Warehouse 13: An Enemy Within Review (Mania.com)
Review Date: Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Excellent. This is why I tune in.
The second episode of the season is mostly business as usual (and business is good), with a healthy dash of over arching arc mixed in for good measure. When we last left the team, Artie had used Magellan's Astrolabe to change the events that lead to the destruction of the Warehouse at the end of season 3, and Claudia has fled into the night with the life restoring Metronome (intent on resurrecting Steve Jinks). Right away, we're reminded via flashes of Artie's vivid nightmare, offering visions of Claudia tearing into him with a dagger. The doomsday prophesies of Brother Adrian (Brent Spiner) replay as a reminder for us that using the time device is not without cost.
Just as some of you had mentioned, and last week's peak at this week's show suggestion, we get to spend some more time with Adrian. In this instance, he's a lot less prone to stabbing and much more inclined to talking. This is fortunate, as he simply appears on the doorstep of Leena's bed and breakfast. I'll be honest, I was expecting Artie to go and seek him out, to learn more of the evil that's coming to him for using the Astrolabe. It was an interesting surprise that Adrian was actually seeking help to recover the artifact, which had been in his care for safe keeping. Clearly, we'd gotten a biased view of the pious brother. To him, the warehouse agents likely seemed to be at best petty thieves, and at worst killers after a nuclear bomb level artifact. Spiner is excellent here, given much more to work with than snarling at the camera while threatening our heroes. But we have to believe his character is very dense, as Artie is clearly troubled by any mention of the danger caused by usage of the Astrolabe, and acts very obsessive. It's likely we'll see the dangerous side of Brother Adrian again in the next episode, or maybe two, down the line.
Meanwhile, Claudia plans a second rate Mission Impossible break in job, in an attempt to revive Jinks, possibly as a zombie. We still aren't quite sure what the downside to the Metronome is yet, though it's bound to be critically important. What happens if it's stopped but Jinks hasn't sustained any (new) grievous injuries? Would it be possible to use it and revive him again? Will he become the team's new Hellboy; impervious to most danger? It's very interesting that Jane Lattimer (Kate Mulgrew), regent and Pete's mom, would defy standard operating procedure and allow Claudia to bring Jinx back (and help her do it too). It's clear the guilt over taking away the artifact that would have allowed Walter Sykes full mobility as a child is still holding sway over her decision making. Faran Tahir returns again as my favorite regent (if one can have such things), Kosan. It seems Jinks is now warehouse property, can be "shut down" at any point they deem fit, and might possibly be sucking amounts bits of life out of everyone he touches (though I feel like Kosan was speculating or making a point to Claudia with that one).
While in Philadelphia (the city where I was born!), Pete and Mika hunt for an artifact which makes the victim appear to be a creature of Lovecraftian origin. It turns out to be a silver key that belonged to the author. It also turns out that Mika has a phobia for all things with tentacles, ruling her out from ever attending an Anime con in the future (though that would make for a hilarious episode). The danger of this object is that anyone who sees the victim, attacks as though there life depended on it, because to them it appears that it does. Again we find a perpetrator motivated by revenge. This time it's over the indifference of pedestrians, as their loved one lay dying. Philadelphia was a fitting location, given the violence that is commonly depicted in the media around our sporting events, though it's an easy pick too. I will say they got a lot right about the city, including scrapple; the delicious breakfast meat treat that's virtually unheard of outside the area and does go great with ketchup (you want it sliced thin and cooked to be crispy on the outside but still soft on the inside).
One interesting thing that occurred to me while watching this episode is that the doom incurred by Artie might actually be a self fulfilling prophecy; he may end up being the unwitting architect of his own personal shadowy downfall. I liked this theory, right up until Brother Adrian let Artie know that the last time the Astrolabe was used, it lead to the French Revolution, and the tens of thousands of deaths that came along with it. Used by Maximilien Robespierre, we're to believe that it lead to the Reign of Terror, or at least that Brother Adrian thinks so. It's going to interesting how this is resolved since on one side, to do nothing invites this unimaginable evil of Artie's making to come to fruition, and the other side requires the undoing of all the changes that were effected, including the destruction of humanity's hope at the bottom of Pandora's box.
Coolest Artifact: Magellan's Astrolabe - the more authentic history is woven into an artifact's origin, the
more interesting I find it.
Lamest Artifact: H.P. Lovecraft's Key - Yeah, it's the silver key from The Silver Key, but I'd have liked something cooler. Perhaps a taxidermy stuff rat (The Rats in the Walls), or perhaps the Necronomicon itself.
Mania Grade: A
Episode: An Enemy Within (402)
Starring: Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelly, Saul Rubinek, Allison Scagliotti
Written By: Holly Harold
Directed By: Constantine Makris