WAREHOUSE 13 Recap: ‘The Greatest Gift’
December 7, 2011 by Sarah Curtis
Well, ho, ho, how the heck are you, WAREHOUSE 13 fans! It’s been a long time since we’ve chatted, but I hope you liked this holiday-themed episode as much as I did. Syfy treated its fans and its shows right this year by offering another round of yuletide cheer for our TV viewing pleasure. Forget about the stress and angst of the season finale and cozy up with Pete, Myka, Claudia, Artie, and even Mrs. Frederic while we discuss this episode.
Holidays can induce memories (some good, some bad), and this episode felt like a Christmas homecoming — like good friends and good memories wrapped up together. Cheers to the writers of this episode for including so many references to previous episodes and artifacts and moments between these characters. It REALLY worked well to have Pete “fight” for his past and make it true again. And while the IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE storyline is used all of the time around the holidays, the idea of friendship and partnership never gets old.
The episode begins as Pete and Myka are out on a wintry night to fetch an artifact. It appears Rudolph’s nose has artifactian properties. They manage to catch it, and Pete catches a sweet kiss on the cheek of his own by saving a family dog from becoming a reindeer.
Back at the warehouse, Pete and Myka and the team are all discussing their holiday travel plans. Claudia is going snowboarding, Myka is going home, Artie is going to Vegas with the lovely Dr. Vanessa (and his father and Hugo, but…who’s counting?!?) while Pete is manning the warehouse — he drew the short straw and has to stick around. When he returns Rudolph’s “snagged, bagged and tagged” nose to its proper shelf in the “Aisle Noel,” he slips and falls, and his hit by some yarn and a brush.
When he gets back to the warehouse office, there are two other agents there, plus MacPherson. Pete is shocked — who are they, and what have they done with Artie? They handcuff him and ask him the regular WH13 questions, including my favorite from MacPherson, “Have you noticed the smell of fudge when there is no fudge?” Ha!
After even Leena doesn’t recognize him, Pete realizes he is in real danger, and he escapes. After speaking with Myka’s mother (who has no knowledge of him), Pete travels to Washington DC where non-warehouse Myka lives. She’s her old serious self (not to be confused with her new serious self), and not surprisingly, she doesn’t believe Pete at all when he tells her that they are partners in a secret government supernatural warehouse in South Dakota.
Eventually he convinces her to at least listen to what he has to say and he asks about Artie. He’s in a correction facility — where she put him, for trying to assassinate the president. He insists he was just going for the bloodstone (and WH13 fans will remember this is how Pete and Myka met Artie in the series pilot).
He doesn’t recognize Pete, but when Pete starts talking about the warehouse and MacPherson, Artie is intrigued. He asks Pete to tell him if he touched a brush. When Pete says yes, Artie explains he was affected by Philip Van Doren Sterns’ upholstery brush. He wrote a short story that IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE was based on, and in effect, Pete’s life, after having touched the brush, did not happen. Pete begins to see how his life and actions have affected those he cares about. Myka was never his partner, therefore never helped save her dad’s life. Claudia wasn’t part of the team, and therefore was in a psych ward and didn’t know her brother was okay. Artie was in prison and MacPherson was destroying the good in the warehouse.
Artie, Pete and Myka convince Claudia to help them break into the warehouse, where MacPherson has successfully bronzed Mrs. Frederic. Leena recognizes Artie and gives him a necklace. The team goes around the warehouse until they find an opening, which Myka is able to open by saying “Open sesame” in Arabic. Pete is happy to have his partner back — at least, a little bit of his partner! He even likes it when she punches his arm.
In the warehouse, Pete and Myka split up from Claudia and Artie who try to hack into the system. Myka uses math to get them out of an infinity trap by MacPherson. It works, and Pete sees that MacPherson has Artie and Claudia and is leading them toward the bronze sector. He and Myka save them (and Myka learns once again how awesome the Tesla is), and Pete reverses the bronzing (except for Mrs. Frederic, which was kind of interesting, right?!)
In order to get real life back, Pete must touch the upholstery brush again. If it is destroyed their life, and his life will not exist. MacPherson knows this and is trying to destroy it by throwing it and other artifacts into the core of the earth (which, btw…has been heating the warehouse for years, according to Artie).
Artie wrestles MacPherson and the brush falls off a ledge. Pete realizes that he has to make a choice — he has to save his own life. He jumps for the brush and when he is falling into the earth’s molten core, he wakes up in the winter aisle at the warehouse — safe and sound. But his true happiness comes when he finds out everyone on his team is stuck at the B&B because of a terrible snowstorm. He is very affectionate, and gets some strange looks, but he tells them he is happy with his life and he loves all of them. Very sweet.
Other favorite moments:
- When Pete referred to HG Wells and both Artie and Myka were like, “Say what?” Haha!
- Artie being released from prison by Mrs. Frederic’s orders (and the subsequent smile on Pete’s face) because of the awesomeness that Mrs. F is.
- Pete’s “vibe” about the door on the left to the warehouse, and that the other three had no idea what the vibes meant — I loved this, and that he was right. Also loved the moment the team saw the warehouse for the first time all over again. Such a great way to tell this story!
- The return of the invisibility cloak, the world crushing thing and other artifacts from the past.
- I’m not usually a Pete and Myka shipper, but I did like how he held her hand at the end.
There is a part of me that almost wishes this was the end of the series. I don’t want the series to be over…it’s just that this episode was fun and put me in mind of all the things I have loved about the show in the past. In fact, I don’t think there is anything I didn’t like about this episode. But enough from me.
What say you? What parts did you like or not like? Did you have a favorite artifact return? Was it significant that Pete was the one to experience an erased life? Thoughts? Let’s discuss!
Filed under Warehouse 13