Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Warehouse 13 Wednesday: Savage Seduction

EPISODE 5.4 "Savage Seduction"
Original Air Date: 05 May 2014
CLUADIA "Nice work ladies, take five."

Warning: This review may contain spoilers.

Bienvenido a Almacén Trece y mi informe sobre el episodio "Salvaje de Seducción". OK do I need to use BabelFish again to reverse translate that?*

First off this was a very fun episode, it was super silly. I think the production team decided on this one to just pull all the stops out and say "what the heck the show is canceled lets just make a fun silly episode". I know some hardcore WH13 fans hate it because it was so silly and slapstick. So What the silliness is in part to the telenovela format style/nature. Anyone who was expecting it to be a serious episode is probably too engrossed in the show to notice any subtleties like genre parody. Also the artifact that Artie and Pete take into the situation was a clue that things would get pretty silly. I really loved this episode despite some of the lame silly things that I would normally wonder why did they overlook that? Or why didn't they fix that?

I probably should say that the episode totally embraced the whole Cinco de Mayo thing with embedding the main artifact of the episode inside a Spanish speaking telenovela style show that is entitled "Salvaje de Seducción" ("Savage Seduction") They even have the dialogue spoken in Spanish and have subtitles in English during the telenovela scenes. Pete seems to have a little trouble with the Spanish not sure if it is a character thing, an actor thing or just my imagination. Oh even the opening music was in Latin music style. I think the only other cool thing they could have done was to have planned a little better and started Season 5 a week earlier so that this episode would have been number 5 instead of number 4, but you can't be totally perfecto.

Ahora con la revisió - Um Now on with the review. Things started normally for our Warehouse Agents, which as we know doesn't stay normal. Myka is typing away at a laptop on the couch at the Bread & Breakfast. Pete comes in from behind her with a snack (a hoagie sandwich of some kind) he reads what she is typing over her shoulder and she snaps the laptop shut. She has been writing a novel, off and on for about a year now, mostly off. Artie comes in with news of an artifact ping and yells for Steve. Pete and Myka vocalize the ping should be for them but Artie explains that he wants Steve and Claudia to handle it to get Claudia away from her exhaustive overworking of trying to figure out how to completely cure her sister Claire.

The ping takes Claudia and Steve to the college campus of "Dakota University", which they get to via the GPS of Steve's Toyota Prius (a subtle nod to SyFy Channel's previous not so-subliminal advertising partnership with it's advertisers in WH13 to the annoyance of some WH13 fans). A student Charlie Battes (Lovell Adams-Gray) was giving a presentation when a shadow flies from the back of the room slams him up against the wall breaking his spine. The hospital reports he has alcohol poisoning but the professor says the student was clean sober while giving his presentation.

Steve and Claudia talk to one of the student's roommates and learns he was a party hardy type. They visit the site he was partying at and find a cellphone with a video showing him falling from a roof onto a car. The time stamp on video from the cellphone matches the time he was giving the presentation back on campus. His back injuries he received in the classroom are consistent with a fall like that shown on the video, but how could he be in two places at once? Based on some graffiti and a Latin phrase the student shouted before he fell, Steve figures out he was associated with a frat on campus.

Back at the B&B Pete's old girlfriend Kelly the veterinarian (Paula Garces) makes a surprise visit, she is very pregnant. She assures Pete he isn't the father, besides it has been over two years since they were together and she has since married, her husband is the father. The reason for her visit is that something strange and weird has happened and Pete works with the weird. Her grandmother Horntenia Hernandez (Teresa Yenque) who is always at home has disappeared and the weirdness has something to do with her TV which is showing the final episode of her grandmother's favorite telenovela "Salvaje de Seducción" even after it has been unplugged from the wall and power source. Another sort of subtle nod this time to WH13s own cancellation. While investigating the disappearance of grandma the house cat shows them what happened to her by getting sucked into the TV and onto the telenovela and there is grandma playing the role of Dona Fausta the family matriarch of the show, according to Kelly the character dies in the final episode. Carelessly Myka and Kelly are also sucked into the television, Myka has become a maid name Maribel and Kelly is a rich woman named Ms. Carmen Obregon who suspects Maribel of being attracted to her fiance Armando.

On campus while visiting the frat house investigating the injured student, Claudia and Steve hit some roadblocks by the frat boys. They notice one party hardy frat brother Ox (Serje Basi) headed downstairs to chug-a-lug they are not allowed to enter the house upon turning around heading to the street they notice the party boy's "Twin" sitting outside studying. Suspecting something is going on at the frat house they peak in a basement window to see party dude Ox down a pitcher of beer and pass out, a shadow races from him straight to his studying "twin". So the frat boys have found something that duplicates people, one lazy no-good party hardy bum and one goodie-two-shoes bookworm.

After a Farnsworth conversation/update about grandma's TV, Artie arrives at the home of Kelly's grandmother. Pete gives him a letter she had received recently from the producers of the telenovela, but Pete can't read it 'cause it's written in Spanish. Fortunately Artie can read Spanish. As a thank you gift for being a loyal fan the producers sent her a prop broach that had been used on the show. Artie and Pete see Nana wearing the artifact brooch (Dona Fausta's Brooch). Artie theorises that Nana's love for the show and sadness of the cancellation news turned the brooch into an artifact. They will have to go into the show to save Myka, Kelly and Nana, before they do though Artie hands Pete one of Harvey Korman's Cufflinks Kroman was famous for being unable to keep in character on The Carol Burnett Show. Harvey's cufflinks allow a person to stay themselves when they get into the role of a character. Cufflinks in hands Artie and Pete then enter the TV.

Claudia and Steve discover the artifact that duplicates people is a candle, Edna St. Vincent Millay's Candle to be precise. When the candle is burned at both ends and wax from the candle is splashed on someone, that person is split into two separate "twins" one is hard working and studious and the other lazy fun loving and wild. When one of the twins is knocked unconscious they are reunited (the shadow that jumps into the individual). Before they can get hold of the candle and defuse it, Steve gets duplicated by it. His wild fun loving self is a stereotypical word mincing and lisping homosexual horn dog, while his hard working studious self is a bit reserved and embarrassed. Claudia quickly likes the stereotypical  Steve and acts as his fag hag big time. It makes for many humorous lines.

Pete arrives in telenovela land but there is no Artie. He discovers he is speaking in Spanish and gets a big kick out of it. Soon he discovers he is the much talked about lover Armando and that Maribel is in love with him and that Carmen and her mom Alicia (Sonia Braga) are plotting to kill Dona Fausta and anyone else who gets in the way of some inheritance or something.

Pete and Myka discover Artie in a psyche ward in a straight jacket as Colonel Rafael Obregon the lost son of Dona and thought to be the father of Carmen, at some point Artie drops the cufflink he was holding on to and reveals that Maribel is his true daughter. A corny effect of the cufflinks artifact is whenever Pete, Artie or Myka receive the cufflink a trumpet blast sounds, they get a blast of air in their face which blows Pete/Armondo's mustache so hard it almost falls off. The trumpet blast is then followed by a shout of "Ole!" The first time it happens it was pretty funny but as the running gag of the artifact it wears thin very fast, still pretty corny though. The warehouse team eventually get their act together and stop the nefarious family members and find the brooch. Artie neutralizes the artifact brooch by breaking it returning them to the real world.

Claudia and the Steves track down the candle, the Steves fight over it and Claudia manages to get it and bag it. She is surprised that it wasn't neutralized and then figures out that one of the Steves has to be knocked unconscious. This she does by zapping wild Steve with her mini pocket Tesla.

Later in the evening as Claudia is typing away at something in the main office at the warehouse Artie storms in angry at her for doing something and reveals that someone has taken Claire. Cliffhanger for next episode. Aye Caramba!

Series Regulars:
Pete Lattimer (Eddie McClintock)
Myka Bering (Joanne Kelly)
Artie Nielsen (Saul Rubenik)
Claudia Donovan (Allison Scagliotti)
Steve Jinks (Aaron Ashmore)

Guest Cast:
Dr. Kelly Hernandez (Paula Garces)
Horntenia Hernandez (Teresa Yenque)
Alicia (Sonia Braga)
Maria (Barbara de la Fuente)
Nicole (Angelica Lisk-Hann)
Esperanza (Carmen Araiza)
Lupe (Stefania Serna)
Professor Moulton (Craig Eldridge)
Charlie Battes Frat Brother (Lovell Adams-Gray)
Bryce (Jeremy Ferdman)
Ox (Serje Basi)
Asylum Orderly Carlos (Dalton Brown)

I give this episode 4.5 Warehouse artifacts ****.5

*Original English for BabelFish translation to Spanish:
Welcome to Warehouse Thirteen and my review of the episode "Savage Seduction".

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