WAREHOUSE 13 Recap: 'Past Imperfect' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

WAREHOUSE 13 Recap: ‘Past Imperfect’

August 23, 2011 by  

Sometimes I find it hard to fairly analyze an episode of WAREHOUSE 13. It appeals to a wide audience, and I’m not a sci-fi expert or anything like that, so I realize there might be elements to an episode like “Past Imperfect” that I just don’t “get.” But even beyond all of that, this episode really seemed to fall flat. Thoughts from you? More on this later.

The episode begins at Union Station in Denver where Pete and Myka are attempting to snag a pick axe. While Pete is doing the dirty work, Myka is his back-up. But she gets distracted when she sees Leo — the man responsible for killing her former partner, Sam — at that exact location. You’ll remember that Sam was also her love interest (even though he was married at the time) and she felt responsible for his death. He also appeared to Myka a few times in visions earlier in the series. While Myka is freaking out, Pete is having a reaction to the artifact — gray smoke/dust is escaping from his throat, almost like a tracheal implant.

Myka manages to help him in time, but she’s more concerned that Leo is back in town. When she and Pete watch the video footage of station, Pete recommends that they bring in the Denver Secret Service — Myka’s old team. She hesitates and figures that the team also blames her for Sam’s death.

Meanwhile, on a Wisconsin farm, Claudia and Steve Jinks are in the attic of a barn, searching for a particular doorknob. Their cover story is that they are part of a show called “Artifact Roadshow.” Ha! When Jinksy grabs a particular doorknob, it sears his hand, so they know they have a winner. As he and Claudia are leaving the farm, a dog moseys up to them. It seems like a nice dog, but it’s also strange, as the farm owner didn’t have a dog. Suddenly, Steve is struck with what appears to be a poison dart. As Claudia starts to help him, she’s also struck. The darts have some sort of circular ring to them — though, for some reason, the darts are never really investigated. Maybe they’ll show up later in the season? When they recover, they realize the doorknob has been stolen from them. Artie encourages them to at least bring the dog back to the warehouse.

Back in Denver, Pete and Myka are approached by Zack (played by the awesome J. August Richards), a former co-agent of Myka’s. They are also joined by Jim, another former agent. They track down Leo, but when he’s on a tour bus and spots Myka, he makes a run for it. When he escapes, Myka is annoyed and blames Pete.

As the case continues and they realize they are dealing with a time-stopping artifact, Myka waffles back and forth between confidence and confusion. She consults with Alison, Sam’s wife, and she gives her a card — one of those with an annoying song. She doesn’t understand what it means until she realizes that Sam made copies of his work. When she listens to the entire song, the end features a copy of a recording of Leo talking with someone else from the Denver Secret Service, someone who is planning to set Sam up. Myka realizes he wanted her to have that info.

Myka and Pete confront Zack, and he’s shocked. Jim joins them and sets off the artifact just as Zack pulls his weapon on Pete. Myka isn’t affected by the time-freeze and, realizing that Jim was in cahoots with Leo (and therefore assisted in keeping her occupied so she’d be too late to save Sam) she attacks Jim and then saves Pete by shoving Jim into the path of Zack’s bullet.

At the warehouse, Artie and the dog share two hats once owned by a magician and his monkey. The magician used the hat to tell what the monkey was thinking. Artie figures perhaps the dog can remember the license plate number of the car that was at the scene when Claudia and Steve were attacked. Artie barks out some numbers, and sure enough, they are good data. Steve and Claudia look it up, and Steve and Artie are shocked to realize that the car was rented by none other than Sally Stukowski under an alias.

From where I sit, all of the potentially good elements were there — delving into Myka’s past, another chance to see Agent Sally Stukowski do some evil, and J. August Richards (GUNN FROM ANGEL! WHOO!) guest starring! But the end result just was not cohesive or serious enough to work out. It seems strange to call WH13 out on not being serious enough, since a lot of times, I love its lighthearted quality. But this ep relied on cheap hijinks (hooking Artie and the dog up to those hats, Claudia and Steve chasing the dog around the warehouse, Claudia slobbering profusely) instead of quirky punchlines, and it showed.

I wish I could say that besides the doggy b-plot, Myka and Pete’s case was better, but it also felt disjointed, and for that I blame the way the writers have used Myka’s character over the past few years. This episode was a microcosm of how they’ve tried to make her interesting, smart, sexy, sometimes emotional, sometimes rational. But more often than not, that hodgepodge of “characteristics” means she just ends up looking confused — staring at Pete with wide eyes and coming to conclusions after the fact. When a character is constantly confused like that, it leaves the audience confused, especially if it doesn’t seem like it’s the writers’ intent to have it that way. They WANT her to come off as interesting, smart, sexy, emotional and rational, but for me, it never plays out that way and I find I don’t really care what happens to her.

Perhaps I’m being too harsh, but it doesn’t seem like anyone is doing Myka’s character any favors. Here’s an example: we’ve already seen Myka quit the warehouse recently and re-join the team. And JUST when we’d all agreed that it was time for them to STOP mentioning that, we get this case where she gets discouraged and she quits on the team who wants to solve her ex-partner’s (in and out of bed) death. What are the writers trying to prove here? Is it that she’s still having issues of loyalty? Will she still quit on Pete if it gets tough?

I know I’m sort of getting off on a tangent here, but one way the show managed to keep her character relevant in the past is that she was getting closer to Pete while also getting advice from Artie and sharing girl talk with Leena and Claudia. What are your thoughts on this and Myka’s character? Are the writers setting the viewers up for a bigger change, do you think?

Maybe I’m just over-thinking it. I’d love to hear your opinion on this and on the episode as a whole. Did you like the two cases? Are you curious to know more? Let’s discuss!

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One Response to “WAREHOUSE 13 Recap: ‘Past Imperfect’”

  1. Owl on August 26th, 2011 11:31 am


    In some ways, I really, really liked this episode, but I also agree with you on the Myka front. I think the problem with Myka is that she’s the only un-solid character — she adapts to whatever the tone of the episode is, and it’s not good. I really like her in serious-mode. I really like her when she’s actually using her brain. I like it when she remembers stuff other people don’t. I really liked season 2 of this season for many of those things, because that was Myka, when it got down to the later episodes.

    You know, it’s funny… I remember once saying to my sister that I thought Sam’s death was artifact related (during season 1, mind you, but this series has me thinking that the wooden angel statue in my living room is an artifact, too, so…). It was nice to tie up loose ends… but… in season 3? I somewhat wish this plot was used earlier, instead of now. And by the way, Pete, who, within the past two seasons, has also sometimes grated on my nerves, was excellent this episode, but then again, he’s just amazing at the serious stuff.

    Now for the Artie/Jinks/Claudia/Dog part. I loved it. I really did. The dog was adorable, and it was funny. My problem with it was that it was too funny for the other plot. They didn’t mix well. It’s not a Warehouse 13 thing, either, many shows have the same problem (coughBonesandCastlecough). If used properly, the comedy can break tension (see the Sue Thomas F.B.Eye episodes “The Sniper” and “Simon Says” for more details), but oftentimes it just doesn’t flow or work.

    Other questions:
    -Both Pete and Jinks had glove-failing. Was this just a coincidence, or evil bug from last episode?
    -Why is Warehouse 13 turning me into an artifact conspiracy theorist?
    -Why didn’t Claudia use gloves when touching Pavlov’s Bell?
    -What happened to the evil dart things? Did the baddie take them?
    -Who is the “real” Myka? The one at the Warehouse, or the one before with Sam?
    -Can we finally be done with the Sam plot now?
    -Where have I seen that dog before?

    So… did it make me laugh? Yeah. Did it make me cry? Not exactly… but it was close. I was emotionally in tune with the characters for the ending (not as much the beginning). Did it make me think? Yeah… it did. I’m thinking a lot about Myka, and where she fits into all of this. Obviously there are still some lingering repercussions to everything that happened in the last two seasons that still need to be resolved.