Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Demon Days: Season 1, Episode 4 - "You're No Fun Anymore"

Previously on Demon Days…
  • The gang met a mage named Sunday, an old woman in a purple raincoat who makes the most awesomest cookies ever.

  • They brushed off another meeting with Detective Weathers, who is probably starting to truly hate them.

  • Sunday gave them the location of a vampire meeting place. When they staked it out, though, the vamp Dean decided to tail got into an exploding car.

“You’re No Fun Anymore”

The explosion knocks Dean straight to the asphalt, re-injuring his broken jaw. But as they make their getaway, Dan discovers to his surprise that he has healing powers, so he fixes Dean’s jaw.

Two days later, Dan is at home (totally not getting high) when his girlfriend spots two guys in black suits—one wearing eyeglasses, one wearing sunglasses—smoking cigarettes and eyeing his van. When confronted, they identify one another as Rico and Charlie, and claim they’re brothers. They make horribly veiled threats regarding Dan’s van and house (“It’s nice van you’ve got here. Be a shame if someone was to…set fire to it, wouldn’t it?”) and generally make nuisances of themselves for a while before finally getting to their point: Sunday is apparently “bad people,” they say, and warn Dan and his “friends” to stay away from her. Then, because they weren’t annoying enough, I guess, one of them tosses his cigarette at one of Dan’s tires, which promptly bursts. The other one is horrified at this, and gives Dan some money to pay for the damage. They leave.

At the bar, Dan arrives for the regularly scheduled meeting only to find Detective Weathers (who still has a bandage on his head) waiting for him, along with his partner, Detective Panam. Weathers wants to talk to all of them, right now, and he’s in no mood for their bullshit this time.

Inside, Weathers tells the group that he wants to arrest them all, but he can’t—not only does he have no evidence, but he’s been temporarily relieved of duty for medical reasons (“I have post-concussion syndrome”), and Panam has been assigned to, essentially, watch him. He also announces that they arrested someone else for Kevin Shepherd’s murder, anyway: an old college acquaintance of Lucy’s named Bruce Dinsdale. Bruce apparently mentioned many names to the police in his crazy, rambling confession, and Lucy’s was one of them. But even though he confessed, it’s obvious to the police that he didn’t commit the crime, and they’re planning to let him go. He also tells them they recovered the car that Dean’s quarry left behind (“Corpses”), and in the trunk found a necklace. The charm is the symbol they found; a small “17” was stamped on the back.

With Panam out of the room, Weathers begs them to just tell him the truth, and they oblige. But their stories of vampires don’t gain much purchase with the detective (even though he’s temporarily brain-damaged), and the two cops leave unsatisfied.

Lucy wants to know why Bruce, her old friend, confessed to a murder he didn’t commit, and, furthermore, wants to know why he gave her name to the police. So they perform some cursory research, and discover that he was, in fact, released by the police and returned to his place of residence: the Millhaven Home, a mental institution in Harper Park.

Before they leave, Sunday arrives to talk for a bit. She gives Willem more delicious cookies, and dismisses Charlie and Rico as loons. They don’t like her, she doesn’t like them. She then walks into the restroom and, presumably, vanishes.

The gang hops into the Mystery Machine and speeds to Millhaven. Once there, they meet several mentally unstable individuals, but can’t find Dinsdale until a burly, bass-voiced orderly assists them (“Dinsdale! Dinsdale!”). Bruce tells them he confessed to the murder because it was his fault—he gave Shepherd the picture that led to his death at the hands of vampires. You see, there is a secret war going on Earth between vampires and…aliens. They’ve been battling for centuries over which of them will get to enslave humanity. The aliens have recently taken up a new tactic in the conflict: using their hyper-advanced technology to grant supernatural powers to ordinary humans, then turning them on the vampires in force. (Admittedly, Dinsdale’s crazy, but the group acknowledges the similarity to their own situation. And it’s as good an explanation as any.)

Fortunately, aside from his lunatic ranting about aliens (and his constant assertions that the group should all wearing kilts—“Are you Scottish at all?”), Dinsdale is able to shed some light on the picture they found. It is, as suspected, the official seal of the vampires. The letters in the corners stand for their four leaders, though Dinsdale doesn’t know their names. The writing on the other side was put there by Dinsdale—he got the information from another inmate at Millhaven, who recently died. Those are the full initials of the leaders. He’s not sure of the others, but he’s pretty certain that the Harper Park letters are JSB, and the Glenville letters are JH. He says the Westwood letters are either LEB or LVB, he’s not sure which.

The Hunters leave, bickering in the elevator about what to do next. When they reach the ground floor and exit the elevator, another man enters, addressed by a nurse as “Doctor.” He is, naturally, a vampire, but the Hunters choose to not go after him right now.

In the parking lot, they’re still talking about what to do next and the initials on the paper, when Willem, probably being a wiseass, suggests that WAM stands for “Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.” This would be funny…except that JSB might stand for “Johann Sebastian Bach.” And LVB could definitely stand for “Ludwig von Beethoven.” JH? Joseph Haydn. The Hunters aren’t sure what to make of this information. It could be crazy ramblings. It could be that the vampire leaders have taken the names of great composers as pseudonyms. Or it could be that the real Beethoven, Mozart, Bach and Haydn actually still exist as centuries-old vampires.

They climb in the Mystery Machine and head back to the bar, but run into some difficulty on the way there. First, they spot a black car with his headlights off following them, and doing a really bad job of hiding it. Discern allows Dean to see in the dark, so he has no problem spotting the drivers, who turn out to be Charlie and Rico. Dean pulls a baseball from his bag and throws it at their windshield with full velocity, but quick hands (and magic) allow them to avoid the fastball. They eventually fall back, but still follow at a distance.

But not for long, because the Machine attracts the attention of a police car, which pulls them over at a gas station in Glenville. The two cops turn out to be vampires, who are there to issue a warning: apparently, killing that vampire in the subway tunnel has pissed people off. They are to knock it off immediately. It’s not certain how serious this warning is—or why they’re bothering with a warning at all, really—but it doesn’t go over like they wanted, and the Hunters bust out the Cleave and eliminate one of the two and badly injure the other. There’s a crowd, but Dean draws on experience and forces the cop to announce that he’s a vampire and will eat all of them—he knows the vampires will have to clean that up, and the Hunters’ actions will be cleaned up, too. They give the vampire a message, too: leave us the fuck alone.

After the cop leaves, they receive a call from Charlie and Rico, who admonish them for talking to Sunday after their warning. But the admonishment doesn’t last long, because someone (“You crazy old bitch!”) shows up and assaults them with a baseball bat.

Pissed as hell about the “police” encounter, the Zeal-heavy team of Hunters decides to wreak some serious havoc. Two days ago, they decided against blowing up the fire station; now, they decide it’s a good idea. They head to Glenville, load the propane tanks into the Mystery Machine, and decide to sacrifice the van in the name of big explosions.

The plan goes off without a hitch, and the station erupts into a giant fireball. Sunday shows up to watch the big bang, humming “The Blue Danube” the whole time.

Afterwards, they discuss the significance of the 17 Weathers found. Dan, with his encyclopedic knowledge of Bazemore trivia, says that a building in Bazemore (an abandoned shop of some kind) has a giant red 17 spray-painted on the side. It’s been there for years, and even though most buildings in Glenville are covered in graffiti, this building has just this one thing, undisturbed for as long as anyone can remember.

They get into Willem’s car (Mystery Machine 2.0? Mystery Machine Lite? Mystery Machine Nano?) and head to the place. And when they get there, they do indeed find the building, and do indeed see the graffiti on the side. A big red…16?

A few notes. The bulk of this episode was inspired by various Monty Python sketches—Rico and Charlie are clearly Dino and Luigi, and “Dinsdale!” is a Python reference as well The name Bruce Dinsdale is taken from two different bits, and Detective Panam’s name was inspired by Police Constable Pan Am. “You’re No Fun Anymore” is the title of one of my favorite episodes of Flying Circus—most of the episode is devoted to one story a series of sketches about aliens using their supernatural powers to change humans to better suit their ultimate plans. Of course, they’re turning the humans to Scotsmen so the aliens can then win Wimbledon, but other than that, it’s exactly the same as the story Dinsdale tells the Hunters.

This week’s episode: “The Sting.”

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