OMGOMGOMG IT'S THE FIVE! NIIIIKOOOLAAAA! Ok, ok, I'm going to try to control my squee urge and do some actual reviewing and analysis. The fangirling might interrupt momentarily from time to time, though, so consider yourself warned. I'll probably also go off on a few tangents about how amazing J-Yo is.
S01E07 - The Five
Ooh, we get a Previously on Sanctuary! It involves, Ash, John, the Cabal, and the lovely little line, "The Five will come." WTF, John, Helen IS one of the five, you're already there, Griffin is dead, and Watson runs the London Sanctuary. So...the One will come? Tesla? HECK YES LET'S GET TO IT!
Establishing shot - Rome - day
We open on Helen lecturing about abnormal brain physiology, specifically an enlarged hypothalamus. Ok, this structure makes neurohormones and regulates body temperature, hunger, thirst, fatigue, sleep, and circadian cycles. Not really sure how having an enlarged hypothalamus is the first sign of being an abnormal...
The case study in question involved an abnormal who could lower her body temp, big deal. Monks can do that.
But srsly, I don't care, because LOOK WHO JUST WALKED IN! HAI THAR, NIKOLA! How about a big round of applause for the amazing J-Yo, everybody! He's gotta be the best person alive to play Tesla. He's played him on stage, is a Tesla expert, and is co-owner of a theater company called the Electric Company (named because of Tesla). If that doesn't qualify him for the role, I dunno what does. But atm we don't know who it is.
Hi, sexy, up to no good again.
Helen sees him, but only pauses for a split second in her talk. Man, she is controlled! She hasn't seen the man in 60 years, she knows trouble starts whenever he shows his handsome face, and she's gotta be wondering what he's doing here.
Come on, Helen, you dud. Ditch the lecture!
Nikola gives a guard a pre-written note. This is a great way of showing how well Tesla knows Helen. He knows quite well that she's not going to interrupt her talk just to go hang with him, despite the 60 year separation and their friendship.
The guard is totes checking him out.
I do have to pause here to mention that Helen says extraordinary abnormal abilities are popping up at an increasing rate. Um...could we maybe explore this in a later season? K thnx.
This is genius on the part of the writers. They've just shown us a massive part of Helen and Niko's relationship, as well as Nikola's character. And of course bear in mind that we don't know it's THE Nikola Tesla yet. The note is to the point - "You will be killed" - and is very exact - "in less than three minutes." It's also authoritative enough - "Meet me NOW" - to let you know that Tesla obvs thinks she'll listen to him. It's signed Tesla, which should make any viewer with a lick of historical knowledge do a double take and scoot to the edge of their seat in anticipation. But the best part is the PS: "You look hot." You do NOT expect Nikola Tesla to say that, and certainly not to Helen. So there we've got their relationship and his cocky character.
Helen's reaction is priceless. She scans the room. Tesla's gone. She ditches.
But when she exits, she slows to a stroll as she approaches Nikola.
She looks rather pleased to see him. Niko's the first to break the silence. "Helen Magnus. Kiss me and I'll save your life." Right off the bat here we're wondering WTH kind of relationship these two had if this is how he greets her. Also, this dude has mad confidence and style.
Helen responds with, "And if I don't?" Her reactions so far have shown that she doesn't believe the note. In essence, the note gave her a legitimate reason to ditch the lecture for a bit in order to see Nikola. If she'd have ditched without the note, that would have given Niko a point in his "Haha, you like me, Helen!" game. Whenever she shows concern or liking toward him, he gets a point. He also gets a point when she gets flustered at his flirting with her.
He says it's been over sixty years since they've seen each other. Now we know this is the original Tesla, and he's an abnormal with at least the same power as Helen.
He asks her to just kiss him on the cheek,
and she is totes ok with that, even a bit pleased.
In typical Tesla slyness, he turns and catches it full on the lips. It took them nine takes to get the kiss scene right, and I totes can't blame AT here. She leans in, eyes closed. Ok, now I've had some experience with kissing in my time. You don't do that when you've just been conned into a lips-on-lips kiss that revolts you.
She even grabs him by both arms and leans in a bit further. OMG, HELEN, YOU BETTER HOPE JOHN DOESN'T ZORT IN RIGHT NOW!
If you watch it frame by frame, she doesn't thrust him back - they break mutually.
Helen probably expected that maneuver on his part. She doesn't scold him or even glare. She just says that he always did know how to get attention.
He cuts back that she's as boring as ever lecturing. Man, I love their banter! Note how he grabs her arm. She lets him, and she walks with him. When they do break, they've stopped and she turns toward him.
Now the Cabal's arrival proves Tesla correct. Helen's still calm, and says she assumes Niko has a plan. Whoa there, did Helen Magnus just let somebody else have first crack at a plan? The way the pair handle this makes one think this is familiar territory for them.
They go into the catacombs. To which Niko has a key and directions he got from the best source for such things: the hotel concierge.
The Cabal isn't far behind.
Cut to opening! That has got to be the best Teaser I've seen on Sanctuary! Ah, look how much I've picspammed and we're only on 3:50! Good thing there's some Back at the Ranch and Ash scenes, otherwise I'd be here all day.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Will is "in charge."
Hi thar, J-Yo! You and your funky name spelling!
Which to everybody but him means that the Sanctuary will function without a clear second in command. That's pretty nifty. Helen is top dog, but there's no definite SIC. Everybody is equal for the most part. Will has yet to learn this. Honestly, everything functions normally without her, too.
Ash is walking into a trap.
A quick dart in the chest and it's all over.
I was freaking out first time I saw the ep. John was still UBER BAD NEWS, remember.
In the catacombs, the Cabal is hot on Helen and Niko's trail. Helen's starting to get a bit perturbed, but Nikola's taking it in stride, looking as if the whole affair is a giant joke.
Tesla asks what she did to get them so mad. Ok, now WE know that the Cabal is actually after Niko and not Helen. So Nikola had to know about Helen's little adventure with the Cabal if he was to make the threat real.
Love how J-Yo moves in this whole ep. He's got this feline grace, an almost animalistic way of moving. Jonathon scales this back after Sleepers.
Vamp-out moment! When I first watched, I thought he was the Sanctuary version of Jekyll and Hyde. Only when Niko talks about not feeding on humans did I figure out he's a vamp. Then I promptly squee'ed for about five minutes.
But anyway. Helen holds a gun on him.
She does not trust the vamp side. I have no idea why she's holding the gun on him, though, since it'll do about as much damage as throwing sock balls at him.
He's unimpressed, though she looks rather startled. Apparently he's on medication that blocks his vamp side. ...This is never spoken of again, btw. I tend to believe that he's mastered his vamp side and doesn't need drugs. He's hyped but slightly apologetic about his outburst. Helen is appeased.
OMG look at that grin! Best evah! He's got, like, natural vamp fangs!
Ooh, now we get to see his other abilities!
These last few minutes have been like a display of Niko's coolness - he's immortal, a vampire, and he can use electricity! The genius of having Nikola Tesla possess these specific powers is starting to dawn on the audience right about now. Helen is not impressed at all.
She actually looks a bit annoyed.
The Sanctuary's got some wiring problems.
In the catacombs, Niko is kicking Cabal butt. Helen has the sense to grab some Cabal weapons. Dunno why she didn't take the MP5 instead of the handgun, though.
Now we get into some backstory.
I love backstory with the Five! Back in '42-43, Niko'd gotten into some trouble with his death ray, enough to get every major spy agency after him. Ok, can we please have an ep about this? It's such a cool idea! Like, a whole ep devoted to this flashback? I so wanna see the Five back in WWII, dodging spies and faking Tesla's death.
"I thought they'd all share and peace would break out. I did. I had my Nobel speech all memorized." Niko has THE best lines ever!
Helen's stopped listening to him. Instead, she's figuring out that the Cabal is actually after Niko. Tesla knows from her tone when she asks how he knew the Cabal were after her that he's on thin ice now.
Here's an interesting side note: Niko's been dealing with the Cabal for years, or so he says, but Helen just found out about them in ep 3. Um, that just doesn't seem like Helen. Nikola looks quite proud of her for figuring out that the Cabal aren't after her.
And for her part, Helen doesn't look too angry at all over the whole mess.
Ash wakes up handcuffed. John's cool and composed this time. He doesn't want to kill her, he wants her help.
And we're out!