Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Warehouse 13, "Resonance": Number Six with a bullet

I'm on vacation at the moment you're reading this, but I liked this week's "Warehouse 13" enough that I wanted to say a couple of things about it before I stepped away from the laptop. Quick spoilers coming up just as soon as I huff and puff...

My concerns with the "Warehouse 13" pilot had less to do with the characters and the concept than the story they chose to tell in the first episode. The business with Lucrezia Borgia's comb was too complicated, and really not that interesting, even with Saul Rubinek riding a zipline.

Pete and Myka having to deal with the world's most perfect pop song, on the other hand? A cool idea, well-executed, particularly in the assault on the federal building where we finally got a good long look at its effect. I don't know that a 45 rpm record quite qualifies as steampunk, but it fits into the retro-tech vibe the show has going, and I liked it.

A few issues: I wish they'd given Tricia Helfer more to do, Myka using the case to reconnect with her dad (who she earlier made sound like a total bastard) felt trite, and by showing this episode slightly out of order (it was the third produced, and the second after Jack Kenny took over as showrunner), it feels like we're moving too fast in the partners coming to accept each other's way of working. The whole "she looks, he leaps" thing felt trite in the pilot, but at the same time, it's jarring to hear her already telling him to trust his instincts in the face of other evidence.

But it's always a good sign to see a show get better after its pilot, rather than worse.

What did everybody else think?

22 comments:

Jordan said...

Fun enough summer tv. I agree it was better than the pilot. Earned another couple episodes.

JanieJones said...

I dvr'd it. The pilot was okay with some slow moments. I look forward to watching this episode.

Mary said...

It's fun, looks good and the leads have good chemistry. I agree with you - Tricia Helfer was woefully underutilized.

Cynthia said...

I didn't like it as much as I liked the pilot - wondering why they chose to show it second instead of 3rd where it belonged.

Tricia was wasted. She would have been better off in the housekeeper role -- which was Mary Margaret Skalaney from Kung Fu The Legend Continues!

Carolyn said...

I really enjoyed it. It was fun and tech-y cool and I think this show is going to be better than I expected. Also liked that this felt very NOT X-Files-y. :)

karen said...

I agree that they seemed to move into comfortable as partners a little too fast. There is a lot that could be mined from that dramatic tension.

Loved the case, loved Tricia Helfer (though she was underused, but in a recent interview she said that they tried to bring her character back in another episode but they couldn't make the scheduling work, she is interested in coming back though).

I liked that they brought up Myka's relationship with her father ahead of the episode where we will actually see him (can't wait for Michael Hogan!)

The Artie and Dickenson stuff was fun(though I need to watch that end bit again...)

Leena in this episode reminded me of Astrid on Fringe, just kind of hanging out for expositional purposes with an air of mystery.

Looking forward to the rest of the episodes, in no small part because of all of the great Vancouver based actors that are guesting :)

All in all, a very fun summer series.

Tracey said...

Actually, I just realized what this show reminds me of: Friday the 13th The Series. Not the movies with Freddy Kruger; the Canadian syndicated TV show where two cousins are trying to retrieve cursed antiques sold by their great-uncle as part of a (literal) deal with the devil. I loved that show (at least for the first few seasons), and I'm enjoying this show in much the same way.

But these guys really need a story to give when someone asks them what they do, who they work for, etc. "Secret Service" just doesn't make sense. The Secret Service protects the present and former President and VP. As soon as you say you're Secret Service, people want to know who's coming, and it draws a lot of attention. When someone asks "what do you do" and you answer "it's secret," that also draws a lot of attention. At the very least they could say that you can't tell because it's a matter of national security, which would still draw attention but would reduce the questioning.

I was surprised to see Pete and Myka's old boss back in this one, in what appears to be an ongoing role, and I'm curious what they're going to be doing with him. And I have no idea what the hell was going on at the end there, but it looks like they're going to have some kind of ongoing arc of people trying to get into the Warehouse, presumably for nefarious reasons. Ongoing arcs are a good thing.

Tracey said...

Seeing Karen's comment about Leena reminded me: I had this odd thought while watching the first episode that Leena actually *IS* Mrs. Frederic in some way. It is very clear that there is something mysterious about both of them, and there was a line in the first episode where Artie asks Leena something, and Leena says, "You'd have to ask Mrs. Frederic," and there's a rather long odd pause.

Karen said...

Huh. I'm totally lukewarm-to-cold about this show, and I was very much looking forward to it, what with Espenson's involvement and the promise of excellent guest stars. Two eps in, and it feels the same way Castle does to me, except without a draw like The Fillion: plots that aren't keeping my interest and characters I haven't been able to care about. Was very much looking forward to Tricia Helfer, and then, like many of you, very disappointed at how little she got to do (except it's always fun to watch her walk her supermodel walk). I just looked over Mo Ryan's list of upcoming guest stars, and it'd be hard not to tune in for a lot of them (Hogan! Roger Rees! Mark Sheppard!), but I fear this show isn't getting to me - and meanwhile I'm thinking that I miss Walter and Peter Bishop and Olivia.

karen said...

I like your Leena=Mrs. Fredrick idea Tracey! I also agree that the secret service bit is silly, having them be FBI would have made more sense. I can only think of two reasons why they didn't go that route 1) they didn't want it to seem too much like the X-Files (or maybe Bones?) 2) this will actually be critical to an ongoing myth arc.

Karen said...

Oh, and karen, ditto about Astrid - I spent the next five minutes after Leena appeared trying to remember Astrid's name instead of paying attention to the show.

mjryan said...

I, for one, don't mind the partners actually acting like trusting partners early in the series. Every show mines the dramatic tension of newbie partners. Let's mine the tension of an established relationship for a change. These two did know each other before, after all, and are aware of the other's professional history. It isn't as if they're complete strangers. It also isn't as if they know everything about each other, as evidenced with Myka revealing a bit of her history to Pete. So, Yea! to Epenson, for not going the trite new partner tension route.

Agreed that Helfer was sorely underused and that Myka calling her father was trite and forced. But, I'm really enjoying this show.

Tracey said...

@Karen: They don't have to be FBI. How about Division 6, like MIB? :) Or Homeland Security, which Mrs. Frederic seemed to indicate at one time? Hell, why not Fish & Game like The Invisible Man? :D But Secret Service begs the question, "who's coming?"

Liz said...

I did like it better than the pilot, which is a good sign. Also the two leads are growing on me, particularly Pete and his enthusiastic enjoyment of the gadgets in the Warehouse. Not crazy about the Artie character yet, but we'll see.

I admit that I'd really like this show to work because I'm a fan of scifi/fantasy series, and there just aren't a lot out there. The list of upcoming guest stars is really appealing too. I think I'll put this on the regular DVR list, though for the time being it won't be the first thing I hurry up and watch when I get some free time.

R.A. Porter said...

Secret Service makes perfect sense, and most likely is intended as an homage to The Wild Wild West.

From the USSS website:
The mission of the United States Secret Service is to safeguard the nation's financial infrastructure and payment systems to preserve the integrity of the economy, and to protect national leaders, visiting heads of state and government, designated sites and National Special Security Events.

The dual mission of the Secret Service has far more agents involved in financial crime investigation than in protective services. It's a bit of a stretch to consider the artifacts the Warehouse 13 team seeks to be financial instruments but when you consider that the USSS was the first federal investigative branch and only slowly relinquished territory to the younger agencies, it makes sense that this most secret of things would not have been relinquished.

Eldritch said...

@Alan said,
The whole "she looks, he leaps" thing felt trite in the pilot, but at the same time, it's jarring to hear her already telling him to trust his instincts in the face of other evidence
.

Along those lines, I thought Myka's giving up her successful career at the end of the pilot to stay with Warehouse 13 just because Pete couldn't leave the warehouse seemed forced as well.

Myka barely knew Pete at that point. They had just met and worked on one case together. She still thought of him as a screw-up agent. I realize that as co-stars they're destined to fall into some kind of unconsummated love relationship soon, but she was portrayed as too ambitious to sacrifice her career for him having just met him.

TV Obsessed said...

The episode was an improvement on the pilot, but still could have been better.

http://th3tvobsesse​d.blogspot.com/2009/07/review-warehouse-13-s01e02-resonance.html

This is my review of the pilot

http://th3tvobsessed.blogspot.com/2009/07/review-warehoue-13-pilot.html

naddy said...

@karen:
As we learned in the pilot, Warehouse 13 was established in the late 19th century. There was no FBI back then and really no other federal agency at the time that would have been more appropriate.

I agree with R.A. Porter, the Secret Service makes perfect sense.

Anonymous said...

Wait, am I the only one who laughed when the record producer asked "Why do you want to know about the recordings?" and Pete said "There have been some bank robberies in Chicago, and we think Marsden's recordings may have been involved"...And the record producer didn't bat an eyelash!

Since the business was failing, the front offices were empty, and she already had a key, I didn't understand why Marsden's daughter didn't just steal all of her father's tapes directly and disappear into the night. Or just rob the record producer directly. Since no one liked him anyway, why pay him any money?

maura said...

I realize that as co-stars they're destined to fall into some kind of unconsummated love relationship soon, but she was portrayed as too ambitious to sacrifice her career for him having just met him.


I read somewhere (and now I can't remember where) that UST is not in the plan, for which I'm eternally grateful.

What a fun show. The pilot, though too long, was good enough that I was looking forward to the second episode, and I wasn't disappointed. I agree that Helfer was seriously underused, but it's still always good to see her.

I want one of those cameras. Who wouldn't want a camera that can turn people into a cardboard cut-out?

Ingrid said...

It still feels a bit derivative, and Tricia Helfer's character was underused, probably because she would absolutely upstage Myka (who's played by a mediocre actress, let's face it). Still, the show might grow on me.

Test said...

I am really enjoying this I have to say. Mostly I guess I love the Indiana Jones-esque ancient artifacts that have full current (or future based) usage but are all from the past. The phone sets are just the right amount of quirky (lumpy clam shell cases with black and white screens), the code breaker Artie used in this episode was cute, but the Kodak moment with the camera was quite unexpected and really cool - both visually and plot -wise. The table tennis game Pete plays against himself was an excellent touch as well. I hope they do a lot more with this aspect of the show, it definitely has a realm of all manner of original ideas open to it.

The thing that has thrown me the most is the male partner. Maybe its something to do with the style of the pilot and to a lesser degree this second episode reminding me for some reason of Bones - but I kept feeling Eddie McClintock had a serious similarity to both David Boreanaz and Bobby Cannavale at various times both in mannerisms and literally physically. Probably just me but I found it weird at times.

I like the humour and there has been a fair bit more this episode, so I dont mind the characters have jumped a little too far forward in the episode reorder. The line "What is it with men and their balls" was hilarious, Tricia Helfers best line was definitely about having "Pissed off agents who want to revoke your scissor privileges" and when Artie asks "You know who I represent" while waving around his ancient handgun and the reply is "Flash Gordon?" was only bettered by the Pete / Myka exchange after she runs down the bank robbers and advises one of them is definitely a woman, because she .. touched her... Pete's line "You touched her boobies?" and the smirk on his face had me in total hysterics.

I thought there was a really nice subtle moment too in the Artie tracking the musician and having to squint at the screen to give the percentage chance where he had done it all via the computer system versus where he did all the exact same aspects manually and then had to hunt for the piece of paper to give the percentage chance on the location of his hacker. It was subtly saying hey yeah there's all this amazing technology at my disposal but dont you dare underestimate me - I can do it all myself if I have to - because I AM that good.

CCH Pounder on my TV screen - YAY! 'Nuff said.

The only thing I found missing - that I just COULD NOT stop myself thinking the entire episode, was that at some stage when one of the agents got into a tight spot one of them would turn to the other and say - "So what should we do now?" and the other agent would reach into their bag / coat and pull out the rectangular clam shell and announce "Better call Saul"!