Reviewed: by Tyler Olson
***The review below contains minor spoilers.***
This week, Warehouse 13 takes us back to a time when crime had style, it was normal to be sexist, everyone was suspicious of others, and everyone wanted to be classy; it was exactly what this series needed.
Pete and Myka's odd case was the first story in a very long time that actually felt fresh and new, even if it looked old and used, and it wasn't even a real case. I actually like that this didn't start because of a "ping", but due to a major artifact malfunction in the warehouse. Honestly, I think the ping cases should be the ones that happen rarely, and let the artifacts that they already have give the bulk of the excitement. Come on, they have a giant building full of these things, which can provide an almost endless amount of stories and adventures.
So this week Pete and Myka got sucked into an unfinished Anthony Bishop 1940s crime novel. But instead of just all the great characters, they went one step further by making it all in black and white. This could have been the best choice they made as it did wonders for episode's tone. The images that they sent out beforehand were all in colour, so we can really see the difference the black and white makes.
Above all else, the great story and characters were the reason this case will be memorable, and is something that most modern stories (in all forms) have been lacking lately. It isn't because the characters or that the events are so believable, it is because they aren't. All of these realistic characters have actually ruined fiction, where the characters are supposed to be larger than life with amazingly over-inflated personalities.
Even Pete and Myka put much of their standard characters behind them as they embraced their new roles. Sure, Pete still cracked the jokes and Myka was still a bad-ass, but with so much more class. I especially loved how Pete was narrating and Myka was living her childhood crime-fighting fantasies. The only thing that was out-of-place, other than the giant portal to leave the story, was the happy ending, but it worked. We've had so many sad stories lately that this series needed a light-hearted conclusion.
Too bad the second story didn't end so well. Unlike Pete and Myka's shades of grey, most of Claudia, Steve and Artie's adventures was very light-hearted, and very much the type of story we have come to expect from the series, only with Artie being more chaotic. His Tesla demonstration at the car shop was great, as was his fun when playing chicken, but obviously it was too much for Claudia and Steve, who probably regret taking him along for the ride. It shocked Steve so much that he actually ratted Artie out.
Honestly, this was the only scene in the entire episode that I didn't like. I didn't think I would be saying this, but I think it would have been better if they replaced Artie's character... at least until they can put his past nightmare in the forgotten past, where it belongs. Perhaps H.G. Wells can return to fill in the gap for a while.
Even with the recurring Artie hick-ups, the Big Snag was an amazing episode, and definitely the best one we have had this entire extended season.