Review of WAREHOUSE 13 – Implosion (2009)

"Warehouse 13"
“Warehouse 13”
Hand-made black holes wreak havoc in D.C.

‘Warehouse 13’ continues to get better and better.  This week’s adventure involving implosion grenades and a Samurai sword that splits light and renders the holder invisible was flawless fun.  It was a breathless adventure from start to finish.  From the moment we watched the ominous man in black casually kill the grenade maker after he needed him no longer, we knew this episode had set the bar a bit higher.

In what was to a simple quest to intercept and replace a historical Samurai sword that was to be presented to the President of the United States, ultimately became a brush with domestic terror and espionage.  For, while Artie had thought his little foray into selling secrets to the Russians would never come to light again, as he unfortunately found out, even expunged government records can come back to haunt you – especially if you have a vindictive nemesis intent on destroying you.

Pete and Myka also quickly discovered that there was another interested party set on acquiring the Samurai sword – and by any means necessary.  The moment they were forcibly sucked towards the hallway doors, we knew something very dangerous lie on the other side –  for an implosion grenade was used to mask the theft of the Samurai sword.  (As succinctly explained by Artie, an implosion grenade removes matter from the center of space and pulls everything directly towards it with violent force – just like a black hole – and, as such, it acts as a “cover” for all kinds of nefarious activities.)

Unfortunately, this little implosion triggered a domestic terror investigation which quickly ensnared Pete and Myka.  For, after flashing their Secret Service credentials, it quickly descended into a Secret Service turf-war as Pete and Myka had inadvertently stepped on the toes of their old boss, Dickinson, by failing to give him a heads-up that they were in D.C. on business.  Despite their subterfuge, Dickinson gave them a free pass, but with a warning to get out of town quickly.  Which Pete and Myka promptly ignored and then got caught in the cross-fire when they encountered their adversary trying to snatch the hand guard to the Samurai sword (called a “tsuba”) from under their Secret Service counterparts’ noses.  Watching them try to explain their way out of that debacle was hysterical as Pete and Myka tried to pretend that they were from the Secret Service’s “Archival Department” – a ruse that did not get them very far and warranted the intervention of both Artie and Mrs. Frederics to get the job done.

Though we are still not quite sure what role she actually plays, Mrs. Frederic acts as the nearly omniscient presence that hovers in the background waiting to prod Artie into action or rescue him when he finds himself arrested.   She is by far the most mysterious and intriguing of all the Warehouse guardians.  For when Artie proposed that they track down MacPherson, subscribing to the philosophy that “if someone is coming to kill you, get up early and kill him first,” Mrs. Frederic pointedly warned him, “don’t rush into danger, a miracle may not save you.”

But, as Artie astutely observed, “you know this was only MacPherson’s first move, he’s planning something bigger. . .”  The game has changed.  This is no longer a “snag it, bag it and tag it” type of playing field.  It is darker and much more dangerous.  Time to get ready for what lies ahead as surely we have not seen the last of James MacPherson.

What Worked

The dialogue has also gotten sharper, more revealing and more playful.  For example, the light-hearted exchanges between Pet and Myka were delightful; such as, when Pete calmly asserted, “I’m sure if it were REALLY dangerous, Artie would have told us,” in response to Myka’s query if he thought Artie was holding something back.  Also, later when Artie popped-up at their crime scene stake-out and again did not offer any explanation of what was really going on, Myka noted with mock-frustration, “Again, he doesn’t answer!”  To which Pete teasingly chimed in, “and no good-bye!”

But, by far, the episode was brought to its knees with the comedic references to the ever-famous “Star Trek” storytelling device of killing off expendable characters who wore red shirts.  In trying to figure out if Artie actually cared about their safety, Pete bemoaned, “To him, we’re just red shirts,” and when Myka casually agreed, Pete happily clarified, “first, he doesn’t think of us as red shirts; second, it’s so COOL you know what I meant!”  Then later in the episode when Myka voiced her anxiety about how Artie views them, she exclaimed, “just because he lost people, doesn’t make us expendable – I’m not a red shirt!”  This nod to one of the greatest science fiction television shows was pure fun.

Then, after discovering that there was someone else avidly searching for Warehouse-type artifacts, Pete correctly and surprisedly surmised, “we have competition?!”  Despite this observation, Pete was still startled to find out that the competition was similarly equipped and exclaimed:  “He’s got a Tesla too!” after a chance encounter while attempting to retrieve the tsuba.

I also loved the use of the 14th Century Chinese Firework called the “Ice Flower” which acted like mesmerizing device putting everyone within eye sight into a near catatonic trance.  Plus, seeing Pete, Myka and Artie wear the “Kermit the Frog” eye goggles to prevent the effects from mesmerizing them too was priceless.

And finally, there was Artie’s backhanded dig at Mrs. Frederic when he said under his breath, “we’re all humans as far as I know.”  It was funny to hear Artie say what we all are thinking:  who exactly is she anyway?!

What Didn’t Work

Artie’s clandestine meeting in the bar with Carol, which is supposedly a former flame of both he and James MacPherson, seemed out of place.  It was supposed to ratchet up the curiosity about Artie’s backstory.  But, in truth, meeting Carol did little to aid the story.  Instead, it detracted from learning more about the mystery man, James MacPherson, who is clearly the more interesting of the two.

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

‘Implosion’ was written by Bob Goodman and directed by Vincent Misiano. ‘Warehouse 13’ stars Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelly, Saul Rubinek, Genelle Williams and Allison Scagliotti. ‘Warehouse 13’ airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on Syfy.

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