By John Keegan
Considering that the season premiere was foreshadowing some nasty future direction for Claudia, I think a number of fans were expecting her search for a "solution" to Steve's death was going to lead her down that path. This episode makes it clear that things are going to be a bit more complicated in that regard. Claudia seems destined for darkness, but perhaps not quite yet.
I didn't think that Steve was going to be brought back. I figured that Claudia would do her little infiltration gig, get what she needed, and attempt the resurrection, without actually getting to the desired endpoint. Instead, Pete's mother gives her apparent Regent permission to use the metronome artifact to bring Steve back, and it works.
Of course, it's not without potential drawbacks. Steve is back, but his renewed life is tied to the artifact, and as the other Regent made very clear, the long-term consequences are unknown. Just how long will Steve remain alive and well? The Regents are more than willing to take Steve out if he starts to show signs of problematic behavior, and Claudia knows this. If Steve's decline is slow enough, will Claudia's recognition of the inevitable be the cause of her downfall?
This theme of digging down into the consequences of using artifacts for personal gain also applies to Artie. In fact, it might apply even more. It's hard to believe that Brother Adrian didn't figure out why Artie was so panicked about the whole situation. Regardless, Artie is just about losing his mind as he turns over all the implications in his head. Having a constant vision of Claudia stabbing him must be a bit unnerving, but he's dangerously close to non-functional.
All of this is set against the backdrop of a "case of the week" which is fairly standard for "Warehouse 13". It allows the episode to have a bit more balance than that darkfest that the premiere presented. Still, it was probably the least involving aspect of the episode. Instead, the top honors have to go to Allison Scagliotti. Not only did she run through every possible emotion in this episode, but she managed to rock the little black dress and sexy nurse outfit along the way! (In all seriousness, this was a banner episode for Claudia, and rightfully so.)
Those concerned with the general darkness of the season so far may not have been given much to salve their worried brows, but it makes sense for this arc to start with a bit of darkness. Bringing back Steve this early also allows for the team to function well, and in high spirits, for a good chunk of the season, before the hammer can drop again. In the end, that may turn out better for the show as a whole than the anticipated long dark road for Claudia.John Keegan is Editor-in-Chief for Critical Myth, a partner site of SciFi Vision.