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Special Agents Pete Lattimer and Myka Bering couldn't be more different. Pete brings a casual, instinctive approach to the job, while Myka is more meticulous and strictly by the book. When an event at hosted by the President forces Pete to work under Myka's directive, a problem with the exhibition's centerpiece - a Mesoamerican sacrificial artifact - leaves Pete suspended, while Myka basks in the thanks of the President. As if the night weren't strange enough for Pete, he heads home to find the mysterious Mrs. Frederic waiting to give him a new assignment in South Dakota...where he's joined by none other than Myka! Warehouse caretaker Artie Nielson greets them, and Pete recognizes him as the man who took the relic the night before and disappeared without a trace. Artie explains that the item in question is now the secured property of the US Government. Welcome to Warehouse 13.
Convinced there's been a mistake, Myka contacts former superior Daniel Dickinson, who confirms that the transfer order trumps him. Inside the Warehouse, Artie gives the agents a tour of a massive vault filled with every strange artifact, mysterious relic, and fantastical object ever collected by the U.S. government. Artie explains their job is to hunt down whatever's threatening to ruin the world's day...neutralize it if necessary, then bring it back to the Warehouse. Snag it, bag it, tag it.
The following morning, Artie meets the new team at Leena's Bed and Breakfast (a cozy home base for Warehouse agents), and gives them their first assignment. An Iowa college student, Cody Thomas, uncharacteristically struck his girlfriend. On a suspicion that an artifact might be responsible, Artie sends Pete and Myka to investigate. Before they go, he arms them with a list of questions, a canister of neutralizer (a purple goo that dampens paranormal objects); a Farnsworth for two-way video communication (invented by Philo Farnsworth in 1929), and a Tesla ray gun, much to Pete's delight.
The duo heads to Iowa to question Cody. Claiming he doesn't remember anything, the youth suddenly begins speaking in Italian and grows increasingly violent. Unable to translate the complete meaning of the foreign phrase, Artie suggests Pete and Myka find someone at the university who speaks Italian. Professor Edward Marzotto translates the phrase as "If people knew the reasons for my fear, they would be able to understand my pain." But all is not as it seems, because once the duo leaves his office, Marzotto pulls an ancient leather bound book from his shelves. Inside the front cover is an inscription of the phrase he just translated.
Quick to make a connection after hearing the translation, Artie retrieves a portrait of Lucretia Borgia (one in which she wears a bejeweled hair-comb) from the Warehouse. Meanwhile, Myka and Pete pay a visit to Emily, Cody's girlfriend, who informs them that the only time she ever heard Cody speaking Italian was the night of his rage. A short while later, following a brief meeting with a silhouetted figure, Marzotto stops at the gas station, where he begins speaking Italian before inexplicably pouring gas over himself and lighting himself on fire.
Hearing the sirens, Pete leaves Myka in mid-conversation. She follows and finds him standing over the smoldering remains of Marzotto. Pete, unnerved, reveals to Myka that when he was 12 years old, his father, a fireman, was heading to work and Pete had a feeling - a vibe - that he wasn't going to see him again. Tragically, his father died in a fire that night. Ever since, when Pete gets a feeling, he acts on it. He carries his father's badge as a talisman.
Pete and Myka decide to revisit Marzotto's office, where they find the ancient book and discover it's actually an empty wooden box. As they're about to leave, Lorna Soliday (Sherry Miller), Cody's lawyer and godmother, enters. Soliday informs them that Emily has dropped the charges against Cody. Pete and Myka leave with Soliday to find Cody and Emily at a party for Machiavelli's play The Mandrake. In the car, Soliday becomes increasingly peculiar, and Pete notices a bejeweled comb in her hair. Pete suggests Myka pull the car over just as Soliday begins reciting the Italian phrase and grabs the wheel, crashing the car.
Myka regains consciousness and pulls Pete from the wreckage, but Soliday is nowhere to be found. As Pete tells Myka that Soliday had a comb in her hair the shape of which matched that of the recess in the box, Artie calls on the Farnsworth and informs them they're looking for a bejeweled comb that matches the one in the portrait. Artie explains that the comb, made by an alchemist, is transmitting Lucretia Borgia. The Italian phrase is a phonetic trigger. Realizing Soliday wants Cody and therefore wants Emily gone, Pete and Myka head to the party.
When they arrive, Soliday is on stage, comb held high, and the crowd is caught by its power. When Pete tries to stop it, Cody belts him, knocking Pete's gun out of his hand. Myka draws her own gun, but is distracted when Soliday asks her "Did you really let your lover die? For a chance at glory?" The question affects Myka, and it's just the diversion Soliday needs. She uses the power of the comb on Myka, who holds her gun under her chin. Reacting quickly, Pete blasts Myka with the Tesla. He turns it on Cody and Soliday, but Cody has picked up Pete's gun. Cody pulls the trigger - Click!
Luckily, Pete had removed the ammunition. Myka, no longer enthralled, takes advantage of the moment to snag the Borgia Comb. She plunges it into their cannister of neutralizer, from which an explosion of light emanates, breaking the spell. The evil has been stopped. The artifact has been bagged. And the young lovers are reunited.
Back at the Warehouse, Artie places the box and comb on a shelf next to the painting of Lucretia Borgia. At Leena's, Myka speaks with Dickinson, who has been told by Mrs. Frederic in no uncertain terms that the Warehouse and the agents are now hers. However, Myka has been given a choice - she can go back to Washington or stay with the new assignment. The hitch is, Pete doesn't get to leave. Myka has five seconds to decide. Four...three...two...