Sanctuary Season 2 Episode 8 Next Tuesday

A trapped in room episode from Sanctuary – well actually trapped in water. It features an angry abnormal squid. Despite it’s alleged intelligence not the most eloquent of adversaries but work-life balance and sexual tension between Magnus and Will is the real conflict of the plot.

So what we really have is a character piece between Magnus and Will. In that context the episode works really well. The format with some short-term flashbacks ensures plenty of action ‘beats’ interspersed with the dialogue between the principals advancing the more human drama. Elements of both characters attitudes and off camera life are also expanded on. The emotional arc over the episode is satisfying and is not resolved through some hackneyed cliché but leaves the potential for will/they won’t they elements in the future. Between this and Fragments I think this might be a real strength of the show.

The beastie was needed to expand an element of danger. It’s motivations make sense after a fashion – at least within the Sanctuary world if not actual biology. At points it did feel a bit surplus to requirements but it wouldn’t have been an episode of sanctuary without it – it would have been an episode of casualty with a crashed helicopter – but more interestingly shot, more cosmopolitan and better acted.

Filming in water poses technical problems and often it can slow down the action. Thunderball the James Bond film for instance can feel quite slow due to ponderous under-water sequences. The watery setting combined with the dialogue based drama avoided this risk as did the landbased flashbacks.

The story finished with a decent emotional resolution and a hint of further peril. A solid enjoyable episode – the structure of the episode a real strength enabling it to punch beyond it’s weight.

GS Reviewer: Andrew

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