Last October, I did a Missing Links post connecting the ‘Columbo’ episode “Suitable For Framing” to “The Fatal Cliche”, an episode of ‘The Thin Man’.
Me thinks ‘tis time for another one.....
First, we’re going to need some information... information.... information about the show making the connection:
‘Warehouse 13’ is an American science fiction television series that premiered on July 7, 2009, on the Syfy network.
The series follows U.S. Secret Service Agents Myka Bering (Joanne Kelly) and Pete Lattimer (Eddie McClintock) when they are assigned to the secretive Warehouse 13 for supernatural artifacts.
The series posits that there have been a dozen incarnations of the Warehouse before the present-day 13th in South Dakota. Warehouse 1 was built between 336–323 BC under Alexander the Great as a place to keep artifacts obtained by war. After Alexander died, the Warehouse was moved to Egypt, establishing the practice of locating the Warehouse in the most powerful empire of the day, under the reasoning that it will be best defended there.
Originally, artifacts are items connected to some historical or mythological figure or event. Each artifact has been imbued with something from its creator, user, or a major event in history.
A new concept is introduced in Episode 43 (Season 4). Mrs. Frederic shows Claudia an artifact being created—a silver bracelet worn by an ordinary person who exhibits extraordinary courage.
From the Warehouse 13 wiki:
“The creation of an artifact is simply the meeting
of an object, a person... and a moment.”
“Every artifact in this Warehouse is
an extension of a person.”
Artifacts are mysterious relics, fantastical objects, and supernatural souvenirs that are packed with enough energy to somehow move and affect other objects. Some artifacts in the ‘Warehouse 13’ series are supernatural relics that rationalize beliefs held in ancient and medieval times about the relics themselves. Usually these items are collected and stored in Warehouse 13, but some are used as tools by Warehouse personnel, or simply can't be moved from their current location.
Mrs Fredric explained that artifacts are born through the meeting of a person, extraordinary event and an object at the right moment and time.
Artifacts in general either require a human to activate them or they don't. Some artifacts would remain passive and not operate at all without the presence of a human.
Some artifacts are capable of going dormant for several years at a time, making it difficult for them to be tracked and identified by Warehouse agents. As such artifacts can travel far and wide without being noticed by the Warehouse until they reactivate again and cause mischief. The precise time-frame of dormancy and reactivation can vary but once an artifact has found a suitable location or individual to influence it will reactivate.
Over a period of time in contact with their original owners, some artifacts appear to have absorbed or been imprinted with certain characteristics and personality traits of their former owners.
For more, click here:
I would imagine there could be a lot of artifacts from ‘Columbo’ episodes which could be imbued with powers because of their relationship to either the murderers or to the victims. Murder weapons especially could have been charged with supernatural energy by being the instrument of death.
But there was one episode in which there were a lot of inanimate objects which were “witnesses” to the murder. And if not all of them became catalyzed into being artifacts, then at least two of them could have been….
- “Any Old Port In A Storm” – Vintner’s Winner’s Cup
- “Lovely But Lethal” – Carl Lessing’s microscope
- “Dagger Of The Mind” – jar of theatrical cold cream
“SUITABLE FOR FRAMING”
From the IMDb:
A wealthy art collector is murdered, and all signs point to a robbery gone wrong. But the nephew's alibi is a little too convenient, and Columbo pulls a fast one to ferret out the killer.
From the blog “The Columbophile”:
The scene is masterfully constructed and perfectly scored. A chilling strings crescendo accentuates the stunning crime as the camera jumps between the faces on the paintings on the walls. A spiralling, manic piano solo then takes over as Kingston trashes the joint. It’s shock and awe TV at its 70s’ best.
Without showing the actual death of Rudi Matthews by his nephew as he is struck by the bullet and collapses to the floor, it still is one of the most unnerving murders in the show’s history because of the music and the closeups of those paintings bearing silent witness to Dale Kingston’s heinous act.
As I stated, I don’t think of all them became artifacts. But how could the Degas pastels of the ballerinas NOT be transformed? They were not only “witnesses” to the murder of Uncle Rudi, but they were present when Dale later murdered his accomplice, Tracy O’Connor.
We’ll never know if the powers of those pastels were ever activated. Eventually they, like all the artwork in Uncle Rudi’s estate, became the property of his ex-wife, Edna Matthews. Dictated by the terms of the will, Edna was to distribute them to schools and museums, which was what she always wanted Rudi to do anyway.
(I’m sure there are plenty of fictional museums and art schools seen in other TV show episodes which could have been the beneficiaries of Edna’s largesse. Perhaps some of them showed up at the Lytton Museum as seen in the ‘Columbo’ episode “Old-Fashioned Murder’! But as for any other schools and museums, there’s a post for another day.)
Just one more thing….
What type of power could they have been imbued with? Well, I like to set up a possible premise, then offer it to Team Toobworld so that they might run with it. But if I had my druthers, I’d have those Degas pastels donated to the Lytton Museum. Because with them having been present at two murders already, they could have now some affinity with the compulsion to kill. Without realizing it, Ruth Lytton might have suddenly acted on long-buried fantasies of killing her overbearing brother and the thieving security guard because of a supernatural urging by those pastels.
Who knows where the pastels went next, or were they snagged, bagged, and tagged by the Warehouse 13 agents at some point after November of 1976? For alls we know, those pastels are now tucked away in the Dark Vault of Warehouse 13.
Only Prime-Time will tell….