So far, in the world of fandom, Sanctuary Season Three of this ingenious and creative series has kept every single human, abnormal or otherwise, perched on the edge of their couches/sofas/beds in a squeaking flurry of anticipation and awed grimaces.
With a WHOLE TWENTY EPISODES (YUS, THE BIG TWO-ZERO), not only has the devilishly talented team at the Studio been able to extend the epicness over months and months, but they’ve been able to sneakily play with pushing our boundaries of suspense. Cheeky buggers.
It’s also allowed them to expand their horizons and push the intensity of the overlapping story arcs even further. We fans are only human (partly), and every now and then we need to be able to BREATHE, so for the past few weeks, Sanctuary has graciously spared our lives by mellowing out the freakishness of its epic, and settled into a lovely little bubble of softness, joviality, somewhat light-hearted stroll through romance lane. It’s nice to see a deep and darkly intense scifi show that is not afraid to mention the word ‘love’ or point a fun finger at it.
Even so, such fun romantic trips are not merely for the sake of our lung capacity and overstretched suspense. Each relationship consist of entire people, with decades of love, anger, fear, adrenaline, happiness and grief behind each. Each person comes from different walks of life, from a different host of experiences, with different skills and different passions.
With the fabulous scope that twenty episodes has given Sanctuary, we have also been privileged to welcome new characters into the fold. Through the various adventures of certain boys, we’ve had introduced to us two new girls on the block: Abby Corigan (Abigail, played by Pascale Hutton) a behavioural scientist and agent of the FBI, and the Hyper-Accelerated Protean, Erika (Pauline Egan).
Both these women are incredibly strong and grounded in their own ways, but at the same time are so DIFFERENT and COLOURFUL.
Given their crazy and unpredictable working environments, and the scarcity of non-dangerous creatures, it was almost a given that our two Sanctuary boys should find some comfort in the arms of these two ladies. But to REALLY appreciate the chemistry going on, we need to have a look at this latest episode ‘Wingman’ to understand some questions, and to raise more. Because that’s how we roll. Innit.
The very opening soundtrack of this episode is lilting and fun. There are a lot of flashbacks which may or may not interrupt the flow of narrative, depending on who you are! I myself found it to be some kind of angsty nostalgic trip down memory lane, and it gave me this insatiable craving to go back and watch certain episodes to fulfill the craving for, mainly, epic Magnus (Amanda Tapping) kicking ass with whatever tools she could find. Seriously. Blowing up a chopper, flailing pipes and slashing tentacles ten metres under water. Nothing unusual there. Moving on…
It was lovely to revisit a character, and also a familiar face, from the original webisodes, with director Peter Deluise appearing as the devious Ernie.
The whole date scenario is sweet really. Of course Will Zimmerman (Robin Dunne) and Abby first met in ‘Vigilante’, but they finally went on their inevitable first night of romance in ‘One Night’, when they were kidnapped by a gang of traffickers. Abby’s beginnings on the show have not been unlike WIll’s. After all, they do have the same background, whether or not he actually remembers it. Her first confrontation with her first abnormal, Biggie, was a bit of a shock, but her compassion and understanding was swift, quiet and sweet.
She seems to confront unexpected and violent situations pretty calmly. I mean, given her FBI training one would expect nothing less, but Will’s initial reactions were a little less believing. Most likely because he didn’t want to admit that his childhood fears were a reality.
This episode is no different for Abby, the delicious prospect of a gourmet Italian dinner followed by a night of canoodling warms her to a jolly glow, and the inevitable intrusion of Will’s insane work schedule (and the ever-present Dr. Magnus) doesn’t faze her in the slightest. As she says to poor Will “As long as it’s fun, I’ll keep coming back for more!”.
She brightly traipses through the sewerage tunnels in pursuit of the Lepidoptera, and offers Henry her hands to be useful in any way that she can.
I have a couple of niggling questions though. Although we have seen Abby’s calm demeanour when they’re plunged into rather outlandish situations, we have not had much of a chance to see her in action as a professional in her own right. We have not been able to see her own skills put to use in the field, and in this episode in particular, she seems somewhat of a helpless lady in distress. Amiable and jolly, but not adding much usefulness to help solve the situation.
She is a little of ‘a sucker for punishment’, and somehow always ends up mortally poisoned or crippled. I do hope we get to see her exercise her brilliance some more in the future! She is, after all, undoubtedly a strong and brilliant woman in her own right. As an FBI agent, there is so much more to be explored!
Erika seems to be the complete opposite. Although when we first met her in ‘Animus’, she was plagued with fear and indecision, her new found freedom and venturing out into the world seems to have given her a sense of self-worth, and she is now taking her life into her own hands. Erika’s entire demeanour has changed, from one of timidity and suppression, to a full-blown woman comfortable with her femininity, and taking on the world with open arms.
We are familiar with her talents and skills as a HAP. Fortunately in ‘Wingman’, we are able to see her full blown brilliance, as she and Henry bounce technobabble of each other…the language taking on a personal deep need of…erm…well. *CENSORED*
Despite the shameful innuendo, of which we can’t get enough *COUGH*, her passion and love for the world of circuit-boards is astounding, as she ingeniously makes-do with the situation and materials at hand. Her talent isn’t just for the lab, she’s on FIRE when it comes to inconceivable moth-man situations. ‘Impossible’ or ‘difficult’ doesn’t seem to be in her dictionary. Yet. But then again, having the personal closeness and with her absolute faith in Henry’s brilliance (somewhat blindfolded at times), she has no reason to doubt herself …or her date-partners!
Her new-found self in the wide world is still apparent. Erika can be, like Henry Foss (Ryan Robbins), extremely naive at times. The fact that she supposes that he can just drop everything and leave everything behind with but a few hours short notice just bawls for some more life experience. It was doubtful that Henry would ever leave his Sanctuary family in such a way, but Erika’s potential as not only perhaps an activist in the abnormal world, but even as a leader in her own right, is astounding.
We’ve only had a short introduction so far, but let’s see how this intriguing woman develops with the series!
Like Erika, Henry can be quite naive at times. I mean, we’ve seen it in random little situations, but his relief and revelation at realising that he, in fact is NOT alone in the world, his discovery of a brilliant and beautiful woman who is just like him, leads him besottedly onward. The poor guy had a hard enough time getting used to the new reality of who he is…let alone dealing with it on his own. Well, sort of.
It WAS immensely fun to see him finally in the clutches of human(ish) contact. The provocative banter between he and Erika is just delicious, and giggleworthy, to behold, and surely the tech geek deserves SOME romantic action. FINALLY.
His naivety matched Erika’s in the very opening scene of the episode. As he presents to Will his amorous intentions for Erika, Will’s shock at the speed of their relationship catches him by surprised. A WHOLE WEEK AND A HALF. They’re perfect for each other!
“Why, because she’s a HAP?!”
Henry doesn’t understand Will’s reaction, but his journey of personal growth through the episode, and in particular the revelation in his last meeting with Erika, sheds an incredible amount of light on his understanding of relationships. As he so rightly states to Magnus: “I know it’s weird, but apparently there’s a lot more to a relationship than just being a HAP”.
Will’s the lucky one in this episode. Though his perfectly planned evening goes inevitable awry, with a sigh he takes it in his stride, and it turns out to be far more exciting than the date he had planned. He and his lovebird even get to sample the deliciousness of Alfredo’s, and we’ll leave the bedroom goings-on to your imagination *titters*.
Akay, I’m going to be brutally honest here. I know Amanda Tapping is working her gorgeous self to smithereens, and we love her for it. But I miss Helen Magnus. I miss the intriguing and mysterious games she plays, the history that always seems to be hidden from us, her unpredictability, her strength and awesome ass-kickness, her vulnerabilities. The little tid-bits that we hang onto in this episode, be it her cheeky but powerful and sympathetic (or not!) presence, or the flashbacks to other episodes, they tantalisingly dangle her in front of our eyes, before whisking her away to the dark recesses of the *COUGH* delivery room.
The little she says is to the point, and either breaks you down into grimacing snorts, or touches one with her simple and honest sensitivity. She is more than a boss to her team, she is like a mother at times. For one, she scolds the boys like a couple of hormonal brothers (I just couldn’t stop LAUGHING in ‘Hangover’). In ‘Wingman we see another two sides to her weird boss-motherliness.
*CLICK CLACK CLICK CLACK*…the sounds of her heels striding toward the hopeful lovebirds is almost to be expected. It echoes through the halls as though the presence of Dr. Magnus is watching everything with a Godly eye, whether the mortals can see her or not…
She cheekily grosses the boys out in a motherly way, pressing on them that what she asks of them is imperative, really they don’t have a choice….unless they want to monitor a cervix. Ahem.
The other side of Helen’s coin is at the conclusion of the episode. Though she never compromises her leadership and strength, her sympathy to the miserable Henry is touching. She strives to make up for his missed love-call by treating him to the date he’d missed out on.
Only to be interrupted by a pair of half-naked and ravenous psychologists stealing half the goods away.
Somehow, despite her “Will you two be joining us for dinner?”, I just can’t see Helen Magnus ever letting Abby or Will attend the table in such attire. It would be positively improper and a disgrace to table etiquette!
Red wine and agnolotti be darned.
Can’t wait to see the epicness and story arcs continue! BRING IT!! In the meantime for here is the extended promotional trailer for “Awakening” !
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