Episode 7: Implosion
This episode starts with Pete finding a samurai sword in the office and pretending he’s in some old zatoichi movie. Myka thinks he’s being childish, but what else are you gonna do with a samurai sword? Artie’s not impressed either, since he just finished making the sword. it’s a copy of one recently unearthed in Japan and Artie wants Pete and Myka to switch the copy for the real thing. This isn’t just any sword either, it’s a Honjo Masamune, by the most famous swordmaker of ancient Japan. Obviously this particular sword must be an artifact of some kind, but Artie refuses to elaborate on what the sword can do; he just tells Pete and Myka that the real sword is being presented to the President in Washington, D.C. And they need to substitute the fake one before the President receives it.
In Washington, a mysterious figure shows up at a small business called Kluger Electronics. He picks up some weird-looking grenades and from what Kluger says, it sounds like he used to make weapons for the Warehouse but was ordered to stop. Whoever the mystery buyer is, it sounds like he’s got a connection to the Warehouse as well … a fact that’s pretty much confirmed when he uses a gun that shoots green fire to incinerate Kluger. Through the whole exchange, we never see this guy’s face or hear his voice.
The next day, Pete and Myka are at the Japanese Embassy to switch the swords before the artifact is presented to the President. Myka’s not happy about being in the dark on the artifact’s powers, but Pete says if it was really dangerous, Artie would’ve warned them. Right after he says that, things get dangerous. There’s an explosion in the room where the sword is being kept, but it’s actually more of an implosion; instead of blowing the doors off, it actually pulls Myka and Pete violently forward, slamming them against the door. Someone walks out of the room and down the hall, but Pete is half out-of-it and can’t focus on the guy’s face.
When security teams swarm the place to investigate, Myka and Pete are told not to leave by Ogawa, the head of Embassy security. They call Artie and describe the implosion effect and that the sword seems to have disappeared. Artie says the sword couldn’t have done that, but has a hunch what did. Unfortunately, he doesn’t feel like sharing and tells Myka and Pete to get a look inside the room where the sword was kept. Ogawa approaches and asks why Secret Service has two teams on the same assignment. Myka and Pete are surprised to see their old boss (Dickinson) with a couple other agents … and Dickinson doesn’t look happy.
At Secret Service headquarters, Dickinson gives them shit for horning in on his mission without telling him, but they say they had no choice. Dickinson knows they work for the Warehouse, and he knows how top-secret it is, so I don’t know why he’s surprised. Maybe he figured they’d bend the rules for old time’s sake. He asks what kind of case they’re on, but of course they can’t talk about it. Dickinson tells them to leave town while they still can. Naturally, they don’t; they head back to the Embassy to try and figure a way inside. They’re startled by Artie showing up and jumping into the car with them.
He says he has to see where the sword was kept with his own eyes and Pete outlines their rather elaborate plan to crawl through ducts and past sensors. Artie has something a bit more expedient: a 14th Century Chinese firework called an Ice Flower. He gives Myka and Pete some funky goggles and sets off the fireworks. Ogawa notices them just before it goes off, but before he can do anything, the firework explodes into a colourful pinwheel in the sky which mesmerizes everyone who sees it (hence the goggles worn by the three Warehouse agents).
They waltz right into the Embassy (people inside are hypnotized too, since they can see the fireworks through the windows) and into the room, which has a jumble of stuff mashed into the centre like some freaky avant-garde sculpture. Artie confirms it was caused by an implosion grenade, but says he collected all those grenades years ago. Whoever set off the grenade took the sword and Pete speculates it must be someone who has access to artifacts, since he used an implosion grenade. Myka’s still pissed off that Artie’s being so cagey about everything, more so when they find the remains of a security guard mangled in with the other imploded debris.
At their hotel, Artie finally tells them the sword’s power; it’s forged so perfectly it can actually cut through light, making the light split around the person wielding the sword … basically, it turns the wielder invisible. Myka notices the sword in photos from the dig in Japan is different from the sword in Artie’s old drawings … the tsuba (a small guard between the hilt and blade) is missing. Artie says without the tsuba, the invisibility power might not work, so the thief will be looking for the tsuba. Since it wasn’t with the sword when it was unearthed, and since tsuba are collectibles in their own right, it could be anywhere. Artie tells Pete and Myka to track down the tsuba while he goes to see the guy he suspects of making the implosion grenades.
Pete calls Leena for advice (actually, he called looking for Claudia, but she wasn’t around) and Leena says he should track current collections of Japanese stuff from the Edo Period to find the tsuba. Since Leena is at the warehouse, Pete wheedles her into using the computer to do the check. At Kluger Electronics, Artie finds what’s left of Kluger (his clothes and his body turned to dust) and sees the plans for the implosion grenades on Kluger’s desk. Pete and Myka call to say they found the tsuba. It turned up in Japan in the 1920s and was presented to former President Wilson as a token of peace between the United States and Japan (which didn’t work out all that well). It ended up in the Wilson Museum and they were going to present it to the Japanese Embassy so the tsuba could be reunited with the sword. But the implosion freaked them out, so it’s at Secret Service HQ, scheduled to go back to the Museum tomorrow.
Myka and Pete want to warn Dickinson that the thief might be coming for the tsuba (and isn’t shy about wasting people), but Artie says no way; if the thief notices any change in routine, he’ll be tipped off. Myka and Pete aren’t happy about using their fellow agents as bait, but Artie gets distracted when he finds a half-eaten roll of calcium supplement pills. That tells him exactly who the thief is, someone named James, which seems to freak him out. At Secret Service HQ, Ogawa drops in to give Dickinson an old file from the 70s about Artie (whose real name is Weisfelt, not Neilsen) being suspected of espionage and treason. Dickinson isn’t happy his former agents are working with someone like that, and gets even more pissed off when Ogawa hints he might make everything public.
Dickinson’s men take he tsuba back to the Wilson Museum, where Myka and Pete are watching. Myka’s still mad that Artie’s keeping them in the dark, just like they’re doing to Dickinson. She wonders if Artie considers them expendable. (Myka: “To him we’re just …”; Pete: “Redshirts?”; Myka: “Yeah.”; Pete: “First, he doesn’t think we’re Redshirts … and second, it’s so cool you knew what I meant.”) They head inside the Museum and wait for the Secret Service guys to leave. But the thief shows up (wearing a mask) and blasts the agents with a Tesla gun; yeah, I’d say he definitely has a connection to the Warehouse. Pete tries to zap the thief, but their Teslas cancel each other out and the thief takes off. Pete can’t catch him, but Myka grabs the tsuba on the way out. Unfortunately, the Secret Service guys have recovered and because of the short-term memory loss inflicted by the Tesla, they don’t remember who zapped them … so all they have to go on is Myka holding the stolen tsuba.
Dickinson lets them go, but he’s still pissed off they won’t share any details of their mission. He takes the tsuba and leaves the file about Artie’s treasonous activities, telling them to read it. Artie meets a woman named Carol at a hotel bar and asks if she knows where James is. From the sound of it, Artie and James were rivals for Carol’s affections, she chose James, and he turned out to be an asshole who walked out on her … for which she blames Artie. Carol says she hasn’t seen James in fifteen years, but Artie’s not convinced. After Carol leaves, Mrs. Frederick pops up from nowhere (like she usually does) and gives him shit for letting things get out of control. He shows her the calcium pills he found and says MacPherson (who I assume is “James”) left them on purpose to taunt him. Mrs. Frederick tells him the tsuba is in Dickinson’s custody and Pete and Myka are being detained. She says she’s taking all of them off the case and tells Artie to go home.
At the hotel, Myka reads Artie’s file and isn’t happy, but Pete still wants to believe in Artie. Myka recites Artie’s file … he used to work with the NSA, decrypting codes and stuff from the Russians, but ended up turning around and selling secrets to a Russian contact. The whole thing was dropped and Artie disappeared, but obviously he went underground to work for the Warehouse. Meanwhile, Artie busts into Secret Service HQ to get the tsuba, but leaves an unconscious guard in sight, so security is alerted. Dickinson catches Artie in his office with the tsuba and arrests him … not for stealing the tsuba, but for his decades-old treason.
At Secret Service HQ, Myka and Pete are not happy when they find out the espionage charges are real. Artie doesn’t seem worried, saying Mrs. Frederick got all the charges wiped before, so she can do it again. That makes him wonder how all this stuff came up again if Mrs. Frederick fixed everything; obviously someone unfixed it, and Artie’s sure it must be MacPherson. Myka’s really pissed off that Artie still doesn’t trust hem enough to tell them what’s going on, but he says if they find out who tipped Dickinson to Artie’s past, that’ll lead them to the sword. Dickinson shows up and tells them they’re going to be escorted out of town this time by his men. Ogawa is hanging around and Dickinson says the tsuba is officially being returned to the Japanese. When Myka asks who tipped Dickinson about Artie, Dickinson won’t tell her.
As they’re being escorted out, Pete has one of his weird vibes—more of a flashback this time. He remembers that Ogawa is the guy he saw leaving HQ after the implosion, which means Ogawa now has he sword and the tsuba. Not long after they leave, Mrs. Frederick’s bodyguard shows up to spring Artie … legally, of course. On the way to the airport, Myka uses Pete’s Tesla gun to zap the agents escorting them and they take off. Back outside Secret service HQ, Mrs. Frederick is waiting for Artie and admits that he was right about MacPherson being behind all this. She says Artie has to take care of him.
In a hangar at the airport, Ogawa gives the tsuba to the mysterious thief (who’s obviously MacPherson, I don’t know why they’re still being so canny about it, especially since he’s a character we’ve never seen before); MacPherson puts the tsuba and sword back together and uses the sword to turn invisible, which surprises Ogawa. Artie finds the hangar (I’m not sure how exactly) and decides to take a real gun inside instead of a Tesla. Artie finds Ogawa inside, but before he can ask any questions, Ogawa is decapitated by an invisible sword slice.
Artie is freaked out a bit, but tries to talk to MacPherson, asking why he went rogue. MacPherson says he got tired of all the Warehouse bullshit and wanted to do his own thing without all their rules. He disarms Artie and stalks him invisibly, only showing himself a couple times to taunt Artie. (MacPherson is played by Roger Rees, from Cheers, Dynasty, and a bunch of other stuff.) Artie uses a fire extinguisher to make MacPherson somewhat visible, which helps him avoid being killed … though it doesn’t stop MacPherson from jamming the sword right through Artie’s chest. MacPherson taunts Artie some more, saying he’d love to corrupt the new Warehouse agents and turn them to his way of thinking.
Myka and Pete show up and Artie refuses to let MacPherson pull the sword out, so MacPherson takes off. Pete and Myka are freaked out when they find Artie with a sword sticking out of him, but he says it’s the only way he could think of to get the sword back. Pete pulls it out (which hurts more than Artie thought it would) and MacPherson tosses an implosion grenade into the hangar. They all run outside and cling to the ground to keep from being pulled back in by the implosion. Later, at the Warehouse, they shelve the sword and Leena tells them that Artie’s reticence is a defense mechanism; he’s lost so many people in his life—including Warehouse agents—that he keeps everyone at arm’s length to avoid being hurt again. Myka’s still mad, and says Artie’s fear of being hurt shouldn’t make her and Pete expendable Redshirts. Artie talks to Mrs. Frederick about MacPherson, wondering what else he has planned. Artie quotes the Talmud about when someone wants to kill you: “Get up early and kill them first.” Mrs. Frederick quotes it right back: “Do not rush into any unnecessary danger; a miracle may not save you.” We’ll see what MacPherson’s next move is in future episodes.