Not gonna lie—it was odd and a little off-putting for Warehouse 13 to do a flashback-filled finale in which the flashbacks were actually newly filmed scenes (what is this, Community?). I find it especially questionable that the flashbacks in question were supposed to be the most important moments in the Warehouse agents' professional lives; if they were so "defining," why didn't we see them during the series' actual run? I'm sure we can all think of truly revolutionary moments for each character—moments that we actually witnessed, that actually held meaning because of the context of their execution, and not because it was decreed from the writers' room that Artie has a son and the relationship was so important that it framed his tenure with the Warehouse... and yet we never heard about it until the series finale. Yeah, okay.
So "Endless" fumbled in a few places. Claudia's big moment, a tap-dancing spectacle that screamed "Hey, it's the series finale and we still have some cash in the budget" appeared to exist solely to resurrect the old destiny debate. Claudia is one of the most complex and well-developed characters on the show and that's what we get for her setpiece? It's not even like the caretaker question was subsequently dealt with in a successful way. Warehouse 13's final scene revealed Claudia in the caretaker role at some point in a future far enough removed from our own to look a little space-age-y, with agents who are not Myka, Pete, Jinks, or Artie. For the record, I loved the scene and the ending, but the build-up, with its haphazard approach to Claudia's story, left a lot to be desired—and a few lingering questions remained.
Claudia's defining moment saw her seriously questioning her willingness to assume the role of caretaker following Mrs. Frederic's exit. It's now clear that Claudia eventually becomes the caretaker anyway, so we know that she makes peace with her feelings at some point. Not to mention the fact that it must happen rather soon after the events of this episode, because Future Caretaker Claudia didn't look a day past her current age of 22—meaning that, like Mrs. F, she stopped aging after taking over as caretaker of the Warehouse.
Maybe I'd feel better if Warehouse 13 had aged Allison Scagliotti up a little bit for the finale scene. Claudia voiced some serious misgivings about her destiny with the Warehouse, and while we did get to see her in the caretaker gig before the credits rolled for the last time, we missed a lot in between. Of course, it's true that just because Claudia didn't want to be the caretaker the last time we saw her with Artie and the others doesn't mean that she couldn't change her mind—but that's where some older-lady makeup magic might've come in handy. Claudia has struggled with the question of whether or not she should take the job for a few seasons now, and she still wasn't sure of what she wanted to do when Mrs. Frederic had everyone drop their memories into the pensieve—err, I mean round table. Given time, Claudia's opinion could have—and clearly did—change, but by showing us a Future Caretaker Claudia who didn't look any older than Present-Day Agent Claudia suggests that she came to decision fairly quickly. So what happened? Was there a crisis that left her with no choice? Was she obligated by a sense of duty?
Idk, it just bothered me, even though I'm so delighted that Warehouse 13 ended with Claudia as the caretaker. It brought the series full circle.
Of course, there were other odd details that detracted from the overall feel-good nature of "Endless." Artie's surprise son was random and, despite the quickie throwaway line about how Artie fought for agents to have a "one" because of his son's existence, it was a little pointless this late in the game.
Jinks' Fantastic Voyage moment was so awe-inspiring as to bring him to tears, yet he claimed to have forgotten all about it.
And Pete and Myka's big romantic realization was underwhelming, practically reduced to a footnote in the grand scheme of the series.
When it came down to the details, "Endless" was far from perfect. However, the broad strokes were painted in the right places. The "vibes" were good. There were callbacks to the highest—and lowest—points in the Warehouse's history. Artie's rant against the cruel whimsy of the Warehouse, how it could so casually throw away those who gave so much of their lives to its care, was flawless, and it came in direct contrast to the series' more immature moments. Such is the nature of the Warehouse. And so its keepers and agents reflected on the past while looking toward the future with optimism, but the tempered sort of optimism that comes with growth and experience—the understanding that while there will be bad days and worse days, the world is not an inherently dark place, and that the good, once found, can last forever in one form or another, if not always (or often) the form we'd find most ideal.
Consider Claudia's closing scene at the round table, the wistful look on her face. We don't know how long she'd been the caretaker at that point, but we know it was long enough that her generation of agents had moved on. We don't know what happened to them. They could be dead. Some could have even died young; after all, for all its lighthearted moments, their job was a dangerous one. At best, they're old and will be gone in time, whereas Claudia is frozen in eternal(ish) youth. For all intents and purposes, Claudia doesn't have any friends and family left, and yet Warehouse 13 didn't give us any reason to believe she's unhappy. A little lonely, maybe, but that's the nature of the caretaker's role. Mrs. Frederic seemed similarly lonely from time to time—and as we heard in "Endless," Mrs. F's own memories are contained within the round table: her family, her joys, her victories. They brought her comfort in the way Claudia's own visitation with the past appears to make her smile, and they'll be stored there forever.
All told, Warehouse 13's series finale was bittersweet, and a lot was left unsaid. But for a series that specialized in the unknown, the obscure, the odd, and the eternal exploration of the wonderful and the weird, "Endless" was an appropriate ending. It was a little bumpy in places, but sometimes the bumps are just part of the journey.
– Pete and Myka's relationship never got the attention it deserved. The fact that "Savage Seduction" should've been shelved in favor of a more "relevant" episode is still abundantly clear. Think about what Warehouse 13 could have done with one more hour of actual plot!
– How do we feel about the fact that decades after Pete, Myka, and the gang prepared for the inevitable migration, Warehouse 14 has yet to materialize, meaning that the ol' U.S. of A. is still a dominant superpower. USA! USA! USA!
– I appreciated the HG Wells cameo and the shout-out to HG having a girlfriend.
– I also enjoyed how we never learned more about Mrs. Frederic.
– Did you agree with the "defining moments" in "Endless," or would you have chosen different ones?
What'd you think of the series finale? Are you satisfied with how Warehouse 13 signed off?
AIRED ON 5/19/2014
Season 5 : Episode 6