Sanctuary is back…with an impact! When we last left Helen Magnus, she had followed Adam Worth through a time portal back to Victorian London, to the year 1898. It’s been ten years since the Whitechapel killings and Worth has gone back in attempt to save the life of his daughter. Magnus followed to stop him.
The episode opens with Magnus standing in the middle of a cobblestone street, searching for Worth. Once she regains her bearings, she pulls her gun and takes a few shots at a fleeing Adam Worth, who returns fire in the back alleyways with some sort of laser pistol salvaged from Praxis. You can hear police whistles as Magnus stalks Worth, and then Adam pops out from around a corner, shoots out a section of a brick wall that falls on Magnus, rendering her unconscious. A crowd gathers around her, and the police take her into custody.
After the credits we’re taken for a quick view of the Victorian London streets, complete with horse-drawn carriages and ladies in immaculate dress, and then to the interior of Scotland Yard where James Watson is being led through a corridor to a cell door, the occupant of which is one “Doctor Helen Magnus,” as Watson corrects the inspector with a smirk. Watson manages to get Magnus out of the cells, along with all of her belongings, and escorts her from Scotland Yard with admonishments as to her manner of dress, that she had brandished a weapon in public and a question as to what she was doing on her own out there. He assumes she’s been tracking down “him,” her ex, John Druitt – aka Jack the Ripper – on her own, and Magnus slips into character as the Victorian version of herself to try and keep Watson from finding out she’s from the future. She apologizes, and Watson insists on checking her out to make sure she’s all right, especially after she stumbles right into his arms.
The scene cuts to Worth being dodgy in the dark London streets, complete with evil smirks. One can’t help but wonder what he’s up to, just in time for the scene to cut back to Watson and Magnus entering the London Sanctuary to find a mountain of crates in the foyer, all sent home from her father who seems to be on a journey of some sort.
Watson is curious, studying her every movement and every word she says, especially after Magnus brushes him off when he attempts to tend to her cuts and scrapes, telling him, “Medicine was always your weak spot.”
He quirks an eyebrow at her and asks, “Was?”
Watson is starting to figure it out. He goes over to her sack of belongings and turns it over on top of one of the crates, pulling out each item piece by piece and puzzling over them. Her driver’s licence, credit card, a butterfly knife her iPhone – which all but has him entranced when it comes on – and her trusty Browning handgun. He accidentally hits the clip release and it falls onto the crate comically.
Now he knows for certain. She isn’t the Magnus from that century, and he wastes no time in calling her out on it. Magnus, realizing he knows, tells him he has to leave, but Watson refuses. He loves puzzles, after all, and he loves Magnus. He’s dead set to help her. Magnus starts to explain how she’d gotten there, mentions Druitt’s name, which prompts Watson to ask if everyone made it through to the 21st century. Magnus pales and answers, “not everyone.”
Watson realizes she’s talking about him, and so changes the subject. He sends her off to change her attire to better suit the time period, and she’s almost caught out by her younger self from in her bedroom. She changes, and then goes to find Watson burning her things she’d come through the time portal with. He’s turning over the iPhone in his hands, contemplating tossing it into the furnace when Magnus comes in and tells him not to even think about burning it. She’s now dressed in something a bit more appropriate, even if the dress seems to be made of all leather.
The scene cuts to the past version of Worth tending to his daughter, Imogen, in the hospital, who runs out to the apothecary, leaving our own, current century’s version of him to sneak in to see her. He tells Imogen he’s found a cure for her condition, but when he goes to pull it out of the case, the jar he’d kept it in has been broken and the contents have leaked out. He’ll have to make more.
The scene cuts back to Magnus and Watson in the study at the Sanctuary, where Magnus is loading up for a fight. The past version of Worth comes in seeking Watson’s help. His daughter has been stolen. They go back to the infirmary where Imogen had been, where Watson and Magnus come to the conclusion that future-Worth has taken the girl. Magnus tells Watson the past has already been altered by taking his daughter from the infirmary, as Worth didn’t approach Magnus and Watson for another two months in the original timeline.
When they leave the infirmary, Magnus all but corners past-Worth and demands answers, interrogating him as to his plans. Worth gives up nothing, and gives up on Magnus and Watson. He leaves, and Watson scolds Magnus, telling her if she keeps on, it will be her who alters the timeline irrevocably. Watson tells her to calm and sends her home to cool off while he keeps on searching out Imogen and the future version of Worth.
Magnus returns home to find the younger version of herself being accosted by a crazed John Druitt, brandishing a razor blade and breaking things as they argue. Our Magnus pulls her gun in the other room, ready to kill him if he lifts a hand to harm her younger self. Druitt intimidates her, telling her the latest killings they’ve found weren’t his doing, and that Watson’s theory was wrong. Before he can hurt her, he teleports away…but not before ramming the razor blade into the wall right next to Magnus’ head. Past-Magnus leaves the room, obviously shaken, walking right past our Magnus in her escape.
The next act sees Watson entering the lab of the Sanctuary to find our Magnus waiting on him. She tells him of her younger version’s encounter with Druitt. He analyzes it of course, and they make plans to corner Worth – whichever version of him it ends up being – at the reform club that evening as Watson has found out that’s where one of them will be. Those plans are cut short when the younger version of Magnus finds Watson in the lab and keeps him to analyze the killings again. Our Magnus, then, proceeds onto the club by herself to seek out Worth.
As she is a woman, her attempt at getting in is made difficult, until she makes a scene and Worth comes and grants her entrance. They talk for a moment, and Magnus tells him she will kill him for what he’s done. Worth is so blinded to his task that he can’t forsee any issues with his plan. He eventually has her kicked out, after she subtly pulls a handgun on him, and Magnus is stopped on the streets by three children, who send her to the scene of another killing. Watson sees her, hiding behind the pillar so her younger self doesn’t see her.
The scene cuts back to the Sanctuary where Watson is giving Magnus a talking-to about not disclosing the information he needs to solve the case. Magnus hints at him that an abnormal is behind the killings, and he takes the information for later, then turns his attention to what Magnus is working on – a poison to mimic the blood disease Imogen has been suffering from, in case Worth is successful in curing his daughter. She leaves, telling Watson she’s going hunting, and starts stalking Worth through the streets of London, only to herself be accosted by Druitt.
He pulls a knife on her, trying to threaten her into leaving him be, and Magnus pulls out her own skills at butt-kicking, and a nightstick, removes the blade from Druitt and pins him to the wall. She puts the knife to his throat and tells him he is to leave her alone, threatening his life in the process. The moment she backs away from him, he teleports off, and we hear the roar of an abnormal. The camera pans up and we get to see this creature. He’s rather hideous looking and Magnus greets him with a “Hello, Jack.”
He leaps down from the roof of the building, right in front of her, and they talk. We find out he is the one to blame for these new killings, not Druitt. Magnus begs him to stop the killings and she will guarantee his safety, and he leaps away. Probably as close to a guarantee from him that she will get.
Next, we see Worth and Imogen in a makeshift laboratory where he’s trying to finish up the treatment for his daughter. Suddenly, it’s so much harder to call him evil, seeing him interact with her. The scene cuts to a rooftop where Watson is approached by past-Magnus. They’re investigating another lead for the murders, and finally making headway.
We cut back to Magnus, meeting up with a group of children, the same three from earlier in the episode, to find out where Worth has been hiding. She’s sent them to follow him. She pays them for their trouble and she heads up to the room Worth has let, finding him cleaning up his laboratory. Imogen looks immensely better, and Magnus discovers he’s already cured the girl. Magnus pulls a gun on Worth, right in front of Imogen, while Worth has one of the Praxis weapons pulled on Magnus.
Magnus is growing desperate. She knows she has to stop Worth before he does anything else to alter the timeline. Worth fires at Magnus before she has a chance to shoot him, and she runs. Worth chases after her, through the alleyways, exchanging fire. From the rooftops, past-Magnus and Watson can see the gunfire’s light flares lighting up the darkness, and Watson urges her off of the rooftop.
We go back to find Worth still chasing after Magnus, and she ends up cornered at a gate. Worth tosses a Praxis version of a flashbang up the alley and incapacitates Magnus. He taunts her, orders her to drop her gun, and she does…but she still has Druitt’s knife from before. She waits for the right moment and throws it at Worth’s leg, hitting him squarely in his thigh. Worth falls, and shoots after her with his Praxis weapon. What he doesn’t see is that Imogen has followed them out onto the streets and he shoots again, his shot goes wide, and hits the bricks of another building. The bricks fall directly down on top of Imogen, killing her instantly. Worth falls to his knees beside his daughter, and then stands slowly.
Magnus and Worth both draw their weapons on each other. He tells Magnus he’ll kill her for the death of his daughter, and she fires on him with the Praxis weapon before he can pull the trigger, and he crumbles into a pile of dust, indiscernible from the pile of rubble around the girl. Our Magnus looks pained, but backs away, running up the alleys to escape being caught. Shortly after, Watson and past-Magnus, amongst a swell of onlookers come running up, to check on Imogen. Watson posits that the eaves of the building must have fallen on her, but Worth blames Magnus and Watson both.
It seems they’ve both made an enemy, and Watson is the only one who realizes it.
The next morning, Watson and our Magnus are on the rooftop of a building, talking in secret. She’s finally let him in on the secret of “Springheeled Jack,” now that he’s gone, she apologizes for bringing him into her mess, and Watson tells her it’s not to worry. He’s plainly excited about how much he’ll be able to puzzle out with everything that she’s hinted at.
She tells him that, now that they’ve cleaned up everything to do with Worth and the Praxis technology, the only thing left to tend to is her. Watson jokes that clearly she must kill herself, and Magnus agrees, in all seriousness. Watson scoffs at her, tells her she’s being absurd and that she should just close herself away from the rest of the world, and rejoin her timeline just after she’d left it.
“A vacation?” she asks.
“From what I can tell,” he returns. “You’ve rather earned one.”
Magnus cuddles up to Watson with a smile, and the episode fades out with them watching the sun rise together.
And really. Yes you have, Magnus. You have more than earned a vacation. TAKE IT.
Next week, Declan Macrae is back! And he’s getting dirty! Magnus is MIA, and things have been shaken up in the Sanctuary Network, big time. Be sure to catch the episode next Friday, at 10/9c on Syfy!