Feat of Clay
Syfy Channel, Mondays, 8/7 C
Written by Andrew Kreisberg
Directed by Tawna McKiernan
“I’m good, but I’ve never changed a woman’s hair color.” — Pete
Never mind what the opening scenes were, or what the artifact of the week is, the real surprise in this week’s episode is twofold: Myka and Pete wake up naked in bed, and she’s blonde. A more classic farce moment cannot be conceived, but this one falls flat despite Pete’s best lines. It just does not work to put these two in a romantic moment; their chemistry works on the sibling level. Any other level invokes a response in me of “Ewww!”. Fortunately, it evokes the same nervous response in Myka, who goes looking for reasons for this fiasco. Throughout the rest of the hour, they follow their own breadcrumbs back through a bizarre night of fake intoxication, hilarious pranks, and artifact abuse, all the while wondering where Steve Jinks has gotten to. When they find out, the answer is both horrifying and hilarious.
“All this woman’s organs have turned to clay.” — Dr. Calder
Meanwhile, Artie and Claudia have gone to Salt Lake City, where people start turning to clay. I asked for a mellower Artie, and I certainly got him in this episode. He becomes positively mushy when re-united with his crush, Dr. Vanessa Calder (Lindsay Wagner, The Division). He becomes positively gooey over her, as nervous as a teenager, so nervous that he actually confesses to Claudia that he is nervous. This is certainly not last year’s Artie. Claudia, who has advanced degrees in social awkwardness, coaches him to approach Vanessa, only to watch as he is cut out by the dashing Hugo Miller (Rene Auberjonois, Boston Legal), who once shared a relationship with Dr. Calder. Fortunately, Claudia also focuses on the case, which uses her special computer skills, teamed with Dr. Miller’s expertise in DNA, to tease out the artifact at work here.
“He was spying on girls.” — Store Manager
Our culprit is a Peeping Tom whose computer-assisted surveillance is hijacked by his medallion, which turns out to be that used to animate the Golem of ancient Jewish mythology. Inscribed with the letters for “emet”, or truth, it is “animating” the girls Tyler watches by turning them to clay. Yeah, I know — farfetched. One best not look for logic in this confection. Claudia and Artie fix the problem, Artie asks Dr. Calder out, and Claudia squeals with delight. I keep wondering how all those folks explained to their friends how they nearly turned into clay statues.
“I don’t think of you that way.” — Myka
The charm of this episode was that finally Pete and Myka got to stay home and play with the toys, while Claudia and Artie go out on assignment. While searching for the answer to how they wound up in bed, they reconfirm (to my relief) their mutual admiration, respect and affection — but without sexual attraction. Or at least, that’s how I read it; doubtless the irrepressible romantics online will see it differently. The best part of this episode was the return of Pete’s humor, full-blown. It is never more clearly dominant than in a flashback which shows us his reaction to learning that Jinks is gay. Does he freak out? Does he react with gay panic or revulsion? Of course not. In classic narcissist mode, he expresses delight that there is finally someone in the Warehouse who can appreciate his physique. For the second week in a row, we get a shirtless Eddie McClintock, as Pete invites all onlookers to admire him. I laughed myself stupid at this completely oblivious, totally-Pete reaction.
“We may be facing an Artifact outbreak.” — Dr. Calder
Warehouse dropped a tenth of a point from last week’s rating, but still shows an audience over two million strong. Given the limited reach of the SyFy Channel, this is good news. I just hope the producers don’t start tinkering with this winning formula.