Episode 4: Claudia
Last episode, the Warehouse began experiencing random power outages caused by whomever hacked Artie’s computers. The unknown hacker sent Artie a message (“knock knock”) over the power grid. Artie has also been having weird flashback dreams lately, but he doesn’t know what’s prompting them or what they mean. This episode opens with another dream flashback and this time Artie’s surroundings feel somewhat familiar to him. Mrs. Frederick shows up in his dream and tells him he’ll remember more soon and that it’s time to get up. I’m not sure if she’s meant to represent a facet of Artie’s subconscious or if she’s actually manifesting in his dream somehow. Mrs. Frederick is pretty weird, so either one is possible. Artie is woken up by a call from Myka and Pete. They’ve just finished a mission and aren’t too happy with Artie, since it involved getting an artifact away from a bunch of monkeys in a zoo: apparently, it didn’t go too smoothly. (Artie: “You still have some monkey phlegm in your hair.”; Myka: “It’s not phlegm.”)
Artie falls asleep again and has another flashback, but this time he’s woken up by someone putting handcuffs on him. It turns out to be a girl he knew a long time ago named Claudia Donovan. Claudia is pissed off at Artie, blaming him for something that happened to her brother Joshua, even though Artie insists it wasn’t his fault. Claudia is the one who’s been hacking the Warehouse and she was surprised to find out Artie is involved in top-secret government business. When Artie tries to leave, Claudia reveals the handcuffs have a built-in taser device, which she designed herself; she also found and deactivated the panic button Artie had rigged under his desk. Claudia tells him it’s time for him to make things right and forces him out of the Warehouse.
Myka and Pete return to find the outside door open, which tips them off that something’s wrong. They check inside and find Artie gone and the alarm button severed. Mrs. Frederick calls looking for Artie and is worried when she hears he’s missing. She figures whoever’s been hacking them must’ve taken him and tells Myka and Pete to use the durational spectrometer, a device that shows an afterimage of anyone who’s been in the room in the last five hours. She also tells them not to go anywhere, but to call her if they figure out who took Artie.
Claudia takes Artie to a familiar place … her brother’s old lab. She says she wants his help getting her brother back, but Artie reminds her he died in an accident that they both witnessed. Claudia insists Joshua isn’t dead, he’s just “stuck” and they can bring him back. At the Warehouse, Pete and Myka use the spectrometer gizmo to see Artie being kidnapped. Pete reads Artie’s lips (he learned from his sister, who’s deaf) and figures out the kidnapper is named Claudia Donovan. They look her up and are worried to find out she checked herself into a mental institution six months ago, showing signs of being delusional; she checked herself back out a couple months ago. For once Myka agrees to forget about following Mrs. Frederick’s rules and they decide to check out Claudia’s last known address.
At the old lab, Claudia’s looking a bit under the weather and Artie tries to reason with her. Claudia insists Joshua can still be saved and says the reason he was lost in the first place was because he was careless … something she blames Artie for. At Claudia’s old rooming house, Pete and Myka talk to her landlady, who tells them Claudia’s parents died when she was young and her brother raised her before he died. They check out Claudia’s room and find she was obsessed with Artie, following his career very closely. At the lab, Claudia and Artie argue over Joshua’s research into someone named Rheticus (who was a mathematician and student of Copernicus), with Artie saying Rheticus’s experiments were bullshit because nobody’s ever recreated them. Claudia says she’s taken it as far as she can and needs Artie to finish things.
Artie has another flashback, this time to the first time he met Joshua and Claudia, a decade or so ago. Joshua thought Artie was there to give him a grant for his Rheticus research, but Artie must’ve been working for the Warehouse even then. When he comes back to his senses, Claudia knows right away what happened, and says she’s been having visions too. The lights start going crazy and Claudia looks like hell; she says her brother is about to show up and, to Artie’s astonishment, he does. Joshua manifests as a floating vision, twisting in silent agony and reaching toward Artie and Claudia. Whatever’s causing him to manifest seems to be drawing energy from Claudia, and it’s really fucking her up. Joshua disappears and Claudia can’t hold back from saying “I told you so” to Artie.
Artie is freaked out and gives Claudia shit for trying to recreate the same experiment that (supposedly) killed her brother. She wonders why Artie never tried to recreate it himself. At Claudia’s rooming house, Myka and Pete try to find a clue to where she might’ve taken Artie. Myka is impressed by Claudia’s obvious intellect, but Pete thinks she might’ve been better off having a little fun instead of studying so much. Pete also mentions that he went to three proms in one night … or possibly the same prom three times, I’m not sure. At the lab, Artie gives Claudia shit for hacking the Warehouse but she says she needed to see what research he’d done in the last twelve years (which turned out to be none, because he assumed Joshua was dead). Artie says he doesn’t feel guilty about what happened, but Claudia isn’t convinced. She’s in bad shape and getting worse, with her nose bleeding for no reason. Artie says Rheticus (and Joshua) were trying to teleport human beings, which is extremely dangerous. He says Claudia’s condition is caused by her connection to Joshua and the recreation of his work, but she doesn’t want to believe that. Artie convinces her to take his cuffs off.
At Claudia’s place, Myka finds references to a compass Rheticus used in his experiments, but nobody’s certain if it actually ever existed. Sounds like an artifact to me! At the lab, Artie asks what Claudia is using in place of the compass (which disappeared with Joshua) and she says she’s got all the minerals that made up the compass. Artie says she can’t just replace an artifact and tells her he can’t let her continue. She gets pissed off and tries to make him feel guilty again, but it’s obvious she’s feeling pretty damn guilty herself. Joshua put his life (and a promising career in science) on hold to raise her. Artie reminds her that’s not her fault, but she says her partial recreation of the experiment has linked Joshua to her and any pain that causes him is her fault. She begs Artie to save her brother.
As Myka and Pete are leaving Claudia’s place, he gets a phone call from Artie. They’re relieved to hear he’s okay, but troubled that he’s decided to help Claudia. Myka tells him about Claudia’s time in the Institution, but that doesn’t deter him. He tells them not to look for him and hangs up. When Myka and Pete get back to the Warehouse, Mrs. Frederick is waiting for them and she’s pissed off they left without her say-so. When they mention Artie is helping Claudia, Mrs. Frederick worries that whatever went wrong with Joshua’s recreation of Rheticus’s experiment will happen again unless they figure out what was missing. She tells them to go to the Warehouse floor and check out all artifacts associated with Rheticus to try and understand the way his mind worked.
At the lab, Artie is helping Claudia while enduring her cutting sense of humour. (Artie: “You’re lucky I had a traveling kit in the trunk of my car.”; Claudia: “Well, Serendipity is my stripper name.”) Artie figures he can use Ben Franklin’s lightning rod (which he apparently carries around) to boost the power and make up for the missing compass. At the Warehouse, Myka and Pete go through all of Rheticus’s stuff but don’t find anything useful. Pete realizes that Rheticus is a lot like Myka: he loved order and rules, and he also enjoyed solving puzzles. Pete pulls apart an astrolabe to reveal a hidden panel and they figure maybe all Rheticus’s artifacts had hidden parts … including the compass.
At the lab, Artie has his new apparatus set up and Joshua is getting close to manifesting again, which isn’t doing Claudia any good; she looks like she’s about to die. Artie has another flashback to his first meeting with Claudia and Joshua when Joshua showed him Rheticus’s compass and insisted he could recreate the teleportation experiments. Artie snaps out of it and Joshua shows up, which makes Claudia keel over. Artie gets zapped by some energy as he crawls over to help her, but it doesn’t seem to do him any harm … I think it means he’s linked to Joshua now, just like Claudia is. Joshua manifests enough to communicate and tells Artie he has to sever the connection before it kills Claudia. Artie figures he can save Joshua if he manifests a couple more times, but Joshua says once more will kill Claudia, so he makes Artie promise to destroy the connecting apparatus (which will kill Joshua) to save his sister.
At Leena’s place, Myka and Pete tell Mrs. Frederick that Rheticus’s compass probably has a secret panel with extra instructions hidden inside. They’ve also figured out that Artie must be at Joshua’s old lab, since he said he had everything he needed to recreate the experiment and Joshua’s lab had everything. Mrs. Frederick commends their deductions (and it almost sounds like she’s grooming Myka as a replacement for Artie in case something happens to him) and tells them to head to the lab right away. At the lab, Artie has another flashback of telling Joshua he had to hand over the compass without testing it because the “people who want it” really want it bad; I assume he’s talking about the Warehouse. Joshua said he’d go get it and left Claudia with Artie, but when he didn’t return, they got worried and decided to check on him.
In the lab, Artie tells Claudia he’s going to sever her connection with Joshua and save her life, even if she hates him for it. She says she’ll never forgive him and starts keeling over again … a sure sign Joshua is about to manifest. In the flashback, Artie and Claudia walked in on Joshua trying to recreate the experiment; he said he had to try after Artie told him there was no more time … which might explain why Artie feels guilty, even though he keeps denying it. Of course, the experiment failed and Joshua dissolved in a flash of light, which obviously freaked the shit out of Artie and Claudia. At the lab, Pete and Myka show up and tell Artie about the hidden panel in the compass and the missing instructions. Artie figures he really can save Joshua and grabs Claudia. When Joshua manifests, Artie grabs his hand and he and Claudia disappear in a burst of light.
They appear inside the interdimensional nexus with Joshua, and he and Claudia are both pissed off that Artie ignored their wishes. Artie finds the hidden panel in the compass and opens it—Claudia figures out the combination; I guess all her reading paid off—to find some simple instructions in Latin … move the needle ninety degrees. They all grab hold of the compass and Artie moves the needle, which brings all three of them back to the lab, safe and sound. Later, at Leena’s place, Artie congratulates them on figuring things out, though he’s savvy enough to know they had help from Mrs. Frederick. Myka says any time Artie wants to talk about his feelings (about losing someone under him), she’s willing. Artie isn’t interested, but then he realizes she might want to talk about losing her boyfriend Sam when he was under her command in Denver, so Artie says they can talk whenever she wants.
At the Warehouse, Mrs. Frederick comes to see Artie and he admits he felt responsible for Joshua’s fate because he pushed him into trying the compass instead of just confiscating it right away. Mrs. Frederick reminds him that sometimes people are lost and they can’t save everyone. She says Claudia has found out way too much about the Warehouse; Artie assures her Claudia wouldn’t do anything to hurt them, but she says others might. She tells him something has to be done about Claudia and says, “You know what the options are.” So, are they going to eliminate Claudia? Actually, I think it’s just the opposite, but we’ll have to wait until next episode to see.