Warehouse 13 4.03 "Personal Effects" REVIEW

TV REVIEW There's a Storm Brewing

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Warehouse 13 4.03 “Personal Effects” REVIEW

Episode 4.03
Ian Stokes
Andrew Seklir

THE ONE WHERE The gang round up the remaining artifacts from Sykes’ wayward stockpile.

VERDICT A smoking pipe that controls the weather? Could anything be more perfectly Warehouse 13 ? Well, it’s a little bit Avengers (and not the good one), but the image of Jesse toking on a wooden pipe as chaos erupts around him is so gloriously silly it could only have spawned from this show. And it’s not even the best artifact in the episode. We’re particularly fond of the glasses which make the user invisible (but with a significant drawback) and the waffle iron that makes the best-tatsting waffles in the world, but also causes the user’s SKIN TO MELT.

As the lengthy rundown of the “key” artifacts at the end of this review shows, business is booming for the Warehouse this week, with no less than half a dozen of the elusive magical objects to reclaim. The scavenger hunt structure lends itself to Warehouse 13 particularly well, a show which has stuggled to keep its sizable ensemble cast busy in the past. Even Leena gets in on the action this week, a character who’s been little more than a piece of furniture since the McPherson twist at the end of season one. Her aura-reading ability even has a practical purpose now – determining the danger of artifiacts.

Each of the pairs work exceptionally well together, the obvious real-life camaraderie among the group coming across effortlessly onscreen. Pete and Myka continue their lovable return to form, and it’s nice to see Claudia and Jinks back together and carefree – at least for a short while. The physical link between the two (presumably an effect of the Metronome), is established a little ham-fistedly here, but should lend itself to some gut-wrenching high drama later in the season.

While it’s not quite Back To The Future , the way several of artifacts are set-up for an even greater payoff later in the episode (the glasses, for example) is satisfying storytelling. The inevitable outcome of the vignette structure, however, is that some don’t work as well as the others (the violin sequence) and though we admire the writers for not just turning Jesse into a money-hungry fiend who happened to stumble across a powerful tool, his motivations are from page one of the big book o’ clichés. And what’s with Myka not shooting him at the end? He could quite easily have zapped her with that pipe.

Full marks for the humour then, but once again the attempts at drama leave a lot to be desired.

MIA Where’s HG at? It appeared she was going to be part of the gang again after the first episode, but apparently not...

SPECULATION Seeing as Alphas and Warehouse 13 are part of a shared universe we have a theory that Pete’s vibes, Leena’s aura-reading abilities and Jinks’ human lie-detector are all Alpha abilities.

IT'S WOSSERNAME! Dr Garner is played by Dee Wallace-Stone of ET and The Howling fame.

IT'S WOSSISNAME! And Stargate Universe fans will recognise Jesse as Brian J Smith from the short-lived space show.

NIFTY No siginificant point to make – but the neuralyzer aerosol was super-cool. Why don’t they use that more often?

LMAO Pete’s reaction to Claudia’s “killer bird” line – genius.

PRODUCT PLACEMENT We’re all for product placement if it means our favourite shows stay on the air (especially if they’re smartly woven into the story/joke-telling as with Subway in Chuck ) but Pete showing off the voice-recognition functionality of his Toyota GPS might be the most uncomfortable moment of hocking wares we’ve seen since the infamous Vampire Diaries /Galaxy Tab incident .

FASHION PARADE Full marks to Claudia for this amazing Bat necklace:

INJOKE Katie Lilly, who bought the violin, is named after Katie Lilly, the show's post production supervisor. Harry Miller, who bought the waffle iron, is named after editor Harry B Miller III.

KEY ARTIFACTS Richard E. Byrd's Smoking Pipe (can control the weather); John A. Macready's Ray-Ban Sunglasses (makes the users invisible, but blind for a time when they’re taken off); Napoleon Bonaparte's Violin (hitting G-sharp causes all around to become violent); Bobby Jones' Golf Clubs (inspires violent anger); Catherine O'Leary's Cow Bell (caused the Chicago fire and the Great Fire Of London)

: “A Jew and a black woman go to a fancy country club. All we need is a priest and a horse and we can do the whole joke.”

Jordan Farley

Read all our Warehouse 13 Season Four reviews.

Jordan Farley
Deputy Editor, Total Film

I'm the Deputy Editor at Total Film magazine, overseeing the features section of every issue where you can read exclusive, in-depth interviews and see first-look images from the biggest films. I was previously the News Editor at sci-fi, fantasy and horror movie bible SFX. You'll find my name on news, reviews, and features covering every type of movie, from the latest French arthouse release to the biggest Hollywood blockbuster. My work has also featured in Official PlayStation Magazine and Edge.