Warehouse 13: Second Chance Review (Mania.com)

By:Chuck Francisco
Review Date: Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Source: Mania.com

Yes! It's excellent, tightly scripted episodes like this, full of revelations, that make Warehouse 13 such an amazing show. We're paid time and a half for many of the plot points our faithful crew have been carrying this season, and it's richly rewarding. With nary a second wasted, Mrs. Frederick, Leena and HG confront Artie about the Astrolabe. He explains to another person, for the first time, what horrible circumstances drove him to up alter time, and then begs longingly of Mr. Frederick to validate the inner turmoil he's been combating. My hat's off to Saul Rubinek; his almost quivering "Did I do wrong?" could have come off as angry, but instead rings as sincere in it's longing need to be understood. And they do; Mrs. Frederick confirms she would have done the same thing. 

This one conversation has got to be an enormous weight off of Artie's shoulders, and their further speculation that Brother Adrian is flat out lying about the exact nature of the consequences, or my very well be the evil which has been unleashed, has been running though my head as well. In any case, now here are a number of capable folk working on the situation, leading Artie to be less frazzled I'm betting, and more able to focus on the task at hand. Still, I simultaneously feel for and am concerned about Mrs. F's choice to have HG take the Astrolabe into hiding. She's experienced in time travel, incredibly resourceful, and has the kind of painful skeletons which could cause her to use the artifact herself. We can at least be assured in the knowledge that the Astrolabe only allows travel back one day, so HG couldn't be tempted to travel back to saved her loved ones in the distance past.

We know comparatively little about Steve Jinks' life before becoming a warehouse agent. He was an ATF agent and he had a sister who resembled Claudia but has passed away. He'd never been one to speak about his history, and we'd never very much asked; here his hand is forced. Artie discovered diary entries and a poem which hint that in order to remove Steve safely from the metronome, he needs to return "from wence he came, find his heart and make a pure start". Turns out he's from New Jersey but hasn't spoken to his mother since the trial of his sister's killer. To stop the cycle of pain, his mother vied for life imprisonment over the death penalty for Olivia Jinks' killer, something which violently upsets the normally serenely Buddhist Steve. The necessary reconciliation was obviously from the outset, but what I wasn't expecting was such powerful, raw emotion from Aaron Ashmore. He's a brutally exposed nerve, quaking with misdirected anger and sadness. Allison Scagliotti dug deep too, bringing her A game in establishing the emotional gravitas with Aaron to really makes these scenes matter, succeeding in really making us care more about them both.

Meanwhile Pete and Myka work feverishly to save plant workers from an artifact that's making them physically rust from the inside out. While not connected to the overarching season's plot, these two are still the glue that holds the series together. The artifact being quested after, fragments of Spartan armor imbedded in a former marine's chest after an explosion in a museum, present quite a unique challenge. I'm sure that injecting a bunch of neutralizer fluid into a man's heart has got to have more dire consequences than a Pete one liner. I wonder if this will come back in the future, or if the artifact might reactivate at some point. For now, it's refreshing to have had a artifact wielding person who is really good inside, and can realize something is wrong, allow the agents to act before he himself is in peril. It's a great reminder that while these artifacts can be amazingly powerful, a person with a good heart can be more so.

There we so few artifacts mentioned or seen by name this week that I'm going to forego the usual ranking of them. Instead I want see how astute my fellow viewers are. In the pre-credits conversation Artie has with Mrs. Frederick, did anyone else see Johnny Number Five from Short Circuit sitting deactivated in the office? Is this the prelude to a Fisher Stevens guest appearance? Probably not. Is it awesome to the tenth degree? It totally is! 

Mania Grade: A
Episode: Second Chance
Starring: Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelly, Saul Rubinek, Allison Scagliotti, Aaron Ashmore
Written By: Diego Guitierez
Directed By: Constintine Makris
Network: SyFy