Warehouse 13 Review by John Keegan

Warehouse 13 5.02: Secret Services

Warehouse 13 5.02: Secret Services

Written By:
Bob Goodman
Directed By:
Robert Duncan McNeill

With time of the essence, it’s pretty clear that the writers are moving through plot as quickly as possible, and I still feel as though character progression is taking a hit as a result.  In this case, while Claudia’s progression is roughly in keeping with all that has been hinted before, the direction for Pete and Myka can only be described as “awkward”.


I have only vague recollections of the first season of Warehouse 13, but I saw enough to know that the revelations about Claudia’s family don’t quite mesh as well as one would hope.  That said, it’s not so alien to what we’ve seen before to feel like too massive a retcon; Claudia’s affinity to the Warehouse is just given a far more substantial history.  Any lack thereof in the earlier season can be attributed, perhaps, to how the conventional medical wisdom was treating her mental state.


Claire Donovan’s past is now revealed, and for all intent purposes, curing Claire looks to be the final step in Claudia’s journey towards becoming the next Caretaker.  That idea has been part of Claudia’s character progression since the second season, so it might be that this retcon feels less egregious for that reason.  It’s not redefining Claudia’s purpose, but rather, underscoring it in a new light.


Far less elegant is the fast-forward placed on the Pete/Myka relationship.  The fact that we are even talking about a Pete/Myka relationship is itself a very worrisome turn of events, but it does roughly track with what they were suggesting towards the end of the fourth season.  Still, given that they have now definitively retconned out Myka’s terminal illness and given her a completely clean bill of health (after having her on death’s door just two episodes ago), why not dispense with a relationship that isn’t at all necessary?


One of the best things about Warehouse 13  is that Pete and Myka developed a strong brother/sister bond, and both expressed that getting together romantically just wasn’t the right path.  While I understand the notion of relationships changing over time and circumstance, this seems to be a direction that aligns more with stock storytelling tropes than the logical progression of the character arcs.


The fourth season finale had Pete change his tune so abruptly that his decisions as a result felt completely out-of-character.  Not only are they doubling down on his yearning for something more with Myka, even crafting a “secret marriage” between two former colleagues to justify it, but Mrs. Frederic (of all people) blatantly plants the seed in Myka’s mind by asking about her ability to have children!  This from a Caretaker who knows all too well how quickly and unexpectedly a Warehouse agent can be killed in the field.


Unfortunately, because of the short time frame of the final season, this notion of a Pete/Myka relationship comes across with all the subtlety of a brick to the face.  It just puts a continual highlight on the fact that the writers are forcing the story towards a conclusion instead of letting the characters lead them in the right direction.  Some of that can’t be avoided, but when the character turns are not entirely necessary, it just feels wrong.  I wouldn’t be shocked to discover that this was somehow network-mandated, considering how awkwardly it is progressing.

Our Grade:
The Good:
  • Claudia’s arc takes a big step forward
  • Claire should make a fitting final adversary
The Bad:
  • The Pete/Myka thing is just plain awkward
  • What about Claudia’s brother?

John Keegan aka "criticalmyth", is one of the hosts of the "Critical Myth" podcast heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @criticalmyth

Warehouse 13 by - 4/22/2014 9:53 AM268 views

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