Episode 2: Resonance
This one starts with a bank robbery in Chicago, but the thieves have a pretty wild way of dealing with bystanders and guards … they use some kind of sonic pulse to stun everyone and knock out electronic devices, including cameras; the pulse comes from speakers stitched inside one thief’s trenchcoat. In South Dakota, at Warehouse 13, Myka is outside talking to someone on her cell and Pete is inside playing ping-pong with himself. He’s not playing with half the table folded up, he’s literally playing against himself, a doppleganger inside a looking glass belonging to Lewis Carroll. The mirror-Pete wins (and is kind of a dick about it), so real-world Pete packs it in. Meanwhile Artie is checking out the Chicago bank robbery (the third with the same M.O. In the last couple of weeks) when he realizes someone is hacking into the Warehouse computers. He figures the security on the database will protect their files, but when he tries to trace the hacker, the connection drops. Artie tells Leena he’ll have to trace the hacker the old-fashioned way. Leena says his aura looks like hell and he should maybe try sleeping sometime. Pete heads outside to get the round-the-world football, and worries when Artie tells him Myka’s out there.
Myka’s on the phone with her mother about a retirement party for her father (even though she figures he’ll never retire), and says she won’t be attending. Pete gets outside in time to warn her about the football, but she still gets beaned. (“What is it with men and their balls?”) Artie comes out to tell them about the three weird bank robberies in Chicago and that they should go check them out to see what freaky artifact the robbers might be using. In Chicago, Myka and Pete go to the bank to check the security tapes, but get stalled by an FBI agent named Belski (played by Tricia Helfer). It’s the usual jurisdictional pissing match … Belski is mad that a couple of Secret Service agents are poaching her case, so she basically tells them they can go to hell. Naturally, Pete is instantly hot for her. He calls their old Secret Service boss, Dickinson, to ask him to intercede with the FBI. Dickinson manages to get around Belski so Myka and Pete can have access to the crime scene. Myka is still refusing to go to her father’s party, which Pete finds weird, since he’d love to have more time with his (now dead) dad.
At FBI headquarters, Pete cuts up some of the evidence to construct dioramas of the crime scenes. Belski isn’t impressed, reminding him the thieves have struck three Fridays in a row at rush hour, today is Friday, and it’s only six hours to rush hour. She says they need to figure out which bank is the next target and how the robbers are making everyone forget what happened. Artie talks to Myka and he’s pissed off that they used Dickinson instead of him to get around Belski. Myka shows him the security footage and they speculate on what exactly the robber had under the trench coat. (The footage has no sound, so they can’t hear the sonic pulse.) Artie starts rambling about how some visual stimuli can cause short-term memory loss and Myka notices one of the customers was on a cell phone throughout the robbery. If they can find who was on the other end of that call, maybe they’ll know what happened. Artie is doubly happy, because he’s managed to trace the hack on the Warehouse computers through numerous proxy servers.
Myka and Pete compare notes and she tells him about the customer on the cell phone at the last robbery. Apparently, he was leaving a message for his wife and Artie got ahold of the recording. Belski brings in the teller who was waiting on the guy with the phone and Myka plays the recording for her. As soon as she hears the sound, the teller goes into a trance and starts crying, but with a huge smile on her face. None of the others are affected and as soon as Myka turns off the recording, the teller goes back to normal. She can’t remember what just happened, but says she feels great, like she’s loved.
When Artie hears about the recording that causes bliss, he says it might be a limbic trigger, a sound that directly stimulates the pleasure centers of the brain. Myka and Pete wonder why they weren’t affected and Artie says they’d probably have to hear the song through the robbers’ equipment; the teller was affected by the recording because she’d heard the original and hearing the recording triggered a sense memory. Artie says composers have their own signatures, unique to their music, so maybe they can figure out who wrote the song. Pete says it reminds him of his dad’s favourite song, by a guy named Eric Marsden. Artie looks him up and concludes he wrote the song used by the robbers, but it isn’t part of Marsden’s known catalogue so it must be brand new or never-released. Artie says Marsden lives in Chicago, so Myka and Pete head over to see him. Artie tells Leena he’s traced the hack to Washington, D.C. … right to the office of Myka and Pete’s former boss, Dickinson.
At Marsden’s place, his caretaker (and former back-up singer) Jesslyn tells Myka and Pete that Marsden has no family except a daughter he hasn’t seen in years; he’s bi-polar, clinically depressed, and semi-catatonic … oh and he has liver cancer, so he’ll be lucky to live another year. Obviously, he wasn’t involved directly in the robberies, but they still want to try talking to him. Myka asks Marsden if he wrote a song that can make people feel euphoric. Marsden doesn’t respond, but when Pete plays some of the song on Marsden’s piano, he takes an interest. Jesslyn tells them Marsden went through every genre of music, recording thousands of hours looking for the key to … something: inner peace, happiness, whatever. She says Marsden was conned out of all his rights and recordings by a sleazy producer named Canning and they should talk to him if they’re looking for crooks. Outside, Pete urges Myka to go to her father’s party and she says their relationship was like the Great Santini.
At Canning’s office, Myka notices he’s not doing too well, business-wise. Pete flirts with Canning’s secretary, Stephanie (played by Lindy Booth … I half-expected Tia Carrere to walk out of the office) until they meet Canning. He tells them he bought Marsden’s entire catalogue, including a bunch of experimental crap that’s not even marketable, though he says some anonymous buyer recently made an offer for all of it. He blames Marsden’s former engineer (Jed Fissel) for not reigning Marsden in when he started recording New Age bullshit. Myka asks if there could be a special recording by Marsden floating around somewhere, but Canning claims he has Marsden’s entire oeuvre locked up in his storeroom, and he carries the only key. Elsewhere, we see Stephanie meeting with Jesslyn and Fissel to tell them the Secret Service is sniffing around Canning. Yup, they’re the bank robbers and because of Myka and Pete’s interest, they decide they need an even bigger score on their next robbery … which they’re just about to commit.
Pete and Myka try to figure out why the robbers hit specific bank branches, but can’t find a common thread. Belski calls and says the FBI are staking out a bank based on traffic patterns and Pete wants to tag along (to get up close with Belski again); Myka says the FBI are probably wrong, since Pete isn’t getting one of his “vibes” about the stakeout, but tells him to go anyway. In Washington, Artie breaks into Dickinson’s office to check his computer, hacking into it with a cool Steampunk-style password cracker that looks like part of an ENIGMA machine. At the restaurant, Myka gets an idea when someone drops a tray; she remembers someone dropping a book in the bank when she and Pete were there and how the sound resonated off the walls. She figures the banks that were robbed might all have the same acoustic properties, making them particularly vulnerable to the robbers’ sound machine. She calls Artie (who’s in Dickinson’s office) and asks him to figure out which other banks have an acoustic profile that matches the ones already robbed; Artie says there are two. While he’s working on it, Dickinson walks in and Artie takes his picture with a still camera … literally, as Dickinson is transformed into a cardboard cutout.
At the stakeout, Belski tells Pete about Myka’s Denver mission; Myka was banging the guy who died (Sam) and he was married, though he was apparently separated from his wife. Artie calls to tell Pete about Myka’s breakthrough and where she is. At one of the banks, Myka puts in earplugs and runs into the robbers as they come out. She chases them to their getaway van in an alley and grabs one of them. The driver gets out to help and the other two robbers get away with the money, leaving the driver to get pounded by Myka. The driver turns out to be Fissel and Myka turns him over to Belski, saying he might give up the other two. Myka tells Pete the other two are using a portable record player to play the music and that one of them is a woman. (Myka: “I … felt her.”; Pete: “You touched her boobies?”)
In Washington, Artie revives Dickinson and gives him shit for hacking Warehouse 13, but Dickinson insists it wasn’t him. At FBI headquarters in Chicago, Fissel is being taken to interrogation (down a marble hallway with plenty of echoes) when Pete gets a vibe and tells Myka to put in her earplugs. She only gets one in before the two robbers emerge from the elevator and send everyone into a trance. Myka’s earplug protects her partially … she can’t keep them from rescuing Fissel, but she manages to slip her cell phone into Fissel’s pocket and briefly grabs one robber’s wrist. In Washington, Dickinson helps Artie try to figure out who used his computer as a proxy to hack the Warehouse. Myka calls to ask Artie to trace her cell phone (since Pete is still whacked out and he and Belski are making goo-goo eyes at each other). Dickinson won’t leave Artie alone with his computer so he can give it a thorough going over; Artie doesn’t like Dickinson watching him work, but doesn’t have much choice.
In Chicago, Pete is recovering—slowly—but has stopped mooning over Belski and started acting goofy with Myka. He mentions her perfume, but Myka says she doesn’t wear perfume; Pete realizes it’s the same scent Stephanie was wearing at Canning’s office, which must’ve transferred to Myka when she grabbed the robber’s wrist. Artie calls to tell them he traced Myka’s cell … to Marsden’s place. When they get there, they find Fissel playing the piano surrounded by all of Marsden’s recordings. Jesslyn tells them it wasn’t really about the money, they just needed it to buy back the recordings so Marsden’s daughter—yeah, Stephanie is his daughter—could reconnect with him before he dies. Myka figures they should call Belski, but Pete says their job is to retrieve the euphoria-inducing record, not solve the bank robberies. Myka says Belski will probably find the culprits anyway, but Pete says maybe not. Myka walks out and Pete snags the record. Outside, Myka calls her mother to say she’ll attend her father’s party after all. In Washington, Artie has Dickinson’s computer in pieces when he gets a shock … not the electrical kind, more like a psychic shock; he sees some weird visions of himself, including one where he looks younger and hears someone saying “stop” over and over. We’ll see if that gets explained next episode.