[Review] - Warehouse 13, Season 4 Episode 17, "What Matters Most"

Courtesy of Universal Cable Productions
And now we have our Pete episode. Following last week's Jinx, and the week before that focusing on Myka. In the run up to the final two episodes each member of the team has been given a episode where they must confront an issue from their past. It's a fairly simple and obvious way to further character development, while still sticking to the ridged episode structure. And has succeeded in giving us some good episodes. Nothing special mind, but certainly of better quality then in the past. Playing it safe has the benefit of being safe, and you can assume that safe episodes won't be overly offensive.

But with Pete, Myka, Jinx and arguably Artie (considering where the season began) covered, that leaves only Claudia focus on next week. Except, I feel like we've already had that too.

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that once blacked out and drew rude pictures all over the walls.

Lets talk about Allison Scagliotti for a moment, shall we. Because in the last three episodes, the B-plots have all pretty much focused on Claudia, giving her more development and more of a lead then anyone else this year. Coming to terms with her relationship to the Warehouse, her growing into an adult, and here, using her fractured past to help a troubled youth (who seemed to be written for a much younger actor then the one they cast). And Scagliotti has stepped up and been impressive. Her growth as an actor over the past four seasons has been the triumph of the series, and Claudia will be what this series is remembered for, long after it is cancelled and gone. It is my sincere hope that she is cast in something deserving of her talents after the show is done, and doesn't get stuck in Syfy original films for the next decade.

Her empathy and connection to the whammied kid this week provided the closed thing to real emotion in the episode, which was all over the map. And, as is so often the case, it was her performance that kept the episode afloat, plus the fantastic chemistry she has with Saul Rubinek. The Hobbit reference, and her immediate back step inside the moment was subtle, felt real, and worth a chuckle. And that is what Scagliotti brings to the show: she, perhaps along in the cast, doesn't broadcast her performance. She acts like she is genuinely in a Warehouse full of weird junk, and doesn't try to cover that with being as hammy possible. Hu, too, has brought this level of acceptance, of suspension of disbelief to her performance, that doesn't telegraph the whole thing because it is the TV equivalent of a B-Movie (Rubinek can be excused for any aggrandizing of Artie because it works very well for the character).

It's not everyone else are bad actors. They are just more prone to having moments, and this episode really wasn't one for the wall. Pete's confession seemed slight and not Eddie McClintocks' finest performance (Joanne Kelly's reciprocation wasn't much better). And, while the event Pete described was terrible and something that happens all too often in real life, it seemed almost minor compared to the sins to the other characters, one of whom gassed an entire village to death. Equally off putting was Cynthia Watros' break down, or her whole psycho-stepford role, which never really jived with anything else going on. And the last minute revelation that Claudia's new friend is actually a mole made zero sense. Just flat out none. The orchestration required to pull off that specific set of events transcends contrivance and falls into the category of ass-pull.

Jinx and Abigail's C-plot was nice, if only because the characters haven't had a chance to bond like Abigail has to the others. It was mostly wheel spinning though, as the revelations made by both characters are things they've already admitted elsewhere and that we were already aware of. So it was mostly just an excuse to see Ashmore get liquid raisin barfed on him, and to see if Kelly Hu could make a full hazmat suit look attractive (she can).

The arrival of a mole furthers the apparent interest being shown in Claudia, and suggests that things are preparing to come together. And what I'm most interested in is: why Claudia? Is it her connection to the Warehouse? Her computer skills? Her sparkling personality? Or some other, yet to be reveal reason? And, when the finale does come, will Anthony Stewart Head and James Marsters watch Passions together?
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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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