It’s the holidays and once again, we are graced with another ‘Warehouse 13’ Christmas episode! The one thing to remember when watching this episode is that it’s quite separate from the series. So what happened in last season’s finale really doesn’t affect this one (those of you who’ve seen the finale will know what I mean). So basically you need to suspend what you know and enjoy this episode for what it is.

[SPOILER ALERT!]

The episode opens with Myka and Pete on a routine artifact hunt for Rudolph’s nose that when lit, brings inanimate Christmas decorations to life. Of course, nothing is ever routine for the two as when they reach their destination, a string of lights wrap around Pete’s ankles and drags him along the lawn. Pete is able to grab hold onto a lawn ornament shaped as a caroler to stop his progress. As Myka climbs a ladder to retrieve the nose, the lawn ornament comes to life and starts beating on Pete to let go. Pete yells at Myka to hurry and as she places Rudolph’s nose into the Warehouse bag, everything suddenly goes back to normal. The family inside the house runs outside wondering what happened but Myka and Pete were able to concoct a story that appeases their concern (an escaped reindeer? Really? Are people in Florida that gullible?) The little daughter, happy that her dog was saved, gives Pete a candy cane.

Back at the Warehouse, Claudia is trying to convince Artie to wear a jacket that she bought him for Christmas for his weekend in Vegas with Dr. Vanessa. He adamantly refuses then starts making excuses as to why he won’t be going. Myka and Pete asks him why all of a sudden he no longer wants to go and Artie reveals that his father and Hugo both found out he was going there and they are now coming along on the trip so he’s trying to find a way to get out of it.

Claudia doesn’t want Artie to be alone on Christmas so he suggests he join her and her brother in Switzerland. She nixes that idea as she wants to snowboard in the Alps and not sit in the corner while her brother and Artie argue about quantum physics (you mean not everyone enjoys a hearty discussion about string theory?). Artie begs Pete to trade places with him and he’ll stay at the Warehouse during Christmas but Pete declines the offer saying he’d rather be dragged by a truck over broken glass than to spend the holidays shopping with his mom and sister. Myka comes to the rescue and offers Artie to come spend Christmas with her and her family and suggests that while he’s with her, Hugo will make sure that Dr. Vanessa won’t miss that Artie is not in Vegas. Knowing he was beat, Artie takes Claudia’s gift and decides to go to Sin City.

As everyone is getting ready to pack, Pete heads into the Warehouse to file Rudolph’s nose in the Christmas aisle (otherwise known as the Aisle of Noel). Several Christmassy artifacts are present (there’s some great Easter Eggs in that scene!) and as Pete is filing Rudolph’s nose on a top shelf, he slips and falls causing a few artifacts to spill. Mumbling how he was going to get worker’s compensation to the tune of Jingle Bells, Pete picks up the artifacts and places them back on the shelves.

Warehouse 13 The Greatest Gift Eddie McClintockHe dances back to the office and when he gets there, he notices two strangers hunched over a desk. Surprised, he asks, “Who are you guys?” The two people turn and draw their Tesla guns at him. Pete calls for Artie but a voice tells him that Arthur hasn’t worked there in a very long time. Pete turns around and finds it’s James McPherson! (Dun dun dun!)

Pete is in shock! Handcuffed and surrounded by McPherson and his agents, Pete can’t understand how McPherson is still alive. He tells McPherson that the last time he saw him, he was a pile of dust in front of the Escher vault. McPherson assures him he is quite alive and asks Pete how he seems to know him. He surmises that maybe Pete is under the influence of an artifact. The two agents question Pete asking if he’s come across a family heirloom or anything unusual. Pete is getting angry as he doesn’t understand why they are treating him as though he knows nothing about the Warehouse and why the agents think he broke in and why they are allowing McPherson to be in charge. Pete, desperate to get the agents to see the type of person McPherson really was, tells them of some of his evil deeds. McPherson, still thinking Pete is possessed by an artifact, tells the agents to take him to Leena’s.

Pete is relieved to see Leena but when she sees him, she doesn’t know who he is. What was even stranger was that Leena couldn’t see an aura around Pete (which upset Pete to no end as he even reminded her that she liked his aura and even flirted with it at one time). With no record of who he was, McPherson orders the agents to bring him back so they could put him in the box. Pete overhears and makes his escape. Convinced McPherson did something to make the world go “wonky” he leaves to find his team.

Warehouse 13 The Greatest Gift Joanne KellyPete knows something is up so he sets out to find Myka. He calls her mom at the family book store but she has no idea who he is. He asks if Myka was there as he knows she spends Christmas with them. Myka’s mother tells him that she hasn’t been home in 2 years – not since her father died. Pete is in shock. He knows he and Myka saved his life and he is alive in his world. He heads to DC where Myka is working in her office. When he sees her, she has no idea who he is. He tries to convince her that they are partners in his world but she just thinks he’s crazy. This is the Myka he first met not the Myka who is is partner now. She is dismissive and curt with Pete and he leaves before security comes and escorts him out.

Pete follows Myka to a bar and freaks her out. He continues to try to convince her that he does know her and doesn’t understand why the Myka in front of him is not the Myka he knows. It’s not until he tells this Myka that her father is alive and that his Myka reconciled with him years ago and spends Christmas with her family that she begins to believe him. He tells her about the secret book her father had and how she saved her dad by reading that book to him and now he’s asking her to save him. Secretly longing for that life to be true, Myka agrees to help him.

Pete tells her they now need to find Artie as he would know what to do next. Myka knows just where he’s at. He’s right where she left him…in federal prison. They go and visit Artie but he doesn’t recognize Pete. Pete tries to explain how he knows Artie and tries to pull out the candy cane he got earlier in the day as proof but it’s not there. Artie asks him what he has he touched recently and Pete relates what he was doing before the world changed for him. Artie surmises that Pete touched Philip Van Doren Stern’s upholstery brush. Myka tells Pete that Stern wrote the short story ‘The Greatest Gift’ which was the basis of the movie ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’ Artie tells Pete when you touch the brush, you literally get swept away as though you were never born. He goes on to tell Pete that all his deeds are now undone as though he was never born, hence why the world is now the way it is. They decide to help Pete and reverse the artifacts effects (after all, the world is a better place with Pete Lattimer in it?).

Artie gets released from prison (thanks to the ever mysterious Mrs. Frederic) and as they try to figure out how to get into the Warehouse, Artie tells Pete he can’t walk inside as McPherson injected him with a solution that reacts violently within the Warehouse walls. Anyway, Artie concludes, no one has ever broken into the Warehouse 13. But Pete knows otherwise. He asks Artie how well he remembers Claudia Donovan.

Before Claudia met Pete, she was in a psychiatric clinic and that’s where the three find her. They convince her that she’s not crazy and that her brother is alive. Pete assures Claudia that they will save her brother but he needs her help first to break into Warehouse 13. Claudia agrees under one condition: She gets to deal with Artie after. Pete agrees much to Artie’s dismay. Pete tells him not to worry as Claudia tortures him all the time…it’s their thing. As they are heading out of the building, the team sees McPherson’s agents coming towards them and they run. They all work together to knock McPherson’s agents unconscious. Myka is quite proud of herself and has accepted that she and Pete could be partners.

Inside Warehouse 13, Mrs. Frederic confronts McPherson about his suspicious activities. He uses Cecile B. DeMille’s riding crop (yes the one used in the finale) to hold her immobile and bronzes her. The agents inform McPherson that Artie and Pete got away and he orders them back to the Warehouse.

Warehouse overviewPete, Myka, Artie and Claudia head to Leena’s Inn to find the necklace that Artie needs to counteract the substance in his system in order to step into the Warehouse. While they are searching the inn, Leena catches them in the act. She’s happy to see Artie and gives him the necklace they were looking for.

The team follows Artie to an area outside the Warehouse where a secret entrance is located. The entrance was the inspiration for the story Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves, so all they had to do to open it was to say “Open Sesame”….in Arabic. Myka remembers reading the first edition of the story (after all, she is Myka) and is able to open the door. Working together they manage to get in and this Myka sees the Warehouse for the first time and is awed by its massiveness. Claudia, on the other hand, just wants to get the job done so that they can save her brother. At this point, Pete explains to Claudia what they all mean to each other. How her brother is already saved and how they are a family to her and how they all work in this endless wonder called Warehouse 13. (Insert heartwarming “Awww’ here) Oh! And how Artie makes the best cookies.

Myka and Pete head to the Aisle of Noel to retrieve the brush while Artie and Claudia head to the office to find out how to reverse the effect of the artifact, but McPherson set a trap. Myka and Pete end up in an infinite loop while Artie and Claudia are captured by McPherson and his agents and are taken to the bronze chamber. Myka is able to reason out how to reverse the effect of the infinite loop but by the time they get to the Aisle of Noel, the shelves have been cleared out. The two head to the office to meet up with Artie and Claudia but they are not there. Pete sees them being taken to the bronze sector.

They zip line to the area just in time to save Artie and Claudia and free them from the chamber. As they head off to find McPherson, Artie tells Pete that in order to reverse the effects of Stern’s brush, all he has to do is touch it again, but he’s pretty certain that McPherson is going to destroy the artifact so that he can make this world permanent. And he knows where he’ll go to make sure the artifact is destroyed. They find McPherson with a red bag full of the Christmas artifacts ready to toss it into the earth’s core. Since he doesn’t know which artifact caused this reality, he starts to drop them one by one. As he does so, Artie appears behind him with the help of an artifact invisible cloak. They fight and the brush spills out from the bag. Artie is able to grab it before it falls in but McPherson grabs a hold of Artie’s necklace and threatens to pull it off unless Artie gives him the brush. Pete silently tells Artie to throw him the brush. As McPherson realizes what is about to happen, he pulls off the necklace causing Artie to disintegrate but not before he throws the brush in Pete’s direction. Pete runs and catches it as he falls down into the Earth’s fiery core.

Pete is suddenly back in the Warehouse of his world in the Aisle of Noel. He knows it’s his world because the candy cane the little girl in the beginning of the episode gave to him is back in his pocket. Relieved, Pete heads back to Leena’s B&B where everyone is still there as they are snowed in. Even Mrs. Federic can’t leave the area. Pete overjoyed to be alive and back in his world expresses his affection and love to everyone (yes, even Mrs. Federic). They all settle around the television to watch…’It’s A Wonderful Life.’

I love the Christmas season, so episodes like this one that don’t follow the continuity of a series don’t bother me as much as it may for some. This episode centers on Pete, and Eddie McClintock does a great job as the happy amicable hero that we all know and love. To realize how far each character has evolved since joining the Warehouse was also a treat.

What makes ‘Warehouse 13’ so enjoyable is the characters and their bond with one another. This episode truly focused on reminding us that although the show may be about artifacts, it’s the people who draw you in each week. Yes, the ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ premise has been done many times over but the storyline still gets to me, especially when retold with characters that you’re fond of and grown attached to. After all, when the show is over and you’re left with a smile on your face, the Christmas episode has done what it has set out to do, don’t you think?

Don’t worry, though. ‘Warehouse 13’ will return next year and pick up where it left off at the season’s finale. Until then…just keep those artifacts under wraps.