Episode Title: "Love Sick"
Writer: Andrew Kreisberg
Director: Tawnia McKiernan
Dr. Vanessa Calder (Lindsay Wagner) comes across a disturbing trend of young women whose bodies slowly turn into clay, killing them in the process. Realizing that an artifact must be involved, she calls Artie Nielsen (Saul Rubinek) in as a consultant. Artie tries to sneak out of the Warehouse unnoticed, but the team catches him in the act and they tease him for his obvious crush on Vanessa. Claudia Donovan (Allison Scagliotti) insists that she accompany him, since Artie is well known to have difficulty dealing with hospitals and blood. As they leave, Pete Lattimer (Eddie McClintock), Myka Bering (Joanne Kelly) and the new guy, Steve Jinks (Aaron Ashmore) engage in some ill-advised target practice within the Warehouse.
Hours later, Pete and Myka wake up in bed with each other, both completely naked. Myka suddenly has blond hair and Pete finds Artie's toothbrush under his pillow as they wonder what the hell happened. They try to call Steve but get no response. Meanwhile, Artie and Claudia arrive at the hospital and he finds himself having trouble talking with Vanessa on a personal level. But she puts him at ease and suggests that they go out for dinner after the crisis. While examining the DNA of the victims, Artie spots a computer virus which could only have infected a human through an artifact.
To deal with the virus, Artie calls in his old colleague, Hugo Miller (Rene Auberjonois) from Eureka. But to Artie's dismay, Hugo and Vanessa were apparently once an item and Hugo seems ready to pick up where he left off. Somewhere across town, a young man named Tyler Stuehl is revealed to be behind the enhanced virus as he accidentally infects a young woman while spying on her through her computer. Shortly thereafter, she is brought into the hospital as the latest victim. Back at the Warehouse, Pete and Myka recall Steve coming out to them before they handled W.C. Fields' juggling balls; which induced a drunken state of mind in Pete and Myka followed by a blackout.
Myka's hair is also revealed to have been changed by Marilyn Monroe's hairbrush. She and Pete soon conspired to trick Steve into the Bronser and they froze him there. But without Artie's DNA, they couldn't free him. Back on the case, Artie and Claudia soon find the link between Tyler and the victims: a Best Buy-like computer store. The manager catches Tyler spying on a customer via her web cam and he fires him on the spot. When Artie, Vanessa, Claudia and Hugo arrive to question Tyler, he hacks into the store to taunt the manager and the employees; which unwittingly infects everyone with the virus except Artie, Vanessa and Claudia, who happened to be outside.
Vanessa orders the CDC to seal the store, but even she is soon infected when the manager tries to break out of the store. Meanwhile, Claudia purses Tyler and nearly falls to her death until he goes back and saves her. Back at the store, Hugo works on an anti-virus for the artifact while begging Artie to tell Vanessa how he feels about her if he dies. Claudia returns with the artifact and Tyler, just in time for Artie to cure everyone. In the aftermath, everyone who was still in the store is cured, as is the girl who most recently came into the hospital.
Back at the Warehouse, Myka and Pete theorize that they got naked together because they knew it would never happen and it would force them to retrace their steps after the blackout. They free Steve from the bronze and act like nothing happened, much to his confusion. Outside the computer store, Hugo confesses his feelings to Vanessa as Artie starts to slink away. But Vanessa goes after Artie and tells him that Hugo doesn't care for her the way that Artie does and she reiterates her desire to go to dinner with him. Meanwhile, Tyler is led into custody by Marcus Diamond (Sasha Roiz) and Sally Stukowski (Ashley Williams), who invite Tyler to meet their mysterious boss to escape his inevitable jail time.
Ah… so that's what the season long story is building towards. Someone is putting together an anti-Warehouse team, with their own counterparts of Pete, Myka and now Claudia. That's an idea that has potential, even if I can't stand Sally or the screechy actress who portrays her.
This episode is a strong argument against the current state of the show. The premise for this series is way too big for five or six characters alone. "Warehouse 13" would be better served if the Warehouse itself had an actual support staff and a deeper roster of characters. Rene Auberjonois and Lindsay Wagner both gave some really fun performances as Hugo and Vanessa, respectively. Imagine what the series would be like if they could appear on a regular basis.
Saul Rubinek and Wagner had a breezy chemistry together that helped sell the idea of a possible romance for Artie and Vanessa. On a side note, Wagner made a comic book reference that came off really flat… and it wasn't even about Wonder Woman!
Weirdly, the episode tries to make Tyler look like he's not such a bad guy when he comes back to save Claudia and he turns himself in. He may not have known that he was killing those women, but he was responsible for their deaths and that seemed like it was glossed over.
Pete and Myka were relegated to the B-plot this week, and it started off in a promising way. Watching the drunken duo abuse artifacts like the Marilyn Monroe hairbrush and Walt Disney's paint brush was entertaining and even reminiscent of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?". But their gag on Steve was surprisingly mean spirited for those two. Regarding the pose Pete took with Steve: what, does this guy think he's The Situation? And can Eddie McClintock make it through an episode without taking off his shirt?
Steve's coming out to Myka and Pete also seemed to have been handled in a way that was almost too low key. There's something to be said for avoiding the cliched reactions, but both that moment and the reveal to Claudia could have been handled a lot more effectively. We've been told twice that Steve is gay, but nothing in his behavior so far has backed up what he's saying. The series isn't bothering to show us who Steve is aside from his occasional exposition; which seems like a waste of the actor and the character.
Also, would a human being really react to Steve's revelation the way that Pete did?! And that was before he was artificially drunk! But that's not the most unbelievable thing about this episode. That honor belongs to the rationale of Pete and Myka getting naked together before the blackout because they knew they would never sleep together. WTF?! That would never happen?! Agent, please! Try the fourth or fifth season of "Warehouse 13."
Hell, it may even happen this year.
Crave Online Rating: 8 out of 10.