EPISODE REVIEW: Warehouse 13: "Beyond Our Control" (Season 2 Episode 3)

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This week we get a more or less science fiction-like plot and learn the deep secret of why the good townsfolk of nowhere, USA dislike our heroes.

SPOILERS DEAD AHEAD!

After an overly long 'what’s happened up to now' montage we get a shot of a generic military guard post with hangers in the background and a graphic stating ‘Wichita Proving Grounds 1944’ and for extra effect the scene is in a washed out color that SyFy seems to think is needed for scenes taking place in the 1940’s. A vintage car speeds up and a black man jumps out flashes his Secret Service ID and demands that the Farnsworth test be stopped but too late the hanger explodes. As in the first episode in this season’s Eureka, SyFy seems to have decided to rewrite the history of racism in America’s past.

Now we get a shot of a blueprint of the Farnsworth video communicator sitting on the dining room table of the boardinghouse. Mrs. Fredric asks Leena why they are out, and gives her a dirty look when she starts to explain that Claudia wanted to know more about their operation.

Mrs. Fredric then questions Leena on want is happening to her. Remember Leena called Fredric’s about it at the end of last episode. Leena starts to say 'headaches' and is interrupted by two of the Regents that are the controllers of the Warehouse (he is also Baltar’s lawyer from Battlestar) that pop out of nowhere like Fredrics does from time to time. The Regents tell Leena they are there to help her.

Meanwhile in town, Myka and Pete are headed into the post office; Pete holds the door for an older woman who blows Pete off when he tries to say hello and just as he turns to enter the office the woman from last week flips the door sign to closed. She locks the post office door and informs Pete that it is gone for good and his stuff might be in the next town’s office. She also complains that she is being forced into retirement and now all she can do is watch cable and eat popcorn, she makes out as if the government cutbacks are all Pete’s fault.

At the Warehouse, Claudia is caught doing a little hardware hacking on her Farnsworth which displeases Artie and he tells her to stop or give it back. The Farnsworth makes a squeaking noise when she messes with it and Artie gives her the old 'I told you so.'

In town Myka and Pete are walking down the street while Pete complains about the phone tree he got when calling the next town’s post office. Their Farnsworth makes a weird noise. They walk past a veterinarian’s office where a pretty woman in a lab coat bumps her head trying to check out Pete. She sees a flash of light after Myka and Pete pass and then some World War Two soldiers walk by her shop going in the opposite direction. We then get the soldiers near a farmhouse in the jungle and some bad war dialog. At this same time back at the Warehouse an alarm goes off Claudia runs into the office declaring, "it’s not me," and Artie says there is trouble in town.

Myka and Pete are now standing in front of a barber shop waiting for Artie. Myka tells Pete the Farnsworth message was bad but there is some kind of emergency going on. After Pete makes a bad eyebrow joke at Artie’s expense, Artie and Claudia pull up in a really nice vintage red British two seat sports car. Claudia calling Artie a menace on the road when Myka states the Farnsworths are acting up and Artie rats out Claudia who says she only messed with hers.

Artie now checks the barber pole with a big black light rod and states there is an artifact in the town and Myka, Pete and Claudia are to question the townies using the Warehouse’s cover. The cover is that they all work for the IRS and the Warehouse stores every tax return ever sent to the government. Now we know why the townsfolk hate’s them.

Myka and Pete talk to the pretty vet and get her soldier story and Pete manages to get her riled up and Myka has to pull him out of the shop. The sparks between the vet and Pete hint at a love interest, only done as if these people are in middle school.

Claudia goes to the hardware store to check on a parts order and meets her new love interest, maybe. She walks around and is told the back room is the owner’s apartment and is private. Her Farnsworth makes a loud screeching noise and she goes outside to check it. She sees a flash of light and - pop - there is a cowboy on horseback that is glowing and almost rides her down like he did not see her.

Pete has a door slammed in his face when his Farnsworth does screwy and he and Myka find themselves in the middle of a western gun fight. They are not hurt but their SUV gets shot up.

Back at the Warehouse Claudia thinks it's sun spots. Artie pointedly states the trouble started at the same time Claudia was messing with her Farnsworth. Myka jumps in and gets Artie to think that it might be an artifact and asks where and what it might be. Artie grudgingly figures it is in a four block area in town

At the same time back at the boardinghouse Mrs. Fredric lets - under protest - the two Regents use the pearl of wisdom and a cheap amber ball to look into Leena’s mind. The ball shows images of Macpherson and they decide they need to probe Leena deeper so the woman Regent places her hand on the ball, set to mystical eastern music.

Myka, Pete and Claudia are at the hardware store where Myka and Pete are going to check out the second floor that Claudia could not get to earlier while Claudia watches the front.

The Kid running the hardware store sees a flash of light and then sees a tiger which freaks him out and he runs for the front door. Claudia hears the commotion in the store and goes in and kung fu’s the kid running to the door. Claudia then goes upstairs to get Myka and Pete and we learn the store owner is stealing satellite and selling it to the townsfolk.

The gang now goes back down stairs and finds a dead tiger and a gladiator that starts to give a speech that Pete has heard before. The Gladiator then throws his shield at Pete stunning him and runs forward with a trident. (Commercial cliffhanger.)

Back from the commercial the gladiator disappears as he stabs Pete. Pete asks what just happened and Claudia tells him that his ass was just kicked by a gladiator which Pete replies, "That’s good, I thought a gladiator just kicked my ass," and then he passes out.

Once again at the boardinghouse they are probing Leena’s mind and Mrs. Fredric takes over saying that the Regent woman was over her head. Leena is speaking in Macpherson’s voice and Baltar’s lawyer wants to know what the plan was.

We now have Claudia in the vet’s waiting room with the kid she cold cocked, he asks if she really works for the IRS and Claudia tells him no they work at a super secret warehouse and hunt powerful artifacts. The kid asks Claudia if they are going to audit him and she says probably. While Claudia is making time with the kid Pete is getting bandaged by the vet who is playing hard-to-get to Pete’s idiot. But all is not lost: Myka figures out that they can use the Farnsworth’s to detect the weirdness.

Claudia returns to the warehouse and with Artie retrieves parts from the Farnsworth section. Artie and Claudia do a little vaudeville while getting the parts. Claudia makes the modifications and on the way out tells Artie there is a Farnsworth box missing and they find that it never arrived at the Warehouse.

Claudia drives into town gives Myka and Pete the detectors and they go off. They start to go in the direction of the artifact when Pete realizes the trouble end is back at the vets. So off they go to rescue the girl.

While at the vets they get a black and white shooting of a guy in a trench coat and some bad detective movie dialog. Pete realizes the weird happenings are from old movies staring some made up B movie actor and the next movie in the marathon is “Doctor Doomsday’ where a town gets nuked. (Not good.) Artie at this time finds the old Farnsworth material and realizes this is a Star Trek Holodeck episode and the missing box is lost in the mail.

Artie meets the gang in town and they break into the post office (Claudia is bummed she does not get to pick the lock) and finds the empty box of the holodeck receiver. Myka and Pete realize the mail clerk took it.

Jumping back to the boardinghouse Mrs. Fredric using stern looks and holding the blowing ball cleans Macpherson out of Leena’s mind without anyone learning what she remembered.

The mail clerk mutes a commercial and gets up from a lazy boy to make microwave popcorn. She hears a bang and pop the Scooby gang is in her living room. She now starts to justify theft of the mail while Artie and Claudia try to figure out what to do while doing a technobabble vaudeville act. They realize the weirdness happens when the clerk uses the microwave and then Artie disconnects the machine from the TV and nothing happens.

The gang now outside is following the Farnsworth tracker to where ‘Doctor Doomsday’ is going to pop up and they end up in a dead end ally. The Movie starts becoming more real as time goes by. Artie and Claudia figure out that if they use the camera maybe they can stop the movie before the bomb goes off and it just happens that Artie has it in his car.

They set it up in Claudia’s El Camino and Claudia opens it and it’s burned out. But just as it looks bad for our heroes Claudia’s new love interest, maybe, shows up with a box of parts she ordered. Claudia quickly repairs the camera with the help of Myka’s photographic memory (when did she get that?) and projects Artie's head to the world.

The episode ends with the now-established 'we are a family' scene where everyone goes up to Pete’s room for popcorn and a movie while Leena and Myka tease Claudia about her maybe-love interest. Mrs. Fredric looks ominously at an incomplete drawing Leena was doing.

The End

OBSERVTIONS:

Man, its hard doing these reviews. I have a new found respect for the guys on the site.

This episode has stayed with the fast paced minimal plot heavy red herrings pattern of the first episode. And even though it was nice getting a more science fiction-like story, its being basically a holodeck episode and that took some of the fun out of it.

I do not know what to make of the possible new love interests they threw up but I hope they are more mature about it than tonight’s episode.

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