In this weeks episode, “There’s Always a Downside”, Warehouse 13 once again explores the after effects of using artifacts with immense supernatural powers. What gets me is this intense drama surrounding using artifacts and how Warehouse agents are NEVER EVER supposed to use them, but. . . BUT this didn’t always use to be the case. I’m really not invested in how an artifact always has a downside when it appears more that the rules of the game have changed than that any real drama is occurring. We all know using artifacts can be dangerous, but the gang has used them in the past and had “downsides” of turning hair blond- oooh real traumatic. It is as if the writers want us to attach a great emotional connection to the downside and so to do this they make people’s veins turn black. How about Joss Whedon did this yeeearrrs ago?
While I am not a big fan of the over all arc this season, it is kind of tame really so far (why haven’t they delved more into the fact that Artie changed the world and how this is affecting people???) and I’m hoping that the show will take a turn away from this OH MY GOD THE ARTIFACT CAN HURT YOU, MAYBE. WE NEED TO DO SOME RESEARCH FIRST. Um, OK. Get back to me when you’ve done that. I’m hoping that the show delves into how Artie’s use of the artifact to turn back time has brought an evil into the world, the set up for this is taking way too long.
Artie is determined to get everyone out of the Warehouse so he sends the team off on a couple of artifact chases, but this time he breaks up the teams differently. He sends Pete and Claudia to pick up an artifact someone sent to Hugo and Myka and Jinks are sent to figure out why people are suddenly all better after one session with a little known psychologist. No one is really happy to be paired with a different partner, but Artie has his reasons which is apparent when he pulls Pete aside and tells him to keep an eye on Claudia who has been traumatized lately.
Claudia: Why the switch up, you know I’m teamed with Jinks
Artie: This is a job, not a “Choose your own adventure.”
Myka and Jinks speak to the psychologist and one of her patients but nothing in the office stands out as an artifact. Plus, the psychologist isn’t happy that her patients are miraculously healed from their pain, she sees that they haven’t really worked through their issues and come through the pain, but that it just has just disappeared without all the work. Myka notices that there is a sign for a jazz bar with the same logo as was on the shirt of the Doc’s patient so thinking there might be a connection Myka and Jinks head to the bar. There they discover a really good trumpet player who seems to be as ill as the patients they just left are better. He explains that he needs to take on people’s pain so he can play better because he hasn’t lived enough himself. He tries to take on Jinks pain, but as Jinks is connected to Claudia she begins to feel ill. Myka interrupts the flow of energy into the trumpet player and discovers that he has a flask from a famous saxophone player in his pocket and it is allowing the transfer of pain, but killing him in the process. All along Jinks has been annoyed that they are capturing an artifact healing people of their pain, but he realizes that people need to work through their issues on their own, no miracle will give them that relief for realzies. Jinks tells Myka he knows he’s connected to Claudia in a way that could hurt her, but he doesn’t want to tell her what he must do. Myka convinces him not to stop the metronome and rather to do some research on the artifact and see if there is another way of severing his connection to Claudia rather than killing himself.
Pete and Claudia find Hugo who is living in a very beige place (apparently he left Eureka?) and his nephew is living with him. Hugo was sent a bag of marbles that have the ability to make people super focused, but ultimately the people get so focused on their goals they become violent. Hugo lent the Nephew the marbles to be focused enough to get into a Harry Potter(ish) tournament between rival smart schools. The Nephew hands back the marbles, well almost all of them, he lent out four to friends. They must hunt down the four marbles before everyone becomes so violent that someone gets hurt. The principal almost gases the entire school because he got a hold of one of the marbles which made him super focused on getting rid of the board of directors who keeps cutting funding. Pete however stops him with the use of the marble, and somehow the black vein downside happens really quickly with him. The rules keep changing with the artifacts and their downsides, and it irritates me. Also I’m less invested in something that keeps changing. The only thing of note with this story is that Hugo and Claudia have a heart to heart where Claudia says, being selfish and reckless are too different things, but both can negatively affect the people around them. Claudia’s brother was reckless and as a result she lost him for a while, she urges Hugo to not be reckless.
Artie has stayed behind for a reason. Data from the Brotherhood shows up to help Artie retrieve the artifact that set about his doom and figures out that Artie must have used it in another timeline. Artie wants to find it so that he can store it safely away, Data wants to find it so that Artie can rewind things again so as not use the artifact, but Data realizes that Artie will never do that. Artie explains if he does there will be no Hope left in the world which would be worse, Artie can handle whatever Doom the artifact mete out upon him. Data asks him if he can handle whatever Doom the artifact metes out on the rest of the world. Data’s parting shot is that he works for the Brotherhood who have no rules and he will undo Artie’s life work just has Artie has undone his. It’s a great moment for Data and actually he appears a far more interesting villain than before. His scene is the only redeeming one for this episode in my opinion and I hope this means that this story line will be picked apart and the writers with drop the “there are consequences” line and just, show us the consequences.