Warehouse 13 Recaps: Episode Two “Secret Service”

Pete & Myka in S5E02 © SyFy
Pete & Myka in S5E02 © SyFy

In the second episode of season five, Pete & Myka joined up with some old friends from the Secret Service to investigate a series of drownings on dry land in Washington DC. Meanwhile, Artie and Steve help Claudia learn more about her past by revealing the truth about what really happened to her parents and her older sister Claire.

Highlights of this week’s episode:

  • The double meaning in this week’s title.
  • “Possibilities are what make life interesting.”
  • Claudia & Jinks camping out in her room to discuss her history – and getting caught.
  • Adorable little Claudia already exhibiting spooky powers of artifact detection.
  • “I asked his assistant where Freddie stood on fracking; she thought I meant on Battlestar and giggled.”
  • Pete & Myka’s complete misinterpretation of Ted & Elise’s secretive behavior.
  • Our first lethal artifact of the season—the hilt of the sword owned by Alfred Dreyfus.
  • “I will cut you.”
  • Claudia’s relief at discovering she was not to blame for her sister’s current condition.
  • Pete’s sincerity at the very end when he tells Myka that if she ever wants “to talk seriously” about parenthood then he’ll be there for her.

Despite all the good, there is also a lot of bad going on in the world of endless wonder at the moment. A look at the Warehouse 13 tag on Tumblr will reveal a fraction of the current ship war between Pyka (Pete/Myka) and Bering & Wells. I will hold my hands up as a mild B&W shipper but even if I wasn’t, watching the way the show is suddenly hinting at a non-platonic relationship between its two leads despite four solid seasons of establishing the very opposite is at best uncomfortable and at worst downright insulting.

However the biggest issue I had with this week’s episode came not from the shipping issues (although that partly leads into it), but from what is happening to Myka. Last week her cancer arc was wrapped up rather quickly and clumsily and now we get to see Mrs. Frederic suddenly (and more than a little strangely for her character) bringing up the subject of motherhood. The segway from cancer to children in the discussion is so out of the blue that even Myka is thrown by it:

“Short of an occasional check up I am free and clear.”

“Good for you. *pause for a beat* What about children? Is that still an option?”

“Well, I… err… Why do you ask?”

“Sometimes in an event such as this a woman can reevaluate her priorities. Ask herself if there’s more to life while there’s still time.”

There’s a lot of discussion happening on the internet right now about how the show is using cancer as a catalyst for changing Myka’s character; making her suddenly interested in the idea of having a family (something she has until now expressed no desire for) so that can be used to rapidly bring Pete & Myka together. Right now that’s speculation. Certainly this week’s episode began to take steps in that direction, but so far Myka isn’t exactly high-tailing it to the nearest sperm bank. I desperately hope that the show avoids falling into that plotline and maintains Myka as the happy, work-loving woman she has always been rather than crowbarring a pregnancy plot in at the very end to “complete” her character.

There’s always a place for character development of course. People change their opinions and make new decisions in life. So, having a character stay frozen in place forever is just as unlikely. This, however, feels desperately rushed and awkward; especially when combined with the opening “previously on Warehouse 13” montage which showed Pete talking about his own desire for a family at the beginning of season four. Dear SyFy; please don’t ruin one of my favorite shows by cramming unnecessary romance and family plots into these final episodes. We just want to see Artie being grumpy, Pete being Pete, Myka being clever, Mrs Frederic being creepy, and Claudia finally evolving into whatever she’s destined to become—and being sarcastic about it to boot.

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