Mania Grade: A-
2 Comments | Add
Rate & Share:
- Episode: Lost and Found (Season 4, Episode 18)
- Starring: Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelly, Saul Rubinek, Allison Scagliotti, Aaron Ashmore
- Written By: Benjamin Raab, Deric A. Hughes
- Directed By: Howie Deutch
- Network: SyFy Channel
- Studio: Universal
Warehouse 13: Lost and Found Review
Oh plot episodes!
By Chuck Francisco
June 26, 2013
Full Spoilers in the review below.
Oh plot episodes! This show produced such a run of episodes devoted to the overarching narrative of the series back in the first half of the season that this half has been very quiet by comparison. So when an episode comes along that is as wrapped up in the cloak and dagger of warehouse secrecy as Lost & Found, it's important that it not go to waste. The dominoes arrayed in the background by Charlotte over the past six or so installments of everyone's favorite bag and tag adventure series begin to cascade into each other, enacting her scheme with each collision of ivory game pieces. Yet in the span of only one episode the measure of her complexity is accounted for, presenting a villain who is more than just mustache twirling and saber rattling (and perhaps not a villain).
With the bread crumbs laid out in so obvious a path, I don't think anyone was surprised to discover Charlotte was immortal like her husband. Deft handling of the surrounding mystery becomes an important tool in whipping up the intrigue levels. The writing team provided fascinating flavor text here, and episode director Howie Deutch expertly dishes it out at precisely the right times. For a show that thrives on the thrill of those revelations, that sense of placement is critical.
Charlotte's sordid involvement with the warehouse dates back to Constantinople in the sixteenth century. Its agents have shown her nothing but contempt and trouble over the course of dozens of lifetimes. She even notes that she was forced to kill an agent in the distant past. For all of that history, Charlotte is a deep enough character to recognize when perhaps even her enemies have grown. These agents, not recognizing her invulnerability, do their darnedest to save her when she appears imperiled. And if it makes much of a difference, her plan did not include the unnecessary murder of any of our fearless team. In point of fact, its deceptive nature seems engineered to pull a street magician slight of hand, being gone before even being detected.
As with many seeking to subvert the warehouse's collection for their own needs, the motivation seems noble enough, but the devil is likely in the details. While Charlotte and Sutton may have come to terms with the curse of their immortality (despite the teary explanation), the unfair burden they've placed on Nick has haunted his mother. Nick is immortal and impervious to harm, but has been fifteen for five hundred years. That has got to be a drag. The plan seems to involve unbronzing Paracelsus, who among many other achievements, was a noted alchemist and creator of the Philosopher's Stone. Pete makes the same jump we all do now: Harry Potter; and indeed Nicholas Flemmel is probably based on Paracelsus. But the man who is unbronzed has clearly seen the wrong end of the warehouse and insists on "taking care" of Claudia, despite Nick's protestations.
In the lead up to this episode, it seemed as though Nick was to be an assassin sent to take out Claudia. I think going with a subterfuge laden direction was far smarter and vastly more interesting to watch unravel. The use of flashback to reveal artifact manipulation was also excellent and perfectly executed. I thought it was a fun touch that Jinx was led to believe he had a mountain of paperwork to complete.
The levity involved in the actual artifact hunt brings a great balance to bear, and Artie's excitement over pirate treasure is infectious. The creation of a protective shade or ghost as an extension of will was also a nice touch which takes an old attribution of the supernatural and gives it validity via an artifact. The location of the hidden pirate treasure was also super neat: built secretly within Niagara Falls Water and Power. I found myself enamored with the location; I love abandoned places, they rivet my attention. The marble adorned stair case scene, where Charlotte's accomplice is discovered dead, particularly grabbed my focus. I wonder if that was filmed on location and if so where it is.
Myka's cancer revelation to Pete is such an important moment, one that could be easily botched. I was glad that she was able to give her feelings a test run, imaging the reactions Pete would have. Those reactions run the gamut from explosive anger to uncontrollable weeping, and these experiences are cathartic in that they give people who have actually gone through something like this a pressure release valve, before allowing these two characters to face this in their own touching way. In a moment of sad, quiet solidarity, Pete's reassuring hug says more than all of his other imagined reactions combined.
This is a an excellent episode, which leverages emotional strength, fun artifact hunting, deep mysteries, and more alternate world history (or secret world history) than you can shake a Farnsworth at. A number of clever and effective choices make this a memorable stop on the trip to the final cliffhanger in the show's run. I have only one question: where the heck is Abigail during all of this?
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.