Sanctuary: A Witch’s Tale 1×04 Review: Episode 4

Sanctuary season 1 episode 4 review
Abigail addressing the people present at Daniel’s vigil in Episode 4 of Sanctuary: A Witch’s Tale

With only three episodes left, Sanctuary: A Witch’s Tale episode 4 continued to showcase that things were going to get a whole lot worse for Sarah and Harper before hopefully getting better. However, at this point, I’m not even sure if the two can continue living in Sanctuary once all is said and done.

Trigger Warning: This review of Sanctuary: A Witch’s Tale episode 4 mentions sexual assault. Tread carefully.

Episode 4 of Sanctuary: A Witch’s Tale was about making Sarah realize that she indeed had to face Abigail’s hate campaign alone. Regardless of the power Sarah held as a witch, it wasn’t going to be easy for her to take on an entire small town on her own.

Sarah reaching out to The MOOT for help made sense. The latest episode opened with MOOT agent Robert Alton (Marcus Lamb) arriving in town to conduct an independent investigation. He even detected the dark cloud of magical smoke still residing inside the warehouse where Daniel died. Robert seemed like a capable investigator. But the moment he told Sarah that The MOOT would offer their aid as long as there weren’t any instances of transgressions from Sarah’s side I knew she was in trouble. We’re aware that Sarah’s been helping the people of Sanctuary in a variety of ways and she has done things for her friends that fall outside of her duties as a professional witch. It was only a matter of time before Robert sensed something was up.

With Robert meeting Sarah at her house, I have to say that Sarah not being able to detect him being a witch left me a bit confused. The previous episode made a whole thing about how witches were able to recognize each other if they were close enough. And yet Sarah’s facial expression did not indicate seeing a fellow witch when Robert arrived at her doorstep. Perhaps she kept a poker face on purpose and only let her guard down when he showed her his card? Hmmm.

Due to Harper going public with what Daniel did to her, the current case became tougher for Maggie and her partner Ryan to handle. The public was applying pressure on the police department to arrest Sarah and Harper especially because Harper’s story gave the mother-daughter duo the motive to kill Daniel.

Maggie asked Sarah in for an interrogation concerning the murder investigation which led us to a conversation I kind of felt was inevitable since the show began. Sarah told Maggie that she didn’t appreciate how she was being treated and went on a spiel about how the witch community continued to live in fear even if witchcraft had been made legal around the world. Witches were still afraid of certain laws being pulled back and being discriminated against.

I mean, I get where Sarah’s coming from. However, seeing Sarah say all of that to Maggie felt weird to me. I say that because Sarah’s concerns were, at the end of the day, fictional. Sarah doesn’t exist and yet the fear she was talking about was similar to what people of color and other minority groups continue to live with in the real world. There are still unfortunate instances of certain people being murdered because of the color of their skin and their sexuality, with some of the instances even being justified under the so-called law of the land. That’s why having Sarah talk like that made me roll my eyes. Again, it was a conversation I knew was going to come sooner or later but I still didn’t enjoy listening to it.

It’s also kind of similar to how certain people in the X-Men fandom are tired of Marvel Comics using cishet white mutant characters as the face of a narrative metaphor that’s supposed to reflect the injustices, hatred, and discrimination experienced by minority groups.

With Sarah trying to do what she could to protect Harper, Abigail’s husband came up with a plan to hold a vigil in Daniel’s memory. Of course, a bunch of people arrived to show their support. They weren’t going to let Harper’s story tarnish the reputation of a young boy who was adored by many.

A major moment during the vigil involved Abigail deciding to go public with Julia asking Sarah to use magic to keep Albie from leaving her. I enjoyed the way Abigail was able to piece everything together after remembering what Albie told her about waking up one day to realize he didn’t want to leave Julia for her. As someone who has asked Sarah for help many times before and with Julia and Bridget continuing to bring up how much they owed Sarah, Abigail deducing that magic was involved in forcing Albie to stay with Julia made sense.

Though Albie cheated on Julia, I have to say that what she did was worse. You don’t take away a person’s willpower or consent just so they stay with you. Albie was understandably upset after hearing about possibly being manipulated by magic in such a manner. It also made the rest of the townsfolk worry about possibly being under Sarah’s influence already.

I’m looking forward to seeing if Julia will be able to rectify the situation or not. Personally, I want Julia to let Albie go. Trying to force a cheating husband to stay with you is never worth it. Also, I’m interested in seeing if Julia knew Albie was cheating on her with Abigail because if she did know or even suspect it and yet continued to remain friends with Abigail… like, girl, have some self-respect!

Another secret that was alluded to was Sarah helping Ted with something in the past. Sarah brought that up when she went over to Ted’s to get Jake to take his statement back. I’m not sure, but I think Sarah might have used magic to cure Jake of an ailment or something.

With certain secrets coming out, it’s only a matter of time before the biggest secret in Sanctuary, about Sarah bringing a young Daniel back from death six years ago, gets revealed. I’m actually surprised Julia didn’t blurt that out during the vigil when Abigail talked about Albie cheating on her.

As for the progress being made in the actual murder case, due to Maggie not being able to arrest Sarah because Harper told her the truth about Sarah not knowing about what Daniel did before his death (I don’t blame Sarah for not telling that to Maggie herself because she wanted to protect her daughter), Maggie also spent time trying to make sense of what Harper said about Daniel assaulting someone else as well.

The fourth episode had Maggie have a conversation with Beatrice which served as another example of just how enamored everyone was with Daniel for some reason. Beatrice didn’t even try to hide how jealous she was of Daniel being in love with Harper. As far as Beatrice was concerned, Daniel could never do anything to hurt Harper because all he wanted was for Harper to love him back.

Her opinion just made me sigh. Either Beatrice’s too young to understand why Daniel did what he did to Harper under the pretense of “love” or she deliberately didn’t want to think too much about it. Manipulative and narcissistic people like Daniel being more than willing to hurt others because they can’t accept any form of rejection is a thing.

The episode concluded with Beatrice’s emotions making her order a bunch of Daniel’s friends to pick up Harper and dunk her in a fountain to test if she was a witch. I don’t know why none of the school teachers intervened. Maybe they will during the beginning of episode 5 because we know Harper gets to live… at least, for now.

As for Robert telling Sarah that The MOOT won’t provide any aid because she hasn’t been following the code of conduct as a practicing witch… I mean, I saw that coming. She tried to plead her case but Robert wasn’t having any of it. The bottom line was that Sarah’s been “helping” the townsfolk a bit too much. It’s as if she thought that being useful to others was the only way she could get them to like her. I understand Sarah’s insecurity. Certain people do feel that they can “buy” friends or try to be people pleasers to create a social circle. But as Sarah’s situation demonstrated, such friendships aren’t real. 

Circling back to how I opened my review, with the amount of hatred being thrown at Sarah and Harper, I can’t see how they will be able to continue living in Sanctuary even after clearing their names. No amount of apologizing would be enough to wash away what’s been happening and (judging from the trailer) what’s about to happen to those two.

Some other thoughts and questions:

  • Why was everyone so in love with Daniel? It just comes across as weird.
  • Sarah using magic to lock the front door to make Harper stay inside the house made me laugh. How can you possibly argue with your mother if she happens to be a witch?
  • Ted had a layered moment where he tried to reach out to Jake regarding Harper’s allegations against Daniel. It’s serious stuff. But said moment was short-lived as he immediately switched back into attack mode when Sarah showed up at his door. Maybe there’s hope he will offer some kind of support to Sarah down the line. We’ll find out soon enough.
  • Sarah not having witch friends makes no sense to me. She comes across as very alone as a professional witch even though the narrative has, in my opinion, shared that witch folk are more or less a tight-knit community. 

What did you think of Sanctuary: A Witch’s Tale season 4?

Let us know.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

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2 thoughts on “Sanctuary: A Witch’s Tale 1×04 Review: Episode 4

  1. I don’t watch the show, but I can tell you that the whole “everyone loves Daniel” thing is absolutely a small town thing. I grew up in a town of 1200 people, we had those guys too.

    1. I’m still hoping for some kind of magical explanation for it… his grip on the townsfolk is way too tight for who he was!!! Lol

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