Reader blogger Laura McConnell reviews the first half of Sanctuary series three
Sanctuary has reached its mid-series hiatus here in the States. They’ve made ten episodes so far this year, with ten more planned for spring. Frankly, this sneaked up on me. I had planned on writing an episode recap for each show along the way, but real life did not allow that, and here we are. Halfway through the season and me with my head spinning as we approach spring.
I’ve kept up with Sanctuary , but I’ll be honest: historically, I’ve enjoyed it, but it hasn’t knocked my socks off. Lately, though, I’ve been enjoying it more. The reasons for that are named John and Nikola, but I suppose I should give each episode its fair number of words, so away we go with a Sanctuary season three rundown. I’ll try to be brief.
“Kali, Part 3”
PLOT: The third part of the season two cliffhanger. Magnus continues to challenge Wexford for control of the Sanctuary network as they argue over the fate of Big Bertha, the world’s most powerful Abnormal.
BEST BITS: Finding out that Helen Magnus has some dark marks on her record and Will quoting the Klingon proverb of “It is a good day to die.”
WORST BITS: Will having to “die” to save the day.
PLOT: “Firewall” picks up where the “Kali” trilogy leaves off. Will is suffering from memory loss and confusion about what happened to him while he was “dead.” Eventually, we discover that supernatural beings are responsible for Will’s memory loss (and for helping him regain it) and Will unlocks a map to a mythical underground city. To be honest, I can’t recall much else happening here, so I’m just going to rate this one and get it over with!
“ Bank Job”
PLOT: This episode has our good guys pretending to be bad guys. They break into a bank in order to steal a rare abnormal egg, but when the embryo inside hatches early, things go from bad to worse and the team must take hostages in order to capture the beast. Hey! I’ve seen this episode of Stargate SG-1! (“Bad Guys”) I liked it then, and I like it now.
BEST BITS: Getting more of Kate’s backstory. Also, Stargate actor bingo!
“Trail of Blood”
PLOT: Jonathan Young returns as Tesla. He’s no longer a vampire, but he’s mastering his magnetic powers now, and he’s up to his usual morally ambiguous deeds. This time, that involves a quest, weird creatures, and, as always, manipulation. Meanwhile, Biggie and Kate investigate the murder of an old friend of Biggie’s, and an new threat to the Sanctuary emerges.
BEST BITS: The triumphant return of Nikola Tesla! Do I really need to say more? Though Kate and Biggie watching paranormal TV was wonderful, too, and Biggie backstory was good to see.
“Hero II: Broken Arrow”
PLOT: The super suit of microscopic Abnormals first seen in the season two episode “Hero” returns, as does its old operator, Walter. This time, though, Kate is inside the suit.
BEST BITS: If I’m being generous, I can say the underlying story of redemption is fun. I guess.
WORST BITS: The moral high-handedness is so heavy as to make Trek look light, and it’s just impossible to take this seriously.
PLOT: Will and Henry investigate a werewolf commune while Helen and Tesla work to unravel the mystery of Will’s magic map.
BEST BITS: Tesla showing up unannounced in Magnus’s bedroom.
WORST BITS: The entire lycan plot just didn’t work quite right.
PLOT: Magnus is lured to an empty warehouse, where she gets trapped and has to fight an ancient enemy.
BEST BITS: Helen kicking ass, and oh, yeah, her enemy is a guy she killed a hundred years ago.
WORST BITS: Okay, I love action as much as the next girl, but please. Some plot, maybe?
“For King and Country”
PLOT: Adam, Magnus’s enemy from “Breach,” returns to the Sanctuary for treatment, and Helen tells his story, along with her own and that of The Five, in a series of flashbacks.
BEST BITS: Learning more about The Five and their history (which is super interesting), Tesla actually getting overwhelmed at superior technology, every line of snarktastic dialogue, and the not-so-triumphant return of John Druitt, who appeared to be dead at the end of series two!
PLOT: Will takes over the Sanctuary, as Helen has contracted a serious illness, and the team tracks down missing super beetles and makes progress on the map, which leads to a hidden city that contains the only cure for Helen and much more.
BEST BITS: Nothing jumps out at me for this one, either. This one is filler. It advances the mytharc plot of this season, with the team making steps to solve the mystery of the map to the hidden city, but it doesn’t stand out.
“The Hollow Men”
PLOT: The team infiltrates the hidden world, where they finally find the secret city. But lo and behold, there’s trouble there, and the team is sentenced to execution. Meanwhile, back at the Sanctuary, John, Tesla and Worth plan their own infiltration of the city.
BEST BITS: John, Tesla, and Worth. John double-crossed Nikola, then Worth betrayed John. Interesting.
WORST BITS: That big city reveal seemed a little, well, lackluster. And a basilisk? Really?
So, there you have it. A handful of stand-alone episodes interspersed with a building mytharc and ending on a true cliffhanger. Not bad for half a series! While I still miss Ashley (she annoyed me at first, but was better than Kate), and some of the mytharc stuff seems a bit underwhelming, I’m really liking the bigger universe Sanctuary is building with this series. Not to mention, I love that John and Nikola are back, and the snarky dialogue this season between, well, everyone, is golden. I’ll be tuning in on 15 April to see what happens next!
Thanks Laura! Visit the official Sanctuary website online. Read more blogs from the SFX bloggers regularly here on www.sfx.co.uk, and don't forget that the team review TV episodes every month in our traditional Spoiler Zone section - which from SFX 208 (6 April) is getting a makeover in line with the redesign of SFX.