Sanctuary’s Murder Suspect is an Autistic Superhero

Last night’s Sanctuary moved us from monster crises to supernatural murder mystery, one filled with dark secrets, family bondage, and a young man with Asperger’s Syndrome and a pair of impressive abilities. Plus, Henry becomes McGruff the Crime Dog and Will reveals a superpower of his own.So, we open on a scene that is suspiciously similar to the opening of the pilot. In a small, dark apartment, a woman walks in on a dead body and a creepy kid. This time, the man has a rather impressive hole in his chest, likely from the rifle by his side. A teenager sits on the bed, staring at the body and sketching a detailed portrait of the dead fellow as a demon. But we know this kid is an abnormal because he moves his hand from top to bottom like a printer. And he’s super fast. And his eyes sparkle. Will’s buddy from the police department asks for Will’s help in solving the case. The death appears to be a suicide, but the police have their doubts, and they feel the key might be the deceased’s autistic son, who draws incredible sketches of monstrous beings. And Will and Helen decide that the best thing for an autistic boy who has just suffered a terrible trauma is to take him out of his familiar setting and bring him into the freaky Sanctuary. And Will’s supposed to be psychiatrist.

Illustration for article titled Sanctuary’s Murder Suspect is an Autistic Superhero

The boy turns out to be some sort of human abnormal detector, with an added bonus: he’s got Superman’s heat vision. The episode avoids attributing the boy’s abilities to his autism, and solving the death hinges on realizing his powers are genetic (and discovering the home dungeon his late father built beneath the floorboards). But as with last episode, the primary plot is less about telling a story than it is about revealing something about one of the primary characters, in this case Will. Will apparently has super detective powers where he notices things that other people don’t, and there’s a little flash effect every time he does it. He’s like the guy from Psych without the charm. The best thing about this episode: more Henry. Henry is wrestling with his burgeoning lycanthropy and we learn that Helen took Henry when he was a child, preventing him from being raised by his own werewolfy kind (It’s not clear why. Maybe she wanted a puppy). Anyway, after resolving to get his werewolf bits cut out of him, his canine nose saves the day, and he decides to roll with his transformation. I’m happy for anything that advances Henry’s story, although I’m less pleased with his CG counterpart.

Illustration for article titled Sanctuary’s Murder Suspect is an Autistic Superhero

And while the episode was lacking in conflict, it does end on a nice note of intrigue. Will’s cop buddy tells him that the murder case has been pulled and that some shadowy figures in a van made off with the body. Is this the cabal? A rival research group? The government? Nikola Tesla? Perhaps the Sanctuary world is about to get a little deeper.


I'll rarely criticize the CG, but except for the opening city shot (not the Sanctuart) the CG in this episode made me think that was we're getting is CD-ROM game-quality graphic. Look at Will's ability that pops object out of the background! This is like a non-interactive point-and-click CD-ROM game! :P The werewolf CG, what were they thining? They should have put a man in a suite.