[Review] - Warehouse 13, Season 4 Episode 4, "There's Always a Downside"

Courtesy of NBCUniversal

So help me gods, if I hear Brent Spiner say the word 'evil' one more time, I'm going to punch someone in the throat. The writers of Warehouse 13 have gone off their subtly meds, and have decided that beating us over the head with information, over and over again, is an acceptable form of television. Same goes for that black and white footage of Claudia stabbing Artie. We saw it once. At best, before the finale, where I'm certain all will be revealed, we needed to see it once again. Not a couple times every gorram episode.

This should have been the sort of episode I can point to and say, "this is where the formula works, and because they've got enough team members, they can do multiple stories now." Instead, I can point at an episode like this and say "this is where it completely went off the rails, and apparently the people running this thing can't come up with enough material to fill one story line, let alone three consecutive ones."

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that drive viewers to a maddening rage.

Hugo has never been my favourite of Warehouse 13's collection of guests, which is a shame, because Rene Auberjonois is a great actor. A better actor then this material is worthy of. Of course, so is fellow Trek alum Spiner, so maybe this is just 'crap on your guest stars year'. At least Kate Mulgrew had stuff to do last year. Poor Hugo pops up whenever they need a putz to act... putz like.

This should have been a one plot puppy, the marbles at the school. It was an interesting idea, the sort of thing that the show usually does. The MacGuffin was suitably strange, the effects suitably disastrous. What pulls the episode down is the endless, repetitiveness of Artie's story line this year, and will continue to be so until it advances out of the 'whispers in a cafe' phase. And what kills this episode is the Myka-Jinks team up, complete with Canadians attempting Cajun accents, Sy-fy's dead man skin hue photoshop tool, and the most go nowhere plot they've pull on us yet.

It takes them forever to figure out that he's doing it, and when they do, they don't do anything. Seriously, what is the frell is Myka doing while Jinks/Claudia is setting sadness sucked? She's just standing there, with every opportunity to Tesla the blues man, or hit him on the head with a spare table leg, or do what she eventually does, which appeared to be just to touch them. And how did Jinks know that Claudia was being suffocated? It didn't look like he was feeling that, and certainly nothing about their holding hands indicated that he was being suffocated.

The one upside to this episode is the opening scene, with Artie dispensing assignments. It's bright, it's funny, it's all the actors having fun with each other. That, and Pete's international monkey's line gave me hope. But dash it all away, why don't you.

Sy-fy's shows have never been about subtext. They are what they are. Which what makes what they do from week to week all the more important, becasue it's all we've got. These shows aren't Breaking Bad, where you can go on for ten thousands words about why Walter smiles in on scene, but not another. On Warehouse 13, if Pete smiles, it's becasue he's happy. And he'll generally say, "I'm happy," just to be clear. I know the show is better then this, I've been watching it for three years. Of course, I knew that Eureka was better then it's final season turned out to be, so I have to ask: is this a larger problem at Sy-fy? These are the only shows from that network I watch, considering Alphas to be insufferable and Being Human to be greatly inferior to the original. Has the quality of the network's shows all declined to this extent (Lost Girl doesn't count, it's a Canadian show made for a Canadian network, and is generally terrible)? Or is this my problem, expecting too much from a TV show that they would try to deliver the best material possible.

Or worse yet, is that what we're getting?
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.


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