Season 1 Episode 3

Fata Morgana

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Oct 10, 2008 on Syfy



  • Trivia

    • This episode uses far more Webisode material than the Sanctuary For All two-part opener - albeit, often with subtle edits. The music is certainly new and more lavish. Some of the gunshot effects and explosions are new, as well - often resulting in a far different soundscape. All of the Cabal scenes are new, as the story has been rewritten to include them as an ongoing menace. Similarly, while Ashley's battle with the chameleon appears to be the uncut original scene, she's no longer on an "anger management" mission (as she doesn't yet know about "dear old dad") - here, she's simply cleaning up a loose end. Some changes appear disappointingly inexplicable, such as the opening crypt scene. While much of the video appears unchanged, when Will asks what Magnus' "wiggly" hand signal to Ashley meant, in the original she replies "I'm cutting off your allowance". Here, she says "Either we work together or we die!" Helen Magnus as John Wayne? The humorous line had better flow.

    • A minor matter to be sure, however, the degree certificate visible on Magnus' desk during the opening credits does appear to be incorrect. It describes Magnus as an alumnus of Oxford University; whereas, as a woman, she is an alumna. Also, a doctorate of medicine at Oxford is described by the initials DM, not MD. Finally, slightly obscured by her glasses, are the words "Class of 1921". At Oxford, students are grouped by their year of matriculation (the year they enter the university), not the year they complete their degree. Until recently, the concept of a graduating "class" was an entirely foreign concept in England - and remains such at Oxford.

    • Discontinuity: Magnus says that the Morrigan "fought" on the side of King Arthur ("according to myth, when the Morrigan appeared on the battlefield, Arthur's enemies simply began dropping dead - their souls drained of life"). However, in Webisode 6, Wexford told Magnus that the Morrigan were created by Morgan Le Fey, said to be the nemesis of Arthur and Merlin, "to wreak havoc against Arthur's armies".

  • Quotes

    • (hiding behind tombstones on a cold, windy night with lightening flashing)
      Will: I said, are you sure this is it?
      Helen: Keep your voice down! We're trying to remain undetected. That does require a modicum of silence.
      Will (cold and whiny): Modicum, right. Why are we hiding? We're on an island in the middle of nowhere - and it's a crypt, not the Pentagon.
      Helen: A crypt potentially containing an elixir capable of prolonging life for centuries. Such secrets are rarely left unguarded.
      Will: Yeah, but why can't we just …
      Helen: Look! (hands Will a spyglass and he is shocked to see strange creatures guarding the crypt) Keepers of the Dead - best to be avoided if at all possible.
      Will: Right.

    • Helen: Take the other side. Draw them away if you can.
      Will: You're kidding, right?

    • (Helen and Ashley battle a host of Keepers)
      Ashley: Okay, I know this was not on the brochure!

    • (Will finds three women in stone "coffins")
      Will: This might be my first crypt, but … aren't they supposed to hold dead people?

    • Ashley: Alrighty, then - one nasty, chameleon, subterranean menace goin' down.

    • (Magnus is tending to the three comatose women when Will enters)
      Will (sighs): Three not-so-dead women found in coffins … just another day at the office.

    • (Magnus prepares to remove a Keeper's exoskeleton "skull")
      Helen: Now, this fellow …
      Will: Fond memories.
      Helen: These creature detected our presence early and possessed unnatural speed and strength.
      Will: Definitely not normal.
      Helen: Oh, not as you would define it, no. (removes the "skull", inspecting a sticky residue) I was about to gather some fluid samples. Care to assist?
      Will (looking disgusted): Uh, I'd love to, but, um … I better get back to my office and get the whole … head shrinking operation up and running.
      Helen: As you wish.

    • Will: You're in a medical facility. We brought you here after we found you in a … dark place. Do you have any idea how you ended up there?
      Danu: Creatures … they … came to our village. They weren't human.
      Will: Yeah, sounds familiar.

    • (Will finds Helen in the lab dissecting a Keeper)
      Will: Oh!. Okay, you need to, uh … you need to put a sock on the door or something before you … do that.
      Helen: He's breathtaking., isn't he?
      Will: Yeah, that's one way of putting it.

    • Will: She mentioned a disease that was killing people in her village - called the "miasmas" - which translates from the Greek meaning "poisoned air".
      Helen: Plague, actually.
      Will: The bubonic plague, specifically. However, the last reported serious outbreak was in Scotland - in … 800 AD.
      Helen: Meaning?
      Will: She's crazy.
      Helen: Is that your professional opinion?
      Will: Look, I know there's a lotta things that are outside the realm of our knowledge - blah-blah-blah. But, logically, if she were from 800 AD, she wouldn't speak English the way we do. I'm guessing that linguistics and grammar have evolved somewhat since then.
      Helen: Some would say "devolved".
      Will: Whatever. The point is that we wouldn't understand her - which makes her a very sweet, very … delusional woman.
      Helen: Possibly.
      Will: If you have a theory, please, share it with the class.
      Helen: The liquid we found the three of them in bears similar chemical properties to suspended animation formulae used by southern voodoo cults.
      Will (chuckles sarcastically): Uh, the human body cannot survive, intact, for 1,200 years. I don't care what kinda … "magic bath products" you use.

    • Will: I want you to go back further. Find a memory of something that happened before the creatures took you.
      Danu: Moonlight.
      Tatha: I'm in a field. It's cold.
      Caird: I can sense the dead
      Danu: Their souls … extinguished.
      Caird: Only we remain.

    • (Will's in the elevator with the Two Faced Guy, talking on the phone with Meg)
      Meg: Well, whatever it is you are doing … you sound good.
      Will: Well, thanks. I mean, it's no picnic, believe me. But, uh, you know, half the time I wonder if I made the right decision … but, I am sleeping better (Will scoffs and the Back Faced Guy snarls) … Ironically.
      Meg: Will? You're seeing someone, aren't you?
      Will: What? No, Meg, come on, why would …
      Meg: Uh, forget it. It's none of my business. Look, I appreciate the call. Uh, good luck with your new job.
      Will: No, hey, wait … (she hangs up) Crap.
      Two-Faced Guy (Front) (chuckles): Ooh … Women, can't live with 'em …
      Two-Faced Guy (Back): But you can eat them. (both faces laugh)

    • (Magnus telephones Ashley)
      Ashley: All good, Mom. The city's now minus one ugly, poodle-eating chameleon guy.
      Helen: Are you hurt?
      Ashley: No, not a scratch, (covers bandaged leg)
      Helen: I'll redo you bandages when you get home. But before you do, I need you to look into something for me. We found these rings on the three women from the crypt. (sends cell phone picture)
      Ashley (insincerely): Pretty.
      Helen: I've traced it back to an ancient cult know as "Cabalis Nocturnum" - a secret society founded in roughly 700 AD. I'm still collating data, but from what I can tell, they were collectors of ancient beings of power.
      Ashley: Well, they had crappy taste in bling, that's for sure.
      Helen: I have reason to believe that this Cabal may still be operating, and I need to know how big a threat they could pose. See what Squid has to say about the markings, then I want you home.
      Ashley: You got a bad feeling about this?
      Helen: Off the charts.

    • Will: What do you feel when you look out there?
      Danu: I am … curious … and afraid.
      Will: Afraid of what?
      (Danu sees a vision of men dropping dead on an ancient battlefield)
      Danu: When I sleep at night, all I see are dead faces … haunting me, asking me why … You want us to remember who we are. Well, perhaps there is a good reason that we forgot.

    • Helen: Have you ever heard of the Morrigan?
      Will: The Morrigan? No. But, then again, I haven't … (scoffs) been able to memorize that monster manual you gave me yet.
      Helen: They're part of an ancient legend dating back to medieval times - three women with supernatural powers whose sole purpose was to destroy men.
      Will: So, I see we're back to the 1,200 year-old "bath products" theory.

    • Will: Do you honestly believe that they're witches - from the middle ages?
      Helen: Well, what history would've defined as a witch could have simply been someone with abnormal powers.
      Will: Yeah, but they don't have any powers. I mean, you said so yourself when you checked them out.
      Helen: None that we've yet detected … Each of them was wearing one of these. (hands Will a ring) Now, this is the mark of an ancient cabal of collectors who sought and exploited abnormals for their own personal gain … and apparently guarded their possessions fiercely.
      Will: So, why would this cabal hold the sisters prisoner - if they don't have any powers?
      Helen: Another reason why I'm not sleeping.

    • (the Morrigan are floating, rotating in the air above the wind-swept lab)
      Will: Ladies … pretty sure we have rules about … floating and stuff. (a strong wind howls, sparks fly, voices cry out and a computer near Will explodes) Whoa, oh! What say you just come down and we talk about this?
      (explosions and sparks knock Will to the ground

    • Henry: You know how, when stuff blows up, and I say "man, this is gonna cost you" and you say "Henry, stop being so dramatic"?
      Helen (weary): Henry …
      Henry: This is gonna cost you.
      Helen: What was effected?
      Henry: Well … central lab, mostly - diagnostics, MRI systems are gonzo. Oh, and I think our internet is down.
      Helen: What about security protocols?
      Henry: Well, redundancies kicked in, so nothin' mean and ugly got free, which is good - but our perimeter alarm systems are totally fried, which is bad.
      Helen: Focus on external defenses. Leave the lab for later.
      Henry: Why, are we expecting more trouble? (Magnus looks at him) Yeah, no, that was a stupid question. I'm outside.

    • (Magnus continues tending to Will's injuries)
      Will: Psychic powers, mind reading … Oh, well, now we know what this Cabal wanted them for.
      Helen: Yeah, for all the good it's done us. (Will winces) Hold still.
      Will: Hey, you didn't know what they could do.
      Helen: I should have - the moment I connected them with the Cabal, performed more invasive scans, psychotropic drug therapy …
      Will: You're running a medical facility, not Guantanamo Bay. Cut yourself some slack.
      Helen: You don't understand. Assuming the Cabal are after them, and we'd be fools not to, the amount of kinetic energy that they released could hardly go unnoticed.
      We're all in imminent danger. They cannot remain here.
      Will: And what does that mean?
      Helen: It means that if the legend of the Morrigan is even slightly true, they could conceivably wipe out hundreds, even thousands of lives, given the chance.
      Will: We're not talking about a bunch of velociraptors here. Before their memories came back, they were calm, rational women. And even when they did let loose with their powers, they-they didn't kill me. They just … melted my brain a little bit.
      Helen: And destroyed half my facility!
      Will: Well, they've been held prisoner for hundreds of years. They had a right to be pissed. It doesn't mean we can't reason with them.
      Helen: All three will remain under sedation, at least for the time being.
      Will: And how long is that? Forever? How's that make us any different than the Cabal - who imprisoned them in the first place?

    • Danu: Dr. Magnus was right. We should never have been woken up.
      Will: You can't stay asleep forever, Danu. You deserve to be free.
      Danu: Our purpose is not to be free. Our purpose is to bring death to the enemies of the cabal.
      Will: And you think we're the enemy?
      Danu: You took us from our home, away from our protectors.
      Will: You were held prisoner in a crypt. What kind of a home is that?

    • Danu: A thousand men marched on Badon Hill that morning - all were dead before nightfall, all without the touch of either sword or spear. And now that we are free, more will die. That is our purpose, Will.
      Will: Until now, because you didn't think you had a choice - but you do.
      Danu: How can we ever be free - after all that we've done?

    • Squid: You bring 'em?
      Ashley: Yep. Yummy snacks. Get 'em while they're … alive.

    • Squid: You and your mother … really don't like to attract normal, run-of-the-mill enemies, do ya? Now, researching the cabal really stirred up the people in my network, got 'em buzzin' like insects.
      Ashley: Dude, most of the people in your network are insects.
      Squid: That's real nice, Ash.

    • Squid: They've been playing the same capture and study game - for a hell of a lot more years than your mother and you.
      Ashley: You'd be surprised. Go on.
      Squid: Uh, intel has it their mandate was …
      Ashley: … to capture creatures with strange powers, I know. We got three of their assets on ice. What are they up to now?
      Squid: Everything!
      Ashley: Come again?
      Squid: Well … the Cabal supposedly died out in the 19th century, eh … but they didn't. They just went underground. They started infiltrating businesses, medical and scientific research companies, banks, biotech firms, uh, and … military think tanks - all under their control.
      Ashley: Holy crap.
      Squid: Yeah, I mean, these guys are one James Bond film away from global domination.
      Ashley: So stealing their property …
      Squid: No, no, no - would not go over well. Word has it they're on the move with, uh, upright bloodhounds with big teeth and claws.

    • (the Keepers attack, Magnus tells Will to take the Morrigan and go)
      Will: What are you gonna do?
      Helen: You wanted time? I'm gonna buy you some.
      (Magnus is about to be overwhelmed but the Big Guy roars in and knocks a Keeper out the window)
      Helen: Where the hell have you been?
      Big Guy: We need weapons.
      Helen: We need Ashley.

    • Danu: They have come for us.
      Will: But that doesn't mean you have to go with them.
      Danu: They will never stop looking for us. We must go with them.
      Will: Do you really believe that you deserve to live in a crypt? Because if you do, I won't stop you.
      Danu (amazed): You would free us?
      Will: Yes. We have to go right now.

    • (on the headset, running and gunning)
      Ashley: Mom, I'm home!

    • (Henry disarms at gunpoint, after three guns, he pulls out some brass knuckles)
      Henry: Um, these aren't mine.
      Cabal Soldier: Just put 'em on the ground.

    • (Ashley rushes in as Will is being cornered)
      Ashley: Shoot 'em!
      Will: I can't!
      (Ashley keeps fighting and then grabs Will's arm, firing his gun)
      Will: Wow … That never gets old.
      Ashley: You left the safety on. (offers the gun back)
      Will: Yeah, I'm, uh … I'm gonna play to my strengths. You … you shoot people.

    • Helen: This is a private medical facility. You are trespassing on my property.
      Cabal Team Leader: Trespassing? You have stolen what is ours. The Morrigan belong to us. Hand them over now - or we tear this place apart.
      Helen: I don't know what you're talking about.
      Cabal Team Leader: My Keepers are keyed to find them, no matter where they go.
      Helen: Your Keepers are dead all over my house. Do you have any more?

    • Cabal Team Leader: We take back what's ours, you and I have no problem.
      Helen: These women are under my protection. They're not leaving with you or anyone else, for that matter.
      Cabal Team Leader: Then we have a problem.
      Will: Danu, please, stay with us. We can protect all of you.
      Danu: If we stay, none of you will ever know peace.
      Caird: You have shown us a path, a truth we have never seen before.
      Tatha: And we are grateful, for all that you have done.
      Will: No. No, you can't go, not now!
      Danu: Our freedom must be earned - in our own way. We know who we are now. (the Morrigan begin walking out)
      Cabal Team Leader: Put them in separate trucks. (approaches Magnus) I'd be careful what you do next. The people I work for aren't the forgiving type.
      Helen: Neither am I. Tell them this is far from over. Now, get off my property.
      (the Cabal Leader leaves laughing)

  • Notes

    • Original International Air Dates
      Canada : October 10, 2008 on Space
      U.K. : October 20, 2008 on ITV4
      Czech Republic: August 17, 2009 on AXN
      Australia : June 4, 2009 on Sci Fi Australia

    • Fata Morgana, the title of this episode, is an interwoven play on words. On the surface, Fata Morgana is the Italian name for Morgan Le Fay, the legendary fairy enchantress-witch/sorceress, half-sister of King Arthur - who was supposedly skilled in the art of changing shapes. Translated from the Italian into English, fata means fairy - while Morgana is usually translated as mirage. In literature, the phrase Fata Morgana is often associated with something so mysterious, so illusory, that it could, and should, never even be approached.
      In optical science, the branch of physics involving the behavior and properties of light, a Fata Morgana is an unusual and very complex form of a "superior mirage" - a mirage which greatly distorts the object or objects they are based on. In such complex mirages, the object often appears to be transformed in such a way that it is completely unrecognizable.

  • Allusions