Welcome back Sanctuary fans,
The long awaited return of Dr. Helen Magnus (Amanda Tapping) and her core team of Dr. Will Zimmerman (Robin Dunne), Henry Foss (Ryan Robbins), Kate Freelander (Agam Darshi) and John Druitt (Christopher Heyerdahl) finally arrived on our screens to the absolute delight of the fans of the series!
“Pax Romana” came back on Syfy with good ratings as well for a cable series, garnering approximately 1.27 million views for the second half opener of the third season of Sanctuary. “Pax Romana” is essentially the conclusion of the “Hollow Men” cliff hanger episode providing answers to several questions first raised in previous season three episodes.
As we may recall the evil Adam Worth (Ian Tracey) had lured the team to the city of Praxis home of the Hollow Men by telling tales of its wonder and escaping. Back at the Sanctuary previously, Helen and her team had decoded the holographic city map to figure out where the entrance to the fabled city depicted on the holographic maps exists.
Unfortunately for Team Magnus, the people of Praxis are not pleased with their mission success in finding them after Helen’s father Gregory left clues in a Holographic map. Instead the Praxis minions capture the explorers whom are promptly sentenced to death as their reward for being a bit too curious!
Before starting a few words about the outstanding green screen work, visual effects, make up and costuming both in Pax Romana and Hollow Men selected by executive producers Carrie Hall-Mudd, Damian Kindler, Martin Wood who also directed this episode and of course executive producer and actress Amanda Tapping.(which is why she is listed twice in our database).
As always, Brenda Turner for makeup and Christina McQuarrie (whom we followed with glee in Stargate and did the original designs) both do a wonderful job. The creation of cool costumes and the fabulous garb of the various Praxis city characters with makeup to match is superb.
All these team members and so many more are what makes the story telling in “Pax Romana” and Sanctuary so enjoyable.
Meanwhile back at the underground environs, the politically hungry Ranna Seneschal (Polly Walker) had strung up four of our favorite characters to serve “justice” by executing them by electrocution on those horrible Praxis gallows to satisfy her agenda at the expense of our heroes! For goodness sakes people, what is the world (subterranean or otherwise) coming too!?
As we begin Helen is found to be alive in one chamber. In another Adam is taunting John Druitt revealing his vicious scheme to subvert the people of Praxis. Observed injecting himself, Adam obviously has more problems than he is revealing. We leave this sequence with a few people heading towards suspended and seemingly helpless John.
With obviously sharpened knives the fate of John Druitt does not appear to be good for his health. Rather ironic that John “Jack the Ripper” Druitt may get a taste of his own medicine!
Naturally Ranna had other plans for Helen Magnus as we find she is not actually dead. The entire spectacle has been staged by Ranna and her allies to fool the Praxis Senate while their real scheming agenda is about to be revealed. Apparently Ranna and her merry band of apparent troublemakers can reanimate dead folks and she summons Helen to her audience chambers after cooking her in the electrocution gallows before a wee bit of interrogation she does not want the Praxis Senate to observe!
But before the interrogation, Helen is served special Praxis milkshakes that are said to taste like a bit like “babies diapers”. Oh joy! The bad news is that no Big Mac or fries are to be served with the baby diaper milkshakes!
The turn-about for Team Magnus begins after Helen pieces together that something is wrong in the seeming paradise that the advanced subterranean city of Praxis is suffering from. Not only is there political turmoil, but actual earthquakes that threaten the well being of all Praxis inhabitants and us, the feeble dwellers on the surface of Earth as well!
Can you say we’re doomed like the character C3PO from Star Wars? Maybe R2D2 can help? Well be patient we will learn about computers a bit later on in the analysis as we see below.
We also discover that Big Bertha better known by Dr. Magnus as Jaffalis Berteloso and her revenge in the Kali trilogy was stopped in part by intervention from the power of the Praxis society which has stopped the abnormal elements from destroying the surface inhabitants of our world. The Praxis mysterious events are suspected by Magnus that someone intervened to launch the counter wave that Bertha had launched to swamp the world with tsunami in “Kali”.
Praxis a city of tremendous technology, has thrived in peace for thousands of years while we on the surface were in a state of mere technological infancy. Magnus is dismissed but is summoned once again when Ranna realizes she will need Helen’s knowledge of an abnormal creature called “Kannan”, in fact one of the super abnormal creatures that inhabit our world of Sanctuary.
Ranna admits to herself she must work with Helen to regain control of “Kannan”, a Tunisian Theropod, the creature responsible for the quakes threatening Praxis because of an illness that has stopped its critical work, the lovable tunneling that diverts volcanic magma away from Praxis on an ongoing basis.
During Pax Romana we also learn that Helen Magnus’ father, Gregory Magnus (Jim Byrnes) has not perished but is in fact a fugitive from the lords of Praxis! Will we see a reunion between father and daughter? Well of course we will, but not just yet!
Before continuing, a brief note on the fine actress Polly Walker. Many have missed her since her last notable science fiction role in Caprica as Sister Clarice. As Ranna, Polly Walker is delightful and motivated not in a lust for power like in Caprica as is initially suspected. Instead Ranna is dealing with an obdurate Praxis Senate and others who refuse to do what must be done to save the city to maintain peace and order for the entire world, both above and below the surface.
Another lovely guest star is Jody Thompson whom we have had the pleasure of watching from her roles in Stargate Atlantis, Smallville and Fringe to name but a few of her many film and television accomplishments. This time portraying the character Fallon, Thompson is an administrative aid to Ranna, but something does not seem quite right about her. And no I am not talking about her cool VFX slit eyes, but let us leave that particular topic for later discussion, shall we?
In the meantime we learn that much like a lot of some folks we have all encountered in life, the evil Adam has not been quite truthful with good ole Dr. Magnus about his alliance with the city folks of Praxis. Of course he has not been truthful! We need a good villain for “goodness” sakes! Ever since we met this foul character in “Breach” and “For King and Country” we knew this devil, in fact a bastard was up to no good!
Shoot! That danged Adam! If only Dr. Magnus had aimed that rifle at Adam’s head so long ago or only if John Druitt “The Ripper” had stabbed him a few times before he was thought to drown, think of all the trouble we could have saved? Well if that had happened we would not have this wonderful tale to revel in, so let us continue.
The dastardly villain Adam is up to his old tricks and plans to loot Praxis for his own aggrandizement to be remembered “for what every mad scientist wants, doing the impossible” to borrow a phrase from Dr. Will Zimmerman. Personally I would personally like to see Adam served to Big Bertha as a snack! However as I often say, “Patience is a Virtue” so we will need him for at least a few more minutes before we learn his ultimate “plans”!
Before we find out what that bastard Adam Worth is really up to, Ranna, Kate and Magnus head down to help treat super abnormal Kannan the magna tunnel creator.
Low and behold there is good ole Dad Magnus! After several episodes it is nice to see “dad” in the flesh, or what is going to be left of it if they do not figure out how to save the city which is apparently the only thing that keeps the “Super Abnormal Creatures” from destroying all life on the surface of planet Earth!
The sequence with “Dad” giving daughter Helen a hug is nice. After all family reunions are usually a lot of fun are they not? Is it not always fun and games with family during Easter, Thanksgiving, Hanukah and or Christmas? Well perhaps I am exaggerating as bit on that point since we know that some members of a family are not always so joyous to see us or we them!
Fortunately, Gregory Magnus is a good guy and we learn that he has been trying to help Kannan before the end of everything as we know it. He himself had diagnosed the condition as well as renal failure but had overlooked that this was merely a symptom of the root cause of the ailment.
Poor Kannan had been infected by a predatory trachnoid queen whose habitat and nesting area had been disturbed. Once this is discovered by our ageless genius Dr. Magnus and disclosed, a corrective action can be applied. During the discussion we learn that Gregory had sent the message to Helen and that Adam Worth had been assisted by someone else. Care to venture a guess? The answer has been right before our eyes. We will get back to that little gem in a bit and how I theorize that will play out in the future.
As we near the end of this fantastic tale of good versus evil, Adam is confronted and apparently trapped by Will and Henry on the streets of Praxis. Adam is carrying suitcases full of secret stuff for his evil plan to control the fate of all living creatures humans and abnormal alike. Just when we hope Adam will be stopped some of the escorts go white, attack Will and Henry allowing the dirty bastard of a scientist to escape to continue his plan to remake “history”.
Subsequent to Helen and Ranna curing Kannan so the tunneling beastie can resume his important work, Henry and Will figure out that someone has been helping Adam Worth for some time by looking at the Praxis computer systems. Catching the perpetrator comes from discovering the telling of a lie to another supporting character Commander Toland (Nels Lennarson) by Fallon. Will and Henry then ascertain that the missing element in this madness of Adam Worth being free is none other than Fallon herself!
It is her abnormal powers which allowed her to forge Ranna’s computer security credentials so that the evil scientist can access technology and permit him to steal the “Kelloram Device”. The Kelloram Device is a powerful but unstable energy source Adam needs for his scheme to change history by altering the time-line and changing his fate as well as that of the entire world!
Before concluding this review, I offer a word on such foul and despicable tactics as utilized by Adam Worth. Many if not all of us have been betrayed in our lives by people we once thought were allies. It happens all the time in the real world whether in business, families and or interpersonal relations.
We must never forget to watch our backs or suffer the same fate as Fallon who in her own undeniable quest for power in the city of Praxis, became the victim of her own betrayal of that which she claimed to want to protect! And so it is in life, many people are users, not givers and they will lie and cheat to obtain their ends!
With no regard to the lives of anyone else except himself, we observe that Adam also has no qualms about figuratively”stabbing his partner Fallon in the back” using a stun device he also stole from the Praxis vaults of technology!
As the episode draws to a close, evil scientist Adam Worth gets his in three ways. First Helen gets a couple of shots in as he disappears in the underground shuttle system. We are concerned he will escape. Have no fear, John Druitt is waiting to apparently finish him off.
I say apparently because at the very end end as Helen, Kate and Will with guns drawn wait until the the shuttle car returns after the computer system control is restored by Henry Foss. The Kelloram Device is aboard but there is no sign of Adam. Instead, written in blood is a message from John that “All Debts Have Been Paid in Full”!
True to character Druitt vanishes. However the body of Adam Worth is not located. And what of Fallon? My theory is that she somehow saved Adam and that we will see these two characters in the future of Sanctuary since no mention of her fate is discussed at all.
In the final touching moments Ranna and Helen come to terms while father and daughter Magnus are observed chatting. Each decide to go their separate ways once more on their never ending journey to save the world from the evil that lies within and threatens us all!
Sanctuary continues tonight 10 PM EST/PST and beginning April 25, 2010 moves to the Monday night lineup on Syfy. Be sure to tune in and support this fine series as it concludes its third season with more great episodes leading to the epic fourth season! We leave you now with the entire episode for your viewing pleasure courtesy of Syfy via Hulu. Enjoy!
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