Last night's episode of Warehouse 13 was all about growing up and stuff — it's Claudia's 21st birthday, and meanwhile Steve Jinks confronts his ex-boyfriend and outgrows some of his old hangups. And yet, this episode actually felt weirdly regressive.
As in, none of these characters seemed to be showing the growth we'd already seen from them in the past few years. Particularly the featured duo, Claudia and Steve. Spoilers ahead...
For some reason, this was the first episode of Warehouse 13 that hasn't worked for me lately — partly, I think it's because we've been waiting so long to meet a love interest of Steve's, either past or present, and the relationship with Liam felt like a bit of a letdown. Liam was sweet, and I hope we see more of him — but the reason why it didn't work out seemed kind of poorly thought out. Steve ran out on Liam because he could tell Liam was lying about stuff? That would seem weird, except we know that Steve's had the "human lie-detector" ability his whole life, and he's had plenty of time to calibrate it. People presumably lie to Steve constantly. I couldn't quite buy into the notion that he would dump the guy who he "thought was 'the one'" just because he could detect some lies coming out of him. That seems... weird.
More than that, it feels like all of a sudden Steve's personality is defined just by his metahuman ability, instead of by all the other quirks and hangups we've discovered about him over the years.
Meanwhile, the Artie-Claudia dynamic also feels like it's been reset to the state of a few years ago, although maybe that's supposed to show that we're finally past the "Claudia stabbed Artie" thing — the point where Claudia can make a weird joke about it. And then, the Claudia-Steve dynamic is suddenly back in the "OMG you're my gay best friend" territory that we seemed to have left behind ages ago.
I did like Liam being willing to sacrifice his life for Steve, and Pete and Myka saving the day from the lava disaster with some completely ridiculous car acrobatics. And Claudia gets to duet with Cherie Currie from the Runaways at the end, which is also super cute. Also, Pete deciding that Liam is "gay me" and this proves that Pete is Steve's type is kind of awesome and disturbing. Also, the running "Artie is hiring a clown" gag is pretty cute, I guess.
The actual storylines this time around are absolutely "artifact of the week," meanwhile. There's an amphora that creates lava, which an escaped convict is using to attack his former gang, so his estranged son won't join. And Artie is planning a 1960s party for Claudia, but somehow he gets zapped by Beethoven's clock to be deafened by Classicial music — the lesson being, don't fuck around with artifacts, even when it's somebody's birthday.
I guess this was a pretty okay episode, but the characters felt sort of off for some reason. And Steve's doomed relationship felt doomed for the wrong reasons. Not this show's best or most memorable episode, basically.