TV Thursday – 4/18/13

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Here I was thinking it was going to be another slow week, but then shows I thought were on hiatus came back, one show that was on a mid-season break returns, another I got two episodes to finish out the season and we even have the 2-part pilot to a new show making it into the list.  Not only was it not a slow week, it was a really, really, really busy one!

Bones #8×22 – “The Party in the Pants” – This episode really wasn’t about the murder, it was about forgiveness.  The murder wasn’t that impressive, so let’s  get that out of the way first.  Jack Spindler, stockbroker by day, stripper by night, ends up dead after a really disturbing and more-than-a-little-illegal excavator scene, where a young boy is being forced by his aunt to operate heavy machinery and ends up digging up a body.  Someone please cite this woman!  The body is badly damaged. but the squints manage to put him back together.  There is a typical rigamarole and list of red herring suspects, but it turns out to be Jack’s boss, who Jack not only screwed out of a lot of money, but who was running an illegal stock swindle and thought Jack was going to rat him out.  The only funny part of the whole bit was where Booth said he had no interest in financial crimes, got the guy to admit to it, then turned him over to Treasury agents who do have an interest in financial crimes.  It wasn’t a great crime, it wasn’t the worst they’ve ever done, it was just ‘blah’.  On to the point of the episode.  After having walked out on Booth’s abusive father 24 years before, his mother comes walking back into his life.  At first, he’s really happy to see her, but when she tells him she’s getting married again and wants Booth to give her away, he gets mad.  I don’t blame him, I would too.  I honestly wouldn’t buy her story for a second, that she was so abused that she cannot have a family, it just doesn’t wash with me.  Both Booth and his brother Jared have been on their own for many years, the idea that a mother could just ignore her adult children with the excuse that she was hiding from her abusive ex-husband is very thin to say the least.  She was, whether she likes it or not, a horrible, horrible mother, just as Booth’s father was a terrible father.  To come back, out of the blue, only because you want something and be willing to walk away again because you don’t get it is not the sign of a decent human being.  Booth finally gives in at the end and attends the wedding and rekindles a relationship, both with her and with her new husband, but I think he gets all the credit here, she  deserves none.  I was not at all impressed, I hope we don’t have to see her very often in the show.  It seems that both Bones and Booth managed to do well, even after having terrible childhoods, although it certainly seems that Bones turned out somewhat less okay.  She has brains, yes, but at the cost of her emotional development.  Her asperger-like behavior really grates on me sometimes. 

Castle #5×20 – “The Fast and the Furriest” – Castle has always been a show where they spoof pseudo-science and fandom.  Just this season alone, they’ve taken on conventions and sci-fi TV (specifically making fun of Firefly), Ju-On, Rear Window and the murder of Santa Claus and Castle is always there to lend a credulous voice for the clearly absurd.  In fact, these are usually the funniest episodes because it’s Castle against the team and Castle usually makes a lot of sense.  This time, when the body of a disfigured woman is found with part of her face ripped off, Castle immediately declares this to be a Bigfoot attack.  Even after they pay a visit to the primate sanctuary where she worked, he’s only momentarily dissuaded and when they find the scene of the crime, filled with massive footprints, he’s totally gone.  This time, though, he’s got Ryan on his side, both of them believe in Bigfoot and are trying to convince everyone else.  It turns out that the woman, a former evolutionary biology student, had an avid interest in Bigfoot and was trying to win a million dollar prize for proving Bigfoot existed.  But who killed her?  Dr. Meekse, the leading crypto-zoologist who was convinced she really knew where Bigfoot was?  Chase Diggins, the one-armed Aussie Bigfoot hunter who claims his arm was ripped off by the beast?  Bigfoot himself?  You’ll have to watch it yourself and see.  I will say that just about everything in this episode was done really well.  I admit to being somewhat worried at the beginning, as soon as they said the victim was an evolutionary biologist, I turned to my wife and said “a creationist did it!”  Luckily, that turned out to be untrue, but it would have been funny all the same.  There were some great Castle/Beckett moments here, which have been missing from the last couple of episodes, especially when they fell into the Bigfoot pit in the woods and Castle freaks out.  Nathan Fillion’s facial expressions as he messes around with the gorilla at the primate sanctuary are priceless too and I am so glad they didn’t get preachy there about primates as pets.  That would have killed it.  Great episode overall! 

Defiance #1×01-1×02 – “Pilot” – It’s a two-hour pilot episode(s) of a show that I’ve looked forward to for a while.  It’s the second “Syfy Original” that’s aired this year, the first being Continuum which I absolutely loved (and sorry guys, stamping Syfy Original on it doesn’t make it yours, any more than stamping it on the original Star Trek back in the day did), so I was hoping this wouldn’t disappoint.  Well… it did and it didn’t.  First off, it was developed by Rockne S. O’Bannon, the man behind Farscape back in the day.  I hated the look of Farscape.  It wasn’t the puppets, it was the cheesy alien makeup and the color palate that strikes me as far too neon.  This translates directly to Defiance.  It might be a budget thing, DefianceCast600but the majority of aliens, like in many Star Trek series, are just painted people with fake foreheads.  It just looks unbelievably cheap.  Anyhow, on to the story.  It follows an “arkhunter” named Nolan and his adopted alien “daughter” Irisa, who are trying to save up enough money to get to the “paradise” in Antarctica.  To do this, they ransack various alien “arks” that fall out of the sky for technology.  Immediately, I start thinking “Mad Max” and wondering where Lord Humongous was.  The show opens with them seeing an ark landing nearby and retrieving the undamaged central power core, which is worth millions.  However, before they can make good their escape, they are attacked by alien brigands.  Irisa is shot and they barely get away, only to be found by explorers from the city of Defiance, which takes the place of St. Louis.  Irisa gets patched up, but they have no money to buy supplies and transport, which they lost in the attack.  Nolan tries his hand in underground fighting and while he wins, the owners of the fight club screw him out of his money.  While commiserating in the local whore house, the son of the local mine owner is murdered, threatening to spark an all out war between the humans and the alien Castithan Tarrs.  This is made more complex by the fact that the daughter of the mine owner is in love with the son of the opportunistic Castithan Tarrs, the same people who took away the winnings from Nolan following his fight.  Nolan, now desperate for work, offers to solve the crime since the local law was killed in a bar brawl and Nolan is actually pretty good at it.  It takes him about 5 minutes from showing up at the crime scene to figure out who did it and conveniently, the only alien with a limp was introduced just a few minutes before.  He must have done it!  And of course, he did.  He was working with the violent Volge, who would have overrun Defiance long ago if not for their shields.  Of course, our killer blows up the shields, opening the doors for a full-scale invasion.  Defiance is  doomed!  Oh wait, Nolan remembers that expensive energy core he had hidden a while back and rushes out to get it.  If it  can be set to explode, it can kill all of the Volge.  And so, a really silly battle, with the Defiance townspeople shooting from the cliffs at the Volge army begins, with the town’s doctor trying to get the power core ready to explode and having problem after problem, it’s all predictable of course, there’s nothing in this show that we haven’t seen before.  Finally, she blows the core, the Volge are destroyed and Defiance is saved.  The new mayor offers Nolan the job of “Lawkeeper” and we find that it was the old mayor who set up the scheme to destroy Defiance, she’s looking for something lost in the city and can only look for it without other people around.  So the question is… is this show worth watching.  Yes and no.  The costumes and effects are really awful, although not as awful as some of the other shows on Syfy.  Come on guys, other shows did really good costuming and creature effects in the days before CGI, it shouldn’t be that hard to make a show superior to the original Battlestar Galactica with modern computer effects.  At least try!  This looks like some kids made it in their basement.  My biggest problem with this is the backstory.  If you only watched the show, they gave a quick introduction, which would leave you scratching your head, but this show has an associated MMO and they’ve given away a lot more information.  So here it is.  A bunch of  aliens, collectively known as the Votan, travelled across thousands of light-years of space to Earth, which they had no idea was inhabited.  Never mind the fact that we’ve been polluting the space around us for several dozen light-years in every  direction for a while with our TV and radio broadcasts.  Nah, they had no clue.  Most of the aliens remained in stasis in their giant ark-ships while the rest negotiated with the humans for their ability to stay.  When the ark-ships were mysteriously destroyed in orbit, a massive war broke out that blew human civilization back to the stone age and irrevocably altered Earth’s biosphere.  The TV series starts 33 years  after the arrival of the aliens, it just doesn’t tell you about much of this and I think most people watching the TV show are not  going to go play  the MMO, no matter how much the producers want them to.  These are different audiences, sorry.  The problem is, they assume that everyone  watching the show knows what the fuck is going on.  There are seven alien species but they don’t bother to introduce them, they just say “go talk to the Irathients” and you’re left going “what the fuck is a Irathient?”  I think it’s very, very badly done to assume that a television audience is going to go looking for explanations for your show in another medium.  I think the show has potential but it has a lot of problems.  My wife identified it as another western with aliens, which largely it is.  You also get the feeling that you’ve seen just about everything before.  The new mayor, played by Dexter’s Julie Benz, gives a rousing speech to the townspeople just before the Volge attack.  Let’s be honest, she’s just an homage to new Battlestar Galactica’s Laura Roslin.  Heck, she reminded me a lot of Bill Pullman’s character in Independence Day.  I kept expecting her to say “Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!”  To be honest, there are a lot of shows, like Babylon 5, that turned out to be really good, but had really bad pilots.  It’s not like The Following, where I instantly hated it from the very first episode, this has potential, if only they’re willing to do what it takes to exploit it.  I’m hoping that they do.

Dr. Who #7×08 – “Cold War” –  The Tardis drops the Doctor and Clara into a Cold War-era Russian sub undergoing drills on it’s way back from a scientific expedition to the North Pole.  While there, they think they found a frozen mammoth, but it turns out to be an Ice Warrior, last seen in The Monster of Peladon, back in 1974.  One Russian sailor thinks that he ought to thaw it out using his blowtorch, releasing the Ice Warrior onto the sub, 5000 years after it was frozen.  Of course, this doesn’t make the Ice Warrior a happy boy, especially since it turns out to be Grand Marshal Skaldak, the greatest hero ever known to the Ice Warriors of Mars.  He’s rightfully miffed, especially after one of the Russian crew dares to raise a hand to him.  See, under Martian law, anyone who attacks one of the Warriors, attacks the whole of the Martian civilization and thus, declares war on them as a species.  After the Tardis conveniently disappears and the sub is trapped on the bottom of the sea, we get a rush through the cramped spaces and narrow corridors of the Russian sub, with the Doctor trying to convince the Russian commander not to shoot him and trying to keep Skaldak from killing everyone on board.  This works to some varying degree of success, the Russians don’t kill them, although certainly some of them want to, and Skaldak spends a lot of time sneaking around the sub, getting his bearings, trying to figure how best to genocide all of humanity.  He happens on the idea of launching a nuclear missile or two in order to spark off a mass military response and thus, the end of the world.  We end up in a tense standoff between Skaldak with his finger literally on the button and the Doctor, desperately begging him to give peace a chance.  It wasn’t all that convincing, honestly, but luckily, just as Skaldak is going to blow the planet up, his people show up to rescue him and they fly away, leaving the Doctor and Clara in the unenviable position of having to walk to the South Pole.  While this is the best of the three episodes since they’ve come back from hiatus, that isn’t saying much, there’s a lot of problems here, which is somewhat surprising since the episode was written by Mark Gatiss.  First off, the Doctor starts ordering the sub commander around as soon as he steps off the Tardis.  Highly unrealistic, the commander ought to have come up with every reasonable solution to their problem long before the Doctor could have.  The Russian crew also gives in far too easily and accepts the Doctor and Clara as one of their own.  As far as Skaldak, he tries signalling Mars and when he doesn’t get a response in less than a minute, he gives up.  Physics?  Anyone?  Heck, the Doctor already told him that his people no longer live on Mars, they are spread across the universe!  Finally, the whole idea that the highly advanced Martians have a code that says they get to genocide any species if a single member of that species does something wrong?  That makes no sense whatsoever, how could a culture like that ever hope to survive?  Matt Smith was even more whiny than usual in this episode, almost down on his knees, begging that Skaldak doesn’t blow up the planet.  The Doctor grovelling doesn’t sit right with me, sorry.  It’s a better effort, to be sure, but not up to the standards I’ve come to expect from Doctor Who.

Thumbs DownFollowing #1×13 – “Havenport” – Holy shit, these people cannot be this stupid!  Roderick, hiding in plain sight, pretends to help the FBI.  Weston walks in and immediately identifies Roderick.  Okay, dumbshit, you were standing 20 feet from backup, had plenty of time to leisurely saunter over to tell them about Roderick, yet  you pull a gun on him  yourself, in the middle of a police station, then run through his deputies, waving a gun around and you’re surprised you get cold cocked?  Seriously?  So Roderick goes running back to Joe and he’s surprised to find that Joe is upset that the whole operation is blown.  Imagine that!  Roderick storms out of the Cult-ure Club (okay, that was bad) and grabs Joey on the way.  Roderick sure is impetuous, isn’t he?  Ryan Hardy decides to ignore the chain of command (again), get on TV and promise amnesty to any of Joe’s cult members that will come forward and rat him out.  Thus begins Joe Carroll’s bad day.  Roderick, for some reason, wanders into town, contacts a waitress he knows and invites her out for a nice afternoon drive at gunpoint.  They try to go through a checkpoint, with Roderick using a fake ID, but seriously, his picture is all over the news, he’s not fooling anyone.  Or is he?  The cops that stop them ask Roderick to get out of the car, but they don’t have their guns drawn.  You know, the mass murderer who has been fooling the townspeople?  Nope, no guns drawn at all.  Roderick calmly gets out of the car and shoots them both.  Immediately thereafter, the cops show up.  Hell, TONS of cops.  Bet the  families of the two officers he just gunned down wish they were just a little quicker.  They take Roderick back to his own police station for interrogation.  Joe sends out a hit squad to take Roderick out and get Joey back.  Roderick whispers in Ryan’s ear that he’s got Joey stashed and together, they have a nice chat with Joe to confirm it.  Joe is seriously losing it by this time, not like he’s ever been the model of stability in the past.  Roderick tries to make a deal with Ryan, Joey’s return for his release.  Ryan agrees and starts unplugging all the cameras in the police station.  Nobody notices.  Of course, it’s all a setup, but that never occurs to Roderick.  Together, they go to an abandoned cabin where Joey is locked in the closet and the cabin owners are dead on the floor.  Weston is in the trunk and half the bloody FBI is following them.  Once Joey is relatively safe, Weston comes in and confronts Roderick, who had pulled a convenient gun from behind the cushions of the couch.  Of course, nobody ever looks.  Just as Weston is about to fill Roderick full of lead, Joe’s hit squad shoots him instead.  Weston denied!  They call in the cavalry, who seriously, should have been standing outside the door by now anyhow.  Ryan sends Joey off with Weston, telling him never to leave Joey alone.  Almost immediately, Weston leaves Joey alone.  Jacob grabs Joey and hauls him off.  Ryan and Weston corner him behind a tree and tell him that it’ll be okay.  Jacob runs off, leaving Joey behind.  This cabin standoff is one of the few times Weston is not shot or beat up in the entire series.  Joey says “You’re Ryan Hardy. Mom said you’re one of the good guys.”  Too bad he isn’t one of the smart guys.  That’s one thing this show needs, more smart guys.  So Joey is rescued and Joe is pissed.  Of course, Jacob went straight back to the cult condo and apparently, Joe didn’t fillet the skin from his flesh.  Joe is having a bad day, after all.  Then Claire comes in and tells Joe that she’ll stay and try to love him if he’ll just let Joey go.  He agrees.  She stabs him.  I guess it runs in the family.  Bleeding profusely, Joe calls Ryan and tells him what a horrible day he’s had and that Claire has outlived her usefulness and is about to be written out of the story.  I’m sure anyone who gets written out of the script is overjoyed, just to be off of this dog.  Meanwhile, one of Joe’s culties shows up at the police station, presumably to turn herself in.  The police say they’ve searched her for weapons and she’s clean.  They try to take her back for questioning and she pulls out a huge hairpin and stabs Donovan in the eye.  Someone needs to review frisking techniques with the cops.  Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb and then some!  I can’t even give this show a 1 anymore!

Mentalist #5×19 – “Red Letter Day” – After the murder of a man who owns the  town of Percy, California, the CBI comes in to solve the case. We go through a number of the typical red herrings, was it meth dealers in the woods who were using, and burning down, some of the outlying cabins?  Was it his partner in the wild west show who stood to lose it all?  Was it his wife, who claims that he wasn’t cheating on her, but he had done so in the past?  Was it an ex-con who was just released from prison and might be gunning for revenge?  There were lots of possibilities but they were all put out there to mislead the audience, as happens often in these kinds of shows.  In the end though, it turned out to be the long-absent son who had come back to town and fallen for the local bar maid, who just so happened to be his half-sister.  See the above infidelity.  His father told him the truth and he flipped out, shooting his father.  Okay, as a plot, that’s not bad, the problem is that it  came totally out of the blue.  There really was nothing leading up to the “the son is screwing his half-sister” thing.  Yes, they did have them pulling the same ear, but that’s a common tic, people do it all the time and they don’t have to be sleeping together to do it.  Bad form not to give the audience some solid clues, sorry.  Then there’s the whole Rigsby and Van Pelt story.  They used to be together.  Then Van Pelt got engaged to someone else and ended up shooting him in self defense.  Then Rigsby had a kid with some other woman who has entirely vanished from the show.  Now, Rigsby wants Van Pelt back, but she’s found yet another boyfriend.  Did anyone not see this coming?  Seriously?  Kirkland sends some associates to sneak into Jane’s loft and make copies of all of his Red John research.  Of course, Jane knows about it, he’s set up little alarms to let him know when someone has been there and I suspect that he’s putting in red herrings of his own to mislead Kirkland.  It’ll be interesting to see where it leads.  Next week, we’re supposed to see who Jane’s list of seven suspects for Red John are, that should be fun.

Thumbs UpMurdoch Mysteries #6×12 – “Crime & Punishment” – In the first of a two-part story, Julia’s estranged husband Darcy is murdered and all evidence points to Julia.  I mean all evidence, no matter what comes up, every single shred of evidence points straight to her.  The housekeeper claims that Julia called her and told her to take the night off.  Then the housekeeper says she saw Julia at the house, when Julia claims to have been miles away, helping an abused woman hide from her abusive husband.  The woman and husband turn out to have never existed.  They find Julia’s thumbprint on the bullet cartridge that killed Darcy.  Everything she claims, it turns out there’s no evidence for and everything she  claims didn’t happen, they find evidence that it did.  Now let’s be honest, we know that Julia didn’t do it, but the evidence seems too perfect and in order to plant that much evidence, the person who did it would have to have been very high up in the police force.  At the trial, Murdoch sees James Gillies, who has a massive problem with Murdoch and would love to take revenge.  It also occurs to me that the setup is so complete, so perfect, that it might, just might, fall into my category of hated supervillains, where they have always thought of everything and are always a step ahead of everyone.  I have enough faith in the show to think that isn’t the case, but now that Julia has been convicted of the murder of her husband, we’ll have to see how it turns out in the  season finale next  week.

Thumbs UpMurdoch Mysteries #6×13 – “The Murdoch Trap” – I didn’t think I’d be seeing this week, but it showed up so here’s my review.  The first thing they do is something I hate, where they give you a flash-forward and then go back in time and show you everything that led up to it.  It’s way too over-used.  As I said last time, Murdoch saw James Gillies and that’s who is responsible for it all.  He’s captured Murdoch and is taunting him on big movie screens.  But that’s in the future, let’s go back to the past.  Murdoch and Brackenreid, banned from the case, are working privately in Brackenreid’s dining room.  They convince George to smuggle some equipment out of the stationhouse and bring Murdoch the murder weapon.  It takes only a few minutes to piece  together how Gillies faked most of the evidence, they seem to get hung up on putting Julia’s fingerprints on the bullet casing, but guys, you just figured out how to do that two episodes ago!  So they convince the Chief Constable that he was wrong about Julia and he jumps on the bandwagon to save her.  However, they need real evidence to convince the judge.  Murdoch realizes he’s missed something and rushes back to Darcy’s house, where he is trapped and put into a cage by Gillies.  Gillies gloats about his victory and offers Murdoch a way to save Julia, but at the cost of his own life.  Brackenreid and George have  also mad strides, they located the woman whose husband had supposedly beaten her, she’s now a prostitute, but Gillies had killed her as well and framed Julia for that murder too.  Murdoch, however, has found a way to send a morse code signal to the police and they arrive to rescue him in the nick of time.  George just walks in and puts a bullet in Gillies.  Good for  you, George!  Taking the evidence, he rushes into the execution chamber just in time to save Julia’s life.  The unfortunately surviving Gillies is put behind bars, although he has a strangely devious smile.  Murdoch suggests that he and Julia celebrate, but she’s distraught over the death of Darcy, who was just an innocent pawn in the game.  Now I find it funny that, with all of Murdoch’s expertise in catching crooks and figuring out puzzles, he did very little of that in the first half of this two-parter and perhaps too much of it in the second.  Of course, he couldn’t actually find any clues that would keep Julia out of prison in the first, but it felt a bit artificial, especially since he and his compatriots whipped through a pile of deductions in just a minute or two in Brackenreid’s dining room.  In retrospect, it seems a bit forced, but I can forgive it, it was a really good episode.

Psych #7×07 – “Deez Nups” – Lassiter and Marlowe finally get married.  While we should have expected it, I never thought it would be so quick.  In last week’s episode, Marlowe had to move in with Shawn and Jules temporarily because she and Lassie were prohibited from living together by Lassie’s ex-fling and Marlowe’s new parole officer.  That got really old, really fast and they announced that, to get around the parole requirements, they would just get married.  It isn’t like that hasn’t been their clear intention for a long time, but when Lassiter shows up at the precinct, inviting everyone to their wedding the next Saturday, it was somewhat of a shock.  Well, considering Lassie wanted to get laid, maybe not so much.  While Marlowe was having a big bachelorette party, hosted by her former cell mate Big Wendy, Lassiter said he didn’t want one because his best friend, Stumpy, couldn’t make the wedding.  When Shawn and Gus not only find Stumpy, but fly him out for the wedding, they discover that Lassie was kidding, this was just some loser he hadn’t seen since high school, he just didn’t want to admit he had no close friends.  Anyhow, the party must go on so  they all load on a party bus and head for a local casino.  Meanwhile, the girls aren’t doing much better, Big Wendy orders Chief Vick to start doing shots, resulting in her getting drunk off her ass.  Good thing too, when moonlighting cop Buzz shows up to do a strip-show.  However, while at the casino, Shawn happens to spot the missing mob accountant Herb Pollack, who has enough evidence to put away a major mob boss forever, and he tries to capture him without messing up Lassie’s wedding.  Lassiter catches him on his own, with hardly a thought, and then drags him around for the rest of the episode.  At one point, the mob boss kidnaps Marlowe and demands that Lassie trade him for his accountant, but both Herb and Marlowe are too smart for their captors and both escape, leaving both sides trying to exchange different people.  Finally, Shawn uses his “psychic powers” to figure out that Marlowe was trapped in the laundry room of the hotel, having gone down the chute in her escape, and that Herb was hiding out at a Michael Damien concert at the casino.  All is well… except the justice of the peace can’t make the wedding, but Herb took an online course and he can perform the wedding.  Afterwards, Jules realizes that Shawn didn’t have a psychic vision about Michael Damien and, suspecting that his whole psychic shtick is a fraud, storms off.  This whole episode was an homage to movies like The Hangover and other “getting married” romantic comedies.  It worked very well and they trudged through all of the tropes.  I thought it was great that as Lassiter was gong to kiss his bride, he raised his hand and pressed it against hers, a tribute to the only contact they ever had while she was in prison.  What confuses me though, and maybe it shouldn’t, is that Jules still thinks Shawn is actually psychic?  After 7 years, she still falls for it?  He’s never told her?  I find that surprising, to say the least.  Hopefully she’ll come back though, I hate the “breakup/makeup” trope that goes through so many of these shows.  Unfortunately, the rumor going around is that Maggie Lawson may be leaving the series to take the lead in a series of her own, which will absolutely, positively suck rancid donkey balls. 

Warehouse 13 #4×11 – “The Living and the Dead” – It’s really hard to keep most Syfy shows straight. Syfy has this weird thing where they split most of their shows in half and show the two halves 6 months apart.  The last episode of Warehouse 13 aired back in October and when I saw it coming back, I was thinking we’d be on season 5.  Nope, only season 4, part 2.  We pick up where we left off in the last episode, with Artie being taken to a hospital with a knife in his chest.  Mrs. Frederic warns them that now that the Sweating Sickness has been released, they have, at best, 16 hours until they start showing symptoms.  Artie is still in a coma, but they removed the dagger and there is no physical damage.  The dagger was an artifact that separated good and evil and stabbing him freed him from the influence of the astrolabe.  They reason that the blue flower that  caused the plague had been reconstituted in the past, therefore, there must be an artifact for that.  Why not, there’s an artifact for everything else!  After searching through the archives, they find one possible artifact that once belonged to Count St. Germain.  Myka and Pete go to get it while Claudia and Steve use another  artifact to leap into Artie’s mind and find out why he won’t come out of his coma.  Claudia and Steve first.  They are surprised to find that Artie’s mind looks exactly like the Warehouse.  They are met by the manifestations of various friends, all of whom try to force them to turn back, but they press on and meet up with Artie and the spirit of Leena.  He cannot face the fact that he was responsible for Leena’s death and now that he’s been faced to revisit it, he cannot forgive Claudia for her part in causing him pain.  Still, it gets him out of his coma.  Now for Myka and Pete.  They go off to meet Professor Bennett Sutton of Columbia University, who wrote a book on St. Germain, but he turns out to be a bitter drunk.  They convince him to go along to find the ring artifact and he has them break into the house of a rival, where a hint to the location of the ring is supposedly hidden.  Sutton tells them that he lured off his rival with a fake phone call, but with the outbreak, she didn’t  get far before coming back home.  She holds them at gunpoint until Myka zaps her.  They recover the clue and it leads them into the Paris sewers where they find the grave of St. Germain.  Except St. Germain isn’t dead, he’s actually Sutton, who has been hanging around for over 500 years.  His grave, which was constructed and hidden by Marie Antoinette, turns out to be booby-trapped and one of the poison arrows ends up in St. Germain’s chest.  Now he’s dead.  Myka and Pete recover the artifact and together, they reconstitute the flower and end the plague.  After they leave, the zapped rival comes down to the tomb and reveals that she is actually Marie Antoinette, who first laid St. Germain to rest.  Unfortunately, he’s gone again, leaving a bloody arrow behind.  There really isn’t too much to complain about in this episode, it’s pretty typical stuff for Warehouse 13.  There were  some good lines and in-jokes, especially with regard to Sutton, played by James Marsters.  At one point, when he was revealed to be over 500 years old, they asked “what are you, a vampire?”, clearly a reference to his time on Buffy.  It’s fun to have a show that just doesn’t take itself all that seriously.  I’m glad it’s back, at least for 10 more episodes.

Best of the Week:  While there was some really stiff competition this week, I have to give it to the 2-part Murdoch episode, taken collectively.  We got to see the end of some long-lasting storylines and the resolution of plots that had been central to the series for quite a while.  Now the question moves from “can Murdoch and Julia get married” to “will they?”

Worst of the Week:  Please, do you have to ask?

Other Stuff I Watched:  Brave, Charlie Chan – The Jade Mask (1945), Toy Hunter #2×01-2×03, Mobile Suit Gundam Movies I-III

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