This one starts in the fog-shrouded streets on London in 1893. A fancy-looking guy meets someone in an alley and gets blasted with a wave of energy, annihilating him except for a pile of dust and some residue on the wall. The scene shifts to Greenbury, Ohio in 1962, where a bird-watcher named Varley finds what looks like a crashed spaceship in a barn. This guy also gets obliterated by something attached to the ship. And in modern-day Pittsburgh, a man working on a billboard is blasted by the same energy, which makes him and half the billboard vanish. In each case, a weird noise accompanied the blast. Twelve hours later, Pete and Myka are in a restaurant across the street from the half-missing billboard. Pete sucks down multiple pieces of pie (the blast took out power all over the block, so he doesn’t want the pie to go bad—he’s always thinking of others) and a chatty (and flirty) waitress tells him she heard a noise like a horn right before the billboard was hit. Myka says the edges of the billboard are worn, almost like they were sandblasted. She has an idea that might help, but warns Pete he won’t like it.
And she’s right … her idea is to recruit H.G. Wells to help investigate, and Pete really hates it. Of course, Wells isn’t really there, it’s just her hologram coming from a small projector, but her consciousness is in the hologram and she can apparently see and hear everything from wherever she’s being held. Myka’s the only one who really seems to want Wells’s help, but she did handle a similar case when she was an agent (which Myka saw in her files), so they need her input. Artie mentions another death in Pittsburgh—a painter on a bridge stanchion, complete with horn noise—so they have to figure out what’s going on before more people die.
We get a flashback to 1893, with Wells getting exasperated at her brother, who takes credit for all of her scientific ideas and puts them in his novels. Another Warehouse agent (Wolcott, played by Gareth David-Lloyd from Torchwood) comes in to tell her there’s an artifact-related death. Wells’s supervisor Vincent Crowley wants to go along instead of Wolcott, since the artifact (some kind of horn) was stolen from two agents, who were killed. Wells says she and Wolcott will be fine on their own and they head out to the scene. It’s the same scene we saw in the opening and Wells takes a sample of the dust. She finds a torn notebook page in the dust and deduces the dead man was Eddington, an astronomer with the Royal Society … and apparently one of Wells’s many lovers; Wolcott asks if there’s a man in London she hasn’t “charmed” and she says Oscar Wilde—but not for lack of trying. She was also flirting with a woman at her brother’s party, and it’s strongly implied she and Crowley are banging.
In the present, Artie realizes the artifact Wells is talking about is Joshua’s Trumpet, which brought down the walls of Jericho. It works on a molecular level, destroying anything in its path, and someone in Pittsburgh is using it. Artie thinks there’s something else about the Trumpet in the files, so he goes to check, leaving the others to speculate. But Pete’s being all pouty and bitchy about Wells helping them, ignoring her and insulting her in equal measure. Myka says Wells is the only one who’s seen the Trumpet and may even know where it is, but Wells says that’s not quite true. In 1893, Wells and Wolcott went to the observatory where she and Eddington had been working on a special project—a rocket capable of reaching outer space. It lacked a power source, but whoever stole the Trumpet has solved that problem by wiring it into the rocket.
The thief turns out to be Crowley (who Wells suspected because someone close to her had been reading her diary) and he wants to use the rocket to assure British supremacy in the world. He figures if he crashes the rocket in front of the Reichstag, it’ll cow the rest of the world and the British Empire will rise again. Wells and Wolcott start pounding Crowley’s thugs and Crowley tries to launch the rocket. Wells changes the trajectory, giving Crowley a head butt when he tries to stop her. The rocket takes off (annihilating Crowley in the back blast) almost straight up into the air. With the byplay between Wells and Wolcott, it almost seems like they were thinking about a Warehouse 12 series set in the late 19th Century; I would watch the hell out of that. In the present, Claudia says Wells’s rocket must’ve crashed back to Earth eventually, and Artie comes in with the file he was looking for.
Apparently, former agents Jack and Rebecca (who we’ve seen before) investigated the supposed spaceship at the farm, which not only killed Varley the bird watcher, but also obliterated a cow in front of a couple of amorous teenagers. Artie tells Pete and Myka to go to Ohio and see what they can find. Pete’s being all snotty about Wells again, but Artie says they have to take her since she has intel that could help. He makes sure to give the hologram projector to Myka. In 1962, Jack and Rebecca talked to the teenagers and to Mrs. Varley. Varley’s son Daniel (who’s really into space stuff) asks Rebecca if they’re going to find the spacemen who took his dad, but Mrs. Varley tells him to go wait outside. Jack and Rebecca head out to the farm where they find the crashed rocket, with the Trumpet still partially attached. When Jack tries to disconnect it, the Trumpet starts blasting all over the place, disintegrating tractors and the front of Jack’s car.
In the present, Jack’s car is still at the deserted farm, all rusted to shit with the front end neatly sheared away. Pete finds an old copy of Astounding Tales in the trunk, but there’s no sign of the artifact. (As far as I can tell, the Astounding Tales reference is made up; Astounding magazine had already changed its name to Analog by 1962.) In 1962, we see Jack try to blast the Trumpet with his Tesla, but it doesn’t stop the random blasts of sound. Rebecca decides to go old school and uses her gun. That causes an explosion, leaving a big crater in the ground, but when they go to check the Trumpet is nowhere to be seen. They called in a team from the Warehouse to sweep the whole farm, but never found the trumpet, so they assume it was blown up.
In the present, Pete finds a piece of the rocket and calls the Warehouse. Claudia tells them whoever has the Trumpet must’ve extended the range somehow, because a helicopter was just disintegrated a mile up in the sky; the pilots radioed they heard a weird noise right before the chopper was blasted. Pete freaks out, blaming Wells for building the rocket in the first place, and saying that she causes bad shit to happen wherever she goes. Myka turns off the hologram projector and we finally get why Pete is being such a prick to Wells … he blames her for Myka leaving the Warehouse. Which is weird, because Wells is also the one who talked Myka into coming back, so you’d think Pete would give her some credit for that. But I guess it’s easier to be mad at her than at Myka. Pete realizes the Astounding Tales magazine must’ve belonged to Daniel Varley. The kid thought aliens had taken his father, so he hid in Jack’s trunk and hitched a ride to the farm, where he picked up the Trumpet after the explosion. Myka calls Claudia and tells her to find out if Daniel Varley is in Pittsburgh.
We see Daniel, who has attached the Trumpet to a parabolic dish so he can send blasts into space. He’s trying to reach a specific star (Gliese 581), but there’s not enough power, Captain! So Daniel figures he should amp up his sending unit, which probably isn’t good news for the people of Pittsburgh. Myka and Pete go to Pittsburgh, which Pete immediately loves because they put french fries on nachos there. Claudia says Daniel has been off the grid for a few months and had some psychological problems before that. He was an astronomy professor and involved with SETI, so he’s probably still looking for his alien-abducted father. While they’re talking, Pete drops nacho cheese on the Farnsworth and licks it off. (Artie: “I’m just gonna pretend we own a big dog.”; Claudia: “Well, we kinda do.”)
Pete and Myka go to the college where Daniel last worked and find out he was obsessed with Gliese 581 because it’s not too far from Earth and has planets in the habitable zone. (Gliese 581 is a real star, but it’s a red dwarf so its Goldilocks Zone would be different from Earth’s.) Claudia tracks the path of Gliese 581 and notes that all the Trumpet blasts trace back to an abandoned SETI observatory in Pittsburgh. Artie extrapolates and realizes if Daniel sends another blast toward Gliese 581 at the same time tonight, it’ll cut right through Allegheny Field baseball stadium (which isn’t a real place, as far as I can tell). Pete and Myka head to the observatory, but Daniel has some kind of force field around his work area. Artie tells security to evacuate the baseball stadium, but there won’t be time to get everyone out.
Daniel recognizes Pete’s Tesla and makes the connection with Jack and Rebecca, but he refuses to turn off his device. He doesn’t believe Pete and Myka when they tell him he’s already killed four people, or maybe he just doesn’t care. He’s obsessed with getting the attention of the “aliens” who took his father and doesn’t really care who gets hurt in the process. He sets off the device with a three minute countdown. I’m not sure why he’d bother with a countdown instead of just blasting away; maybe the calculations are so precise he has to leave it up to the computer … or maybe it’s just so the heroes have time to save the day. Pete gets an idea and tells Myka to turn on Wells’s hologram. Pete tells Daniel that Wells is the one who built the original rocket, which makes Daniel wonder if she’s an alien.
Wells tells him she’s no alien (though he’s a little freaked out when she walks right through the force field), but she did build the rocket. Daniel pulls a gun and is ready to shoot her; he knows his father wasn’t abducted by aliens, but he still wants revenge for losing him. Myka says it isn’t Wells’s fault, but Wells says she is somewhat responsible for Daniel’s father dying. She talks about losing her daughter and how it made her want to hurt the world in retribution, but she says revenge ultimately left her empty and couldn’t bring her daughter back. She convinces Daniel to turn off the device, which also shuts down the force field. Pete and Myka take custody of the Trumpet. At the Warehouse, Claudia confesses that she liked having Wells back, but Artie tells her not to get used to it. Myka says goodbye to Wells (and I swear there’s still some sexual tension there) and Pete tells Wells she did a good job. Myka sends her back to limbo, but don’t worry … this isn’t the last we’ll see of Wells. She’s too cool not to bring back.