Warehouse 13 (opens in new tab) 4.10 “We All Fall Down” TV Review(opens in new tab)
Writer: Holly Harold
Director: Chris Fisher
THE ONE WHERE Artie infects the world with a sweating sickness plague.
VERDICT Oh, Warehouse 13 . The whole world is infected, is it? Everyone’s going to die, are they? Not going to undo all that by hammering the reset button like it’s a “Free Money!” button next year, are we?
Perhaps the biggest disappointment about “We All Fall Down” is that it feels like escalation for escalation’s sake. What worked so well about last week’s episode (the highlight of season 4.0 by quite some distance), “The Ones You Love”, is that it dealt with personal tragedies rather than some phoney threat to the entire population of the planet. In comparison this mid-season finale seems to abandon conviction in the strength of its characters not long after the opening scenes.
Most of the good stuff is front-loaded, like the overwhelming quality evident last week somehow seeped into the script of this one a little. The scene where Pete and Myka discover Leena is powerful, and benefits from a pair of perfectly judged performances. A moment minutes later where Pete sees Leena’s spirit feels over-egged, but otherwise Leena’s death is handled in a believable, compelling way.
Artie’s turn to the darkside isn’t quite as convincing. Saul Rubinek does make for the ultimate adversary on paper. We particularly liked how the Warehouse’s most experienced agent used a number of the most powerful artifacts to have appeared in the show over the years to help in his mission, such as the time-stopping barometer (previously featured in episode 3.07 “Past Imperfect”) and the supersonic cymbals (previously seen all the way back in episode 1.11 “Nevermore”). In practice though, despite knowing he killed Leena, and watching him commit unspeakable acts, his actions don’t shock in the way you might expect. Artie has always been a character who’s dealt in shades of grey (not those shades of grey) so seeing him take things one step further doesn’t have the impact you might hope. Plus, Artie acts like such a bitter grump every week that Rubinek doesn’t even have to change up his performance that much.
That leaves it up to the chase for the Chinese Orchid to provide the episode’s thrills, which it singularly fails to do. Doomsday devices are Warehouse 13 shorthand for “we couldn’t think of anything better to do here”, particularly when their existence is brought up for the first time in the episode where they become a threat and if it weren’t for a decent fight at the episode’s end we’d almost wish they’d left this episode till Warehouse 13’s return next April.
MIA What happened to Debs after being introduced a few episodes back? Did the writers just forget about her?
TITLE TRIVIA Rather than the usual, jolly credit sequence, this week’s episode features a much more sombre Warehouse 13 logo on black and no theme tune whatever. Classy.
KEY ARTIFACTS Chinese Orchid (spreads the sweating sickness plague across the world); Francesco Borgia's Dagger (can release anything from its prison when “I cast you out” is spoken); Isaac Parker's Noose (causes everyone in a room to hang in midair, as though a noose was around their neck); Snake Charmer Basket (forms an apparition of a cobra out of smoke); Wooden Animal Carving (releases spider webs when broken); Barometer from the USS Eldridge (stops time for 47 seconds within the vicinity of its activation when the button on top is pressed); Glassblowing Tube (turns glass back into sand); Supersonic Cymbals (releases a deadly soundwave when the cymbals are struck together).
Claudia : “Well, I would never do that. I mean, just because he dreamt it doesn't mean it's actually going to happen. Does it?”
Mrs. Frederic : “Well, not necessarily. And not not necessarily.”
Claudia : “Comforting.”
Jordan Farley (@ JordanFarley )
Warehouse 13 currently airs on Syfy in the UK
Read our previous Warehouse 13 reviews (opens in new tab)