“It’s not the win. It’s the fight.” ~ Steve Jinks
Last time on Warehouse 13, after Artie kills Leena, Myka, Pete, Steve and Claudia race to get ahead of him and come to a final showdown as they try to bring good Artie back and stop evil Artie from releasing the orchid. Artie manages to ditch them long enough to release the orchid on the world and in a last ditch attempt to save Artie, Claudia takes the dagger he used to release the orchid, stabbing him in the chest as she yells, “I cast you out” as the orchid infects everyone with the Sweating Sickness.
In “The Living and The Dead” Artie lives in a dream world on repeat, remembering and reliving his last happy moment with Leena while Myka, Pete, Claudia and Steve rush Artie home in hopes of saving him. When they return to the warehouse, Claudia attempts to explain why she stabbed Artie, but is unable to really explain why she did it. Pete backs her up, telling Mrs. Frederic she had no choice and then the countdown begins.
16 hours until first mortalities
After a short newscast about people falling ill, Mrs. Frederic explains the situation and how the Sweating Sickness will affect them resulting “ultimately in death” with an incubation period of 24 hours. The dagger, as it turns out, did not harm Artie. Claudia with her caretaker mojo had a gut instinct that the dagger separates something evil from something good, so as it worked to release the evil orchid from its good vessel, it would work to release evil Artie, basically Artie’s alive! Yay! Artie’s not dead, but for some reason Artie has not woken and could still die, so Pete’s mom takes Steve and Claudia to Artie with a theory on how to bring Artie back. Considering his actions from the first half of this season, I can hardly blame him for desiring not to come back, though.
Pete, Myka and Mrs. Frederic begin working on finding an artifact that would reconstitute the orchid, but they’re lost without Artie’s assistance. After a while of searching, Myka finds information about the Count of St. Germain who brought healthy flowers back to life. With some more research, Pete discovers a professor who has written extensively about the court of Marie Antoinette including the Count of St. Germain and would possibly know where to find the artifact they need, so Mrs. Frederic gives them Artie’s bag and sends them off to find the professor.
At Columbia University in New York City, they enter an office that looks like a hoarder had invaded it for storage space. They ask someone about the professor and after moving a pile of papers, they find the drunken man fast asleep at his desk. He initially tells them to leave, but then notices Myka’s “reasonably hot” and agrees to talk, before falling asleep again. I love Pete’s comment, “Shhh. Don’t tell the world. It’ll panic.” When Myka points out this is the man who’s going to help them save the world.
After managing to wake him up, the professor and Pete trade a few insults, before the professor tells them about the count, an entertaining nut, basically. They ask about any special object he used and he tells him about a ring the count always wore…before throwing up. Quite the hero, this one. After cleaning up a bit, he asks why they want the ring, but tells them that the count’s possessions were all buried with him in the catacombs under Paris and even if they find the crypt they must get pass the locks that will filet any one who tries to get in. A tomb with impenetrable locks in the catacombs under Paris that our heroes must find and break into to save the day? Big surprise there. The catacombs are notoriously difficult to navigate and Myka remembers Nicolas Baudin’s map in the Warehouse, spouting some little known knowledge about him that impresses the professor a bit, but the map needs the legend and lucky for them, the professor knows where to find it! Interesting. I like his condition, even if it didn’t work on Myka. Never paying taxes again, even the one’s he owes and also, only flying first class when others pay. If government agents ever need information from me, not that they would, but if they did, I’m going to have to remember these conditions.
7 hours to first mortalities
Pete and Myka arrive in San Francisco with the professor at the house of a woman who is a rival of his and in possession of the legend. She’s out of the country to Barcelona due to the professor’s scheming (and another agenda he has in mind.) When Myka confronts him about it, he points out that he is aware of the orchid and their need for the ring to reconstitute it and save the world, so they reluctantly agree to help him break into the house for the legend. Using Artie’s bag of tricks, they break into the house and Myka notes that the professor has clearly tried to break into the house before, albeit unsuccessfully. What is he up to? Obviously he’s a tricksy one…perhaps he’s after precious….things.
Myka begins feeling the effects of the Sweating Sickness just as she notices a painting that makes her realize who the professor is, at which point the owner of the house, Charlotte, steps in holding a shotgun on the professor. She points out that a worldwide pandemic shut down the airports, so she returned home and the police are on the way. She and the professor bicker a bit like an old
married divorced couple (surprise, surprise, that’s because they are) as Myka and Pete attempt to convince her they are not his friends. Pete distracts Charlotte long enough for Myka to shoot her with the Tesla, knocking her out. Then upset with the professor, Myka punches him out too. When the professor shakes off Myka’s wicked punch (loved that) Myka tells Pete that all pictures of the Count of St. Germain were conspicuously absent in all his research and turns around the portrait revealing that the professor is in fact the count! dun dun dun!
1 hour to first mortalities
When Myka is well enough, they talk to the count and he explains that he’s not a vampire. “Vampires are for gothic novels and apparently, preadolescent girls.” (how many Buffy fans laughed at that? I know I did.) As it turns out an alchemist used a very special stone to keep him from aging. I wonder if that alchemist will come back into the picture. If you’ve read the interview with Jack Kenny, Eddie and Joanne, then you’ll know that Anthony Head (Giles) will be coming to Warehouse 13 later this season as an alchemist, the same alchemist, perhaps? That would be a fun episode to watch!
So the 519 year-old professor admits he nicked the legend that they had come for while Pete and Myka were distracted and hands it over to Myka. They immediately go to Paris and navigate the catacombs, easily finding the count’s tomb. Myka quickly figures out the lock and uses an artifact to open the tomb and they cautiously enter looking for the ring. Someone spots the ring on the far-side of the tomb, so Pete and Myka go to grab the ring, but as they do, the count hangs back and steals Marie Antoinette’s diamond from atop the casket in the tomb, triggering a booby trap. Arrows shoot from the walls as the three dive for cover. Myka attempts to make her way out the door and the count notices an arrow about to hit her, so he knocks her out of the way and the arrow sinks into his chest. He realizes that a poison arrow is enough to kill him, something he had always wondered about and enjoying the poetry of dying in his own crypt, he insists on staying there and then dies. Myka gets a little sicker, so Pete takes out the ring and places it on the stem of the orchid that Myka is holding. The sickness leaves the bodies of everyone in the world as the orchid is reconstituted and everybody is saved. That can’t really be it for Spike…er… I mean the count! Can it? It can’t be, right?
Charlotte tracks them to the tomb, but Pete and Myka are long gone. She relates to Marie Antoinette about her “lying, cheating husband” a bit and turns around to look at the bloody arrow on the floor where the Count should have been. The count apparently not only survived the arrow, but also escaped with Marie’s diamond. Then, rather ominously, Charlotte notes that she “has plans too.” I’m a bit creeped out by that…and also wondering whom I should be rooting for here. The lecherous count? Or the scheming ex?
Meanwhile back in Univille, Pete’s mom uses an artifact clock from Sigmund Freund to allow Claudia’s and Steve’s subconscious to interact with Artie’s and discover why he is trapped. The two enter Artie’s mind and find his subconscious is the warehouse, which, as Steve says, makes sense. What else would you expect from Artie? I imagine Pete’s subconscious has cookies and pie in it somewhere…and kittens and puppies. Suddenly, Vanessa appears to them and Claudia quickly realizes Vanessa is part of Artie’s subconscious as she tells them they have to leave while loud noises keep interrupting them. After Steve checks it out, they realize that Artie’s mind is shutting down so they have to hurry.
Worried about how to get to Artie now that they see his “warehouse” is shutting down, Vanessa offers to help by giving them Artie’s bag of tricks, but when Claudia opens it up, it’s full of snakes. Vanessa notes that she “did warn” them, tells them to go and then vanishes. As they continue on, they are continuously blocked on their path to Artie and becoming more and more frustrated. Claudia has a little breakdown and Steve talks her out of it leaving her with this, “It’s not the win. It’s the fight!” Suddenly Mrs. Frederic appears and uses an artifact that wraps them in a cocoon to stop them from moving forward.
The cocoon binds them to some shelves and gets tighter as they pull on it until they notice a spear pointing at the hat that caused the webs to form around them and Steve shakes the shelf he’s bound to until the spear falls and hits the hat, releasing the cocoons. Convenient location for the spear… Just as they begin making their way again, James McPherson appears to thwart them yet again. McPherson continues to hunt them, so Steve sacrifices himself to give Claudia a chance. Steve and McPherson fight causing Steve to be kicked out of Artie’s subconscious. As Steve put it, McPherson was good casting for the person to embody everything Artie fears and hates and scare them out of his subconscious.
Claudia reaches Artie’s office and after yelling loudly enough for Artie to hear, manages to get in, as she enters it turns into the B and B. Artie sits at the piano playing and tells Claudia he warned her not to come. She says they were trying to save him and then realizes he didn’t want to be saved. He was hiding as the memory repeats with Leena walking into the room.
Artie continues to play the piano while Claudia tries to convince him to come out. She tells him it’s not safe and that he’s in denial. He has to face what he did, but Artie tells her he doesn’t want to remember what he did and goes back to playing the piano. Struck with the memory Claudia forced on him, he loses his concentration and a storm begins to build outside. His Leena memory is confused and asks what’s going on as he tells her it’s not reality and she fades away. Claudia tells Artie that she thinks a bigger part of him wants to be saved because of the clues, like misplaced doors, within his subconscious. Just as he’s decided he doesn’t want to be saved, Claudia pushes him through the door and they both wake in the B and B with Artie refusing to look at Claudia as he realizes he must now face the tragedy and horror of what he did. Poor guy. I liked Leena and was really hoping that they would pull some trick out of the warehouse or something to save her, but she’s really gone and Artie has to deal with the fact that it’s because of him. That’s so sad.
When Pete and Myka return after successfully saving the world, they notice how upset Claudia is and Pete’s mom notes Artie’s recovery is going to be a lot harder than she thought (just what exactly did she expect, anyway?) Mrs. Frederic visits Artie and he talks to her about what he did, knowing Leena’s gone by his hand, even if he were under the influence of the artifact, doesn’t make the guilt any less. She tells him he has people who love him and are there for him, people who will help him through this, people who will help him “fix” himself and Artie plays the song he had been playing in his memory of Leena.