Claire might as well face it, she’s addicted to blood.
I think my favorite thing about pilots is that since none of the characters are fleshed out, most of them are reduced to representing one or two basic traits to set the tone for the series. It’s easy to make fun of people with no depth. Especially people on a show that at top speed is probably only going to get a few steps ahead of “Passions.” So throughout this recap, we’re going to identify each character by their most prominent trait, because inevitably, that’ll be the theme of their storyline, and it will most likely be hilarious.
“The Gates” opens with a shot that trails through ugly grass up and over a medieval stone wall into Hollywood’s idea of a Midwestern paradise. The Gates is the name of an exclusive community in Illinois, and as the camera pans over idealistic lemonade stands, happy joggers, children riding bikes wearing helmets and luxury cars getting washed by their owners, the whole thing looks like a Lexus commercial.
There’s too much gloss and not enough camp for this to be a legitimate child of “Twilight” and “Desperate Housewives” – it’s more like “Twilight” roofied “Desperate Housewives,” got it pregnant, and the housewives drank like fish throughout the pregnancy resulting in the slightly stupid mongrel that is one of the cornerstones of ABC’s Summer Season. Foreboding music cues up about ten seconds in, so I think we’re going to meet vampires soon. Regardless of the quality of the show, my mood always improves when there are vampires on the scene.
And I’m right! Rhona Mitra (Claire the Vampire) cuts perfect, red roses (totally out of season in Illinois, but she’s a vampire, so I bet she doesn’t give a fuck about things like regional inaccuracies) from her garden and tells her young daughter who’s tooling around in the driveway that there is no skateboarding without a helmet. Emily is crestfallen, so much so that when the skateboard inevitably slips away down the driveway and into the street, she can’t run fast enough to catch it and is almost hit by a hot construction guy on a cell phone.
A hot construction guy that isn't long for this world, I'll bet.
Claire sees the almost collision right before it happens and runs to her daughter, screaming at Emily to get out of the way. She does not, however, do a super-speedy run to save her own child, however, and I’m starting to think she might be a lameass vampire. Though she is inexplicably out in the sun and not going all sparkly or exploding into flames, so maybe not.
She also seems to have passed her slow-moving nature onto Emily, who stares like Bambi in headlights at her oncoming death. Luckily the driver sees her in time, and crashes into the stone mailbox. My suspicions about his life span are confirmed when Claire peeks into the car and goes all glassy-eyed at the head wound he’s sustained. Putting Emily off into carpool, she insists the CW come inside so she can dress his wound. And then kill the shit out of him. I can tell this because if some douchebag on a cell phone almost ran over my child, I would be making the head wound worse, not tending to it, and this is without a crippling addiction to blood.
Claire is DESPERATE.
We cut to Claire in her fabulous kitchen, as she tells CW he ought to call his clients to let them know he’s going to be late. CW doesn’t want to out of embarrassment, and now Claire knows that the number of people who are aware this man is in her home is manageably small. Tick-tock, CW, hope all your affairs are in order.
It’s at this moment the writers introduced SEX into the script because if there’s one thing people like, it’s vampires, and if there’s another thing they like, it’s vampires getting it on. And let me tell you, they do not waste a New York minute getting down to the nitty gritty. The CW explains that Claire is the closest he’s been to a woman in a year, and that he doesn’t think he can hold out much longer. Claire bats the shit out of her eyelashes and sweetly explains that he will have to wait that little bit longer because she is married. CW wryly says that all the good ones are taken, and doesn’t notice Claire getting all hot and bothered over his blood-soaked cottonballs.
My head just exploded a little at the number of ball/sucking jokes that materialized.
All it takes for Claire to change her mind about killing CW and kind of cheating on her husband is about three seconds of staring at that juicy, bloody cotton. She completely changes her tune and comes onto CW, who is a little perplexed at her 180, but still totally willing to have sex with her. Claire proceeds to make out with a man whose name she doesn’t know and who almost ran over her daughter a few minutes ago. I think the head wound is worse than everyone thought, because CW doesn’t think this situation is the least bit abnormal, and dives in neck first. Dude, I’ve seen internet porn from Eastern Europe that was more believable than her interest in you. You are not going out on a high note. Claire leads him to the kitchen, telling CW that they turn her on, and then kills him two seconds later, draining his blood into the sink so she can save it for later. Someone’s done this before… She watches as the sink fills up like the blood is some awesome combination of crack, liquid gold and Swiss chocolate, and it becomes clear that Claire obviously is having problems fitting in at The Gates.
Speaking of stupid names for housing communities, the credits roll!
CGI blood slips backwards into a window, and the camera pans out to reveal Claire’s house being shut behind two solid gates. Hmmm, keeping the riff-raff out and the snipped vampires in, eh?
Aaand we’re back! Nick Monohan, his wife, Sarah, teenage son, Charlie and tween daughter, Dana roll up to the gates (the actual, non-proper noun gates) and comment on how intimidating they are. It looks like Dana’s PRECOCIOUSLY INTELLIGENT as she informs the car that the developer of The Gates was very concerned with security, so he shipped in steel gates that were hand forged in England, and they have never been breached. Breached? What is this, the Crusades? It’s 2010 – if I lived near that community and kept hearing that The Gates had “never been breached,” I’d zip right in behind an entering car and start running around screaming, “Breached!!! Hahahahahahahaha!!” Show me some electrified fencing, guard dogs and barbed wire and we’ll start talking unimpeachable suburban fortress.
There's isn't even a moat. This place is for tools.
Charlie echoes my earlier observation (not to mention one I have every time I drive past a gated community) that not only do the gates keep people out, they also keep people in. Nick is waved in by Eddie Barnes, security guard at the main gate, who recognizes Nick as the new chief of police and hands him a welcome packet along with keys to the family’s new home. Eddie is firmly established in the character lexicon as BUMBLING, when Nick shows him an ID explaining that Eddie probably shouldn’t be handing over keys to houses with checking for one first. Eddie awkward his way through an apology, and even though Nick was totally affable and kind of humorous in taking him down a peg, Sarah, apologizes for her husband’s comments and makes Eddie feel better. As the family drives on through, she sidenotes to Nick that it’s okay for the chief of police to be liked. Zing!
As the Monohan’s head to their new home, we’re treated to another Lexus commercial montage of the neighborhood, this time a little creepier in that now we see that the place is complete with community centers and retail space.
Ick, I get the chills when I encounter places like this where if you never traveled a quarter mile out from your house, you wouldn’t be considered some kind of sad social reject.
As Sarah remarks that she didn’t know there would be all these adorable little shops, her daughter echoes The Gates’ slogan that it’s “more than just a place to live,” and the music hits a minor note as if to remind us that it’s also a place to die!!
The Monohans pull up to their new home and marvel at its size and luxury – this is the first time they’ve seen it. Nick must have been pretty desperate to leave his old post if he hightailed his family out of Chicago to live in a place they’d never heard of and a house they’d never seen. Jiminy, vampires in the sunlight and skeletons in the closet! The house itself is actually kind of… ugly, honestly. It looks likes some mix between Colonial and Italian Villa, with some Tudor brick thrown in for good measure. The interior is pretty spacious, awesome and already furnished, and Sarah marvels at the kitchen as the kids go apeshit over the pool and Jacuzzi (as does the five year old inside me). Nick confirms my decision to label him FLAWED HERO TORTURED BY THE PAST when he kisses Sarah and promises things will be better there.
I wonder how many people will die in this episode.
And thank goodness we’re back to Claire, whose life is already a train wreck, so I don’t have endure her slow as shit realization that The Gates is not as idyllic a living space as it seems. She’s in the shower, out out damn spotting DeadCW’s blood off her hands and mouth, and from what it looks like, enduring one hell of a self-hatred sunrise. Someone’s just had a relapse.
Things get curiouser and curiouser as she exits the shower and furiously rubs lotion on her skin in the dark. She misses a spot, and a single ray of sunshine hits her knee, burning it badly. Aaaah, so vampires in The Gates can play in the sun as long as they exercise proper sunblock protocol. Interesting – kind of hilarious and pedestrian, but a modern addition to vampire mythology that I’ve yet to encounter, so well done.
We’re back to the Monohans as Nick drops off Charlie and Dana at the Gates Academy, which, according to her sends more kids to the Ivy League than any school in the state. Charlie’s not enthusiastic, and I affix a mental piece of tape to his forehead and write DEEP AND BROODY on it. Nick comments happily that there are no metal detectors or security guards. Isn’t that nice? Because man, when kids shoot up schools, they never do it in sLeighpy, totally unsuspecting suburbs. Maybe Nick’s skeleton was that he was fired from his previous police job for total incompetence.
The kids head into, Dana appropriately eager and Charlie appropriately cynical. He pumps change into a vending machine and the girl of his dreams walks by with a clever comment that the machines only dispense orange juice as part of a vast conspiracy to keep the kids healthy. Look!
It's a LOVE INTEREST!
It’s back to Nick now, as he starts his first day work as chief of police at The Gates Police Station. It looks like a smaller version of CIA central command staffed by interns. Nick’s two crack deputies introduce themselves as Marcus and Leigh, the only two officers on hand that morning. Nick wonders where everyone else is, and Leigh explains that the old chief liked to only have a few people on staff in the morning. Nick asks about the old chief, and Leigh pipes up once again to inform him that the old chief retired… to Mexico. So he’s dead in a ditch somewhere. Marcus is nervous and eager to please, while Leigh is cool as a cucumber, so it appears that Leigh is CRACKERJACK and Marcus is GREEN. He shows Nick around their monitoring system which includes cameras for every corner of the perimeter, infrared motion detectors, ground sensors and a few hybrid patrol cars. Also hand-forged in England?
Nick once again reveals his function as Chief of Foreshadowing when he comments that crime must be non-existent there. Leigh agrees that that’s almost true, but that they did lose pictures on a few cameras in sector four, but it was probably vandalism. Hmm.
I wonder which sector Claire's house is in.
Marcus chimes in that before one of the cameras went down, it did pick up something of interest – a car accident! Who saw that coming? The cameras picked up a contractor by the name of Mark Woodbury walking into the Radcliffe house (excellent vampire name), but went down before he could be seen leaving. Also his car is missing, with no record of it ever leaving The Gates. Leigh attempts valiantly to shut Marcus down as he eagerly looks for something to do besides keep watch over snotty people who probably don’t know his name. Nick takes Marcus’ bait and orders his trusty lieutenants to contact a neighboring police department to track down Construction Worker McDeadyBye. Good luck!
Ding-dong! Sarah opens her front door to find Claire on her doorstep bearing a welcome casserole. Claire adorably hopes Sarah eats carbs, and with that, Sarah has made a new best friend. Like immediately. By the second line of their conversation, Sarah has failed to find refreshment for Claire, broken a teapot, and Claire has kindly observed that a big change can be hard. She advises Sarah to stop by Main St. and see Peg, a doctor who’s a little holistic, but has herbs for everything, including stress. WIIIITCH!!!
The two women bond over their mutual outcasty-ness, until Claire learns that Sarah’s husband was a hotshot homicide detective in Chicago who loooooved his job. Her voice rises two pitches higher than it should, and her smile becomes akin to cracked plaster. It’s kind of cool, actually.
Do I have blood on my face?
Back to high school, as Charlie rushes into English class. The teacher asks the class if they noticed a unifying theme in Flannery O’Connor’s work, and “The Gates” proves no different than any other television high school as the students answer with college level responses. LOVE INTEREST and what appears to be a GROUCHY FOOTBALL STAR answer that there’s a theme of humanity overcoming disfigurement in O’Connor’s books that makes it apparent that outward looks were not something she found important. Charlie pipes up that there might more to it. GFS scoffs and Charlie questions if the class took into consideration that O’Connor had lupus, and the wolfish facial changes she endured might have made outward appearances matter very much to her. At the mention of the word “wolf” GFS bristles.
I smell a teen wolf...
Class ends, and Andy the love interest comes across Charlie in the courtyard of the school. She comments that he’s a pretty smart guy, and after some “clever banter,” she tries to get him to join Mock Trial. Andy’s from Seattle, and after her mom died, her father moved them to The Gates. She refers to this operation as being “raised in captivity,” revealing that she and I feel the same sort of “it’s all very Stepford” discomfort at weirdo communities like this one. GFS (whose name is Brett, I think) watches all broody from a distance, and the love triangle? It is complete.
As soon as Andy realizes they’re being watched, she scurries away stage left, telling Charlie that he has to help out at the Mock Trial fair booth after school by the football field. Where Brett, her boyfriend, I assume, will surely be playing. I can’t decide if we’re supposed to think Andy’s stupid, slutty or mean after this move. Given the aforementioned “clever banter” and her obvious intelligence evidenced in class and by her interest in mock trial, I think her boyfriend might just suck.
Which he does, and proves it by immediately interrogating her about the thirty second conversation she just had with the new boy. He claims that Charlie obviously likes her, and she evades like a pro. I wonder if Brett will actually become a wolf on the football when he sees Charlie again, or if he’ll just wait for a nighttime run in the woods to relieve the tension.
At the police station, Marcus announces that the neighboring Franklin Police Department just filed a missing persons report for a one Marcus Deaderthanadoornail Woodbury, and Nick practically catapults out of his seat to go see the Radcliffes. Hurray! More Claire.
There’s an immediate cut to Madame Radcliffe as she drains a bottle of wine and replaces it with Construction (dead)Zone’s blood just as her husband drives up – early! He’s a CEO of some (surely nefarious) kind, and Claire stealthily avoids his kisses as she welcomes him home. She’s not sneaky enough to outwit his supervamp nose, however, as he smells the blood on a wine glass she’s been drinking from, and then her breath. He shoves her against the fridge and demands to know where “it” is. “The wine room,” Claire grates, and then the cops roll up.
Best metaphor for alcoholism EVER.
When we return from commercial, Claire is in the middle of explaining that she recommended Marcus Deadwood(bury) stop at a hospital, even though his cut didn’t appear to need stitches. Nick says no records of a visit exist, and Mr. (Dylan) Radcliffe chimes in wondering if the poor soul didn’t just pass out at the wheel. Nick believes roughly no words of this explanation, but only reveals that to the audience, as he leaves the Radcliffes, assuring them of his belief that it will all work out.
Hilariously we cut immediately to Dylan opening the wine cooler(?) to find his wife’s deadsicle shoved inside. I swear he’s two seconds away from “Claire, you got some splaining to do!!” He reminds her they had an agreement, and if forced to leave The Gates, they would have a hard time protecting adopted Emily from “their crowd.” Hmm. So the Radcliffes adopted a little girl they knew would be vampire meat anywhere but The Gates. Selfish. Claire apologizes as her WITHHOLDING AND CONTROLLING husband stalks away.
It’s on to Main Street as Sarah shops around and stops in Devon’s Day Spa. Upon entering, Sarah immediately meets Devon, whose first line labels her W/BITCH. The W is because she mentioned the word “wolfsbane,” and the B is for her total undercutting of Peg when Sarah mentions that’s where her intended stop was. Apparently Devon knows that Peg is “great with herbs,” but the day spa has teas that achieve the same effects for half the price. Hey, why trust a doctor when you can get the same shit half-off at a spa?
I think Sarah might be STUPID.
But we don’t get to find out what eye-of-newt bullshit Devon is hawking, because from there it’s right on to football practice. And, as predicted, the love triangle strengthens and grows. Charlie shows up with Dana in tow, and they head to the mock trial booth after some mutual eyeballing with Brett, who is indeed a grouchy football star in the middle of scrimmage. Andy’s brilliant idea for the fair is to forge a homemade lie detector and charge people $5 to catch their friends in a lie. Just the kind of county fair fun I’ve been looking for! Charlie wastes no time in pointing out that if someone doesn’t want to be caught in a lie, they’re not going to take the test. Given that it’s voluntary and all. Andy sheepishly agrees that that could result in a customer flow of zero, but claims it was her friend’s idea, and she’d rather no one say anything. Until the night of the fair, that is, and everyone, including said friend is horribly embarrassed.
Brett, is of course watching this entire exchange from the football field, and gets teased by a teammate about Charlie wanting to whisk Andy away from Jocktown to DeathCabville. The remark coupled with a perfectly timed, but totally unnecessary high-five between Charlie and Andy sends Brett into WOLFRAGE, and he tackles the shit out of his smartass teammate. I thought that’s what you were supposed to do in football, but I guess you’re not supposed to go quite that airborn or knock anybody out… Brett gets sent to the coach’s office.
Afterwards he walks home full of hormones and melancholia, and one of his fellow wolves rides up beside him on a tiny bike wearing what appear to be running tights… Are the wolves secret hipsters, as well?
Hipsterwolf gets in Bret’s face for breaking the “code” and revealing what his true nature inside The Gates, where privacy is at a premium. Brett snits back that he knows how things work, and Hipsterwolf claims that Brett doesn’t know how the “pack” works, because if he did, he wouldn’t be with Andy. And that little dig gets Brett all UP in homeboy’s grill before Hipsterwolf backs down explaining they’re just trying to help. That’s when Brett realizes he’s surrounded by little douchewolves on bikes, and realizes he might be in a little spot of trouble. Hipsterwolf warns Brett that had anyone but the coach seen the tackle, Brett wouldn’t be standing there. And he invites Brett to go for a run that night – some fun! Brett throws back that running is also a violation of the code, but Hipsterwolf, relishing his moment to be all enigmatic, explains that it’s a violation inside The Gates, but that outside, anything goes.
I’ll be honest, this whole conversation was a bad mix of teen bullying and mysterious werewolf subtext. The only thing I really gathered from it is that Brett is IN OVER HIS HEAD, and that with all the vamps, weres and witches running around, and all this focus on secrecy, The Gates may have been designed as a sanctuary for supernatural beings. Something to ponder…
Nighttime is upon us, and Marcus and Leigh exit the station, Leigh marveling at how Marcus is all gung ho about his job and impressing the new chief by finding (dead joke) car. Leigh claims they’re not going to find the car because it’s simply not in The Gates, proving that along with wolves, witches and vampires, the community is also beset by incompetence. Marcus shoots back that he trusts the chief’s instincts more than he trusts hers, and Leigh counters with the story of the chief’s exit from Chicago. Nick shot an unarmed man – some dude going down for rape and murder that Nick thought was pulling a gun. He wasn’t, but even though Nick was cleared of all charges, he still retired. Eeeenteresting…
But Marcus is full of gumption, sunshine and hero worship and maintains that they don’t know the whole story. Duh.
Cut to the Monohan’s for dinner, during which Dana discusses her awesomesauce day at school and all the new friends she’s making, and Charlie agrees that the kids weren’t so bad, skipping all over the part where he wants to bone the werewolf’s girlfriend. Probably best, that’s not really tabletalk.
Sarah’s all excited that people are so nice in the community – she even got a free spa gift from Devon! Nick gets all huffy at the chief’s wife accepting gifts and Sarah brushes him for just not being used to welcoming people. Don’t worry Nick. I’m sure as soon as the magic tea makes her strung out, hallucinate you having an affair with Leigh, and try to kill your children during Sweeps week, she’ll see the error of her ways and forever look on all with suspicion, just as you do.
It's always the quiet ones...
Sarah continues to step in it as she announces that she received another gift in the form of lasagna from their neighbor Claire. You can actually see Nick’s ears prick up at the mention of his Suspect Number One, and when Sarah claims the woman was perfectly pleasant, he says he agrees, or did, until her husband started answering questions for her. I believe it was a single question, after a longass monologue of what happened delivered by Claire herself, but it’s enough to make Nick suspicious. Sarah is annoyed at her husband’s tenacity, which, I’m guessing except for in the bedroom, is a problem in their marriage.
But as we all know, Nick’s right on the bloody money when it comes to Claire, and we cut to her husband dragging out of the cooler. She pulls up to the main gate with some brownies or something for Eddie (who is on a seriously long shift), that are undoubtedly laced with something to make him sleepy.
Drugged baked goods are the Achilles heel of all bumbling cops.
Mr. Radcliffe pulls up to a dark and misty pond in the orphaned pickup, drags the body out of the back, lays it on the ground and surrounds it with beer bottles. He looks at the body squeamishly and then goes to work biting the crap out of the guy’s neck. I wonder if vampires feeding off a dead body is like humans eating old bananas – it’s not gonna hurt you, but it’s mushy and slightly unpleasant. Claire watches from the opposite side of the pond with a mixture of curiosity and “oh, so YOU’RE allowed to feed?”-ness. When he rolls up to hop in the trunk to complete the master plan, he explains that he had to make it “look like wolves.” Hmmm, so the vampires know about the wolves.
Back at the central command, Eddie apologizes for mucking everything up – apparently he was fast asleep when Dead and (wood) buried’s truck just drove right on out! He claims he never falls asleep on the job (except, I’m guessing, once every few months around the time someone goes missing…), and that maybe he ate too many of Mrs. Radcliffe’s cookies. Claire’s name of course gets Nick’s Spidey sense all a-tingle and when he demands the playback of her exit from The Gates, it shows her clearly looking at the cameras. Perhaps to let her husband know just how to avoid them. All of this is enough to get Nick to order a search warrant be obtained, but TweedleLeigh and Marcus don’t even know who the D.A.is to ask for one. Leigh explains that Old Chief respected people’s privacy, and Nick asks if this is the same Old Chief who was murdered recently. Okay, he really asks if it’s the same chief who retired to Mexico, but I think we all know that that story’s a steaming pile of agave. Marcus and Leigh nod sheepishly and go to Google how to get a warrant.
Schooltime is upon us again, and Charlie comes across Andy who’s testing out her lie detector in the auditorium (where else?). He asks if she’s really going through with it, and she maintains that her friend is committed, so if they’re going to have the booth, they should at least have a lie detector that works in case they do get a customer.
This is totally something a high school student could have engineered. The Gates is in some serious need of Post-Secondary Options.
Charlie is her slightly unwilling volunteer, but Andy explains that it’s better if the subjects don’t know each other well, because other emotions can cause the same responses lying can. I hope one of those emotions isn’t rampant, teenage arousal, because if it is, that machine is going to self-destruct. The questions start and within ten seconds Charlie’s practically got the thing tap dancing to “Sweet Georgia Brown,” and Andy asks, understandably shocked considering this is probably her first corner of a love triangle, if it is she making him nervous.
When Charlie avoids the question, Andy realizes that he lurrrrves her after only two minor conversations, so she freaks out a little, grabs the Lie Detector of Uncomfortable Revelation and races out of the auditorium. Like a good neighbor, Brett is right there to see not only his girlfriend’s hot and bothered exit, but also her partner in angst, Charlie, leave shortly after. Because he’s a werewolf and thus the perfect metaphor for anger management issues, Brett corners Andy by her locker and asks if anything happened. Andy lies, but because Brett’s a werewolf and his supersenses make him a human lie detector (he sees her twitch her mouth and dilate her pupils), he knows she’s full of it, punches the locker next to her and stalks off. Dick.
But that was just the tip of the anger iceberg! Brett runs into a bathroom, grabs onto a sink and stares in the mirror as the transformation takes over him. We don’t actually see anything but his eyes get all yellow, but the sink starts to crack, and Charlie, walking outside just the right bathroom at just the right time hears a ruckus. He peeks in to see a mirror smashed, and a sink literally broken in two. Brett hilariously ambles out of a stall, hollas a “What’s up?” nice as you please, putting his shirt back on. If only he hadn’t broken the sink, he could have just convinced Charlie that he was a loyal follower of George Costanza. But, alas, twas not to be. Charlie says he heard a noise, and Brett sniffs that the room was like this when he came in. Charlie’s not super-convinced, but Brett changes the subject to ask how his future nemesis likes it at the new school. Charlie nervously responds that he’s getting used to it, and Brett says then he shouldn’t have a problem getting used to the fact that Andy has a boyfriend.
Dude, you realize this is like, major bad luck, right?
TweedleLeigh is working on getting the warrant, this time on the phone with someone and everything when the developer of The Gates walks in right on cue. He and Nick shake hands, and developer apologizes for not being there to welcome him, but there were problems with the development in Seattle. Maybe the Cullens are moving in! The two men exchange pleasantries until developer gets down to business. There will be no searching of anyone’s home just because some dead guy was able to evade the cameras and sleepy officers to drive right on out of The Gates. Obviously the fault lies with the security system and developer doesn’t think the residents should pay for that with violations of their privacy. There’s that word again… Developer basically threatens Nick’s job if the new chief keeps on his path of destruction, and Nick hears it loud and clear. Not that there would have been anything to find at the Radcliffe house, anyway.
Oh, and we’re onto the day spa. Devon uses a mortar and pestle that looks completely and totally out of place in her hand, but stops and cocks her head just before the aforementioned Peg walks in. Peg looks every inch the holistic healer, and also like she’d enjoy ramming either the mortar or the pestle right down Devon’s throat. She immediately chastises the spa owner for luring the police chief’s wife of all people to the spa, and exploiting her problem. Hmmm, looks like Devon’s an irresponsible W/Bitch. Devon thanks Peg for all the help she provided after Devon’s divorce and credits the other witch with the life empowerment she got from the Craft. Then Devon basically tells Peg to go ahead and fuck off on her merry way, because the Craft empowered Devon to make some coin, regardless of Peg’s warnings about what her “tea” is doing to clients. Snap!
Careful Devon, you don’t wanna end up like Nancy…
Nick’s at home now, and gets word from Leigh that his search warrant was denied. That tenacity rears its ugly head once more, though, and since he can’t let go of his belief that the Radcliffe’s are hiding something, he just heads right on over to trespass on their property and break into their house. Interestingly, none of those ground sensors or motion detectors goes off in the slightest when Nick is prowling around. I guess when The Gates are breached, they’re frigging breached.
Claire’s supervamp ears pickup Nick rattling the French patio doors, and pulls a super lame vampire jump off of her stairwell to go ahuntin’. Seriously, you can almost see the harness. ABC didn’t risk shit on the budget for this show. She watches as Nick pokes through the backyard and starts breathing all heavily again. She hides behind a corner ready to strike, but her husband beats her to the punch, confronting Nick face to face. Nick claims he was investigating a prowler, and neither Dylan nor the garden gnomes nor the invisible gullible unicorn in the corner believe a word. He shows Nick out, giving a judgy judgy look in what he knows to be his wife’s direction.
After Nick leaves, it’s time for Claire to receive her talking to, and Dylan accuses her of wanting to kill the chief of police of all people. He can’t take it anymore and tells her to pack her bags and leave. She swears she’ll stop, but of course he’s heard that line before. She begs him to understand that even though he provides her with all the blood they need from his lab, she can’t bear the nauseating boredom that is her life as a suburban vampire. I think the coolest thing about Claire is that while she’s your typical “desperate housewife,” she doesn’t drown herself in Xanax, wine, or sex with the gardner – she kills people. Which is far more entertaining. Can’t say I blame her. Being a vampire would suck if you had to act human all the time. Claire just can’t assimilate. Dylan shows a little sympathy, but can’t go much further than that without mentioning Emily and their ultimate responsibility to her.
Claire whispers that she’s always the one to blame, but that Dylan made her a vampire in the freaking first place, and he never takes any responsibility for introducing her to human crack and essentially remaining her dealer. She starts crying and Dylan finally breaks down and holds her, hopefully in some sort of forgiveness and understanding.
Because it is ENTIRELY your fault, dude.
Just as one marriage is patching up, another one is pulling at its stitches. Nick arrives home in the middle of the night, and Sarah’s waiting up. He explains he was on patrol, and she immediately calls bullshit given that he’s the chief and it’s three in the morning. She launches right into how crappy he made their lives in Chicago with his instincts being all completely wrong and whatnot, and she’ll be damned if the same thing happens in their golden parachute complete with magical tea.
Morning dawns anew, and the Radcliffe breakfast table is considerably more optimistic when Claire announces she’ll be joining a book club to keep busy. Mr. R. is pleased and so is Emily, making them both a little shortsighted if they think a once a month meeting is going to keep Claire from doing anything.
Dear Vampire Diary, One day sober starts today! I’ve joined a book club and parted my hair differently, which I’m confident will keep my bloodthirsty urges at bay. Things are looking up!
Finally it’s onto the fair Andy was so excited about. Of course no one is coming to their lie detector booth, but that’s cool, it frees up time for her to talk to Charlie when he pops by to apologize for being a total spaz the other day. He explains that he didn’t want to leave Chicago or come to The Gates, but that Andy’s been the one shining ray of sunshine in his gray, McMansion life. And while he likes her, he won’t cause trouble between her and Brett. Just as Charlie is exiting his corner of the love triangle in an effort not to cause trouble, Andy interrupts him (with Brett and his superhearing listening in, of course) to admit that she didn’t rush away because of Charlie’s feelings for her, but because of her feelings for Charlie! Fresh and new because they are but one day old!
Night falls, and the Radcliffe’s leave for the fair, watched closely by Nick, who almost immediately rethinks his actions. He joins his family at the fair and tells Sarah that he closed the Radcliffe case. Rainbows and flowers and hope sprout from Sarah’s eyes as she gets confident in a normal life that will be hilariously torn to shreds once she starts chewing her own fingers off after drinking Devon’s tea.
Speaking of Devon, Peg and Claire are setting up appointments so Claire can control her cravings, when Devon walks up stirring the trouble cauldron. She smugly relates that someone saw the truck of a dead man leaving Claire’s house, but Devon, the wicked w/bitch of The Gates helped the neighbor forget, but basically blackmails Claire (a VAMPIRE) by saying she’s not sure how long the forgetting will last. Claire awesomely seethes that she could “end” Devon any time she chose, but Devon smartly (and annoyingly) counters that that would hardly solve Claire’s problem. I don’t know, Devon. Doesn’t seem like Claire gives a flying fuck about solving problems once her boredom morphs into blood lust.
P.S. Hey Chandra West – you were awesome on “John from Cincinnati”! Would you care to explain just what the fuck went on on that show?
Charlie’s separated from his family and wandering happily around the fair as Brett watches him. Then he’s all of a sudden outside the fair in The Gates’ carefully manicured wilderness for a surprise moonlight meeting with Andy. What is it about vampire shows that makes all romance so nighttime and clandestine? As the young couple is about to get on with their cheating hearts, Brett goes all yellow-eyed and noisy. He’s about to pounce when Hipsterwolf wrestles his now naked body to the ground growling, “Not now, not like this.”
Wow, out of context that looks GAY.
And for their last trick, the phone rings late at night at the Monohan household. It appears a body has been found! Does this mean vindication for Nick? Nope! Because when he gets to the scene, it’s not the late Mr. Woodbury, it’s Old Chief! Mexico my ass!
So it’s some sort of commentary on how gated communities create and house people who are just as freakish as the people they’re trying to keep out – if not more so because their idyllic lifestyles are one giant lie?