Photo By Steve Wilkie/Syfy
It’s not surprising that Warehouse 13 fans are rabid. The show’s creators aren’t afraid to make tough choices to keep the show interesting. Take for example the mid-season finale twist in which Leena, one of the show’s beloved characters, was unexpected killed at the hands of another fan favorite, Artie — well the Mr. Hyde that lives within him, Brother Adrian, that is.
In a recent conference call interview Warehouse 13 Executive Producer Jack Kenny and star Eddie McClintock talked about what lies ahead in the remaining installments of Season 4.
The show has already started to address Leena’s demise and how a good guy has to come to grips with the dark deeds he’s done thanks for supernatural influences. As Kenny explained, “Artie's the first person that has to deal with this… And yes, Artie's having a very hard time dealing with what he did. Yes, he was affected by an artifact but he sees it as his hand is the one that did it and so he's responsible. So there's that hurdle that has to be leapt over in terms of Artie making his peace with what an artifact made him do.”
And not surprisingly, the show’s other characters are confronting their own demons about the recent turn of events. Perhaps the person affected most by Artie’s dual personality drama is his young co-worker, Claudia, with whom he has developed a father-daughter-like relationship. Kenny remarked, “Then there's the tension between Claudia and Artie, where we spend actually the next three episodes dealing with in terms of what she had to do to him. She had to stab him and bring him back when he didn't want to come back and a lot of other tension-riddled issues that they have to deal with.”
The writer-director, continued, “Also the rest of the crew has to help Artie with this… The family is rallying around their essentially patriarch to help him deal with this and to help the Warehouse move on with that it has to do.”
Plus, they have to fill the hole left behind by Leena’s death. “We bring in Kelly Hu, who essentially comes to run the [bed and breakfast], and we find out that she actually has a deeper purpose and… a deeper purpose in that she is there for our people to talk to. Because the Regents come to the conclusion that when you die and come back to life, when you kill someone you love, when you are attacked by an artifact and almost killed, that maybe there's some issues that have to be dealt with. So a little PTSD that has to be dealt with. And so Kelly's here for that.”
Always one to lighten the mood, McClintock, who plays Pete Lattimer, joked about doing some deep thinking about what’s happened to his co-star’s character, “I understand the guilt that Artie's going through. When I was in college I drank and I was in a blackout. And when I woke up I had shaved the dog. And I felt guilt about that but everybody was like, ‘But Eddie it was the tequila.’ And I said, ‘No, but it was my hand.”
But of course, Leena’s death wasn’t just a loss to the storyline. It also meant that the cast and crew would be saying goodbye to Genelle Williams, who had been a series regular since the pilot. Kenny acknowledged, “It was very difficult for all of us because Genelle was so sweet and wonderful. There's a lot of different levels that that played on for me as a showrunner and head writer, too.”
Still, he needed to step back and put the show before his personal feelings. He admitted, “Essentially we needed somebody to die and stay dead because we'd brought back Artie. We brought back Steve. And if death doesn't mean anything, then the stories no longer have stakes. If you can bring back anybody from dead then death is no longer a danger and so it becomes impossible to make something dangerous to raise the stakes in the story. So we had to lose someone that stayed lost so that we could deal with real mortality since mortality was such a strong element of our season this year."
Next came the toughest question of all for Kenny, “Who in the cast can we lose and yet it would still have a powerful impact on everybody. And Leena was the obvious choice because it was hard to get Leena into stories, into artifacts snag and bag since she's not an agent. And yet it would have meaning for the characters to lose her because she's such a warm and lovely presence and such a loving presence in their lives.”
And the choice would provide just the amount of drama that devotees have become accustomed to. According to Kenny, “It was the perfect opportunity to really punch everybody in the gut and have them have to deal with something monumental in their lives. Any other external character wouldn’t have meant the same thing. And also such a pure innocent, who was literally turned around to help Artie when she thought he needed it, essentially gave her life.”
Tune in to Warehouse 13 every Monday night at 10 p.m. EST/9 p.m. Central on Syfy.