Warehouse 13 (opens in new tab) Season Four Episode Seventeen “What Matters Most” TV REVIEW(opens in new tab)
Writer: Diego Gutierrez
Director: Chris Fisher
THE ONE WHERE Pete and Myka investigate a spate of mysterious incidents in a gated community, Artie and Claudia try to save a young savant and Jinks gets covered in goo.
VERDICT Warehouse 13 has had a hit and miss relationship with drama. Actual, serious, honest-to-goodness drama which isn’t laced with a layer of irony or an undercurrent of daft humour. Often it just doesn’t fit the tone of the show. Take Pete’s alternative timeline “death” at the start of season four, which didn’t ring true for a second, compared to Jinks’ “death” in season three which had exactly the right impact. “What Matters Most” features a moment of emotionally charged drama that Warehouse 13 gets right all-too-rarely as Pete confesses his greatest sin to Myka through salty tears and gritted teeth. It’s well-performed, well-written and has a seismic impact, especially coming after the Colonel’s hokey confession.
It’s the stand out moment in one of the better episodes to emerge from Warehouse 13 ’s fourth season. In fact, the episode doesn’t have a single duff story strand. Pete and Myka’s search in the suburbs suffers from a common flaw in the Warehouse whodunits – it’s blindingly obvious, practically from the moment we first meet Janice, who the crim is. A bonus pat on the back if you guessed it was caused by the cookies too (like us *smug face*). It works in spite of this because the gated community is such a surreal location, like a toy town come to life, that you’re constantly kept on edge, expecting something even more bizarre to emerge from the prefab woodwork.(opens in new tab)
Artie and Claudia tackle a trope few sci-fi shows skip – the victim sent into a trance by some mysterious external force. The notion of a banker/Quant using another to get an advantage, despite the human cost, gives the episode a surprising edge of social satire, while the bond between Claudia and Nick adds a touching element of shared history to the mix… until we discover Nick is in league with Charlotte! And he had a posh mobile phone all along! Homeless? What a fraud.
Abigail and Jinks flushing out the neutralizer seems like the comic relief segment at first, and while Jinks getting a face full of goo is as inevitable as a clown getting a pie in the mush, Steve staying behind allows the writers to build on the solid foundations they constructed for his insecurities in last week’s episode. Is Jinks becoming a Warehouse lifer, like Artie? Will this be the only family he ever has? They’re questions Warehouse 13 skirts over all-too-often, so it’s nice to see them raised every once in a while.
The episode ends with a bit of a shock. Pete’s health check scares serve as a classic piece of misdirection as we discover Myka may have Ovarian cancer. Usually we would be sceptical at such a twist (“Oh, they’ll probably find an Artifact which cures cancer next week!”) But given the solid job, surprisingly mature, job they did with the drama this week’s episode we’re not writing this plot thread off just yet.(opens in new tab)
TRIVIA Pete’s “ Got Your 6 ” badge is a symbol of support for American veterans returning to civilian life.
GAFFE When Pete corners Gerry Labelle in his garage he says, “Leslie’s cheating?” But according to the letterhead on the board stationary her name is Susan.(opens in new tab)
• Salt Mask fromSodom and Gamorrah – when the salt from the mask is consumed the victim suffers an apt, fatal punishment unless they confess their greatest sin.
• Orville Wright’s Aviator Goggles – Creates a link between two minds allowing the wearer to tap into the brainpower of another. Causes seizures, and eventually death, for the one not wearing the goggles.
• Joseph Stalin’s Sleep Mask – Sends anyone who wears it to sleep instantly (no matter how paranoid), and causes vodka cravings shortly after waking up.
Pete: “I saw him kick some motion lotion underneath the couch. So while his computer may have been off, his laptop was definitely on.”