The first season of Warehouse 13 ended with a parade of slam-bang cliffhangers. Artie's dead! Leena's a traitor! MacPherson's free! It was a heavy way to end a mostly lighthearted season of TV, but one of the pleasures of Warehouse 13 is how it works a certain sly intelligence into a formula that initially seemed a little bit like X-Files crossed with Wishbone. Not every science-fiction show has to be an epic serialized drama, but the addition of a little bit of moral shmambiguity never hurts.
The second season premiere wrapped up all those cliffhangers in a perhaps-too-tidy bow, but there was also a lot to love. (Check out Ken Tucker's review of the new season.) For me, the charm of Warehouse 13 is best expressed in a little scene where Pete and Myka talk about H.G. Wells: Myka's papa read her The War of the Worlds when she was a young bookworm. Pete just remembers thinking Tom Cruise was awesome in the movie. Then, in a reference to Well's The Island of Dr. Moreau, Pete does a Brando impression: I coulda been a scientist!Â The key here is the stealth hyper-referentiality: He's using Brando's Godfather voice, but the line paraphrases Brando's famous line from On The Waterfront in homage to Brando's muumuu-loving doctor in Moreau. That's three Brando impressions for the price of one!
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