[Note: The following review contains spoilers for all aired episodes of Warehouse 13, including the most recent, “Endless”.]
And so there we have it: the very final Warehouse 13, an episode that I have been anticipating and dreading for a long time now, the latter because this has been one of my all-time favorite shows, a series that, at its best, truly lived up to the promise of “endless wonder” first spoken by Mrs. Frederic to Pete in the very first episode and which is repeated numerous times in the breathtaking final moments of this hour–and so a large part of me truly didn’t want it to end, and yet I knew it had to eventually, as all things do (even if this is a bit sooner than I would’ve liked), and I’m glad that it was able to do in such mostly magnificent style.
Those of you who have been reading my Warehouse 13 reviews for a while might be able to guess why I qualified that with “mostly”. I’ll just get that over with now so I can jump right back to what I loved about this episode, which is a genuine love letter both to the series, its characters, and its fans, and made me feel just as gooey and openhearted about the show as I had hoped it would. But here we go: Pete and Myka. Declaring their love for one another. And kissing. I’m sorry. I’m truly sorry, but it just doesn’t work for me. I’ve spoken at length about how I’ve always seen them more as a sibling relationship than romantically compatible. Actually, one of the strong points to their relationship to me has always been that they’re platonic friends who drive each other crazy and love each other deeply in equal measure–but not in a romantic way.
Early on in the series, I might have seen romantic potential there, but the way Eddie McClintock and Joanne Kelly have played it since that point has steadily veered further and further from that as Pete and Myka gradually grew to know each other better. And not unlike the How I Met Your Mother series finale, I can’t help but feel like a Pete/Myka pairing was the original plan for the series, which the writers stuck with despite the characters and show having evolved past that point. And while McClintock and Kelly do the best they can to sell the scene–which, to be fair, isn’t a badly written one at all, for what it is–it just doesn’t feel organic or natural to me. I found more genuine emotion in that small, understated moment when Pete gently kisses Mrs. Frederic on the cheek, and she actually allows it–that is when my tears truly began to flow. Because it speaks volume about their characters and how far they have come.
Luckily, however, the rest of the episode is smashing enough that I am able to forgive the Pete/Myka transgression overall, even if it does put a slight damper on my full enjoyment. Because in the end, this show isn’t about romantic love and never has been. It’s about family and home, in this case, of course, an unusual family that has been brought together by the very strange home they share. I mean, they spend what might be amongst their last days in the Warehouse sitting around King Arthur’s Round Table, which is also a sort of magical recorder, capable of capturing their fondest memories of working there. This place is weird. And wonderful, of course.
And while, in the end, it turns out that they don’t lose their home, after all–as indicated by the fact that in the “several decades later” tag scene, which given the whole new crew and the future tech must be many several decades later, it is still Warehouse 13–what’s great about the episode’s conceit, particularly for a finale, is that it inspires the team to take the time to appreciate each other and the Warehouse, to not take it for granted, because just like life, it could end at any time, whether it’s in mere days or years and years away. I love that, even though in the present day, Claudia has decided not to be caretaker, she has clearly changed her mind later, just as Artie said she could. Decisions are not irreversible. What feels wrong or right today might change later. I also love that Claudia has decided to dress and wear her hair like Mrs. Frederic, an unspoken tribute to her that is making me start getting emotional now just writing about it.
Warehouse 13 has always been a show whose potential for endless adventure seemed to burst past the confines of its format or number of episodes per year. In other words, as on Doctor Who, it was always easy to imagine that, for every artifact hunt we saw, there were another 10 or more that we didn’t. And the brilliance of the faux-clip-show nature of the finale is that it gives us glimpses of some of these off-screen adventures, not to mention giving the show, the writers, and cast the opportunity to live out some dream episodes in microcosm, my favorite naturally being the Broadway musical chorus line of dancers from hell taking over the Warehouse, which is basically the camp culmination to all of Warehouse 13‘s campiest moments–absolutely, off-the-wall, over-the-top genius. Claudia and Jinksy’s Fantastic Voyage-inspired steampunky trek inside Artie’s body is also terrific, and Jinks’ genuinely awed reaction at being inside an actual, living, human heart truly heartrending. The episode does those moments so well, the deliberately ridiculous excess giving way to heartfelt emotion.