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Pax Romana

Henry and Will in Praxis.

Episode No.   Season
37 3x11 3
Original Air Date
April 15th, 2011
June 7th, 2011 FlagIcon UK small
Written By
Story By
Chronological Information
Preceded By
Followed By

"Pax Romana" is the eleventh episode of the third season of Sanctuary, and the thirty-seventh episode overall in the series.


The team's struggle in Hollow Earth continues; Adam Worth steals a device that uses anti-matter, and the team is revived to help find him, while Helen must operate on a lava Abnormal.


Opening Sequence

Near the underworld city of Praxis, Adam Worth visits a physically restrained John Druitt in a dungeon, and informs him that Dr. Helen Magnus and her team have been executed. Druitt does not take his words for granted, and learns that Adam plans to lead Hollow Earth's lower inhabitants in an uprising. Adam leaves, letting two dangerous-looking abnormals armed with blades loose on Druitt.

Act I

Helen Magnus is resurrected in the very chamber where she and the others were executed. Fallon, chief council of Ranna Seneschal, greets her and gives her a protein drink to counter the effects of her recent suspended animation; she also informs her that Ranna and the Senate have questions for her. Magnus is brought before the leader of Praxis, who tells her that Gregory Magnus has disappeared after abandoning his life as a respected citizen of the city and breaking their most sacred laws by infiltrating the Avatar Chamber. Ranna also informs her that the society of Hollow Earth has existed for thousands of years with the one goal to maintain order and peace above and below the surface of the planet.

Magnus asks Ranna about Kali, but Ranna refuses to answer, ordering Fallon to return the prisoner to the execution chamber and reverse the revival process. Magnus, however, overwhelms the chief council easily and tells Ranna at weapon-point that she obviously needs the surface dwellers' help; guessing that the city's geothermal systems are betraying them due to the increased amount of seismic tremors the city is experiencing and that something has gone wrong with the city's alliance with the super-abnormals and that they have no idea of how to fix it.

Meanwhile, Adam overcomes a number of guards at one of the city's gates, stating simply that it is "nice to be back where I belong".

Helen is brought to a command center where Ranna introduces her to Cmdr. Juno Toland, the head of Praxis' security. He is hostile toward her, saying that he doesn't care that she is the daughter of Gregory Magnus and that she doesn't exist anymore, but Ranna calms him down, saying that none of them will exist anymore without her help. She then tells Magnus that she was right about the earth tremors and their alliance with the super-abnormals not working. Ranna admits that she has tried in vain to communicate with Kanaan, one of the Hyperspecies Abnormals who form the Council in the Avatar Chamber, for weeks, but he hasn't responded to any of her attempts nor attempts from Kali to contact him, and that has never ignored the city for this long. He usually helps the city with its geothermal energy production by controlling the magma pockets below it by digging tunnels to create levees to release the building pressure. If they cannot reach him soon, the erupting lava will destroy all life both in Hollow Earth and on the surface, as the magma chamber is also linked to several dormant volcanoes on three of the surface's continents.

Act II

Ranna and Fallon show Helen a holographic representation of Kanaan's actual form; he is a huge, fish-like creature, over a thousand years old and now suffering from an unknown illness. Thanks to her long experience with Abnormals, Magnus needs only moments to point out what is potentially wrong with him; after asking for the image to be de-saturated to account for the heat distortion, she points out striations on Kanann's right flank similar to markings found on Tunisian serropods, indicating renal failure of some kind. In addition to her request to see all of Praxis's recent scans and scientific research on Kanaan to confirm her diagnosis and to form a treatment plan, Magnus also requests that her team be revived.

Down in the stasis room, Helen informs the newly reanimated team that they aren't leaving Praxis just yet, that instead they need to stay to help the city as the situation they are facing is beyond grave, for all of them.

Back in the command center, Will learns that Fallon is normally responsible for communicating with Kali, and the two begin to compare their experiences. Meanwhile, the rest of the team begins to work on a cure for Kanaan. Henry and Kate go off to an engineering lab to create a personal portable ipod sized heat-shield emitter to protect the group from deadly temperatures and toxic fumes. The device is needed as Kanaan has now dug to a depth just above the mantle layer. Magnus asks Ranna if their medical teams can create a steroid-based form of insulin to hopefully restart Kanaan's kidney functions. She also then figures that it was Ranna who convinced Kanaan to save Asia from Kali's deadly tidal wave; to which Ranna admits that they both believe that harmony is preferable to conflict.

Having made his way into the city, Adam hacks a security panel to enter a locked storage vault and proceeds to steal a number of weapons components.

Will learns from Fallon that Praxis was founded by an early race of humans with extraordinary intelligence (builders and thinkers) who came there after a long struggle with the Akhkharu, and that it has seen nothing but nonstop progress while the rest of humanity suffered through wars, dark ages, and crusades.

In Ranna's chambers, Helen and Ranna watch security footage of Adam stealing items from the storage facility he broke into. Ranna confronts Helen about Adam's appearance back in the city, demanding to know what he plans to do next and what outland tribes he's in league with. Magnus honestly can't answer, telling Ranna that the last she was aware was that he was in custody at her home Sanctuary, and that him back in the city possibly means that her Sanctuary has now been compromised. Ranna only eases up to Helen when Magnus mentions that he's s much her enemy as he is theirs, and questions how it was possible for Adam to get back into the city undetected. Ranna admits that he managed to find a way to shield himself and that Toland is working on a way to track him. Thinking it useful information, Magnus mentions Adam's time-dilation rifts to which Ranna said that they are aware of his continuum experiments as they are responsible for a whole section of their city being destroyed. Since his rifting leaves a very distinct power signature, Ranna thinks that Praxis' systems may be able to track it. Helen then offer's Will as an aid to help track Adam as he knows Adam's psychological profile and history.

Back at the command center, Ranna, Helen and Kate are now suited up for their trip down in the hazardous tunnels. Ranna is leading the mixed team on the mission to find and save Kanaan, but before they go, Will insists that they treat Helen's radiation poisoning, to which Ranna wordlessly hands over a medical injection device full of medicine as she had already decided to cure Helen prior to entering the room. Afterwards, Ranna, Helen, and Kate begin their journey through the labyrinths of Hollow Earth, leaving Henry and Will behind at the command center to focus on finding Worth.

Will learns from Fallon that after his arrival to Praxis half-dead in 1908, Adam began to experiment with time dilation, eventually causing a terrible accident in the city resulting in hundreds of deaths. He was executed in roughly 1935, but someone secretly revived him a few months ago. Once the city found out, it forced Adam to flee to the surface. Will analyses Adam's behavior to try to determine his reason for coming back to the city, believing him to seek a way to be remembered for doing the impossible.

In the labyrinth of pre-mantle layer tunnels about 40 kilometers below the surface and an hour on foot away from the nearest transport station, the team encounters an Predatory Trachnoid that is easily dispatched by Ranna's energy weapon. Ranna comments that she's never seen one this far down in the tunnels before. Following moments later after the group moves closer to inspect the abnormal creature, Gregory Magnus appears from another tunnel behind them and greets his daughter.


Gregory explains that he learned of Adam's escape and saw the need to inform Helen, to which Ranna responds back that he should have told her first.

Back in Praxis, Henry Foss and Toland have detected a distortion in the scanning field and believe that it could be Adam. Will says that if he's able to talk to Adam that he can find out more than it they just ambush him. Fallon orders Toland to have a squad escort Will and Henry to the location to investigate..

When Helen tells her father how she plans to treat Kanaan with a serum to restart Kanaan's kidney function, Gregory also tells them that he already tried the treatment they created on Kanaan before he buried too deep -- to no effect. However, Helen concludes that the reason Kanaan is still ailing is because renal failure is merely a secondary symptom, that what's causing it is due to being infected by a parasite. The group deduces that the all of the seismic activity disrupted the creatures nesting territory, forcing a trachnoid queen to seek an organic host due to her hive being invaded. The treatment for this diagnosis means invasive surgery to remove the parasite, to which Gregory will stay behind to assist by radio, leaving Helen and Ranna on their own to perform the procedure. Gregory indicates that the Trachnoid should be able to be located via chromagraphic sensor on Ranna's tablet. Helen decides that they should focus on the main arteries, believing that the creature was likely to have nested near the bloodstream. Kate decides to stay back with Gregory as the other two head off to save Kanaan.

As Henry and Will travel with the security squad to the location of interest, they soon corner Adam in a dark street. Will talks with Adam for a bit, asking what he's doing down here, to which Adam tells him that he has great plans for revolution. After they think they have Adam in custody, Henry notices a familiar smell right before the group gets attacked by the same camouflage-using Abnormals Adam previously sent to scan Will's brain at the Sanctuary. In the middle of the fray, Adam is able to escape off into the city.

Magnus and Ranna enter the magma chamber just above where the ill Kanaan rests at the surface of a lake of molten rock. They repel down the chamber to come to stand on the top of Kanaan's back. Ranna locates the area of incision by detecting a unique chromo signature by his main arterial canal. When Helen begins to operate on his back, cutting his skin open with a laser cutter, it causes him to shift his position, almost making Ranna fall into the magma lake (she had somehow accidentally become detached from her rope).

Act IV

Magnus is able to save Ranna, reattaching her to her rope just as the pectoral fin Ranna was standing on dips below the magma surface. Helen notes that it wasn't Kanaan's intention to try to kill them as he simply moved to try to help them as he stretched his skin for them. During the operation after Helen cuts through the first layer of dermis, she can't see the parasite through all of the necrotic tissue, to which Gregory says she won't be able to see it as the creature adapts it's color to blend in that she'll have to feel for the creature and grab it, feeling for a scaly object in contrast the to rubbery feel of Kanaan's arterial wall.

In the command center, Will reveals to Fallon that they weren't able to track Adam due to him shielding himself with Tabors. Fallon then has Will and Henry stay in the command center as she announces that she's going to speak with the Senate again to convince them to begin evacuations before it's too late, stating that Worth is no longer their concern. Once she leaves after another tremor hits the city, Henry discloses to Will new information that he was able to find out about Worth. After secretly obtaining a DNA sample from Toland to bypass a biometric encryption system, Henry was able to get into Praxis' secure database to look up Worth's classified records involving the city's contamination event. He discovered that Adam was tampering with something called a Kellorem device, a super-powerful energy device that's banned by the government. The government gave Worth a few chances until he unleashed it on the city, killing 200 people, leading the government to sentence him to temp-death. Will determines that Adam has come back to the city to collect this device.

By this point in Kanaan's operation, Helen is almost elbow deep in his flesh when she finally locates the Trachnoid queen. Just before she pulls it out, Gregory advises that she do so quickly as it will immediately try to seek out a new host. After removing the parasite, Magnus throws it into the magma, killing it instantly. She then dials back the cutter to cauterize the wound. Once finished, both Magnus and Ranna repel up out of the chamber.

Adam knocks out more guards outside of a room with his stun device before placing what looks like a modified time node onto the side of a wall next to a security panel.

Will and Henry confront Commander Toland about why the Kellorem device is not mentioned in Worth's criminal record, saying that the information was deleted. Toland says that their files are kept under the strictest security, leading Henry to conclude that the system had been hacked. Will presses Toland about the device to which Toland tells them that it is a powerful form of anti-matter and that Worth was fascinated by it; saying that Adam believed it could be used for power supply and weapons and that it's potential was limitless. The city felt otherwise, that anti-matter was far too unstable to try to harness and use. Henry then theorizes that Worth can use the device in conjunction with the rift nodes to create a form of time-control. Toland thinks they're insane until Will wants to know why someone is trying to hide Worth's connection to this device, demanding to know who besides Toland himself has administrative access to these files. Toland says the only other person is Ranna, except that she would never be a part of something like this, leaving Will and Henry to figure out that it was Fallon, someone who is capable of mimicking Rann's biometric security clearance as her species is an original offshoot of a Quinterran. Will mentions to Toland that Fallon said she was meeting with the Senate, something that isn't possible as Toland reveals that the entire Senate is hiding in outland bunkers nowhere near the city.

Worth is then seen rifting into the vault holding the Kellorem device and begins to free it from it's security device.

On their way back from Kanaan's chamber, Ranna and Magnus rendezvous with Kate and Gregory at the transport pod. Even though the seismic activity hasn't stopped, Gregory informs them that Kanaan has begun to dig new tunnels. Just before Helen steps into the sphere, another tremor completely collapses the transport tunnels that they need to use to get back to Praxis.

Act V

Ranna uses the module's emergency override to bore a path up through the debris to the city above.

Meanwhile, Fallon arrives at the room where Adam has just retrieved the antimatter device. Here the audience learns that it was Fallon who released Adam from prison and it was she who was the one who helped Adam get to Helen Magnus' holomap. Fallon says that she made a deal with Adam to use the Kellorem device to save Praxis without help from Kanaan, intending for it to shield the city from the magma. However, Adam catches on to her real agenda to depose Ranna and taunts her about her goals being too simple-minded, telling her that the device has a far more meaningful destiny just before stuns her and leaves, breaking their deal.

During the incredibly rough ride, Magnus questions the legitimacy of the override being a 'safety feature' just before the transport pod arrives at a complete stop on a street in Praxis just after breaking through the brick pathway between a few buildings. As Kate is being thankful for seeing fake sky, Ranna contacts Toland on her holo wristwatch to inform him of Kanaan's progress, but the good news is short lived when Toland, Will, and Henry inform Ranna and and Helen that Fallon was in league with Worth, helping him steal the Kellorem Device. Ranna doesn't believe that Fallon would work with Worth, but was aware that she had intended to use the device to shield the city, something that both the Senate and Ranna herself was against it. Even Gregory knew the antimatter device was incredibly unstable. Will then asks Ranna where the nearest transport station was and that they should meet him there, just before rushing off.

Will gets to the station first, finding Adam tampering with the transport module. Will however hesitates to shoot Worth, giving Adam enough time to stun him instead. Almost immediately after, Helen shoots Adam in the upper chest as she and Ranna come around the corner into the room. After she warns him of another shot, Helen shoots him again in the lower chest as he takes another step closer to the transport module. This action however knocks him on his back into the pod, allowing the door to close to let the pod zip off down the rail. Magnus informs Henry of Adam's escape, asking for the module to be sent back, but he replies back that they can't stop it as Adam did something to the on-board A.I. As a work around, Henry and Toland then try to override the module's A.I. to get control of the pod back.

They aren't able to do this fast enough before it reaches its destination. As the doors open, Adam finds himself before a brutally injured but alive and seething John Druitt, who tells him that they have "unfinished business".

Moments later Henry and Toland finally gain control of the pod and send it back. As the team with a now awake Will watches the transport module return; it contains only the stolen device, and a message written on the floor in blood: All Debts Paid In Full. John

Some time later just outside the door to Ranna's chambers, Kate, Henry, Will, and Helen discuss Worth's fate and John's supposed involvement in his disappearance. Just then, Helen is invited into the chamber to which Ranna thanks Helen for her help in saving Kanaan and the city, but informs her that the senate has yet to approve contact with "surface dwellers". Having been fully reinstated, Gregory has agreed to stay in Praxis as humanity's ambassador to Hollow Earth. It is agreed upon that the Sanctuary is to not contact Praxis and that with the fullness of time, Gregory will contact them. Helen hopes that eventually the Sanctuary and Praxis will have full diplomatic relations between one another.

After her visit with Ranna, Helen sees her father in his own personal living quarters to say goodbye. She asks if he is sure about staying, as she says they can use him equally well up on the surface aside from her own personal want for him to be with her. Gregory says that he belongs in Praxis for the moment, as "There is just too much here for us to ignore". He then promises his daughter that he'll contact her the first chance he gets, to which she responds by telling him "When you do, could you be a bit less cryptic?". Gregory responds with a knowing smile and then leans in to give Helen a loving kiss to her forehead.

Presumably just after this meeting, off-screen Helen and her team were escorted by a garrison arranged by Ranna to the edge of the city, and then given directions by them to get to the surface.


Series Regulars

Guest Starring
  • Lauren Watson [5] as Bio-Luminescent

Notable Quotes

KATE: [Having just been brought back to life] Okay, so, death... I can put that on the resume.

Background, Notes, and Trivia

  • Chronology: Episode starts immediately following the cliffhanger ending of the previous Episode 3x10 - "The Hollow Men".
  • Chronology: "Pax Romana" is the fifth episode of five in the Adam Worth / Hollow Earth story arc.
  • This is the first episode to air in 2011; in the pause since "The Hollow Men", Sanctuary had been renewed for a fourth season.
  • Bigfoot does not appear in this episode.
  • Reference: Speaking of Adam Worth, Ranna states she is aware of his "continuum experiments." Ian Tracey (who plays Worth) acted in the series "Continuum".

Media Gallery | Photos and Video

References, External Links, and Websites

  1. Polly Walker on The Internet Movie Database
  2. Jody Thompson on The Internet Movie Database
  3. Ronald Selmour on The Internet Movie Database
  4. Nels Lennarson on The Internet Movie Database
  5. Lauren Watson on The Internet Movie Database
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