Secret Service agents Pete Lattimer (Eddie McClintock) and Myka Bering (Joanne Kelly) are assigned to a Presidential event at the Natural History Museum in D.C. Both have different ideas of how security should be handled, and when Lattimer says he has a “vibe” that something’s not right, Bering dismisses his fears; of course, as soon as his back is turned, she investigates the situation. We know what is coming because we saw a museum employee get cut by the glass or crystal teeth of a skull-shaped sculpture earlier, and now he’s acting strange and has red eyes. Lattimer follows a hunch and runs off with the sculpture just as Bering prevents the possessed employee from stabbing the President. But a weird guy who no one sees but Lattimer retrieves the skull and disappears.
The next day, both agents are assigned to a secret government warehouse full of dangerous magical objects located in South Dakota (but possibly in a weird place in time and space also) by intimidating Frederic (the always intimidating CCH Pounder), and arrive to find the weird guy, Artie (Saul Rubinek), is their new boss. The intuitive Lattimer, who has kind of a childlike demeanor other than his extreme sexual magnetic powers towards most women, seems confused but ready to roll with the new assignment. The much more precise (some would say uptight) Bering is pissed to have been shipped off to the boonies and tries to get herself reassigned. After a tour of the unfathomably large warehouse, which kept making me think of the phrase “Top. Men.” from Raiders of the Lost Ark, the agents are off on their first assignment. They’ve got to go to Iowa to stop a lawyer who, appropriately, is possessed by the personality of Lucretia Borgia via an old jeweled comb. Ta da!
I wouldn’t normally address a show that is this recent and still being produced, but I wonder if there are other people like me out there who don’t have cable anymore and therefore may not be aware of Warehouse 13. The lure of Netflix and the amount of other stuff you can dig up online is too great, and cable too expensive, once you realize you can have almost anything in the world on demand if you’re patient enough. Also, I’m very picky about TV shows, and I’m happy to say I’m more excited about this one than I have been about any show since Mulder quit the X-Files. I don’t want to make too much of the inevitable comparisons between the two shows, though. This one is a lot more whimsical, and so far (I’ve seen the pilot and the next episode of season 1) more sci-fi than horror in feel.
I like the way the agents get their assignments: Artie finds news stories about people who are suddenly acting out of character, or crimes that really shouldn’t humanly be able to be pulled off, and Lattimer and Bering go and see if there’s a magical artifact in play. I wondered upon second viewing of the pilot if the beginning incident at the museum was set up as a test to recruit the agents, because it seems to me after I got more familiar with the characters of Artie and Frederic that they wouldn’t have waited until the President was in danger before moving on a lead. However, this didn’t occur to me the first time I watched it. So I’m using that example as evidence that Warehouse 13 is intelligently written. I hope I’m right, because I am not crazy about programs that telegraph and allow me to guess what is going to happen at all times. If I want that, I’ll watch re-runs of sixties TV. I have to admit I’m not sure why the main characters are Secret Service and not one of the other spook agencies, but I’m not letting it spoil my fun.
I’m really excited to have found Warehouse 13 on Netflix and I hope it doesn’t turn out to be one that’s gonna go down its own esophagus with too much drama from the characters’ lives and the horrors of what the job does to them. The less dangerous gadgets (some invented in the context of the story by historical folks like Tesla and Edison) make you wish they were actually available, the two lead actors are cute and likable, the dialogue is full of goofy smartassery, and there’s an ever so slight creep factor. Check it out.