We lost a beloved member of the Warehouse 13 family last year — Leena died at the hands of a possessed Artie. Assuming Artie even survives, how is this going to affect him? And the team? Can Leena come back, like Steve Jinks did? We asked stars Eddie McClintock and Allison Scagliotti, plus showrunner Jack Kenny.
Plus Kenny told us how it would actually play out if Pete and Myka ever actually had sex.
We were lucky enough to have exclusive phone interviews with McClintock, Scagliotti and Kenny recently, and they filled us in on what to expect from the final 10 episodes of Warehouse 13 season four. We also got to see the next two episodes of the season — which are everything you'd hope for from this show. Including great guest stars, weird plot twists, and large doses of laugh-out-loud humor and intense emotion.
Here's what we learned from our conversations with Kenny, McClintock and Scagliotti:
This show is not getting any darker
The death of Leena definitely hangs over the team, but there's not going to be a lot of wallowing in darkness, says Kenny. "As dark as we ever go, we still find comedy. My mandate is, the darker we go the harder the joke can be. I think that's what most people do in dark situations." The death of Leena is dealt with heavily in the first couple of episodes back, and "by the fourth [episode], we introduce Kelly Hu," who will help our heroes deal with the fallout of Leena's death a bit more — and after that, any processing about her death will mostly happen off-camera.
"It's part of who we all are as actors," says Scagliotti, "and it's one of the main components of our show, [even] in our darkest storylines. There's no room not to laugh through the pain — it helps everybody think better when there's humor and that's where moments of relief come from."
Why can't Leena come back the way Steve did?
Considering this show just brought a major character back from the dead, you have to wonder if Leena's death will really stick. But no — the metronome was destroyed as part of freeing Steve from being tied to Claudia, Kenny points out. He adds, "From a writer's point of view, it was important to me that somebody die and stay dead, because if you could kill anybody and bring them back, there's no stakes. There's no danger any more. So it was very important to me that somebody important to everyone be lost."
And the fact that Steve came back meant that the show needed another death to show that death still has meaning in this world, says Scagliotti. "There was a necessity to make death real, because if nobody can die in this universe you've created for yourselves, therea re no stakes. There have to be some real risks when we go out there and put our lives on the line to snag these artifacts, and jump across rooftops that we could actually fall off."
Scagliotti adds, "Genelle [Williams] played such a great moment in episode nine, where Mrs. Frederic told her to leave, and she just couldn't. She stayed, because she cared about Artie so much."
Says Kenny, "Our theme for this whole has been some version of mortality. And it felt like our group had to deal with real loss, not just momentary loss, or loss that can be removed or fixed. And Leena was the most logical character, because just plotwise, it's easier to lose that character than Pete or Myka or Claudia."
The fourth season also concludes with a major stand-off between Claudia and the new Big Bad, whose identity Scagliotti says she can't reveal. "The whole team has to respect the fact that Claudia's going in on this one," says Scagliotti. At the same time, the season finale includes a "really important standoff for Claudia" where she talks to Steve Jinks before going off to confront the villain. "Seeing how Aaron [Ashmore] chose to play that, seeing the worry play across his face as he says goodbye to Claudia," was really powerful and showed how deep this relationship is for both of them at this point, says Scagliotti.
Major life challenges coming up
Pete's alcoholism will be coming back as a major issue in episode 17 of the season, "it's a big storyline point," says Kenny. We go back and see Pete's "last big drunk" and find out what happened, and "how he's been holding this information in for so long. It's a really beautiful moment for him and Myka."
It's a "complete freakout moment" for Pete, adds McClintock. "That's a great episode, with fun, good moments for me as an actor to play."
Meanwhile, there's "a big life challenge for Myka that Pete is a very big part of," says Kenny. Myka's challenge has to do with what the rest of their lives are going to be like, and how things will play out for them — this culminates in the end of season 4.5 with a big turning point for their relationship and also for the Warehouse. And this will play out in season five as well.
And we'll keep coming back to the idea that agents for the Warehouse wind up "evil, crazy or dead." Says Kenny, "I think we're always going to be talking about the way the Warehouse affects their lives here, or their future. Is this a future? Do they want to spend the rest of their lives here? What's it going to be like?... We'll always keep that ball in the air a little bit, because it's a weird place to work."
H.G. Wells will probably be back
Jaime Murray, who plays H.G. Wells, now has a major supporting role on Defiance — but she could still turn up on Warehouse 13 from time to time. "We're writing her into one of the episodes in season five already, so I hope she's available," says Kenny. "Especially since Defiance shoots in Toronto, there's always ways to figure out a way for cross-promotion."
Of course, don't expect an actual full-fledged crossover, with the Warehouse agents wandering through the town of Defiance, except maybe as a cameo in the background of a scene. For example, McClintock thinks it would be cool if the Warehouse characters "all just pass each other on the dilapidated St. Louis street. What if we used the time machine?" Or maybe Pete could be way older and have a bionic eye.
What about love interests?
Kenny says it turned out to be hard to give anybody on the show an ongoing love interest, because every episode happens in a new location and it's hard to find excuses to get Pete or Claudia into the small town of Univille to date someone. It's even hard to bring back family members, like Steve's mom or Artie's dad, unless there's some artifact-related reason for having them on the show. They really want to find a way to bring back Jeri Ryan as Pete's ex-wife.
But what about Pete and Myka getting together? One of the funniest lines in the new episodes refers back to the episode where they think they've slept together. But McClintock doesn't ever want to see them get together for real:
I hope not. I love the fact that Pete and Myka love each other, but are really just like brother and sister. Like, I could listen to her tell me things about her love life and not be jealous, and just actually want to help her. And I think she would do the same. As soon as we finish pulling each other's hair and poking each other's eyes, we can actually sit down and have a real conversation that doesn't have to be diluted by some kind of sexual tension.
Adds Kenny, "We're kind of beyond that with these two. They've been naked in bed together, and they've done some major kissing. I mean, Myka was possessed by Alice, but it was still going on. I think the sexual tension may be gone. But I do think the relationship has other places it can go. [For example,] what their futures look like. There's not to many other people who can share this life, so who do you share the life with as you go forward? These discussions have to happen, and the characters will be thinking about these kind of things. We laid in some major baby fever for Pete this year, in the last ten [episodes]. We laid in a couple notions of Pete thinking about raising a family, having kids."
"Where Myka gets pregnant because Pete wished he had a kid," says McClintock, "and he doesn't know who else to have a kid with but Myka. In the hockey episode." Those dynamics will keep playing out, and will progress further, in the rest of season four and into season five.
"My feeling is, if we ever were to have Pete and Myka go to bed together, you wouldn't even see it," adds Kenny. "They'd walk in the office, and they'd be doing something, and Claudia or Artie would just say, 'Oh my god, you slept together.' And that's the way I would want to do it. Just totally out of nowhere, and both of them go, 'No! How do you know?' I think that's the fun way to do it. 'Are you together?' 'No, we're not together. It was an accident, we tried it.' Maybe we'll do that. I don't know. We're always talking about stuff like that."
Season five, time for a major change?
When Eureka was on its fourth and fifth seasons, the show introduced an alternate universe, made major changes to its characters, and generally turned everything upside down. How much of that sort of thing can we expect from Warehouse 13 going into its fifth season? Is Syfy pushing for major changes?
So far, there are no plans to revamp the show's format radically, says Kenny. "The only thing [Syfy's] Mark [Stern] said to us is, 'Don't be afraid to do big episodes. Don't be afraid to do the musical. Don't be afraid to do big stuff." So the crew is coming up with some big, fun ideas for the new season. And they're also planning to show the team making "big life decisions." And we'll be broadening the scope of the characters' relationships.
In season five, we'll also see Claudia grappling with the idea of becoming a new Caretaker, like Mrs. Frederic. Scagliotti says Claudia is going to do a lot of grappling with her destiny and just what she wants for herself. There's also a fun thing where she celebrates her birthday and has a duet with a rock star, whose name she won't reveal just yet.
Scagliotti sums up the themes of the two halves of season four: "In the first 10 episodes we were talking a lot about risk and consequences. And now, as a result of the events that transpired then, these upcoming ten episodes are a lot about mortality and healing, how do you recover from Artie killing Leena, murdering one of our own? Truthfully not as himself, affected by an artifact — but there are still real-world implications. How do we come back from that? How does Artie heal from that?" It all plays into the theme of mortality, and the show's new guest stars, James Marsters and Polly Walker, will also have a supernatural secret that relates to that idea.