Warehouse 13 (2011) – Season 3, Episode 1 – “The New Guy.”
Here’s the thing about WAREHOUSE 13 – it’s not very good. Which is not to say it’s not enjoyable, because it’s usually totally worth your 45 minutes of viewing time. W13 is like the girl who hangs out in your group and everyone likes having her around at the bar because she’s fun and upbeat, but no one wants to take her home because when someone who wants to be liked this much focuses all of her energy on one person she becomes annoying rather than cute.
Here’s the other thing about WAREHOUSE 13 – the most interesting character on the show is hardly ever on the show: H.G. Wells, the complicated, conflicted, shades-of-grey agent from the previous century who’s seen her daughter murdered, misused Warehouse artifacts, who’s asked to be bronzed (put on ice), been reinstated, and then tried to start a new ice age, in what likely has to be seen as a major miscalculation by the writers as to the long-term potential of the character.
Wells (Jaime Murray) shows up at the end of the premiere episode of Season 3, as Mrs. Frederic (CCH Pounder) tries to convince Myka to return to active duty. It’s a dumb subplot. Myka left the Warehouse at the end of last season after Wells betrayed her, and yet here she is already back in the fold. I hate crap like this, where things change and then immediately change back, especially when the whole point of this episode is “The New Guy” on the team.
It fits with the whole WAREHOUSE 13 approach, though, which doesn’t like it’s characters to be spun away from the center for more than a quick jaunt at a time. (I totally just felt like using the word, ‘jaunt.’) And because W13 is pretty likeable, and also so desperately wants to be liked, I have the tendency to forgive things like this because, yeah, it would be nicer if Myka was part of the group again, wouldn’t it?
W13 just doesn’t seem like it’s capable of ever locking Rose away in another universe or killing Ianto or even having Kate and Sawyer hook up because those are uncomfortable things with long-term consequences and W13 really wants as little of that as possible. (Which is why I think the writers didn’t realize what they had with Wells, who swims in shades of grey that the show only lets its main characters dip their toes in.) So here we went with Myka, who ran away last episode and returned this episode and, “Yay! Everyone’s happy!”
“The New Guy” is Steve Jinks (Aaron Ashmore), and I hope whomever came up with that name only got it past the other writers and producers because he or she got them blitzed on mushrooms or LSD. Or both. There’s two immediate problems with Jinks – the first is that Aaron Ashmore already seems like the best actor on the show which threatens the balance of things, and the second is that freaking Myka already came back! I can only hope that the addition of Jinks means Claudia (Allison Scagliotti) will get more field time or that the writers find some way to make a three-team investigating team work besides the obvious love triangle.
I don’t think the show can pull off a love triangle, to be honest, because at this point Pete (Eddie McClintock) has been turned into such a such a wimpy, forlorn, needy softie when it comes to Myka that if she shows any interest in another guy he might spontaneously combust in burst of tears.
The New Guy (which would be a better name than Jinks) has a power, too, just like Pete’s Don’t-Call-It-A-Spider-Sense. Jinks’ power is that he can tell if you’re lying to him. I hate this power crap, too, because it doesn’t add enough to the show. Pete’s whole, “I’ve got a bad feeling” schtick is either completely obvious when it happens or completely pointless to the episode. When it happens in “The New Guy” it’s in the hotel where they know the conflict is going to come to a head, but there he goes having it anyway. Thanks, Pete. Jinks’ “You’re lying” bit is going to get old next week.
But you know what? I’ll keep watching. Despite not being very good, and despite being highly predictable, I haven’t worn out on WAREHOUSE 13, yet. I’m not sure why – Burn Notice is a much better show but I’ve struggled to sit through an entire episode since the middle of last season, and yet every week when a WAREHOUSE 13 episode pops up in my Hulu queue I always watch it relatively quickly even though I know parts of it will drive me nutty. The mysteries are usually pretty clever (this week had Shakespeare’s missing portfolio killing people), the relationships between the characters are enjoyable to watch, and it still manages to be more likeable than annoying. WAREHOUSE 13 is like eating a Ritz cracker – it’s both tasty and forgettable, making it a perfect foraging snack. You don’t have to prepare anything, you don’t have to pay attention, and it’ll hit the spot until you can get to something more substantial.
Like, hopefully, the H.G. Wells spin-off.