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- Episode: The Truth Hurts (Season 4, Episode 20)
- Starring: Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelly, Saul Rubinek, Allison Scagliotti, Aaron Ashmore
- Written By: Drew Z. Greenberg
- Directed By: Jack Kenny
- Network: SyFy Channel
- Studio: Universal Studios
Warehouse 13: The Truth Hurts Review
Endless wonder truncated by finite time.
By Chuck Francisco
July 09, 2013
Full Spoilers in the review below.
A pervading sense of clutter runs through the season finale of Warehouse 13. This disruption to the pacing forces a feeling of disorganization to the proceedings. This isn't a breakneck pace spurred on by eminent danger and the ticking doom of a world imperiled, no this instead gives off vibes of throwing in the kitchen sink since the series' run has been truncated. Slack needs to be given and exceptions of course made for the show runners; they have endless wonder to display but finite time with which to share it. Still it is disconcerting to consider the jumbled, rushed nature of this finale, especially in light of a recent interview with Joanne Kelly, mentioning that they have more ideas then shows remaining. It wouldn't be a stretch to assume that they will try to marry many of the left over ideas into pairs, while also showcasing character closure moments galore.
Claudia's character arc aspires to new heights in the setup for dominion over the warehouse. As Mrs. Frederick is finally severed from her duties (with scant seconds to go before she perishes), Claudia's connection to it increases by magnitudes. She gains an almost Spidey Sense, an innate intuition, along with a protection geared purpose. It doesn't appear that this new software upgrade comes with any offensive powers, yet at the same time the warehouse itself seems to go out of its way to protect her. She's going to need it given Paracelsus' absurdly enhanced control. That mad man played Pete like a fiddle, provoking precisely the reactions he wanted to grant him his desired outcome.
And now we've been left hanging like socks on a clothesline over Myka's cancer. Even having played Pete, we can't be certain that Paracelsus was being untruthful about the severity of Myka's condition. It's entirely possible he wasn't lying, merely using a truth he uncovered to his maximum benefit. I think it's more likely that she going to be ok; that her surgery was successful. I only feel comfortable making the claim because Joanne Kelly mentioned in that same interview that her character's cancer wouldn't be playing a massive or distracting part in the last season. Without that information, I wouldn't feel so securing in placing that bet. That would be a good development too, because there's no fun or entertainment to be had in the awkwardness which is Pete and Myka's interaction this week. Their banter took an uncomfortable fork at Albuquerque, got lost, and never asked for directions.
At last we see how an episode can suffer from character bloat. With Sutton and Nick struggling to resolve their conflicted relationship, and Mrs.Frederick slipping away, Steve barely exists at all and Abigail only appears so she can be told to go hide someplace safe. Jinks actually has a few lengthy scenes that didn't make the episode but are available on the season four DVD set, including a poignant one with the apparition of Leena. It ties in directly to the reveal of whose DNA Artie used last week to stabilize Claudia. While we're on the subject, just who is Claudia's sister that she's so absurdly dangerous? Is she imprisoned somewhere in the warehouse? That would be my guess after Mrs. F's clue that Claudia will discover the secret once she assumes caretakership.
There is quite a bit of cross property artifact combining occurring. Some of this is very hypothetical, as in the case of Paracelsus' so called miraculous health plan for Myka, while some of it very practical, as in Artie and Claudia's repurposing of the ribbon, tesla, and farnsworth as a remote wiping unit (a very Dollhouse touch). The warehouse team's application of multiple effects is in direct reply to Paracelsus' approach to downside mitigation, but I find the concept fascinating despite its origin. Even though he is manipulating Pete's emotions, Paracelsus does make a strong case for careful and measured usages of artifacts for positive outcomes. I'd love to see more of this hot artifact on artifact action.
This was a good but not great episode, primarily suffering from a stuffed to the gills plot and too many characters being shifted to the periphery. I know that it isn't common practice, but for the final six episodes SyFy may want to consider allowing run over. Give the Warehouse 13 team the extra five or ten minutes they need per episode to fully tell the end of their tale. As for cliffhangers, this one felt slightly epic but did not generate the riveting levels of anticipation which previous season endings did. I certainly hope that this crew can provide a satisfying wrap up in only six episodes. For now we have to take a step back from endless wonder and await for the end.
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.