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Sanctuary does Buffy: The Musical

In “Fugue,” a Hollow Earth abnormal infests Abby, while Magnus searches for the cure. In a musical science fiction death match, who did the genre better? 'Buffy' or 'Sanctuary'?

- Season 4, Episode 8 - "Fugue"

I have a confession to make. I hate contemporary musicals. Because I grew up attending Broadway plays and watching 1950s movies, I always prefer my musicals in Technicolor. I hate post-’80s musicals that use the heavy ’80s hard rock and one-note percussion beat. For me, musicals mean both vocal AND visual variety. So, TV shows performing musicals with actors/directors without a musical theatre background while providing rock songs and monochromatic backgrounds rarely impress me (*cough, cough* Buffy).

I’m glad that Kindler and company showed restraint, by mixing music with spoken word, in case we didn’t enjoy the musical part. Although I won’t provide an in-depth critique of the performances, I particularly enjoyed Pascale Hutton’s soprano and Jim Byrnes’ surprise appearance. He has such a great musical presence. I loved when Highlander featured his talents, and I loved him here. Although not on Hutton or Byrnes’ level, the rest of the cast’s vocal talents also impressed me. Although rough, everyone did a good job.

However, the Hollow Earth insurgents setting traps for Sanctuary associates surprised me. I could see their trying to spring traps on the FBI (or similar groups) that want to destroy Hollow Earth abnormals, but not to the group that wants to help them (and, currently, holds the least public power).

Also, I liked the return of the Will and Magnus friendship. FINALLY!

However, one thing concerns me. Each week and each season we learn the difference between Magnus and other Sanctuary heads. Despite their dedication to helping abnormals, the heads always hit a point where they fear for the safety of their loved ones, their communities or their personal safety. But, Magnus never stops. And, despite potential love interests as we saw in “Carentan” and “Out of the Blue,” Will never stopped, either.

However, this week, Will finally hesitates in pursuing the truth while fearing for Abby’s safety. It makes sense now that that Sanctuary’s alternate future failed without Magnus (even with Will in the lead). And, I’m slightly concerned. Will’s emphasis that the surgery should not have occurred, hints that even he has limits. Will anyone brilliantly dedicate their lives to the cause as wholly as Magnus?

Additional Thoughts:

  • I’m glad that Kindler and crew will take their time with the Abby and Will relationship. I hate when contemporary TV tries to force characters into marriage after six months of dating.
  • I like that they’re slowly mentioning Ashley again
  • Getting rid of Kate proved best, because we really see Henry stepping up in the field.
  • I suspected that Gavin had set Abby up. After all, he walked around the halls overhearing conversations; he now knows the combination to one of the cells and he knows where the blasters are kept. I like the actor, but if someone appears clueless and incompetent  on Sanctuary, I typically assume they’re something else.
  • Did they explain why Declan joined the mission that week?
  • Did anyone else notice the easter egg in the opening shot (shown in the photo above)?
  • So … in a Sanctuary: the Musical vs. Buffy: The Musical cage match, which would you vote for or do you amicably enjoy both?


“Stop with the constant apologizing.” – Henry
“Sorry …. My mother was Canadian.” – Gavin

“Oh, don’t worry, Gavin. I haven’t devoured a Canadian in months.” -Henry

“Don’t worry, mate, my Sex Pistols days are long gone.” – Declan


Photo Credit: An Nicholson

6 Responses to “Sanctuary does Buffy: The Musical”

November 26, 2011 at 1:49 PM

I didnt like the promo or sneak peeks but I liked the ep. It worked.
Abby was a little better, more adult.

November 26, 2011 at 2:44 PM

I liked the little “rap” in the middle with Magnus and the other heads. I like rhyming.

November 26, 2011 at 4:16 PM

I vote Sanctuary all the way. This episode was brilliant. I love musical, and was always disappointed with musicals on TV shows… but is not totally a musical, we don’t have the whole dance thing, in Buffy, the characters really looked ridiculous singing and were aware of it. In Sanctuary, even with Magnus does that (awesome) rhythmical speaking she was only feeling awkward at the end of it because she had no reason do to it, but not a all ridiculous! On the contrary, everybody was kinda speechless.

November 27, 2011 at 8:22 AM

Very nice review!

Although there are problems with the episode, I really enjoyed it. I’ve read complaints about the glaring inaccuracies (especially medical ones), but I was able to let that go. I, too, wondered why the planting of the cocoon had to be an attack on the Sanctuary. It was the FBI that got some anonymous tip leading them to that alley. If Gavin isn’t some sort of plant, he could have been the one infected instead of Abby. But I suppose it all boils down to the fact that Hollow Earth insurgents are taking steps to try to populate the surface, whomever they were specifically targeting.

I was surprised to find some very moving moments in the episode – most especially bringing up Ashley.

I don’t always love what they do with the character of Will. Same with Abby. But Pascale Hutton was EXCELLENT in this episode – both her acting and singing. I don’t mind Helen and Will butting heads, but I was very surprised at the ending. I certainly don’t think Will really has what it takes to run the Sanctuary network.

While it was very nice to see Gregory Magnus, the song he sang and the way he sang it was very distracting. This was a man who lived in Victorian England??? I wished I could just enjoy his performance (which really was lovely) and not be taken out of the story by it as well.

I was never a huge fan of Kate (and not simply as a protest for losing Ashley), but I agree that the upside of no Kate means more Henry!

Really wished Biggie was around! It seems his filming commitment to Hell On Wheels prevented him from being part of this episode. While it was nice to see Declan, I missed Biggie.

The easter egg (which was shown in another episode, but I can’t recall which one) was a lovely surprise.

Buffy’s musical episode had it’s points, but I’m not as enamored of it as others. Actually, I was more impressed with the Xena musical episode: The Bitter Suite. And that one aired over 3 years before Buffy.

November 27, 2011 at 6:20 PM

Episode was total garbage, I stopped watching halfway through. If I want broadway, I’ll seek broadway.

December 3, 2011 at 4:54 PM

I Loved the ” Buffy” musical episode! And I was especially impressed with how the best singers were used more, to advance the plot. And it all seemed reasonable to me (once you suspend disbelief to accept that a demon is to blame). Although the music in this Sanctuary episode was alright, it seemed to me that the story had been written to showcase the talents of the girl who plays Abby. Jim Byrnes was great (and why shouldn’t he be able to adapt to newer styles? His daughter has.) Henry was very good, but Magnus and Will were just okay ( though, kudos to them for really trying). In all, I think the cast of “Buffy” acquitted themselves better, but that may have been in part due to Joss Whedon’s genius in playing to everybody’s strengths. BTW, I MISS Kate!

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