Episode Title: "A New Hope"
Writer: Jack Kenny
Director: Chris Fisher
Previously on "Warehouse 13':
In the aftermath of Warehouse 13's destruction, a devastated Pete Lattimer (Eddie McClintock) and Myka Bering (Joanne Kelly) fondly recall previous cases together before desperately turning to their boss, Artie Nielsen (Saul Rubinek) in the hope that the watch artifact in his hand can restore the warehouse and resurrect Steve Jinks (Aaron Ashmore) and H.G. Wells (Jaime Murray). Frustrated, Artie tells them that the watch is not a "rebuilder" and he's not even sure what it's meant for other than a failsafe device. Artie seems particularly distressed about one of the destroyed artifacts and he races over to the Bed and Breakfast to confirm his suspicions.
When the trio arrive, they find Claudia Donovan (Allison Scagliotti) and Leena (Genelle Williams) grieving over the demise of Mrs. Frederic (CCH Pounder), who died when the warehouse was destroyed. First things first, Artie checks the TV news and he sees that a wave of despair has been unleashed upon the world; which he links to the destruction of Pandora's Box in the warehouse and the release of hope. Artie then notices that his watch has begun counting down from 24 hours. Heading back to the warehouse remains, Pete makes a diving catch of a football artifact that contains information about almost all known artifacts.
Using clues found within the watch, the team decides to investigate a lead in France, where the secretive Brotherhood of the Knights of the Black Diamond are located. They believe that the watch is giving the team a full day to undo the effects of Walter Sykes' (Anthony Michael Hall) artifact bomb provided they can find the artifact to travel back in time and a way to defuse the bomb. Claudia almost abandons the mission for her own quest to save Steve, but Artie convinces her to stay. In France, Artie notes that Claudia, Pete and Myka are unusually affected by the weather as they experience it without hope. Meanwhile, panicked riots breakout across the globe.
The team locates the monastery of the Black Diamond Knights and sneaks in. Pete and Myka create a distraction while Artie and Claudia search the basement for an artifact. Claudia eventually crawls into a small tunnel and emerges with Ferdinand Magellan's astrolabe… which is missing a critical piece. When Claudia reenters the tunnel to search for the missing piece, Brother Adrian (Brent Spiner) appears and traps Claudia inside before Myka uses the Tesla gun to stun him. Claudia reveals that the missing piece isn't in the chamber with her, but she urges the team to leave her and save the world while they still can.
The next clue leads Pete, Myka and Artie to Rome as they attempt to find a way into the Vatican and reclaim the missing piece of the astrolabe. In the midst of a riot, Myka breaks a restaurant's window to draw out the owners and get Pete and Myka inside to the hidden tunnels leading to to the Vatican itself. However, Myka is arrested in the process. With only minutes left before the 24 hours expire, Leena tells Artie through his Farnsworth that an object of great peace may counteract Sykes' bomb… and she suggests using a dhoti which once belonged to Mahatma Gandhi. Pete and Artie soon find the missing piece of the astrolabe, but they are confronted by Brother Adrian and two other men from his order.
Both Pete and Brother Adrian are fatally wounded in the scuffle, leaving Artie tearfully alone with seconds left to go back and fix things. But before he dies, Brother Adrian warns Artie that using the astrolabe will unleash an evil that will haunt him to the end of his days. He also warns Artie that anyone he tells about using the astrolabe will also be in grave danger. Regardless, Artie uses the artifact and he finds himself back in the warehouse during the previous day. Artie frees Myka and H.G. and he then puzzles them by his insistence that they locate Gandhi's dhoti. When the dhoti has no effect on Sykes' artifact bomb, they race to find Pete before he kills Sykes.
Just as Pete is about to shut down the portal and allow Sykes to die, Artie tells him to bring Sykes back to the warehouse. Pete complies and the dhoti is placed upon Sykes, diminishing his hate and disabling the artifact bomb. Sykes briefly regresses to a child and apologizes to them before he dies. Sometime later, Artie vehemently argues that H.G. has reformed and deserves to go free. Mrs. Frederic and Kosan eventually agree to trust Artie on this, but Mrs. Frederic is clearly suspicious of Artie's actions and accuses him of hiding something from them before she disappears.
Alone with his anguish, Artie has a nightmare in which Claudia chases him down an alley and kills him with a knife while Brother Adrian's words about "an evil of your own making" ring in Artie's ears. When Artie wakes up, Leena calls him and says that Claudia ran away sometime during the night.
In fiction, there's nothing worse than using a magical reset button to solve all of your insurmountable story problems. But if anyone was surprised that "Warehouse 13" restored the warehouse and resurrected H.G. and Mrs. Frederic then perhaps you haven't been watching this show very closely. Nobody is ready to see Warehouse 14 open up in China, although that would be a pretty ballsy change of direction.
The most intriguing thing about the reset is that it may have cost Artie his surrogate daughter, Claudia; if she is indeed the embodiment of "an evil of his own making" as his nightmare suggests. Artie clearly cares for his agents and he was devastated by Pete's death. However, who does Artie love more than Claudia? And maybe that's the point of putting the evil in Claudia. Perhaps the artifact picked her because it would have the greatest sting for Artie. It's not like Artie had much of a choice. What was he supposed to do, let the world go to hell and leave his friends dead or trapped?
There is an alternate way to look at the prophecy in this episode. Artie is so concerned about an external source of evil that he may not be cognizant of the evil within himself. Maybe Artie is the real Big Bad for season four and he just doesn't realize it yet. That could potentially explain why Claudia is attacking him with a knife… although it doesn't cover the murderous glint in her eyes. Claudia is easily my favorite character on the show and her dynamic with Artie is very endearing. If we lost that for good, "Warehouse 13" would be a much weaker show. But I'm willing to along with Claudia or Artie as the next threat to the warehouse… for now.
If Claudia is really that obsessed with bringing Steve back to life, it suggests that she has an even greater affection towards him than she lets on. Given Steve's open homosexuality, I don't think that Claudia holds any romantic feelings towards him. But Claudia clearly loves Steve if she's willing to turn her back on the warehouse team in a bid to bring him back to life. I don't know if Aaron Ashmore is coming back this season, but something tells me that Steve wouldn't be thrilled if he was given some kind of unnatural resurrection by an artifact. Call it a vibe.
I generally like Pete and Myka, but neither of them were particularly well utilized in this episode. Pete's death scene was affecting, but his cartoonish antics definitely undercut the more serious tone of the episode. Granted, Pete's beaver line was funny. But when Pete "Tebowed" after catching the football, it was definitely too much.
On the other hand, it was good to see that H.G. Wells is alive again and perhaps available to recur this season. Mrs. Frederic's return was expected and she seems to be aware that something happened to her even if she can't remember it. Mrs. Frederic's open suspicion of Artie was a nice touch, but I get the impression that he would have cracked under her pressure if she had just glared at him for a few seconds longer.
Overall, this was a pretty decent start to the season. "Warehouse 13" may not have quite lived up to the promise of last season's finale, but it could still be heading towards interesting territory.