Entertainment Magazine

Review #3046: Warehouse 13 3.12: “Stand”

Posted on the 04 October 2011 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

(This review covers the second half of the third season finale as originally aired. A previous review covered the first half of the finale.)

Much like the penultimate episode of the season, the third season finale gets off to a rousing start as the final showdown with Sykes arrives. It starts off with everyone in a bad position, and effectively gets worse from there.

Review #3046: Warehouse 13 3.12: “Stand”

The first act is all about the setup. Pete and Myka track down Sykes to one of the oldest facilities in the Warehouse system, and quickly find themselves at Sykes’ mercy. In one of the more unusually tense moments in the series, Myka becomes a pawn in a chess game that must be beaten in a particular manner. While the audience has every reason to think that the situation will resolve itself without Myka’s head being split open, the death of Steve Jinks is still very much in the audience’s mind.

Meanwhile, Marcus leads a one-man assault on Lena’s B&B. In contrast to Myka’s situation, there was never a certainty that Lena would come out of the situation alive. I expected her to be killed in short order, given Marcus’ lack of concern over bloodshed, and her relative lack of participation in the past two seasons of the show. So it was a bit surprising when she wasn’t killed, and this plot point was revealed to be more about Marcus’ role in forcing the barrier to be erected around Warehouse 13.

This, of course, led to the confrontation with Sykes, which was a bit of a disappointment at first. He seemed to be beaten all too easily and completely. In fact, I felt that Marcus’ defeat was far more interesting, because Claudia was awfully taken with the bloodlust. (For that matter, her decision to defy Mrs. Frederic and keep the metronome was a nice culmination of her frustration all season regarding the ridiculous rules of the Warehouse.) Something tells me that Claudia is going to have one hell of an arc next season.

Sykes’ true goal, however, was a wonder to behold. I really didn’t think that they would actually let the “artifact nuke” explode. My assumption was that H.G. Wells would know a way to defuse the bomb based on her previous experience from Warehouse 12, given the flashbacks earlier in the episode. Instead, she simply knew a way to shield Pete, Myka, and Artie from the explosion, giving her life in exchange. In the end, she received her redemption.

The destruction of Warehouse 13 was beyond epic. Granted, it was CGI, but it was done very well and delivered the gut punch that it was designed to achieve. More than that, however, was the realization that the Warehouse really was demolished, given that Mrs. Frederic died, her true age apparently catching up with her. For just a moment, it occurred to me that Claudia was never prepared to be her successor, so the fate of the Warehouse system was (momentarily) up in smoke.

However, if they reverse this particular event, at least the writers were upfront about it. The constant reminders about the metronome make me think that it will be important, and Artie immediately showed Pete and Myka an artifact that he had hidden in his clenched hand. It’s a reasonable assumption that some or all of the destruction will wind up being mitigated by the effect of that artifact in the fourth season premiere.

Even with the “take back” right there in plain view, it doesn’t take away from the effect of the finale in any way. After it was all over, I was left reeling. This is easily “Warehouse 13” at its darkest, and in turn, it was very likely the best moment of the series to date. And that is entirely appropriate, considering that I have been making the claim that this has been the best season of the series as well.

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

Final Rating: 10/10

(Season 3 Final Average: 8.0)

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