When someone lies to you, can you forgive them and move past your initial judgment of the liar? When a parent fails to live up to your expectations, how long do you hold on to the disappointment and anger? These two questions are tackled in a surprisingly moving episode about forgiveness and learning how to listen to the people who have disappointed you.
Will is in Monrovia to help the local Sanctuary financially. However, Will’s plan is complicated by the local unrest due to the upcoming elections. While walking in the street, Will is momentarily distracted by motorists in need. He is hit in the head and knocked out. He loses consciousness as his attackers rob him. When Will regains consciousness, his eyes are red. He can’t see. The leader of the local Sanctuary helps Will and takes Will to his cousin’s home.
Back at the Sanctuary, Henry and Bigfoot debate what a good gift would be to give Will. Will’s birthday is a couple of days away. An alarm interrupts their debate. Helen, Henry, and Bigfoot go to the roof, ready to defend the Sanctuary from intruders. Are they under attack? No. Two flying Abnormals land. Helen recognizes them. Bruno and Shelia have made an unannounced visit. Bruno apologizes for not calling first, but insists his actions are warranted because Sheila is injured. Helen welcomes the bickering pair to the Sanctuary.
After Helen exams Sheila, she tells Henry that the wounds do not match the pair’s story. Helen is not sure why they would be faking the injury. She has dealt with Bruno in the past, so she knows Bruno always has an angle. Another alarm sounds. Helen and Henry find Bruno by the armory.
Helen demands to know what Bruno is really after. Stunners, he tells her, so he can take care of some smugglers. With his intel and her experience, Bruno suggests they join forces. Helen doubts his story. Bruno dares her to call his bluff. Helen agrees to help, but vows to keep Bruno on a tight leash.
Helen, Henry, Bruno and Sheila arrive at the shipping container. Helen tells Bruno and Sheila to stay in the van. Bruno tells her that is a big mistake. Helen retorts, “I’ll live with it.”
Helen and Henry are ambushed, but they quickly handle the attack. Bruno and Sheila exit the van. Helen realizes Bruno must be after something and catches him. Bruno tries to flatter her, but Helen cuts through his slick words and accuses him of lying. We upheld our end of the deal, Bruno says. Helen got Red-Listers, and now Bruno, since his has the diamonds, can carry out the rest of his plan.
Bruno smoothly weaves his words, twisting and knotting the threads of his story. A lesser person would fall for his tale, but not Helen. Bruno claims that he needs the diamonds to buy weapons to sell to another smuggler to free the orphans.
Helen and Henry stare at him in stunned silence.
Back in Monrovia, Will’s eyes have been bandaged, and he has been left painkillers. Numbed by morphine, Will’s mind drifts back to his past, and memories with his dad come to the surface. People from Will’s past walk through the room and into and out of Will’s memory, mimicking Will’s state of mind. The sequences are shot so the special effects blend seamlessly together. The camera moves slowly and fluidly as we are shown key moments between Will and his father.
We first see Will and his father at his mother’s grave. She has been dead for a year. Will is still devastated by the loss, but his father is preoccupied about a business meeting in Houston. To young Will, his father is distant and cold, but grief affects people differently, and young Will doesn’t realize that his father probably is not capable of dealing with his emotions in a healthy manner. From the other memories we learn that Will’s father wasn’t the best dad. He failed to take Will to a baseball on his son’s birthday, and his father didn’t manage the family finances very well. When Will was in college, he discovered evidence of his father’s fraud, and he told his father that he didn’t have to pay for anything anymore, telling his father that they are done. But they are not. In the last memory, Will visits his father in prison. Will, almost out of Quantico, wants to help, but his father vehemently tells him to stay out of it. Will leaves hurt.
At the Sanctuary, Helen has placed Bruno and Sheila in a cell so she can have some peace. The couple bickers, and Helen needs Bruno out of the way so Henry can investigate Bruno’s story. Henry discovers that Bruno is right about the weapons. The weapons are designed to kill Abnormals. Helen tells Bruno that she is going to stop the shipment. Bruno tells her his presence is necessary because he has made a deal with the seller. If he’s not there, then the deal won’t happen. Helen agrees to take Bruno and Sheila along.
Helen and Henry provide cover as Bruno and Sheila approach the seller’s van. The man inside the van is dead. Bruno and Sheila are ambushed, and Helen and Henry subdue the attackers. With Helen distracted, this gives Bruno and Sheila time to take the weapons. Angered, Helen declares it is time to go bird hunting.
And Helen quickly finds the pair on a rooftop. Immediately, the skilled con man assures Helen that they did not betray her. “I was about to call you,” Bruno coos. Helen’s not buying what Bruno’s trying to sell her. Henry takes the weapons, and Helen gets the diamonds back. Sheila pleads with her. The orphans need their help. To Helen, since her trust has been betrayed, she has no other choice. Helen and Henry leave.
Sheila is devastated. Sitting on the edge of the roof, Bruno comforts his wife. Throughout the episode, their attraction has been evident. She is fiery and passionate, and he is the wily planner. They have heat in their relationship, but good relationships, good marriages have more than lust. This scene is short, but in this brief moment Bruno and Sheila show us how solid their relationship is. He promises her that their plan is not over; they will see things through. Sheila believes him, and I believe him. Bruno seems the type to always have a plan. Bruno stands and teases Sheila a little. He gets her to smile. They fly away.
Helen wonders if she was too rash with Bruno and Sheila. Henry tells her that the pair lied, but Helen knows Bruno exaggerates and is selective about what he reveals, but not a liar. Bruno has been partially right about the events, but he is just hiding key facts. Henry wants to be done with the pair, but Helen says that perhaps it is time for them to stop being so judgmental. They are on the outside now, and their renegade status has given Helen new perspective. Taking things at face value without asking questions or digging deeper is not the way to do things now. Helen tells Henry to investigate Bruno’s story.
Henry discovers a smuggler who has outstanding warrants for trafficking in Abnormals. Bruno was right. Helen knows Bruno will try something. They leave.
We cut to Bruno and Sheila. Their hands are bound by chains attached to the ceiling. Bruno, in true Bruno fashion, tries to talk his way out of the situation, but the smuggler orders his goons to kill the lovebirds. Just in time, Helen and Henry save Bruno, Sheila, and the orphans. Yes, Bruno was right about the orphans. The children are flying Abnormals like Sheila and Bruno. Now the pair is a family.
Will is back from Monrovia. Henry spills the beans about Will’s birthday surprise, but he tells Helen and Henry he has other plans. Will’s father enters. A lesser script would have had the father blubbering about how he was wrong all these years, but this script stays true to the characters. Time has given Will the ability to accept his father as the man he is. Will now understands that his father does not know how to communicate his feelings very well, so when his father gives him a signed baseball, Will knows it is his father’s way of saying, “I love you. I messed up, but I did the best I could.” Will and his father hug.
It’s easy to live in anger, to judge others quickly, and to refuse to reevaluate your perspective about events. But Will and Helen took moments to take another look, to see events from a different point of view, and to admit that sometimes your first reaction isn’t the best or correct reaction. Helen decided to believe Bruno’s intentions behind the lies, and Will realized that his father was a grief-stricken man who tried to raise his son the best way he could. Will said early in the episode that they are currently living in “a brave new world.” Forgiving others takes an open mind and an open heart, and Helen and Will showed they are open and ready for what is needed to adapt and to survive this brave new world.
If you missed the previous episode you can read our ‘Sanctuary: Resistance’ recap to catch up.