Warning: the following review contains mild spoilers.
The third season of Sanctuary has drawn to a close. “Into the Black” goes back to the main arcs of the first half of the season and involves both Hollow Earth and mad 19th century scientist Adam Worth, AKA Jekyll and Hyde.
Worth is probably the best villain Sanctuary has yet produced, and this episode improves him a bit further. By the end of the midseason two-parter, he’d been reduced to a very bland “crazy guy trying to blow up the world for no reason.” “Into the Black” upgrades him to “crazy guy trying to blow up the world so he can go back in time and save his daughter’s life.” Which is still pretty cliche, but it’s at least a compelling cliche.
“Into the Black” also features the return of John “Jack the Ripper” Druitt, who is his usual “vulnerable yet frightening yet noble yet bat$&!# insane” self. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: this show would be improved immeasurably if John was a more regular cast member.
There’s a lot of epic, end of the world stuff going in this episode, but some of it feels a little glossed over and underdeveloped, and it doesn’t have quite the impact it should. Such is life for a Sanctuary fan, unfortunately.
“Into the Black” also brings an angle we haven’t seen much of in Sanctuary before now: the political angle. A good chunk of the episode has the Sanctuary team arguing with UN and military representatives on how to handle the current crisis, as well as how to keep such massive events hidden from the public, with Henry “the writers keep forgetting I’m a werewolf” Foss even going so far as to suggest removing the veil of secrecy from the Sanctuary network and going public with the knowledge of Abnormals. Although these are things we see a lot of in stories like this, I found these angles on the story quite interesting, and I hope they continue to pursue them next season.
In addition to Helen’s race against time (pun intended) to stop Adam Worth, this episode also features a group of particularly nasty refugees from Hollow Earth. The problem with this arc is that the refugees’ leader is none other than WWE wrestler Edge, and a poorer casting choice I can’t imagine. He’s basically playing the same damn character he plays when wrestling, and he’s not even that good at it. It’s distracting and just… bad.
Still, ridiculous stunt casting aside, this episode was pretty good. I have only one other complaint, and it’s the complaint I have about virtually every Sanctuary episode: needs more Tesla. Seriously, they gotta do a spin-off about this guy or something.
Overall rating: 8/10.
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