conclusion to Claire's story seemed a little hasty, it never felt rushed, and with that huge thread mostly—if not entirely—wrapped up, the possibilities for next week's series finale are promising.
So let's get back to the Warehouse in peril. We wouldn't be heading into a Warehouse 13 finale—season OR series—if there wasn't plenty of chaos and terror on display. Admittedly, after several seasons of this, the whole routine feels a little tired in the way that any TV series' signature schtick can start to feel little old-hat near the end. I would've rather have seen more small-scale, character-driven stories in these last six episodes: more focus on Claudia and Claire, more focus on Pete and Myka, anything for Jinks to do. To its credit, Warehouse 13 is making a moderate attempt to give us the best of both worlds; it was delightful to see how personal Artie took the latest attack on the Warehouse, as he desperately and irrationally grasped at anything to save his "home." In fact, I was honestly a little surprised and disappointed that the unspectacular, run-of-the mill rope that Artie slung around the possessed compass in a last-ditch effort to keep the place grounded didn't become an artifact itself, what with the amount of emotion Artie was pouring into it. Wouldn't that have been fitting? I guess there's still time. Fingers crossed!
The big bad national security threat that's now poised to dominate the series' final episode acted largely as stage dressing, and could turn out to be just that in the finale as well. The transition from Warehouse 13 to Warehouse 14 is chugging onward despite the best efforts of Artie and his agents, but I have no doubt that there will be some eleventh-hour save that keeps the Warehouse right where it is, regardless of what Mrs. Frederic says. The series looks ready to give its characters some well-earned happily-ever-after action, and a huge part of that relies on having a Warehouse to continue to call home. But "Cangku Shisi" did leave the keepers of Warehouse 13 prepared to accept their potential unemployment with the notion that hey, at least they've got each other.
Warehouse 13 has spent the last five seasons touting the idea of the agents as a family, but it hasn't been until recently that everyone in the Warehouse has come to accept that idea, or even been in a position to embrace it. For most of the series' run, the characters needed the Warehouse because, frankly, they just didn't have much else going for them. With Pete and Myka recognizing their feelings for one another, Claudia reunited with Claire, and even Artie's on-again-off-again romance with Dr. Vanessa, the truth is that, if Warehouse 13's writers do the unthinkable and end the series with a relocation to a new Warehouse in a new host country, those left behind in America will not be left alone without homes, families, or lives to turn to. What do you think, though? Will Warehouse 13 go through with it? Are we packing up and heading to China?
– Jinks testing Pete's truthfulness about Myka miiiiight have been my favorite moment of the season so far.
– I'm kinda confused about how the whole Claire-subbing-for-Claudia thing worked, seeing as how, even though Claudia is the next caretaker, she's not the current caretaker. So. Like. Wouldn't it have made more sense to try to overpower Mrs. F?
– Unless it had to be Claudia because of the idea that the next Warehouse needs the next caretaker. I think that makes sense. Let's go with that.
– SO MANY ARTIFACTS THIS WEEK. It's like the writers looked at a list of artifacts they wanted to use, realized the show was ending, and decided to cram as many into the final episodes as possible.
What'd you think of "Cangku Shisi"?
AIRED ON 5/19/2014
Season 5 : Episode 6