Monday, April 21, 2014

Last Week in TV - Week of April 13 - Episode Awards and Reviews

Welcome back to Last Week in TV, where two more shows have ended for the season - Community and The Crazy Ones. Good thing there is a steady stream of new shows premiering and nominated shows to watch. Speaking of, if you would like to nominate a show for me to watch, please fill out the simple, 2 question form below. Now shows, old ones, things still on the air and things that aren't are fair game as long as I can find a place to watch them and they aren't too risque for my prudish tastes. I'm looking to finalize my summer viewing for this column soon so if there is a show I should marathon, put those in too. As always, tastes vary so feel free to sound off in the comments below about your feelings on last week's TV. Until next week, happy TV viewing!

Overall Awards:

Best Episode - The 100 - 1.05 - Twilight's Last Gleaming

This was an excellent episode and for once, it was because of the Ark. A powerful story of sacrifice and hard choices, this episode shows that The 100 is not made solely of teenage fluff although the love triangle nonsense has got to go. To be honest, every time I watch this episode I choke up and I rarely cry at TV. Still to see a father volunteer to die in order to give his daughter more time to live, well that's powerful. Then to see a husband and others do the same thing. It's humanity at its finest, even if it is only a TV show. The best thing about The 100 is that it doesn't shirk the hard issues and it allows all the characters to make tough choices. Even better, those choices are not defined as good or bad, only by the perspective of the person making them. They are tough and the characters struggle with them. Even Kane, who had previously been the stock villain, was shown to have multiple levels in this episode. It was a masterful stroke that showed us that he really does have the Ark's best interests in mind even if he disagrees about what those are with Abby. By showing that he can be flexible when the situation changes, his character has become well-rounded and we see how tough these decisions are for him too. The 100 is a surprisingly deep and sometimes dark show, so don't let the fact that it's on the CW keep you from watching it. It is turning out to be one of the better new shows of the season.

Best Meta - Community - 5.13 - 
Basic Sandwich

This episode was meta-rific, a nod to Community's perennial bubble status and its fans constant struggle to keep it on the air. It was also a screw you to NBC, the network on which it airs, which has been known to change Community's air dates without much thought. Possibly the best show meta ever came at the very end when they ran an ad for future NBC shows called Thought Jacker, Intensive Karen, Mr. Egypt, Celebrity Beat-Off, and Captain Cook. In today's sad TV world, many fans didn't realize this was fake until partway through. However the best part came at the end when it said, "This summer or fall or, possibly next winter…" And then the people in the ad say, "It depends on what fails." BWAH!!! That is so how Community is scheduled on NBC. The ad featured Amber Tamblyn, Questlove, BJ Novak, Paul Schneider, and the school board guys in a Community spin-off. Amber Tamblyn is famous for her show Joan of Arcadia, which got cancelled by CBS and caused an uproar amongst its fans, one of the first major fan reactions I remember. Questlove was part of Chapelle's Show, which got canceled when its star walked off the project. BJ Novak was in the now cancelled The Office, which Community referenced in this episode, and the recently renewed bubble show, The Mindy Project. Probably the one getting the most attention though is Intensive Karen, which is considered a parody of the quickly cancelled Ironside. If anyone knows who the actress was, please let me know.

The second best meta of the episode was of course Abed, whose lines were spot-on. Consider this riff: "Annie, look I don't know people, but I know TV. When characters feel like the show they're on is ending, their instinct is to spin off into something safer. In Jeff and Britta's case, something that would last 6 episodes and have a lot of bickering about tweezers and glutens, starring an equally WASP-y brunette couple with a title like Better with My Worst Half, or Awfully Wedded, or Tying the Not but Knot is spelled without a K, or #CouplePeopleProblems and every episode you get to decide who wins the fight by going on…" If that isn't the state of the most popular comedies right now, while other, better comedies wither away with their bad demo ratings. Borchert is right. "Idiots won." Other fantastic meta lines include:

Abed: "The point is this show, Annie, it isn't just their show. This is our show and it's not over."
Carl: "Your school is still bankrupt, it is still unmarketable, and it is still on the permanent chopping block of anyone who has any say in its future." Dean: "Yeah, well around here we call that Wednesday."

Abed: "Speaking of days, I never got a chance to wish you a happy birthday, or Halloween, or Christmas, or any specific calendar event." Annie: "Well maybe next year." Abed: "We'll definitely be back next year. If not it'll be because an asteroid has destroyed all human civilization and that's canon."
-The first part is another dis on NBC for its wacky scheduling, which brings to mind the classic Community season 4 premiere video, "Troy and Abed airing….someday." The second makes a sixth season canon, if possibly not true. Come on NBC, you know you're going to make it happen. Just confirm 6 seasons and a movie already.

Nominated/New Shows:

Nominated Show:

American Dad - 9.09 - Vision: Impossible

To be honest, this nomination is the least in my comfort zone than any of the others so far. I don't do animation in the same way I don't do so-called reality TV. Therefore this was an unique experience for me. I wasn't sure what to expect from a Seth MacFarlane creation, but it certainly was not an animated, slightly risqué after school special. I didn't realize that animation was all about the moral or about stating it so blatantly, which would have annoyed me in a drama. Roger: "Even if we could stay alive in here, what kind of life would that be? Life is risky, but you have to get out there and take chances anyway." It's not that I disagree with the statement; it's just that I am used to TV being a bit more subtle in executing the theme. It reminds me of an 80's sitcom in that way and perhaps it is meant to. I haven't seen enough of the show to tell what is meta and what isn't at this point. I did like that it was far less crass than I expected a Seth MacFarlane creation to be and more sophisticated than anything I've seen from Family Guy or Dads. It also had a great circular storyline and the irony of the safety museum was fantastic. It was the best scene hands down for me. However, for a comedy I found myself laughing very little, especially in the middle. Part of it is that I consider myself a moderate and independent so making conservatives the butt of ALL the jokes and not slamming the left equally got on my last nerve. There needs to be a balance for me to enjoy a show. Part of it is that the dialogue was less snarky than most of the dramas I watch today. This show had surprisingly more heart than I ever suspected, but it had half the amount of laughs I expect from a comedy. Then again, animation is not my thing so take my grade and opinion with a Steve-sized amount of salt.

Grade: C-
Ranking: 1

Best Scene/Action - The Safety Museum

Best Quote - Roger: "So can I get an orange juice or is there a long a** story about that too?"

Best Character - Roger

Best Moment - the people are shepherded back into the fire and they go

The "Huh?" Award - Why is the fish snorting coke?

Best Irony - The safety museum is shot up by a disgruntled worker who got fired the day before / the safety museum has no safety precautions in it

Best Running Gag - An ultraconservative has an alien living in his house. My guess is that this is more meta.

Worst Plan - Hayley wants to keep the raccoon as a pet. There's no scenario where this ends up a good idea.

New Show:  I attempted to check out Metal Hurlant Chronicles but could not find it in time.  I have no idea what it is about or if it even qualifies as a show for Last Week in TV purposes.  I also intend to start reviewing Orphan Black but did not have time this week.  Since it is in season 2, it will go in the weekly shows category, hopefully next week.

Fargo - 1.01 - Pilot

I usually review all new shows if they come on a channel I get. Therefore I prepared to watch Fargo as well. However about 40 minutes into it I started falling asleep and 62 minutes into it I found out I still had another half an hour to go. Nope! I was out. I will say that it has great acting, but the pacing is snail slow - basically Hannibal slow - and I hated all the characters except the sheriff and his sidekick. Given that Fargo comes highly recommended by people who love all the shows I loathe, it is not surprising. So no grade or episodes awards for this one, since I didn’t finish the pilot. Nor will I.

Weekly Shows:

Crisis - 1.05 - Designated Allies

I am seriously frustrated with Crisis by this point. I need everyone to shut up. I need answers. I need the end to come near. It doesn't surprise me that ratings for this show are dropping. As for me, I'm dropping it now that the teacher-student relationship is confirmed. Tell me how it ends.

Grade: D

Best Scene - Meg tells Dunn to stuff it because everything's she's ever done is for Amber

Best Quote - Luke: "Messed up DC rich kid. Better parenting through chemistry, yo."

Only Characters I Like Left - Hurst, Finley, Anton, and Kyle

Biggest Shock - The FBI kidnaps the soldiers

The "Say What?" Award - Why would anyone go near anyone who has a kidnapped kid? They have to know that there's a chance they are being used for nefarious purposes.

The "Wow, What a Surprise" Award - The soldier passes out before the FBI can get ANY answers. I am thoroughly sick of this storytelling format already. You are now in The Following bad territory. How many episodes are left of this show?

Most in Need of Dying - The creepy guard who is stalking Amber and if I never hear again about the teacher-student relationship, it will be too soon.

The "Oh Shut Up, You Whiny Brat" - Francis, I have zero sympathy for you and all your whining just makes me want them to shoot you dead.

The "Shut Up" Award - The list is long and wide tonight. Beth Ann, Francis, Dunn, most of the other characters.

Resurrection - 1.06 - Home

Resurrection is still maple syrup slow, but it is still very interesting too. You do have to abandon your skepticism while watching because there is NO way that information about the returned hasn't leaked yet, but the characters remain honest portrayals of people faced with an uncertain situation. Leaving it on that cliffhanger makes me anxious to find out what happens next.

Grade: B

Best Quote - Bellamy: "What about what happened with Caleb?" Henry: "The thing is when do we ever have a guarantee in this life. If I lose him tomorrow, at least I'll have had these days with him."

Best Moment - Elaine and Ray bond over the douche that is Caleb

Biggest Aww Moment - Henry tucks Jacob in

Most Intriguing - New doctor Eric who is likely to bring the federal government in on this just to get his hands on Jacob

Worst Plan - Cop kidnapping Rachel. There is no way this ends well for anyone. I kind of hope Rachel has supernatural power and zaps Gary. Then she needs to go away like Caleb.

The "Rednecks Have Arrived" Award - Paul and his gun collection = big future problems

The "You are So Screwed" Award - Tom, who lied to his wife and got another woman pregnant 20 some odd years ago

The "Big Mistake, Huge" Award - Janine confides in Helen, the worst possible person she could have

Best Scene with No Dialogue - Sheriff looks at his wedding ring

Biggest Douche - Helen / Gary

Star-Crossed - 1.09 - Some Consequence Yet Hanging in the Stars

Note - From here on I am skipping all the star-crossed lovers drek unless it directly effects the real plot. Consider it always the Best Reason to Fast Forward. All episodes will have 2 grades in the future. One for overall and one without the shipping.

Coming to a crescendo, this episode combined 4 main players in a battle for the hearts of the Atrians and therefore the power. Castor showed himself willing to do anything in order to keep that power, even threatening to send his own nephew to the Crate. Saroya, instead, found herself over her head in a world that had changed since Nox's death. Roman just showed himself to be incompetent as a leader. Not because he trusted the wrong person. That happens. It's because he approached everything wrong, made rash decisions without thinking through the consequences, failed to understand his opponents so much so that he underestimated them, and then put himself before the needs of his people. Not a good start, Roman. The Atrians do need a leader, but you are not it yet. In the end, Vega won this round. By allowing the conflict between Roman and Castor distract them and by working on Saroya's very real fears, Vega got exactly what she wanted. She proved to be cunning and patient, two things that generally work well in a coup. No doubt she will become overconfident and villain monologue at just the wrong moment, but for now she's definitely positioned the best. It was fascinating seeing these 4 try to get the upper hand on each other and it made for great drama. Still the most intense scene of all was Drake with his mother. To know just how long he's wanted to be reunited with her and all that he has done in the pursuit of her freedom, his hurt reaction to her disappointment was unmistakable. He has become the most interesting character, torn in so many directions from such varied loyalties. Thus far, the only person who comes close to having as amazing a character arc is Grayson. I can't wait to see what happens between them.

Grade: B- / A

Best Scene - Vega trades the flight recorder for the Castor's hostages

Best Quote - Saroya: "This is a trap. You can't trust this human and you can't trust Roman." Drake: "Roman's family, the only family I've had for the past 8 years. Now we've got our problems, but I'm not going to turn my back on him."

Best Character Interaction - Saroya and Drake / Castor and Roman

Best Reveal - Saroya and Vega used to be best friends

Best Table Turn - Castor is the only one there when Roman goes to talk to the leaders and then holds Roman prisoner.

The "Get a Room" Award - Seriously, Drake and Taylor? First a bathroom and now a locker room? Not sanitary. Not to mention anyone could walk in on you. I see a visit by Shady Science Teacher in your future.

Best Plan - Castor plans to discredit and falsely accuse Roman so he is sent to the Crate, just like he did to Saroya. Brilliant in its simplicity and no need to bury the body.

The "Wow, that was Actually Smart" Award - Emery makes her first smart move by not trying to break Roman out herself but going to Drake so they can come up with a plan.

Most Intense - Drake tells Saroya that everything he's ever done was to get her back

The "It's Your Own Fault" Award - Why is Roman waiting until the morning to go to the elders? Castor has proven that he can manipulate anyone. Why give him time while you're canoodling with your girlfriend? Priorities, man! Roman showed a complete lack of leadership by going off to snog Emery instead of taking the next step to defeat Castor. He deserves whatever happens next for being such a complete idiot. Did he really think Castor was going to wait until the morning or go quietly? Bah! A pox on both star-crossed lovers.

Best Background Info - Castor says that he wanted to colonize earth because he didn't think they would find another suitable planet, but the pilot refused so he shot him. Saroya fought him and he crashed the ship.

The "Say What?" Award - Grayson can't see the tire tracks in the day but by night he sees them perfectly.

The "Not a Bad Idea" Award - Castor may be an evil murderer and he takes the exact wrong approach to everything, but separation is an interesting idea. History shows it would never work but it does give Atrians and the story line a viable third option to entertain.

Warehouse 13 - 5.01 - Endless Terror

Warehouse 13 came back in full throttle this episode and while I very much enjoyed it, there were some issues. First is the contrived conflict between Artie and Claudia. I would be fine with it if we weren't now down to 5 episodes. As we are, there is no time for Claudia to be acting like a brat and for Artie to be mopey. They need to fix this rift quickly because I am not spending my last 5 episodes telling characters to shut up and throwing socks at my screen. I was also disappointed that Paracelsus was dispatched so easily. I was hoping he would be around for a few more episodes at least. Not that I am complaining about Mark Sheppard being back as Valda. I love that guy. Still, Paracelsus had so much story left that it felt a little rushed when it didn't have to be. Imagine Anthony Stewart Head and Mark Sheppard on the screen together for 5 episodes! Now that would have been epic. Alas it will not be. On the positive side, this erpisode is chock full of references to previous seasons as a basketful of Easter eggs to the fans. Plus it introduced Lisa da Vinci and Isabella to the canon, quite the delight. I know it would be hard to work them back into the last 5 episodes, but I'm still holding out for some kind of TV movie. I hope this is not the last we see of them. I also enjoyed the fast-pace of the episode and the constant humor that makes Warehouse 13 one of the funniest shows I watch, even more so than some comedies. In other words, Warehouse 13 is back and even though the ride is short, I am going to enjoy it while it lasts.

Grade: B

Best Quote - Artie: "I'm still the same man that's loved you like a father since the day you put me in electrified handcuffs and kidnapped me. I'm just trying to protect me." Claudia: "You can't, Artie. You can't protect me anymore. You have to let me make my own mistakes and you have to let me get hurt if that's what's supposed to happen."

Funniest Character Interaction - Steve and Artie

Best Character Interaction - Myka and Pete

Best Clothing Choice - Paracelsus' duster jacket

MVP - the regents' manual addendums

The "Say What?" Award - Artie is awfully nonchalant about a missing artifact. He should be organizing a full on search by now. Hmm.

Worst Plan - Artie and the shield

Best Prank - Ralph Brunsky, Egyptian terrorist

Best Diversion - Yelling, "We're here," and knocking over some artifacts

The "Poor Baby" Award - Steve, who keeps getting beat up

Growing Up Fisher - 1.08 - The Man with the Spider Tattoo

While the moral was said directly at least twice in a 22 minute episode, I did like this one. Yes, it was in-your-spider-webbed-face, blunt and transparent but the character interactions wee spot on. I really like Katie as a character and it is nice to see her letting loose instead of always taking care of everyone else for a change. I also appreciate Joyce in this episode, which rarely happens. Yes she was still kooky but it was tamer in some ways. I'd like to see more of her interacting with Mrs. Han to be honest. I think they could be good for each other.

Grade: B

Best Scene - Pete and Mel rebond at the park

Best Quote - Gym Teacher: "Really? You're calling this a fight."

Best Character Interaction - Mel and Katie

Character Interaction I'd Like to See More - Joyce and Mrs. Han

Best Reaction - Joyce, Henry, and Katie freak out when Mel's new friend has a giant spider web tattoo on his face

The "Does That Really Work?" Award - Katie is fascinated by a kid who can do magic tricks. Is that really a plus in high school these days? It would have been a negative when I was a teen.

Best Unintended Guilt Train - Mel, who makes Katie feel bad about not giving him all the facts , by complimenting her on her fine moral character

Lamest, Yet Funniest Fight Ever - Rhythmic ribbon fighting. It's like sword fighting but with more flapping and less stabbing.

Most Savvy - Mel, who knows that Katie is having a party, even though she keeps hand signaling everyone to be silent

SHIELD - 1.18 - Providence

It's back-to-back hit episodes for SHIELD. Who knew that having the Marvel Universe fall apart would be exactly what this show needed to shake things up and make it more interesting? Of course it was the Hydra side of events tonight that captured my attention while I could have done without most of the SHIELD perspective. People bratting in a crisis does little for me, so Coulson was just irksome. The love geometry of Fitz's jealousy as well. However we did get the great comedic relief of Patton Oswalt's Koenig, which turned things around for the SHIELD side. Mostly though, they left this episode on a real high note. Having Ward go back to SHIELD now that we know he's doing so on Garrett's orders changes everything and should create some delightful tension next week. I wish he was going to be under for a longer time though. If Ward really is a double agent, his character's lifespan on SHIELD is very short and I would hate to see him go when he's suddenly become far more interesting.

Grade: A-

Best Scene - Ward explains how he infiltrated Coulson's team to Raina

Best Quote - Skye: "We have internet." Coulson: "Yea, and boy have I lowered my expectations." / Kaminsky: "Hail Hydra." Garrett: "Alright, alright, put your arms down Kaminsky. You look like a West Texas cheerleader at a pep rally."

Best Reason to Watch / Most Intriguing - Ward. Now that he's back with the SHIELD team, everything is more interesting. Who is playing whom? Will he make it out or is there a May interrogation in his future? How long can he keep his secret from them? These questions have me frothing for the next episode.

Best Character Growth - Simmons, who has the audacity to question Coulson's dictatorship, as she should

Best Humor - Agent Koenig speaks so seriously about the lanyards. They're a privilege, not a right.

Most Improved - Raina. I think it was her absence that made her far more tolerable to me in this episode or perhaps it is the fact that she truly believed. It's her first vulnerability.

Biggest Question - Garrett has a metal plate on his side. What's up with that and does it explain why he went to Hydra instead of sticking with SHIELD?

Biggest Douche - I don't care if this show always makes Coulson right. He had no right keeping vital information like the fact that they would have no fuel to go anywhere else from his people. This didn't just happen to him. It happened to them all.

Marvelverse Guest of the Week - Adrian Pasdar, here as Colonel Talbot, has apparently been playing the voice of Iron Man in a lot of things.

Best Acting - Coulson's mental breakdown and apology afterwards

Least Surprising - the slingshot program doesn't really exist

The "Oh Really" Award - Coulson: "I'm not comfortable keeping secrets from my team." Are you sure about that? You didn't tell them about running out of gas. You kept the secret of Skye's birth a secret from her for a long time. I call "liar, liar".

Best Non-Dialogue Scene - The faces of everyone following Coulson's crazy arctic walk

Turn - 1.02 - Who by Fire

TURN continues to be fascinating and well-paced with a second episode equal to the first. I like how both sides have their heroes and villains, which was fascinatingly played out between Rogers and Hewlett in this episode. Both are important in the King's army and yet they have very different approaches to how war should be waged. Every scene between them is intense and well-done. Kudos to both actors. I also found Simcoe interesting in this episode. Don't get me wrong. I still wish they had killed him outright. He's a plague that will escape to be an annoyance in the future, but for right now he's the only one bringing the snark. The only downfall right now is the Abraham and Anna relationship that proves even basic cable, even historical fiction, is not safe from the tentacles of that irksome plot device called the love triangle. Help us all! The sooner someone takes the knife to that cliché the sooner TV will be more palatable.

Grade: B

Best Quote - Simcoe: "A word? Do you suppose pain will rob me of reason?" Ben: "I should hope not." Simcoe: "You should not hope. It wastes your time and my rum, of which there is little left."

Best Character Interaction - Hewlett and Rogers

The "Are You Kidding Me?" Award - Even in a historical spy show, we have to get a love triangle. Bah! A pox on this never-ending clichéd boredom.

Ewww Award - jail surgery to get the musket ball out of Simcoe consists of sticking a knife in the wound repeatedly / unpickling the dead captain

Best Commonsense - Caleb tells Ben that Simcoe has about as much chance of knowing who the spy is as they do. Not killing Simcoe is going to come back and bite me. I can't stand that guy.

Most Puzzling - It never made sense to me that captive military officers were afforded luxuries that an armies own could not get. Different times I guess. While I know this is historically accurate, it still makes me suspicious that General Scott is the spy.

Best Played - Major Andre sends Rogers to ferret out what happened in Connecticut by playing on his need for revenge / Abraham comes "clean" to Rogers before he can grill him and shows him the letter

Worst Played - Why did they keep a dead officer's things in the house of a known patriot sympathizer after he was murdered? Shouldn't someone have collected his things and searched the room?

Best Guest - Amy Gumenick, who played young Mary Winchester on Supernatural, guests as Philomena, an actress who fancies Major Andre here. Glad to see her on another show.

Best Deal - If Hewlett has the drummer play retreat, Rogers will go away. Sounds like a fair trade to me.

Biggest Twist - Rogers lets Robeson live to be a spy for him and puts Abraham in charge of him

The 100 - 1.05 - Twilight's Last Gleaming

Grade: A-

Best Scene - The people of the Ark volunteer to die to save the rest of the people

Biggest Aww Moment - Reese's dad says goodbye to her even though she doesn't realize it

Most Heartbreaking Moment - The barrette falls from the dad's hand, the ultimate sacrifice

Best Quote - Chancellor: "Volunteer? For what?" Dad: "Section 17, sir. Anyway you do the math, some of us are going to have to jump ship if everyone's going to make it, so I'm going to jump." Abby: "You'd leave Reese without a father?" Dad: "This morning you told me my daughter was going blind. There was nothing I could do to help her. Turns out there is. Count me in."

Best Reason to Fast Forward - Everything about romance on earth. First off, it killed the momentum of a great Ark story and second, it's likely to continue to be a drag on future episodes. NO MORE LOVE TRIANGLES! NO MORE LOVE GEOMETRY! Don't screw with this show, CW!

Best Outing - Abby releases her husband's tape and tells the Ark's people about the culling / Raven tells Finn and Clarke that Bellamy shot the Chancellor and then tells Bellamy he didn't succeed in killing him.

The "Oops I Fell and Landed in a Horror Movie" Award - Octavia knocks herself out when she trips in the woods.

Biggest Character Improvement - Kane. For the first time he comes off as a real person and not just a stock villain. I like how we see his humanity and that Abby sees it too. They will never agree but now their interactions don't seem so one-sided, so good vs. evil.

Best Plan - Raven decides to shoot off rockets into the atmosphere to let the Ark know that they are alive down on earth

Most Manipulative - Bellamy says they need to wait until sunrise to go after the pod, but he really wants to take out the radio on his own

Best Confrontation - Chancellor tells Abby that she risked Raven's life / Kane tells the Chancellor that he cannot join those who volunteered to die because the people of the Ark need him for inspiration

Worst Plot Device - Raven wakes up approximately 60 seconds after Bellamy takes off with the radio. It's cheap and annoying.

Most Practical - The girl who hopes the Ark sent down some shampoo. Ha!

Best Cliffhanger - Octavia is found by a grounder / Abby and Chancellor see the rockets from earth

"The Answer is Always No" Award - Anytime anyone asks if they should split up, it means they definitely should not. If it isn't dangerous to split up, then they wouldn't be asking.

The Biggest Sacrifice and Why You Should Watch This Episode - the 320+ who gave up their lives so others may live

Surviving Jack - 1.04 - Rhythm is a Dancer

Another funny episode for Surviving Jack. Perhaps a bit too much bump and grind for my taste, but otherwise a solid episode with great heart moments and enough laughs to fit comedy. I really find Jack's devotion to Joanne, and vice versa, very touching. After years of comedies when I wondered why anyone stayed together at all, it's nice to revisit adults who actually seem to want to be together. I was surprised by Frankie tonight too, in that he just went for it without psyching himself out. While it didn't turn out well, it showed significant character growth. Mostly though, it was something in a comedy that surprised me, which happens less than in dramas. If you're not watching Surviving Jack, I suggest you give it a try, especially since Enlisted is still off the air.

Grade: B

Best Scene - Jack and Joanne try to find a night they can be alone together, the trials of a busy life.

Best Quote - Jack: "Wow, that went from zero to crazy really fast."

Best Character Interaction - Jack and Joanne

Biggest Surprise - Frankie up and kisses Heather at the dance

Least Surprising - Heather's date punches him out because of it

The "Say What?" Award - What kind of mother tells her daughter to protest so she can grind at a school dance?

Biggest Aww Moment - Jack forgoes a romantic night with his wife to console his son

Best Physical Comedy - Jack threatens Doug by leaning way into him until Doug is lying on the couch

Most Impressive Dance Decorations - That Homecoming looks pretty spiffy. In 1990, ours was basically balloons and streamers.

The Crazy Ones - 1.21 - The Monster

I'm all about saving libraries, given that I am a librarian, so this episode hit close to home. I like how creative the campaign was. I like that they raised awareness for libraries more. I wasn't such a fan that the majority of the cast felt that libraries were obsolete and would close them down with no real reason given to keep them open. Other than that, this episode made me laugh and I loved all the little references within it. Mostly though, I enjoyed all the Simon and Gordon scenes. These two have a great contentious relationship that makes me laugh every time. I really hope they can be on another show together at some point.

Grade: B+

Best Scene - The ending scene which starts off sweet and then turns into a launch into the finale

Best Quote - Simon: "You're such a villain. All you're missing is a poison apple and a magic mirror." Gordon: "Oh you haven't even begun to see the evil queen that I can be."

Best Character Interaction - Gordon and Simon

The "Oh What is the World Coming To?" - No one understands the "big words" the librarian is using

The "Selling Ice to Eskimos" Award - Simon really can twist any bad situation into sounding like a good one

Worst Book - Caveman Boy starring Stupidest Dodo and Littlest Mammoth

Best Plan - the book burning party as a way to get people to save the library, which ended up making money for the firm

Best Moment - Andrew slides across the table to hear Simon speechify

The "Say What?" Award - Who in the suburbs actually has a pitchfork these days?

Best Addition - the boozy librarian

Biggest Fit - Zack is hurt because Andrew isn't paying attention to him anymore

Most Overplayed - Lauren tries to pretend she didn't know Dillon is gay but way overdoes it

Best Reference - Gordon is in the middle of a Frankenstein/Quasimodo scenario and the ad crew, except Andrew, keep guessing Twilight and The Hunger Games.

The Crazy Ones - The Lighthouse (season finale)

The writing is on the wall for The Crazy Ones. No renewal notice and pushing two episodes together right before Easter weekend pretty much says this is the series finale, not just the season one. It's a shame because I have overall enjoyed the hijinks and especially the character interaction. I'm really going to miss these characters. Well maybe not the rampant guest stars that pop up just to be on and then go away as little more than a distraction from the plot. David Copperfield, I'm looking at you. So I wasn't really looking forward to Marilu Henner joining for the finale. I wanted it to be more in-house. Imagine my surprise when her character was the catalyst for the majority of great scenes. I could have done without Gordon and Simon wooing her for her vote, but I did love how Sydney interacted with her. It explained a lot. It led to some great Simon and Paige moments too. The Andrew and Zach exchanges were awesome as well.

Grade: A-

Best Scene - Simon tells Sydney that her mom cares while they wait to hear the board's vote

Best Advice - Simon: "Honey, don't have a file called Diary if your password is 12345678."

Best Character Interaction - Andrew and Zach / Simon and Paige

Biggest Regret - Without a second season, we will not get anymore Simon and Paige bickering

Biggest Twist - Megan asks Zach to attend the wedding and ends up being the bride

Best Rebuttal to an Impassioned Plea for Artistic Freedom - Gordon: "47 million dollars."

Creepiest Thing in the Whole Show - Zach dreams of Andrew in a nightcap right after he had sex

Best Improvement - Zach OS7

Best Use of Anger - Pounding out your anger at your ex on your chicken parmesan and blending out your frustration

Funniest Montage - Simon and Paige's emotional leverage sex

Community - 5.13 - Basic Sandwich (season finale)

Grade: B+

Best Scene - The NBC ad at the end

Best Quote - Abed: "That's an emoticon. That person wants to indicate happiness but can't convey it with language so they misuse punctuation to form a smile." Borchert: "That is so…stupid. Only an idiot would think of this. Idiots won."

Best Reason to Fast Forward - the freaking love triangle and Borchert

Best Continuity - Hot Lava reference

Best Rambling - Abed spouts about spin-offs and all of them sound like terrible sitcoms on right now, some of which have huge ratings. Well played, Community. Rail against the stupidity.

Best Reference - Dean: "What does this look like, an hour long episode of The Office?"

Best Decoy - Shirley, Hickey, and Duncan have a tea party to throw the school board guys off

Best Voice Over - the 70's guy saying, "The door is closing. (Faster than it opened.) For dramatic effect." Also the opening when it says, "Specially timed to the duration of the opening process."

Worst Debate topic Ever - Who's Hotter - Elliot Gould or Donald Sutherland? Um, can I get a neither?

Best Way to Go Off - Dancing to Dave Matthews Band

Least Observant - No one notices that the Dean is choking, even though they are all in the same tiny room together, so he has to save himself

Screencaps by Zap2It, Gotta Watch ItAlphaCoders, Brewvies, FB, Hollywood Life, Film Book, BTV Guide, Sidereel,, She Knows, Idiot Box, Watchaholics, KY3, SpoilerTV, Nerdist, and FOX.

About the Author - Dahne
One part teacher librarian - one part avid TV fan, Dahne is a contributing writer for SpoilerTV, where she recaps, reviews, and creates polls for Sleepy Hollow, Arrow, White Collar, Grimm, Teen Wolf, and others. She's addicted to Twitter, live tweets a multitude of shows each week, and co-hosts the Warehouse 13 "Endless Wonder", Sleepy Hollow "Headless," and Teen Wolf "Welcome to Beacon Hills" podcasts for Southgate Media Group. Currently she writes a Last Week in TV column for her blog and SpoilerTV. ~ "I speak TV."

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Warehouse 13 - 5.01 - Endless Terror - Recap and Episode Awards

Previously - Pete accidentally released Paracelsus to take over the warehouse in an attempt to cure Myka of cancer, Artie told Claudia her sister was alive and she didn't take it well, Myka had tumor surgery, and everyone was kicked out of the warehouse except Claudia, who faced off against Paracelsus believing the warehouse would protect her.

Starting exactly where season 4 left off, Claudia and Paracelsus trade barbs as he sends a fireball her way. The warehouse changes it to ice crystals. Claudia: "Looks like your warehouse still has a little bit of a crush on me." Ha! Claudia tries to tesla Paracelsus to no avail, so he breaks out a WWII kamikaze tessen fan and canon. No dice, the warehouse won't hurt either of them. Claudia: "You're wasting your time, Voldemort. I'm as much a part of this warehouse as you are and it won't let you kill me." Uh oh, Claudia. You just gave him an idea. Instead of trying to kill her, Paracelsus chooses to control her like he controls the warehouse. He uses Orville Wright's aviator glasses on Claudia to learn about the time machine and his absolute pursuit of science begins as he demands Claudia's help in combining artifacts, including Karl Schwarzschild's pocket watch, Marquis de Laplace's telescope, and Theodosius of Bithynia's sun dial. He also learns of Claudia's time in a mental facility. Paracelsus: "You know I too was thought to be mad. We have that in common." Claudia: "Except I'm a normal human being and you're a sociopathic murderer. Other than that, we're twins." Bwah! Claudia is killing it tonight. Meanwhile at the hospital, a very concerned Pete picks up Myka to her discomfort. Pete: "I'm sorry but saying my name does not allay my fears." Myka stresses she's fine, unlike the warehouse situation where Steve gets the short end of the stick. Artie makes him drive a goo-covered car into the shield, unsuccessfully. At the same time Mrs. Frederic checks in to say she's off to find the regents who are sequestered in a secret location. Artie: "Hell of a time for a retreat." Mrs. Frederic: "I don't think a warehouse coup was on anyone's calendar." True. Back at the hospital, Pete fills Myka in on what she missed, minus why he released Paracelsus. Mid-conversation, Myka realizes they can dismantle the shield at the observatory. Woo hoo for Smart Myka!

Apparently they don't inform Artie and Steve though, since Artie compiles a large stack of car batteries and jumper cables. Yeah, no danger there. Steve shares my concerns. "You can say emergency all you want but it's still illegal." Artie: "Oh please, of all the illegal things I've done, this is probably the least illegal. Remember we're trying to save Claudia's life." Steve: "Yes, and that's going to be a lot harder to do from prison." Ha! Artie plans to stop Paracelsus with Achilles' arrow, but first he needs Steve to hold jumper cables to the shield to disable it. No dummy, Steve insists Artie takes one side. Steve: "Maybe I'll stand a chance to live through this." Or not. The red cable sends him flying, as Artie watches safely on the black side. Luckily Myka and Pete arrive before Artie thinks of another plan. She rails at them for not reading the manual addendum, which clearly explains the observatory failsafe which makes it look like the shield is up when it really isn't. Since Steve is done with guinea pig duties, he makes Myka go first. Ha! Smart move! Now safely inside, the group splits up. Artie and Myka head to the Eldunari while Pete and Steve create a diversion and search for the arrow that killed Achilles. Alas it's a Paracelsus- controlled Claudia they find instead. She shoots a bazooka, Al Capone's guns and the bomb that didn't kill Hitler at them. Things look bleak when they're trapped at a dead end with Claudia closing in. In the Eldunari, Artie plans to use Sargon the Great's mirrors to simultaneously force the flames back to the alcoves and in essence reboot the warehouse. Myka: "What happens if it's not exactly simultaneous?" Artie: "Unclear. The flames will probably consume us both." Myka: "That sounds pretty clear to me." Myka's iffy on the plan, since they're essentially guessing here. Artie: "It's not an exact science." Myka: "I know. I miss exact science." After a short sneeze break, they succeed right in the nick of time. As the Norse symbols finally re-appear in the Eldunari, Claudia regains control and Paracelsus is disconnected from the warehouse.

Yet, he's still not out. They soon realize he created a fully operational time machine using 4 artifacts: HG Wells' time machine, the Marquis de Laplace's telescope, Karl Schwarzschild's pocket watch, and Theodosius of Bithynia's sundial. Pete: "I'm so glad people today have names like Dave." (You and me both, given that sometimes researching artifacts is a pain.) Paracelsus steps through the wormhole right before they get there, Pete shoots the arrow but it misses, and Myka and Artie toss silverware at the group right before a huge quake rocks the warehouse. Suddenly everything is different and they find themselves in an industrial area, where Paracelsus has been caretaker of the past 5 warehouses. Nice to be immortal, I guess. Artie claims Paracelsus hasn't changed much in history, given the same historical path has occurred, while Myka points out the new motto, Scientia Sit Omne - Media ad Pinem Justificat, which roughly means science is everything - the ends justify the means. That can't be good. Artie, Steve, and Myka debate time travel, explaining that the silverware they hold allows them to remember the previous time continuum. It's from King Louis XIV's Versailles palace, which evidently had a time slip problem. I've no idea how it works but luckily Pete stops the time travel discussion with a Star Wars joke and common sense. Pete: "Don't try and explain time travel. It never makes sense and it always makes my head hurt. We're here; the world is different. Let's find Perry and kick his a**." Absolutely! Meanwhile Claudia is distracted by the vastly superior technology, which pops up a hologram Paracelsus tour guide. Steve: "He's like that annoying paperclip." Pete: "Geez, the ego on this guy." Ha!

Claudia brings them back to focus. She needs to get to the computer hub to hack the system, but Artie protests that he needs her to create the time machine. Sorry Artie. Claudia makes a lot of sense. She can talk them through creating the time machine, but they still need to know where Paracelsus went originally so they can stop him. Our little Claudia is all grown up…until she starts snapping at Artie about her sister. (Deep sigh) I can't wait until this contrived conflict is over and they move on. There's only 5 episodes left and I don't want to spend them with Claudia and Artie at odds. Suffice it to say, Claudia wins the argument so she and Pete head off to find the hub. On their way, Pete asks about the tension. Pete: "I'm sorry. I left my Claudia-Artie codebook in my other pants, so spill." No dice. They're interrupted by super soldiers marching around. Pete: "Oh man, they have Borgs here. Why does the creepy killer's warehouse get to be cooler than ours?" Ha! The soldiers are set up with Chester Moore Hall's achromatic lens and the Spine of the Saracen. Nice call back to previous episodes. Even better, they are led by Valda - aka Mark Sheppard, woo hoo! Pete: "Oh great. Maybe MacPherson and Walter Sykes are running the snack bar." Bwah! Let's hope not. Once in the hub, they find Abigail hardwired into the computer system, an organic mainframe. Since the system is literally wired to her spinal cord, they cannot get her out so they use her as Siri instead. Sadly all the info they're looking for is classified. Abigail: "Shall I contact Dr. Paracelsus for clearance?" That's a big NO! They decide to go for more generic info. Pete: "Okay but just tiptoe, okay? Sneaky, sneaky quiet okay?"

Meanwhile, Artie, Myka, and Steve are interrupted in their artifact search by a man's screaming. They are combining artifacts on him despite his pain, which reminds Artie of his parents' stories of Nazi death camps. They finally reassemble Paracelsus' artifact puzzle, but alas the tesla coil is not on full power. They need an alternative to keep Myka and Pete from getting stuck in the past. More importantly, their artifact thieving has been noticed. Claudia and Pete arrive to state that Paracelsus went back to June 10, 1541. That's when all the regents died and Paracelsus became sole controller of the warehouse indefinitely. Myka and Pete start to jump in the wormhole as armed guards amass. To throw them off, Artie gets arrested and Claudia starts to go after him. Steve: "Claud, he's probably going to need you not captured so you can go and rescue him, don't you think?" Ah, the voice of reason. Sadly, Myka and Pete don't fare any better in the 16th century. A warehouse 9 agent, Lisa da Vinci, thinks they're killers and thus has a knife to Myka's throat. Yes, her grandpa was that da Vinci. Pete: "If you have anything that's he's ever drawn, hold on to it because it's going to go through the roof." Ha! Even better, Lisa is not impressed by his time travel story. "What took you so long? My grandfather's been working on time travel for over 40 years." Bwah! While Pete prattles, Myka gets loose and claims Paracelsus killed her men instead. Skeptical, Lisa says he was bronzed that day. That explains why he went back. Lisa uses a magic mirror to confirm that Paracelsus did indeed kill the men and Pete tries to hook up with her. So, the usual. I'm more distracted by the Paracelsus swordfight! They brainstorm about where the regents might meet and Pete mentions the Olive Garden. Aha! An actual olive garden it is. They discover Paracelsus killing the regents via an elephant tusk. Lisa whistles for a purple swamper, a giant bird named Isabella. She's the precursor to purple goo and she's fabulous. Lisa: "Does the warehouse of the future no longer use purple swampers to subdue artifacts? That's insanity." Ha! I like her. She should come back. So should Isabella, who hoists the tusk off.

Back in Alter-Warehouse, Claudia hooks up a stationary bike for Steve to pedal to keep the wormhole open, as the theme song to Gilligan's Island sticks in my brain. Steve: "Jumper cables again. What could possibly go wrong?" Poor thing, you always get the worst jobs. Claudia leaves to find Artie while Valda prepares to torture him despite his false continuum ranting. Oh joy! Valda: "People who believe in multiple realities are generally considered insane. We have several artifacts that can cure that." Hmm, I'd think no story told in the warehouse would be dismissed out of hand. They've must have seen a lot in the past few centuries. Paracelsus interrupts, gloating. Artie: "500 years and you've learned nothing." He certainly hasn't learned to avoid the villain monologue. It's always their downfall. Paracelsus: "You will be thrilled to see how much can be learned when we use artifacts as tools rather than collectibles. Quite useful to mankind." Enter Dr. Vanessa and Hugo. Good to have you back! Um, maybe not, since you're on Team Paracelsus. Artie tries to convince them that he knows them through personal facts in a fun trip down WH13 lane. He brings up Vanessa removing his appendix several times. Vanessa: "Well that must have been some affair. What did we do for our honeymoon? A kidney transplant." Hugo: "Nessa, we've been married this long. You've never touched my appendix. Should I be hurt?' Ha! Vanessa and Hugo explain that Paracelsus has their kids, which is why they keep butt-kissing him. It's also why they won't let Artie go. Conveniently Paracelsus senses Claudia and goes in search of the artifacts, leaving Claudia free to save Artie before they use Joan of Arc's helmet, a Tower of London rack spindle, and Bleckwenn's stethoscope on him. Sidestepping their explanations, Artie exposits their purpose. Hugo: "Then you probably also know that if used together, it might extract the truth." Artie: "Yes, also might fry my brain." Ouch!

Claudia arrives just in time but before I can cheer, she starts snotting off about her sister again. Give it a rest! Aren't you the same person who got on her moral high horse and told Nick to stop bratting about his father and grow up? Take your own advice, honey. We've only got 5 episodes left. Artie reasons with her: "I'm still the same man that's loved you like a father since the day you put me in electrified handcuffs and kidnapped me. I'm just trying to protect you." Claudia: "You can't, Artie. You can't protect me anymore. You have to let me make my own mistakes and you have to let me get hurt if that's what's supposed to happen." Sadly, Paracelsus agrees…at least with the getting hurt part. Hugo and Vanessa bring in a mirror and Claudia starts talking about Alice. Oh please no, not her again! Back in the 1500's, Lisa plans to trap Paracelsus before he gets to the Eldunari. Pete: "She's bossy." Myka: "You love it." Pete: "I do." A one-trick pony, Paracelsus throws multiplying sparklers at Pete, but Pete brings him down with the scalpel from the season 4 finale. It hurts Paracelsus in both time continuums. While chokeholding him, Pete accuses Paracelsus of lying to him about Myka within her hearing. She now knows why Pete let Paracelsus out. I now know Pete should never make puns again. Sadly, alter-Paracelsus knows Steve's location and tries to kill him. Just then Paracelsus gets re-bronzed in the past and the warehouse returns to normal. Woo hoo! I'm as excited as Steve is. But not as excited as Pete, who places a bronzed Paracelsus in the Egyptian section with a card that reads Ralph Brunsky, Egyptian terrorist. Ha! That's the guy who picked on Pete as a kid. Artie doesn't find it near as funny as I do. Artie: "Now put him in the Bronze Sector." Pete: "Aw, dad." Artie: "Now or you're going to be grounded for a week." Bwah! I love this dynamic.

What I don't love is Claudia's wacky gut instinct. Claudia: "Well it's this feeling that something is changing. I can't explain it, but something has begun. It's good and bad." Steve: "It's not comforting. Definitely not and I wish that you were lying." I agree, Steve. This cannot be good. Abigail wonders if it has to do with the ultra secret summons she's received from the regents. Again, not good. The others leave, but Myka stays to question Pete about Paracelsus' release and the scalpel artifact. Pete: "I don't remember, Myka. That was like two time travels ago." Ha! She finally tells him she overheard what he said to Paracelsus and he can't deny it any more. Pete: "So sue me. I didn't want you to die." Myka soft voices, and I'm confused because that is not Myka. As Pete starts to smile, Myka punches him. Now that's the Myka I know. Myka: "We always put the warehouse first. I am your partner; I'm not your girlfriend." Pete: "Alright, alright, geez. I'm still going to put you first. Why don't you go punch that?" Ha! I really hope they continue Myka and Pete's brother-sister vibe but alas this is 21st century TV. All shows must fall on their swords to shipper whims. Argh! Even worse, we get another scene where Claudia harps on Artie about Claire. Artie asks for some time but Claudia just walks away. My eyes hurt from rolling. Artie's so discombobulated he shrugs off a missing artifact, which is completely out-of-character for him. Say what? However, I will disregard it because guess who grabbed some Versailles silverware and is back. Valda! Woo hoo and yippee! Mark Sheppard makes every show better. I have no idea what he's up to but I can't wait to see him on my screen next week too. Thanks Warehouse 13. I needed that fix.

Warehouse 13 came back full throttle this episode and while I very much enjoyed it, there were issues. First is the contrived conflict between Artie and Claudia. I'd be fine with it if we weren't now down to 5 episodes. As we are, there is no time for Claudia to be acting like a brat and for Artie to be mopey. They need to fix this rift quickly because I'm not spending my last 5 episodes telling characters to shut up and throwing socks at my screen. I was also disappointed that Paracelsus was dispatched so easily. I hoped he would stick around for a few more episodes at least. Not that I'm complaining about Mark Sheppard being back as Valda. I love that guy. Still Paracelsus had so much story left, it felt rushed when it didn't have to be. Imagine Anthony Stewart Head and Mark Sheppard on the screen together for 5 episodes! That would have been epic. Alas it will not be. On the positive side, this episode is chock full of references to previous seasons, a basketful of Easter eggs to the fans. Plus it introduced Lisa da Vinci and Isabella into canon, quite the delight. I know it would be hard to work them back into the last 5 episodes, but I'm still holding out for some kind of TV movie. I hope this is not the last we see of them. I also enjoyed the fast-pace of the episode and the constant humor that makes Warehouse 13 one of the funniest shows I watch, even more so than many comedies. In other words, Warehouse 13 is back and even though the ride is short, I can't wait to enjoy it while it lasts.

Grade: B

Best Quote - Artie: "I'm still the same man that's loved you like a father since the day you put me in electrified handcuffs and kidnapped me. I'm just trying to protect me." Claudia: "You can't, Artie. You can't protect me anymore. You have to let me make my own mistakes and you have to let me get hurt if that's what's supposed to happen."

Funniest Character Interaction - Steve and Artie

MVP - the regents' manual addendums

The "Say What?" Award - Artie is awfully nonchalant about a missing artifact. He should be organizing a full on search by now. Hmm.

Best Clothing Choice - Paracelsus' duster jacket

Worst Plan - Artie and the shield

Best Prank - Ralph Brunsky, Egyptian terrorist

Best Diversion - Yelling, "We're here," and knocking over some artifacts

The "Poor Baby" Award - Steve, who keeps getting beat up

Worst Motto - Scientia Sit Omne - Media ad Pinem Justificat

Screencaps by Serien Junkies, Andrew's Wonderful World of Pop Culture, Warehouse 13 Wikia, TV Rage, Your Entertainment Corner, The Backlot, Anthony Head Appearances, The Warehouse was My Home, and Massive Nerdy Warehouse.

About the Author - Dahne
One part teacher librarian - one part avid TV fan, Dahne is a contributing writer for SpoilerTV, where she recaps, reviews, and creates polls for Sleepy Hollow, Arrow, White Collar, Grimm, Teen Wolf, and others. She's addicted to Twitter, live tweets a multitude of shows each week, and co-hosts the Warehouse 13 "Endless Wonder", Sleepy Hollow "Headless," and Teen Wolf "Welcome to Beacon Hills" podcasts for Southgate Media Group. Currently she writes a Last Week in TV column for her blog and SpoilerTV. ~ "I speak TV."

Warehouse 13 - 5.02 - Secret Services - Preview

Warehouse 13 airs Mondays on SyFy at 9/8 C.  

When we last left off, Paracelsus was defeated, Claudia was ticked at Artie for not telling her about her sister, and Valda returned to the original time continuum with them. Only the Claudia-Artie conflict is continued in this episode and becomes part of the typical Warehouse 13 story structure of having an "A" and "B" storyline. The "A" story has Myka and Pete partnering up with a pair of Secret Service agents they knew from the pilot as they attempt to find who is killing people via spontaneous drowning. Although Myka and Pete recognize these two agents, I don't so someone remind me if they were in another episode. Mostly they are there to be a foil to Myka and Pete, since they are not needed on the case at all. Just call them Plot Device 1 and 2. The mystery itself and the artifact are intriguing but for the most part it is overshadowed by writing anvils being hurled from on high as subtlety hides in the restricted room.

The "B" story was more interesting to me, in that we find out more about Claudia's past and Artie's history with her. Knowing that Claudia would never leave her sister's non-death unexplored, Artie agrees to take Claudia into his memories in an attempt to repair their relationship. Although it only marginally fixes things with Claudia, she does finally get answers and the whole thing ends with not so much of a cliffhanger as an unsettling feeling that things are going to backfire big time in the next couple of episodes. I can see how this season is going to be Claudia-centric, which is generally a good thing for me. Still overall I was disappointed with this episode. While heading back to the normal format, this episode is more designed for shippers than for the overall audience. Others without shipping tendencies like me may find at least part of the episode less than satisfying. Things happen with little build up and the show's dialogue itself proves that out. It feels a bit like rushing to a conclusion they don't need and don't have time to create, taking away from the characters as well as the plot.

Episode Awards:

Grade: C+

Best Scene - Artie and Claudia go back in his memories

Best Quote - Claudia: "Keeping me safe is not your job." Artie: "Yes, it is. It is precisely my job."

MVP - Steve, who if this whole Warehouse thing doesn't work out, could have a great career as mediator

Best Reason to Fast Forward - any talk about changing priorities, vibes, or romance

The "Oh Yeah, Right" Award - Claudia: "I'll leave it alone after this, I promise, but I need to know what happened." Anyone believing that probably fell for Nigerian prince e-mails as well.

Most Heartbreaking - Claudia....

The "Miss Nosy" Award - Mrs. Frederic

Most Used Word - fracking and no, not Battlestar Gallactica frakking.

Best Transitions - stained glass


Frances Farmer's music box
memory walking bronze baby shoes
silver from the mines of....
Alfred D's.....

Other Quotes:

"And just stick by him." "Couldn't get rid of me if you tried."
"Hopefully we'll find an artifact that will kill us before I have to do it myself."
"I liked it better when you just stared at my boobs."
"I think she's going to be pretty disappointed with her senator's follow-through."
"It was the most humane thing we could do."
"Okay, your life is worse. Congrats."
"Poof, she's gone. How convenient. I wish I could do the same."
"Should I ignore the fact that that just sounds insane?"

Screencaps by SciFi and TV Talk, The Trades, IMDb, Warehouse 13 Wikia, and Seat 42F.

About the Author - Dahne
One part teacher librarian - one part avid TV fan, Dahne is a contributing writer for SpoilerTV, where she recaps, reviews, and creates polls for Sleepy Hollow, Arrow, White Collar, Grimm, Teen Wolf, and others. She's addicted to Twitter, live tweets a multitude of shows each week, and co-hosts the Warehouse 13 "Endless Wonder", Sleepy Hollow "Headless," and Teen Wolf "Welcome to Beacon Hills" podcasts for Southgate Media Group. Currently she writes a Last Week in TV column for her blog and SpoilerTV. ~ "I speak TV."

Friday, April 18, 2014

Warehouse 13 - Saul Rubinek and Aaron Ashmore Interview

Warehouse 13 is on the SyFy channel Monday nights at 9/8C.

While Allison Scagliotti (Claudia) couldn't make the call, Saul Rubinek (Artie) and Aaron Ashmore (Steve) more than made up for it in fan appreciation and love for their show. They talked for an hour about how sad they are at Warehouse 13 ending but how much they appreciate everyone they worked with, especially show runner Jack Kenny, their fellow actors, and ex-head of programming for SyFy, Mark Stern. Since this was a phone interview, I tried to be as precise as I could with things in direct quotes but most of what you read here is a paraphrase of what was said. Also due to the length and thoroughness of the answers, far fewer questions were able to be asked in the hour allotted than usual so I apologize if not all questions could be answered. In a conference call, there are usually a dozen or so people asking questions all in a queue, but I do appreciate everyone who submitted their questions. I think most of them were alluded to if not directly answered.

Season 5 - While being very close-lipped about anything spoilery, Ashmore did assure that Warehouse 13's trademark humor would still be very evident. Although the last episodes are heavier, there is a mixture of both light and dark in every episode. The heaviest stuff will be issues that need to be resolved with Claudia, presumably meaning her sister. For further information, Rubinek suggested talking to Eddie McClintock, who plays Pete, since he is apparently the least guarded when it comes to letting things slip. The only thing he would say is that the show wraps up in an odd, eccentric Warehouse-type ending.

One of both Rubinek and Ashmore's favorite episodes of this season is the one in which the cast gets stuck in a Spanish telenovela. To prepare the cast learned Spanish from a language coach so they could do part of the episode in Spanish. According to both, everyone was cracking up throughout the production and it was a lot of fun to shoot. Rubinek: "I don't think I've ever laughed so hard in anything I've ever done." In a nice twist of fate, Rubinek had portrayed a producer of a telenovela before in a guest stint on Psych, which informed part of how he approached the episode. As for Ashmore, he quipped that he laughed harder making this episode than he has at anything for the last 5 years. Part of that comes from playing a super flamboyant, ultra gay version of Steve. He had the entire cast cracking up. Originally the show wanted to hire Ashmore's twin brother, who is currently starring in The Following, to play the part but his schedule didn't permit it. Therefore, Ashmore plays two Steves in the episode.

SyFy - When they learned that SyFy was going in a different direction, Mark Stern, former head of programming, lobbied hard for Warehouse 13 to get a final season. They are very grateful to him especially on the fans' behalf. Rubinek has met several fans through conventions and is always amazed by how loyal and knowledgeable they are. He's never experienced fan love as much in all of his career. His only complaint was SyFy putting Warehouse 13 on so late in the fourth season since it is a family show. He feels that people of all ages can watch Warehouse 13 together and all enjoy it, so it should have been on before the 10:00 pm hour.

Ending / Storyline Wishes and Regrets - Going into the last season knowing it was the end was hard. Rubinek: "We didn't want our sadness to creep in it except in the most creative ways." For Rubinek, this is the first series he has been in from start to finish in a career spanning 4 decades and he describes it as "all in all the high end" of his career. He's never really thought of any storylines he wished they had gotten to before the end, but "an extensive sex life would have been fun to shoot." Mostly though he loves all the aspects of his character he got to play. He's been love struck goofy, murderous and soulless, a father figure to Claudia, and had a strange romantic relationship with Dr. Vanessa, plus much more. He's had "the luxury of these incredibly imaginative episodes." Table reads were a joy because it was always a surprise. Rubinek said story wise, "I can't tell you that I'm missing anything." Ashmore agreed, "All these characters were incredibly well-rounded." He thinks the show last so long because the writers knew the characters so well. He never had a time when he thought that Steve wouldn't say or do something they wrote. Rubinek added that if they had received a larger episode order, he thinks they would have pursued a relationship for Steve. Ashmore acknowledged that while they had touched on it in the episode in which he worked on a case with his ex, he is intrigued, given his human lie detector nature, about what "the consequences of a relationship would be." Still he is very satisfied with his role. Ashmore: "I'm very happy with everything we got to do." He misses Artie's office the most because it felt like home to him.

Character Growth / The Cast - Rubinek feels all characters were allowed "such a great range." In fact, Rubinek said, "There isn't one character you could mention that didn't." Even Mrs. Frederic grew. Rubinek finds her fascinating because it was such a serious part, but CCH Pounder is actually a goofball in real life. If Ashmore could pick only one character's growth, he would choose Claudia. Since Scagliotti was very young when she started on Warehouse 13, they wrote to her growth and maturity. He was glad fans got invested the Claudia - Steve friendship quickly, and not just because it insured he would continue on the show. Scagliotti totally embraced him as the new guy. Ashmore: "I sort of feel like it's impossible NOT to have good chemistry with Allison." He gives her massive kudos for her acting in the final season. Rubinek agrees. Scagliotti was 18 years old when she joined Warehouse 13, and at that time his daughter was 17 and his son was 14. It gave him an easy connection to her. Rubinek: "I adored her instantly and we quickly came up with a shorthand" when it came to all their exposition. It allowed the writers to build on what was naturally between them and make the exposition less dry by turning it into an argument between the two characters. Although there is over 35 years age difference between them, they were very much colleagues and Rubinek calls her a consummate professional. He enjoyed working with her because it's not common in his acting experience to form such a close personal relationship with colleagues.

Ashmore agreed, saying, "When you genuinely like someone and there's a friendship there…" it bleeds over into the scene, bringing its own energy and informing how you play the part. Rubinek continues that the relationships worked so well that some of their natural dialogue with each other actually made it into the show. He adds that both Ashmore and Scagliotti are very versatile actors with no prima donna tendencies and it was a joy working with both. When they decided to short-term kill Steve, Kenny came to Rubinek to break the news. "I'm going to start taking Allison away from you." He wanted the death to have more of a punch so he started to focus more on the Claudia-Steve relationship. Rubinek: "I didn't feel robbed of Allison because he included me in the process." He added that Ashmore came into a nerve racking situation because he was the new guy in a cast that had already bonded. His natural ability to go from being a goofball to serious at the drop of a hat helped to make him one of the group quickly. It's especially important in a "thrilleramedy" - a phrase coined by Kenny - to be versatile and Ashmore was able to adapt quickly. Rubinek describes it as a "magical cast. It's very hard to find that kind of chemistry."

Show and Personal Legacy - As for the show's legacy, Rubinek laughingly said that he hopes for a lot of residuals. More seriously, he claimed, "Netflix is a part of our show now." He hopes families find it and discover a show they can all watch together. He thinks that because the show is so full of adventure and history that it is imminently rewatchable. They finished shooting the season awhile ago and he is so happy to see these characters again. He hopes all fans feel the same way. Personally, Ashmore says that by looking on the show with a little bit of distance now, he grew confident in his profession because of Warehouse 13. Ashmore: "I found myself as an actor." He appreciates being able to stretch as a performer in so many different ways. "It was a huge learning experience and there was some of the most amazing performers and creative people." Grateful for the 3 years he had on the show, he added, "I came out the other end of it feeling very confident."

For Rubinek, this role was different than most of his career. He never expected to play one character for such a long time and that allowed for a number of creative and career challenges. It forced him to keep his acting fresh and set a high bar because the high-quality writing demanded grace and alacrity. While he is grateful to have worked with a lot of different directors and guests, he credits Warehouse 13's success to show runner Kenny. Rubinek greatly admires some things Kenny did differently like insist the writers come back early so they could break scripts and be four episodes ahead of production. This allowed him to be in Toronto when shooting started. Since he was on set over 70% of the time, he could make writing changes as they went, which kept actor frustration low because they felt like they were being heard. On normal sets, the writers and show runners are in LA and the mandate is to stick to the script. Because Kenny was on set, he could rewrite on the spot. Rubinek: "One of the reasons the guest stars wanted to come back is that they felt the collaboration." He feels that spirit of collaboration could be felt by the fans as well, helping Warehouse 13 to be successful. That amount of collaboration took a lot of planning and money, since it means paying the writers for longer. He credits Kenny for being a father figure to the writers and a leader to the actors, a model for Rubinek.

Mementoes - Ashmore jokingly claimed "we took everything we could get our hands on," but that was not true. McClintock (Pete) got the most, but Ashmore and Rubinek were more restrained. Ashmore took the metronome that brought Steve back to life. He also has a collection of seatbacks from various shows he's been on, so he took his from Warehouse 13 as well. Mainly though, he got a lot of Steve's wardrobe so he can't wait to wear them in public and have a fan recognize him through them. Rubinek got his own glasses back. Apparently the glasses he wore as Artie are the same ones he brought to a screen test. He also got some wardrobe items, but what he really wanted was the steampunk keyboard. Sadly it was too expensive. His favorite gift however, came in July as a birthday present. Jack Kenny gave him an original drawing of Artie's office by Franco de Cotiis, the production designer. That's all he really wanted. Rubinek: "The truth is for me, the memories are my artifacts." Besides, he always has the show itself.

Miscellaneous - Ashmore couldn't pick one most dangerous artifact because "it seems like they all were constantly causing problems." For Rubinek it would be the astrolabe of season 4 because of its vast consequences for his character. When asked about whether the Alphas and Warehouse 13 were in the same universe, Ashmore wasn't sure but Rubinek mentioned that Lindsay Wagner's character, Dr. Vanessa, was in both shows so they decided that it was in the same universe but very different shows. The tone of Alphas was much more serious than Warehouse 13, which would have made crossovers more difficult. It was far easier to crossover with Eureka since they were both more a combination of humor and drama.

What's Up Next for Both - Rubinek is moving back to LA this summer and is working on two projects currently. The first is a comedy he's working on with his wife. The second he is developing with Kenny, since he enjoyed working with him so much on Warehouse 13. Basically he is picking up where he started in 2009 before Warehouse 13 started. Rubinek: "Warehouse was unexpected." At that point in his career, he was looking to focus more on writing and scale back on acting, which is what he intends to do now. He's going to be selective on his acting roles, but he did shoot a double episode of Person of Interest in the fall and is interested in doing more guest spots in other shows. As for Ashmore, he recently finished shooting a pilot called Agatha for ABC. It's about a criminal who becomes an expert in criminology. Her previous incarceration caused a rift between her dad and brother, who are cops, and her. She moves back to her hometown town for a case and has to resolve her family issues as well. Ashmore calls it "Grey's Anatomy with cops." He plays her brother with Clancy Brown, aka the sheriff in Sleepy Hollow, as her father. Australian actress Bojana Novakovic, who played Mikki in Rake, stars as Agatha. The pilot is being directed by Jace Alexander, who also shot the pilot of Warehouse 13. Ashmore also recently wrapped a psychological thriller starring Ethan Hawke as a lead detective. Emma Watson of Harry Potter fame stars in it as well.

Warehouse 13 airs on SyFy Monday nights at 9/8 central.

Screencaps by Wikia,, Scifi Mafia, Weird Girls,, BorgCybermage, and Oh No They Didn't.

About the Author - Dahne
One part teacher librarian - one part avid TV fan, Dahne is a contributing writer for SpoilerTV, where she recaps, reviews, and creates polls for Sleepy Hollow, Arrow, White Collar, Grimm, Teen Wolf, and others. She's addicted to Twitter, live tweets a multitude of shows each week, and co-hosts the Warehouse 13 "Endless Wonder", Sleepy Hollow "Headless," and Teen Wolf "Welcome to Beacon Hills" podcasts for Southgate Media Group. Currently she writes a Last Week in TV column for her blog and SpoilerTV. ~ "I speak TV."