Stars: Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelly, Saul Rubinek,Allison Scagliotti, Genelle Williams, CCH Pounder, Roger Rees
Writer: John-Paul Nickel, story by Mike Johnson & John-Paul Nickel, series created by Brent Mote & Jane Espenson
Director: Jack Kenny
Network: Syfy, Tuesday @ 9 PM
Airdate: December 6, 2011
Sooner or later, most genre TV shows wind up doing their own idiosyncratic versions of Frank Capra’s movie IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE. Perhaps there’s something arcane in the contracts of genre TV shows which requires this after a certain number of installments; more likely, it’s an economical way to let the series regulars do something a little different and play with alternate versions of the characters. These various spins on the what-would-happen-to-people-in-my-life-if-I’d-never-been-born plot are of wildly different quality. In the case of WAREHOUSE 13, the result is a good (if not wonderful) episode that plays pretty much like a lot of other WAREHOUSE episodes, with everybody running around trying to get hold of an artifact before it is used for nefarious purposes.
The title of the episode is “The Greatest Gift,” which is not coincidentally also the title of Philip Van Doren’s 1943 short story THE GREATEST GIFT, which was the inspiration for IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE. WAREHOUSE 13 being what it is, while Pete (Eddie McClintock) is putting away an errant light-up reindeer nose in the Christmas aisle, he accidentally touches Van Doren’s furniture brush, which brushes away Pete’s existence.
Pete is suddenly in a reality where Warehouse 13 is run by the villainous James McPherson (Roger Rees), Mika (Joanne Kelly) is still a Federal agent in D.C., who put Artie (Saul Rubinek) behind bars, where he still languishes. Pete manages to use his knowledge to convince Artie that he knows what he’s talking about, and Mrs. Frederick (CCH Pounder) becomes suspicious of Pete’s accusations about McPherson. Pete, Artie and the skeptical but eventually persuaded Mika rescue Claudia (Allison Scagliotti) from a mental institution. Together, they get back into the warehouse and risk their lives to get the brush. Pete touches the artifact and reality is restored to normal (if this is a spoiler to you, you need to watch a lot more television). He then gets sentimental and tells all his friends that he loves them.
A moment of Pete getting carried away and hugging the stonily unreceptive Mrs. Frederick is priceless, thanks to Pounder’s deadpan expression and rigid body language. Mostly, “Greatest Gift” is sweet and likable as Pete enthuses over what he likes best about all his compatriots, as they, unhappy in the alternate reality, awaken to the possibility of a better existence.
“Greatest Gift” also manages to rush around with plenty of action, so Pete’s efforts to prove himself to his pals don’t feel quite as repetitive as they otherwise might. There are references to other episodes, including the pilot, which is welcome. Narration by Mrs. Frederick tells us this is “not too long ago,” so we don’t have to wrack our brains trying to fit this into series continuity, as when we last saw our heroes, they were in dire straits, as befits a season-ending cliffhanger.
Sure, the sentiment is on the strong side, but it’s not unearned. As Christmas (and Hannukah, and other seasonal event) episodes go, “The Greatest Gift” is clever and likable.
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Click on Link: Review: WAREHOUSE 13 – Season 3 – “Emily Lake”/”Stand
Click on Link: TV Review: WAREHOUSE 13 – Season 3 – “Shadows”
Click on Link: AX’s review of WAREHOUSE 13 – Season 3 – “The 40th Floor”
Click on Link: AX’s Exclusive Interview with WAREHOUSE 13 star Aaron Ashmore
Click on Link: AX’s review of WAREHOUSE 13 – Season 3 – “Past Imperfect”
Click on Link: AX’s review of WAREHOUSE 13 – Season 3 – “Don’t Hate the Player”
Click on Link: AX’s review of WAREHOUSE 13 – Season 3 – “3…2…1…”
Click on Link: AX’s review of WAREHOUSE 13 – Season 3 – “Queen for a Day”
Click on Link: AX’s review of WAREHOUSE 13 – Season 3 – “Love Sick”
Click on Link: AX’s review of WAREHOUSE 13 – Season 3 – “Trials”
Click on Link: AX’s review of WAREHOUSE 13 – Season 3 – “The New Guy”
Click on Link: AX’s review of WAREHOUSE 13 – Season 3 – “Secret Santa”
Click on Link: AX’s review of ALPHAS – Season 1 premiere
Click on Link: AX’s review of EUREKA – Season 4 premiere – “Liftoff”
Article Source:Assignment X
Article: Review: WAREHOUSE 13 – Season 3 – “The Greatest Gift”