You Never Know What Skill Might Get Useful – Sanctuary’s S3x03 Bank Job Analysis


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So, it has been another week, another long wait filled with wondering what the new episode of Sanctuary is going to bring, what quotes will be the ones you will laugh at and remember for a long time… And finally the Friday is here and you grab your Earl Grey and sit down in a comfortable chair, tuning in for the next dose of your addiction.

*Notice: There are a few words of adult language in the analysis that might not be appropriate for minors. Also, I spell the creature’s name Pherotopus phonetically, as I hear it.

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We begin with a nice view of a small town that is underlaid with Andrew Lockington‘s calm music…. It puts you slowly but effectively in the mood… the music is idyllic, very small-town like. The camera pans out and here they are – the people we all have come to love. They are just hanging outside the bank and the beginning of the episode seems suspiciously peaceful. Kate (Agam Darshi) lifts the mood up even higher with a joke and while you focus on Will (Robin Dunne) smiling, you can also see Helen (Amanda Tapping) grinning in the background while she waits for the door to open.

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At that moment they actually do and the team walks inside. Helen goes about the business and Kate and Will take their places at some random table to wait.

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Have you noticed that Magnus’es gaze always focuses on one point, on somebody or something and lingers there for a little longer and is more steady, while others’ gazes tend to be more restless.

But I digress. While Helen is talking to the bank clerk named George (Gary Jones), Dr Zimmerman and Ms Freelander check out the lobby by looking around. The camera takes their perspective for a moment there and we, as the audience, are introduced to some of the characters that will take part in the episode. We can see them coming into the bank or, in case of the workers, going about their tasks.

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Kate becomes nervous and that might be the first indication of troubles that await our heroes. But on the funny side, honestly, when does the team go on a mission and does not get into troubles? 😉

While Kate is all restless and annoys Will with the tapping of the pen, Magnus is all business down in the vaullt, when Bridget (Chasty Ballesteros) leaves her alone. It is classic Helen – she is picking the bank’s safe! I do not think there is anything she cannot do!

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Then there is the music again, but it changes now, it is not so idyllic anymore. Instead its pace indicates action. And there he is, the Sanctuary’s tech geek – Henry played by Ryan Robbins, at his best. The dialogue between him and Helen begins with an easy banter and then, by giving a bit of a backstory, smoothly moves on, to explain the situation and reasons behind Bank Job of the Sanctuary team.

We are then presented with a swift move back to the Kate and Will’s interaction in the bank lobby. When he, annoyed, interrupts her playing with the pen, her observatory skills, caused by the nervousness, immediately kick in. She starts analysing the technical equipment.

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By that we get privy to yet another thing about Agam Darshi‘s character, who is, still relatively new to the team. However, her techno-babble got me, personally, the good kind of shivers (Henry is not the only one that can do techno stuff, it seems). Although of course, none of them can be a match for Helen, whose one professional word makes you go weak in knees.

While Kate finishes her little speech, Will makes a sharp remark about “going down the memory lane” which, to be perfectly honest, shocked me a bit. It was so much unlike Will. But then, he might have sensed the troubles too and that made him agitated. However, his words and a couple of things that take place between the two of them later in the episode indicate that Will is still not sure about Ms Freelander joining the team. It also might point out to the rivalry for Magnus preferences, in the professional way, of course.

Then the action goes spiralling back to Magnus in the vault and guess what! Surprise! The creature is gone *gasps* what now? And just while we are at it, the props department does some great work with all the gooey mucus that is left after the creature, makes you wonder how they made it.

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In this scene, there is also an interesting shot of Helen looking into the safe, done from the opposite end of it, puts the viewer in a intriguing perspective of a quiet oberver, one may say, it even has a voyeuristic feeling to it, but only for that one moment as then we spur back into the action of the team trying to find the solution to the problem.

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“How do we quarantine a bank?” “Everyone down! This is a hold up!” Bang! Kate shoots into the ceiling! Now, certainly no one expected that… At this point Helen storms in with her quiet “We’ll talk about this later” and a stern look directed to the younger woman, though if you look closely you might see a hint of admiration there in her eyes for Kate thinking on her feet. Kate, on the other hand, just rolls her eyes.

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Now, here begins the commotion and the audience is presented with yet another surprise, namely Helen’s accent. It changes easily to American one (which might be an inside joke) though the explanation that goes more with the plot is that she uses it to simply disguise herself. And then… shoots the security camera, which you have to admit, is sexy! No one says women robbing the bank cannot be…

But back to the action, we see that Henry is always on top of things, having the police radio chatter in his trailer, informing him that something inside the bank went wrong. It always is nice to have backup who does not retrieve the abnormal with you but just stays under the radar.

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Sanctuary‘s episodes are always full of small gestures, face expressions or quiet words or sighs that are really interesting to observe and truly enhance the enjoyment of watching the show. One of those, took place while Thomas (Robin Mossley) closes the bank’s door and gives the keys to Helen, who rolls her eyes, as if thinking “why do we always get in this screwed up?”

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While Helen and Kate work on slowing the biological processes of the creature nestled comfortable inside one of the people, Will is trying to organize the hostages, but he obviously is out of his element here and feels incredibly akward about which he lets Helen know by giving her the look of utter annoyance.

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At this point the viewers start to feel the tension rising which is immediately relieved by Grace (Mary Black) light line “Hey junior, I gotta pee” and Will’s exaggerated sigh.

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When he supposedly goes with Grace, the camera takes us back to Henry, who being his usual joking self, address Helen by “Hey Bonnie, Bonnie and Clyde!” *insert snorting into the tea cup*. After that Helen gives us a very detailed description of what is going to happen with the host and everyone on the creature’s path, once it literally bursts out one of the hostages.At which im sure, many of you went ewwwwwww…. The thought, though certainly unpleasant, peaks the tension by another notch.

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Sanctuary episodes are well known for this – giving you a rollercoaster of emotions and suspense mixed with humour, laughter and classic characters’ moments. And speaking of classic characters…Will is now all cool and chilled out in the manager’s office looking for password to the computer so he can check out the video. I need to point out here, that Robin Mossley‘s acting is wonderfully performed – the manager is nervous and agitated, babbling away but serious about not giving away the customers’ data and rather dying. Then Will’s dead serious “Really?” is completely priceless.

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While he is still dealing with Thomas, we witness an intimate moment between Helen and Kate.

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“I’m going to be counting on your expertise today”… expertise about robbing the banks! Helen had a good hunch about hiring Kate – every skill can be found useful when you work for the Sanctuary network…. and have Magnus as your boss. But on more serious note, there is this beautiful connection between the two of them at this moment. Helen’s utter trust changes Kate and we can see that in her posture – she squares her shoulders and becomes all business “All right. I’ll make sure this place is air tight.” Kate is part of the team now and Helen is trying to nicely incorporate her into the action.

First thing Ms Freelander does is securing the hostages again, “making sure there’s no surprises”. I just feel the need to mention here the play between her and Cheryl (Raquel Riskin), the waitress. Kate’s try at having fun about Will and Cheryl goes flat down when the girl seems even more interested by Will’s supposed violence.

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At which point, Kate just sighs resigned and moves forward to securing Adam (Tobias Slezak).

While she is at it, we are back to Henry and his geeky self. I sincerly laughed out loud hearing him unable to pronounce the word, when Helen did that without a single stutter in her voice. And then “You took the word out of my mouth” and Henry’s raised eyebrows were just hilariously funny.

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Also the following exchange goes beyond words, it is a testimony to the team dynamic and how well they work together. Knowing what the other thinks.

Now, it is the time for the team consultation!

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It shows us lines of dialogue between its members, which we like so much. However, there is an interesting statement made by Will “Orifice of choice” at which Helen shrugs. I truly did not think there is anything abnormal that Helen Magnus has not seen or that makes her shrug and shiver…..

Then, when Bridget starts feeling unwell and you think they will be able, after all, to get her out before police comes, which is promptly suggested by Helen, everything comes crashing down when the sound of sirens resonate outside…

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That is it. The team is stranded with a nasty pheropotus nested in one of the hostages that could literally explode any minute… OH MY! *gasps again* The show does not give the viewers even one minute of relieved breath, instead it keeps you on your toes the whole time.

And when the police is on the site the one line makes you laugh again – “Dial them up!” Thoughts? Ideas? (Maybe another inside joke) 😉

But hang on, we are back to the rivalry between Kate and Will. Somehow it seemed to me that Will felt a bit threatened by Kate’s expertise on the matter at hand. “Cop!” “Robber!” they argue and Helen’s moment of decision “It’s your show.”

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She trusted Kate completely in that instance and for me, personally, that was the moment Kate truly became an integral part of the team. She takes that really seriously, judging by the look on her face, then she is back to her snarky usual self while making a joke about the line-up at a donut shop.

Will, at the same time, gives Magnus a look of dissaproval, but she will not take any of it answering him with an equally stern I-am-right-about-this look.

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While the action is unfolding further and Kate is done with talking to the police officer, Helen plans to conduct a surgery on poor Bridget…

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At Dr Zimmerman’s doubtful question she lets us on a bit of her own story remembering “operating in trenches” which might refer to the war, when Helen resided back in Europe. It is truly admirable how the writers gives us this bits and pieces of information about the characters, in the lines of dialouge, mostly when you do not expect it. Thanks to that we always learn something new about our heroes’ backstories.

But back to the fun of the Bank Job episode. The ‘contest’ between Kate and Will is lightened up slightly, after she finishes the second phone call with the police and Zimmerman promptly states “It frightens me that we are co-workers”, at which Kate unmoved and totally calm answers “Good” with a bright smile on her face.

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While I am on the topic of co-workers, Bank Job is the first episode when we hear Ms Freelander call Henry – Hank. Although, there is very little interaction between those two in the episode itself, the new name she gives the man points out that perhaps, their overall relationship has changed from slightly distrustful to ‘buddies’, colloquially putting it.

Also truly nice to see, is the scene when Henry walks Kate and Will through the process of converting the bill scanner into the retinal scanner (for the lack of a better word). Team dynamic laid on the table there. When they want, they sure can work smoothly and efficiently – team Sanctuary as we know and love!

And what comes next will sure get you laughing on the floor – “Come on sweet pea” uttered by Henry, his realization of what he just said and the face espressions of Helen, Kate and Will back in the bank, is the classic Sanctuary humour perfectly incorporated into the action.

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Ahh… so it turns out Bridget is all right, no bug sitting in her inside whatsoever, just a morning sickness. Hmmm I would like to point out to Magnus here, slowly saying “You did not know you were pregnant.” I find her tone of voice very soothing and calm, and at the same time irritated, that they have not found the host – sound impossible to act that way… but hey, it is Amanda Tapping playing it!

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Next up, is easily the best line of the episode! What do you get when you mix James Thorpe‘s writing and Ryan Robbins‘es acting skills? Yes, this “I’m the geek, you’re the doc. I do tech, you do drugs…. You know what I mean.” Delivered by Henry in a innocent voice guarantees to make you laugh and choke on what you are eating at that moment.

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While they are on the task again, Kate is back to keeping an eye on the hostages. When Adam asks her to let Grace go, we can see Kate feels uncomfortable and says that she cannot allow that. It is another nice insight in her still evolving character. We might have thought that robbing the bank (or at least posing as the robber) was her element, but no. She is a different person now, working for a good cause. And playing robber is not her thing anymore.

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Then the action picks up the pace again, like I said, always keeping you on your toes. While the team lets Bridget out, the bank manager makes a run for it which results in Adam getting shot – seems it is a bad day for the team. Simple abnormal pick-up turns into a mess with one person getting hurt.

When you think there is nothing more that might pop up in the episode…. Surprise! Will finds a transport container and with Helen they easily deduct that one of the hostages is in for the creature as well. *gasp nr 3*

And there you go, one of the hostages (Jason Poulsen) goes all brave and macho thinking he can mess up with Magnus. Oh no, that is not a smart move. Helen proves that by smoothly and (with grace) knocking the man down. She then looks up at Kate, and this is trully a fantastic moment when you can see the shocked admiration in Freelander’s eyes and her bright smile. Then Will, not knowing what to say is obviously shocked too, but in quite the opposite way.

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Magnus all angry (politely putting it ;)) takes matter in her hands again interviewing Adam. Now, this is an intriguing conversation. Adam knows they are not bad guys and “starts to feel like he is the crminal there”. Helen throughly penetrates him with her slightly squinted eyes and her sarcastic wit “business must be good”, all that makes you want to be in Adam’s place 😉 This is a brilliant scene and Magnus as we know and love!

While we still keep pondering the scene, we are thrown into another one – Henry is busted while inspecting the root beer smelling pherotopus toxin. But fear not! He does not fail us and gets out in time, looking for a means to knock a hole in the bank’s wall. Uhmmm, you read right….

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Here comes the next humourous scene. This time between Magnus and George, namely the writing of the will. Look up close at it when Helen is reading George’s handwriting, it is funny, but I will not tell what is in it… “Okay Buddy?!” Yes, I like teasing you. Look at it this way…. it is one more excuse for you to go and watch the episode again…

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And while we are on it… You have to love Grace’s “You remind me of my nephew…. he’s full of crap too.” directed to Adam. Those small things that makes you love Sanctuary even more with each passing week. And did you wonder that Helen is probably twice the age of Grace? Just saying…

But I digress again. We go on with the plot, four hostages cleared, they are let go and then we learn who is the team’s competitor. Gary Jones again does an amazing job playing the man infested with the pherotopus “I thought you were the bad guys!” “What? What’s popping out of me?!” Humours elements put in the dramatic moment.

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While the team is rushed up to the vault with George by Dave, the audience cannot be sure if they are just going with the flow or maybe the team has a secret plan…. When you go on wondering, the suspense is picking up the pace.

Our heroes are confined in the vault and Will is not really sure what is going on but we can see he trusts his teammates at which Helen promptly answers that, indeed, it is part of the plan. “You’ll love it” said by Kate makes a nice addition and points out she and Magnus think alike, at least in that moment…

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Then while Will and Helen fold the poor, breathing in green George in half, Henry makes a big entrance by taking down the wall and storming in with the cure, which ironically is a toxin. Magnus injects the host with it and we can see a huge! bug getting out of George. It immediately makes a jump for another person, at which Will shoots it down and the pherotopus splashes against the wall.

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And team Sanctuary saves the day again!

But wait, what is with the bad guy… Well do not worry, the vault is blocked from the inside and while in his naivete he trusted our heroes, he made a run for the ventilation shaft and got caught by the police already waiting in the alley, while the good guys escape with Henry.

Part of the reason we come back to Sanctuary every week is that the finish of the episodes is always a mood lifter. The action does not just stop. We are privy to the intimate moments of our favourite characters, when they are all back in a safe place. It was the same with Bank Job. While the wonderful ‘feel-good’ music of Andrew Lockington plays in the background already putting a smile on your face, you witness an utterly beautiful exchange between Helen and Kate…

“Holding up the bank? It’s nothing I haven’t done before.” We can see the admiration in Helen’s eyes and the happy feeling in Kate’s. She is appreciated and gets the credit for her skills. We also learn what a good observer Helen is, when she mentiones the empty gun in Kate’s waistband. The younger woman points out that the doctor let her run with the operation when she did not have to. It is a kind of thank you she directs to Magnus for her trust and support. Ahhh, but Helen does not let her off the hook so easily…. she makes a clever notice about Kate not taking any money. However, unlike Will’s remark earlier, the one made by Helen has a good, almost gentle feel to it and puts Kate at a loss for words in the most positive way. And when we hear the doctor saying “Isn’t that depressing?” with a sparkle in her eyes, we know all is good with the world.

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As to punctuate that, Kate smiling, answers “Terribly”

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and both give beautiful heartfelt laugh. Hmmm… yes Sanctuary makes you feel good…

Now you can grab another glass of wine and a new bar of chocolate and re-watch the episode again while impatiently waiting for the next week’s dose of adventure and humour.

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One thought on “You Never Know What Skill Might Get Useful – Sanctuary’s S3x03 Bank Job Analysis

  1. When Helen takes Gary Jones’ paper it says:

    Last Will and Testament

    I, George St. George, being of sound mind and body do hereby bequeath upon my sudden and violent death all my worldly possessions, including but not limited to:

    – 1993 Chevy Lumina with snowtires and detachable fuzzbuster
    – My entire collection of antique ____ garden gnomes
    – _____ programme from _____ concert with _____ authentication

    Later when Will was looking around the manager’s office for clues to his password, he looked at the diploma whick says:


    The Regents of the College of Corporate Malfeasance on the nomination of the (something) Council have conferred upon the recipient as named above, having demonstrated ability by a weekend of research into Corporate Obfuscation the certificate of

    Team Corporate Accounting
    Malpractice of the Weekend!

    I found this posted on Geonn Cannon’s site (with screen caps) at


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