Warehouse 13 Reviews: Season 1, Episode 5

Opening titleEpisode 5: Elements

This one starts 400 years ago on the island of Manhattan. A Native American ceremony takes place, with someone intoning a prayer and setting out a stone, a bowl of water, a chunk of rock, and an arrow. The shaman says, “When he comes, let these elements be his strength and our hope” and dons a cloak that glows with magical power like Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak. The scene shifts to the present-day New York City, where someone puts on the same cloak (a little more tattered now) and walks through the wall of an auction house. He grabs a weird-looking metal sculpture and phases back through the wall. I guess thethief phasing through wall cloak does have magical powers. At Leena’s boarding house, Artie tells Myka and Pete about the theft of the weird sculpture, but he’s interrupted by Claudia and Joshua arguing. You’ll remember Claudia rescued her brother from limbo last episode, but he’s been having trouble readjusting to his return after twelve years. Claudia thinks he should try to find work in the scientific community, but Joshua thinks nobody will hire a guy with an unexplainable twelve-year gap in their resume. Artie reminds Claudia she’s supposed to be writing a detailed report on how she breached Warehouse security, and fixing all the damage she did to the power system. Claudia’s not happy at being bossed around and stomps upstairs.

Artie tells Myka and Pete he’s not sure if the stolen sculpture is an artifact or not, but its theft was basically impossible, so maybe someone used an artifact to get in and out. Either way, they have to check it out. Since they’re going to New York, Pete tries to Pete and Jackiewangle tickets to a show, but Artie says no way. At the auction house in New York, the manager (Jackie) lets them into the vault, which is very well-protected. Jackie tells them the stolen piece wasn’t even close to being the most valuable one in the vault, but there were two parties interested in bidding for it. Pete obviously has his eye on Jackie, so Myka suggests he get the info on the buyers from Jackie, while Myka looks around the vault. At a building site downtown, Pete checks out one of the bidders, Gilbert Radburn (played by James Naughton). Radburn says he had no need to steal the sculpture since he’s rich enough to buy it and tells Pete he was with friends all night. While Pete’s waiting for Radburn to give him the friends’ names, he notices one of the construction crew watching him. Before he can talk to the guy, Myka phones and says to get back to the auction house right away because she’s found something strange.

Strange turns out to be an understatement, as she shows Pete a feather partially embedded in the wall of the vault. The feather must’ve been part of the cloak and wasPete's arm phasing into wall left behind when the thief phased through the wall, though obviously Pete and Myka don’t know that. Myka puts on a glove and pulls the feather out and Pete decides to grab it with his bare hand. The glow from feather crawls up Pete’s arm, affecting it enough that he can stick his arm through the wall. Myka points out that the feather only affects part of his arm, so it must be part of a larger artifact to phase a person (and the sculpture)  through the wall.

They call Artie to show him the feather, which he recognizes as Native American. Pete Jeff Weaver profilementions his idea that Radburn probably didn’t steal the sculpture since he can afford to buy it, which causes Artie to repeat his mantra, “Never rule anything out”. When they mention the other bidder is a guy named Jeffrey Weaver, Artie realizes he’s the only son of Alexander Weaver, a fraudster, ravager of cultures, and general scumbag. Jeffrey seems more legit than his late father, donating money to charities and collecting Native American art. Given his pedigree and penchant for Native American culture, Artie figures Weaver might be involved in the theft.

At the Warehouse, Claudia is fixing the power grid. Leena tries to engage her in conversation, but Claudia deflects her with her usual sarcasm. Leena’s insights are prettyClaudia and Leena talk accurate: she says Claudia’s whole purpose for the last twelve years was rescuing her brother and now that she has, she’s feeling lost and projecting her lack of purpose onto Joshua. Leena also says Claudia wants her brother to do well, since that would reflect well on her, but is afraid on being left alone again. Claudia is obviously bothered by Leena’s perspicacity, but tries not to show it.

At Jeffrey Weaver’s penthouse, Pete and Myka think they’ve solved the case when they Pete and Myka pull gunssee a sculpture that looks like the stolen one. Turns out it’s a different sculpture, one of a series of four representing Native American creation myth. Myka and Weaver seem interested in each other and Pete asks Weaver if he knows anything about a feathered artifact that lets people walk through walls. That startles Weaver and he calls in his employee, Lacell … who turns out to be the same dude Pete saw giving him the hairy eyeball at Radburn’s construction site. Pete pulls his gun, which makes Myka do the same.

Weaver says Lacell works for him and Radburn—probably as a spy, though he doesn’t really admit that. Weaver says if the thief has something that lets him walk throughproblem solved walls, his sculpture is probably next on the list. He wants to move it somewhere more secure, but Pete and Myka insist on sticking with it, no matter what. At the Warehouse, Leena and Artie talk over a chessboard—Artie has been playing against himself by putting White in an impossible situation and trying to find a way out. Leena mentions Claudia was studying the board earlier and they discuss Claudia’s future. Leena says she needs a place to stay and that she and Joshua have separate paths. Artie is resistant, but is quite impressed when Claudia comes out and solves his chess problem.

In New York, Lacell and Myka are driving a truck to the airport with Pete in the back guarding the sculpture. The guy in the cloak shows up when they’re at a red light and Pete leaves the truck the hard wayphases into the back. He grabs Pete, phasing him through the side of the truck. Myka notices and tells Lacell to slow down, but Pete gets tossed out and knocked unconscious. Before Lacell can open the truck, the thief phases up front and drives off, leaving Myka to frantically phone an ambulance. Pete wakes up in hospital and he and Myka compare notes (Pete apparently mumbled something about the buckskin coat the thief was wearing, which Myka has already passed on to Artie). Weaver is there too and Pete tells her to get closer to him and see what she can learn. Myka doesn’t seem to mind that idea too much.

At the boarding house, Joshua is packing to leave. Artie got him a job at CERN in Switzerland, so he says goodbye to Claudia … which devastates her, but she covers it asClaudia and Joshua say goodbye usual. At the Warehouse, Artie and Leena go through old creation myths and realize the Lenape had a myth about four elements that controlled different aspects of the world … including solidity, which explains the phasing buckskin coat. Artie says if all the artifacts are brought together, the wielder would have almost unlimited power. Artie calls Pete and tells him to toss Weaver’s place while he’s “distracted” by Myka.

In the hospital cafeteria, Myka and Weaver talk—and flirt—and Weaver says he’s trying cafeteria romanceto erase whatever shitty legacy his father left. At Weaver’s apartment, Pete finds a secret room full of Native American art by Walter Burleigh. He calls Myka to let her know, and she’s not too happy with Weaver. Pete rips Weaver’s secret room apart and calls Artie to let him know what he found. Burleigh was married to a Lenape woman and the four sculptures are a key to a hidden cave containing the artifacts, which are offerings to the spirits of creation. If the sculptures are reunited, they’ll somehow point the way to the cave.

At Radburn’s office, Lacell is brought in by security; they caught him trying to sneak in. Radburn takes a metal bracelet from Lacell and reveals that Lacell is Walter Burleigh’s nephew, which Radburn knew all along. He also knew Lacell was working for WeaverLacell goes through a phase and wanted to keep him close to get his hands on the bracelet, which tells the proper order to arrange the sculptures. The bracelet also has the phrase “The Truth is in the Dawn” written inside. Radburn dons the buckskin cloak (so I guess he was the thief all along) and phases Lacell into the wall while asking what the phrase means. Lacell doesn’t know, so Radburn tosses him through the wall. I’m not sure if the other side is solid wall or if it leads to the outside … either way, Lacell is dead.

At Weaver’s place, Pete finds the same phrase (“The Truth is in the Dawn”) in Burleigh’s old notes, but neither he nor Artie can figure out what it means. They wonder if the Claudia helpsphrase might lead them to the hidden cave with the artifacts. Myka and Weaver show up and Weaver says he doesn’t know where the cave is either. At Radburn’s place, he realizes the phrase is meant to be taken literally and lines up the sculptures so the rising sun shines through them, creating a map of Lower Manhattan on the wall with a specific point marked. Artie and the others are trying to get a clear idea from al the possible cave sites mentioned in Burleigh’s notes. Claudia stops by to say she’s heading for Vegas and mentions magnetic ley lines as a good place to focus. She and Artie narrow it down to one spot in Lower Manhattan … right where Radburn’s new building site is located.

At the site, Radburn’s foreman blasts down next to the cave, leaving less than two feet of rock separating it from the outside. Radburn tells him to keep everyone away and, donning the buckskin cloak, phases through the rock into the cave. That freaks theforeman freaks out foreman out and he takes off. Radburn finds the artifacts in the cave and starts screwing with them. He drinks the water from the bowl (supposedly gaining immortality) and grabs the arrow, which gives him power over nature. He causes an earthquake, which empties out the building site pretty fast as Pete, Myka, and Weaver show up and head below. The earthquake also (rather conveniently) smashes the rock wall of the hidden cave, exposing it to the outside so they can get in.

Radburn picks up the stone (which gives him the strength of the Earth … manifesting in a arrow stabBen Grimm-type Thing hand). He uses the arrow’s power to pin Pete and Myka against the wall and decks Weaver. Radburn grabs the last artifact, the piece of coal, which makes his hand manifest flames … maybe he’s turning into the Fantastic Four. Weaver warns him that this power wasn’t meant for mortals, but Radburn says it’s meant for anyone strong enough to take it. Pete grabs the arrow (which Radburn laid down to pick up the last artifact) and stabs him in the chest with it. Radburn is consumed by a vortex of fire, which shoots up into the sky leaving the smoldering buckskin cloak behind.

At the Warehouse, Claudia returns (after making a little pocket money in Vegas) and tells Artie she’s not cut out for college life like her brother; she needs a challenge—like working for the Warehouse. Artie asks if she’s up for it and she asks him if he’s up for it, as she makes the opening move in another chess game. So it looks like Claudia’s joiningClaudia opens the chess match the team, which is cool with me since she’s probably the most interesting character so far. I like her sarcasm and that she doesn’t take things too seriously, but she still has that underlying vulnerability that makes her likable. I’m still trying to get a handle on Myka and Pete; their characters haven’t quite jelled for me yet. We never do find out if anything happened between Myka and Weaver, or Pete and Jackie. Sometimes it seems like they’re flirting with each other (like when Pete tells Myka she’s pretty when she smiles, which women just love to hear … not!), but I hope they’re not going to go down the old “Will they or won’t they?” route. It’s been done so many times before and it gets old really fast. And whenever the two do get together (Moonlighting, X-Files, Caroline in the City) it usually means death for the show.

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