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There's Always a Downside is the fourth episode of Season 4 and forty-second episode of the series Warehouse 13 that aired on August 13, 2012 on Syfy.


Pete and Claudia hunt down an artifact at an exclusive prep school Hugo Miller's nephew attends, while Myka and Steve investigate an artifact in New Orleans. Artie has to deal with Brother Adrian's continuing investigations into Magellan's Astrolabe.


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Artie sends Pete and Claudia to meet with Hugo Miller, who has recovered an artifact. Claudia is surprised that she isn’t with Steve. She feels that after using the metronome, she “kinda owns him now”. Artie quickly enforces his decision. He then sends Myka and Steve to New Orleans to recover an artifact that is healing a therapist’s patients of their mental illnesses over the past 3 months. Steve initially questions why they would recover an artifact that does good. Artie reminds him that all artifacts, even the seemingly good ones have negative downsides. Before Pete leaves, Artie stops him and asks him to keep an eye on Claudia. He says that she has “been through a lot” and “under stress”. This is just a ruse, as he is nervous about his recurring dreams of Claudia stabbing him in his heart and the “great evil” that he unleashed on the world after using the Astrolabe.

Pete and Claudia meet Hugo Miller, who has settled in his old home in New Canaan, Connecticut. He informs them that through Fed-Ex he has come to possess Bobby Fisher’s Bag of Marbles. Hugo was shocked and excited by this as this was one of his most highly sought after artifacts when he was an agent. Even just one marble instills an intense focus and a powerful drive to achieve any goal they set their mind to, but prolonged use leads to violence, mental insanity and/or stroke. Hugo’s only nephew, Brady is staying with Hugo. He is attending Hugo’s Alma Matter, the Tilson Academy, a prestigious school. Hugo informs Pete and Claudia that Brady used the marbles to study and work on his research papers. Since his school is taking part in the I.M.T., the Interschool Multidiscipline Tournament. This tournament is tied up in alumni support and the facility puts a high amount of pressure on the students. Brady shows the group his arm and veins, which are black and pulsating.

In New Orleans, Myka and Steve talk to Doctor Goldberg about her recent miraculous patient recoveries. One patient specifically tells of how he is cured of his PTSD with little memory of ever being in pain. They search patient records and the office for any links between the patients with no success.

Meanwhile, at the B&B, Brother Adrian arrives to inform Artie that he has something to discover who stole the Astrolabe.

Pete tries to reverse the effects of the marble on Brady by placing it in a container of neutralizer but fails to work. Claudia finds a video on-line of a Tommy, another student attacking a kid during class. Brady confesses that he lent four marbles out in an attempt to be fair to the other students.

At the academy, Pete, Claudia, Hugo and Brady meet with Tommy and the Headmaster about the incident. They learn that the school is experiencing cuts and the I.M.T. is key to their future funding. Tommy too is showing the bodily effects of the artifact. The headmaster enforces the zero tolerance policy on Tommy, but not before noting the tense atmosphere in the school due to the I.M.T.

While searching the office, Myka notices an ad on a billboard outside the therapist’s office for a jazz club. She realizes that it matchs a shirt worn by the patient they met earlier, it’s close proximity to the office, and how it would how it would have been seen by any of the patients. She and Jinks decide to go there and investigate further.

Brady gives Pete a list of the other three guys; they then split up in search of the remaining marbles.

Back at Leena’s, Brother Adrian shows Artie John Riley "Jack" Duncan's Spur. He informs Artie that, like it’s previous bounty hunter user, it can track the movement of the astrolabe. Artie states he would need to do research into the artifact, but Brother Adrian has brought with him usages of the artifact and it effects in the past. Artie has Brother Adrian shut his eyes and think of the Astrolabe. While doing this, Artie takes a matchbook with a robot on it out of his bag. After he waves it over the spur, it melts. He says that artifacts can interact unpredictably when it's used to find another artifact. Adrian tells him that it was just a fake, and that now he knows for sure that Artie used the Astrolabe.

At the Jazz Club, Steve and Myka question the bartender about any new objects, or unusual occurrences but again they don’t find anything. They notice a trumpeter, Ethan who’s skilled but very ill for the past three months. They conclude that something is giving him the patient’s pain.

Pete stops a student from killing his teacher for not raising his grade. Hugo and Brady find the third student in his classroom in the middle of a violent rage. Brady, eager to retrieve the marble gets upset when Hugo tells him to wait for Pete. Hugo notices Brady’s intense drive turning to recovering the marbles, but he then collapses. Hugo takes him to the infirmary to rest. Claudia prevents a student from killing another during the Tournament and recovers the third marble. She brings him to the infirmary and soon after Pete brings in the last kid. Unfortunately, the headmaster confiscated the marble during his violent outbreak. Pete then goes to find headmaster with Claudia and shut down the I.M.T.

While questioning the bartender about Ethan, she tells Myka about an old jazzman that came in and talked with Ethan right before he got sick and was playing better. Myka and Jinks figure that he must have an artifact that is allowing him to play through other people’s pain.

While searching for the Headmaster, Pete and Claudia meet with his secretary and find out that he is going after the school board at the gym. Pete goes there to find him but has no luck. Claudia goes back to get Hugo but the affected students at the infirmary take a defibrillator and attempt to prevent them from shutting down the I.M.T. Before they can attack the two of them, Claudia knocks them out with her Tesla. Hugo then gets scared of the damage he has done and blames himself. He explains how he showed Brady the marbles because he wanted him to be an Agent.

When Steve and Myka confront Ethan about his condition, he collapses and when Steve gets close, he grabs him tries to take his pain. As Claudia and Jinks are linked, she starts have chest pains and shortness of breath. Steve tells Ethan he’s hurting Claudia and could kill her. Myka upon hearing that separates them and finds a Cigarette Case on him and neutralizes it. This saves Claudia and Ethan.

At the Univille dinner Brother Adrian confronts Artie and pleads with him to use the astrolabe to reverse what he did. Artie refuses and explains how the world lost hope. Adrian leaves, but says that unlike the regents, the people he works for don’t follow rules and that things have already been set in motion to "dismantle his life's work."

At the gym, Hugo points out an open door to the furnace room, and that the headmaster must be there. Upon entering Pete is knocked out by the headmaster, then held at gunpoint with his Tesla while he pours chemicals into the furnace. He explains that because it's in a furnace, in sixty seconds it’ll form a deadly gas. Hugo tells Pete to shut down the furnace while Claudia and Hugo evacuate the gym. Pete uses a marble to quickly focus and deactivate the furnace power box. After he saves the school, he puts the last marble in the sack then neutralizes it, and therefore curing the infected students and headmaster.

After getting his health back, Ethan comments on how he was comfortable dying at 27, like other musicians before him (i.e. The Forever 27 Club). The bartender tells him how selfish it was to leave the people that love him, including herself. The two then exchange their mutual feelings. After the incident Jinks talks to Myka about his and Claudia’s link. Myka tells him to start searching for other solutions than the metronome. When back at the Warehouse, Jinks asks Artie if he could have time off, to think and learn about the metronome. Artie agrees. Claudia and Pete return with the marbles but Artie says they found those many years ago and were in the warehouse. He mutters to himself “dismantling my life’s work” then runs to a shelf that used to hold the marbles. In its place lies a black diamond.


Main Cast

Special Guest Star

Guest Starring


Artifacts and Gadgets Featured

  • Scott Joplin's Cigarette Case: Relieves people of emotional and mental suffering and the memories they experienced with the pain, but causes physical pain to manifest in the user of the cigarette case, eventually killing them if they absorb too much. It is one of the main artifacts of the episode.
  • Bobby Fischer's Bag of Marbles: Gives the holder intense focus and a powerful drive to achieve any goal set, but at the cost of that drive turning violent. It also causes loss of sanity, stroke and/or cardiac arrest. Another of the main artifacts of the episode.
  • Robot Matchbox: Heats objects to a degree where they will melt.
  • John Riley "Jack" Duncan's Spur: Tracks the movement of an object or person. Horses will be afraid of whoever touches the spur for a couple of days, however. This artifact is still at large because Brother Adrian brought a fake to Artie to trick him - though whether anything was actually brought is another question.


  • There are numerous references to the Harry Potter novels and films throughout. The school uniforms themselves are reminiscent of the uniforms seen in the Harry Potter films (especially the uniforms seen in the first film (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone) and the second film (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets), with a dress shirt, striped tie that resembles a tie worn by Hogwarts Students to identify their house, and an emblem that slightly resembles the emblems found on Hogwarts uniforms, also identifying what house they are in (Of course, a lot of private school uniforms, not all, but quite a few, do have this in common). At one point Pete makes a reference to the intense and extreme rivalry between Gryffindors and Slytherins, when watching two students fight. Also, the Interschool Multidiscipline Tournament is described as a competition between different teams of students, similar to the House Cup in Harry Potter (Hugo makes a reference to it at one point as well).
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"