Calling all Sanctuarians!
It seems discovering a new dwelling under Earth, dying, coming back to life again and saving the world just is not enough anarchy for these guys. Judging from the state of the Sanctuary in the opening anyway. Which of course begs the question: how much fun did the cast and crew have wrecking the set?
In this episode, titled “Hangover”, we see Helen Magnus (Amanda Tapping) getting stuck in the Mother role, Henry and his good ol’ one liners again, and general disarray and a relapse to childhood behaviour for the majority of the cast.
We open with Magnus returning to a Sanctuary with an unlocked door and an offline security system, which is never going to bode well for the rest of the episode. Drawing her gun, Magnus proceeds with practicality and searching the Sanctuary en route to her office.
After avoiding the old trick of an object falling when a door is opened, she finds a rather battered Henry hidden under a chair leads us to the conclusion that something far worse than an impromptu house party has occurred here! Magnus’ interrogative skills discover that Henry Foss (Ryan Robbins) is suffering from short-time amnesia, as he can not remember what day it is, or the events leading up to a trashed Sanctuary. In fact, all he remembers are names and that he has “the entire cast of stomp in my head, and they are not happy.”
On Magnus’ request, Henry recalls the last thing in his memory, which starts with Magnus departing for a conference and leaving them ‘chores’ to do whilst she is gone in preparation for a visit from Dr. Lillian Lee (Françoise Yip), the UN security chief. The ever ironic words of “You won’t recognise this place when you get back” are a fitting reassurance, because to be fair, Magnus does not recognise the Sanctuary when she returns anyway!
We carry on with the flashback, this time to Henry processing the new Mollox intake and naming it ‘Skippy’. Wonderfully typical of Henry! On opening the box holding the Mollox, Henry gets a surprise when a supposedly docile creature suddenly attacks him. He frantically radios for back up before grabbing a stunner and bolting…with the Mollox right on his tail. Once Henry has managed to stun the Mollox, we return to the present day and Magnus’ analytical mind starts to process the events and the possibility of a viral infection, perhaps airborne transmittance.
Upon starting a search for the missing Mollox and the missing team members, Magnus discovers the security systems are down, meaning no camera footage of the events. Henry’s attempt to hack into the server is also denied. Unusual, but after all, they could not make that easy to figure out!
Back to the eerily silent corridors of the Sanctuary, Magnus stumbles upon the missing Mollox, cowered and trembling in the corner of the elevator. Such a contrast to the Mollox we’d seen in the flashback, yet reminiscent of Magnus’ description of its nature. After presumably transferring the creature to its new home, she returns to her office where Henry is still trying to hotwire the Sanctuary servers.
Upon contradicting Henry’s “he’s a deadly little bastard, isn’t he?”, she informs him that back up is standing by from the other Sanctuaries and admittedly, it is a bit of a shame that we do not get to actually see this call with Declan in person. A little bit of Robert Lawrenson every episode would never hurt anyone!
The next step is Henry successfully getting into the server and retrieving the security camera footage, but only after suspicion for all recent events is thrown onto Will. However that suspicion doesn’t last long when the footage shows Henry pursuing and shooting Will on the residential corridor.
Whilst Henry is in complete shock over the recently discovered events, Magnus is her ever rational self and proposes that in addition to her tests on the Mollox, Henry be tested as well. All of this takes place still in Magnus’ office, because every good doctor has syringes lying around in every room of the house!
As Henry returns to his lab to continue clarifying the camera footage, Magnus heads off on her search and rescue mission to find the other members of her team. Revisiting the residential corridor, she happens upon the venue of Will’s shooting at the hands of Henry, but his body is no longer there.
Rather luckily, in Kate Freelander’s (Agam Darshi) case, whilst examining the scene, Magnus hears muffled screaming and with gun drawn, goes to investigate. In a supply closet, bound and gagged, she finds Kate. However, Magnus soon realises that Kate has no recollection of the events leading up to neither her current predicament nor what has actually happened in the Sanctuary over the last day or so.
What she is able to remember however, is responding to Henry’s call for help with Will and the subsequent search for him from the top to the bottom of the Sanctuary before losing radio contact with Will Zimmerman (Robin Dunne). The flashback continues, showing us Biggie (Christopher Heyerdahl) and Kate proceeding to check the cameras in order to locate Henry or Will. Upon finding “Hank” stalking the corridors of the basement, Kate attempts radio contact, which you would think would be a lost cause seeing as he has not responded to earlier attempts, but you have got to have hope, right? Also, Biggie shall henceforth be known as ‘Captain Obvious’ for his “Something is wrong comment.” Great intuition there, big guy!
Kate leaves Biggie monitoring the cameras and heads in search of Henry, on first view, without a weapon. Not a smart move considering her previous career but it shows how Kate continues to settle in to the Sanctuary and the team. Upon being threatened and shot at by Henry, we then see Kate’s quick thinking come into play. Using a fire extinguisher as a makeshift weapon? I approve.
However, that fight is the last thing Kate remembers before waking up in the closet. With 2 team members now found, you would hope that the pieces would start slipping into place, but it seems the writers are keeping their cards very close to their chests on this one as only minimal information on the background of these events has actually been gleaned so far.
It also happens that Kate has no sense of timings either as she presumes Magnus is back early rather than going for the option where she has lost a day. Once she takes this on board though, Magnus and Kate quickly start to bounce off each other until we learn that the tests for both the Mollox and Henry have come back clean for any infection.
Looking for an update from Henry on the security footage leads only to further bad news as he is seemingly not contactable by radio. A quick dash down to the lab reveals clear signs of a fight taking place…not that the hammer hitting the wall didn’t give that away too. It turns out that Will has taken it upon himself to attack Henry for reasons yet unknown.
At this point, Magnus takes on a very motherly role, her issuing of “time out” as well as attempted placation and listening to both sides of the fight definitely reinforces her position as head of the household. Nothing emphasises this more than “Somebody start talking and it better be good!” compared to Henry and Will yelling over the top of each other, each laying the blame on the other and generally reacting like children.
Once she has played her part to a tee, we turn to Will for his flashback of the events he remembers. We start with the ever dreaded filing and unashamedly asking Biggie for help which draws the genius reply of “I’d love to really, but my hands…too big and hairy, that’s why I gave up needlepoint”. There is not a moment when Biggie stops being epic.
The flashback then duplicates Kate’s in nature, with Will searching the Sanctuary from bottom to top for Henry, eventually finding him on the residential corridor then being pursued and shot at.
Back to the present day and it seems that Magnus’ presence may have calmed the general atmosphere but it does nothing to stop the clearly aimed jabs at one another, especially from Will. Henry’s desperate attempts to apologise for actions he doe snot remember go unnoticed as Will zeroes in on one word and loses it with “Do not ‘dude’ me. Do not use the word ‘dude’ in reference to me ever again!” Well, looks like Henry might need to find a new favourite word!
However, “the shooting was amateur hour compared to what happened next:” and we swiftly return to the flashback.
This time Biggie and Will have found each other for a catch up and update before splitting up again to continue searching for Henry and other dangers that the Sanctuary may hold. Will spots a stray stunner on the floor and heads towards it, as would be expected. However, what wouldn’t be expected is for the security barrier to lower right in front of him, nearly on top of him, in fact.
This leads his search through to the main Sanctuary enclave, where it seems the Sanctuary really is out to get Will as the lasers aim and fire around him until he shoots out the main circuit box. That really should be the end of the torture for Will, right? But someone really had it in for him when they were planning this episode because he still has to face the glass to one of the holds lifting and an abnormal trying to drag him back into its lair.
Biggie is on hand to save the day though! With a nicely timed stunner shot, Will survives to fight another day. If he survives the stench that has suddenly permeated the Sanctuary anyway, which with a bit of investigating and a genius conversation of: “What is that smell?” “Me.” “Why?” “Garbage compacter tried to eat me!” it seems he will.
It also turns out that help will not be on hand anytime soon as comm systems to reach Magnus are down and Biggie is convinced the building is possessed, again. Eventually, they headed to the mainframe where lo and behold, they find Henry. When they try to stop him from completing the work he’s doing, Henry attacks Will and turns werewolf before Biggie once again saves the day by sending him flying into the wall.
We learn a lot more of recent happenings from this flashback as the original suspicion that Will had tampered with the server because he was guilty turns out to only be half true and in fact he was only trying to keep the Sanctuary secure.
The attempt to keep the Sanctuary secure continues with restraining Henry and continuing the search for Kate. A search isn’t needed, however, as Kate conveniently finds Will pushing a restrained Henry down the corridor and first threatens, then fires at him. Compared to the Kate’s behaviour seen earlier on, this only increases the feeling that something is seriously wrong within the Sanctuary.
Will draws a blank after being chased by Kate and remembers nothing else besides waking up in the basement where he “realised that Benedict Arnold here had hacked back into the security system and since [he] did not feel like being sliced apart by a laser….”, prompting yet more desperate apologies from Henry and Kate’s usual flippancy of “What’s a little gunfire between friends?”.
After Magnus has once again succeeded in placating her team, she begins to try and figure out what abnormal could cause those effects on people, but she comes us blank. Houston, we have a problem. It seems somebody wants to eliminate the crew and take over the Sanctuary…again.
The news only gets worse as Henry finds an email from the UN Security Chief stating her intention to arrive earlier than expected, which after a quick look at the time, turns out she had arrived 3 hours ago and nobody had seen her…or at least remembered seeing her. Henry’s summation of “Aah, we are screwed” says it all at this point.
Magnus tries to remain her usual pragmatic self in these situations, with the order of “Let’s not panic.” Which doesn’t sit well with Will because “Really? Because [they] have trashed the place, [they] have attacked each other, there’s a psychosis inducing abnormal on the loose, [they] may have killed the UN security inspector…call [him] crazy, but this seems like a pretty excellent time to panic.” And I don’t think anyone could disagree with his round up of events and they’re current predicament.
As if on cue, Henry hears bell in south corridor and everyone but him goes to check it out. After manually opening the elevator, they find Biggie hanging upside down inside, continuously pressing the buzzer and proclaiming “Took you long enough”. Complaining or making light of the situation, either reaction still gives this scene that wonderful comedic effect whether it was intended to be humourous or not. The problem isn’t over with this find though because Biggie can’t remember who did this to him either. Quelle surprise!
To further the story, we go this time to Biggie’s flashback. He remembers Kate waking up from being knocked off, taking one look at Will and running, followed by Will having the exact same reaction, only with an added threat. He then hears a sound and upon investigating, finds that Henry has broken loose from his restraints. Biggie decides this is “enough!” and sets his own plan in motion. Tampering with the gas and ventilation systems, he quickly distributes a sedative-like substance, causing the remaining members of the team to collapse in their current locations. Biggie then proceeds to tie up and gag Kate before leaving her in the cupboard and heading to find Will in the basement.
Whilst this clears up a few questions, finding Will is the last that Biggie can remember and so the Sanctuary team, and ourselves, are still left with a few unanswered questions. Not that Kate and Will think of any of that before they start blaming Biggie who insists it was for their own safety.
Magnus steps into her ‘Mama boots’ again with “Can we just declare amnesty for all past transgressions?” which unfortunately only starts another round of blame being tossed back and forth and Magnus quickly reaching the end of her tether!
Luckily, before the whole situation gets out of control, Henry radios in with a possible find from the security footage and calls them all back to the lab. From there we see a multitude of clips detailing the team attacking one another in various places in the Sanctuary, concluding in a shot of the UN Security Chief shooting Biggie with a stunner. At this point, Magnus takes over the mantel of ‘Captain Obvious’ with the comment of “Oh, this is not good.”
It comes to light that the UN Security Chief managed to enter the Sanctuary due to there being no security measures in place at the time. However, no-one has actually seen her in person. Suddenly, Magnus has a light bulb moment and upon the rewinding and a slow motion viewing of the footage, she spots the cause of the recent behaviours when a small creature pricks Biggie. Biggie having a panic is a classic moment followed by an equally classic exchange with Magnus of “Don’t worry; it’s not on you anymore.” “How do you know?” “Because you’re not trying to kill us.”
In the end, we find out that this creature is called a Pinapex and it releases a powerful pheromone into the bloodstream which makes the stronger creatures protect it, apparently how it hitched a ride on the Mollox and entered the Sanctuary. Henry seems relieved to know that that was “why Skippy attacked [him]” although apparently his naming isn’t favoured by Kate and Will: “Skippy?!”
A deeper analysis of events shows that the Pinapex jumped from the Mollox to Henry then whenever someone was taken out, it jumped to the next protector. With such stringent security measures in place when the Mollox was brought it, it did beg the question of why the Sanctuary didn’t pick up on the presence of the Pinapex. The reason: because this creature was supposed to have been extinct for the past 50 years and was therefore never in the security database. Typical.
There’s no time to dwell on this lapse in security though because Henry soon finds the UN Security Chief on the cameras, and it appears she’s the Pinapex’s protector and she’s headed straight for the catacombs. Have no fear though, Magnus has a solution! A sex inhibited pheromone of the Red Bolwan, which although “hastily engineered synthetic but it should do the trick.”
Of course though, the conversation always steers slightly off topic when sex is mentioned. Kate’s question of “No sex?” encourages Henry response of “I don’t need a shot for that.” The honesty is refreshing at least! That’s not the effect of the pheromone however; instead it should provide them temporary immunity to the Pinapex.
With their susceptibility covered, the entire team heads to the catacombs, splitting up to come at the good Dr Lee from both sides, although Magnus insists on tranquilisers only as she would prefer both charges alive. This may turn out to be a risky decision as they are fired at as soon as they enter the catacombs.
I’ll take risky any day of the week for the comic genius that follows though. Biggie’s method for covering Magnus is quite possibly the funniest thing in Sanctuary so far, and I vote for seeing this “Woo-ooo”-ing again, in any context it’ll fit in!
Magnus uses that diversion to try and strike up some sort of negotiations, but Dr Lee is having none of it, which isn’t all that surprising when she’s under the influence. What is surprising though, is Magnus giving away Henry and Kate as they move round behind Dr Lee. Despite this though, the team are quickly able to move into position, confusing Dr Lee at the same time. Biggie once again provides his wonderful distraction technique and Will manages to take her out with a tranq. Mission accomplished once again and Biggie even gets a little lovin’ in with the Pinapex with “Don’t you listen to them, I think you’re beautiful” in retaliation to Kate and Henry calling it ugly. Once again, comic genius and Chris Heyerdahl plays it so wonderfully.
Magnus is ever the practical one however, informing everyone that once the Pinapex jumps, the previous protector won’t remember anything about it so they will not go looking for it. Defence plan 101 of the creature. The practicality does not stop with the abnormal though. Oh no, with Magnus back around, there is a bit of cleaning to be done!
We skip forward at this point to Magnus talking about quarantine procedures to UN Security Chief as she wakes up. Understandably confused, she looks to Magnus for an explanation and we wait with bated breath as Magnus calmly explains that she keeps blacking out due to hitting her head on the cab door when she reached the Sanctuary. I’m not sure they could have come up with a cover story any further from the truth!
Will and Kate then enter with the supposedly requested tea and security logs, and when Dr Lee doesn’t recognise them, they continue the charade of black outs and placate her as well.
However it soon appears as though their charade has fallen through as Dr. Lee starts to remember things like the front door being unlocked when she arrived and boxes in the entrance hall. She also asks the team not to patronise her because she didn’t get to be Security Chief by being an idiot. Well that depends on the profession, but we will take her word for it this time!
Now is the make or break moment. Do they stick to the cover story or do they tell her the truth? The latter prevails and between them, Magnus, Kate and Will break the ‘situation’ to her with results that most likely leave them questioning that decision when Dr Lee insinuates that next time they might not be able to contain a situation. And that was totally the wrong move. Do not imply that Magnus or the Sanctuary is incapable. It won’t end well. Ever.
After being shot down by Magnus, Dr Lee concedes and then simply wants to know what she went through. At this point, I do not think anything is needed other than the dialogue because the bluntness of that alone is genius:
Will: “This is Henry…shooting me”
Kate: “Here’s Will going after me.”
Magnus: “Will crashing through a table.”
Lee: “What the Hell am I doing?”
Magnus: “Well…I believe you’re trying to kill my colleagues…but I’m willing to overlook it.”
It seems that there is a happy ending to this sorry tale after all. No-one was hurt, the Pinapex is locked up and the Sanctuary has passed the security review despite Kate only just taking Dr. Lee on a tour at the end of day. Team Sanctuary prevails once again although as Will points out, Magnus may have done this before….just “once or twice”…
Remember to tune in for the next episode “One Night” (directed by Amanda Tapping!) tonight April 25, 2011 on Syfy! In the meantime here is “Hangover” and two sneak peeks of “One Night” courtesy of Syfy via Hulu
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