Season 4   Episode   Overview   Credits   Transcript    
Icon tv TV Series

The Russian icebreaker, forzen in the midde of nowhere.

Episode No.   Season
53 4x07 4
Original Air Date
November 18th, 2011
Written By
Directed By
Chronological Information
Preceded By
Followed By

"Icebreaker" is the seventh episode of the fourth season of Sanctuary, and the fifty-third episode overall in the series.


When a team from the UK Sanctuary gets in trouble on a stranded icebreaker in the Bering Sea, Magnus and Will must figure out who is behind the mysterious happenings at sea.


Opening Scene

As a Russian icebreaker lies frozen in the middle of a seemingly endless plain of ice, a four-man team of Sanctuary Network agents, including Henry Foss and Declan MacRae tries its best to find a way inside. Henry and Alistair, a fellow werewolf, break open a door and the team proceeds inside, where they find one of the crew shot dead. A crate nearby holds smuggled combat weaponry.

The group makes it to the bridge, which is filled with the bodies of the murdered crew. While Henry checks the ship's engine room, Declan and Terry go looking for the Hollow Earth Abnormals they came for in the first place; they find them all dead as well.

Act I

Terry figures that the abnormals killed each other just as the human crew did. As Henry tries to get the ship up and running again, she expresses her horror about what they found. Her colleague, Alistair, tries to comfort her. Some time later, the team hears something outside and draws their weapons, but it turns out to be Dr. Helen Magnus and Dr. Will Zimmerman. After being brought up to speed, Magnus suggests to split up and search the entire vessel.

In one of the cargo holds, Magnus' group finds a number of frozen objects that seem to be alive inside the ice.

Act II

Terry theorizes that the creatures are in some kind of hibernation, and Magnus decides to cut one down and thaw it out. She then meets up with Declan's group and informs them that they will set up "home base" in the ship's laboratory. Soon after, Declan discovers more of the creatures in another section. Suddenly, an explosion rocks the ship; one of the team, Murray, is killed in the boiler room.

Meanwhile, Terry discovers that the frozen creatures are Magoi, dangerous abnormals one of which Magnus and Will faced in the Hindu Kush years earlier. They are frozen in fresh water because salt would hypercharge their systems. Just then it turns out the explosion damaged the hull, and the ship is filling with—salt water.


Back in the lab, the team discovers that the creature they took there has left its ice block and has disappeared. Declan and Alistair have also been separated from the rest and each other for a while, so nobody can be sure if they are who they seem to be.

The team begins to move the Magoi, but suddenly a fight breaks out among the men as Terry is found murdered. Henry and Alistair are locked up together, and the work continues without them. They soon find the real Alistair dead in a cargo hold, and rush back to Henry, who sits in front of a dead Magoi.

Act IV

Henry tells them of a struggle with the creature, but Magnus explains that it was just in his mind. Henry is deeply distraught by the death of Alistair, and blames himself; he swears to name his child after him if it is a boy.

Meanwhile, Declan discovers another melted block of holding ice, suggesting there is at least one more Magoi at large. The team has to continue its work of getting the last ice blocks up, but Henry and Declan are locked in the hold by what they though was Will.

Act V

Unable to contact Magnus, the two try to figure out a way to save themselves from the rising water. Suddenly, Declan realizes that he blew the door to the hold open with his weapon when he first entered it: the door is open, the Magoi just made them believe Will locked them in. They make it back to Magnus and team up with her, and suddenly hear from Will.

After finding him, they suddenly hear something behind them; in come Helen Magnus and Will Zimmerman.

Act VI

The other Magnus and Will explain that they just landed a few minutes ago, which would suggests that the other Magnus and Will have been Magoi all along. The newly arrived Magnus suggests they all get in the water to see who is a Magoi, but Declan and Henry disagree, as that would supercharge the creature.

The newly arrived Magnus, however, reveals that this is not true by pushing herself into the water with her copy: saltwater actually kills the Magoi. The false Will tries to flee, but is shot by his real counterpart.

On the following morning, Magnus explains to Henry that the fact that Henry and Declan know her and Will so well is the very reason the Magoi could mimick her so flawlessly. The team questions wether they should save the dangerous creatures after they killed the rest of the team, but Magnus tells them they will honor their fallen friends by doing their job: taking the Magoi, who only act as is their nature, to safety in the Sanctuary.

Notable Quotes

Declan MacRae: [pointing at a locked steel door] Well, can't you just...

Henry Foss: HAP? Through a steel door?

[Declan nods]

Henry Foss: I'm a werewolf, not Superman!


Series Regulars
Guest Starring

Background, Notes, and Trivia

  • According to several tweets, this episode would take place in an Arctic scenery, and feature the return of Jim Byrnes as Gregory Magnus.[4]
  • This episode sort of continues the story line of one of Sanctuary's very first episodes, "Kush".
  • As they enter the ship, Henry calls dibs on the first Tauntaun they find. In "The Empire Strikes Back", on the ice planet Hoth, an injured Luke Skywalker is stuffed into a freshly dead and still warm Tauntaun (a large domesticated animal) to keep him from freezing.
  • Factual Error: After Helen says that the ice is fresh water ice, and salt causes a bad reaction from the abnormals, Henry says that they are surrounded by ice filled with salt. But, salt doesn't freeze, when ocean water freezes it leaves most of the the salt behind, so the ice surrounding the ship should not be a problem.
  • Revealing Mistake: At no point (even while in ice cold water) can anyone's breath be seen. Obviously, they are in a heated pool in the studio.
  • Reference: "Doctor Zhivago" (1965) - Henry mentions Dr. Zhivago by name.
  • Reference: "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope" (1977) - Henry tells Magnus about how Will "pulled a Jedi mind-trick" on Declan and himself.
  • Reference: "Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back" (1980) - Henry makes a reference to Tauntauns, and Will jokingly suggests Helen Magnus took flying lessons from Yoda in her time off.
  • Reference: Episode 1x09 - "Requiem" - Henry describes the plot of "Requiem", in light of what may look like similar circumstances.

Media Gallery | Photos and Video

References, External Links, and Websites

  1. Jodi Balfour on The Internet Movie Database
  2. Michael Patric on The Internet Movie Database
  3. Scott North on The Internet Movie Database
  4. sanctuaryspoilers: "Icebreaker"
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.