This article may contain spoilers.
Looking like a bad day on a Hollywood back-lot, this episode had faux Marines, cowboys, a gladiator and a tiger and even a mad scientist. With a long lost movie projector finally paired with its mate -- a 3-D transmutation camera -- the deadly Farnsworth combo created a lethal device that could bring movie images to life.
It was only natural that a disgruntled postal worker would opt to unleash its deadly energy by sitting back and playing movies, rather than going on a deadly rampage. But the illusory war of the fired postal employee versus the faux IRS agents seemed a bit too cliche.
It was intriguing to find out that Farnsworth created more artifacts than just the benign communication devices. To learn that there was an entire aisle of Farnsworth artifacts tickled the brain. What is it about one man that he can create multiple objects that are infused with magical, supernatural abilities? Just exactly who was Farnsworth anyway?
While not fully explored, it was nice watching Claudia (Allison Scagliotti) bond with Todd (Nolan Gerard Funk), the hardware guy. It is about time that Claudia has someone her own age to talk to and relate to as a person, not just the geeky kid who can swim circles around everyone. The scenes between Claudia and Todd were quite fun and their awkward banter was delightful. Here is to hoping we have not seen the last of Todd -- despite his criminal tendencies in stealing cable signals.
Also not delved into as deeply as it could have been were the scenes with Mrs. Frederic (CCH Pounder) and Benedict Valda (Mark Sheppard). Mark Sheppard is always a refreshing addition and he certainly deserves a more meaty role in which to stretch his superb acting range. Valda should be the perfect opportunity. Thus, even the brief moments of barbed exchanges with Mrs. Frederic felt pregnant with potential. Such as when Mrs. Frederic said, "You're looking for trouble!" and Valda coyly replied, "I'm looking for clarity." Clarity seemed to be the last thing on his mind as he tried to peer into the deep recesses of Leena's (Genelle Williams) mind to see what information MacPherson (Roger Rees) may have left behind. Plus, perhaps Valda suspects that somehow MacPherson found a way to cheat death and imbed himself into Leena's mind, like a psychic cyrogentic chamber for one's consciousness.
What Didn't Work
While fun traipsing around in search of the artifact of the week raining down chaos in town, it would have been cooler if this episode had focused on the B-story about Leena being haunted by the ghost of Macpherson whose personality imprint was pin-balling around her brain. The "ghost in the machine" storyline was much more intriguing and perhaps will still end up being the more crucial storyline. For as even Artie noted originally, the artifact in town was perhaps just a distraction -- except they assumed the distraction was for something that had already occurred: Macpherson's illicit activities at the Warehouse. But what if it was actually something much more nefarious, such as H.G. Wells (Jaime Murray) using Macpherson's machinations for her own end? Now that is a storyline worth exploring!
Plus, it felt like another kitchen-sink feeling episode with simply too much going on to focus properly. It felt like our investigative quadrangle was running around like chickens with their heads cut-off and not seeing what was really right in front of them. By now they surely would have a more calm and methodical approach of locating and quarantining artifacts. Instead, it felt too much like a Three Stooges skit.
This episode illustrated the need to have a better strategy to pin-pointing and neutralizing artifacts, as well as establishing a more persuasive cover in order to allow the entire team to be a lean, mean fighting machine. Their reactionary tactics make them seem disjointed, unprepared and ill-equipped to be the superheroes that the world needs them to be in order to keep everyone safe and secure.
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
"Beyond Our Control" was written by David Simpkins and directed by Constantine Makris. "Warehouse 13" stars Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelly, Saul Rubinek, Genelle Williams and Allison Scagliotti.
"Warehouse 13" airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Syfy.
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