Last night's episode of Warehouse 13 seemed like a nice, friendly pair of artifact-hunts, in the suburbs and in New York City. Until it turned kind of dark and a little bit weird, as this show proved that it still has the ability to knock you upside the head.
There were a few intense, startling moments in the episode, almost one on top another. First, Pete confesses that he drove while drunk and caused his buddy to become seriously injured, back when he was hitting "rock bottom" of his alcoholism. Then, it turns out the sweet kid that Claudia and Artie saved, Nick, was actually a plant sent by Charlotte to infiltrate the team and go after Claudia. And finally, Myka gets her physical and finds that she has... ovarian cancer. Shit.
To some extent, all of this horrible stuff is tied together with this show's usual theme of "family" — while Pete, Myka, Artie and Claudia are out on their errands, Steve spends some quality time with Abigail, cleaning out the gooery, and he confesses his fear that he'll wind up alone. None of the other team members have found their "one" to share their Warehouse life with, so what chance does the shy, inhibited Steve have? To which the answer, maybe not surprisingly, is: Maybe for now at least, the other members of the team are your "ones," and they're the family whom you open up to about this life.
We hear this, just as we're watching Pete and Myka explore a gated community that's not really a "community" in any meaningful sense, which is torn apart by the sort of horrendous secrets the suburbs always hide on television. And Pete turns out to have his own horrible secrets, which he hasn't even shared with Myka, his partner and arguably the closest member of his family of choice.
Meanwhile, Claudia is being generous, trying to "pay forward" what Artie did for her by helping out Nick, another vulnerable kid who's out on the streets and the victim of weird magic. And by doing that, she's making a big statement about what sort of family they are: they're capacious, open, ready to welcome in outsiders. Even if they risk giving away too many of their precious secrets, Claudia wants to believe that they have room to take in strays. And then it turns out that Nick is actually
faking Changnesia a double agent.
And then finally, there's the Myka storyline — which seems to come totally out of left field, even though the "everybody is getting his/her physical" thing has been seeded throughout the episode. At first, with her unable to hear what the doctor is saying to her, I thought maybe she'd been hit with some kind of whammy and this was a dream sequence or alternate world. But no — she's just really, really shocked.
And I have a feeling I know where the "Myka's ovarian cancer" storyline is going. She's going to live, but be unable to have kids. When I interviewed Jack Kenny and Eddie McClintock a while ago, they mentioned that Pete still really wants to have kids and ever since the "hockey" episode, he's been thinking of Myka as a possible surrogate mom. And they promised that storyline would continue to resonate through the rest of the fourth season — which means we may have just seen another shoe drop.
Oh, and I had a bit of a nasty thought about the random "Pete is worried about his low testosterone" gag this week. It's funny and kind of off-kilter — but then I couldn't help noticing some ads for Cialis during the commercials, which talked about "ED" in exactly the same way as Pete did during the episode. Was Pete's concern about possible erectile dysfunction another form of product placement, similar to the way this show plugs Toyota and Bing? Just a weird and hopefully untrue surmise.