Episode Title: "Insatiable"
Writers: Benjamin Raab & Deric A. Hughes
Director: Constantine Makris
Previously on "Warehouse 13':
A man named Walter Sykes (Anthony Michael Hall) has declared war on the Warehouse and its agents. Using FBI Agent Sally Stukowski (Ashley Williams) as his proxy, Sykes orchestrated the deaths of several of the Warehouse Regents and he came close to killing three others, including Jane (Kate Mulgrew), the mother of Pete Lattimer (Eddie McClintock). With time running out to save Myka Bering (Joanne Kelly), Jane and the other Regents from an artifact fueled disaster, Mrs. Frederic (CCH Pounder) began torturing Sally for information. However, the newest Warehouse agent, Steve Jinks (Aaron Ashmore) drew his weapon to make Mrs. Frederic to stop.
Sally used the distraction to escape and left Steve holding the bag with Mrs. Frederic, who fired him. Pete ultimately saved Myka and Jane, although he was angered to learn that she was a Regent all along. Hoping to get clues about why the Warehouse had been targeted, Pete and Jane used an artifact to travel into her memories, where they saw a younger Jane take an artifact away from Sykes as a young boy, leaving him crippled without it. Back in the present, Jane realized that Sykes was behind everything because of that incident. And after his other top operative, Marcus Diamond (Sasha Roiz) murdered Sally, Sykes prepared to approach Steve as well...
In Ithaca, New York, two young teenagers make out in a car when the guy hears a suspicious noise. Even though his girlfriend takes off her blouse to keep him from being distracted, he goes to investigate. Moments later, someone attacks him and throws him against the car. When the girl attempts to help him, she is attacked as well. Back at the Warehouse, Pete is upset that his mother left, but his boss, Artie Nielsen (Saul Rubinek) tells him she is under much tighter security now. Artie also tells Leena (Genelle Williams) that Claudia Donovan (Allison Scagliotti) has a few days off to deal with Steve's absence. He also tells Leena to not mention the fact that Mrs. Frederic burned Steve with all other intelligence agencies and wiped out his finances.
At an open mic event, Claudia finishes a song before she is approached by a local rocker, Dwayne Maddox (Johnny Pacar) who wants her to join his band and he seems romantically interested in her. She tries to call Steve to share the news, but her calls go unanswered. In Ithaca, Pete and Myka investigate the incident with the couple and learn that the teenagers were bitten by a man. Following their tracks back to the woods, they discover an apparent zombie eating a recently dead deer. Myka tries to reason with the man, but when he charges him she zaps him with a Tesla. Checking his wallet, they discover that his name is Kevin Monroe.
When Kevin awakens at the hospital, he is restrained as he tries to communicate with Pete and Myka. Over the Farnsworth, Artie theorizes that an artifact that simulates death is probably responsible for Kevin's condition. He then calls Claudia back to the Warehouse to research it, forcing her to break off her jam session with Dwayne. She then bumps into artifact called Sultan Sallah; which prints out an ominous prediction of her death. Claudia laughs it off until she narrowly avoids being hit by a falling statue. Claudia also manages to get Steve on the phone, but he angrily tells her to stop calling him. At Kevin's home, Pete and Myka find his son hiding in the closet, but he won't speak to them at all.
At the hospital, Pete and Myka leave the traumatized boy with a reluctant Artie while they investigate another zombie sighting in a frat house. Pete knocks over the "zombie," but when another frat member distracts him, he is bitten. Fearing that he will soon turn into a zombie as well, Pete asks Myka to put him down when the time come and she mockingly agrees. Myka is then put out when Pete decides to immediately eat from a taco truck and leaves Myka to pay for his meal. Back with Artie, he watches as Kevin's condition steadily worsens almost to the point of organ failure. As a last resort, he puts an artifact pair of glasses on Kevin's face to stabilize his temperature.
Back at the Warehouse, Claudia is increasingly alarmed by the continuous accidents that make her believe that death is coming for her. Even when she runs into Dwayne at the B&B, a chandelier almost falls on them both and she warns him to stay away. At the hospital, Artie and Pete realize that the effects of the artifact aren't spread through bites when Myka comes down with the same symptoms. After more cajoling, Kevin's son finally mentions that he and his dad ate at the taco truck before he got sick. Pete and Myka then realize that the artifact must be on the truck, but by the time they locate it, it's surrounded by zombie construction workers.
To make matters worse, Myka goes full zombie and tries to bite Pete as well. In the Warehouse, Claudia tries to destroy Sultan Sallah but another artifact nearly drowns her. Leena intervenes and saves her life. She also tells Claudia that the Sallah's prophecies can be overcome if they are simply ignored. Now free to help Pete, Claudia hacks into the light controls at the construction site to temporarily blind Myka and the other zombies so that Pete can reach the taco truck. Identifying a jar as the artifact, Pete shatters it, bringing Myka and the construction workers back to normal.
After Pete, Myka and Artie check in with the recovering Kevin and his son, they relate that the artifact belonged to the infamous Donner party. Back home, Claudia tracks down Dwayne and apologizes for the weirdness in her life, but reiterates her interest in him and his band. She then leaves another message for Steve telling him that she hasn't given up on him. When Steve can't even pay his bar tab, Marcus approaches the bar and pays it for him. He then tries to recruit Steve for the anti-Warehouse 13 team, but Steve refuses... However, he soon reconsiders and offers Marcus a seat next to his.
More than ever, I'm convinced that Steve is either still secretly working for the Warehouse or the writers of this series are making Mrs. Frederic and the Regents appear to be very stupid. Nothing says "recruit me to fight my former allies!" like burning a man's reputation among federal agencies and freezing his bank accounts. If this isn't an elaborate ruse by Mrs. Frederic and Steve, then the Regents largely deserve to be taken down. At least when MIB agents get booted out of the agency they get their memories wiped and their lives back.
Either way, Steve has been remarkably underdeveloped this season, almost to the point where it's hard to care if he goes bad or not. Claudia is the only character on the show who actually acts like a friend towards him, but it seems like most of their closeness must have happened off screen. Other than their first mission and the Civil War reenactment, they haven't spent much time together on this show.
Speaking of Claudia, the initial beats her brush with death storyline were appropriately creepy in a "Final Destination" sort of way. But the resolution was a pretty big cop out. You can just ignore the effects of an artifact now? Okay...
Even Pete's solution for the cursed artifact jar seemed like it was a stretch. I was under the impression that the artifacts were nearly indestructible and yet one throw from Pete shattered the glass and cured the pseudo-zombies. However, Artie's use of the artifact glasses was fairly clever and one of the more impressive uses of the show's mythology.
It's almost a shame that the show didn't go for a complete zombie epic, because there were a few good scenes where Pete agonized over whether to shoot one of the pseudo-zombies. The cause of the zombie-like symptoms was also really pushing credibility, even for this series. A lot of sick and tragic things happened to the Donner party, but it's asking a lot to buy that Myka and the others became infected with zombie-like symptoms after leaving a tip in a cursed jar from that journey. On a side note, why was Pete almost offensively stupider than ever while attempting to order a taco in Spanish? It's not like he needs extra help being ridiculous.
"Insatiable" had its moments, but this feels like a step down after a solid string of episodes. It seems odd that Syfy is pushing back the season finale two weeks just to blow through two episodes in a single night. There seems to be enough story laid out in the previous episodes to finish the season on a high point. But the show needs to be better than this.
Crave Online Rating: 6.5 out of 10.