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Warehouse 13 4.12 "Parks and Rehabilitation" REVIEW

TV REVIEW Going Deeper Underground

Warehouse 13 Season Four Episode Twelve “The Living And The Dead” TV REVIEW

Episode 4.12
Writer: Ian Stokes
Director: Larry Teng

THE ONE WHERE Myka and Jinks watch over Artie in the Warehouse while Pete and Claudia investigate a case of the ground swallowing people whole.

VERDICT Only Warehouse 13 could tackle an issue as thorny as terrorism and leave you feeling like you’ve been tucked under the sheets with a hot water bottle by your mum. This, of course, is both a good and a bad thing. There’s no denying that when Battlestar Galactica , for example, spent half a season exploring what it means to be a revolutionary that it was not “fun” television. It was significantly more rewarding than what we’re presented with here, however – a sugar-coated take on living with life as a former terrorist that forgoes moral grey zones in favour of black and white heroics and throws a silly earth-moving artifact into the mix.

Despite getting away with what appears to be some serious acts of sabotage, Autumn is portrayed as the victim, while Ranger Smith is never anything less than a monster once his true colours are revealed. Neither of them are completely innocent/guilty, ultimately, but the show is so keen to stick to it’s bad guy/good guy format that it trims all the edges off a story loaded with murky moral potential. Warehouse 13 rarely strives to be anything more than an easily digestible chuck of TV which you probably won’t spend much time thinking about after the credits roll, and its approach to terrorism exemplifies this.

Things fare a little better in the Warehouse, where a lovely bit of lore is explored – how artifacts are assigned a shelf and organised. I’d always assumed artifacts were thrown on the shelf willy nilly, and it was Leena’s job to keep a record of where they were, but the magic peace circle actually makes a whole lot of sense. What doesn’t make much sense is that the characters take so long to work out Artie isn’t the man to use the Feng Shui Spiral while still feeling guilty about Leena’s death. Being a few seconds ahead of the characters can be rewarding. When it takes them 20 minutes to catch up? That’s frustrating.

As you would expect, there’s an “artifacts gone wrong/agents sort it out” sub-plot to spice things up, which is fun, but does little we haven’t seen dozens of times before. Artie and Claudia also get some closure, Artie in particular who's presented with a handy video statement by Leena to leave him with no further reason to feel guilty - a happy ending any mum would be pleased with.

MISSED POTENTIAL If Da Vinci’s Demons had been a Syfy show we’d probably have seen a Tom Riley cameo this week, which would have been ace.

Courrieres Miner's Lantern: Can cause the earth to open and create landslides.
Feng Shui Spiral: Reads the energy of artifacts and can be used to shelve them if the user is at peace.
Norge Porthole: Can generate an Aurora Borealis light display.
Leonardo Da Vinci's Gargoyle: An automaton created by Da Vinci to protect the treasures ofMilan
Claudia’s Goo-nade: Releases a cloud of neutraliser goo.

DID YOU SPOT? Mark Sheppard returns to voice Benedict Valda during Leena’s video statement. Actually, stupid question, of course you spotted it. That voice is unmistakable!

Pete : “I don't know if that's suspicious or just another facet of women I'll never understand.”
Claudia : “Is there anything about women you understand?”
Pete : “Booby region.”

Jordan Farley

Read all our Warehouse 13 Season 4 Reviews so far here.

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Jordan is the Community Editor at SFX and Total Film. When he isn't watching movies or sci-fi shows of questionable quality he's probably shooting men in space or counting down the days till the next Zelda comes out.