Sanctuary: A Witch’s Tale season 1 episode 7 delivered a finale that shared a bunch of answers. However, a particular major revelation fell a bit flat for me.
Trigger Warning: This review of Sanctuary: A Witch’s Tale episode 7 mentions sexual assault. Tread carefully.
With a mysterious virus making certain young people fall ill and Ted arresting Sarah and Harper in the previous episode, the finale opened with a news reporter announcing that the small town of Sanctuary had been quarantined. No one was allowed to enter or leave. Such a drastic measure was taken on Michael’s advice until the medical team could find a way to properly handle the mysterious virus that many considered a curse by Sarah. Locking up the area also meant that the local authorities and the townsfolk would deal with Sarah and Harper. Due to all of the anger in the air, the mother/daughter duo were in deep trouble.
One of the first big reveals in episode 7 involved Harper’s tattoos. We have seen Harper spend time at the tattoo parlor with Jonny Maloney during the past few episodes. And the finale offered some details. Turns out, Harper’s tattoos were the same dark magic symbols found in the Starcross Grimoire. Of course, having such symbols on her body wasn’t going to help Harper’s case. Regardless of her not being a registered witch, as far as the townsfolk were concerned, Harper was bad news.
I liked how Sarah approached the subject. She had always given Harper freedom. However, as a mother, she had to make Harper realize how her tattoos would come across even if it was a bit too late now. Being the daughter of a witch, Harper should have known better than to play around with such symbols. Even if Harper didn’t believe in them herself, symbols held power in the world she was in.
As Harper and Sarah waited out their fast-approaching sentencing in separate prison cells, I liked how the narrative allowed Maggie to take matters into her own hands to see actual justice was served. Even after being kicked off the current case, Maggie wasn’t going to let Sarah and Harper be executed. She teamed up with Ryan to figure out who was responsible for Jake’s unfortunate death. I mean, we knew it was Michael, but it was nice to see Maggie and Ryan work together to expose him.
Izzy continued to try and do what she could to help Harper. Another major revelation involved the truth behind Daniel’s death at the warehouse. Though the previous episode showed Izzy drawing the dark symbols on a piece of paper, I kind of felt the writers were trying to mislead the audience. And I was right. The flashback showed that yes, Izzy did climb the stairs to confront Daniel at the party. However, she didn’t cast a curse on him. She’s not a witch at all. Apparently, their heated argument led to Daniel losing his balance and falling. His death was indeed a non-magical accident.
However, what wasn’t a non-magical accident was Daniel’s first death which occurred six years ago. But I’ll get to that in a second.
One of the most fun scenes for me during the finale was Abigail visiting Sarah in her cell. The two actresses knocked it out of the park during that particular interaction. Not only did Abigail continue to deny Harper’s innocence, but she also wanted Sarah to confess to killing Jake even though Abigail knew Michael was responsible.
I loved how Sarah finally saw Abigail for the monster she had become (some would argue that Abigail was never a nice person). After everything Abigail had done and what she was about to do next, there could be no forgiveness for her, especially not from Sarah’s side.
With Abigail fuming over Sarah not bowing down to her wishes, Abigail leading the public execution made for a very intense climax. Again Abigail used religious scripture to lend support to her vengeful crusade. She wasn’t going to stop until Sarah and Harper were dead. Even Michael tried to reason with her, stating that they could be easily exposed for what they did to Jake if there was a formal investigation. But Abigail was too far gone.
I had been wondering about how the writers could bring Abigail’s story to an end. In my opinion, imprisonment wasn’t going to cut it. So, yay to the writers for killing Abigail in a manner that gave Harper the power to protect herself and Sarah after everything they had been put through.
And that brings us to the biggest reveal in the finale.
Harper had been a witch after all.
Her magic kicked in six years ago when she saw Daniel trying to force himself on Izzy. The outburst of her magical power pushed Daniel out of the window and to his death. The incident left Harper traumatized which led to her using certain dark symbols to keep her magic concealed over the years.
Harper had no choice but to tap into her magic again to prevent herself and Sarah from being hanged in public. Harper cast a spell to make Abigail see Daniel. Abigail followed so-called Daniel up the warehouse and then jumped to her death.
Maggie stepped in with Jake’s toxicology report that made Ted realize Michael had killed his son. Ted shot Michael and before he could shoot Harper, he got electrocuted when his bullet hit a speaker (due to magic).
I’m all for Ted, Michael, and Abigail dying in the finale because, again, there was no road to forgiveness for them.
As for the truth about Harper being a witch, I do feel the writers could have handled it a lot better. Apparently, Harper’s so powerful that she doesn’t need to use magical words or make hand signs. I’m okay with Harper being an OP witch. But I would have appreciated the writers hinting at such witches existing.
Throughout the season we have been told how spell recitation and hand gestures were in witchcraft. That’s why seeing Harper perform magic without doing any of those things didn’t sit right with me. A throwaway line about such witches existing over the centuries, even if it was mentioned way back during the first episode, would have helped bring everything full circle instead of Harper’s truth coming across as a “reveal” just for the sake of it.
With Sarah and Harper leaving Sanctuary to start a new life, I would liked for them to share a final goodbye with Izzy. Bridget and Julia should have also said some parting words. There was no reason for Sarah to continue staying friends with those two, but still, they should taken that moment as a chance to apologize for not supporting her.
Maggie deciding to not mention magic at all in her official report made sense. Witchcraft was involved at the warehouse incident. Maggie and Ryan had seen it. However, Maggie’s comment about the law being stacked against witches held true to her character. She couldn’t change the law herself, but she could still do something to help Sarah and Harper.
All in all, Sanctuary: A Witch’s Tale was a fun show for me. It wasn’t the most well-written, of course, with certain narrative decisions coming across as plot conveniences and the finale being rushed. But I would still deem it as an ambitious take that handled themes of human nature, discrimination, sexual assault, and more against the backdrop of witchcraft.
Some other thoughts and questions:
- Maggie needs to break up with her boss/boyfriend. The way he refused to help Maggie even after she was clear about her wanting to support Sarah and Harper due to lack of evidence against them… ufff! He’s not worth it, Maggie.
- Speaking of breaking up, Bridget needs to do the same with Cheryl. Not only did Cheryl not believe Izzy but I can’t believe how Bridget was okay staying married to someone like Cheryl after how she continued to treat Sarah and Harper.
- At least, I will give Bridget points for finally finding the strength to stand up to Abigail even though she was unable to actually stop her former friend.
- Will Sarah continue staying in contact with Pierre? I hope she does.
- The lack of witches in such a show felt weird. You would think that other witches as well as non-magical supporters of witchcraft would have done more to help Sarah and Harper, even if constituted posting supportive content online.
- I’m still confused about Harper’s relationship with Daniel. If she was aware of his disgusting actions, why was she still his on-again-off-again-girlfriend? I wish the writers explained that better.
What did you think of Sanctuary: A Witch’s Tale season 1 episode 7?
Let us know.
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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