Believe in Warehouse 13

How about a “quick and dirty” discussion of episodes from four early-week shows?  Here are thoughts on Sunday’s Believe and Monday’s Warehouse 13.  Thoughts on Tuesdays Agents of SHIELD and Supernatural will be posted later—because the first two reviews turned out to be not so quick. 😉

Believe:  Sinking (106)

Like last week’s episode, “Sinking” broke out of the rut this show had fallen into; I’m hoping it’s finally hitting its stride.  Granted, that won’t mean a thing if it doesn’t get more viewers.

Last week, Bo removed Tate’s ankle restraint (with her mind!).  This week Tate takes advantage of his freedom to return to his hometown to settle old scores learn the truth behind the betrayal that landed him on death row.

Tate's father joins Winter, Channing and Bo on the docks.

Tate’s father joins Winter, Channing, and Bo.

Given its significance to the overall story of Believe, “Sinking” should have been a two-parter.  The writers packed so much into one episode, it felt rushed.  What could have been excellent background information was either glossed over, rushed or just plain ignored.  Rather than keeping the two FBI agents from New York, our team was tailed by two new agents.  Using the two New York agents would have given the show some continuity, and upped the stakes, since those two were working for Skouras.

Speaking of Skouras, he’s so single-minded, it’s maniacal.  His villainy has become cartoonish, and it’s a shame.  Kyle MacLauchlan deserves better.

I wish Tate’s past and the group he was involved with had been further explored.  Heck, were the murder victims even named?  The woman involved with young Tate and his cronies went nowhere.  A bit of a past love story (possibly a triangle) might have been nice; perhaps it would have added a motive.  Although Tate’s relationship with his father was better fleshed out, it could have been expanded.  After all, father/son relationships are great fodder for good drama.

Tate's childhood friend makes him board his boat.

Tate prepares to swim with the fishes.

But the absolute worst offender of good story-telling was the survival of the exploding boat.  It’s never stated how Tate and his friend escaped.  He just miraculously shows up on shore.  I think the writers themselves didn’t know how to get him out of his predicament, so they just let it happen without explanation.  That’s sloppy writing.  If you’re going to write your hero into a life-or-death situation,  you need to write a way for him to escape.

And now, the Big Reveal:  How much better would the reveal that Tate is Bo’s father have been at the end of a two-parter?  How satisfying would it have been had we better understanding Tate’s background, had more action, and more intense drama?  But the scene itself was quite good.  Tate’s reaction to the news was compelling, and I give Jake McLaughlin kudos for showing a wide arrange of  emotions without saying a word.  You could see Tate processing the news:  shock, fear, sadness, even a little hope.  Tate putting his hand on Bo’s back while they’re looking across the water was a fitting end.

Warehouse 13:  Endless Terror (501)

Just when I thought my Monday nights were free, Warehouse 13 returns for its final season, or rather, final six episodes.

The season 5 premiere was really just a follow-on to last season’s cliffhanger (which I’d already forgotten).  The ego-maniacal Paracelsus (Anthony Head) became immortal, changed history, and created a Warehouse of Horrors.  (In a way, he’s a bit like Skouras, not caring if people die in the process of attaining his goal.)

Pete and Myka search for the enemy.

No cancer means Myka can once again join Pete to save the world.

“Endless Terror” also took the easy way out with Myka’s cancer.  After season-long angst, her tumor was benign.  That’s ok.  It frees her and Pete to concentrate on whatever evil befalls them in the next five episodes.  It’s just annoying when Big Plots go nowhere.  (Kind of like Continuum going back one week in time to erase everything that happened in last season’s finale.)

Anyway, Pete and Myka follow Paracelsus into the past to reverse his changes to history.  They meet Leonardo da Vinci’s granddaughter, who turns out to be their 17th century equivalent.  She’s quite awesome, even if the Italian has an English accent.

Vanessa prepares to experiment on Arite.

It’s not all romance when Artie meets Dr. Vanessa in an alternate universe.

Elsewhere, in the present but alternate Warehouse, Artie and Claudia come upon the alternate-universe equivalents of two great past characters, Vanessa (Lindsay Wagner) and Hugo (Rene Auberjonois.)  Even if they weren’t quite themselves, it was fun to see them again.  But the best part of the episode was Steve, aka “Jinksy,” pedaling a bicycle in order to keep the time vortex open until Pete and Myka returned.

In the end, Paracelsus is vanquished and present day life returns to normal.  Thank goodness!  As delightful as Anthony Head is, three Paracelsus-focused episodes was more than enough.  Even better, Mrs. Fredrick returned to being Warehouse 13’s curator.  That’s a good thing, because seeing CCH Pounder is always a treat.


One response to “Believe in Warehouse 13

  1. I didn’t have all of the same reactions you did to Believe. It didn’t really feel rushed to me, and I wouldn’t have wanted a two-parter because I didn’t care enough about any of those people. I wanted the closure Tate was looking for and for his name to be cleared to take a little of the pressure off of them. I think it was a good way to keep the stakes high for the early episodes, but removing the manhunt from the equation would eliminate the superficial pattern that I’ve disliked. It’s bad enough Skouras is after them all. That would allow enough tension to surround every episode but then the four of them (feels like there should be a couple more on Winter’s team; why is Channing the only one left?) can settle/hide and they can put a little more emphasis on Bo helping others and stuff. But the boat exploded, they maybe can’t even identify those who were on it, and even if they do, it’s not like the government would say “oh, this evidence indicates Tate’s innocent!” So the best that can happen is that someone saw him get on the boat and they think he’s dead.

    I do totally agree about the generic FBI agents. The woman had a strong presence and added a lot of energy that has fizzled.

    As for how Tate and Jimmy got off the boat, Jimmy says “we’ve gotta get out of here.” Tate sees the gas tank leaking (there was a camera pan to show his line of sight). There was enough time while Jake yelled at him and then we went back to where they stood watching on shore for them to have dived over the side before the boat blew. They could have been deep enough to avoid most of the blast, which was on the other side of the boat. The biggest problem is that I think Tate wasn’t wet when he showed up at the garage. LOL

    I really like Jake McLaughlin’s acting. (And his eyes. But mostly his acting. I think.) Best moment was his reaction to being told Bo was his daughter. But we *really* want to know if Bo knows he’s her father or not. My husband is all, “How can she not?” while I think it’s plausible that it’s too close to her so she maybe can’t see it. She’s not all-knowing and all-seeing, and she knows nothing about her father. Looking forward to that bit. 🙂

    As for Skouras…yeah, kind of disappointing, that whole side of things. At first they had a nice balance, tilting one way and then another, where Skouras and his people also seemed to care about Bo and we even wondered if Winter and his team were on the wrong side, but now it’s wayyyyy overcorrected to show how bad Orchestra and Skouras are. I think I’ve expressed my disappointment with them making the others with abilities so damaged. How about some normal people with abilities that might be weaker than they want or whose moral compasses aren’t manipulable? Maybe give us a villain who just wants to make a lot of money off these people instead of turning them into killing machines? That would allow so much more moral and narrative ground to cover.

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