Can you discuss why the artifact storyline in Past Imperfect bothers you? I would love to hear your awesome meta on it :)
*long exhale through pursed lips* Okay, let’s see if I can meta this without also ranting about the horrible Sam characterization and the lack of thought given to Myka despite this being a Myka story. (Actually, wait, the latter might be relevant to the inclusion of the artifact.)
Anyone else who is irritated by the artifact in Past Imperfect, feel free add your thoughts to this. I know I’m far from the only one who was bugged. (And for comments/discussion points that are pro-artifact, see thecomet13's reblog here)
Let’s start this meta with the Pilot. Myka enters the show as someone whose walls are up in full force. This is a defense mechanism likely fostered in her while growing up with her father’s mix of neglect and abuse. The reasons it’s triggered here are her lover and partner Sam Martino was killed on duty during a case they were both working, and Myka feels that’s her fault. Six months and a transfer later, Myka still deeply blames herself. This blame and guilt are Myka’s entire season 1 arc.
Ok, read it, I was tagged in it so I reply.
I honestly don’t understand why you feel like the artifact ruined Myka’s character arc of S1. It doesn’t matter whose fault was or wasn’t, what matters is that the guilt that Myka carried inside in the first season was real and that she learnt how overcome it. The reason of Sam’s death being an artifact doesn’t make her arc meaningless or less valid, because the point was: it wasn’t Myka’s fault! Artifact or no artifact, it wasn’t her fault, and even if she was actually late, it was not her fault.
Also, I don’t think it says that nobody can work at the Warehouse without a previous connection, cause only Pete, Myka and Claudia have one (well, two when it comes to Claudia…and I didn’t really like the whole Claire storyline, cause it seemed like a little too much…one sibling taken away by an artifact is ok, two is too much and poor writing).
But anyway…I agree on some of the things you’ve written. I think your meta is really good and I don’t necessarily think that that episode was well written (it wasn’t) or that they made the right call by revisiting Sam’s death after so long. But considering the episode DID happen, then I’m not opposite to the idea of having Myka being connected to the Warehouse before she started working there.
As I said in the other reblog, I liked the fact that Myka’s defining moment (Sam’s death) was linked to the Warehouse, her happy place, but also the “place” that took Sam away from her and that changed her so deeply. I would have loved to see Myka struggling with this truth.
I don’t know guys, I don’t even know how to properly explain my thoughts, cause I’m sure that, even after this post, my reasoning isn’t that clear. Anyway, I just liked that the Warehouse is Myka’s happiest place but also the cause of one of the worst events in her life. To be honest, it makes me think of love itself: the person that we love is the one that makes us the happiest, but also the one who can break our heart. They can give us blissful happiness, but also excruciating pain. And that is what the Warehouse did to Myka, somehow. I just liked that.
No, no I think your reasoning is clear! And I really like the connection that Myka’s happiest place is also the source of one of the worst events in her life. Outside of the sloppiness of the episode, it’s probably just my personal preference that keeps me from being okay with it.
The show really grew to rely on artifacts too much over the years imo. Artifacts are interesting and cool, yes, but I never once considered them the point of the show. The point of the show was the characters (at least that’s why I watched and why I assume the audience dwindled every year after S1). Since Past Imperfect came at the end of S3, after they added the humor, just before all hell broke loose in quality and Myka’s characterization, I judge it a lot harsher than I do early episodes, and I give its canon reveals a lot less weight. Jack Kenny really gave me the impression that he wanted everything to tie back to some flashy artifact or some crazy Big Bad from eons ago, even when it adds nothing to the plot or characters. S4 and 5 kept pushing things further and further into that direction and it was infuriating to me. Insisting on putting artifacts at the center of everything tells me that the writers don’t consider these characters interesting enough on their own. Which sickens me because a) I’m a very character-oriented viewer and writer and b) Warehouse 13 houses my absolute favorite group of characters to mull over and play with. I hate having artifacts overshadow them.
Making Sam’s death the result of an artifact diminishes Myka’s S1 arc because the two stories clash. If they had laid the groundwork back in S1, if they had set it up so that in Past Imperfect the reaction is “OH MY GOD THERE WAS AN ARTIFACT?!” instead of “Really? An artifact? We’re really going there?”, I probably would’ve been totally fine with, sloppy writing or not. But they didn’t because they never once considered there was an artifact involved until they wrote S3 and were like, hmm what if?
I would have also been okay with Myka coming across an artifact pre-warehouse under a different set of circumstances. Any set of circumstances that didn’t modify Sam’s death since there was so much discussed about it in S1. One alternative might be a glimpse of a 5 year old Myka seeing a football land in front of her on the sidewalk and a pair of adults rushing up, grabbing it, and maybe arguing because the football wasn’t supposed to crash there. You’d lose the happiness/pain dichotomy, but you’d gain the ‘fate’ aspect that you mentioned in your first post and it would explain how Myka got on the regents’ and Mrs Frederic’s radars. Sam dying from an artifact wouldn’t put Myka on their radars because the warehouse never even knew there was an artifact involved. And it doesn’t really feel like fate to me. It just felt random. :/ Probably because the complete lack of set up.
So, I’m not against Myka having a pre-series connection to the warehouse in theory, but in the context of Jack Kenny’s approach to the show and in the execution of the episode, I really, really don’t like it and wished they’d left an artifact out of Sam’s death.