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The Big Snag is the thirteenth episode of the fourth season of Warehouse 13, and the fifty-first episode overall.


Pete and Myka get sucked into a 1940s detective noir novel in search of an artifact. Meanwhile, Artie, Steve and Claudia chase down a phantom car thief.


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Pete and Myka are in the warehouse aisles using a jade elephant statue to collect static electricity balls. When Pete tries to collect four of them at the same time, the statue artifact overloads, blasting several nearby books. One of them explodes, releasing hundreds of blank pages that fall down on the agents. When Pete and Myka can see again, they discover that they're wearing 1940s clothing and that they're in a black-and-white world. They're in an office and outside is the city of Chicago. Myka examines the title page of the blank book that fell on them and discovers that it's an unfinished crime novel signed by author Anthony Bishop. She's a fan of Bishop and tells Pete that he had writer's block, killed himself in desperation, and thus created an artifact.

Artie is playing piano at the B&B while Claudia and Steve figure that he needs a distraction to take his mind off what he did under the astrolabe's influence. They enter the room arguing about stolen c cars and whether it involves an artifact or not. Artie listens in and finally tells them that he'll check it out on his own. Claudia convinces him to let them go with him and Artie finally agrees, saying that they'll take his c car, Scarlett.

Chapter 1: The Client

Pete runs as far as he can and confirms that the entire world is black-and-white. A blonde woman, Rebecca Carson, comes into the office and tells Pete that she's heard that he's the best private eye in Chicago. She wants Pete to find her missing husband Oliver, and shows them a photo. In it, Oliver is holding the jade elephant. Rebecca assumes that Myka is Pete's secretary, much to Myka's disgust, but she has no choice but to play along. The client explains that Oliver is an archaeologist and found the jade statue in India, and that he believed that it had magical powers. Before he disappeared, Oliver worried that the statue could be dangerous in the wrong hands. Myka immediately jumps in and tells Rebecca that Pete will take the case. She talks to her partner privately and tells him that the jade statue must have been pulled in with them and blended into the story just like they did. Myka figures that the only way they can escape the fictional world is to solve the fictional case.

Artie, Claudia, and Steve go to the car dealership that has the stolen cars. A salesman, Amy, comes over and tries to sell them a car, but they insist on talking to the owner, Josh Lambeth. When he refuses to cooperate with them, Artie shoots a water cooler with his Tesla and demands answers. Lambeth admits that a thief contacts him anonymously and gets him any car that he wants. Claudia checks the account that Lambeth deposits the payoff into, but the thief hasn't withdrawn any money yet so Claudia can't trace it. Steve suggests that they set up a trap and tells Lambeth place a request for Artie's car.

Chapter 4: The Ambush

As the agents go to Oliver's office to look for clues, Pete starts narrating out loud and Myka is eager to participate in a real Anthony Bishop novel. When they walk into the office, a thug knocks Pete out and takes Myka captive, and hauls the agents to the Indigo Club. Owner Caspian Barnabas greets them and asks why they were in Oliver's office. Myka notices the bartender watching them suspiciously, and then figures out that Caspian is also looking for the jade statue. She gets Caspian to come over to her, then slips her bonds and knocks out his thugs. Once she has Caspian free Pete, the owner explains that he collects rare artifacts and that he hired Oliver to find the statue. However, Oliver decided to keep it for himself, so Caspian pays the agents to find it for him.

When the agents go back to Oliver's office, they discover that Caspian's thugs have searched the place but failed to find a clue. Myka spots a hotel matchbook with the name of Bishop's wife on it and figures it's a clue that Caspian's men wouldn't have understood. The agents go to the hospital and pay off the clerk to look at the hotel register. One name, Augustus Pitt Rivers, has been erased but Pete manages to recover it by shading it with a pencil. Rivers is an archaeologist in the real world and Myka figures that Bishop used the name as a homage. As they go to Rivers' room, a nearby lamp flickers and they figure that someone is using the jade statue. The agents find Oliver dead on the floor and the killer running down the alley outside. When Pete tries to follow, the killer uses the jade statue to fire an electrical blast at him, driving him back.

Steve drafts a photo advertisement for Scarlett and makes sure that the hotel parking garage they're using for the trap is visible in the background. Artie tinkers with one of Claudia's tesla grenades, causing an EMP burst that shorts out her new GPS locator. She nervously takes the grenade away from Artie and repairs the GPS.

Chapter 9: The Wife

Pete and Myka drive to visit Rebecca at her home and tell her that Oliver is dead. When they get there, a brunette woman answers the door and says that she's Rebecca Carson. She tells the agents that Oliver stole her money and ran off with a blonde that he met at the Indigo Club. Figuring that the first "Rebecca" was the blonde, the agents go back to the club and look for her. The bartender notices them and glares at them again, while the blonde comes out on stage to sing a number. Myka and Pete dance to blend into the ground, and Myka admits that her partner is surprisingly smooth. They see Caspian at a table, without a care in the world, and notice that the bartender is now looking at the singer and smiling. On stage, the singer spots the agents, ends her number early, and runs backstage.

The agents go in back, catch her, and take her to her dressing room. The blonde introduces herself as Lily Abbot and insists that she didn't kill Oliver. Myka demands details and Lily explains that she's just a small-town girl in over her head. When she started singing at the club, Caspian assigned her to get close to Oliver. She wanted to hire the agents to keep Oliver safe, but isn't in love with him. Lily tells Pete and Myka that she has her own man and that she'll run off with him once she has enough money to get out from under Caspian's thumb. Myka doesn't believe her and tells Lily to tell it to the police.

As Claudia puts the tracker on Artie's car, she complains to Steve over the radio about how Artie is overreacting. The thief, wearing a hoodie, approaches the car, forcing Claudia to hide in the car. Rather than risking Claudia's life, Artie runs over and yells at the thief to stop. The thief gets in the car and drives it through the parking garage wall, like the wall doesn't even exist. As they track Claudia on the GPS locator, Artie tells Steve that he's not going to let anyone else die on his watch.

Chapter 14: The Boyfriend

Back out front, the agents discuss the case and Pete figures that Lily is telling the truth. A waiter passes the agents a handwritten message asking to meet with them in the alley and offering help. When they go outside, the bartender is there. He talks about the real world and Myka realizes that it's the author, Anthony Bishop. She recognized his handwriting on the note from what he wrote on the title page. Bishop draws a gun on them and tells them to drop the case. When they wonder how he got there, Bishop explains that he dedicates all of his books to his wife, who died of a fatal illness. After her death, he tried to write a new novel but suffered from a writer's block due to grief. One day he woke up and discovered that he had projected himself into his own fictional universe.

Myka tells Bishop that can only escape by finishing the story, and asks the writer for the solution. However, Bishop refuses to destroy his world, and the agents realize that Bishop killed Oliver. Myka realizes that Lily is based on Bishop's wife, and that in all of his stories, an innocent gets gunned down at the end. Bishop admits that Lily is destined to die but that he plans to take her away rather than let her die in the story's ending. Pete knocks the gun away, telling Bishop that he's no killer. The writer agrees but runs off, promising that he won't let them finish the story.

While the agents go to question Caspian and get a lead, Bishop approaches Lily and tells her that they need to leave town. They've always planned to go to Bora Bora, but Lily points out that they'll need money. Meanwhile, Pete and Myka realize that Caspian is gone. They check with a coat check girl, who tells them that he got a call and left. Pete calls the operator and convinces her to tell him what she overheard, and she gives them the address where Caspian said he was going to buy an elephant.

The thief drives to a garage and removes a pair of gloves. Once the thief leaves the room, Claudia gets out of the trunk and reaches for the ground. However, the thief--Amy, comes back and knocks the Tesla out of Claudia's hand with a tire jack.

Chapter 18: The Double-Cross

Pete and Myka go to the address--a bridge, and find Caspian dead, electrocuted. There are scratches on his face, made by a woman's long fingernails, and the owner is clutching a brunette hair in his hand. They figure that Rebecca, the brunette, is the killer. As they go back to their car, Rebecca blasts Pete with lightning, As he collapses, Rebecca tells Myka that she killed Oliver and Caspian: Oliver for betraying her and Caspian because he was going to take the jade statue. Myka ducks the next blast and Rebecca runs off as police sirens sound in the distance. The agent runs to her partner and applies CPR, reviving him. They figure that Rebecca will go to the club to steal Caspian's money so she can skip town and they drive off after her.

At the Indigo Club, Lily looks on as Bishop steals the money from the register. He assures her that he knows where the safe is and they can get all the money they need. Rebecca comes in and fires a lightning bolt from the jade statue, and tells Bishop to get her the money or she'll kill Lily.

Claudia and Amy fight and Amy rants about how people who lock up their cars don't deserve to have them. She finally knocks Claudia down, takes one of the stolen cars, and drives it through a wall. Artie and Steve arrive and Claudia reveals that she managed to grab one of the gloves. Before they can come up with a plan, Artie grabs the glove, gets into a car, and drives through a wall after the thief.

Chapter 23: The Big Snag

When Pete and Myka arrive at the Indigo Club, they find Rebecca holding Lily as a hostage. When they prepare to shoot the killer, Bishop fires a warning shot and warns them that he won't let them endanger Lily. Lily insists that her lover can't hurt someone else to save her, and Bishop, startled, admits that she's just like his dead wife. His love punches Rebecca and ducks for cover, while Pete tackles Rebecca. She knocks him down and prepares to electrocute him, and Myka shoots Rebecca once Bishop confirms that she isn't a real person. Rebecca collapses to the floor, dead.

Claudia calls Artie on the Farnsworth and tells him that the gloves belonged to famous stunt driver Corey Loftin. One-Take Loftin could make any car stunt in one take. Amy crashes through a barrier and they realize that the artifact only lets a car become incorporeal once. Artie tells his friends that he has a plan and then pulls up next to Amy. She brakes and Artie swings around, facing her. Amy backs up but a truck cuts off her escape. She guns the engine and drives toward Artie, who drives toward her in a game of Chicken. Steve and Claudia tell him to swerve, but Artie insists that Amy will swerve. She finally does and blows out a wheel hitting the curb. Satisfied, Artie signs off and Claudia and Steve both realize that Artie isn't fine.

Chapter 27: The Goodbye

As Pete and Myka leave, the club, they wonder why they haven't returned to the real world. Pete gets a vibe from a nearby fog bank and uses the jade statue on it, creating a portal. Bishop and Lily come out and the writer tells his lover that he comes from a different world and can't stay there. Myka suggests that he should stay anyway, even though they don't know what will happen to him or Lily when the story ends. Bishop thinks about it and then says that one more second with Lily would be worth it. He goes back to her and the agents walk through the portal, narrating their departure. They return to the warehouse and discover that all of the blank pages now have the finished story on them.

Later, Steve gives a verbal report to Adwin , who has had the agent watching over Artie. Steve admits that he's worried about Artie's irrational behavior. The Regent agrees and thanks Steve for his services. When Steve wonders if they're going to bronze Artie, Adwin tells him to trust the Regents.

Pete and Myka read the finished story, and the ending has Bishop and Lily going to Bora Bora and having a happy ending. Myka complains that it's too warm and fuzzy for a crime drama, but Pete suggests that Bishop couldn't finish the story until he realized that he was writing a love story, not a murder mystery.

[| Recap provided courtesy of TV.com, all rights reserved]


Main Cast

Guest Starring

  • Missi Pyle as Lily Abbott
  • Faran Tahir as Adwin Kosan
  • America Olivo as Rebecca Carson
  • Enrico Colantoni as Anthony Bishop


  • Amanda Brugel as Amy
  • Marqus Bobesich as Joel Lambeth
  • Jefferson Mappin as Caspian Barnabas
  • Aaron Stern as Waiter
  • Vanessa Smythe as Coat Check Girl


  • John-Paul Nickel as Desk Clerk

Artifacts and Gadgets Featured

  • Anthony Bishop's Manuscript: The unfinished loose-leaf manuscript of Kiss Me, Forever by Anthony Bishop. Has the ability to draw people into a black-and-white world reminiscent of a 40s noir film. Those trapped can only escape by solving the narrative's mystery. Deactivated as Pete and Myka finished the story and helped Bishop find his happy ending. This is the main artifact of the episode.
  • Carey Loftin's Gloves: Allows the wearer to make any car untouchable, once. This extends to intangibility through walls and people. Can function separately or together.
  • Vyasa's Jade Elephant: Belonging to the Vyasa, author of the Vedas. Can absorb and discharge electrical bolts.
  • Battery Backpack: Absorbs the electricity collected by Vyasa's Jade Elephant. 


Pete: Myka, you're in black and white.
Myka: You're in black and white.
Pete: I am not! Aah! I'm in black and white!

Myka: The 1940s were in colour, much like the rest of history


  • Pete uncovers the name erased from the hotel's guestbook using the "writing indentation clue", which he learned from Raymond St. James' noir crime or detective film Dark Memento. Raymond St. James was an actor whose characters and the films they appeared in featured in "Beyond Our Control", Dark Memento being among them.
  • Missi Pyle and Enrico Colantoni both starred in the 1999 sci-fi film Galaxy Quest. They played the alien characters Laliari and Mathesar respectively.
  • After the teaser, the episode opens with a stylized 1940s version of of the "Warehouse 13" logo, with the cast and crew's names in a similarly-styled font.
  • The episode contain endless noir and black-and-white references from the Raymond Chandleresque title to Myka's observation that finding the elephant will be "duck soup" (early 20th century slang for something that is easy to do), which is also the title of the classic Marx Brothers' movie. The 'crime boss' Caspian Barnabas bears more than a passing resemblance to Sydney Greenstreet.
  • According to the scrolling screens throughout the Warehouse Library, it is organized according to the Dewey Decimal System.
    • For example, "121 Epistemology"[1], "778 Specific Kinds of Photography", "779 Photographs", "780 Music", and "781 General Principles & Musical Forms"[2] are seen.
  • A laptop in the library displays an article on Vyasa, featuring an oil painting of him by Rajasekharan Parameswaran.[3][4]
  • A page of Bishop's manuscript near the end of the episode actually uses an except from Murder in the Gunroom by Henry Beam Piper, a science fiction author best known for his series focusing on the future of humanity and several alternate-history tales.[5][6]


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"