- I really dislike this series finale. In fact, every time I watch it I like it less. It's not that long-running shows don't get to have a clip show, although a bizarre one. It's that this is the last thing the audience will remember about Warehouse 13. Having been through 60+ shows, this audience deserved better. It actually deserved better all season. For me, Warehouse 13 should have ended with the season 5 premiere tacked on to the end of season 4.
Previously - Everything was wrapped up in a decent series finale….oops, penultimate episode.
In 1889 London, Jack the Ripper is on the loose. He chases a blond prostitute to a dead end…maybe. The blonde is actually HG Wells, disguised by the glasses and thimble of previous episodes. She knocks a lantern out of his hand and mocks him when he starts to flee. It works. He returns and she blasts him. It's only her first month as an agent and it's already her defining moment (more on that to come). In fact she's doing so well, she's making the other agents jealous. HG: "Mr. Kipling has taken to writing rude verses on the walls." Ha! I love that other famous writers are warehouse agents as well. Caturanga congratulates her on her assimilation into the warehouse. HG: "I've finally found a place where my other talents can be used for the good of the empire." Caturanga: "No, not just the empire, the entire world." They chat about warehouse history and HG is shocked to find that the warehouse moves to different countries but after last week, we already knew that. Still more HG is always a good thing. Well not when it's about her love life, which currently has her hooked up with some random woman named Giselle. After the screen fades, we see the flashback was a memory recorded in Arthur's Round Table, keeper of warehouse memories. Mrs. Frederic explains that their job today is to contribute their defining moment as well. Artie protests that it's too soon but Mrs. Frederic believes Warehouse 13 is about done for. Pete vigorously protests after Myka reminds Steve that they will be unemployed, since the host country chooses their own agents. Pete: "Okay I've got an idea. How about instead of sitting around the mystical table of kumbaya, we do something crazy like, I don't know, stop it from moving, right?" Oh Pete, never change. Mrs. Frederic cites the natural order of things. Pete: "We're talking about losing our home…" Claudia interrupts the escalating argument by volunteering to go first.
She places her hand on the stone and the artifact flashes through several episodes of Claudia highlights before choosing a mission we've never seen. See it's a clip show but we've only seen some of the clips a la Community. In a bizarre twist, Claudia's memory starts with Myka and Pete tap dancing with hundreds of 42nd Street dancers. Claudia herself is nowhere to be seen. Apparently Pete pushed a warehouse button, violating rule #1, and now the warehouse is overrun by deadly dancers as everyone taps their way to death. It reminds me of the Buffy musical but far more intentionally funny, especially when Steve taps onto the scene. Steve: "I don't know what I did in a past life to deserve this." Ha! He's trapped between 2 dancing mobs and zaps everyone to no effect. No wonder he hates musicals. If I had to hear the 42nd Street theme song over and over by manically grinning headdresses, I wouldn't be a fan either. Finally Claudia joins her own memory as she and Artie look for a way to counteract the artifact. It's a little hard when they keep breaking out in spontaneous jazz hands. Claudia: "Easy Tommy Tune." Ha! (Side note - I was privileged to see Tommy Tune in 2 different musicals. Literally show stopping work.) The agents meet together to make a plan. Pete: "So we led our girls to the Escher vault and locked them in. Also, I think we're going to need a new Escher Vault." Oops! Artie's plan involves Busby Berkeley's flask and Goodman Beggar's tin pan. When combined and thrown at the 42nd Street marquis, it will stop the dancing. Not sure why they can't just spray goo on it, but it gives Claudia a chance to shine. The marquis needs a spectacular dance finale to recharge enough to neutralize it and they all do the jazz hands version of Not It to elect Claudia, who thinks she's too B team for the job. Artie: "Claudia, listen to me. You're our only hope. You may be going out there B team but you're coming back A team. You can do it kiddo. Only not in that outfit."
One stunning dress change later and she lights up the stage, confronted by the world's creepiest dancers. Claudia: "Okay, that's a scary smile." Meanwhile the others distract the showgirls and grab the 2 artifacts needed. Basically this scene is designed to show off Allison Scagliotti's dancing talent. It works well. As she closes the number, Pete throws the pan to smash all the marquis lights. Mission accomplished and they all hunch over in leg pain. Pete: "Talk about one singular sensation." Glitter explodes everywhere to cries of, "Best job ever!" It's bittersweet to see how much they love their job, knowing it's the last time we'll see them do it. Claudia looks bittersweet too and Mrs. Frederic calls her on it. Frederic: "I would imagine that that was the moment you realized you didn't want to be caretaker after all." Say what? I call foul right now. Steve looks perplexed by this realization and mentions how often Claudia said she wanted the job. Since he's a human lie detector and the two are mutually exclusive, flag on that play. That's one major character overhaul to throw in to the finale. It would have been fine with some character development leading up to it and if Steve already knew. Now it's just a plot device for Pete and Artie. It precipitates another Pete freak out, who says Claudia doesn't have to be sorry about not being caretaker because they have the best job as agents. So much so that he's upset the others aren't trying to keep the warehouse from moving. Pete: "The question is why is no one else freaking out about losing it?" Myka: "We are. It's just some of us are a little quieter about it than others." Pete: "Oh well I'm sorry. Then someone needs to be loud about it. Look, we're not losing the warehouse. I'm going to make sure of it." He storms off and Myka follows.
Still at the Round Table, Claudia apologizes for wanting to stay an agent but both Artie and Steve say it's unnecessary. Claudia thinks it's natural to have doubts. "Right Mrs. Frederic? You must have had your doubts." Frederic: "No, I was always resolute." Ha! Claudia: "Thank you again. It doesn't matter anyway. I know my responsibility." Steve says no one is forcing Claudia to do anything, but she keeps arguing. Artie: "The hell with everybody else. You need to do what's right for you or you're going to be miserable for…" He stops mid-speech to ask if he can show them a specific memory, but Mrs. Frederic warns that it might backfire on him. Artie: "No, I'm absolutely certain that it will." Ha! That's foreboding. Again we see a best of Artie montage before segueing to an unknown young agent, Scott Moore, who smells fudge. Here be artifacts. Artie and Scott show up at the exact moment the empty lot turns into a WWII officers' club. Scott: "Wow, we're in the past." Artie: "More like the past is here." Scott: "Well that makes perfect sense when you put it that way." Bwah! I like this guy. Artie exposits that the club is trapped in a time bubble by an artifact and he only has 25 minutes a year to solve, bag, and tag it. He brought Scott along for new perspective and it works. They narrow it down to one couple as the artifact hunt begins. Artie takes the husband while Scott talks to the wife, whose champagne glass keeps draining although she never drinks it. Bingo. It's Thomas Wedgwood's champagne glass. The wife is pregnant and desperate to keep her spouse from leaving for combat. At the last second, Artie dumps the glass in the goo bag and Scott informs the husband about the pregnancy. As 1941 disappears, Artie says he's proud of Scott, who in return reveals that Artie is his FATHER! Whoa! Never saw that coming.
Neither did Claudia, who does her own freak out. Artie explains that Scott's mother was pregnant while he was in jail and never told him about Scott. He only found out years later. It all segues into the fact that Artie fought for agents to have their own The One, like with regents. I like this. Artie: "I had to fight for my happiness just as you have to." Aww, but Claudia's on information overload right now. She storms away from the table as Mrs. Frederic stares at Artie with "I told you so" face. Since one good freak out deserves another, Pete steps up to the bat again. Myka shows Pete the manual ROOM. Yes, room. That's one huge manual. No wonder no one ever knows what's in it. Pete is gung ho to find a loophole but Myka says she doesn't think there is one. Their only job is the round table right now. Pete goes on the warpath, accusing Myka of not caring. Pete: "I'm sorry I took you away from your Warehouse 13 exit interview. Just go ahead. Go play with your time capsule. I'll save the day." Ouch! Myka retaliates and storms off as well before Pete realizes that he's got a lot of reading to do. Emoangsting is the theme for everyone tonight except Mrs. Frederic and Steve, who enjoy the round table movie selection on their own. I wish I were with them. No fair that they see all the good stuff while we're stuck with forced upon shipping. Steve even gets to see Mr. Frederic. I would pay good money for that Omnimax experience.
Luckily we segue to the second best scene in the episode, where Artie and Claudia talk. Claudia: "Look Artie, I get it. I kind of think of you as a father-like person, but you're my boss so whatever you choose to share or not share is really your prerogative. But you have a son that you take on snag and bags." Artie says they haven't gone on a mission in years. They do go to Comic-Con together. Ha! My only concern about this is Scott never showed up any of the times when Artie was dying. That's blatant retconning. Still Artie is happy with the best of both worlds and explains that he never told Claudia because she would push Scott into being an agent, defeating the whole purpose of having a One. The One keeps agents sane and therefore need to live in the "real world" instead, which makes sense. Artie: "In order to stay sane, you sometimes have to be a little selfish." Claudia understands that Artie wants her to follow her heart, but then he calls her out on hiding her feelings. Um, what? Big old hypocrite. Artie: "Yes, do as I say not as I do. The prerogative of a father-like person. Look if you had just talked to me, I might have been able to help you understand that you Miss Donovan do not have to commit to the rest of your life today. It's not a crime to change your mind. You just have to stay true to yourself." Claudia: "Even if it means being a little selfish." Artie: "By God, she's been listening. I just want you to be happy." Aww! Sniff. Artie-Claudia scenes are my favorite interactions on this show. Always have been. Then they take it up a notch further. Artie: "Yeah I have a great son, who's helped me be a better father to you and I have the warehouse. Life is perfect." No, that scene was perfect and a shining example of what they should have done with these last 6 episodes.
Meanwhile, at the Round Table, Steve and Mrs. Frederic enjoy another adventure via Arthur-Vision when Myka storms in, muttering about Pete. She jumps at the chance to share her defining moment, post Myka montage and mid-memory speech. Positing what she knows about each desperate housewife sitting in front of her, she spills their dirty little secrets before accusing one of being a kitsune artifact-induced ninja cat burglar. Say that one 3 times fast. Surprise! The ladies have all put aside their differences and ninja burgle together. Suddenly it's suburban Myka and Pete vs. a whole room of ninja housewives. Best action all episode. Only action all episode, but who's quibbling. It's freaking cool! It's all kung fu fighting with everyday household items and great teamwork on Pete and Myka's part, especially when they fight back-to-back. I wish the fight had gone on longer. Instead it segues into Steve telling Myka that she loves Pete. She hems and haws and then agrees. (Eye roll, sigh, combination of both. Whatever.) She rushes to Pete, who tries to destroy the compass while talking over her and apologizing. He's scared as the warehouse gives him purpose, stability, a place to shine, and he can't bear the idea of losing it or the people he works with. Pete: "Here in the warehouse I'm the best version of myself." They talk at cross purposes until Myka kisses him. I imagine it's a lot like watching first cousins kiss, extremely uncomfortable. Terrible idea! And not one worthy of recapping. Suffice it to say Pete thinks she's possessed by an artifact or feverish. I think the writers were. Myka assures him that he won't lose her and says she loves him. He loves her too. They kiss again.
I sigh, relieved that Artie's monologue rescues me. As he goes through the warehouse fixing things, he grows increasingly upset that he's given his life to the warehouse and in the end, it's leaving him. Artie: "You know what difference does it make. It's over. And this is how it ends, just over. And what am I supposed to do? Just go sort of…I supposed to walk away? Walk away. Uh, you know you give your whole life to something every day without complaining. Well, no serious complaints. I'm here every day. Every day I'm right here for you and your damn pings. Your pings - ping, ping, ping, ping, ping, ping, ping, ping. I'm like a slave at your beck and call. You know I have lost…I have lost friends, family, people I loved have died in my arms, but I stayed faithful and gave you everything. And now that there's nothing left for you to take, well you…you're just going to just leave. Whore. That's what you are, you know. Yeah, you're just selling out to the highest bidder. Fine, you want to go, go! That's what you want to do, go. If you don't want me, I sure as hell don't want you. And enjoy your new home. You think you're going to find somebody like me? Somebody who cares about you like I do? Ha! Ha! Good luck with that! Good luck finding somebody who's devoted, somebody who would give their whole life…without a thank you, without even a piddling, little miniscule acknowledgment that they're appreciated. That they even matter to you at all." Instantly a rush of wind refreshes Artie and a perfect apple rolls down the aisle to his feet. See, the warehouse does appreciate him. Awwww! Best comforting by an inanimate object ever. Artie: "Okay then, you're welcome." That is possibly the best scene of the entire show, and it was only one character. Huge kudos to Saul Rubinek for his acting. Brilliant!
With only 2 people left to contribute memories, it's Steve's turn but he's hesitant. Steve: "What if I don't have a defining warehouse moment?" Claudia: "Of course you do, pooky. We all do." Bwah! These two crack me up. Steve calls himself the Marilyn of the warehouse and then proves he's thought way too much about this by naming which Munsters character everyone else is, stopping before he names Mrs. Frederic since he's smart and wants to keep his job. He reluctantly puts his hand on the stone and again, montage before HG Wells appears once more. I'm not sure why. They should have just written an episode with her earlier in place of the hideous second episode or Ren Faire. Apparently HG invented a shrink ray, which would have been useful in other episodes, but oh well. Somehow Artie has a clock artifact inside his body so Claudia and Steve insert themselves inner-Artie and Steve spends time in his heart, blasting the artifact away. Hmm. Wouldn't that leave clock shrapnel in Artie's heart? Not a great idea. Logic aside, Steve is struck by the peace of the moment and leaves his memory blubbering like the rest of them. Steve: "I was inside a beating human heart. I'd forgotten about that moment. It was indescribable. I saw it. I was there. It was like…" Frederic: "Nirvana." Steve: "When I came to the warehouse, I didn't think that I'd ever find peace. It's just…so much chaos you know but…" Claudia: "You found it." Steve: "No, no it was given to me. The warehouse showed it to me. That's what today is about isn't it? I mean this time capsule, it's not just for the warehouse." Frederic: "No, this ritual is also the warehouse's gift to you." It's supposed to be the writers' gift to us as well, but it fails miserably. How can they all have defining moment they forgot about or we haven't seen? Better to have left the season with taking down Valda and moving this to an earlier episode.
At least it's better than the Pete and Myka saga that never should have happened at all. It does however get Pete back to the round table at Myka's request. She says she's going to boss him around a lot now and he better get used to it. So nothing different there. Luckily all he's concerned about is when they are going "to get naked," so Myka brings up the body swapping episode before punching Pete. He says it's a turn on, she says she knows, and I throw up a little in my mouth. Please make it end. Mercifully they take pity on me and it does, in favor of a glimpse of Leena's first day at the warehouse. What a great surprise! She tells Mrs. Frederic that she will die at the warehouse and that it's okay. Best little moment of them all and Steve agrees, since he's crying again. Pete interrupts, ready to participate but instead of a new adventure, his is straight up montage. Why? Because his defining moment is everyone and everything. Or they ran out of budget for the season. Your pick. A teary Pete apologizes for his earlier fit. "I was scared that if I…if I lost this, I'd go back to being the person I was before, and…but this is who am I now. Warehouse and…and all of you have made me a better man. If it ends tomorrow or if it goes on forever, nothing…nothing will ever change that." Wow it's getting deep and emoangsty here. Enter Steve: "Or maybe you broke the table." Bwah! Even Mrs. Frederic laughs at that. Artie: "I have never heard you laugh before." But it is good to finally see and especially in an episode of so many tears. Claudia asks to see more of the table's delights but they're stopped by the ping. I'll miss the ping.
Before he joins the others to start another investigation, Pete stops to ask Mrs. Frederic one last question. Pete: "So is it really over?' Frederic: "I believe I've mentioned this more than once. This particular wonder is endless." Pete: "Really? Just this once I can't get a straight answer out of you." He kisses her on the cheek and calls her Irene, and it seems really, truly over…with 2 minutes left to spare. Huh? Pete joins the crew to talk about a fire breather in Poughkeepsie, NY. Steve is less than thrilled while Claudia and Myka want more details. Pete wants to grab Myka's hips. Claudia: "Okay this is just going to be gross." Steve: "She is not lying." Preach it! They banter and fade away with Claudia determined to research Artie's son over his strenuous objections. Suddenly there's a time skip to several decades later, where a grumpy guy scans Paracelsus-like monitors while a man and woman stand behind him arguing about whether they want to be agents or not. Claudia pops in, looking not a day older and dressed far less comfortably. Welcome to the future. Oh and Claudia is the caretaker, which means the majority of this episode was null and void. In a terrible finale, this is the moldy icing on the cake. Why make Claudia out of character and then renege in the last 2 minutes? Bah! A pox on this episode. Caretaker Claudia tells them they can change their minds about the warehouse and Faux Artie brings up the warehouse possibly moving. Yeah right! Claudia stops mid-speech, recognizing that this trio is remarkably like the pilot trio just in case that anvil missed anyone's head. They get back to tracking down Obama's basketball (bwah!) as Claudia vanishes. It's no less creepy than when Mrs. Frederic does it. She zaps to the round table and the phrase "endless wonder" is repeated by many over and over again until we pan out of the warehouse and up to the sky. The end.
The more I watch this episode, the more disappointed I am. This may be the worst series finale, when the writers knew it was ending, I've ever seen. I dropped LOST and never watched The Sopranos, Newhart, or St. Elsewhere so I realize there is stiff competition to the title. Still there's no excuse for this paltry season as a whole, which damaged my overall feelings toward the show. The plot contained everything the writers wanted as a pet project but didn't get to do in previous seasons, causing the entire season to feel rushed, illogical, and overly packed. I get that they only had 6 episodes, probably more than the writers did. That's why they should have simplified instead of made this season a tribute to writer fan fic. It was like someone said, "Hey you all get to do that 1 episode you really wanted to tell and you have 15 minutes in which to do it." That's not a successful plan and not worthy of the Warehouse 13 legacy. Far better to keep Paracelsus as the Big Bad (even as much as I adore Mark Sheppard) and let it carry through all 6 episodes, culminating with his defeat. Better yet, have Paracelsus and Valda work together so we get both Anthony Stewart Head and Mark Sheppard. Win-win all the way around. It would help story cohesiveness and could incorporate the Claire saga left hanging last season. Instead we got Paracelsus is defeated in one episode so he didn't feel threatening at all, a second episode that completely sucked out loud, wacky Ren Faire and telenovela shenanigans, Valda rising to power and defeated in the same episode in the most contrived manner, and an emoangsty clip show. Sadly, I wish Warehouse 13 had ended at season 4 when it could still go out on top.
Grade: D (and that's generous)
Best Scene - Artie breaks down while talking to the warehouse and it refreshes him and gives
him an apple
Best Awww Scene / Best Character Interaction - Artie tells Claudia that it's okay to be a little selfish and be your own self
Best Quote - Pete: "Okay I've got an idea. How about instead of sitting around the mystical table of kumbaya, we do something crazy like, I don't know, stop it from moving, right?"
Best Reason to Watch - It's the finale. If you need a reason, it's not worth watching.
Most Surprising Cameo - Lena
Best Tagline - Endless Wonder
Best Action - Ninja cat burglar kung fu fighting
Most Way Out There - Steve's heart epiphany
Biggest Shock - Artie has a son
Funniest Scene - the entire cast tap dancing to 42nd Street
The "I Wish I Were You" Award - Steve, who gets to see a lot of great warehouse moments we don't get to see. Not fair! He even got to see Mr. Frederic.
Bittersweet Moment - all of them shouting, "Best job ever."
The "You've Thought Too Much on This" Award - Steve knows exactly which one of the Munsters each of them are
Best Surprise - Kipling was a Warehouse agent as well
Biggest Hypocrite - Artie
The "What the Heck?" Award - the flash forward at the end that pretty much negates much of what happens in the episode
The "Say What?" Award - With all the times that Claudia has said that she wants to be caretaker, how did Steve not call her out for lying if she really did not want to be one? He seems as surprised as everyone else. This makes very little sense and in light of the flash forward, it serves no purpose except to get Artie to reveal his son. Foul on that play.
Screencaps by Crimson Tear
, Sci Fi Empire
, Crazy HD Source
, Derek Moore
, Seat 42F
, BA in English
, and Wiedzma na Orbicie