This week's Warehouse 13 featured a trip to Vegas and a pair of guest stars from Eureka. But those were overshadowed by the ghost of Alice Liddell and a disco ball fueled by the magic of sex and drugs.
This week's episode, "Duped" hit many of the items on my Warehouse 13 wishlist. We actually got all of our main cast in one room for once, thanks to a breakfast meeting at the B&B. With Warehouse's cast gradually forming a proper ensemble, they need more opportunities to all trade information and interact. I hope breakfast becomes a regular thing, but that we'll get to see the whole cast engage in other activities as well. We're also starting to see them gel into something resembling a family. Claudia swats at Pete like a bratty little sister; Artie reprimands Claudia like a long-absent father who doesn't understand how to discipline a child (I also dig the Claudia-as-intern bit and would love to see it in later episodes); and Myka and Pete are coming to embrace Artie as an intelligent but flawed uncle. Even Leena gets in on the action this episode, although she still feels like a relative outsider — perhaps because she snipes less than her boarders do.
After last week's zig of more gadgety Warehouse artifacts, this episode zags back into the mystical, with Myka getting trapped inside Lewis Carroll's mirror after Pete accidentally triggers the disco ball from Studio 54. Granted, a magical disco ball that spews light and plays "I Will Survive" is a bit silly, but it's a fun silly, and I like the idea that magical energy can be imbued in an object because of its proximity to sex, cocaine, and Gloria Gaynor. And the magic mirror that traps Myka's consciousness inside it may be nothing new, but releasing the mischievous and murderous spirit of Alice Liddell is a neatly straightforward twist that allows the writers to separate Pete and Myka for the better part of an episode.
As wonderful as the banter between Pete and Myka often is, the separation gives everything else in this episode a much-needed chance to breathe. Myka gets to resolve her issues with Artie and Pete grows into his field agent role a little more. Plus, there is more cast bonding and some nice calls back to earlier episodes, not just with the magic mirror, but also with the return of Myka's "impossible wish" ferret from the pilot.
There was also a nicer balance between the weekly artifact hunt and the rest of the story than we were seeing in the earlier episodes. This week's artifact was a bit of a trifle, a magical casino chip that lets the possessor see a minute or so into the future. But it set up some issues we're sure to see later episodes: namely the temptation for agents to dip into the Warehouse's supply and the notion that ordinary people (in this case, played by Eureka's Erica Cerra and Niall Matter) will deliberately use the artifacts as something other than weapons.
It's good to see that Warehouse 13 has been picked up for a second season just as it begins to level out. We will get some resolution on the James MacPherson plot opened up last week with plenty of room left for the show to spread its wings.