As last night's Warehouse 13 proves, we all tend to overestimate our own power to drive other humans away. People leave us, and we blame ourselves — partly because that gives us the power in that situation. We want to be the center of the universe, even when it's a center that somehow repels everyone else.
But usually, when people abandon us or disappear, it's not due to anything we did or didn't do. Or if it is, it's only indirectly. We're just not as powerful as we think we are. Spoilers ahead...
Of course, in a universe where there are artifacts and secret ultra-equipped organizations, that's almost always going to be true. People aren't powerful as individuals, because there are objects that can do bizarre, unexplainable things, leaving us to pick up the pieces. (How many people have been locked up and/or had their lives destroyed because they were accused of crimes that an artifact actually caused, in the W13 universe? Probably rather a lot.) And everybody's probably just a pawn in the schemes of clandestine players behind the scenes.
Thus, all this time Pete has been blaming himself for his mom leaving him alone after his dad died, or at least taking it very personally. But in fact, it had nothing to do with Pete — his mom was off working for the Warehouse as a Regent, doing her duty because she wanted to be like Pete's heroic dad. To the extent that Pete was a reason for this decision, it was because she wanted to keep him safe. (Oh, and I'm very glad it turns out Pete's dad didn't die due to an artifact. That would have been way too much.)
And meanwhile, Megan (the weirdly blonde Zoe from Caprica) has been blaming herself for the fact that all her boyfriends, and anyone else who gets her upset at all, tend to turn into radioactive skeletons and then disappear. But in fact, it's some guy she went to high school with, who now works at the T-shirt company she used to work at and is stalking her. He's gotten hold of the binoculars from the Enola Gay and is zapping people with them. But Claudia, meanwhile, still wants to cling to the delusion that she's cursed and not just ordinary.
Of course, the fact that there are artifacts and secret organizations keeping people at a distance doesn't mean you're off the hook. Pete's mom still chose never to tell him about the Warehouse, even after he knew everything except her involvement. And Megan still brought her troubles on herself by being kind of a stuck-up drama queen who didn't even notice that a guy from her high school was suddenly working in the same tiny office with her. Mrs. Frederic still chose to resort to torture and then fire Steve Jinks for having a conscience. And Steve has apparently chosen not to share what really happened with his coworkers.
(Although what do you want to bet that Jinks is actually on a secret assignment from Mrs. Frederic to get himself recruited by the almost-baseball star in the wheelchair, so he can infiltrate the evil organization? I'm totally calling it. The whole confrontation between them last week was staged, and he's not actually fired.)
Anyway, this was another fun episode that continued the show's trend of being aggressively character-focused this season, which is clearly paying off. I liked the interplay between Pete and his mom, way more than I expected to, especially the way Kate Mulgrew managed to make it seem plausible that someone as fancy as herself really could be related to the more down-to-Earth Pete. They seemed like they'd known each other a long time, especially when she quipped about him breaking all her mugs. And I also liked Mrs. Frederic's "I'm dry."
I'm not sure I buy that Jane Lattimer would have randomly remembered the kid having an Aztec baseball cap and connected it magically with A to Z Technology — but that's the sort of thing you just have to run with, for the sake of a story. At any rate, it let us off the hook for having Jane narrate her backstory to Pete instead of showing us.