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Warehouse 13 - 5.05 - Cangku Shisi - Recap / Review

19 May 2014

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Previously - Valda portal jumped to the original timeline, while Claire was put in a coma and then kidnapped by Valda.

Slamming into Claire's previous B & B, Claudia freaks that maybe she did something that made Claire worse. Artie reassures her and given that the record player is missing, he's right. Claudia: "Nice security in this place." Artie: "Well, you might have noticed that when you broke in." Ha, so true. They use the Durational Spectrometer to find Valda is back. In some random motel, he adds a wicked steam punk lens to Claire's eye which allows him to control her powers and sends her some mental telepathy. When she refuses to obey his commands, it causes a painful feedback to run through her brain. She tries again to brain him with a lamp, but it misses. He's thought of everything. Me, I'm just excited Mark Sheppard is finally back. The Warehouse Crew, not so much. Artie and Claudia fill them in on portal jumping, as Pete turns the ship's wheel in the office. Big mistake. Everyone gets tilted until it is set to rights. Pete: "What? I never knew it did that." Me either buddy. Myka: "Stop touching things." Ha! Always a good plan in the warehouse. Isn't that basically rule #1? Claudia figures out Valda has been living in his room in the Dead Agent's Vault, which is still the creepiest thing around but probably makes the best hangout. Myka tells Pete to come with her and he hems and haws because the PTB are dead set on ruining this show. None of it is worth recapping. At least Myka isn't ruined yet. Myka: "Bring your favorite teddy bear and a night light. Come on." Bwah! Pete has Steve come hold his hand and they search Valda's things. He finds a file on Claire and Claudia. Pete: "What if he was going to use her to create an army of telekinetic rage monsters to conquer the world?" Makes sense to me but Myka finds a key to the Regent's Vault missing so they start there.

In the Lakeshore Valu-Mart / Regent's Vault, they find Keeler murdered by Valda. Sadly, when Artie flips him over, it reveals another artifact - Sir William Perry's inuksuk. Artie barely has time to yell trap before he becomes a purple popsicle. Luckily, Myka and Pete are blasted away so they are not affected. Once the artifact ices over they re-enter but for reasons I do not understand at all, they cannot put an artifact covered in ice in the goo bag. Shouldn't the goo go through the ice? If not, couldn't they place it in the bag and then pound on the artifact instead of doing it outside the bag? Hmmm. Myka deduces that Artie is being cryogenically frozen and after an hour, it will be irreversible. Pete: "Right. There it is. I knew there was some bad news in there somewhere." Such goes a warehouse job. Luckily Pete also remembers Alfred Butz's glasses, which should warm Artie right up. They go to call Steve but it is frigid in the vault. Pete: "Let's call him up there." Ha! Good plan. Steve gets the all-call but is hesitant to leave an irate Claudia. Steve: "Are you okay here on your own?" Claudia: "I'm following Artie's sage advice - channeling my anger." She takes a hammer to Valda's picture. Steve: "I don't think that's what he meant, but if it makes you feel better…" Claudia agrees it does and sends Steve on his way. Claudia: "Artie too. You keep giving me reasons to kick your a** Mr. V." Well Claudia, you better hurry because Valda is about to take down an entire park of people with Claire's help. A mysterious buyer pulls up, Valda tells him to put in earplugs, and Claire starts the record player. Instantly everyone collapses. Valda says in 30 minutes the people will start convulsing, a convincing show of the strength of the artifacts as weapons. He offers to militarize the warehouse for his buyer and create an empire. Then he gives Claire a mason's square to give to the buyer so their plan can begin. Duhn, duhn, duhn.

While Valda threatens to take over the world, the Warehouse Crew thaws out Artie and uses Brigadier General Laverlong's elephant walking stick to create an earthquake in order to knock ice off the inuksuk. Pete smashes, Steve bags, and Artie wakes up irate and uncoordinated. Pete: "Good, he's grumpy. He'll be okay." Ha! Suddenly they are pinged to Rapid City. Pete again tries to avoid working with Myka and Steve calls him on it. I call the writers out on trying to force this plot in 6 episodes. Bah! Myka and Pete get to Rapid City and find the record player just as people start to convulse. Pete goes for the record only to be blasted away. Luckily Claudia has the answer since she finds Chuck Yeager's record among Valda's things. Well the album cover since the record is on player. She hightails it over to bring them Charles Atlas' workout trunks. Myka shimmies them on and succeeds in destroying the record, awakening the people just in time. Of course the trunks create a sinkhole so Pete pantses her just in time, catching her as she swoons. Then he promptly drops her after she thanks him. Whatever. Back to a storyline I can get behind. In the regent's vault, Artie listens to vibrations to determine which item was stolen. What he finds is the worst case scenario. Artie: "Benedict Valda's going to steal the warehouse." Huh? Claudia, Pete, and Myka are similarly confused. Basically he needs 3 tools from Hiram Abiff, the builder of Solomon's first temple - his setting maul, mason square, and compass. When all 3 are used together, it signals the transfer to the next warehouse by turning the artifacts to energy and sending that energy to the new warehouse. Pete and I: "Say what?" Claudia: "It's like the transporter from Star Trek minus the dilithium crystals." Oh, thanks Claudia. So basically, "Beam me up, Scotty" for objects. Artie sends them to get the hammer part of the setting maul before Valda gets it so it's off to Boston and the Green Dragon Tavern.

As for Artie and Steve, they're off to secure the compass in the Aisle of the Widow's Son section of the warehouse. Steve asks why it's called that for all of us and Artie launches into a big spiel about Freemasons before thinking better of it. Artie: "Don't you have access to Wikipedia? Look it up." BWAAHHH!!! Best line of the night. Artie says they store the compass there because it is one of the most secure parts of the warehouse, which of course means…it's gone. Steve: "So when you say safe…" Artie: "Don't start with me." Ha! I love these two together. Valda hid the compass somewhere in the warehouse, and quite frankly, I'm surprised they don't have an artifact that could clue them in to where. But I guess that would be too easy. Fair enough. While our warehouse duo lick their wounds, the Boston trio are not doing much better. They find the Green Dragon Tavern but unfortunately Valda gets there first. Smart Pete comes out to play and figures out Valda used the park disaster as a demonstration of power for the future warehouse owner. I like Smart Pete. Sadly Smart Pete gets stymied by Powered Up Claire, who forces Claudia to hold up a huge slab of rock. One tear rolls down her face as she does. Aww Claire, you keep getting screwed over by artifacts. Pete: "You really think we're going to let you steal the warehouse." Valda: "You really think you have a choice." Good point. It's hard to save the warehouse when your co-worker's sister seals you in a hidden room. Valda assembles the setting maul, activating the compass. Objects start to disappear from the warehouse, moving to their new home. Time to follow the great beacon of light. Artie says it's under the warehouse, which makes zero sense to me. Steve and I: "There's an under the warehouse?" Who knew?

Meanwhile Pete and Myka try to push the huge slab out of the way so they can escape. Myka: "Put your back into it, Lattimer." Pete: "If I put my back any more into it, my kidneys are going to explode." Bwah! This is not the most useful plan. Time to use your heads. And quickly, because Claudia's spider senses are all tingly. Something beyond just moving the warehouse is happening. They figure the colonists would have an escape hatch in case the Redcoats attacked, so they search for a secondary way out and again it's Smart Pete to the rescue. Pete: "One if by land. Two if by sea. Three if by secret passageway. Zoiks, Velma, Daphne, let's go." Ha! Still I call foul on every TV show/movie that uses these shenanigans. No way in 300 years these secret passageways haven't collapsed, been boarded up, or had their mechanisms rusted so badly they don't work. It bugs me every time. It's the literal bugs that get to Pete though. Don't blame you, buddy. I hate spiders too. Claudia tracks Valda to a diplomatic car from the Chinese embassy. Pete: "Outsourcing, huh? This guy gets more evil by the minute." Bwah! Pete gets all the good lines tonight. They call Artie, who confirms that Valda's on a flight to China as they speak. Pete: "Man, I don't want to work in China. It's probably impossible to find a good burrito." Not to mention, I don't think they will let American agents anywhere near the place. You are getting outsourced, Pete. As they head back to the portal, Artie and Steve find the activated compass and plan to goo it. Steve questions if it will work. Artie: "I stopped being sure of things in 1983, but if we don't do something then everything in the warehouse will disappear within a day." Steve: "So no pressure." Sorry buddy. Comes with the job. Naturally goo doesn't work so it's Plan B - sticky string. Woo hoo! I loved that episode. It works for a hot minute but then the compass strikes back, plucking the strings off one strand at a time. I say stick with that plan until you run out of sticky string, myself. Slowing it down is better than nothing at this point.

With the race to get to China on, the Boston trio rush back to the warehouse only to see another set of artifacts disappear. Myka: "I'm not ready for the warehouse to move." Claudia: "This can't be the end." Pete: "This isn't the end. We won't let it be." Pep talk re-invigorating them, they meet up with Artie and Steve. Claudia questions why Valda hasn't killed Claire even though he has everything he needs and Artie thinks he knows why. Claudia: "What? That's a bad tone. What?" Artie explains that when the first caretaker of Warehouse 13 died, her sister, Mrs. Frederic, took over. Pete: "Mrs. Frederic had a sister? So what…Mrs. Frederic of the East?" I'm shocked too. Didn't see that coming. Artie reminds them that Claire is not only powerful but controlled by Valda. Claudia and Myka protest that Claire is still in there but Artie warns them not to lower their guard. Artie: "Don't let your feelings for her be your blind spot." He opens the portal and tells them the new warehouse will be located at Beijing National Olympic Stadium. Artie: "If he finds the cornerstone and strikes it with the setting maul, then the new warehouse will be consecrated, the artifacts will start to phase into their new home, and Warehouse 13 will officially come to an end." Dramatic music swells as they all react to losing the warehouse for good. Pete: "Okay, right. Let's go to China and stop Valda from ordering take-out." Ha! Pete has a unique turn of phrase. They disappear into the portal right as the compass breaks free from the last sticky string. Steve: "Tell me that you have a Plan C." Artie: "We have no choice. We're going to have to destroy the compass." Steve: "What happens if we destroy it?" Artie: "Happily accepting guesses on that." Yep, times are that dire.

Apparently portals take you directly where you want to go because Myka, Pete, and Claudia don't worry about security around the building. I want a portal that helps me skip long plane rides, customs, baggage claims, and taxi rides to the hotel too. Let's release that artifact, stat. No? Darn! Myka, who of course reads Chinese, notices the sign says Warehouse 14 to everyone's chagrin. Things look abandoned as they walk right in, but artifacts pulse in and out. Valda has not struck the cornerstone yet. Pete is mid-sentence about setting a trap, when Claire sticks them to the wall like bugs. It all goes swimmingly for Valda until he starts to villain monologue. Bad move…always! Valda: "Welcome to Cangku Shisi, Warehouse 14. My warehouse. Thank you for providing the means to come to this reality. You've given me something in this world I could never have had in mine. Complete control. Kill them slowly. I want them to see it all arrive before they die." He's basically Paracelsus minus the scientific experimentation. Same overconfidence though. He leaves Claire alone with them. To no one's surprise, Claudia connects with her sister through Garbage's When I Grow Up, the same song they sang at the coffeehouse. As Claire sings too, she lets them down. It's all touching but time to stop Valda. Meanwhile, Artie tries to blow up the compass with Julius Wilbrand's lab coat buttons. He invented TNT. Um dynamite, not the cable network. Steve: "Well Artie, if we destroy the compass, what happens when it's actually time to move the warehouse?" Artie: "Eh, let them use Fed Ex." BWAAAAHHH!!!!! I love that line. Sadly, even dynamite buttons can't stop the compass and there's no Plan D. A frustrated Artie grabs a rope. Artie: "Valda, you SoB. This is my home and I will never, never let you take it away. Do you hear me? Never, Never." Steve: "Is this rope an artifact?" Nope! If Artie can't find something to stop the compass from turning, then he'll do it himself. Steve grabs the other end and they strain to keep the warehouse from disappearing, one artifact at a time.

As they struggle, Claudia suggests transferring Claire's energy into Valda, but Myka reminds her that Valda would be far too powerful. Smart Pete disagrees. He has a plan. They race to Valda and he and Pete fight. Myka picks up the setting maul as Claudia takes out Claire's eyepiece and puts it in backward. That's all it takes to transfer energy? What? I guess so because Valda's eyes glow white. He forces the setting maul from Myka's hand, but Pete has the last laugh. In the brawl, he removed the Versailles fork from Valda's pocket. You know, the one that allowed him to transfer to this timeline. Pete drops it into a goo bag and Valda flashes away in a burst of light. I have no idea why it works. I have less of an idea why this wasn't a better developed 2-part episode. Everything here screams season finale and it would've been a dynamite ending if it were. With his death, the eye piece pops off of Claire and she's magically cured as well. The music box energy died with Valda. How convenient. But it's Myka disassembling the setting maul that sends the artifacts back to Warehouse 13. Myka: "How many times do we have to save the world?" Pete: "We should get a raise." Agreed. As the artifacts reappear the compass stops and Steve and Artie believe they stopped Valda's plan. As they hug and dance in celebration, I laugh. Their joy is infectious. With everything back to normal the Boston trio return home, where Claudia reassures Claire that she's indeed cured. Claudia: "Simple physics really, with a freaky warehouse twist." She also gives Claire her guitar back, while Claire in turn inspires Claudia by saying destiny can be overcome. It's a tender sister moment, ruined by Pete's feelings for Myka again. Basically Steve the human lie detector confirms his love. Blech! Bah! Whatever! Moving on. Myka and Artie return the compass, but it starts glowing again. Uh oh! Even Mrs. Frederic doesn't know if she can stop what Valda set into place. That can't be good.

This was one fun ride of an episode, my favorite of season 5. It had action galore and a fun nod to artifacts past. It took on the season's Big Bad and tied up all major loose ends. Mostly though, I really enjoyed learning more about the warehouse itself. I always wondered how they got everything from one place to another without losing artifacts in the move. That question was abundantly answered. I also liked the tidbit about Mrs. Frederic's sister. It feels like the two biggest mysteries of Warehouse 13, Mrs. Frederic and the warehouse itself, were given a bit of their due. They still remain mysterious but that's what future TV movies (hopefully) and good fan fiction are for. Take out the last 5 minutes and Pete's relationship issues and this would have been everything I could have wanted from the finale. Sadly, they placed it one episode too soon. I've seen the actual finale and for me, the series ends with this one. So from that perspective, I say adieu Warehouse 13. You were great entertainment while you lasted. I'm only sorry you were a bit tarnished this season by adding unnecessary plot twists and cramming far too much in for such a short season. I wish the show runner and writers had let you breathe a bit more in these last 6 episodes instead of applying the "everything and the kitchen sink" approach. It made you a bit less than you were before. Still, I will think of you fondly when I do my seasons 1-4 rewatch.

Grade: B+

Best Scene - Green Dragon tavern / defeating Valda even if it was too easy

Best Return - Mark Sheppard

Best Reason to Watch - lots of information on how the warehouse works

Best Reason to Fast Forward - shipping nonsense

Least Surprising - Claudia connects with Claire through their Garbage song

Smartest - Pete's great plan

Best Physical Reaction - Pete to spiders / Artie once he gets thawed

Best Businessman - Valda, who wants to militarize the artifacts

Biggest Aww Moment - Claire cries as she is forced to almost crush Claudia

The "Oh Yeah Right" Award - Any show where a secret passageway from the Revolution or even the Civil War still works gets an automatic eye roll from me

Biggest Surprise - Claire can become the caretaker if Claudia dies just like Mrs. Frederic took over for her sister. Yeah, she had a sister. Who knew?

The "Oh Uh" Award - Artie: "No, there's no plan D."

Best Hug - Artie and Steve congratulating themselves on saving the warehouse when it was really Pete, Myka, and Claire.

Screencaps by Sled Uju, The Backlot, The Trades,

About the Author - Dahne
One part teacher librarian - one part avid TV fan, Dahne is a contributing writer for SpoilerTV, where she recaps, reviews, and creates polls for Sleepy Hollow, Arrow, White Collar, Grimm, Teen Wolf, and others. She's addicted to Twitter, live tweets a multitude of shows each week, and co-hosts the Warehouse 13 "Endless Wonder", Sleepy Hollow "Headless," and Teen Wolf "Welcome to Beacon Hills" podcasts for Southgate Media Group. Currently she writes a Last Week in TV column for her blog and SpoilerTV. ~ "I speak TV."

1 comment:

  1. I saw the Finale, too (it got leaked), and I must say the finale is very fitting! There's a few silly moments, but very emotional ones as well (Artie's big monologue is one of the best, it deserves an apple! :p). And then a trip into the future where Claudia's the caretaker, that was fun! :)

    But yeah, this episode is great, too! Except for the whole Pete/Myka thing-y, but they decided to go that way, so I guess we can just bear with it!


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