Mania Grade: B-
1 Comment | Add
Rate & Share:
- Episode: Instinct (Season 4, Episode 15)
- Starring: Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelly, Saul Rubinek, Allison Scagliotti, Aaron Ashmore
- Written By: Bob Goodman
- Directed By: Jennifer Lynch
- Network: SyFy Channel
- Studio: Universal
Warehouse 13: Instinct Review
Goo delivery mechanisms galore!
By Chuck Francisco
June 07, 2013
Full Spoilers in the review below.
It is incredibly refreshing to see Artie return to the warm, playful spirits which used to inhabit him before the unpleasantries of the Astrolabe wreaked all manner of havoc in his life. Kelly Hu's Abigail Cho has had a remarkable effect on the senior agent's disposition, and she seems a keen addition to the warehouse family. Having said that, it doe feel like they've reached a saturation point of characters to focus on. Instinct is very much a female bonding episode which features Claudia coming to friendly terms with Abigail, and more friendship drama/gal crushing between Myka and HG. We'll tackle these relationships by order of complexity; simplest first.
Claudia has been being zapped on the butt by amazing warehouse lighting for a few episodes running with no discernible reason. She's been keeping it a secret from everyone but her bestie Steve. His prevailing belief is that Claudia is concerned Abigail will find out that she was previously institutionalized. Thus she's kept the new addition away at the tip of sarcastic barbs. Claudia's stress induced confession comes as somewhat of a surprise: she wants to capitalize on her special bond with 13 to eventually become it's caretaker. This moment is really the strongest endorsement of Abigail's character so far. She's as blunt as necessary, compassionate as need be, and speaks with the expediency of a seasoned warehouse agent. I think she's going to make a clever addition to the team, for what time remains.
Myka and HG's relationship has always hovered somewhere between extreme mutual admiration and out right love. It normally lives in devoted friendship land, but there's little denying that they're borderline in love with each other (especially when both actresses have admitted that their characters are "a little in love with each other"). So it should come as little surprise that seeing her friend hiding amongst the trappings of a normal life would jostle Myka's birdcage a little. Her hurtful words are a direct response to the pain she feels at not having this woman in her life full time (definitely a bit of jealousy). This also gives justification to the irrationality that possesses Myka as she rushes off to face the baddie alone (a very un-Myka-like action). Their parting moment is nice, despite the sickeningly saccharine song choice. This may be the last we see of HG, with Warehouse 13 winding down and the originally planned spin off centered on her character failing to materialize.
The Warehouse centric story is solid and funny, with a number of laugh out loud moments, but the Myka/HG story is uneven in its narrative. The sentiment is there, as are strong performances from both actresses, but the tale feels incomplete, as though it should have taken place over two episodes but was truncated. The Adalay character (HG's daughter surrogate) is also insipidly written. Her dialogue perfectly illustrates how to write a child character if you want the audience to be annoyed and hate them. I heard Tom Servo in my head while she was speaking; he was screaming "Turn it off, TURN IT OFF!". Thankfully her screen time was blissfully short.
Unfortunately, so was Pete's. Drawing the short end of the stick, Pete seemed relegated to the background this week. Eddie McClintock makes the absolute most of his more limited than usual screen time, delivering a good number of quality zingers. Still, as a general rule of thumb, I could always do with more Pete.
I really dig the random, creative goo delivery mechanisms which the writers have devised. Quick improvisation this week yielded a neutralizer RPG, with a payload resembling a lava lamp full of grape Kool-Aid. Its arc of flight was a beautiful example of CGI. The post explosion music video strut by Claudia feels ripped straight from the pages of Tank Girl. Thinking on it, we're due for another run at that material; Allison should get first dibs at the lead role. The Warehouse as a living, sentient entity is no so far fetched, but a little disturbing. Does it watch Artie sleep? The "FISH" is an interesting bit of 50's inspired gadgety straight of area 51. It also answers the questions surrounding the lack of investigation into this strange location.
This is a decent to solid episode, a little inferior to the normal installments, but still packed full of amusing zingers and important character moments. While it's sad to think this is likely HG's swan song, it's comforting that she was able to get one. With the countdown on and the remaining episodes numbered, each deep character interaction earns a closer look. I wonder how next week's Steve episode will stack up.
Chuck Francisco is a columnist and critic for Mania, writing Wednesday's Shock-O-Rama, the weekly look into classic cult, horror and sci-fi. He is a co-curator of several repertoire film series at the world famous Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA. You can hear him drop nerd knowledge on weekly podcast You've Got Geek or think him a fool of a Took on Twitter.