Warehouse 13 Review by John Keegan

Warehouse 13 5.05: Cangku Shisi

Warehouse 13 5.05: Cangku Shisi

Written By:
Benjamin Raab and Deric A. Hughes
Directed By:
Michael McMurray


After all but ignoring what the season premiere set up in terms of Alt-Valda and Paracelsus’ penchant for combining artifacts, this episode finally gets back on narrative track.  It’s helped along by Mark Shepard, one of the genre’s go-to guest stars, who is more than ready to bring Paracelsus’ version of Warehouse management to life in the form of Warehouse 14.



 

It may have been a question of budget, which wouldn’t surprise me at all, but wouldn’t it have been better to play this out (particularly the resolution to Claire’s situation) over the course of a couple episodes?  It works well enough here, but it feels just as rushed as the “day of normalcy” from a couple episodes back.  Trying to cover that, as well as the ultimate fate of the Warehouse, was a bit much.  Especially since I’m fairly sure they did a lot of hand-waving regarding Claudia’s pseudo-Caretaker status to make it happen, which shines a big light on one of the biggest holes still left to fill.

 

The idea that the transition to the next Warehouse is underway is intriguing, because what would that mean for our favorite agents?  What would that mean in terms of Mrs. Frederic and Claudia and their connection to Warehouse 13?  Paracelsus’ alternate reality made it fairly clear that the Caretakers can retain the connection from Warehouse to Warehouse, so that might be the key to resolving this latest and final threat.  What if letting Claudia become the Caretaker, once and for all, is the way to stop the process?



 

On the other hand, if the Warehouse does transition to China as Warehouse 14, that would be a logical reason for the characters to make a choice to move with it or leave and live out a more normal existence.  In fact, I wouldn’t be all that shocked if all this nonsense about Pete and Myka is designed to give them a reason to walk off together hand in hand.  It would make sense, then, for Steve and Claudia to become the “new Pete and Myka” for Warehouse 14.  At the very least, there are solid possibilities that would fit what has come before (barring, of course, the whole Pete/Myka thing).

 

It leaves me wondering if the finale will be largely contained to the main cast as they contemplate the future, which seems like the only place for the story to go now.  Hopefully it won’t go into “clip show” mode, because haven’t they wasted enough of the precious little time they have left?  On the other hand, there have been other shows that didn’t seem to have a prayer of ending well after a sketchy final season that did exactly that.



 

One last thought regarding my earlier comment on budget.  The situation with Being Human and the circumstances behind its end come to mind.  Syfy was willing to stretch Being Human out to five seasons, but only if the overall budget was drastically reduced.  Everyone involved with the show chose instead to go out in four seasons with the overall quality intact.  How different might it have been if the producers for Warehouse 13 had known, going into that super-sized fourth season, that they would get a fifth season with obvious limitations?  I imagine they would have taken the Being Human route and opted to go out on a much higher note than they will.


Our Grade:
B-
The Good:
  • Nice setup for the series finale, all things considered
  • This is the first balanced episode we’ve had all season
The Bad:
  • The resolution for Claire and Valda seems necessarily rushed
  • Pete/Myka still makes no damn sense

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 - 5/14/2014 1:22 PM215 views

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