Sanctuary star on season two and Michael Shanks

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Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

Who says there's no rest for the wicked? As the homicidal John Druitt in Syfy's original series Sanctuary, Christopher Heyerdahl has gleefully tormented Helen Magnus (Amanda Tapping); her daughter, Ashley (Emilie Ullerup); and Will Zimmerman (Robin Dunne). But today, he's taking a well-deserved break.

Having already enjoyed a morning swim, the ever-friendly Vancouver, Canada, native is all refreshed and in the mood to preview the second season of Syfy's breakout hit. (Possible spoilers ahead!)

"Right now, we are shooting episode nine, so we're almost at the end of the season," Heyerdahl said in an exclusive interview. "This episode is called 'Penance,' or at least that's what it's called now. Basically, we have a special guest star, who is Michael Shanks. He's playing a wonderful departure from what we're used to seeing him. The two characters that spend most of their time together are Michael's character, Jimmy, and Kate Freelander [played by new cast member Agam Darshi]. They end up together and discover they share a similar past. They're a couple of streetwise wanderers who find their lives have a very surprising similarity. It's a pretty cool episode because it's a mystery search story, as well as those two characters getting together to fight for their lives."

Sanctuary follows the adventures of the beautiful, enigmatic and always surprising Dr. Helen Magnus, a brilliant scientist who holds the secrets of a clandestine population, a group of strange and sometimes terrifying beings that hide among humans. Along with forensic psychiatrist Dr. Will Zimmerman, they seek to protect these threatened phenomena as well as unlock the mysteries behind their existence.

Heyerdahl's Druitt has no interaction with Shanks' Jimmy, but he will figure heavily in the rest of the season. "From Druitt's point of view, he is doing his very best to play the team game," Heyerdahl said. "His abilities are going to come into play greatly with the battle against the Cabal. They are also going to be used against him. How playing the team game influences his next move. And let's just say he goes rogue."

On more than one occasion, Druitt has pitched in to help Magnus, and apparently that uneasy alliance only becomes more strained over time. "It just gets worse," Heyerdahl says. "Druitt's definitely a lone wolf. Working together with the establishment is always hard, so more conflict comes into play. In season two, nobody is safe. Every time someone feels they are on solid ground, the carpet is just pulled out from under them. His conflict with the gang is cranked up another level."

As in season one, what will draw Druitt back to the Sanctuary is his spitfire child, Ashley. "We definitely see some father/daughter conflict," Heyerdahl says. "There's a certain amount of bonding that goes on, because we're definitely going to see a bit of Ashley's dark side. I think that Druitt has to come to grips with his own dark side, the sins of the father, and how that reflects on his own daughter. The script I'm reading right now is very Druitt-centric. We did a major peek through the looking glass into his history and how and why he has become what he has become. It's big stuff."

If Druitt's time-and-space-warping abilities have caused his mental instability and murderous impulses, why not simply stop using them or search for a cure? "Well, that's a very good question," Heyerdahl says with a smile. "The best way I can describe it is that things are not always what they seem. Their idea of why and how Druitt's insanity has come about will become very clear in that episode, and things are not what we thought they were."

Sanctuary returns in the fall.