'Warehouse 13' season premiere recap: A steamy makeout sesh with H.G. Wells

The first season of Warehouse 13 ended with a parade of slam-bang cliffhangers. Artie’s dead! Leena’s a traitor! MacPherson’s free! It was a heavy way to end a mostly lighthearted season of TV, but one of the pleasures of Warehouse 13 is how it works a certain sly intelligence into a formula that initially seemed a little bit like X-Files crossed with Wishbone. Not every science-fiction show has to be an epic serialized drama, but the addition of a little bit of moral shmambiguity never hurts.

The second season premiere wrapped up all those cliffhangers in a perhaps-too-tidy bow, but there was also a lot to love. (Check out Ken Tucker’s review of the new season.) For me, the charm of Warehouse 13 is best expressed in a little scene where Pete and Myka talk about H.G. Wells: Myka’s papa read her The War of the Worlds when she was a young bookworm. Pete just remembers thinking Tom Cruise was awesome in the movie. Then, in a reference to Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau, Pete does a Brando impression: “I coulda been a scientist!” The key here is the stealth hyper-referentiality: He’s using Brando’s Godfather voice, but the line paraphrases Brando’s famous line from On The Waterfront in homage to Brando’s muumuu-loving doctor in Moreau. That’s three Brando impressions for the price of one!

Just to quickly recap the plotline: Artie was dead, but thanks to the phoenix charm, he got better. Leena was a traitor, but only because MacPherson put a Pearl of Wisdom in her ear. (Probably less painful than a brain-worm though, right?) And MacPherson’s master plan involved freeing H.G. Wells. I was all set to meet the old British actor playing Wells…perhaps John Rhys-Davies? But twist! H.G. Wells was a slinky British lady, too independent for the Victorian era, and too much for Pete to handle. She tricked Pete and Myka with the ol’ anti-gravity trick, and made off with an Imperceptor vest that let her travel at mega-speeds.

The episode ended with MacPherson dead – farewell, Big Bad #1 – but Lady Wells is on the run with some mysterious objects, working on what looked to me like blueprints. (Time machine, yes yes yes?) There were lots of great little moments in the episode. When Myka got on Pete’s case for acting like a hormonal ape, he pleaded, “You know how long it’s been? Way too.” There was a shout-out to the immortal Boom Goes The Dynamite meme, via Claudia. (Nothing cures a boring scene like a serious injection of Allison Scagliotti.) And we also got my personal pick for Out-Of-Context-TV-Quote of the week: “She gets Farnsworth’s Farnsworth?”

What did you think of the season premiere? Do you feel bad for the guy who’s still wandering through the Escher Vault? Don’t you wish they’d let the Leena Traitor plotline roll on just a little longer? And has H.G. Wells ever been hotter?

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  • darclyte

    I liked it, but yep, they “wrapped up” the cliffhanger too quickly. MacPherson was kinda played out, but by making Leena mind controlled instead of a “double agent,” W13 kinda wussed out. I do like that they made HG Wells a woman (who didn’t see THAT coming though,) and I hope that she will prove to be a better villain than MacPherson. Also, they made him out to be SO smart and playing the “long game,” yet he told HG Wells the ONE THING that could kill him, and of course she took advantage of that. Lame. No WAY someone that well thought out would divulge the true purpose of the necklace. He couldn’t have just told her that it had “sentimental” value? I’m looking forward to this season, and the MC Escher vault was a great idea (even if the cheap special effects were pretty weak…as they are with the Warehouse itself.) Too bad they didn’t have a bigger budget for the CGI.

    • Rob

      I think you’re forgetting one thing though regarding MacPherson–his extreme hubris. No matter how smart he is, he is convinced he has the upper hand and that he’s always smarter than everyone around him, so I can totally see that, what with all the wins he’s just had, outwitting everyone, it would never occur to him that Wells might turn on him. Because he has a bit of a God complex. I think he’s a fantastic villain, btw, and there was definitely more of him to explore, which is why I’m torn about his death.

      Also, despite the not-perfect CGI, I thought they did a great job of conveying the Escher vault with what they had. It required the viewer to forgive a wee bit, but overall I thought it was one of the best sequences they’ve ever done. It really had that feeling of “endless wonder”. And while I do agree that Leena being a double-agent might’ve been more interesting or hardcore, I’m also glad they didn’t go there. Double-agent plots drive me absolutely batty.

      • Natalie

        I really liked the Escher Vault–especially after we also saw it on the Syfy commercial. I thought it was really great that the showrunners could kill two birds with one stone by doing that.

        As great as I thought “female H.G. Wells” was, I’m not a fan of Jaime Murray after her turn on Dexter–Lila just pissed me off.

        Is it just me, or did they whip out a ton of artifacts for this one? I listed them all here in my recap if anyone’s interested: http://ology.com/screen/warehouse-13-recap-alls-wells-ends-well

        It’s sweet that with MacPherson dying, Artie and co. seemed sad to lose him. Maybe because they wanted to rebronze him, I dunno.

  • Mc

    I’m sooo glad Artie didn’t stay dead and that they didn’t drag out the Claudia is a traitor bit. I just discovered this show (I caught up on season 1 episodes last week) and I love it.

  • Amanda B.

    I was surprised how quickly the action was wrapped from last season, although we had to wait nearly a year to see it! I’m glad this silly show is back.

  • Stefani

    It was excellent!!!! I am psyched for this season of W13.

  • greg

    Just wait until we meet Wells’ arch-nemesis: Julia Verne! :)

    • cobagibu

      arthur conan doyle

  • CheekyMonkey

    I’m still laughing today about Pete’s ringtone.. ‘C is for Cookie, cookie cookie cookie’ LMAO!

    • Mike

      I loved that. It was so funny.

  • justin

    I loved this premiere. H.G. Wells as a woman really threw me for a loop! I’m also glad Artie survived. This season is looking very good already.

  • silk

    I just discovered this show during the last few episodes of the 1st season and have been watching it ever since. It’s very different from other sci-fi series and I enjoy it a lot. I especially like the brother-sister relationship of Artie and Claudia, very touching. I am looking forward to the 2nd season.

  • Brad

    Which Time machine? Rod Taylor’s time machine or Guy Pierce’s time machine? Because if it’s Rod Taylors’ I think the boys on Big Bang Theory have it and I don’t think Sheldon’s going to give it up without a fight.

    • cobagibu

      ha ha ha….the time machine from the movie Time After Time with Roddy McDowell playing Wells to David Warner’s Jack the Ripper…

      • nevertheless

        I think that was Malcolm McDowell playing HG in “Time after Time”… and M McDowell is who I think about when I envision HG Wells.

      • cobagibu

        you’re right! sorry…

  • girlie

    Enjoyable, great fun! Finally SyFy came up with a winner!

  • cobagibu

    I like this show…but it still plays as Bones light for me….maybe it’s because Eddie was on Bones…but it’s the same formula…very bright and straight arrow female, with more laidback and intuitive guy…still like the show though

  • Big D

    Absolutely awesome! I love that they have brought H.G. Wells in as a character. I really like Pete, Myka, Artie and Claudia. Mrs. Fredricks is great too. The Escher vault is cool. This show is great geeky fun.

  • Mae

    The best quote was Pete saying “put the candle back” when the wall opened. Right out of Young Frankenstien. A day without a Brooks’ quote is a day without sunshinte.

  • ash.

    I was completely disappointed that they didn’t continue the “Leena’s A Traitor” story line. I was completely excited last season when I discovered that she betrayed Artie & Co. because it was a) a huge surprise and b) it was an extra layer to Leena’s character (and the show) but sadly the writers decided to cop out and come up with a weak excuse to explain her strange behavior. Oh well… at least this means that Leena will be sticking around for a while.

  • Pam B

    Loved it, as always. Where is that guy in the Escher vault??

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