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Instinct is the fifteenth episode of the fourth season of Warehouse 13, and the fifty-third episode overall.


H.G. Wells re-enters the picture to help Pete and Myka with an artifact that's forcing confessions out of criminals. Meanwhile, the rest of the team deals with earthquakes INSIDE the Warehouse.


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In Boone, Wisconsin, Richie Purcell comes running into the police station and insists on confessing to the shooting of a man. Detective Briggs comes out and reminds Purcell that his lawyer got him and his partner Donny freed on technicalities. Richie still insists on confessing. Once they take his statement and put him in a cell, Richie's attorney comes in with DA Hofgren. She doesn't believe that Richie confessed voluntarily but Hofgren insists that he did. When the attorney reminds him that they had no evidence against her clients, Helena Wells steps forward. She's working for the police as a forensic expert under the name Emily Lake and says that there was insufficient evidence. She then takes DNA swabs from Richie. As she works, she notices that he has excessively long fingernails... and that they retract as she checks his hands.

At the warehouse, Artie is reading a book in his bedroom when a tremor shakes the building. Meanwhile, the agents are having breakfast at the B&B and complaining that Abigail doesn't cook. Claudia is unhappy that they have a therapist watching over them. Abigail comes in just as Artie calls to tell them about the earthquake. They tell him that they didn't feel anything and that nothing unusual has happened. However, Claudia remains silent about the recent lightning burst that hit her in the warehouse. Artie tells them to come to meet him at FISH to help him track down the tremors, and insists that they bring Abigail with them. As they get ready to leave, Myka receives a phone call... from her friend, Helena.

Pete and Myka are soon flying to Boone when Helena explains that an artifact may be involved. When they arrive, Myka wonders why Helena is there and Helena explains that she wanted a job where she could use her scientific expertise. She couldn't tell anyone because she was off the grid when she took the astrolabe, and after she gave it back to the Brotherhood she wanted a new life. Helena then tells them that Richie and Donny killed a mini-mart owner but were released on technicalities. She figures that Richie confessed because of an artifact but isn't aware of one that matches the MO.

Claudia, Steve, and Abigail drive out to the desert and to Artie. He then uncloaks the FISH: The Frequency-Interference Surveillance Hologram projector. The flying saucer-like device shields the warehouse from aerial detection and maintains a constant real-time image of the warehouse in memory. Artie brings up the image and confirms that while the warehouse shook, the mountain didn't. He sends the FISH back up and they head back to the warehouse.

As Myka and Pete check on Richie, Myka admits that she doesn't understand why Helena has assumed a normal life after serving as a warehouse agent. Peter suggests that Helena may just want to retire without ending up evil, crazy, or dead.

As the team search the warehouse for the source of the tremors, Claudia tries to convince Artie to send Abigail back to the B&B. He insists that they need all hands on deck and that the psychotherapist needs the hands-on experience. Another lightning bolt strike Claudia from behind but she quickly covers, dismissing it as a muscle spasm.

Richie tells Pete and Myka that he didn't intend to shoot the mini-mart owner, and that he doesn't know why he turned himself in. He claims that Donny wasn't with him on the night of the shooting but admits that he doesn't know where he was. When Myka asks Richie to try and remember what he was doing before he confessed, he screams in fear and cowers in the corner, yelling at them to stay away. The agents figure that someone used an artifact to scare Richie into confessing.

In a deserted building, the same someone uses the artifact to torture Donny. He screams in fear as his features devolve, turning him into a caveman. He finally dies from the sheer agony and collapses, his features reverting to normal.

Later, Pete and Myka learn that Donny turned up dead and go to see Hofgren. Hofgren doesn’t care that Donny is dead and is satisfied that the case is closed. Myka tells him that they did some checking and confirmed that Donny was in a bar fight out of town on the night of the shooting. Hofgren figures there's no point in continuing the investigation and threatens to throw them in jail if they interfere with his officers. The agents leave and check with Artie, who has no idea what artifact could be responsible without a clearer description of the symptoms. They decide to check the security footage from the time that Richie turned himself in but realize they can't do it on their own. Pete goes to talk to the family of the store owner while Myka goes to see someone who can get them access to the video.

As Claudia and Abigail check the artifacts, Claudia snaps at the psychotherapist. Artie warns them that the warehouse can't take the strain for long, and Abigail suggests that they could check nearby seismology sensors. As Claudia points out that there aren't any in the vicinity, another lightning bolt hits her. Artie preoccupied, doesn't notice and suggests that they use the artifact-monitoring sensors to find the source of the tremors. They confirm that the tremors are originating in the Yukon Sector and take off. A huge vortex of energy has stretched from floor to ceiling to the expansion joints, which Artie explains let the warehouse grow to provide space for the ever-increasing collection. The energy has jammed the joints, causing the warehouse to shake itself apart.

Myka goes to see Helena as she arrives at her house. A man and a young girl, Adelaide, come to the door. Adelaide looks at Myka and deduces that she's some kind of police officer, and says that she wants to go on an exciting adventure. Her father, Nate, introduces himself and Helena hastily explains that she and Myka went to college together. Once inside, Helena talks to Myka privately and tells her friend that Nate and Adelaide have no idea who she really is or what she did. She met Nate in a cooking class and soon he and Adelaide invited her into their home. Myka asks Helena to help her get to the video. When Helena refuses, insisting that's no longer part of her life, Myka reminds her that Helena was the one who called them in and that people are dying.

Helena agrees and takes Myka to the police lab. When an officer, Curtis, notices that Myka is in an off-limits area, Helena convinces him that she and Myka are lovers. He lets them pass and Myka goes over the footage. They check the parking lot camera and discover that Richie was in a caveman-like state when he ran into the parking lot and into the station. They call Pete and tell him what they've discovered, and Pete tells them that the owner's family told him that Briggs came by and promised that they would get justice. Myka and Helena check the security footage of the main room of the station and discover that Briggs already had his handcuffs in hand before Richie came in: he knew that Richie was going to confess.

Pete and Myka break into Briggs' home but discover that he's out. They call Artie and he speculates that the artifact dates to prehistoric times and is incredibly powerful. He figures that it affects the brain's limbic system, triggering the fight-or-flight response. Given the age and the power of the artifact, Artie warns the agents that it could have an equally powerful effect on Briggs, putting him into permanent predator mode. As Artie signs off, Myka look around and discovers that Briggs has a background file on Helena.

Briggs goes to see Nate at his home and asks about Helena. The detective figures that Helena is in Witness Protection and demands to know who she really is. However, Briggs soon realizes that Nate has no idea what he's talking about. He takes out a hyena jawbone and uses it on Nate, driving him insane with fear and transforming him into a primitive. However, Helena arrives and disarms Briggs, pinning him to the ground. She warns him to back off but he points out that Nate is dying. Helena goes to her love while Briggs runs off. As he drives off, Pete and Myka arrive and neutralize the jawbone, saving Nate's life.

Artie explains that the expansion joints transmute matter into energy to get more mass to expand the warehouse. The energy vortex is the result of that transmutation, and Abigail suggests that they stop the energy flow. Even Claudia has to admit that she's right and says that Abigail is getting the hang of things. As Steve suggests that they cover the joints with neutralizer fluid, another lightning bolt hits Claudia. She agrees and Artie sends her and Steve to get an appropriate weapon from the armory section. As they go there, Steve realizes that something is going on and demands answer from Claudia. She claims that the warehouse keeps hitting her with lighting because it's mad at her for stabbing Artie, its "husband." Claudia doesn't want to talk to Artie about it for fear that Abigail will overhear and think that she's insane. Steve realizes that his friend is lying, and another lightning bolt hits her, knocking her into a rack and dislodging a hand grenade. Claudia manages to catch it before it can detonate and warns that the warehouse won't let her near the joints. Artie calls to tell them he's found the cause of the jamming, the Golden Spike.

At Nate's house, Pete goes through the warehouse files on the jawbone, while Nate tries to take in everything. He's shocked that Helena lied to him and Pete assures him that she is much more than just a forensics tech. While he assures Nate that he has nothing to fear from Helena, Helena talks privately to Myka. The Englishwoman assumes that her new life is over, and Myka bluntly suggests that Helena is trying to recreate her relationship with her dead daughter, Christina, by befriending Adelaide. Furious, Helena tells her to leave. They're interrupted when Briggs calls Nate on his cell phone and tell him that he picked up Adelaide at school. He offers the girl for the jawbone and hangs up, and then assures Adelaide that he works with Helena and she sent him to pick the girl up.

Nate insists on making the trade and refuses to listen to Helena or the agents. He walks out and Pete goes after him, while Helena admits that Myka was right and she can't have a normal life. She goes to the garage and takes out her tesla. Nate comes in and sees her, and Helena says that she'll explain everything once they have Adelaide back. They hear a truck drive off and go outside to discover that Myka has taken the jawbone and left. Myka calls Pete to tell him that it's her fault so she'll deal with it. Pete figures that Briggs will still have to call Nate to make the deal, but they discover that Helena took Nate's cell phone with her.

As Artie tells Abigail how the spike draws things together and was drawn to the joints, Steve and Claudia arrive with a rocket launcher. They've put neutralizer fluid in two shells and Steve fires one of them at the joint. The energy vortex deflects the shell and Artie suggests that Steve climb up a diving ladder to get a closer shot. He does but one of the rungs breaks and he drops the launcher. Unable to climb back down, Steve holds on for dear life while Artie trips on a board and sprains his ankle. He tells Claudia and Abigail to get close to the vortex and fire the remaining shell, and Claudia goes with Abigail trailing along.

Helena checks the lawn where Briggs was standing earlier, taking samples. Nate watches her and Pete explains that Helena lost her daughter. The widower admits that he knows what it is to lose a loved one, and he saw it in Helena. While Pete studies the artifact files, Nate goes outside and discovers that Helena has found a bootprint that Briggs left. It's from a hiking shoe, and there's a price tag nearby. Nate remembers that there's a closed camping good store near the police station and they figure that Briggs is hiding out there. They tell Pete, who informs them that hyenas hunt in packs. Since Briggs was waiting for Richie inside the station, someone else must have used the artifact on Richie... and Myka has no idea that Briggs will have backup.

Briggs calls Myka and has her come to the store with the jawbone. When she comes in, Hofgren gets the drop on her and takes her gun. Once she does, Briggs steps out of the shadows and Myka realizes that he didn't know that Hofgren killed Donny. The DA insists that he was protecting the community by killing a murderer, but Myka reminds him that Donny wasn't in town on the night of the murder. Briggs is shocked that Hofgren is murdering people, and Myka appeals to him, saying she knows that he's a good cop. As Briggs argues with Hofgren, Myka kicks Hofgren's gun away and runs off into the shadows, and the two men chase after her.

As they approach the energy vortex, Claudia tells Abigail that she'll have to make the shot because the warehouse hates her. Abigail asks why Claudia hasn't told anyone about her fears and Claudia admits that if she did, she believes the Regents would find out from Abigail and stop her from becoming the warehouse caretaker... and she wants to become the caretaker. Abigail assures her that she's no snitch and suggests that the warehouse is trying to tell Claudia that something is wrong rather than attack her. Claudia considers the possibility and then takes the rocket launcher and steps into the vortex... and safely through it to the center. She then fires the shell at the spike, neutralizing it. The energy dissipates and Claudia triumphantly strolls out.

Pete and Helena enter the store and they split up to take out the two men. Helena gets to Briggs and takes him out, and Myka finds her and tells her to rescue Adelaide. Meanwhile, Pete finds and attacks Hofgren, but Hofgren manages to use the jawbone on his opponent. As Pete screams in pain, Myka arrives and uses the Tesla, stunning Hofgren. She bags the artifact, reversing the effects on Pete.

Helena finds Adelaide in the backroom, ready to attack her abductors. The older woman assures Adelaide that she was doing the right thing and hugs her, telling her her real name.

As Claudia and Abigail go back to the men, Abigail realizes that Claudia hasn't had much positive experience with psychotherapy. She offers to listen if Claudia wants to talk to her, but it's up to Claudia. Claudia smells apples instead of being shocked, and then goes off to rescue Steve from the diving ladder.

The agents take Adelaide back to her home and Helena assures them that Nate and her daughter both seem okay. She promise to find a way to have a normal life in retirement and promises that she won't disappoint them. Myka admits that she spoke out earlier because she was afraid of losing a friend, and tells Helena to fight to keep Nate and make their home, her home. Helena promises that Myka will never lose her as a friend and watches as the agents drive off.

Copyright 2012 Steve Crow


Main Cast

Guest Starring

  • Kelly Hu as Abigail Cho
  • Todd Stashwick as DA Hofgren
  • Tuc Watkins as Nate
  • Ricardo Chavira as Detective Briggs
  • Jaime Murray as Helena G. Wells


  • Eric Murdoch as Ritchie Purcell
  • Kiara Glasco as Adelaide
  • Imali Perera as Purcell's Lawyer
  • Brian J. Graham as Officer Curtis
  • Alex Courey as Donny Shultz

Artifacts and Gadgets Featured

  • Pachycrocuta Jawbone - The fossilized bone of one of early man's major predators. When held in the hand and pointed at a victim it creates in that victim a sensation of intense terror like being hunted, and causes their features to devolve to be caveman-like for a period of time after the artifact is used on them. The more one uses the jawbone, the more predatory their actions become. During use, an orange hologram of the creature's full skull materializes and snarls at the victim. It is the main artifact of this episode.
  • Gold Spike from the Trans-Continental Railroad - Pulls objects together. Caused tremors inside the Warehouse when it interfered with the expansion joints.
  • Frequency-Interfering Surveillance Holograph - Abbrevated as the F.I.S.H., a scrapped C.I.A. project from the 1950s resembling a stereotypical U.F.O. It serves as a cloaking system for Warehouse 13 for all aerial detection, including radar, sonar, and satellite, instead projecting an image of the mountainside without showing the Warehouse; it requires regular maintenance in order to continue the projection. It is hidden on a mountainside several miles away from the Warehouse, invisible and inaccessible without use of the Wand/Gun seen in the pilot episode, when the F.I.S.H. was first mentioned.
  • Expansion Joints - Designed by Albert Einstein, they allow the Warehouse to grow bigger in order to accommodate more artifacts by sucking in matter (the substance of the mountain) and redistributing the matter into a part of the Warehouse. When the joints are jammed, they fill up with energy from collected matter, and a volatile nexus is created. With that energy building, the joints will most likely explode like an atom bomb.
  • Goozooka - An RPG-7 launcher modified by Claudia to deliver a payload of Neutralizer from a long range.
  • Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho" Shower Head - From the Alfred Hitchcock movie "Psycho" from the notorious shower murder scene. Implied to strike overwhelming fear into its holder. Mentioned by Artie when talking about fear-inducing artifacts.
  • Ferdinand Magellan's Astrolabe - Having sailed around the world and crossing the International Date Line, Magellan's astrolabe was imbued with the ability to erase time for 24 hours. However, the artifact's great power doesn't come without a great price; it will create an evil that will live with the rest of the user's life. Mentioned by Helena, now returned to the Brotherhood of the Black Diamond.
  • Roy Fransen's Diving Platform - Used by frances to dive into shallow pools of water. Specific effects unknown.
  • Emotion Driven Roller Skates[1] - Origin unknown, exact effects unknown; implied to be driven by the emotions of their wearer. Its display card is seen as Artie and Claudia discuss whether Abigail should be present.
  • Brain Washing Antennae - Capable of transforming radio and television signals into brainwashing messages for direct listeners and viewers. Its display card was seen behind Claudia and next to the Gargoyle.
  • Instant Dancer Shoe Lasts - Shoes manufactured with these lasts create instant dancers. However, persons with clumsy natures break legs often.
  • Charles Hanson's Rocking Horse - Effects unknown. Its display card was seen while Artie and Claudia were talking about the Artifact Removal Detection System.
  • Angel Figurines[2] - A set of two porcelain angels. Separating the angels causes great disturbances in geo-political relations between Christian nations.
  • Madness Inducing Chair[3] - Chair causes deep seated aggravation and deep anger when used as a waiting room chair. Noted to be kept away from doctor and dental offices. Seen while Artie and Claudia are discussing the Artifact Removal Detection System.
  • Speed-Reading Lamp[4] - Allows the user to read up to 60 pages a minute, but replaces childhood memories with events from famous fictional literature.
  • Toboggan - Effects and origin unknown, its display card was seen as Steve climbed Roy Fransen's Diving Platform.
  • Non-Exploding Hand Grenade[5] - Grenade returns to thrower, fails to explode, and induces debilitating guilt for participation in war.
  • Reusable Neutron Device[6] - Implied to be a reusable bomb, but highly unknown. Seen on a screen behind Steve while in the Armory.
  • WW1 Inspiration Helmet - Provides leader of troops with intense collective strategy and force, overpowering enemies even when greatly outnumbered; Repetitive use can lead to perpetual need to control large groups of people. It and its display card were seen within the Schoningen Armory next to the Non-Exploding Hand Grenade.
  • Chandelier - Effects unknown. Seen while Artie theorizes potential fear-inducing artifacts.
  • Acme Dress Form - Effects unknown. Stored next to the Chandelier. Pulled slightly open at the "arms" and waist.
  • Mahogany Basket Woman Statue - Effects unknown. It is inspected by Abigail.
  • Vintage Plastic Suitcase - Effects unknown. Light blue in color, stored between the Dress Form and Chandelier.
  • Small Garden Gargoyle - Effects unknown. Seen next to the Basket Woman Statuette that Abigail inspects.
  • Artichoke Garden Statue - Effects unknown. Seen in front of Pete when he comments on the state of the Warehouse.
  • American Tin - Effects unknown. Seen on the shelf behind the Artichoke Statue. Decorated with red, white, and blue, with blue stars. Possibly a vintage candy tin.
  • Rock Band Drum Kit - Effects unknown. Seen when the agents discover the cause of the Warehouse's tremors.
  • Open Sign - Effects unknown. Seen when Artie first uses his telescope. Black rectangular box with red light-up lettering.
  • Aviator Headset Helmet - Effects unknown. Seen next to the Helmet on a display head.
  • Antique Doll - Effects unknown. Seen on the shelf behind Artie and Abigail when they discover the Railroad Spike. Wearing a white dress.
  • Snowslider Board - Effects unknown. Has a dark and light blue fire design. Stored in Aisle Kaske Dena 7995.


  • According to her falsified driver's license, Emily Hannah Lake was born March 30th, 1974.[7]
  • The song that plays as Myka leaves Helena behind with Nate and Adelaide is Ellie Goulding's "Atlantis"[8], described as, "lyrically, 'a quintessential break-up song, balancing moving on, with the helplessness of love and love lost'".[9]
  • The song that plays after Claudia successfully Neutralizes the Gold Spike is P!nk's "Trouble".[10][11]


Warehouse 13  :  Season 4
#01 "A New Hope" #06 "Fractures" #11 "The Living and the Dead" #16 "Runaway"
#02 "An Evil Within" #07 "Endless Wonder" #12 "Parks and Rehabilitation" #17 "What Matters Most"
#03 "Personal Effects" #08 "Second Chance" #13 "The Big Snag" #18 "Lost & Found"
#04 "There's Always a Downside" #09 "The Ones You Love" #14 "The Sky's the Limit" #19 "All the Time in the World"
#05 "No Pain, No Gain" #10 "We All Fall Down" #15 "Instinct" #20 "The Truth Hurts"