It’s been a long, strange trip for Steve Jinks. Murdered by Rusty Griswold, he was brought back to life by Claudia, only to have his new existence threatened at every turn by the artifact she used, Johann Maelzel‘s Metronome. If the inverted pendulum thingy on the metronome stops, so does Steve’s heart (so it’s probably a good thing that the pendulum is self-powered. I’d hate to have to frantically fumble around trying to find fresh double A batteries while Steve is gasping for air).
Not only that, but the downside of the artifact is that Claudia can feel Steve’s pain (and not in a Counselor Troi way), so they’re both in constant extreme danger, which really isn’t conducive to being a Warehouse Agent.
Happily, that arc comes to an end with this episode, which also sees Artie triple-teamed by Helena, Mrs. Fredric and Leena. Pray for him.
This probably won’t be the Warehouse 13 Christmas Card
Steve and Claudia want to talk to Artie about Adrian, and when Claudia asks “What does this brother want you to do? Convert?,” Steve quips, “Don’t shave your head, that’s not a good look for you.” Artie comes back with one of the lines of the night, “You either.”
“Dude, you just got burned by … Artie.”
Artie tells them they have bigger fish to fry, like getting Steve off the metronome. Artie walks over to his metal file cabinet and pounds on the top to get the bottom drawer to open … which houses the metronome. That’s right, Steve’s life-giving and life-taking metronome is being kept, not in a Regent vault like we thought, but in Artie’s battered and ancient file cabinet, which I’m pretty sure I saw in an old episode of Lou Grant. Steve gazes in astonishment, and says, “So you keep the metronome in there. How comforting.”
Steve asks Artie if he’s heard back from Germany, and Artie tells him, “Yes, one of the descendants of Robert Schumann, the composer, confirms that he owned the metronome back in the 1830’s.” Claudia interrupts, freaking out that they don’t even know the risks of trying to use this info, and Steve says “I thought you wanted this too?” Claudia tells him, “Yeah, I want the version where you don’t die again. What’s the big rush?” Steve responds by yanking out a nose hair. A wincing Claudia says, “Okay, I get your point.
Schumann tried to kill himself, but his fiance Clara Somechick kept him alive via the metronome … which also drove him insane. in 1829 Schumann got free from the metronome, and wrote, “To live free of this heart, one must first find one’s own, and make a pure start, from whence one comes.” Steve immediately wonders “From whence one comes? New Jersey?,” which I’m sure is the first thing all of us thought. Claudia adds, “It probably means where you were born. You were born at home, right?” Artie says, “See? It’s a riddle. Go solve it.” He orders them to leave “before Steve goes insane,” but from Steve’s reaction, it looks like he’d prefer that to going home.
Actually, that’s not far off the mark. The last thing Steve wants to do is visit his mother, with whom he had a falling out two years prior. Claudia doesn’t get the animosity, especiall when Steve’s mom turns out to be loving and sweet, and delighted to see her son again.
Best of all, she’s played by the faboo Laura Innes, who has had a long and storied career (including a 12-year stint as lesbian doctor Kerry Weaver on ER), but to me will always be Jody Nolastname in Brian DePalma‘s underrated follow-up to Carrie, The Fury (the one with with a mubile (male nubile) Andrew Stevens and tragically permed Amy Irving making John Cassavetes explode).
“I’m a multiple Emmy nominee, and this recapper references my Dorothy Hamill ‘do.”