This weekend marked the return of Sanctuary when the second season premiere aired. I took a leap of faith and sat down to watch “End of Nights – Pt. 1” although I had not seen any of Season One. I knew it was out there. Fortunately, I was still able to grasp it.
Sanctuary – What it it?
Run by Dr. Helen Magnus (Amanda Tapping of Stargate SG-1 fame) and her daughter Ashley (Emilie Ullerup), Sanctuary is an institution which tries to provide a safe place for Abnormals – nature’s mistakes, creatures of legend which are still hiding in modern. The women are joined by Dr. Will Zimmerman (Robin Dunne of Dawson’s Creek), a former FBI profiler whose shocking introduction into this surprising shadow world led him to join Magnus’s team, and by Henry Foss (Ryan Robbins) the team’s tech expert. Together, with a couple of other Abnormals, like Bigfoot and John Druitt (Christopher Heyerdahl, Stargate: Atlantis) they have collected along the way, they search the globe trying to rescue Abnormals in distress and find ways to help them thrive in the normal world.
Working against Sanctuary is the Cabal – a sinister organization whose goal is exterminate all Abnormals on the planet, by whatever means necessary.
At the end of season one, Ashley Magnus has been kidnapped by the Cabal and the team is desperate to find her.
Review: End of Nights, pt 1
Magnus and Christopher search for leads on Ashley but are unsuccessful. Meanwhile, Ashley has undergone DNA mutation in a Cabal lab, turning her into some kind of vampiric Abnormal. The Cabal’s reprogramming means she now works for them, and they send her on a mission to retrieve a file from English Intelligence about a genetics experiment Magnus work on several decades ago. Several children had their DNA “scrubbed”, removing all impurities and abnomalities. And the Cabal wants them.
Sanctuary doesn’t know why the Cabal is after these now-grown experimentees but they are determined to save them. Unfortunately four of the six are missing. John manages to save one, but are too late for the last. Magnus and Will arrive at the home of the last experimentee too late. A Cabal sub-contractor escapes and hands off her kidnap victim. The Cabal doesn’t like loose ends and later tries to kill the subcontractor. With nowhere else to go, she arrives at Sanctuary looking for… sanctuary. In exchange for protection, she reluctantly gives them the address of a Cabal drop-point.
The team goes to investigate and are shocked to find missing Ashley there. They are more shocked when she tries to kill them using her new Abnormal skills. They barely escape but arrive home with the realization of what their enemy is up to. The Cabal wants to convert the “blank slate” experimentees to the Abnormals of their choice. Just as they did to Ashley.
This was a little weird to watch. As I said, I was coming in cold. But I was able to follow it and quickly caught on. The scenes in the Cabal lab went on for a bit but the converging plot lines of the search for Ashley and the investigation into the old child-DNA experiments were really well done. They also wisely limited the characters so I could keep track my first time out.