Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Warehouse 13 trapped on "The 40th Floor"

The 40th Floor [HD]     "The 40th Floor," the latest episode of SyFy's Warehouse 13, finds the agents tracking down, and trapping, Sally Stukowski (Ashley Williams, How I Met Your Mother, Saving Grace). Unfortunately, Sally's boss's plan is already in motion. Artie (Saul Rubinek) and Myka (Joanne Kelly) soon find themselves protecting some Warehouse regents in a building that is rapidly being destroyed around them. Pete (Eddie McClintock) and Claudia (Allison Scagliotti) try to assist by looking for the artifact that is causing the trouble. Mrs. Frederic (CCH Pounder) decides torturing Sally might be the best option, but Jink (Aaron Ashmore) disagrees most vehemently, even pulling a gun to stop her. Which distracts them enough for Sally to escape.

     Of course, Myka does manage to rescue the most important regent, Jane (Kate Mulgrew, NTSF:SD:SUV, Star Trek: Voyager). As Jane now holds the key to Warehouse 13's last line of defense, it is essential she survive, though just about every other, less important figure, dies in the process. Which is a lot more death than is typical for the series to tackle. Thankfully, the amazing Mulgrew is slated for three more episodes, so whatever plot is unfolding in "The 40th Floor" is far from over.

     Pete lends a hand in a big way by halting the damage the dangerous artifact is doing. This is yet another example of Pete and Myka's great teamwork paying off. While Warehouse 13 shies away from hooking up its leading couple, the chemistry between the two is fantastic. They have come to know each other so well that they are a perfect match, both on the job and off. It's a shame the show hesitates to take the bold step of putting them into couple status, even though it's not unexpected. Yet, it's hard to complain too much, when Warehouse 13 is willing to ditch the typical procedural set up for episodes like "The 40th Floor."

     The big twist, of course, is that Jane is actually Pete's mom. Which means she probably has something to do with why Pete is now working at the Warehouse, even though he doesn't seem to know that she has that position until this episode. This adds a deeper layer of plot for the show to explore, giving serious back story to a central character. Good job!

     It is a real shame that Warehouse 13 kills off Sally this week. Williams does a fantastic job playing the baddie, and she is most enjoyable in the scant episodes that she does. Even worse, Jink's actions lead to him getting fired. While this may make sense on a personal level, considering the moral code that is being broken, Ashmore is even more welcome than Williams, and it is a strong hope that he does not leave the series after this episode.

     For Mrs. Frederic to commit torture in the first place is surprising. She exudes threat, but has never been seen purposely hurting anyone up til now. It's a new low for her. Perhaps her actions can be forgiven, given her position and the situation, but that doesn't make them right. Will she be allowed screen time to recover from "The 40th Floor," or is it now only a matter of time before she is killed off? Hopefully it will be the former, as Pounder is exemplary, and there is so much more she can do for Warehouse 13.

     If anyone should leave, it's not Jinks, Mrs. Frederic, or Sally; it's Leena (Genelle Williams). It continues to baffle why such a small character, who rarely gets anything of substance to do, is still a main character. This is not a criticism on Williams, as there hasn't really been enough of her to judge. Rather, if the writers are not going to use her, set her free. She serves no purpose at present.

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Article first published as TV Review: Warehouse 13 - "The 40th Floor" on Blogcritics.

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