Warehouse 13: Implosion Review - Mania.com

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  • TV Series: Warehouse 13
  • Episode: Implosion
  • Starring: Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelly, Saul Rubinek, CCH Pounder, Roger Rees and Genelle Williams
  • Written By: Bob Goodman
  • Directed By: Vincent Misiano
  • Network: Syfy
  • Series:

Warehouse 13: Implosion Review

We Are Not Red Shirts

By Rob Vaux     August 19, 2009

Mania Review of Warehouse 13: Implosion(2009).
© Syfy/Robert Trate


Warehouse 13 finally realizes its potential in the best episode of the season so far. "Implosion" expertly blends the best elements of the series into a package which transcends the sum of its parts. The artifact-of-the-week mystery is mixed with something far more engaging: expanding upon the show's mythology, revealing more depth to the characters and wrapping it all in a winning cocktail of humor and sci-fi action.
It also gives us something the show has lacked thus far: a recurring villain in the form of Roger Rees' oily James MacPhearson. He sets his sights on a Japanese katana so sharp it can bend light itself, allowing the user to become invisible. He also has a past with Artie (Saul Rubinek), and his schemes here dovetail into a larger plan to wreak havoc within the Warehouse 13 crew. It's easier than it first appears. Artie's penchant for secrecy never sat well with Bering (Joanne Kelly) and Lattimer (Eddie McClintock), and MacPhearson plants evidence in their hands which opens that rift to a possible breaking point.
Director Vincent Misiano plays on the trope with poised confidence, allowing the plot to serve the characters while acknowledging how straightforward Bering and Lattimer's personality has been thus far. Frequent comparisons to red shirts come up--implying that Artie considers them both disposable--while also raising the troubling issue of whether the two of them are becoming more like Artie than they realize.
The Warehouse's need-to-know contents force them to keep people they care about in the dark, making it harder for them to target the real enemy. "Implosion" fully explores those questions and yet leaves the bulk of them unanswered, providing future episodes with a badly needed arc to pursue. (Claudia's getting better on that front, but you can't hang the whole series on her, and she's off this week anyway.) It also makes MacPhearson more than just a cardboard bad guy. He can damage the heroes psychologically as well as physically, giving him plenty of mayhem-causing ammo for use in future episodes.
And yet despite the overall heaviness of his appearance, "Implosion" stays remarkably light on its feet. Artie gets out into the field this week, allowing him to interact with his comrades more easily and upping the humor factor considerably. Though the central issues remain serious enough and Misiano approaches them with appropriate gravitas, the leads' Battling Bickersons routine is in full force--prompted by a script from Bob Goodman as witty as any we've seen so far.
On top of all that, the gaggle of gadgets this week are possibly the coolest yet. The katana itself conveys its invisibility in a supremely plausible manner, rendering it both simple to understand and endlessly fascinating. MacPhearson utilizes "implosion grenades" in his quest for the sword, which removes all matter in the blast radius (creating a vacuum and doing horrible things to any other objects in the vicinity).
Artie counters with a one-of-a-kind Chinese firework, brimming with the sort of niftiness that makes you forget how much of a deus ex machina it is. The more interesting the artifacts, the more readily Warehouse 13 rises to the challenges of story and character. Add goodies as solid as these to an already polished script, and the show takes on a sense of fun and excitement unseen anywhere else on television. This is what Warehouse 13 should be every week; it probably won't happen quite that frequently, but when it does, it makes the show's various shortcomings vanish in a puff of smoke.


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Skroin 8/20/2009 1:37:19 AM

I have to agree that this was definately the best episode so far.

I thought the interaction between Berring and Lattimer this episode has been the best acting they've done. I can say that this was the first episode that actually made me laugh out loud, and that was the conversation on "redshirts" while they were hiding behind the tree.

The only thing I may find odd about the episode, is Artie's lack of care for artifacts. For example, the Chinese firework I really enjoyed, but was a bit off-put about how Artie just lightly tosses out how rare they are without care that he's lighting one up. If I were to use something so "rare," I'd be a little hesitant on using something like that before trying out other methods to get in the building.

I'm also glad they implemented a recurring villian. I was hoping they would, as this would allow the show to build to a climax that's worth a damn at the end of the season. :D

I really have my fingers crossed that ScyFy can keep it up with episodes like this. Good acting, fun story, awesome artifacts, etc. This one definately got me to look forward to what next week's episode has in store.

I am wondering where Claudia was during all of this, though...

redhairs99 8/20/2009 2:48:01 AM

I defintely liked the villian this week in particular because he was played Roger Rees of "If Looks Could Kill" and many others, but he's nonetheless a cool villian.

Also the line about "That is so cool that you knew what I meant" when Lattimer reference to them as "Red Shirts" was quite funny.

My only real problem this week was with the invisibility sword.  Cool, yes, but how does it bend light around the entire person?  I'm just saying that the only part of you that would be invisible would be the area covered by the blade of the sword (i.e. you'd have a pair of legs walking around with no upper body).  Oh well, I'll just have to repeat to myself MST3K's motto I suppose.  "It's just a tv show, I should really just relax." "It's just a tv show, I should really just relax." "It's just a tv show, I should really just relax."

LittleNell1824 8/20/2009 5:06:41 AM

I love Roger Rees. I've been in love with him since the 80's when he did the Nicholas Nickleby play.. all by himself on an empty stage. Amazing.



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