W13 is never better than when it hams it up, yet balances that hamminess with a continuation of an ongoing character arc. SPOILERS AHEAD!
Oh Artie. Artie Artie Artie... you need to forgive yourself! It was the artifact that killed Leena, not you! Thankfully, Jinksy and Claudia are 'on the case', with Claudia expertly manipulating Artie into going out in the field to track down a classic car thief who may be using an artifact to steal said cars. But is getting Artie out into the field a good idea?
Sadly, this is the B story to the main one involving Myka and Pete getting sucked into an unfinished 1940's detective novel-now-artifact. That's not to say the two aren't pulp-novel brilliant in the roles, but for the most part it is a cute aside to the ongoing Artie saga. I will, however, address said A story first.
We start out with our dynamic duo catching rouge lightning balls in the Warehouse, using another artifact (an elephant statue) in conjunction with a backpack electricity storage unit (one assumes full of purple goodness) device that would have been at home in one of the Ghostbusters movies. Things are going great until Pete tries to catch 4 of these suckers in rapid succession, and manages to overload it in true Pete Lattimer fashion. The resulting zaps of lightning hit the stacks and unleash a waterfall of manuscript pages, including the aforementioned pages of the unfinished novel.
Jump to Pete and Myka in black and white, 1940's style. After quickly assessing their situation, in walks the 'damsel in distress' who introduces herself as Rebecca Carson, the wife of an archeologist (Oliver Carson) who has gone missing. Myka is forced into the role of Gal Friday, while Pete hams it up as the detective. As it so happens, Myka is a fan of the author's Anthony Bishop's work. The two determine that the only way out is to finish the unfinished novel, and solve the mystery.
Lo and behold, there is a jade elephant at the center of the mystery (the very same artifact they were using in the Warehouse), which turns out to be the object of desire of one Mr. Caspian Barnabus, a rare artifacts collector, who sends his hired muscle to 'collect' Myka and Pete and bring them to him to be questioned, at a club called The Indigo Club. Myka plays the part of meek female brilliantly, ultimately saving the day and (as Pete points out) enjoying herself in the process. At this point you should remember to note the bartender in the background...
Ultimately, Pete and Myka go to Carson's office to find a clue overlooked by whoever already turned said office upside-down: a macthbook with a hotel printed on the front. Myka know the author's mother's name was Kristie Anne... the smae as the name of the hotel! What would mean nothing to the characters int he story is in fact a major clue for Myka and Pete.
Off they go to the hotel, only to find the late Mr. Carson dead in a room, with the assumed perp fleeing the scene. Cut to the duo having to go inform Mrs. Carson of the death... only to find the Mrs. Carson they met isn't the REAL Mrs. Carson! Duhn duhn DUHNNNNNNN!
Turns out she knew he had a mistress, a woman who hangs out at (you guessed it) The Indigo Club. And so, Pete and Myka get gussied up and head out to the club during normal business hours to investigate. While there (and dancing to 'blend in', a cut scene with the two) they note that Caspian is there, as well as the bartender, who only has eyes for the singer, who is in fact the fake Mrs. Carson! You still with me on this?
Myka and Pete chase her backstage and corner her, proceeding to question her. Myka again dives into the role, and they discover that Lily Abbot (the singer's real name) is working for Barnabus to get close to Carson. In an attempt to save Carson, she hired the detective (Pete) to save him.
I guesed the next part: Myka and Petego back out to the dance floor, receive a note to meet someone out back, and Myka seems to throw caution to the wind and dashes outside, Pete in tow. They meet up with the bartender who is (yeah, you guessed it to, right?) THE AUTHOR, who also got sucked into the manuscript years ago! Myka is thrilled to meet him, but he pulls a gun and tells them to drop the case or he'll kill them! OH NO!
He trapped himself accidentally in the manuscript after the grief of his real world wife's death turned it into an artifact. But now... he doesn't want to leave, and if Myka and Pete solve the mystery, he'll be forced to go back to the real world with them! He's been hiding the clues all along, but our heroes were smarter than he thought. He's wanting to stay, because the singer Lilly is base don his wife, so he wants to continue the illusion. And if they leave, an innocent will die (a theme in Bishop's books) and it will, of course, be Lilly! This was why he couldn't finish the original book, and doesn't want it to end now. Pete easily snatched the gun from Bishop, but Bishop (who isn't really a killer) tells them it doesn't matter; he claims that they'll never finish the novel!
Back int he club, Barabus has left, after receiving a phone call. Pete comes to the rescue with his detective movie knowledge, and sweet-talks the number from the operator.
On to a dark foggy bridge. only to find a dead Barnabus, killed by the jade elephant, but also leaving evidence of claw marks... from a woman's fingernails. AND... there's a hair follicle... brunette. IT'S CARSON'S REAL WIFE! SHE'S THE KILLER!!! AHHHHHH!!!!! Sorry, i got excited there for a minute...
But ZAP! POW! Mrs. Carson is still there and zaps Pete! Myka pleads with her to stop, but she sets up to zap Myka too, but Myka ducks out of the way. Mrs. Carson runs off as cop sirens draw closer. Myka springs into action with CPR to revive Pete, which of course works. Myka deduces that Mrs. casron will need cash to make a clean getaway... and who has money? Barnabus!
Back at the Indigo Club, Bishop has Lilly ready to skip town with stolen money from Barnabus, but Mrs. Carson shows up to tie up loose ends and take the cash for herself. Myka and Pete show up, but it's a standoff: Mrs. C has Lilly, Bishop won't let Myka shoot her (so taht the story continues and he can have Lilly)... but we know what will happen, don't we. A fight ensues, Myka kills Mrs C., but...
Nope, everything had a happy ending here. i thought for sure Lilly would snuff it, but it turns out Bishop can stay, locked in the final kiss with his beloved Lilly as Myka and Pete exit back to the real world. back int he real world, Myka and Pete get to read the finished story with the happy ending. Myka questions the happy ending in a murder mystery, but Pete points out that, in reality, Bishop was actually writing a love story. THE END... of that story line for this episode.
NOW: onto what I thought was the important part of the story: Artie, Claudia, and Steve, chasing the car thief. They go to the dealership where all the cars keep ending up, sidestep the voluptuous female saleswoman, and rather than do his usual diplomatic trickery, Artie instead pulls a Tesla, fires it off (to the shock and horror of Claudia and Jinks), and threatens the owner. They get enough info to know how the 'deals' are set up, and decide to set a trap for the thief using Artie's own 70's muscle machine.
These scenes are interspersed between the A story black and white adventure, but I'll reel them off in one straight report here. We now see the three in a garage where they've made sure the thief knows about it. While trying to fix a tracking device Artie damaged by tinkering, Claudia is caught behind the car when the thief arrives. She opts to hop int he trunk and go with the thief, finishing the repair en route so Artie and Steve can find her. Artie freaks out on Steve about Claudia being in danger, again showing a crack in his normal wizened demeanor, and causing Steve to be concerned.
It turns out the artifact being used is a pair of driving gloves that allow the driver to make the car intangible, thereby driving it through walls, etc. Claudia exits the car and is about to snag the gloves when the now unmasked thief attacks: and it's the female car salesperson! yeah, again, saw that one coming a mile away too!The two women fight, but the thief gets away. Artie and Steve show up as she phases through the wall with another stolen car. Claudia has nicked one of the gloves, which Artie grabs, hops in his own muscle car, and pursues, leaving Claudia and Steve in the dust.
In the next scene of this storyline we get Artie on the Farnsworth with Claudia and Steve as he races in pursuit of the thief. This, for me was the best scene of the episode, (next to Myka in the evening gown: 'VA-' with a side of 'VOOM' indeed!). It turns into a glorious 70's car chase (complete with funky 70's-ish music track), culminating in a head on game of chicken, which Artie recklessly wins, and causing the thief to puncture a tire and spin out. Artie is proud of himself, but Claudia and Steve are scared and worried.
Our next scene is Steve talking to the head Regent, Mr Cosen (sp?). Turns out Steve was asked by the Regents to keep an eye on Artie and report back, and now the regents feel it is 'time to act'. Steve is angered by this, saying that this isn't why he agreed to keep an eye on Artie... but what did he expect? Yes, he wants to help Artie, and the regent claims the same, but... Steve is having a hard time trusting him.
Is Artie being dangerously reckless? It seems so. And yet, as Steve points out to the regent, Artie needs time to deal with this, just as Steve has had to deal with similar trauma.
What''s in store for Artie now? I think this was the more important part of last night's episode, and I look forward to finding out!