Sanctuary returned last night with an ailing Bigfoot, monster-making madness, and more of vampire Nikola Tesla. And we learned many important lessons about everything from dealing with hot female mercenaries to hanging out with Jack the Ripper.

Sasquatch Hate Vampires: We've apparently abandoned the Lazarus virus plotline from last season. The villainous Cabal had created the Lazarus virus, which infects Abnormals with a sort of rabies, so that they go mad and attack normal humans before sputtering out and dying. As interesting as the monster apocalypse would have been, if the writers felt they couldn't do anything with it, it's just as well that they've ditched it. Nikola Tesla (who's been a vampire for the last 100+ years) managed to develop a cure, and has been trotting the globe to deliver it to infected Abnormals. The only critter who won't take it is Bigfoot, because apparently Sasquatch and vampires don't mix. This means that Bigfoot is sitting in quarantine, suffering and gradually going crazy. What fun.

Vampires Can't Get Drunk (as Much as They Might Want To): I'm so terribly glad that the writers had the good sense to keep Nikola Tesla around. He's just the right kind of obnoxious to lighten up the often drearily serious cast. He's taken to calling Will (still the show's least interesting character) "Huggy Bear," and he's managed to empty out Helen Magnus' wine cellar, even though alcohol doesn't affect him in the least.

There's Such a Thing as Perfect DNA: So the Cabal's latest nefarious plot involves kidnapping people who were once part of a government project to create children with "perfect" DNA. These kids had their genomes scrubbed of any mutations, making them perfectly normal in contrast to the genomes of those wacky Abnormals. Really? What on Earth was their baseline for that?


The Crazy Monster Maker Just Wants to be Your Mommy: Since the Cabal isn't going to be a huge part of season two, I guess we won't be seeing much of the Cabal's monster making scientist after the next episode. That's a real shame, because this lady is batshit crazy in the best way. She's gradually transforming Magnus' brainwashed and kidnapped daughter Ashley into some kind of superbeast, but it's okay because she kind of loves Ashley (in a maternal way) and doesn't want her to ever feel any pain. She stole the show with each creepy stroke of Ashley's hair.

Don't Feed the Sexy Mercenary: Since Ashley's gone AWOL, the Sanctuary needs a new hot girl to be its resident badass. Enter Kate Freelander, with the line, "Yes, that's my real name, even though it sounds made up." Oh, Sanctuary, how I wish you were always so self-aware. At the moment, though, Miss Freelander is working as a kidnapper for the Cabal, at least until she gets captured by Magnus and company. Henry is briefly left the guard her, but screws the pooch when he falls for her seductive brownie bar-eating ways:


Hanging Out with Jack the Ripper Makes You Violent: Who knew? Magnus has been spending an awful lot of time with John Druitt, her sometimes crazy husband who also happens to be Jack the Ripper, sometimes by moonlight. And when, in an inspired moment of violence, she shoots Kate Freelander in the foot, boring old Will is convinced that Druitt is rubbing off on her. Oh look, actual conflict between the characters that has nothing to do with mind control or insanity! There may be hope for them yet.

All Monsters Have Terrible Yellow Eyes: If it worked for Where the Wild Things Are, it must work for Sanctuary, too. Ashley's monstrous transformation is complete, signaled by her eyes turning a rather awful shade of mustard. Oh, and she's got retractable fingernails, giant incisors, and the ability to rapidly heal her wounds. Basically, she's Wolverine with more eyeshadow. And the Cabal's big plan is to overwrite the genetic code of the people with "perfect" DNA to make more monsters just like her.

Sanctuary is Still Kind of Ridiculous: I tend to knock Sanctuary for not owning its weird ideas enough (maybe I just want to see more aphrodisiac Tribbles) and giving its characters way too much down time. But last night's episode was surprisingly watchable, even if it opted to play things fairly straight rather than go for over-the-top weirdness. Still, the powers that be can't seem to decide if the show is serious or a bit B-movie campy, as evidenced by this final scene: