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Review #2987: Warehouse 13 3.8: “The 40th Floor”

Posted on the 30 August 2011 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Excuse me while I pick my chin up from the floor. I’m still reeling from the events of this latest episode of “Warehouse 13”. This one started with a bang, and just wouldn’t let up for the rest of the hour. Before the end, we had a few more deaths, a somewhat shocking and deeply unfortunate change of status, and a few stunning revelations. (And strong evidence that “Warehouse 13” can easily rival “Alphas” in the dark and serious category, when the circumstances demand it.)

Review #2987: Warehouse 13 3.8: “The 40th Floor”

This is the most we’ve seen of the Regents, and it was quite an eye-opener. We know that they’ve been around for a long time, that they’ve been tasked in some way to protect and preserve the Warehouses, but that’s about all I can recall learning about them. (Oh, and they can be downright draconian.) Apparently they take the protection of the Warehouses very seriously, because they effectively stake their lives on maintaining that protection.

That makes a lot of sense, yet it still begs so many other questions. First and foremost: how did the Regents originally come about, how are they chosen, and why are they so intent on ensuring that the Warehouses are protected and their contents contained? I suppose one can assume it is for the “greater good”, especially in light of what Marcus and his minions have been doing, but a much bigger story is suggested.

Let’s face it: underneath it all, things never look good for the long-term prospects of Warehouse agents. They tend to die young or go a bit insane. Others go down the Mrs. Frederic path, and seem to lose some of their humanity in the process. Still others become Regents, it seems. Jane suggests that those who serve the Warehouse system are destined to do so, but what determines that? It doesn’t seem like a very positive notion, when all is said and done.

This inevitably ties into that final revelation: Jane is Pete’s mother. That opens the door to a number of possible revelations in the near term. Looking back on the choices and edicts of the Regents, it’s rather disturbing to think that a mother would allow that to happen to her son. This connection implies that Pete’s maternal bloodline has been associated with the Warehouse for generations, and since names would have changed for sure in earlier times, there may be past connections that have been shown but haven’t been apparent.

I have no idea what to make of Marcus. The fact that he’s in shadow, and in a wheelchair, makes me wonder if there is someone from a past season looking to make a reappearance. I have no idea what character would make a prime candidate. Perhaps another relative of a team member? Whatever the case, Marcus is brutal, and he has a serious desire to take down the Regents and gain control of the artifacts. Could Marcus be the current incarnation of an ancient threat, the same one that led to the creation of the Regents in the first place?

The only real disappointment in this episode was Steve’s departure from the team. I’m not sure the writers gave us enough time with him as a team member to make this as shocking a turn as it was meant to be. I’m less shocked than disappointed. I really liked Steve and Claudia as a team, and I would think that Steve’s background would give him more perspective on the situation.

It also opens the door for something all too predictable. Steve is clearly going to be recruited by Marcus, who will use this situation to claim that he is fighting the Regents because of their inhuman methods and choices. Said the right way, by the right person, it would be true enough for Steve to “confirm” it, thus shortcutting the persuasion process. Thus Steve becomes an ally-turned-enemy, which also puts him in the perfect position to aid our heroes in the final showdown, when the full measure of truth is revealed.

On the other hand, it does speak to some forethought towards the season arc, which is more than I felt they did in the second season. It all comes down to taking all of these various hints and suggestions and playing them out in unusual enough ways. My ultimate hope, however, is that Steve will survive the process and return to the team for the fourth season. He’s just too good (and logical) an addition to lose.

Writing: 2/2
Acting: 2/2
Direction: 2/2
Style: 3/4

Final Rating: 9/10

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