[Review] - Warehouse 13, Season 4 Episode 9, "The Ones You Love"

Courtesy of NBCUniversal
The penultimate episode of Warehouse 13's fourth season (or 4.0, or whatever SyFy is going to be calling it) is filled with guest stars, revelations, and a cliffhanger. Some of these were done well, and some were not. But finally, I think we have an explanation for the plodding nature of this season: the writers clearly thought of the big reveal first, and worked their way backwards from there. Unfortunately, they didn't come up with enough material to fully fill that gap. So while this episode fared better then most this season, it wasn't better because of the rest of the season. It was very obvious that everything else was just getting us to this point.

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that also use monkeys to tie relatives to cribs.

It was a smart move, separating out the entire cast into their own little story lines. It meant that no one had to carry the majority load of the plot. Pete's adventure took up a little more time, and Myka's was funnier, but it meant that despite some characters disappearing for long chunks, no one wasn't busy. I said earlier in the season, if the show is going to insist on maintaining so many characters, it's going to need to learn to use them all to the best of their abilities, or let them sit out from time to time.

This episode, until it's final moments, was really all about the guest stars. I'd watch Amy Acker read the nutritional specs off a cereal box, so I was more then happy to accept her as Myka's thus far absent sister, knowing that it means we probably won't ever see the character again. No one plays lovable and killy better then Acker. Brent Spiner was better here then he has been most of this season, though his character is, and I just realised this when he gets shot, unnervingly stationary. Maybe Spiner is getting old, or maybe it was a clue to the final reveal, but nearly all his scenes have involved him sitting or standing really very still. And while I can understand the appeal of bringing back Jeri Ryan, would his ex-wife really be the person Pete loves most? More then his mother? More then the sister who we've yet to meet?

The ultimate reveal of Artie being the darkness all along wasn't entirely surprising, but Rubinek and Williams really sell it. Artie's half muttered realisation, and complete possession by this force, whose motives are still unclear, was well shot. It doesn't explain away everything (if Adrien was really Artie, pretending to be Artie, why did he need the thimble at all?), and certainly doesn't explain why their story went next to no where for the entire season (I suppose to limit the amount of plot holes the writers would eventually have to fill). It was a badly plotted arc, that slowed the show. No matter how good the payoff might be, that's still bad TV.

The problem with that final shot is that, we've been here before. Last year, at this exact spot. They all walked in and found Jink dead. And he's still walking around. While it is conceivable that Leena has been sacrificed, I just don't feel anything. Partly because she's always been the most expendable member of the cast, whom I was certain was going to be written out since the end of season one. I'm not backing off a long held opinion that Leena has, from day one, been a pointless character, who has never carried an episode, and is the sort that you expect to just disappear, and not be missed.

But mostly I don't feel anything because, once you bring a character back from the dead, the dramatic tension in any death affecting the main cast goes completely out the window. It devalues the impact to zero. You never consider any of the near death experiences they face (include this week's exploding Pete) with any seriousness. Frederic, Jinks, HG, McPherson (in a way) have all returned to life. In fact, the only person to stay dead on this show has been Mark Sheppard. If Jinks had stayed dead, I might be more inclined to devote an emotional reaction to this occurrence. But I'm not.

But kudos to them if they keep her dead. That would certainly be a change.
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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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