So, about a year and a half ago, I wrote a post that was going to be the start of a series. The series was going to be called “Fan Since Day One,” and at the time it was going to be about wrestlers who I’ve been a fan of since either they started in WWE or that I became a fan of when I’d started watching wrestling in 2001. It was mainly something like a career retrospective. The first post was about A.J. Lee after her retirement. (Seen here: https://mzrc.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/fan-since-day-one-a-j-lee/)
Now, this is going to be a little different. I’m rewatching Warehouse 13 at the moment – my favorite or second favorite show of all time, depending on whether I feel like placing Psych above it at the given moment. (They’re both too good to put one over the other.) Regardless of whether Psych is above it or not, Warehouse 13’s Claudia Donovan is my favorite character from anything, and rewatching the show has made me want to write about her.
Now, this isn’t exactly what that series of posts was supposed to be about, but I’ve decided to extend this series of posts to include tv or movie characters. The criteria for which one of these characters to earn the moniker “Fan Since Day One” are that I became a fan of the character in the first episode of the show that I watched or when I watched the movie for the first time. (Any character that has to “grow on me” cannot be included.)
And, by extension, if that character that I write the post about is the first time I’ve seen the actor/actress in something significant (i.e. not a short guest role), then the moniker “Fan Since Day One” applies to them as well. In fact, that’s probably the only way for me to qualify an actor/actress for this kind of post because the odds that I’m watching an actor’s/actress’s first performance aren’t very good. For example, I never watched Drake and Josh*, so that automatically would disqualify me from writing one for Allison Scagliotti even though she’s my favorite actress, and I won’t allow for that. That being said, I did happen to see a Disney Channel movie she was in called Read It and Weep before seeing her in WH13, but that was four years before this. (The movie was in 2006, I started watching Warehouse 13 in 2010.) But, I’m not going to allow that to disqualify Allison from a “Fan Since Day One” moniker for several reasons, either. For one, when I started watching Warehouse 13, I had no idea who she was. It’s not like I recognized her from that one Disney Channel movie from four years beforehand. Also, that movie is from ten years ago now, and I was 19 then and I have no idea what my thoughts on the movie was at the time or if I had any thoughts on Allison’s character in the movie, Sawyer. (I have seen the movie recently.) Anyways, I didn’t see her in anything after that until when I started watching WH13 four years later and I didn’t have any memory of that movie, so we’re going to call that a fresh start.
*Drake and Josh isn’t Allison’s first performance, either. It’s just the first thing she’s well known for.
Even if I couldn’t write a Fan Since Day One post about Allison based on my stipulations, it hardly matters. Having already written the rest of this post outside of this section to justify a title, this post is basically what a Fan Since Day One post about Allison would be, anyway, so she gets the moniker whether you like it or not. I say that because, for an actor, a Fan Since Day One post would be detailing a character (or characters) that they play that I love and not their career, whereas the wrestling one that I did was one that detailed A.J.’s WWE career*. So that’s what this post is – an extensive look at Claudia, and a little about Allison herself. It’s not an extensive look at Allison’s entire career, it’s not a biography or anything about her in real life because that’d be completely inappropriate for me to write about. The only things that I’ve written in this post that has to do with Allison personally (Read: Nothing to do with her acting or singing) are things that I can speak to personally – things like getting to meet her at a convention and from getting to interact with her a little bit.
*Note: Now that I think of it, I wrote the first Fan Since Day One post about April Mendez-Brooks’s WWE career, not her entire wrestling career. If it was a Fan Since Day One post about April Mendez-Brooks, it would have been about her entire career in professional wrestling. I instead chose to write solely about her WWE tenure (because that’s all I’m familiar with), so while I was writing about April Mendez-Brooks’s WWE career, I was moreso writing about the entire story arc of the WWE character, A.J. Lee. The fact that I wrote that post about a character completely justifies expanding the Fan Since Day One series to tv and movie characters. Huzzah! (Welcome to my blog, where you see me figure the minutia of my blog out right in front of your faces!)
Now that all of that’s out of the way, Warehouse 13 has made me a huge fan of Allison’s. I like everyone on the show, and now I’m watching anything that any of them are in – but Allison is my favorite actress. I have multiple favorite actors/actresses, but none of them come close. To put things in perspective for you in terms of how much I mean “it’s not even close” – the rest of the world seems fascinated with Jennifer Lawrence these days, and yes, rightly so – she’s my second favorite – but she’s got nothing on Allison. Like, watch Silver Linings Playbook and after seeing how good Jennifer is in it, and then imagine Allison in that role. It would be even better than it already was. This isn’t a new thought I had for this post, either – that was something I though maybe the second or third time I watched that film in 2013.
Probably what draws me to Allison so much is a mix between Allison herself and her portrayal of Claudia. Obviously they are two separate entities – Claudia is a computer nerd and Allison is not, etc. Claudia being a computer geek is probably what drew me to her to begin with because that was basically me growing up. I appreciate all the computer related humor. Anyway, I became a fan because she was a character I could relate to a lot played by someone who is clearly very talented as shown throughout the series numerous times. And because both Claudia/Allison and I are at least similar in age (although I’m 3 years older – I’m 8 months shy of 30 which is kind of scary when I think about it), so it’s a lot of the same things that I’d be going through right around the same time. And because I’ve always found her work to be so real – that’s probably why I can connect with her so easily. But, if I were to try to explain thoroughly how talented Allison is, we’d be here all day – there really aren’t enough words. A talent/gift like the one she has is special and rare – it only comes around every now and then. So instead of me telling you about how good she is, watch this show if you haven’t before – watch her work and she will show you how good she is.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Allison at a convention in 2014 and she, and the rest of the cast who were there (Eddie, Saul, Jaime) were all very kind and very cool. From what I can remember, I asked her about Anne Darling and I had her sign a picture of a created character of her I made in a WWE game because I’m weird and don’t have people sign things that make sense. (Also I had a signed picture of her already because the people who made Chastity Bites sent me one. Also I’m not big on autographs to begin with, just meeting and talking to people.) She was nice enough (not a reference to her band) to retake the picture when the first one was blurry, too. She’s also been very kind to me online as well (on Twitter/Instagram) – we’ve talked a few times and I’m very grateful for that. She’s even helped promote a kickstarter for a dance company my sister is involved with, and I can’t thank her enough for that. Some people might be fans of someone and have no idea what the person is really like in real life outside of what they think they know from reading things on the internet (which may or may not be true) – I on the other hand don’t have to wonder at all what kind of person she is, because I know firsthand that she’s a very kind and supportive person to those that support her. (If I sent this to you and you’re actually reading this, Allison, Thank you.)
I’ve watched anything and everything I can find of hers since. I love her character Camille on Stitchers, too. Not on the level of Claudia but she hasn’t had enough time to get there, either, so if the show is renewed, Camille can continue to get closer to that level.
I wish the world for her, honestly. I hope that she achieves any and all of her dreams and goals within her profession that she has – of course, I feel like in an ideal world where the entertainment industry didn’t have so many ridiculous standards and where people got jobs only based on talent that she could be the biggest star in the business (but I’m not naive enough to think it works like that) – so I’m just going to hope that whatever she wants out of it, she achieves.
And I’m so happy that she’s in a band now. (Nice Enough People) I’ve been waiting for that ever since I first heard her sing. And while the music I listen to is generally a lot harder rock, their music is quite good. And while I can’t bias them into being my absolute favorite band, they are in the top six. I hope that someday I can watch them play live – I know they only play locally at the moment and it might be difficult to tour when three of them are actors (and the other a tv writer), but if they ever tour or at least play a show in Chicago, I’m buying the first ticket. (Or I guess if I ever go to L.A. when they have a show I can see them, but that’s fairly unlikely at least with current finances.) Also, I’m the founder of their fan club that totally, actually exists, called the Irrational Nice Enough People Troop. (Spell out the acronym.) (Ok so there’s no place to actually sign up for this but it’s totally a thing, it’s just in my mind. I did plan out what I’d do to make a fan site once but I can barely keep up the writing projects I already have, much less try to run a fan site.)
Anyways, maybe I should finally start what this post is about. >.> Please keep in mind while reading that I started watching the show with the episode “Merge With Caution,” midway through season two, so if my perspective is a little odd (read: not some kind of natural progression of the character arc) that’s why. Obviously I have seen all of the episodes several times now, I just didn’t watch it when it first aired.
For some reason, when I went to start watching it again, I found myself, in a weird way, nervous to watch it. Nervous to see just how good she is again. Perhaps I love Claudia a little TOO much. (Okay that’s not possible.)
Fan Since Day One: Allison Scagliotti as Claudia Donovan
While I started watching the show midway through season two, Claudia’s debut episode (entitled Claudia, as it happens) is perhaps my favorite episode of the show. I have several, but this and the episode “Don’t Hate the Player” are my two favorite episodes. These are the two episodes I would use to introduce someone to the show. (Specifically my sister, who I’ve been trying to get to watch the full show for like, three years now. It still hasn’t happened. She had two of my box sets in North Carolina for over a year which is why I couldn’t watch the show for so long.)
Before this episode, the Warehouse is seen being hacked into for the first three episodes, causing all sorts of havoc for Artie until she finally makes her way in. Even before she shows up, she causes all of the mayhem.
While I obviously already liked the show and I liked Claudia the most already, it was probably this episode that made me become such a huge fan. That and Don’t Hate the Player, actually – because I watched this episode for the first time within a week of Don’t Hate the Player’s original airdate. (I’d like to thank my memory for that, but it’s more like a combination of my Twitter Archive and also Wikipedia. My ridiculous memory knows I tweeted “Starting to watch all of Warehouse 13. Fourth episode of re-confirms that @allisonscag is awesome” right after I watched it.)
Just everything about Allison’s performance as Claudia in the first episode is incredible. The wit and the sass and everything about Claudia that people love is all there in droves, and the emotion in the heavier scenes is as well. No one else on the show brings as much emotion – or at least as much emotion out of me – as Allison/Claudia does. I can count at least somewhere between 3-5 times that Claudia has made me cry. The only other time I can remember crying from this show is from Pete one time near the end of season 4. And I think that’s one of the main reasons I became a big fan of Allison’s to begin with, because while I’m not some guy who has a problem with crying or admitting to crying or anything like that, it’s still rare for a tv show/movie to make me cry. The easiest ways would be a character I like dies or is extremely upset or a good father-son moment, or a moment that makes me proud of a character. And getting that kind of emotional response out of me is probably the easiest way to make me a fan of someone.
The first time Claudia made me cry is this scene. Obviously just an image isn’t enough to show it, but Claudia begging Artie to help her save Joshua is a very powerful moment, as is seeing her finally succeed in saving her brother after years of having worked so hard to do it. Knowing that she’d lost her parents at a young age (for reasons we discover later), and then lost her brother a few years later – making her have to live with a foster family for a while until that doesn’t work out and then she lives on the streets at some point (I really want a movie just detailing the timeline of her past properly), and then she was in an institution – it’s such a good moment to see her finally get a win.
Also I want a Rhetticus Compass.
This episode is great, and it’s what solidified myself as a huge fan of Allison’s and of the show itself. As it happens, I recall listening to the DVD commentary of the episode and Saul spoke to this episode being the one where he knew that they had something really good with this show. And that’s not a surprise at all.
Of course with hacking in to an important government facility, comes the fact that she now has to either work there or, well, she has to work there! And the first season does a great job with Claudia, and everyone else, becoming a family. Obviously that’s an important thing for a show like this. Claudia becomes an apprentice to Artie for the first season, working within the Warehouse while Pete and Myka are in the field.
Claudia being in the Warehouse leads to her using her technological expertise to upgrade any and all gadgets that Artie and any former agents have been using for years. To make a reference to Harry Potter for a second, J.K. Rowling has stated that she could use Hermione to explain anything because she can just say “Oh she read it in a book” – well, similarly, whenever Warehouse 13 needs a new or more effective gadget, you can just say Claudia made/upgraded it.
Then MacPherson infiltrates the Warehouse and wreaks havoc. It turns out he, under a different name, helped Claudia hack into the Warehouse. And while the team tries to stop him, Leena, under MacPherson’s control via Pearl of Wisdom, helps make Mrs. Frederic suspicious enough to question Claudia’s loyalty. Claudia leaves after feeling like she’s no longer welcome, and goes to her brother who is now working at Cern.
So, after everything she’d been through between the time she lost Joshua and got him back, she’d finally had some time to be happy and have a sense of family that she could become close to, and at the end of the season it would seem, at least to her, that she’s lost it. It’s easy to see how she can feel like nobody wants her around or doesn’t want to be around her – that everyone she starts to care about disappears or wants to disappear from her life.
In season two, after everyone realizes what’s happened, Artie goes after Claudia and brings her back. They’ve found out that Leena was under MacPherson’s control and posed as Claudia to set her up. Naturally that causes friction between Claudia and Leena.
Season two brings about several new things for Claudia. She’s in the field a few times, her destiny as caretaker begins, and also, awkward relationships. Actually season two is the season of awkward relationships for everyone, not just Claudia.
Not really going to to go into the relationships themselves because they don’t last long – it’s not a “relationship show” as they put it. And Todd’s kind of annoying and season 3’s Dead Rent guy is possibly worse. (It’s hard not to be a little peeved that Nolan Funk portrays a love interest for Claudia and also Felicity on Arrow. It’s more than just a little unfair.) Fargo’s alright, I suppose.
What’s really to talk about is Claudia feeling insecure of herself and thinking she’s some kind of freak who doesn’t belong – that’s a feeling I know very well. Even now I feel that way sometimes.
Also, I love the moment between Claudia and H.G. where they’re talking about H.G.’s daughter and how painful it would be to lose a child. Claudia’s reaction to H.G. saying that the worst pain imaginable is what she did to her daughter’s killer….Yea.
Claudia also starts to get a little more responsibility and goes out in the field a few times, most notably with Myka in For the Team. She previously had with Pete in Regrets (Season 1).
And at the end of season two, when Warehouse Two is reactivated because of H.G. Wells’s plot, Mrs. Frederic starts to lose control of her connection and they convince Claudia to transfer that connection to her. Obviously someone her age would be hesitant to take on that kind of a commitment, but Claudia steps up and does so – luckily Pete and Myka deactivate WH2 before the transfer is complete and they stop it. Artie assures Claudia that she will get to have whatever kind of life she wants, even though that’s not true.
“You name your daughter Andrew and she chops you to bits.”
(re: Lizzie Andrew Borden’s compact.)
I want to know what happens when you name your daughter Glenn. (Allison’s middle name.) I mean, I know there’s Glenn Close, but she did play Cruella Deville.
Claudia rocking Jimi Hendrix’s guitar. This household loves Jimi Hendrix and loves Claudia, so Claudia with Hendrix’s guitar is awesome.
Don’t touch the bombs, man!
Season 3 brings Steve Jinks to the Warehouse, after Myka leaves because of what happens with H.G.. After Myka returns, Claudia and Steve are paired up to take cases on their own. They become the second A-Team, or as I like to call them, the A-Team.
So after Claudia gets a sense of family in season one and deals with self-acceptance in season two, as well as gaining more responsibility and a destiny she isn’t quite ready for, she is fully put into the field with a partner she becomes closer to than perhaps anyone on the show except maybe Artie. She pushes herself to do well to make Artie proud.
Pause to appreciate the chase scene in Love Sick to Bad Reputation.
A few episodes in comes Don’t Hate the Player, my second favorite episode. Not only is it a video game, but the part with Claudia facing her fears and taking down the doctor is a great moment. And then, of course, there’s Claudia singing Where is My Mind?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve replayed that. Well, at least during the show’s run. I can’t say I’ve watched the video of it much recently outside of when I just watched the episode. That’s probably because Allison has a recording of the song on her soundcloud and well, shortly after I discovered those songs they got put onto my iTunes. From that moment I was wishing for Allison to join a band and now it’s finally happened and I cannot say how happy it makes me. One, because of how happy it makes her, and two, for how beautiful her voice is. Like, I could listen to her sing anything – I wish I could ask her to cover like, all of my favorite songs. (I’d settle for one, but I do have a list.)
In the 40th Floor comes probably my single favorite moment of the show, even though it’s only a few seconds. The team goes into a building suspecting that their enemies at the time are in it, find two guards that won’t let them pass, so they leave through a revolving door. Claudia goes back around the door and tosses a Tesla grenade at them, continues through the door and with one finger tells everyone to come in. It’s this:
It’s pretty epic.
At the end of the same episode, Steve reveals that he’s been fired for being insubordinate to Mrs. F. (Coincidentally if I had a dime for every time someone at my previous security job got fired for being insubordinate I’d have zero dimes.) Obviously it’s revealed later that it wasn’t really him being fired, but at the time it seems again like Claudia’s lost someone she cares about. (Because Steve cuts himself off from everyone.)
In the second to last episode, it’s revealed that Jinks is undercover and is only pretending to work for Walter Sykes (Anthony Michael Hall. Have I mentioned that Anthony Michael Hall is awesome? Because he is.) Steve helps Sykes get H.G. Wells back to herself, and, well, we know what happens.
The scene where Claudia finds Steve dead in the hangar….I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched it and how many times I’ve cried from it. It gets me every time. Just a combination of Claudia’s scream and her crying and the song that’s playing – if you aren’t crying you aren’t human.
I have both the Track and Field cover of Running Up that Hill and the original on my iTunes but every time it comes up I skip it so I don’t have flashbacks.
What happens with Steve is obviously devastating to Claudia – losing yet another person she loves – and naturally that makes her angry at Jane, the regents and Mrs. F for forcing Steve to go undercover and ultimately being killed. Considering she’d found the metronome that was keeping Marcus alive, it’s easy to see why she’d want to use it on Jinks.
You see, if Claudia loves you, you are absolutely not allowed to be dead. If you’re trapped in another dimension for years, it doesn’t matter – she’s going to risk her life to save you. If you’re killed by an evil bad guy, she’s going to hook herself up to you with a metronome to keep you alive. If you’re evil because of an astrolabe, you’re absolutely going to be cured, even if it takes stabbing you with a dagger to do it. If you’re in an induced coma because an artifact made you super dangerous if you’re awake at all, you’re going to be fixed. If things aren’t the way Claudia wants things to be, she will make them be how she wants them to be.
Season three ends with the Warehouse destroyed, and Steve, H.G., and Mrs. F dead. The team fixes this in the season four opener by finding and using Magellan’s Astrolabe, making Artie, as a friend and I like to call it, “Go back in time crazy.” They fix everything – except for Steve – although Artie creates an evil that will “live with him for the rest of his days.”
Artie sees a vision of Claudia stabbing him with a dagger repeatedly over the first half of the season, making us believe that she could be the aforementioned evil. Also, I remember an interview Allison did (at a con, don’t remember when) that she would like Claudia to (potentially) “go dark” at some point, so that’s what I thought we were getting.
Random note: I like to use Brother Adrian’s line of “I know an awful lot of things…about an awful lot of things” a lot.
In the second episode, Claudia gets her wish of using the metronome on Steve. She was forcing her way into where they were keeping his body before Jane allows her to do it anyway.
The first half of season four is mainly about Claudia and Steve being connected to each other through the metronome, and subsequently getting Steve off of the metronome. They succeed after going to visit his mom and learning more about what happened to his sister.
The first half concludes with the discovery that the astrolabe has driven Artie insane, and he kills Leena and tries to kill everyone by using the dagger that he’d been searching for to get the Chinese Orchid out of its case and use it. He’d already sent artifacts to Pete’s ex-wife, Myka’s sister, and Joshua to distract them. Claudia saves Josh from being trapped in amber. Claudia uses the dagger on Artie to dispel the evil, but not before he berates her in the worst way possible and also uses the orchid.
The second half of the season begins with Claudia and Steve saving Artie from his mind while Pete and Myka save the world from the orchid.
The second half of the season finds Claudia finally accepting her caretaker destiny. From when she is first almost given the responsibility in season two up until now, she hasn’t wanted to be caretaker, even though it’s been clear that she doesn’t have a choice. From what happened with Steve and how that made her feel about the regents and from her having to stab Artie and from seeing things like Mrs. F’s grandson being in a retirement home, you can see why she wouldn’t want to be connected to the Warehouse for seemingly over a hundred years.
And you can see why I’d be a little confused has to a seemingly 180 degree turnaround where she suddenly wants to be caretaker at the end of “Instinct.” I actually asked her about this when I’d met her at the convention, during the panel. (I managed to be the last question.) Her response was basically that it’s just like how it is in real life, with how everyone’s unsure of what they want to do in life – even with her in real life, with being an actress, or a musician, etc.
An episode later, Claudia turns 21, and the first of at least three times that Allison has sung on stage with Cherie Currie happens at the end of the episode. (Once on the show, twice since then.)
At the end of season four, Artie reveals to Claudia that her sister, Claire, is alive. Claire was affected by an artifact when they were very young and it was because of this that Claudia’s parents were killed. Artie is forced to reveal this after Claudia is bronzed by Paracelsus and Artie needs DNA from a family member to help save her. (Paracelsus took the artifact that made the bronzer work and it made the bronzing go wrong.) Steve found out that it would’ve taken Artie a lot longer to get to Joshua so he knew something was up.
Claudia is upset that Artie lied to her for so long, but there isn’t time to deal with it. Paracelsus has taken over the Warehouse as he was once caretaker, Mrs. F. is forced to release herself from her connection to the Warehouse. Everyone evacuates the Warehouse except for Claudia, who is forced to take on Paracelsus on her own.
The scene with Artie telling Claudia about Claire is really strong, and the end of this episode is something I’ve watched many times too. Claudia deciding to stay is badass, and like Running Up that Hill, No Light, No Light makes me emotional too – although not in the same way. While I watch the episode, it makes me feel proud of Claudia. If I listen to it on its own, for a while it made me think of the show being cancelled. Now it’s just a good song – also it’s the song that plays when my mom calls me because she liked it that much. (It used to be Purple Haze) When I walk into a store and it’s playing this song, I like to joke that I just walked into the end of season 4 of the show and try to find Paracelsus.
Now, I stand by what I said then – Claudia wasn’t stuck in the Warehouse with Paracelsus. Paracelsus was trapped in the Warehouse with Claudia. Mess with Claudia and you’re going to get messed up.
The beginning of season 5 shows the fight between Claudia and Paracelsus, although inevitably Paracelsus goes back in time to 1541 and the team stops him from recreating the world in his image. Unfortunately they bring an evil Benedict Valda back with them.
Now, season five is what it is. I was so angry at the time when the show was cancelled and was only getting six episodes. It should have gotten three more seasons. But, it’s been two years and I’m as over it as I can be. It’s been too long to still be mad about it being over. Most everyone from the show has a a new show now anyway – Allison has Stitchers (and Vampire Diaries), Eddie has Shooter (and Bones), Joanne was great on Zoo, Aaron’s on Killjoys, CCH is on NCIS. Sadly I don’t think Saul’s been on anything. Jaime had Defiance. But, while I’m not upset over the show being over anymore, nothing will make the fact that they couldn’t at least have a full 13 episode final season be okay. At least have some respect to give them enough time to wrap everything up.
Unfortunately with six episodes, things had to be rushed. They did the best they could, but it was clearly rushed. I could be wrong, but from what I understand, they’d had ten or more scripts ready, and when they were told they were only getting six, they chopped some up into parts and that’s what we got. The chopped parts could have just been the clip show in the finale, though, which makes sense to me. (I could be wrong on this. But I do think something similar to this was said in the commentaries on the dvd.)
That being said, the Claudia arc of season five is probably done better than anything else in it. She learns about what happened with Claire and she saves her and now she has even more family. Hurray!
And the finale has one of the best things ever:
Claudia’s tap routine. I love it. As someone who grew up watching his sister dance since she was three (so for 25 years now, basically) and someone who also watches and enjoys So You Think You Can Dance, I’d like to think I have a solid appreciation of dance, even if I don’t have any real technical knowledge of it. I love this scene so much – I know Allison choreographed it herself, which makes me even more proud. Also, I still wish there’d been a crossover episode with Psych and that there’d been a Claudia-Gus tap battle.
Outside of that, the series finale is good. Claudia’s tap routine is great and we got to see her as caretaker, so I got what I wanted out of it. My only little disappointment was not getting to see her “Mrs. Frederic” Artie because Allison said on a commentary that she wanted to do that and then Artie would be all like “Never do that again!” I wanted to see that. Also, I really didn’t want to see a Warehouse with only her as caretaker and completely new employees – that was the only thing that really made me sad. But oh well. Also, I was a little underwhelmed by the “big thing” we were going to learn about Artie – which was that he has a son. Part of me thought that, even though I knew this wasn’t possible at all, it was going to be that Artie was Claudia’s real father. I know, that’s ridiculous. Anyways, the scene with Claudia and Artie right after the tap routine is also really good.
So, some final thoughts before I finish this post.
While I’m sure there are tons of people who still desperately want the show back, the one thing I really would want (not that I wouldn’t want it back because of course I would) would be some kind of movie detailing Claudia’s past more thoroughly. There’s always been some confusion with what age she is. When she’s with Josh before he tries to teleport, she’s 10. Josh says in episode 5 that he’s been gone for 12 years. So that makes her 22. But she’s 19 at the end of season 1. And she’s 21 near the end of season 4 and 22 when she wakes up Claire. I always take a season to be a year, but I guess that’s not necessarily true.
More importantly, I would like to know when Claire happened exactly. And then how long Josh happened after that. (I guess Claire happened when Claudia was 7 and Josh when Claudia was 10.) Also, why is Josh not mentioned in the Claire flashback in season 5? Why is there no mention of Claire in season 1 when they’re trying to save Josh? (Although, I’m guessing the idea of Claudia having a sister was something that came up in later seasons – I do believe for a moment before they decided that she had a sister that was believed to be dead was actually alive, they were originally considering that one of her parents or both were still alive.) If not, then does Artie remember Claudia from what happened with Claire when he’s with her and Josh? He’s supposed to be keeping an eye on her, after all. After Josh, how long is she with a foster family, and then how long is she on the streets? When does she start trying to get Josh back? When does she start learning about the Warehouse and Artie? Who teaches her how to hack or does she teach herself? When does she get into the institution? All of it. I want to know all of it.
Meanwhile, maybe I’ll actually write the rest of the fanfic that I was going to about what happens after. (Probably not, though. I’ve put that off, like, a year or two already. I have like, one small fanfic story that’s supposed to have two sequels.)
Anyways, can we talk about just how strong Claudia is for a moment? Look at everything that’s happened to her in 22 years. Her sister Claire is taken over by an artifact and she ends up killing their parents because of it, forcing Artie/Mrs. F./the regents to put Claire in a coma. Claudia then lives with her brother until he teleports himself into another dimension for 12 years. She lives with a foster family, and then on the streets, and during this time learns all about computers and hacking and all of that. She’s in a mental institution. She hacks into the Warehouse, a top secret government facility, at 18 or 19, and saves her brother. Then after she starts at the Warehouse, she’s framed as someone helping MacPherson, so she flees and thinks she’s lost the only sense of family she’s ever had – or at least has had in a long time. She comes back after Artie chases after her. She starts to gain more responsibility and learns that she’s going to have this destiny as the Warehouse’s caretaker. She’ going to be the boss of the team, essentially, and be so for a long time. Naturally she’s hesitant, but eventually she accepts it. She becomes very close to Steve, and then he’s killed. Another person she loves is gone, at least temporarily. She puts her life on the line to bring Steve back and keep him alive. She stabs Artie with a dagger to dispel the evil from him, but that’s still pretty devastating. She fully accepts her destiny and stays in the Warehouse on her own to fight Paracelsus right after learning that Claire’s still alive. She goes back into her memories and sees what happened to Claire and had to watch her parents die, and she also basically learns that she was destined to be caretaker or at least part of the warehouse since she was young, because she figured out that the music box was what was harming Claire. Claudia is able to save Claire, and ultimately, she becomes caretaker.
Look at where Claudia came from and everything that she’s been through and tell me that’s not one of the strongest people you’ve ever seen. All of these terrible things have happened to her, and more specifically, to people she loves.
(I feel like there’s a name for a character who has all of these things happen to her or those around her but I can’t think of what it’s called. I was thinking tragic hero but that’s not accurate. Perhaps if someone knows they can enlighten me. Parents are killed, Josh needs to be saved three different times, Claire too.)
Through all of that, she overcomes all of it and becomes caretaker of the Warehouse. If ever “Started from the bottom now I’m here” was applicable, this is it. Claudia has probably the most complete story arc on the show – and if you look at it the way I do, the show is actually kind of about her journey. Everyone has their stories and all of that but none of them have a story quite like Claudia’s, where her importance to the Warehouse becomes progressively bigger with each season. Everyone else has solid stories and there’s nothing wrong with them, but they kind of follow a linear path. Pete and Myka are agents in episode 1 and in the last episode. Artie is always Artie. Claudia comes from nothing and becomes caretaker.
I cannot express how much I love Claudia. I’ve never connected to a character quite like this, and that’s from both excellence in writing from the show’s writers and in excellence in acting from Allison. Because of it, I will always be a fan of Allison’s. As incredible as she was as Claudia, I’m sure her best days are still ahead. In fact, they probably always will be because she’ll only keep getting better.
From listening to her talk about her career and her experiences on podcasts and in interviews, I’ve seen how passionate she is about her work – whether it be acting or music – and it’s clear that she was born to do this. I don’t think there’s anything she can’t do. She only continues to better herself and continues to learn. I don’t know what her goals are, but I know she will achieve them. Whether she ever wins something like “Best Actress” or not in her career, it doesn’t matter – you don’t need to see her holding a gold statue to know just how good she is.
The following are some pictures from the convention that I met Allison, Eddie, Saul, and Jaime. (The other guy in a couple of the pictures (with the beard) is my friend Tom.)
Me with Allison.
Also, this is all of the Warehouse 13 stuff that I have:
Well, that used to be all of it until a friend got me a deck of cards with this on the back:
I made the image last year when the Straight Outta Compton memes were everywhere and Allison shared it on her Instagram. It was, for a while, the most liked thing on her Instagram.
Also, it’s probably no surprise that I can quote so many different lines from the show.
Well, this post has gone long enough – it might be the longest post I’ve ever written. So it’s time to wrap this up.
Claudia is my favorite television character, and I don’t foresee that changing. And Allison is someone who inspires me most – for many reasons, including how gifted she is, from how passionate she is, and from how kind and supportive she is of her fans, including how supportive of and how kind she’s been to me. I cannot thank her enough.
(And good night.)