Merry Christmas Warehouse 13 fans!
In a superb episode written by D. Brent Mote and Jane Espenson, Pete Latimer (Eddie McClintock) and Myka Bering (Joanne Kelly ) have done their good deed for the year by saving a family from the family dog turned into a reindeer, and Christmas decorations come to life.
How? By simply removing Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer’s nose!
Naturally, it was possessed of some evil shenanigans that might have ruined a little girl’s special day, but once bagged and tagged, life returned to normal, Pete got a nice Candy Cane for being good and saving the doggie. The two partners were able to return to the warehouse.
That could have been the end of the adventures for the Warehouse 13 crew as they decided to go their separate ways for the holidays, but wait; Pete accidentally creates a Christmas adventure just by being Pete!
As everyone makes plans to get away for the holidays, Pete returns the nose to its rightful place in the Aisle Of Noel, which houses seasonal artifacts such as a perpetually spinning Dreidle, the Christmas Story leg lamp and the skeletal remains of Hermie The Misfit Elf are highlighted for us.
Latimer slips on what looks like snow that is all over the floor. Several items fall down around him as he lands on his backside.
We later learn that Pete has knocked down Philip Van Doren Stern’s Upholstery Brush; the man who wrote “The Greatest Gift“, which was later turned into the classic film, “It’s A Wonderful Life” (1946).
Anyone who touches the brush is swept from existence. I excitedly look forward to the appearance of Clarence, the angel who is working to get his wings in the film “It’s A Wonderful Life”.
But, this is Warehouse 13, so it looks like Myka is playing the part of Clarence. Pete, who likes to be tidy, cleans up the mess he made and puts the items back onto the shelf.
He continues to dance his way back to the office, only to find that Artie (Saul Rubinek), Claudia (Allison Scagliotti) and Myka have disappeared. They have been replaced by two agents, Sandra (Leva Lucs) and Raymond (Charles Malik Whitfield).
Arch nemesis MacPherson (Roger Rees) is now in charge of the Warehouse. Artie is in prison and Leena (Genelle Williams), who seems to be the only person who has not changed, has no idea who Pete is.
In fact, when Pete looks for Myka, whom he desperately needs to help him figure out what has happened, she also has no clue who he is and is openly hostile to him. It is as if he had never been born. In his mad dash for freedom, and to get away from evil MacPherson, that Grinch, he is observed by Mrs. Frederic (CCH Pounder).
His next move is to locate Myka. He calls her mother, Jean (Susan Hogan), attempting to locate her. But there have been some changes in Myka’s life. Her father, Warren is dead and Myka is estranged from her mother.
Eventually, Pete does manage to get Myka on his side. They are off to see Artie in prison in order to get further assistance from him. Artie, the smart cookie that he is, quickly figures out what happened, telling Pete that he has been erased from existence.
Since Pete was not around to stop Myka from arresting Artie, Artie went to jail, leaving MacPherson free and able to convince the Regents that he had been rehabilitated.
Myka continues to look dubious. However, she decides to go along for this rather unusual ride and requests Artie’s release. No dice. She does not have enough authority, even as the arresting officer.
Fortunately, they do have friends in high places, even if, at this moment, they are not aware of it. Mrs. Fredric has arranged for Artie’s release for a period of 24 hours. Very cool. It seems that Mrs. Fredric has knowledge of more than the current time line. She must have some awesome cool artifacts of her own.
The next problem requiring a solution is how does this trio of odd balls break into Warehouse 13? Artie is not able to just break in because MacPherson has injected a solution into him that reacts badly with a substance called, ‘painite’ that has been incorporated into the walls of the Warehouse. And, actor, Saul Rubinek, said that line with a straight face. That has to be one of the most bizarre lines he has ever had to utter.
Of course, Pete has a solution. He proposes Claudia Donovan, of course; the only person who has actually ever broken into the Warehouse. Naturally, MacPherson has been keeping tabs on Artie, so he is aware that Myka and Pete have managed to get him out of lock-up.
Moving on, Artie, Myka and Pete arrive at an Insane Asylum. What better place for Claudia to hang out. Artie recommends that he go into her room on his own, assuming that she might be more reasonable if she sees someone she might remember. Oh, she remembers all right. In fact, it might even be said that she has obsessed over Artie for a while. She has placed his picture, news clippings and a few key phrases all over her walls. She has even devised a handy dandy device hooked to the power supply that she can zap Artie with. “Hello, professor, I was really hoping you’d come visit me some day”,
Claudia smiles evilly as she holds up her home made cattle prod. All she wants is to get her brother back. Pete, ever the voice of reason, tells her that they know how to get her brother, Josh, back, and they will help her if she can break into Warehouse 13 for them. She agrees on one condition, that when they are done, she gets Artie. Artie objects until Pete replies, “Relax. She shocks you all the time. It’s your thing.” Well, that would explain the wild look Artie always has.
On their way out of the Asylum, they come across Agents Sandra and Raymond, who have been sent by MacPherson to bring them back to the warehouse. So, wonders I, if they want to break into the Warehouse and the two Warehouse agents want to bring them back to the Warehouse, why are they running away?
They split up and run off in different directions. Raymond chases Artie and Pete. Somehow, the two have managed to find the time to set up the bad guy with the old, hide-in-the-locker trick. Artie leads him to a locker where Pete waits and whacks him with the door, knocking him out.
Then Sandra runs into the locker room, prepared to open the door with the dent, when Claudia appears out of another locker to attract her attention.
And poor Sandra falls for the same ploy, thereby denting another door, thanks to Myka. I will have to remember that trick if I am ever chased by a Federal Agent.
Back at Warehouse 13, MacPherson is sitting in front of a computer screen examining something of great importance to him when Mrs. Fredric appears demanding answers, “Why have you pulled our agents from the hunt for Shakespeare’s lost Folio? Why do you have surveillance on Artie’s prison cell? Why was I not told that there was an intruder who claims that you have been selling artifacts…”
Poor Mrs. Fredric does not get to say much more as MacPherson turns evil and uses an artifact on her to freeze her then put her in cryogenics just as he had been frozen in the alternate (real) time line. His two agents contact MacPherson to tell him that Artie, Claudia, Pete and Myka have escaped. He orders them to return to the Warehouse; it is about to be under attack.
To prepare for the big break in, the four members of Pete’s team have practiced their break in technique with Leena’s Bed and Breakfast. To be specific, Artie is looking for an artifact that will stop his blood from turning into acid when he enters the Warehouse without permission.
Naturally, Leena, sensing that her home is being broken into, arrives with a weapon pointed at Artie. But, fortunately, she had assumed that something was not quite right with the current scenario and changes sides to Artie’s team.
Leena also has the necklace that Artie needs to protect him. She readily gives it to him. Leena is so nice. This part of the episode seemed to be a bit contrived. It seemed a bit convenient that Leena would change sides so readily. But, if I had to choose between watching Pete spend more time convincing Leena to join them versus more plot development, I would choose the plot development.
The writers redeem themselves moments later by showing us that the Warehouse has a back door that was the original entrance for Warehouse 9 and the inspiration for Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves! To which, Myka ads, “Behind this door lies boundless treasure.”
Claudia is up next. She easily opens a door that gains them access to the interior of the Warehouse, and steps inside. I anticipate problems of a rather artifact nature to plague them. As Claudia dashes into the Warehouse Artie attempts to get her attention by calling her name.
But he need not have bothered. He catches up to her in an area with three doors. Each door has a skull and cross bones on it. They must choose the correct door. Pete picks the door on the left because he has a ‘vibe’. Fortunately, it appears to be the right, I mean the correct, door and Claudia and Myka are wowed all over again for the first time with the wonders of the Warehouse.
For Claudia, the Warehouse is not enough. She wants her brother back. At this point Pete tells Claudia that they are her family too. Pete and Myka are her big brother and sister and Artie is like her father. By the way, Artie makes the best cookies.
We will have to take Pete’s word for that. The next step, of course, is for Pete and Myka to find the brush that has caused all of the problems while Artie and Claudia head to the office to sort out the computer. MacPherson is waiting for them. Within minutes, Artie and Claudia are in custody.
Meanwhile, Myka and Pete have their own problems; they are trapped in an aisle of the Warehouse where, no matter how hard they try to move forward or back, they cannot go anywhere. I think I had a dream like this once. Anyway, Myka comes up with a great plan; if they both run in opposite directions, they may be able to break free. Fortunately, it works. Pete remarks, “And that is why we are partners.”
The two partners continue to their goal, the Aisle of Noel, only to find that all of the shelves are bare. Yep, the Grinch has stolen Christmas…artifacts. He has also made off with Artie and Claudia and is taking them to the Bronze section. Some people bronze their baby’s first shoes. MacPherson bronzes people.
After all the running from place to place that Pete and Myka have done in a very short time, they decide that going on a ride to catch up with MacPherson and his evil minions is the way to go. So, they zipline their way to the bronzing/cryogenics chamber, arriving just as Raymond and Sandra are about to obey orders and bronze Artie and Claudia.
Somehow, Pete has found the time to pick up yet another artifact, a cane that causes earthquakes. It neatly knocks the villains off their feet so that Pete and Myka can overpower them, thereby saving Artie and Claudia.
But MacPherson is still on the loose. As they all dash off yet again, they notice that Mrs. Fredrics has been bronzed. They will deal with her later. After all, as a bronze statue, it is not like she is going anywhere.
It seems that the next step to reversing the disaster that is the current time line is that Pete needs to touch the brush. But MacPherson will try to make the new timeline permanent by destroying the brush. To be sure, he is headed to the Layman Core, where the artifacts will be destroyed by the heat of the earth’s core.
Fortunately, they see MacPherson before he sees them. Artie tells them to keep MacPherson talking while he finds a way to be awesome. While Pete does his best to keep the evil Grinch talking, MacPherson presses a lever and the floor opens to reveal molten rock just beneath their feet. MacPherson begins tossing artifacts into the lava.
Claudia does her best to attempt to over ride the system and close the floor. As MacPherson seems to be enjoying himself, having the upper hand, Artie uses a cloak that renders him invisible in order to sneak up on MacPherson. They struggle with a crowbar, back and forth between them, knocking over the sack of Christmas artifacts.
The brush falls out and slides across the metal of the gangway. Artie lunges for it. Now the secret is out. MacPherson knows which artifact to destroy. Taking a leap of faith, Artie tosses the brush at Pete just as MacPherson pulls apart the necklace protecting Artie.
Pete jumps for the brush and manages to catch it just before he falls into the molten lava. He is immediately sent back to the original Warehouse 13.
Pete rushes back to Leena’s to discover that everyone is sitting around the Christmas tree enjoying egg nog. They have been snowed in by the worst blizzard in South Dakota history. So, at least for a while, they will all be together. Pete is so excited, he gives everyone a hug, even Mrs. Fredric.
Since he is the only one who knows what is going on, everyone looks at him as if he has lost his mind. Pete continues his unusual behaviour by stating that he is happy to be alive and, “I really, really, really love you.” With those words, there are smiles all around.
Now that everyone has settled in, they turn on the television. The film, “It’s a Wonderful Life” comes on, and Pete has his meltdown, screaming at the top of his lungs. Looks like Pete will get a rubber room for Christmas.
Something I noticed that I am not entirely sure that I heard, was when Pete jumped for the brush over the pit of lava, it sounded like Myka called “Eddie” instead of Pete.
As viewers know, Pete Latimer is played by Eddie McClintock. So, if this actually happened, was it done on purpose by the producers, or was this an accident that was not picked up when they watched the dailies?
If you are able, watch the show again, and pay close attention to that particular scene. Then let me know if you heard Myka yell, “Eddie” or something else. Thanks.
Lastly, the Warehouse 13 writers did a great job of combining the lighter tone of a Christmas special with the darker notes of the subject matter. I have to admit that I really enjoyed this episode. Well done, guys.
Courtesy of Syfy, via Hulu we include the full episode for your enjoyment!
Thanks to Kenn for episode images, and many thanks to you for reading and stopping by WormholeRiders News Agency
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Comment on “Warehouse 13: “The Greatest Gift” is “A Wonderful Life””
Thanks for a nice review of “The Greatest Gift”. I enjoyed the alternate reality script and the interactions between the “other guys and gals” in the artifact changed world.
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