Warehouse 13’s penultimate episode of its 4th season, All the Time in the World, is an interesting watch. Existing mostly to elaborate on Anthony Head’s villainous Paracelsus in time for the season finale, the episode deals primarily with the tragedy of death verses the greater tragedy of immortality. The subject matter is certainly more serious and heady than most episodes of the show, though the episode retains the trademark humour (be that a good thing or a bad thing) and tone that long-time viewers will be familiar with. Whilst All the Time in the World is certainly one of the more enjoyable episodes of the series thus far, it consists almost entirely of set-up for the next episode. Perhaps the strongest reason to watch the episode is its cast. This episode is a veritable “who’s-who” of genre television actors, many of whom have strong cult followings due to their appearances in other sci-fi shows. James Marsters (best known for his role as Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Polly Walker (known for Rome and the ill-fated Battlestar Galactica prequel series- Caprica) and the previously mentioned Anthony Head (who has appeared in so many programmes of this nature that it is actually a surprise to realise that he hasn’t appeared in Warehouse 13 already) all have significant roles to play in the proceedings as the members of a family of immortals. Head’s Paracelsus (who shares virtually nothing with his historical counterpart other than his name and his interest in science) plans to finally make himself immortal by using the two separated parts of the legendary Philosopher’s Stone. Pete (Eddie McClintock) and Myka (Joanne Kelly) are dispatched to stop Paracelsus’ nefarious scheme because his existence threatens the safety of the Warehouse and its contents. The episodes’ B-Plot concerns Artie (Saul Rubinek) and Steve (Aaron Ashmore) trying to save Claudia (Allison Scagliotti) who’s potentially crumbling to death inside a bronze shell.
Being the episode that leads into a series finale, All the Time in the World possesses a degree of tension that was lacking in previous episodes of the show. These episodes are frequently when massive changes like character deaths occur in order to bring more emotional resonance to the final episode. As a result, one cannot be sure when viewing the episode whether or not the characters will be successful in their endeavours to stop Paracelsus and save Claudia. There is a great deal of emotional weight in this episode; from the tragic immortal lives of Paracelsus’ extended family to the reminder that Myka has cancer that she is refusing to receive treatment for. The emotional steaks have never felt higher for the show which is usually a more optimistic and reassuring watch. This darker streak turns the episode into a refreshing watch, even if Pete’s childish one-liners frequently break up the tension of a scene. There are certainly problems with the episode. Anthony Head plays Paracelsus as a cackling madman; a disappointment since Head has the acting talent to make this character into a sophisticated antagonist with legitimate reasons for wanting to be immortal beyond simple megalomania. Josh Blaylock as the immortal teenage nephew of Paracelsus is wooden and irritating- both as a character and as a performance. All important scenes explaining the mythology of the Warehouses are rushed through with little proper explanation. However, these are fairly minor faults in what was a surprisingly strong episode. Even the location subtitles (that announce when the action has moved to a new city or country) which are usually loud and obnoxious were used cleverly in this episode. All the Time in the World is certainly a strong set-up for the series finale.
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