Sanctuary totally redeemed itself last night with the best episode of its short run on the SciFi Channel. Dispensing with character development and CGI overload for the time being, the show focused on plot, spinning a noir-ish tale of men who can make themselves small enough to fit through any opening. You can fill in your own punchline for that set-up - We'll see if we can convince you to give the show another try.Sanctuary's fascination with monsters can makes for good fun if you're watching in high definition, but this week, I wasn't, making me all the more thankful that this episode, titled "Folding Man," oriented around a mystery with an exciting, if predictable, finish instead of chasing a special effect in circles. For those that were watching in high definition, there was the occasional visual to get excited about. A flying druglord soared over the fictional Old City setting, and an inspired trip to Austin, Texas gave rise to CGI that felt more like the dystopia of Strange Days than the show's usual monster movie. And the new title sequence that debuted shined as well.


But those were garnishes on a meal with a noir-ish, The Usual Suspects feel. It's a promising direction for the show: Sanctuary's tiny cast is suited for noir, a gritty feel would counter the glitzy special effects nicely, and on a series like this not much can shift radically from episode to episode — another noir convention. That's why the abrupt ending of "Folding Man" was on the disappointing side. Without spoiling anything, we'd welcome a return cameo for the main villain here, the elusive criminal genius Nomad. For the most part they stuck to the main cast in this ep, with little in the way of extraneous outside characters. Perhaps the biggest key to the show going forward is to dispense with the annoying skepticism of Robin Dunne's psychologist Dr. Will Zimmerman, and the show may have put that thread behind it for good in the last scene this week. He and the other three regulars are developing a charming chemistry. No one lacks appeal or is particularly hard on the eyes. Perhaps more importantly, one one seems ready to laugh at Amanda Tapping's Victorian accent. Inoffensive is a step up from actively bad...isn't it?

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