TV REVIEW: Warehouse 13, Season 4 Episode 1 -“A New Hope”

The final episode of season 3 saw three out of the seven team members dead. The entire Warehouse 13 destroyed, the Bad Guy – Walter Sykes – successfully escaping, and did I mention that the Warehouse was utterly destroyed?

The first episode of season 4 opens exactly where the season 3 finale finished. The remaining team members go on whirlwind globe spanning treasure-hunt, all on a tight deadline, in a desperate attempt to save the warehouse. Read on for the full review – and beware, there are spoilers!

Remember how last season’s finale was so shockingly dark? Remember how the pace never let up even for second? Well episode one of the new season continues at that heart pumping pace.

Warehouse 13 has never shied away from the darker implications of the show mythos. Most of the 32-odd artefacts which were ‘bagged and tagged’ from season 3 had remarkably nasty abilities. The dead agents B&B bedroom archive, is testament to the fact that warehouse agents are more likely to die in the line of duty than peacefully retire. Still, as a comedy / drama the season 3 ending to the show took a big dramatic bite out of its audience and dragged us all to a very dark place.

The season finale saw Jinx dead leaving Claudia inconsolably angry, the Warehouse itself reduced to scattered embers, Mrs. Frederic a desiccated husk, and H.G. Wells burnt alive in a sacrificial yet Heroic gambit to save the lives of Arti, Pete and Myka.

There was a tiny sliver of hope in Arti’s final words “not yet .., ” but I can’t be the only fan who thought ‘Well it was good while it lasted, but there ain’t no coming back from THAT’. I was convinced the writers had written themselves into a deep well, and that it would be almost impossible to claw their way out without fundamentally changing the show. The switch had been flipped from comedy to dramedy to downright tragedy.

I guessed that some kind of ‘reset button’ artefact would have to be used in the opening of season 4, but the way the show managed to keep on ramping up the ‘wtf’ moments right until the very end was masterful.

Before the end of episode one, Pete was dead, Claudia was buried alive, Myka had been arrested, the entire world had descended into all out end-of-days type chaos, and Arti felt he had no choice but to use an artefact to restore the warehouse – no matter what the personal cost to him. The globe-trotting, the fighting with a shadowy sect of Priests, Pete’s death, Claudia’s entombment, and finally Arti’s decision to make (what might be) the ultimate personnel sacrifice, all amounted to a superb head-rush of a season opener. The fact that it was Sykes rage and not the bomb that had to be diffused was a nice touch and a neat twist. Having H.G. Wells again under Regency care is also a nice touch and leaves the actress Jamie Murray with a nice way back into the show.

I look forward to next week and am eager to see what the fallout from saving the Warehouse is going to be. Arti is (presumably) the only person alive who remembers the ‘undone’ twenty four hour period. How will that knowledge weigh on his mind? Hopefully now that time has been reversed we’ll see more of Brother Adrian (guest star Brent Spiner). After all the Brotherhood of the Black Diamond Priests dedicated their lives to protection of an artefact, so tracking down who stole it will probably be the organisations new focus. The hints that Claudia (or at least someone who looks like her) may be this season Big bad is intriguing.

Artefacts:
U-Terbium Chamber, Pandora’s Box, (globe-spanning) Football, Barbosa’s watch, Ferdinand Magellan’s Astrolabe, Gandhi’s Dhoti, British House of Commons Masonry from the WWII Blitz

Travelogue:
Richerenches, France. Rapid City, South Dakota. St. Peter’s Tomb, Vatican City – Rome.

Best Lines:
Pete: “Now I know he’s lost it. He never watches television.”
Arti: “The internet is a distant second to the Football.”
Claudia: “This is nuts. Is it bigger than an baguette? Is it an antique corkscrew? Napoleon’s original pastry? I mean it could be anything!”
Claudia: “They made us read the bible a lot in the psych hospital. I think it’s how they kept their funding.”

Reporter: Faintdreams

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