This is a special Season 3 Christmas episode, which probably takes place between episodes 7 and 8 (Past Imperfect and The 40th Floor), since Trailer the dog is here, but Steve hasn’t defected yet. The story starts in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where Pete and Myka are trying to bag an artifact that’s part of a family’s outdoor Christmas decorations. We know it’s serious when a reindeer comes busting out the front door. Myka climbs to the roof as Pete is grabbed by a string of Christmas lights and dragged across the lawn. The Santa on the roof whacks Myka with an invisible (but painful) whip and Pete is beaten over the head by a Victorian caroler statue that comes to life. Myka finally bags the artifact—Rudolph’s nose—and everything goes back to normal, including the reindeer turning back into the family dog. The family thanks them for helping and the daughter (who looks like Cindy Lou Who) gives Pete a candy cane.
Back at the Warehouse, Artie tells them he’s not going to Vegas with Vanessa, which is weird since he’s been looking forward to it for weeks. Turns out Artie’s father and Vanessa’s old flame Hugo both invited themselves on the trip. Claudia’s going to Switzerland to see her brother and doesn’t want Artie there nerding things up. Artie offers to switch with Pete (who drew the short straw for who had to babysit the Warehouse), but Pete says he’d rather stay there alone than go on an extended shopping trip with his mom and sister. Myka says Artie can come spend Christmas in Colorado with her family, and mentions that Hugo will keep Vanessa from getting lonely in Vegas. That makes Artie decide to go after all and Pete heads to the Christmas aisle to shelve the Rudolph nose.
While Pete is shelving the artifact, he knocks some other stuff off a shelf (some balls of yarn and a brush) and picks them up. When he gets back to the office, he finds two Warehouse agents he’s never seen before (Raymond and Sandra). They draw their Teslas and Pete assumes Artie is playing some kind of joke on him. He’s informed that Artie hasn’t worked at the Warehouse in a long time; the source of that information? James MacPherson. Naturally, Pete is surprised, since he saw MacPherson die right in front of him. MacPherson is equally baffled at how Pete knows so much about him and the Warehouse. They ask the usual questions (“Have you noticed the smell of fudge where there is no fudge?”), but Pete assumes he’s fine and everyone else has been whammied by an artifact.
Raymond takes Pete to Leena’s boardinghouse and Pete figures Leena can vouch for him. He’s disappointed when she doesn’t recognize him and even says that he has no aura for her to read. Raymond gets a call from Sandra saying there’s no record of a Pete Lattimer anywhere and his fingerprints are a dead end. Pete knocks Raymond out with a vase and grabs his Tesla. Leena is freaked out and Pete tells her that MacPherson is stealing artifacts and selling them on the black market. Pete frees himself from his cuffs and tosses Leena the Tesla before taking off. We see Mrs. Frederick was lurking down the hall and overheard Pete’s accusations about MacPherson.
Pete calls the bookstore in Colorado looking for Myka, but her mom tells him Myka hasn’t been home for two years … since her father’s funeral. Pete is really freaked out now, so he heads to Washington and steals someone’s ID to get into Myka’s office. Of course, she doesn’t know him either and figures he’s either a criminal, a nutcase, or a criminal nutcase. Pete tries to explain about the Warehouse and says reality has been changed somehow. (Myka: “There is no reality where I would live in South Dakota.”) She has him thrown out on his ass, but Pete’s not one to give up so easily. He follows her to a bar after work and tries to talk to her again. After almost breaking his arm, she gives him one chance to change her mind.
Pete plays the daddy card, telling her that the Myka he knows reconciled with her father and is spending Christmas at home. Myka thinks that’s a cheap shot, but when Pete mentions the unpublished book her father wrote about her (which Myka didn’t even know about until after he died), she decides there might be something to his crazy story. Pete says they need to find Artie, who Myka knows under his original name of Arthur Weisfeldt. Why does she know him? Because she’s the one who sent him to federal prison for trying to kill the President. They head to the prison to see him and Pete learns that Artie was arrested at the museum when he was trying to snag and bag the Bloodstone artifact; that was the first case Pete worked on (and where he met Myka and Artie), but without his participation things went differently. When Pete mentions the Warehouse, Artie gets interested and asks if Pete came into contact with anything before the world went all screwy. Pete mentions the brush, which Artie recognizes as belonging to Philip Van Doren Stern … the guy who wrote the story on which “It’s a Wonderful Life” was based.
So now we know why things are so fucked up … Pete has basically been removed from existence. He tries to show Artie the candy cane he got from the kid in Florida but it’s gone, like Zuzu’s petals. Myka’s still skeptical, but figures if restoring things to normal can bring her father back, it’s worth a shot. She tries to get Artie remanded to her custody but strikes out, until an order comes in from Mrs. Frederick giving her Artie for 24 hours. They can’t go back to the Warehouse, since MacPherson has injected Artie with the substance that reacts to the Painite in the Warehouse walls … the same substance that killed MacPherson in the reality Pete remembers. Artie says breaking into the Warehouse is impossible anyway, but Pete says that’s not quite true.
At the Warehouse, MacPherson finds out about Artie’s release and sends Sandra and Raymond to take care of the problem. Artie, Pete, and Myka go to the psychiatric clinic where Claudia’s been for the last few years. Artie finds a wall of weird, showing Claudia’s obsession with finding her brother. She’s been waiting for Artie to drop by and starts shocking him with a home-made cattle prod. Pete tells her she’s not crazy and that he knows how to help her brother, but she has to help them break into Warehouse 13 first. She agrees, as long as she gets Artie afterwards.
As they’re leaving, Sandra and Raymond show up and chase them through the hospital. They hide in the locker room and make like the Three Stooges, knocking Sandra and Raymond out with locker doors to the face. At the Warehouse, Mrs. Frederick confronts MacPherson, but he uses C.B. DeMille’s riding crop to control her movements. He ends up bronzing her and when Sandra and Raymond report their failure, he tells them to get back as soon as possible. At the boardinghouse, Artie and the others search for the crystal necklace that’ll protect him from the Painite in the Warehouse walls. Leena catches them, but can feel that Artie is telling the truth, so she gives him the necklace.
They go to the Warehouse’s “back door” and Pete mentions Myka’s friendship with H. G. Wells. (Myka: “You know what, just stop talking.”; Pete: “More like Myka every minute.”) Artie says the door was originally from Warehouse 9 and was used by Ali Baba, but unless someone can say “Open Sesame” in Arabic, they’ll have to find another way in. Of course, Myka knows how to say it in Arabic (“It was in the first edition!”) and the door opens. Claudia gets them through the security door inside and Pete’s vibes take them down the proper passage. As they work together, we see the old camaraderie coming back, even though these people technically aren’t supposed to know—or trust—each other. Myka and Claudia get their first look at vastness of the Warehouse and are blown away. Pete tells Claudia that the four of them are like a family, working together every day to make the world safe.
Artie sends Pete to the Christmas aisle to find Stern’s brush while he and Claudia head for the office and the computers. Pete and Myka run through the aisles, but MacPherson has set a trap for them; they end up stuck in an infinity band, where no matter how hard they run, they don’t get anywhere. In the office, Claudia cracks the system and finds Stern’s brush is missing from the shelves. Artie pulls her back right before an invisible MacPherson almost slices her in half with his samurai sword. Raymond and Sandra show up with their Teslas before Artie and Claudia can escape.
Myka figures if she and Pete run in opposite directions as fast as possible, they can snap the infinity band and get things back to normal. It works, but when they get to the Christmas aisle, the shelves are all empty. MacPherson obviously didn’t know which artifact affected Pete, so he took them all. Pete and Myka head up to the office and when he sees the bifurcated computer, Pete realizes MacPherson has Artie and Claudia. He spots them down by the Bronze Sector, so he and Myka go for a zipline ride. They get there just as Sandra and Raymond are about to bronze Artie and Claudia; Myka kicks Sandra in the face and Teslas Raymond and they free their friends.
Artie says Stern’s brush is linked to Pete, so all he has to do is touch it to reverse everything, but MacPherson will want to make this reality permanent by destroying the brush. The only way to definitely destroy it is in the Lehman Fornax, which is a heating system using geothermal energy. (Claudia: “This place is heated by a giant furnace linked to the Earth’s core?”; Artie: “You should see the air conditioner.”) When they get to the furnace, MacPherson locks them in the room and starts tossing Christmas artifacts into the molten pit. Artie uses the Lenape cloak to phase through the all and he and MacPherson start fighting.
The brush is knocked to the edge of the catwalk and Artie grabs it, leaving himself vulnerable. MacPherson threatens to rip the protective necklace off and Pete says there’s no time to fuck around and gestures for Artie to throw the brush. MacPherson pulls the necklace off and Artie tosses the brush right before dissolving into dust. Pete leaps out and catches the brush, falling into the lava pit … but it doesn’t matter because as soon as he touches the brush, reality goes back to normal. Pete finds himself back in the Christmas aisle—with the candy cane back in his pocket—and celebrates by making a snow angel on the floor.
Pete heads over to the boardinghouse to find everybody there; there’s a huge blizzard outside, so no flights are taking off … which sucks for them, but after what he just went through, Pete’s happy to have everyone together for Christmas—especially since they all remember him. (Things turned out okay for Artie, since Vanessa was snowed in too, so his father and Hugo will end up in Vegas together.) Pete’s so happy, he goes around hugging everyone, even Mrs. Frederick … which doesn’t go over well. Pete’s mood sours a bit when they turn on the TV and a certain movie is about to start … yeah, that’s the one. So that’s it for season 3 (and for the Christmas specials, unfortunately). Next week I’ll start my reviews of season 4 … I hope you’ll all be there too.