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Warehouse 13: Season Two


Syfy's slyest series

Rod Lott June 27th, 2011

Proof Syfy viewers can have great taste: "Warehouse 13" is the cable channel's most successful original series. And it's not totally geeky.

warehouse13

To boil it down to its essence, Secret Service agents Myka (Joanne Kelly) and Pete (Eddie McClintock) continue to look for anomalies over the globe that may involve stolen or not-yet-identified artifacts with supernatural powers, which are supposed to be housed at the title site. For instance, Man Ray's camera harbors age-restorative properties, and M.C. Escher's vault can be traversed. Many, like a torture rack from the Spanish Inquisition or a superhero costume with tangible powers, fall into the wrong hands.

Myka and Pete, who act like bickering sibs, go all "Mad Men" in a time-travel episode to 1961, where a hooded figure turns females into glass figures, which then get shattered. Another notable hour finds the leads accidentally swapping bodies — thanks to bagging a griffin — at a most inopportune time: during her high school reunion, and his shut-in weekend of sex with his girlfriend.

An season-long arc gives them a formidable opponent in the H.G. Wells, former Warehouse 12 apprentice, who's a she — and played cannily by Jaime Murray, the bloodthirsty British bitch from season two of "Dexter." Not all in-Warehouse doings are welcome to the narrative, however; concerns about Pete's alcoholic past are a distraction, and a budding relationship between punky Claudia (Allison Scaggliotti) and a geek seems like filler. (If you do like Claudia, you'll enjoy her single-ep crossover to Syfy's "Eureka," which is included among the bonus features.)

Yet those are mere hiccups in the week-to-week fun the series provides, in a humorous, action-packed format producers deem "a thrilleromedy." (Sorry to burst their bubble, but "Arachnophobia" invented the term — and with one fewer syllable — way back in 1990.) The chemistry between Kelly and McClintock is unbeatable among all current shows, and "13" is luckiest when the plots focus heavily on them, rather than the supporting characters. The series has grown into its own skin so quickly that those initial thoughts comparing it to "The X-Files" no longer come to mind.

Although "Warehouse" is in no shortage of viewers, it has such broad, winning, mainstream appeal that it deserves to be a monster hit beyond its Syfy home. This three-disc set offers behind-the-scenes tidbits for fans old and new, but is missing the 13th episode of the season, the "Secret Santa" twisted Christmas show. Its disappearance may be more dire than any of the fictional artifacts. —Rod Lott


 
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