We all saw the controversial move Tesla pulled on Magnus at the end of ‘For King and Country’ and without a doubt, I know I wasn’t the only one waiting desperately to see how that, and all the other story arcs that have been woven, would carry through to the next episode. So here it is, the penultimate episode of 2010: Vigilante.
It starts with a wonderfully intriguing “discussion” between Magnus and Will, with Magnus trying to play the logical side, as always, but still obviously in turmoil over suddenly losing her control of the Sanctuary…again. Then Will, despite suddenly having heaps of power handed to him on a silver platter, seems to take it in his stride, with his “You’re dying, Magnus. He’s played his trump card already.” And with that fact laid bare, Will plays his own trump card too.
The interaction between Magnus and Will at the start is really quite intriguing to watch: the change in power causing them both to re-evaluate themselves which ultimately changes the dynamic of their relationship too. In Will’s case, his strength starts to shine despite Adam continuing his frequent taunts and mystery.
However, I found it interesting how Will’s look back at Magnus could be interpreted. Was it just concern over the events to come? Or was he deferring to her? Through habit, or through respect? Definitely a simple, yet intriguing set-up.
Also, the contrast between Will’s determination and protection of the team compared to Adam’s ‘Jekyll and Hyde’, almost flippant attitude definitely makes their interactions something to behold.
As we head back to the virtual city in the library, it must be said, Anthem just keep churning out such wonderful graphics and it’s been said before, but it deserves repeating, between Anthem and the whole cast, if you didn’t know it was majority green-screen then you’d probably believe the sets are real. Just amazing.
Right before the credits, we are left with the mystery of the keystone. Adam’s found it for them, but what do they do with it? What does it actually do?
After the credits, Magnus works her magic and the location of the keystone is found – Khövsgöl Province, Mongolia. At this point, the gauntlet of the power struggle is taken up again, with Magnus claiming back the reins. Standing her ground with Tesla, Druitt and Will, she carries on giving out orders as though Tesla hadn’t usurped her position earlier on. Although Tesla, with his flippant comment of “Bring me back some Mongolian wine…actually on second thoughts, don’t.” manages to turn the whole feeling of the scene.
This is where the writing for Sanctuary is brilliant, and props to Alan McCullough for this episode; the seemingly flawless cross between the serious and the amusing. Take, for example, Will’s concern for Magnus followed by the light-heartedness of “Running this place, it’s a piece of cake.” Brilliant, and set up so wonderfully for the irony to follow.
The irony, that is, of Will finding out exactly what Magnus’ day-to-day job entails. Followed by Biggie’s priceless comment on how Magnus actually gets all the work done – [She] “stayed off twitter.” I’m sure we’ll all agree that it’s wonderful that the writers reference fandom and realise how important fandom is to their show.
On their little trip to the Khövsgöl Province, we see how the relationship between Magnus and Druitt has progressed. It’s become a little less tense, and more reminiscent of what we saw of their previous relationship in London. Plus Helen landing on top of him, bonus!
At this point, they’re in exactly the right place to find the keystone. Or are they? They keystone turns out to missing, and there’s evidence of someone having been there before them. Once again, the mystery is hiked up another notch as there seems to be no indicator of who was there and where they’ve taken the keystone.
A cut away to Henry and Kate allows the mystery to simmer for a while, frustrating but very effective as it makes the next switch back to Magnus and Druitt all the more exciting. However, back to the ‘kids’ and their bickering over the trivial things in life…there’s never a dull moment! Yet there’s always a twist, and this time it’s a missing shipment and the sudden appearance of an FBI Agent.
It turns out that Will is supposed to know Agent Abby Corrigan, and bless him; he does try hard to pretend he remembers and listen to her spiel. Tesla, on the other hand, pulls another class trick of undoing her shirt button. Hey, those new effects of the source blood do come in handy!
However, right from the start, something seems a little hinky about her turning up at the Sanctuary, knowing Will was there, knowing certain cases…hmm…
Back to Helen and John, and Druitt’s concern emerges despite Magnus’ best efforts to keep to the point. It has to be said at this point as well, that Chris Heyerdahl keeps outdoing himself week on week with his acting. Biggie and Druitt are such contrasting characters and yet he plays both so beautifully and gives the audience such a perfect character to watch and enjoy. He’s truly a class act. Watching Chris and Amanda [Tapping] act off one another is just out of this world, they really do bring out the best in each other’s skills, to the point where “John, take me to London.”/“It’s been a long time since I’ve heard you say that.” became one of the most touching moments of the entire series, for me.
Back to the Sanctuary, and things seem to have gotten stranger since the FBI Agent appeared. Top secret material being given to the team really shows the differences between the characters but it also shows the ways in which they really work well as a team. Their reactions differ, for example, Will’s surprise compared to Kate’s cynical response, but at the end of the day, their goal is the same.
On a side note, I like that when Will looks in the Sanctuary database, the Harper Mites come up as “Not available at Sanctuary”…as though he’s online shopping. The smallest things are often the most amusing! However, it gives us insight into previous episodes, this time “Trail of Blood”, and it’s amazing how the continuation of these story arcs is woven seamlessly into the scripts so we’re being fed new information without even realising it sometimes!
As we arrive in London, we find Helen and John with a stereotypical museum curator one minute, the next they acquire the key for the keystone and the next they’ve disappeared into thin air again. A very quick scene in the grand scheme of things, but despite that, this scene still hikes up the interest what kind of relationship Magnus and Druitt have at this stage, a couple of looks could say otherwise to what we hear from the characters themselves. Yet another intriguing concept, and something else I hope will be confronted with something more explicit than the scenes we’ve had so far this series.
Back to the missing crate saga, and the interaction between Will and Henry is both completely serious and mature yet at the same time, it also just says ‘little boys’…especiall y Henry’s “It’s a really good idea.” It’s great to see that the relationship between these two is pretty much back to where it was before the Kali saga. A little bit of Will and Henry banter can always lighten the day!
As it turns out, the grand idea is “Ziggy”…a bird that will hopefully recover their missing crat e…or maybe land on a Tropicana truck instead. Either way, it seems they have no other option.
In the meantime, Magnus and Druitt have found their way back to the Sanctuary, and Tesla, and it’s time to put that keystone to the test….and watch it fail. Turns out it isn’t the right piece to complete the keystone after all. And to that the ‘uh-oh’ of Will calling the suspect FBI Agent back and it looks like a set-up for disaster.
And disaster can only mean one thing: Helen Magnus goes on the rampage. This time, it’s to Adam and she descends on him with no mercy. As it comes to light that the keystone piece they’d recovered is a fake, it’s startling to see the change in emotions across Magnus’ face. As a viewer, this revelation has the same effect of putting a dampener on the hope that Magnus could still survive…
The quick interchanges between the different storylines in this episode definitely keep you on your feet, so back we go to Ziggy and hopefully, his recovery. It’s no surprise to find out that he has; the original truck driver is found dead in a warehouse. Although the discovery of his body also leads to the discovery of a lone Sypher beetle that turns out to be aggressive…apparently not a normal trait.
With that news, it’s time to find out what Corrigan and Will have come up with…and it has to be said, Will needs a few lessons in lying. Corrigan seems to be able to see right through him, and the fact that she points out that Will doesn’t remember her, adds another layer to the hinky feeling. It makes it seem like she’s asking for him to call her on something…Then she plays her trump card, the comparison between them and the emotional pull that comes with. Will doesn’t look like he stands a chance of resisting!
The next chapter of “Vigilante” gives us more of an insight into how ruthless Magnus and Druitt can be. Dangling a curator off Big Ben is just the start of things to come for the whole team. Kate faces the brunt of things when Henry suddenly turns abnormal and attacks. This second event is so unexpected as we’ve watched Henry and Kate grow and their relationship strengthen to the point where it’s almost impossible to believe that he would turn on her, without good reason. Luckily, Will arrives to save the day, however Agam Darshi’s acting must be noted at this point. Her fear reaches you as you watch and you feel as confused and scared as Kate does. Brilliant acting.
And after the heights of shock and tension, comes the cheer of Tesla’s wit. If only “Shoot your employee day” was actually a recognised holiday… However, it does bring about a nice little bit of praise from Tesla for Will. Unexpected, yet once again it shows the changing dynamics between characters as the season progresses. Understated scenes such as these really do change the pace of a particular story arc, and again, prop s to Alan McCullough for yet more wonderful scenes like this.
Having found out that the beetles had been hijacked as a carrier for a micro-abnormal similar to the rabies virus only further ups the ante and now we’re left worrying not only if Magnus will survive, but if Henry will too.
A quick teleport around the world later and we’re now in China with Magnus and Druitt, still on the hunt for the remaining piece of the keystone. Once again, Helen’s determination is mind-blowing…and arguably just crazy. Taking tablets to fight off radiation poisoning, only to then head to retrieve an option that emits radiation – sounds like a great plan of action…
Luckily, the rest of the team back at the Sanctuary are more sensible when it comes to tracking down their criminal. Not surprisingly, the connection between the deaths is the protection of abnormals, and the next crime scene is set to be the Vigil which was laid out at the start of the episode.
As Will, Kate and Biggie rush in an attempt to stop the next attack, it seems Agent Corrigan has decided to set-up her own stake-out and follows the team into a situation it’s obvious she is unprepared for.
Helen’s genius plan of action seems to be going well…perhaps a little too well considering the artefact is in plain view and the room is empty. ‘Too good to be true’ seems to be proven right here as Magnus suddenly finds a knife to her throat, but teleportation and kick-ass fighting skills are as good as anything to get themselves out of a twist.
Unfortunately, it takes a while longer for the rest of the team to get themselves out of the trouble created by unearthing ‘Father Clark’ as the man behind the deaths. First they have to escape from aggressive Sypher beetles, and then Biggie has to find Clark, surviving a few bullets to the chest in the meantime.
However, Clark makes one mistake in all of this; he threatens Magnus. Over the seasons, the team have grown stronger and their loyalty to one another is not something to be questioned. Plus the relationship between Magnus and Biggie is something special, he’s prepared to fight for her, die for her. Even kill for her, as Corrigan finds out when she crashes the party. Seriously, there is something about that woman that I’m not sure about; the way she goes about things in this episode just makes her looks overly suspicious. Not really the best image to portray, yet she kind of redeems herself with her sympathy for the Big Guy. If the writers keep her around, I’m sure she’ll be an interesting character to explore; her motives are definitely intriguing already.
Also, the depth this episode has brought to Biggie’s character is quite remarkable. We don’t often get to see his emotional side, so his outbursts of both anger and of sorrow are a good step forward in presenting the real Biggie, the one who is more than the butler for the Sanctuary. It’s something I hope they’ll explore more.
As Corrigan departs, we are given more of a push to trust the character, Will certainly does! However, Will trusting her doesn’t necessarily address the level of secrecy she’s perpetuated through the episode. Maybe she’s not so bad, who knows?
And as all those loose ends are tied up, more are unravelled to replace them, as Magnus, Druitt and Tesla discover what happens when the right piece of the keystone is inserted into the virtual city. With the answer being that Tibet holds the gateway to hollow Earth, we are left with another cliff-hanger. Sanctuary sure does love cliff-hangers!
“Vigilante” ends with a mutual reassurance society between Magnus and Will, yet it’s also a touching moment that just proves the strong bond they’ve created and that Magnus’ illness won’t break it.
With the closing words of “We’re gonna find the city.” I’m sure we’ll all be staying tuned for “Hollow Men” and will be waiting with bated breath for a long awaited introduction to the actual Hollow Earth. We can hope, anyway!
Tune in for “Hollow Men” this week, and keep an eye out for the WormholeRiders News Agency review on it too!
Thank you, as always, for reading! Feel free to leave a comment or question on here and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
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