After the joys of vampire squid-on-scorpion violence, Sanctuary delivered the abnormal equivalent of forehead aliens this week, pairing a guy with a pouch in his stomach with a mob boss with radiation-spewing hands and some serious temper issues.
As much as I took issue with last week's episode, at least we got some bona fide monster action. This week's guest-starring abnormals were of the humanoid variety, which made for less of that sometimes lovely Sanctuary weirdness. In trying to get a hold of a rare fire elemental, the Sanctuary team is pit against a crew of Chicago gangsters led by a type of human-looking abnormal called a Dyukon named Duke. Apparently, the Dyukon's key racial features are bouts of uncontrollable rage and they emit a radiation from their hands that makes contact with them very...unpleasant.
Seriously? Rage and radiation hands? Does the Sanctuary universe have a lot of radiation deaths whose victims have handprints burned into their bodies? It seems like it would be a widespread problem. Anyway, this particular Dyukon managed to become a mob boss thanks to a pair of shiny rage-suppressors worn on his temples. When the mob boss's rage levels get too high, his lieutenant presses a remote that relieves the rage with a vaguely animalistic groan. The effect makes our mob boss resemble a low-rent Frankenstein.
But most of the action focuses on our second abnormal, Jimmy, played by Amanda Tapping's Stargate SG-1 co-star Michael Shanks. Jimmy, a former hoodlum turned Sanctuary courier. Jimmy has a sort of lopsided kangaroo's pouch, but instead of using it to hold babies, he smuggles abnormals inside it. Jimmy spends most of the episode nursing a wounded Kate Freelander. By the way, is Kate an abnormal? She gets shot an awful lot and never seems in much danger of bleeding to death, nor does she have much trouble standing or raising a gun afterward. In one of those improbable television coincidences, it turns out that Jimmy killed Kate's father many, many years ago (and wore a really odd hat while doing it). And the guilt from meeting his victim's daughter is potent enough to make him sacrifice his life.
It seems like there was something missing from this plot, or perhaps I'm missing something. Henry mentions that, just a few months ago, Duke the Dyukon was a pit fighter and now suddenly he's a high-ranking mob boss. The problem is, this guy's not exactly the brightest bulb on the strand. How did he manage to become a mob boss? Since he died at the end of the episode, we won't hear it from him. The optimist in me hopes that someone else is pulling the strings, and that we'll find out in a later episode that someone is setting up easily manipulated abnormals in positions of power to thwart the Sanctuary Network. If so, could the next abnormal gangster please have tentacles or something?