Episode Title: "Queen for a Day"
Writer: Holly Harold
Director: Jeremiah Chechik
In the Warehouse, Artie Nielsen (Saul Rubinek) pursues a beetle artifact that continuously eludes him. In another room, Pete Lattimer (Eddie McClintock) calls Steve Jinks (Aaron Ashmore) and Claudia Donovan (Allison Scagliotti) during their assignment at a Civil War reenactment to find out where Artie hides his marshmallows… but Artie catches him the act. Pete then gets a call from Leena (Genelle Williams) that he has a visitor: his ex-wife, Major Amanda Lattimer (Jeri Ryan). Pete is initially very happy to see Amanda, especially when she gives him back a rare comic from his collection.
However, Pete is soon disappointed to learn that she's getting remarried the next day and she is only there to get her grandfather's ring back from him, While he's out of the room, Amanda picks up an artifact newly retrieved from Warehouse 2 — and thoughtlessly left out in the open by Myka Bering (Joanne Kelly) — which Amanda somehow activates. A small bee emerges from the artifact and hides in her handbag. When Pete gets back with the ring, he apologizes for ruining their marriage and wishes her the best for her wedding, even though he isn't invited. Back at the Warehouse, Pete insists that he doesn't want to talk to Myka about his failed marriage… and then he talks about it.
Soon enough, Leena and Myka realize that the artifact was triggered and that the bug was accidentally smuggled out by Amanda. In New York at a rented castle, Amanda greets her husband-to-be, Michael (Anthony Lemke). But when she goes to give him the wedding ring, the bee stings her. Now whenever she touches anyone in her wedding party, they become slavishly devoted to her. Pete and Myka show up soon after and successfully get Amanda to hear them out. But an offhand request from Amanda leads her new slaves to kidnap her soon-to-be in-laws to keep them out of her way.
Pete and Myka retrieve the bee from Amanda's bag, but her slaves get even more violent. Pete is forced to explain the nature of the artifacts to Amanda as Myka learns from Artie that the artifact in question belonged to a female pharaoh named Hatshepsut. To end the spell, they need to find the stinger in Amanda's body. But first, her slaves attempt to sacrifice Michael. Amanda helps Pete and Myka beat up her bridesmaids and groomsmen before Myka uses the bee to retrieve the stinger from Amanda. The wedding finally goes through as planned, with the wedding party noticeably bruised and bloodied from their ordeal.
At the Civil War reenactment, Claudia and Steve retrieve the artifact from a semi-crazed "union soldier." When Claudia saves his life, Steve realizes that she reminds him of his sister, Olivia; who was killed by a stray bullet when she was Claudia's age. They start to bond as Steve opens up about his history. Later, Pete and Myka offer their apologies and best wishes to Amanda and Michael. When they leave, Pete admits that he has a hard time dealing with the fact that he screwed up his relationship with Amanda when he was an alcoholic, but Myka reassures him and even calls Michael a tool to help cheer him up.
Before we start the review for this week, has anyone else noticed that the opening credits for this season are only about 15 seconds long? I'm sure the producers would like to have another 30 seconds of story rather than credits. But it feels like a cheap excuse for Syfy to essentially say "Aha! Now we can stick in an extra commercial!"
Anyway, this was a relatively solid episode of "Warehouse 13." But I've noticed that the characters on this series have an annoying tendency to be completely on the nose about their feelings. It's such a simplified writing style that it's almost hilarious when Pete tells Myka he doesn't want to talk about his ex-wife… and then he immediately talks about her! Steve is the same way. In fact, I'd say that Steve is actually a victim of this narrative trick. Everything we've learned about Steve has come from him deliberately spelling out every detail in dialog rather than action.
That's just not an efficient way to build up his character. Steve desperately needs some kind of defining moments to make him more than just a glorified guest star. Otherwise we shouldn't be so shocked if he gets killed off at some point this season. Incidentally, since we saw a picture of Steve's sister as played by an actress, that means we'll probably meet her in the flesh at some point this year. As I said, the show doesn't exactly hide what it's going to do.
Myka also had her biggest f*** up to date when she just left out the artifact unguarded and unbagged. For a character who is generally one of the smartest agents on the show, it was like she checked her brain at the door of the Bed & Breakfast. Was that extra bagel really worth it, Myka?
Jeri Ryan was fun as Pete's ex-wife and she actually seemed like a good match for him. The wedding slaves also led to a couple of entertaining moments, especially when they went berserk near the end of the episode. What really made that work was the smiling and bruised bridesmaids at the ceremony afterwards. The reaction of Amanda's in-laws after their ordeal was also amusing.
In last week's episode, Pete and Myka made a big deal out of saying that they would never sleep together. But their moments together in this episode actually make that pairing seem inevitable. Pete doesn't really have any secrets from Myka and she's seen him for all of his faults and his sometimes Looney Toons personality… and she still likes him. Myka still cares for Pete and on TV, that kind of relationship only goes in one direction. There aren't a lot of true platonic partnerships between men and women on television any more, so enjoy it while you can.
It won't last forever.
Crave Online Rating: 7 out of 10.