I have to say, I thought Claudia’s quest to resurrect Steve would have lasted a lot longer than one episode. If this were any other show, I think it would have, but “Warehouse 13” tends to live up to the “expect the unexpected” motto that the characters themselves have had to adopt as agents. It’s going to be much more interesting to see how Artie’s vision of Claudia stabbing him comes to be now that she’s not a rogue agent on the run anymore.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Tonight’s episode starts in Philadelphia, where diner patrons are locked in with a horrible alien creature that they beat senseless in self-defense. When the cops show up though, the only one beaten is one of the other people from the diner, a guy named Joe. I’m thinking the bad guy here might be the shady character with the blue baseball hat that, you know, locked them all in there in the first place. He may not be subtle, but it looks like he did what he came to do.
Meanwhile, Artie’s back at Leena’s, moping around Claudia’s room and feeling guilty about her leaving. After he sees another flash of her violently stabbing him, he tries to shake it off and gives Pete and Myka their Philadelphia assignment. He’s jumpy and defensive, even panicking at Pete’s offhand remark about turning back time to get working on the case.
Artie’s jumpiness (and, let’s be honest, my own) is not improved by the sudden appearance of the Brother from last episode, the one who warned Artie about the evil the astrolabe would unleash before he died. His name is Adrian, and he’s enlisting Artie’s help in locating the stolen astrolabe. Working with the Vatican has its knowledge perks, it seems, since the Warehouse tends to be a well-kept secret. Adrian reveals that the only way to eradicate the “formidable evil” that will be released by the use of the astrolabe is to have the same person reset those 24 hours again to prevent the evil from forming. Yikes. That’s the opposite of what Artie was hoping to hear.
Claudia, our resident rogue agent, is currently tracking a Regent to the morgue where Steve’s body is (presumably) being kept. She’s got the floor plans to the building, and she’s got the metronome. I wouldn’t want to be anyone in her way today.
In Philadelphia, Pete and Myka question the diner patrons, but to no avail. They all saw the same alien-looking creature, and none of them were drunk or on drugs at the time. Across town at a dental office, the same scene plays out. A meek looking guy in a suit walks into the waiting room; everyone freaks out, and we can see that they see a monster where he should be. This time, it’s more disturbing, at least for me, because we can see this guy getting more and more scared and confused, right up until a hygienist shoves him out a window with a coat rack. And who should be lurking outside, but the mysterious baseball-hatted man?
Claudia, meanwhile, puts on a great frazzled emotional employee act to slip past the security guard. She then uses a nifty electrified ID badge to make her way into the morgue. She’s about to Tesla the guard who came after her when out of nowhere, Artie blocks her shot and drags her away to chastise her like the disgruntled father figure that he is.
They confront each other about their motives: Artie tells Claudia that he’s lost people close to him too, people he’d do anything to bring back, and it’s all just part of life. Claudia hits home with one desperate plea, though: “If you could use an artifact to set something right, to undo a huge, stupid tragedy, wouldn’t you do it?” Artie has no response, considering he just did exactly that with Magellan’s astrolabe. They’re interrupted by Jane, who says the decision has already been made—Claudia can bring Steve back.
Over in the plotline that I’ll readily admit is less interesting to me, Myka and Pete are still investigating the mystery of the tentacle-laden monsters. A woman is approached by Baseball Cap Guy, who hands her an antique-looking key, saying she must have dropped it. Of course, the key isn’t hers, so she hands it back and he skulks off triumphantly. Her husband, upon seeing her enter the house, immediately freaks and locks the “alien” in a closet. Pete and Myka respond to the 911 call and piece together that the artifact is “whammying” (Pete’s favorite technical term for “affecting”) the victims, not the attackers.
Claudia, Jane, and Steve (well, to be more precise, Steve’s body) are in Claudia’s room at Leena’s. Jane is there to assist Claudia in using the metronome to bring Steve back; if Claudia doesn’t have someone to guide her, she could get lost and end up dead herself in the process. Though frustrated at first with the lack of results, soon both Claudia and Steve are gasping for air. We see them together in a vast white space, Claudia shouting Steve’s name but with no sound. Jane warns her that Steve has to come to her, not the other way around—I assume that if Claudia moves to join Steve, she’s joining him in the afterlife. Claudia breaks through to Steve, though, and he’s officially alive again, though he doesn’t seem to be aware of what happened to him.
Myka and Pete begin to piece together what’s going on in Philadelphia after the woman most recently attacked tells them about her encounter with our mystery man. The mention of the key triggers an idea in Pete’s mind, and he deduces that the monsters have something to do with H.P. Lovecraft and his Cthulhu stories.
Leena confirms the Lovecraft theory, explaining that he had night terrors that he blamed on the “key to the gate of dreams.” If that doesn’t scream artifact, I don’t know what would. At Joe (the first victim)’s house, Myka connects the dots: he and the attacker were both at the same Philly/Cincinnati championship game, one where a woman was trampled to death afterwards. In reviewing the security footage from that night, Pete and Myka discover that their culprit is Ron Hadsell, fiancé of Theresa Hicks, the woman who was killed. Each person he’s Lovecrafted since was involved somehow in her death, either by pushing her down or by ignoring Ron’s pleas for help. There’s one last possible victim, Jeff Green, who blocked the ambulance with his car, so Pete and Myka rush off.
Back at Leena’s, Claudia tries telling Steve that he was only knocked really, really unconscious by whatever was in Marcus’s syringe, but considering Steve’s talent is being a human lie detector, he sees through that pretty quickly and figures out what really happened. Understandably, he’s having a tough time coping with having been dead for the last three days, and he asks only that Claudia give him some space to figure out what that means for him.
Speaking of being dead for three days, I’m picking up some serious religious symbolism from this episode. First we’ve got Brother Adrian of the Vatican. Then we’ve got Steve’s miraculous resurrection after three days of being dead. Plus, there’s the threat of a formidable, mysterious evil hanging around in the background. If Steve stays in this savior-type symbolic role, I’m willing to bet he has to die again for the evil to be vanquished. Which I suppose will happen anyway if what Adrian says is true about re-resetting the astrolabe being the only way to stop the evil.
Myka and Pete split up back in Philadelphia; Myka investigates Ron’s house while Pete goes to check on Jeff Green. Myka gets confirmation that Ron is our Lovecraft guy—he’s got models of the characters built all over his workshop. The man himself shows up at Jeff Green’s house, where he runs into (and away from) Pete.
The two of them fight in the foyer of a nearby gym, where Pete has caught up with Ron, and in the tussle, Ron presses the key to Pete’s hand and riles the gym-goers up against the alien. Myka arrives, and puts aside her phobias about tentacles to try and protect Pete. She chases down Ron and neutralizes the artifact just as “alien” Pete is about to get hacked to bits by a woman with a fire ax.
Pete, who exists in a largely black and white world of morality, dismisses Ron immediately as a bad guy, but Myka, though she agrees, sympathizes with his motive driven by grief and anger. I’m sure she went through something similar after the death of her old partner, Sam, though of course minus the artifact used to murder someone part. This is probably why she’s able to understand H.G. so well when Pete was only able to see her as the former villain that she was.
Back at the Warehouse, Claudia walks into Artie’s office expecting, well, Artie, only to find Regent Kosan sitting there instead. Jane, it turns out, didn’t exactly have permission to let Claudia bring Steve back. Oops. Since they don’t know what the consequences could be, Steve will be under lifetime Regent supervision. Should something go drastically wrong with the artifact, well, the Regents won’t hesitate to take action.
Claudia rejoins the Steve celebration going on at dinner at Leena’s, and Artie reassures her that everything is okay between the two of them. I love their father/daughter-esque relationship, and I’m glad to see some mending of it, though I suppose that will make it twice as hard when Artie’s vision finally comes true. He gets a ping about an artifact detected on his pocket device (designed by Claudia, of course): it’s the very knife he keeps seeing Claudia try to plunge into his chest. Pete, vibe-sensing guy that he is, tries to ask Artie what’s wrong, but he’s given the brush-off. He looks suspicious, though, and I wonder if he’ll get a chance to figure out what’s going on with Artie.
Overall, a good episode, though I much preferred the plotlines that focused on the season-long narrative rather than the episodic artifact of the week case. I’m disappointed about the complete lack of H.G., especially since it will be so interesting to see how Artie acts around her now that he knows what sacrifice she’d make for them and the Warehouse, but I suppose this episode already had a lot on its plate.
I’m still not sure how I feel about Steve’s return, though. I’m glad Steve is back, don’t get me wrong. His character is fascinating to me, and I’m glad we’ll have another chance to learn about him, but at the same time it feels too easy. Dire consequences as foreshadowed by Adrian may be on the horizon, but so far everything that shocked us at the end of last season has been reversed with no one the wiser but Artie, for the most part. It’s just frustrating to me when characters go through an ordeal but never get to grow from it because of a time travel fluke (I’m looking at you, Doctor Who). For now, I guess I’ll bide my time and see what “formidable evil” comes of Artie’s actions and wait for the inevitable reveal of his use of Magellan’s astrolabe.