Entertainment Magazine

Review #3652: Warehouse 13 4.5: “No Pain, No Gain”

Posted on the 21 August 2012 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: John Keegan

Written by Nell Scovell
Directed by Jay Chandrasekhar

I was wondering if the writers were ever going to explain where the artifacts actually came from, in terms of how certain items are made or transformed. Not necessarily an in-depth explanation, since there is a certain mysticism to it that is best left untouched, but just some insight. And I’ve also wondered if they were ever going to follow through on the notion that Claudia was the destined next caretaker for the Warehouse.

Review #3652: Warehouse 13 4.5: “No Pain, No Gain”

Despite not being the primary focus of the episode, those items were addressed in the course of the story, and it added a layer or two to the question of how Artie’s vision is supposed to unfold. Just what is going on with Claudia at this point? I get the feeling that Mrs. Frederic is getting ready to move on, preparing Claudia slowly but surely, and that may play into her survival should Steve “go wrong” and need to be eliminated. And for that matter, could Claudia’s version of Mrs. Frederic’s calculated ruthless protection of the Warehouse lead to the confrontation with Artie?

One can also recognize why the artifacts have a tendency to go wrong. Not unlike the folklore that suggests hauntings are the result of a powerful experience, usually trauma, that takes place at a given location, the artifacts are an imprint of the will of a person in a given moment. And similarly, artifacts tend to have a downside because the majority of strong emotions that generate artifacts tend to be negative in some way.

But this episode continued to muddy the waters. Despite Artie’s hardline insistence in the previous episode that all artifacts lead to ruin, the team uses them liberally as the situation requires. And the strength of will that led to the creation of the dog tags was ostensibly positive; it was more a question of how the “power” could be misused. It’s just too easy for unforeseen consequences to happen.

This continues to paint Brother Adrian as less of a villain and more of a watchdog over the Warehouse and its administration. One has to wonder if the Regents know about Brother Adrian’s order. For that matter, why hasn’t the Warehouse ever encountered them before? It might be due to their targeted interest in the astrolabe, but it seems odd that they would be able to get into the Warehouse and remove specific artifacts, particularly those they must believe might have “tainted” Artie in the past.

For better or worse, the episode was dominated by the Pete/Myka “A” plot, and it was a bit silly. In fact, this is the first time since the second season that I felt Pete was way too over the top with his antics, and it detracted from my enjoyment of the episode. Thankfully, the writers remembered that Pete and Myka love each other as friends, not romantic interests, and carefully avoided stepping over the very firm line they established in the third season. (Though I admit they came dangerously close at one point.)

The end result was a bit of an average episode; some of the plot arc elements were advanced or expanded, but the main focus was the “artifact of the week”. And that story, unfortunately, was not one of their better efforts.

Writing: 1/2
Acting: 2/2
Direction: 2/2
Style: 1/4

Final Score: 6/10

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