The impact of “Warehouse 13” within the sci-fi community balances somewhere between “X-Files”, “Fringe” and old-school “Captain Scarlet”. The key to the maintainence of this series is the comedic balance of the leads with the more paranormal structure. Intensively based on a budget, the series knows its strengths.
The cliffhanger basis of last season brought into structure the importance of loyalty within the team. Like many series including the recent “Royal Pains”, the resolution happens within the first episode.
The beginning of the season starts with “Time Will Tell” which solves the conflict between McPherson and Artie (played with inventive sarcasm by the talented Saul Rubinek) but also brings into focus a new villain with decidedly more attractive qualities. The angle that always seems to jump start a series is using new locales which, with stops in Switzerland and London via stock shot inserts, allows 13 some more bad taste jokes courtesy of Eddie McClintock’s Pete which is totally accepted. Claudia’s adherence to the clan is questioned in continued fixation but it is the residual power of certain artifacts with Artie that begins motivating the series in more succinct ways which will become more important in subsequent episodes.
The second episode previewed “Mild Mannered” begins the aspect of using pop culture lore to lure more specific viewers. While many of the artifacts have historical significance, the vision of the fan crowd sometimes relays back into the comic book world. The ideas in “Warehouse 13” lend themselves undeniably to graphic novels which in turn gives the series a more visual base. Unlike the more mythology based plot points of “Time Will Tell” which incorporates a character that will likely be seen throughout the season, the stand-alone episodes like this one allow for more character development and light comedy especially with the two leads who are showing more vulnerable characteristics especially in Joanne Kelly’s character Myka which you can see when she is holding a teddy bear on her bed in the last shot of one of the episodes. She also gets to try on her first skintight costume which will no doubt heat up the boards. “Warehouse 13” also smartly spends its money on music for sequences such as this giving again the series a more pop functional reference than a normal outlay. While not as viscerally affecting as last season’s “White Rabbit” sequence in an Alice-centric episode, it shows the intention of the creators to maintain a status quo.
“Warehouse 13” in the first episodes of its new season doesn’t stray too far from the formula, but within the establishment of the characters, understands its own necessity and structure.