Last night's Warehouse 13 pursued the same "throw together a bunch of ideas at high speed" approach that has worked so well for the show lately... and it didn't quite gel this time around, for me at least. Spoilers ahead...
So there were three different main plots in last night's episode, and none of them quite ever gained enough momentum to achieve liftoff. Or at least, I never quite bought into any of them.
First, there was the "Man from Artie's past is killing people" plot, which I never quite understood. We discover that when Artie was with the NSA, he was giving artifacts to a Russian agent, in exchange for political prisoners. How Artie was able to get hold of so many of these random artifacts, and how he failed to notice that they all had amazing magical powers, is sort of skated over. And then Artie realized the truth about the magical powers of these items, and decided to turn himself in — which caused his Russian contact to be sent to a Gulag, where he died. Now the Russian contact's son is randomly killing people at the NSA to get a list of Artie's family members in Russia — but he doesn't actually want to kill Artie's family members, he just wants to lure Artie to Russia so he can kill him — even though he's had a hundred chances to kill Artie in the U.S. Oh, and this Russian thug has somehow gotten hold of all of the incredibly rare and powerful artifacts that Artie handed over two decades earlier.
The whole thing felt a bit flimsy, even though there's a cool story buried in there about the oppression of Soviet Jews and how far Artie would go to save them. I felt as though someone had pitched a really cool episode about the Cold War and Artie's mistakes coming back to haunt him, and then it got lost in the shuffle, especially in the episode's second half. The combination of ginormous plot holes and a theme that's introduced and then just allowed to sit there without doing anything felt pretty deadly — and yes, I know I was just praising Warehouse 13 last week for moving quickly and introducing themes without harping on them. This felt like the unfortunate flipside of that tendency.
Then there's the H.G. Wells storyline, which I still sort of love — mostly for the ongoing chemistry between H.G. and Myka, and my fond hope that it'll turn into something real. Myka/H.G. is the only romantic pairing I'm rooting for on this show, and you can see why from the clip above — they're just so freakin cute together. And yet, H.G. is so obviously lying, it makes Myka and the mysterious Regent guy seem a bit silly for not realizing. (Or they're just stringing her along.) People keep asking H.G. about her motives, but nobody asks the obvious question — why was MacPherson so eager to un-bronze her? Presumably it wasn't so she could get a photo of her dead daughter — it had to be something more significant, given how much trouble MacPherson went to. The fact that nobody ever asks this obvious question — unless I've missed it in a previous episode — is a bit frustrating.
Oh, but I did love the "bronzing was your time machine" thing. Very neat. In general, whenever Myka and H.G. share a scene, it's always really nice, and I can't help but hope they get to team up more often — before H.G.'s sudden but inevitable betrayal, probably in the season finale.
And then there's the Claudia/Todd thing, which was probably the best part of the episode, even though I haven't been that invested in this couple until now. They don't seem to have that much chemistry, partly because Todd always seems either stunned or deadpan. Still, there was some extreme cuteness this time around, including the bit where both Claudia and Todd are trying and failing to draw their guns for like 30 seconds. And the bit where Claudia becomes twice as smitten after finding out that Todd really is a computer geek, and gets him to talk hacker-speak to her. But I'm just not sure I ever really bought that Claudia cared about this guy. And Leena's little talk about how men don't understand their own feelings was sort of annoyingly stereotype-fueled and felt like meh television writing.
So all in all, this was still a fun, cute episode — but it didn't quite click for me, somehow. There were a lot of cute bits — including Pete's "C Is For Cookie" ringtone — but it was generally not a standout episode. Which does happen, with episodic TV.