This review will cover both parts “Sanctuary For All”. And I do have to warn you that there are spoilers for random episodes through the 3rd season. The first episode was slightly slow in development, but it was certainly interesting enough to catch my attention. The second part was an incredible introduction to Jack the Ripper (even though I didn’t know that was who he was at first – I didn’t watch the Webisodes until much later). These two episodes had me asking so many questions that I couldn’t help but keep watching! I love that we didn’t get all the information right away, and that even once we learned that Helen is 157 years old we still didn’t really know what was going on. This may frustrate people, but it just makes me happy. And I think that this is what Amanda was talking about in the quote:
“I don’t wanna to be spoon-fed the answers! I don’t want somebody … going ‘Here, this is what we mean by that!’ I wanna wonder, I wanna ask some weird questions and not get answers, and go ‘I guess I’ll have to watch next week’s and find out what the hell they were talking about.’”
Since these episodes are very much an introduction to the characters and what they do, I thought I would gear this review toward them. To help myself look at this episode from the view point of seeing it for the first time, I got a friend (who has never seen the show before) to do the rewatch with me. It worked like a charm!
Dr. Helen Magnus, M.D. D.T.C.X.B. (Doctor of Teratology, Cryptozoology, and Xenogenic Biology)
It is crazy to look back at this episode and think of everything we have learned about Helen Magnus, yet still how much we don’t know. We have a very interesting introduction to Dr. Helen Magnus. I was little confused by her at first. Her run-in with Will in the alley had me laughing and scratching my head at the same time. It would have been one thing if she didn’t know who he was, but she had been keeping an eye on him since he was eight years old. Every time I think about it, I get stuck on it. So anyone who has any insight into this, I would love to hear it. Right away I loved her. She is bold and confident yet scared and loving. The time has come for her to recruit Will to the Sanctuary Team and she is very bold in her approach.
Will: “What do you want?” / Helen: “You.”
Will: “Wait … You ran me over.” / Helen: “You got in the way.”
Also, she is confident in his curiosity. When he leaves her at the hospital, there is a knowing look on her face that says, “He’ll be back.” This is who we are introduced to her as. She is an intelligent, educated woman, who does what she has to do to get the job done. So, when we start to see that confidence being shaken by the news that a working woman was stabbed to death in an alley, we start to see this other side of her. I love that her reaction is a slow progression, from when Henry tells her the news, to when she watches the video Henry sent her, up to when she asks Ashley to remain home for the night due to some “fluctuations in the EM shield.” This all builds to the moment when Ashley tells her that they brought in “some superfast psychopathic dude” who had “pretty hot moves for a tall guy” and “had a great accent.” We have seen from the tour that Will was given, that Helen deals with scary abnormals all the time, so when she starts freaking out about this guy, we know that this is not going to end well. Of course, we should have picked up on that already, but you get what I am saying. On top of that, Ashley is obviously concerned and wondering why her mother is acting this way.
Then we have my favorite part in this episode. When I found out that Ashley was her daughter, it added a whole other level to the character. It is the part of her that we can relate to. We aren’t 157 years old, we don’t hunt abnormals, but we do know what it is like to be/have a mother. Once we find out that she had the embryo frozen “until [she] could bare the loneliness no longer” it makes her character more real to us and we now have a connection with her. We care about her. There is so much about her character that we don’t know, but we know that she cares about her family and those she brings into her team.
“You have no idea what it’s been like… alone, wandering this godforsaken world,wanting only peace. A fragment of what we had. What I lost.”
When we are first introduced to him in the alley and we see him pull out the locket with a picture of a much different Helen, the fact that there was a relationship there at one point is obvious. Because the look on his face showed such emotion, I knew that the locket belonged to him. This instantly piqued my interest. It was also interesting that he didn’t know where the Sanctuary was, meaning this was the first time that he had been there. So it would be interesting to know how long she had been at the Old City Sanctuary. I don’t think I really thought about this before. In “Haunted”, Big Guy said he moved into the Sanctuary in 1951, so Helen has been there for at least 60 years. Since the most recent flashback we have is from 1910, there is still 100 years of time where we have no idea what went on between Helen and John. Something happen in those 100 years that made her react they way she did, because in the 1910 flashback there was not that kind of fear coming from her. The EM shield being put up made complete sense, and when John went to teleport into the Sanctuary and was promptly kicked out, the look on his face was priceless. Of course, it is funnier after the fact – when you know that he knew she had it in place for him. There are few episodes where we get to see this incredibly scary side of John, and I think this is probably the scariest of them all. And when he became irate after Helen told him that Ashley thought her father was dead! He is great.
Helen & John
Since I am a huge H/J shipper, I can’t help but talk about the introduction to their relationship. It didn’t take much for me to be drawn into this relationship. The fact that we see John’s emotional attachment to Helen and then see him, without hesitation, kill that working girl makes for a very interesting storyline. And lots of angst! When we find out that Ashley is John’s daughter, the depth of their relationship is seen all over Helen’s face. There is of course fear for her daughter’s life, but there is also pain. Pain that comes from being reminded yet again that you have lost someone who was so dear to you. I love how much their relationship has changed. In “Sanctuary For All” it is all hatred and fear. Yes, there is the pain, but that is trumped by the other two. Then at the end “The Five”, we can see that she is very shocked that he showed up to save her and instantly pulls away. Of course, in “Revelations” she is suspicious of him but lets him in. After the events of “Haunted” through “Eulogy” I think they begin to feel more comfortable with each other, and we know what happens in Season 3 – both good and bad. It is great to see how far they have come and it was very sad to have season 3 end the way it did, but we will get to that review … eventually.
Seriously!? That was the first thought I had about Will. When he asked the waitress if it was the chef’s night off, because he noticed that the drizzle was ccw rather than cw. I had to laugh! I am totally like that sometimes. I didn’t dislike his character, but I wasn’t instantly drawn to him either. I kind of felt bad for him and sympathized with him. It must be hard going through life not being taken seriously. He is so smart and yet has gained no one’s respect. And when even your girlfriend thinks that “you invite the ridicule” it can’t be good for your self-confidence. I understand why Will doesn’t want to take Helen’s offer. First of all, he thinks she is talking crazy. At least that is what he thinks. But, there is also the fact that despite how much he wants to be taken seriously, it is not something he is familiar with. He seems to have become comfortable in his box, and having someone who doesn’t even know him (from what he knows so far) have that much faith in his abilities can be scary. But after he has been given a little time, and is reminded of how much his life is lacking, the whole idea becomes a possibility.
“If you’re lookin’ for resumes, why don’t
you try monster.com … I already have a job.”
“What did you do, Google me?”
I am a huge Stargate SG-1 fan, so I can’t help but make comparisons between these two shows. Helen is kind of like the Catherine Langford character who took Daniel Jackson from a place where he wasn’t understood and brought him to a place where his unique talents were appreciated and needed. Of course, Will Zimmerman is like the Daniel Jackson character. Again, watching this episode and knowing how much their friendship deepens, makes me smile. He thinks she is crazy! His character is a great match for Magnus. He is confident in his skills, but hasn’t had anyone who believed in him. I think he is a little overwhelmed with everything that Magnus has shown him, as well as her confidence in him. I love how she wanted to put him right to work! Also, I had forgotten all about Meg!
“Hate to bleed and run, but I
gotta be on the eastside in twenty.”
When I think of Ashley, I think “bad ass on a motorcycle.” That’s it. I always thought she was kind of a shallow character. I think her main purpose is to help introduce us to what it is that they do and to help us see Helen as a real character. Also, she serves as a good connection between Helen and Druitt. Even Kate has a better storyline than Ashley, though it wasn’t really until “Bank Job” that I really liked Kate. Ashley does have a few great lines in this episode though. I am pretty sure I read somewhere that someone thought that Ashley acted a little too casual as she and Henry were bringing John in. But, she has been brought up at the Sanctuary. John was just another abnormal. And yes, sometimes you forget that the things that you do every day are dangerous, because you are just so used to being around them. So, perhaps she should have been more careful, but that again is part of her character. Just like she didn’t heed her mother’s order to stay at home; she thinks she is bad-ass and will be fine. But, to her credit, she did realize that Druitt was dangerous, and therefore had him put in the SHU.
“Sanctuary For All: Part II” is definitely in my top ten episodes! So great. I know I didn’t talk about Biggie or Henry, but this post was getting so long. I will remember to talk about them in upcoming reviews.