Warehouse 13: There's Always a Downside Review - Mania.com

Warehouse 13: There's Always a Downside Review

Mania Grade: B

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  • Episode: 404 - There's Always a Downside
  • Cast: Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelly, Saul Rubinek, Allison Scagliotti, Rene Auberjonios
  • Written By: Constantine Makris
  • Directed By: Drew Greenberg
  • Network: SyFy Channel
  • Series:

Warehouse 13: There's Always a Downside Review

Take another little piece of heart

By Chuck Francisco     August 14, 2012
Source: Mania.com

And just as we're settling nicely into this season of Warehouse 13, we're hit like a cartoon exclamation box (BOOM!) with a double dose of Star Trek alumni (again). This episode exhibits the acting range of Brent Spiner, who always gave us glimpses of the comedic brilliance lying just below the surface, constrained by his having always played an android on Star Trek: The Next Generation. We've already seen him as a menacing and lethal opponent in this season's premier episode. This week, we see him play up enthusiasm and childhood wonderment, as he brings Artie an artifact from his organization. The spur of Jack Duncan (famous bounty hunter of the old west), purported to allow one to track down other artifacts, has the supposed minimal downside of making horses fear the user for a few days. It's a trick, of course, as Brother Adrian has been suspicious of Artie's intentions for some time now. With his suspicions now confirmed, Adrian drops the mask of excited artifact enthusiast for the menacing demeanor the team experienced in the season opener.

Here's where I start to grow a bit concerned. When Adrian confronts Artie, the latter explains to him exactly what led to him using the Astrolabe in the first place. We don't see the entire conversation, but enough of it to know that Artie conveys the severity of the world's state before his unauthorized usage. So we've got to believe one of two things: either the evil unleashed by the Astrolabe is somehow worse than global rioting, financial ruin and the lost of humanity's hope; or brother Adrian actually is the insanely dangerous zealot whom we first met in the opening. Hopefully, the situation isn't so black and white, more of a milkshake mixing the the two. I find the murky areas far more interesting. 

In the realm of artifact hunting this week, Artie chooses to mix up the teams; pairing Jinks with Myka, and Claudia with Pete. Influenced by his vision of Claudia stabbing the hell out of him (fair enough), he tasks Pete with keeping an eye on her for anything unusual behavior. They visit our second Trek alumni, Rene Auberjonios (Odo on Deep Space Nine), who returns as Hugo Miller, former warehouse agent who's a little off kilter and has been sent a bag of marbles belonging to Bobby Fisher (chess master). This part of the adventure is a standard artifact hunt, with one deviation: we find out at the end of the episode that this item had been tracked down and collected by Artie already. It was supposed to be on a shelf in the warehouse. In it's place is a black jewell, the purpose of which we're in the dark on. Perhaps it allows brother Adrian to exchange it for artifacts, or perhaps it's merely a calling card. Regardless, it means that his religious organization has real teeth; they really can undo Artie's life's work.

Curious though, that Bother Adrian's organization knows abut artifacts, they understand them, and they claim to be trying to retrieve the Astrolabe to protect mankind, but to do so they are willing to unleash a bevy of artifacts of varying degrees of deadliness. Isn't this a church organization with vaults under the Vatican? Perhaps they're a rogue group. Still, it's strange that they would, as Adrian threatens Artie, operate under no rules to get the job done.

I found Jinks and Myka's trip far more interesting. They're on the trail of an artifact that is instantly curing people of their emotional trauma. I found it fascinating that this was a case of a New Orleans jazz trumpeter using an item to purposefully take people's pain onto himself (all the best musicians use that pain to play, or so it is said). Obviously this guy bites off more than he can chew, trying to absorb Jinks' pain. Importantly, during that struggle, Myka discovers Jinks' secret: that any injury he incurs causes Claudia proportional amounts of pain. After retrieving Janis Joplin's cigarette case, they share an important character growth moment, and Steve resolves to speak with Claudia about it (and requests that Artie temporarily take him off of active artifact hunting, though he isn't honest about the reason).

This was a cool episode, though after last week's triple team-a-thon, it's tough for this one not to seem to be in it's predecessor's shadow. I'd love for Hugo to become a more frequent recurring character, his half cracked innocent bumbling is both endearing and entertaining. We've got another cliffhanger ending, hooking us for next week. See you then.

Coolest Artifact: Janis Joplin's Cigarette Case

Lamest Artifact: Jack Duncan's Spur - I really wanted this one to be real. 


Showing items 1 - 9 of 9
karas1 8/14/2012 2:32:22 PM

All we needed was Kate Mulgrew for a Star Trek trifecta.

CyanideRush 8/14/2012 7:25:46 PM

 @Karas1- that might well have been too much awesome for one episode. Tell you what though: I'd lOve to see a Levar Burton/Pete adventure.

Chopsaki 8/14/2012 11:07:17 PM

What no love for Sam Huntington? Ya pretty cool seeing Data and Odo together in the same show, wish they could of had scenes together!

karas1 8/15/2012 1:06:56 AM

Jonathan Frakes could swoop in and romance Myka.

redhairs99 8/15/2012 8:24:32 AM

Riker's beginning to look a bit long in the tooth from the interviews I saw on my Bluray of ST:TNG Season 1, but I wouldn't mind him directing and guest starring in the show.

I think I missed the part about whose cigarette case that was when I watched it on my DVR yesterday.  I could have sworn the monogram on the case said SJ, not JJ.

Still good episode with a curve ball here and there.  I thought sure the trumpet was the artifact and was wondering when the heck Myka and Jinks could realize it too.

karas1 8/15/2012 6:46:27 PM

Older but better?  An older man could romance Myka, especially if he had an artifact that made him really sexy!  And wouldn't Pete be jealous?  LOL

dojen1 8/16/2012 3:58:43 AM

ummm....that was SCOTT Joplin's cigarette case...not Janis'. Just sayin'. Don't know who Scott Joplin is? Google him.

redhairs99 8/16/2012 7:37:13 AM

 dojen1, glad I wasn't the only one confused by that comment on Janis Joplin.  I thought they said Scott.

Kara,  I'm sure the make-up wizards could prettier Riker back up for a guest spot.  Just saying in the interviews on the new blu-ray he's looking rougher than Harrison Ford these days (at least without a make-up department).

CapnGavin 8/17/2012 12:17:02 AM

ok clearing up stage

1. The Black stone represents Brother Adrian's order as shown by the stones in the back of the watch in the season opener

2. the watch was given to the man's Uncle Scott BY Janis Joplin

hope this helps





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