Warehouse 13 proves that its most powerful artifacts are its characters

Last night saw an Earth-shattering conclusion to Warehouse 13's second season. Inescapable deathtraps, supervillainous masterplans, and tests of both wits and heart. It doesn't much better than this! Spoilers below.

"Reset" was a pretty crackerjack season finale, in which the H.G. Wells arc came to a thunderous — and only slightly out-of-nowhere — end. The idea that H.G. had gone bonkers and wanted to wipe out the human race (or nearly wipe us out, I guess) was a teensy bit random, but did fit in with the groundwork that the writers had been doing all season — she was driven mad by grief over the death of her daughter, and all of the other senseless abuses of technology that she'd seen, and so she wanted to create a new Ice Age to get rid of most of these human pests. Her big speech explaining this gets a bit boilerplate-y and speech-y though: "The divide between rich and poor! Hunger and famine! War and violence and hatred all flourishing beyond control! Indeed, men have found new ways to kill each other that were inconceivable in my day, even by fiction writers!" In any case, it was a nice fake-out — leading us to believe she wanted to resurrect her dead daughter, but then revealing that she actually just wanted to commit super-mass murder.

And you know, after all the artifacts that just give people superpowers or make them act weird, having an artifact that can all but wipe out humanity is a nice escalation. (And I loved Claudia asking if H.G. was just on a roadtrip to find America.)

So Artie tries to shoot H.G. to keep her from unleashing the super-volcano, but she's wearing the Corsican Brothers' vest, which makes him get hurt instead of her. (She found it in Fort Lauderdale. I loved Artie muttering, "Of course." Cute.) And it's up to Myka to use bond with H.G. to convince her that she doesn't really want to destroy everyone, she's just lashing out — and yay for Myka saving the day! I've never liked Myka better than when she counted up all the evidence that H.G. had let Pete, Artie and her live on purpose, so they could stop her. And then she totally brings a fire and conviction we didn't even know she had, by channeling Sylvester McCoy with the "look me in the eyes, pull the trigger and take my life" bit:

I was also stoked, meanwhile, that Claudia gets to save Pete from the axe-murdering Kelly, in style.

This episode also proved, once and for all, that the show's great strength is in the relationships between its main characters — and not so much in their relationships with other people.

The greatest, most memorable scenes in the episode were the conversations between Artie and Claudia, and between Pete and Myka. That's when the episode felt most alive, and most like something that you could really invest in, as a viewer.

Let's take Artie and Claudia first — they have the now-traditional banter with Artie handling his ancient spear and brainstorming, and Claudia cracking wise about it. But then Claudia opens up about what happened in last week's episode, when it looked like she was going to have to become the new Mrs. Frederic, and it's a really sweet scene, in which Artie reassures her "with all my heart" that he'll make sure that she gets to choose her own destiny. It works because the relationship between Claudia and Artie has been built up over the past year and a half, and we know they care about each other. And then there's the scene later on, where Claudia gets choked up over the fact that Artie almost died, and he promises he'll be there to make her life hell for a long time to come, and no, she can't hug him. It's great stuff.

Warehouse 13 proves that its most powerful artifacts are its characters

Also great are the scenes between Pete and Myka. First, Myka realizes that Pete was having "vibes" about H.G. Wells, and didn't say anything because he trusts Myka's instincts and didn't want to second-guess her. That was really great, and so was the scene towards the end where Myka talks Pete into staying in his job, because he's good at it and this is the right life for him — when she's already planning on leaving herself. "You need this warehouse and Warehouse 13 needs you. You can't quit." You can feel their bond. I'd have to say those two relationships, in particular, are the things that elevate this show above your standard "cute quest show with nerd in-jokes thrown in."

On the other hand, I was really trying super hard to be convinced by the Pete-Kelly thing this time around — and I did like a lot about how it was written this time around. Like Pete making his mind up that Kelly is the one and telling her he loves her, and admitting to Myka that he's really a total girl when it comes to his girlfriend and her cute puppies. And the idea that Kelly wanting to hack Pete into little teeny pieces proves that she loves him back is ultra-cute as well. I definitely loved that stuff. On the other hand, I still couldn't quite get invested in this romance, and I think it's partly that Kelly never seemed to have much of a personality. At the end, when she says, "Your life is filled with excitement and danger and insanity — all the things that I just don't want," I realized that I had no clue what Kelly did want, other than a good breakfast and a fun romp in bed with Pete. Plus, I can't root for Pete to be in a relationship with someone who's anti-excitement. I think he should be dating someone who is pro-excitement.

Warehouse 13 proves that its most powerful artifacts are its characters

The episode ends on a bit of a cliffhanger — but it's nowhere near as splodey as last year's. It's much more small and personal, with Myka deciding that her misjudgments about H.G. Wells disqualify her from being a warehouse agent — even though everybody else has made way bigger mistakes a hundred times over, and Captain Robau was the one who reinstated H.G. as an agent, not Myka — and she decides to leave the warehouse. Here's hoping the forthcoming holiday special, airing in December, gives us a nice exploration of just why Pete and Myka should be working together at the warehouse, and reminds us why these people are so good together. It'll be a long wait, but at least it's not a whole nine months!