Sanctuary :: “Fata Morgana”

1x03ReviewFirst, let me just say that in the past this has not been one of my favorite episodes. It seemed to lack something that later episodes had; however, the more I watch it, the more it grows on me. This show just continues to amaze me.
“Fata Morgana” introduces us to the Cabal (Cabalis Nocturnum) who become part of a story arc that covers season 1 and some of season 2. I talked about this quite a bit in my review of the Webisodes, so I’m not really going to get into that. However, the scene in the Webisodes, where Terrance tells Magnus the story of the Morgana was so much cooler than Magnus explaining it to Will in this episode. But I guess they needed to make time for other things, plus it gave them a chance to include Will, Ashley, and Big Guy rather than just Helen and Terrance. We lost a Stargate actor, but gained another one: Chuck Campbell. He played Chuck the Technician in SG-1/SGA and he plays Two-Faced Guy in Sanctuary. I am really impressed with the list of people who have starred in both Stargate and Sanctuary – I don’t know why, but it brings a smile to my face. If you want to see a really great list, check [this] out. I knew there was some crossover, but I definitely missed some!

Let’s talk a lot about Will …
During the run of the show, I didn’t love Will as a character, but over time as I have rewatched episodes, he is growing on me. I think that Will being new to the Sanctuary is a great way to help introduce the show, and what the Sanctuary does, to the audience. We are trying to figure out Magnus and her world and so is he. I am not really sure how much time has passed between “Sanctuary For All” and “Fata Morgana”, but Will is obviously still figuring out what the Sanctuary is all about. I always forget how uncomfortable and awkward he was in this episode. I guess there is no easing into life at the Sanctuary. I also find it quite humorous watching Magnus break in the new guy: “Keep your voice down! We’re trying to remain undetected. That does require a modicum of silence.” How can you not love her? I have come to like this episode as it has become more relatable to me. Maybe I feel for him, because I recently got a “real” job and have begun making the change from college job to career. That awkward time when you wonder if this complete change to your life is really worth it. You think that being pulled so far out of your comfort zone might just kill you, and sometimes you think that going back to the lower paying (in Will’s case a job where he is less respected) job would be better than trying to adjust to this new career. Will really had no idea what he was getting himself into. It is one thing to find out that abnormals exist; it is a completely different thing to be involved in everything that goes on in the Sanctuary. I wouldn’t doubt that he is having serious second-thoughts, but that is when a good boss is there to encourage you. I think it would be awesome (and maybe a little intimidating) to have Magnus as a boss!

Helen to Will (“Sanctuary For All”): “I need someone who can see beyond the surface, see the world as it really is … You are a student of the human animal. You see things, you read things in their behavior ….Your training can’t help you here as much as your intuition can.”

In “Sanctuary For All”, Helen tells Will what the Sanctuary is about and how he can contribute to the team. We see how much she really cares about the abnormals and wants to help them. I think I sometimes forget how much this all really means to her (and then I think of “Sanctuary For None” and I just want to cry). I don’t know why I didn’t touch on it in the review for “SFA” but it works here as well. It is really only in these earlier episodes that we see Will do what he was originally hired for. Of course he learns how to do more things and soon takes on more the role of protégé. I think Helen probably had that in mind to begin with – she knew he had potential – but she didn’t want to overwhelm him with that at the beginning. He isn’t afraid to challenge her thinking, to give a different perspective – something that she will depend on in the future. I don’t know if “foil” is the right term, but their difference in opinion sometimes remind us that she is 160 years old, and she has had a lot of experience.

One of the very few things …
that disappointed me about this show is Ashley Magnus. I never felt any connection to her, and I really wanted to! The family dynamics could have been so much more awesome if Ashley had been more developed as a character.  I know Will said in “Requiem” that Ashley was 23 and no one can relate to someone that age, but it feels like we are missing a piece of the story. I don’t know what TPTB were intending Ashley’s purpose to be, but there sometimes seemed to be this space between her and Helen. We do have the scene in “Fata Morgana” between Helen and Ashley, and I think we get a nice mother/daughter moment. Ashley lives at much more of a fast pace than Helen, and I think it is interesting to think about how Helen might have been that energetic when she was younger. Not that she isn’t busy, because she is, but I think her many years have made her more deliberate in her actions.  Ashley gulps down her tea, something that I am sure Helen would never do.  It is great to see the little traits that show Magnus is from a very different era.

“Well…I just wanted to connect. You know, we rarely get the chance.”

There are so many interesting things/questions that run through my mind as I think about these two. Helen has been lying to Ashley her entire life about who her father is. And she never told Ashley the whole truth about why she has lived so long. What must that be doing to Helen? And wouldn’t Ashley be a constant reminder of what could have been? What finally made her decide to have the baby? She said that she couldn’t stand the loneliness anymore, but what was going on to make her feel so alone? It would have been so cool to see some flashbacks that included Ashley.

The Crypt …
I guess I am thinking a little bit too much about why Magnus decided to check out the crypt. She said that the crypt “potentially contain[ed] an elixir capable of prolonging life for centuries. Such secrets are rarely left unguarded.” She didn’t know that the witches would be there, though it did seem she knew someone would be guarding it. So, was she originally after the elixir or the Keepers? You would think that after everything with the Source Blood that she would stay away from life-prolonging elixirs. And the sample of the green elixir is never talked about again after this episode. It could be said that she wanted to get a hold of the elixir to keep it out of anyone else’s hands. Which makes sense. Once she found out that the crypt belonged to the Cabal, she was probably glad that she had managed to get it away from them. Who knows what they would have done with it.

Our Heroes Lose…
Why is it that networks think that we always want to see the heroes win? I like that they don’t always come out ahead. I think it makes the show more realistic. Plus it makes the victories that much sweeter. I know I can’t be the only person who likes to see our favorite characters knocked around a bit and be outsmarted once in a while. And Helen is right when she tells Will: “I think you’ve done more good than you realize. We gave them the choice to be free.”

Picture Credit: Swannee’s Screencaps | Transcript Credit: Sanctuary Network

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