Okay, so, I do have to say I’ve enjoyed watching Warehouse 13 on Netflix. Especially after coming to terms with the fact that the writers have a terminal case of Plot Advancement and Drama through handing the protagonists three Idiot Balls each, then asking them to juggle them while simultaneously attempting to go about their business. It was really exasperating at first, but then I entered this 12-step program designed to keep people from shouting at their television screens… 😉 So, you gotta take this series as mostly comedy, due to the drama being driven by Idiot Plot. What annoys me is that the presumption is that these people are professionals – just toss that right out the window. They aren’t.
SPOILER ALERT (for Season 3) NOW IN EFFECT
So, generally speaking, I’m okay with everyone being extremely unprofessional and an idiot. However, there was one piece of sheer, mind-numbing idiocy in an episode of Season 3 that I thought was interesting, as it was a really obvious shout-out to the controversies over torturing captured terrorists, specifically waterboarding. To sum up, a really nasty piece of work – manipulative, sociopathic bitch would be putting it mildly – gets captured by The Shadowy Organization Of Good Guys, right after she’s committed a truly hideous crime. The woman in question stole a MacGuffin that burns people when touched, directly proportional to the amount of time spent touching it, and will burn a person to ash in the space of just a few seconds. She then used this burny MacGuffin to torture a minor side-character woman in order to find out the safehouse location of several other important Shadowy Good Guy Side Characters, many of which subsequently died due to her use of a different burny MacGuffin (one that takes out buildings and people).
SO. Good guys catch the serial killer. Experienced Good Guy then attempts to extract information about the burny MacGuffin currently in the process of destroying a skyscraper with several Very Important Good Guys trapped inside, using a different MacGuffin – one that “simulates drowning.” Haha, ANVIL MORALITY TIME, right? Actually, it got kind of ambiguous. New Recruit was extremely uncomfortable with extracting information using psychological distress (the serial killer is never actually physically harmed by the “torture”) – and, in fact, goes so far as to say “no reliable information is ever obtained through torture!” Which is really a stupid thing to say, since Murdering Bitch just got reliable information out of one of her victims while torturing and burning her to death. And New Recruit also has the ability to tell when people are lying (so, wouldn’t he know if the info was “unreliable”?); unfortunately, this has had the side-effect of making him extraordinarily easy for a master manipulator like Murdering Bitch to con. She effectively manipulates him into turning on the Good Guys long enough for her to escape; however, the rest of the characters manage to squeak through with only minor side-character death.
What gets me is the thought that some people could be so squeamish in the face of the pain of someone they know has just tortured and killed at least one person, and has conspired to cause the deaths of others, who are in lethal danger right that minute. I don’t doubt that the distress suffered by Miss Murderous Sociopath while she was being “waterboarded” was real – but then, just a few minutes, I’d seen her burning a helpless woman to death by inches, with a smile on her face. Add to that the fact that there were at least five people in mortal peril due to a device she had used to attempt to kill them…. How could anyone have so much empathy for the murderer (who happens to be in front of them) that they cease to have empathy for the murderer’s victims, who are out of sight? Does Idiot Newbie not have empathy for the dead woman, who was tortured – really, truly, third-degree-burns tortured – or how about some empathy for people trapped in a collapsing building? Apparently if you’re out of sight, you’re out of mind for the Idiot Bleeding-Heart Squad. The only suffering that matters to them is the suffering they can see, right in front of them, in the present.