Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Demon Days: Season 2, Episodes 1-13

Season 2: Trust No One

"Right. Because hubris always wins in the end. The Greeks taught us that."

Sam Seaborn, on The West Wing (episode 4.05, "Debate Camp")

The Hunters take a month off. Willem tends bar, Dan does his city tours, and Lucy decides to actually go on a date with Dean. As Sunday suggested, he takes her ice skating. They rapidly become an inseparable couple.

In this season, the Hunters meet other Hunters, find (and kill) more vampires, get help from an unlikely source, find out the truth behind one of baseball's most infamous disasters, and encounter several of Bazemore's other supernatural denizens. They also learn that the city's mages are in the middle of a territorial skirmish with werewolves – hence the birds throwing rocks at the guy turned into a wolf.

The notable incidents from the second season (in not-exactly-chronological order):

  • The Hunters stop a ghost from killing people. Having died agonizing for an unrequited love, the ghost fed from passionate, romantic love, and in the process killed a few people.
  • Dean starts leaving an arrogant calling card at the scene of each vampire slaying: a scoreboard. For instance, after their twentieth kill, he writes 20-0 somewhere at the location.
  • Lucy's journeyman brother, Simon, shows up at her door. Unfortunately, Dean answers it, and Simon starts throwing punches, thinking him to be Lucy's cheating ex-boyfriend Brian. Simon's attack is, um, unsuccessful (he misses all his swings, slips on Lucy's Nintendo controller and smashes his head on the table), and the mistaken identity is quickly cleared up. They later learn that Simon is also Imbued, and he decides to stay in town to help.
  • They meet another Hunter, who points them to hunter-net. They sign on with the call sign "Swan107." (Because of the Drowning Swan, where they meet. And I'm pretty sure that's the number.) The Hunter, whom they don't like at all, is known only by his call sign, "Driveshaft97." They have yet to get that name right once. ("Crankshaft! Spark plug! Carburetor! CO2 sensor!")
  • They return to the club where they met the Dragon, but he's gone. In his place is a stern-looking business woman – another vampire – tapping at a laptop computer. She says the Dragon is dead, and accuses the Hunters of killing him. They kill her and take the computer. On it, they find only an exhaustive stash of Charmed
    slash fiction and a database listing the names and locations of over a dozen vampires. The following afternoon, they split into teams and kill everyone on the list, including one listed only as "Stinger" – the mysterious wasp-throwing villain who shot Lucy? It could be, and the apartment they find him in is filled – literally – with ferocious wasps. They destroy the vampire sleeping there with sunlight, but never get a look at him. Did they kill who they thought they did?
  • Detective Weathers follows the advice of the Hunters and looks into Panam's background. When he finds things he's not meant to see, he's suspended. In vengeance, he quits the force and gives the Hunters a video tape he found buried in the evidence archives – security camera footage of the murder for which Edgar was tried and arrested. The video shows someone else committing the crime, exonerating him and giving him grounds for a lawsuit against the police department (which he'd been threatening to do for years, but would have lost – despite his acquittal, everyone thought he did it). Edgar sues the pants off the Bazemore PD.
  • They also track down the real killer – a vampire with a shoe fetish. The whole incident is tied up in a massive, international corporate conglomerate called Privera. Cursory investigation into the company reveals a strong vampiric presence.
  • Lucy's ex-boyfriend shows up at her door to try to win her back. But he's cheating – he's using a magic love potion. (You may remember a cut scene back in season one where Brian met Charlie at a bar. Also remember that Charlie once gave the Hunters a potion when they were trying to save Edgar from life as a frog.) Once Dean takes him out, Brian tells them he bought it from a "big German guy." Dean calls Charlie, demanding answers. Charlie admits that he did meet Brian at a bar several weeks earlier, and did direct him to a potion-maker, but he didn't know who Brian was. The Hunters visit the potion-maker – an enormous German with a He-Man-like broadsword – and kill him, though not without some disagreement.
  • Willem buys the Drowning Swan.
  • Sunday keeps leaving town for a few days and returning without explanation. Reluctantly, she fills the Hunters in: she's helping a friend of hers, whom she refuses to name. He's a pariah among mages, running from a nationwide manhunt – if they find him, they'll execute him on the spot. She doesn't say why.
  • She doesn't have to – he arrives in town unexpectedly and meets the Hunters. He introduces himself, to Sunday's disdain, as "Evets Namtrab." This is a rather pathetic code for his real name, Steve Bartman. A lifelong Chicago White Sox fan and Chicago Cubs hater, he was responsible for a rather egregious incident in the 2003 National League Championship Series, for which he was sternly reprimanded – using magic in such a public fashion (on international TV, no less) is against magical law. But he didn't know when to quit: he used his magic again in 2005 to help the White Sox coast through the postseason. ("Oh, right, Scott Podsednik doesn't hit a home run all season, then in the World Series hits a walk-off homer off Brad Lidge? That's not magic? Come on.") Though the magical government managed to cover up the violation of their pact of secrecy, all patience with his rather public spectacles had run out, and he was sentenced to death. But Sunday has been protecting him in secret, knowing she'd be severely punished if other mages ever found out.
  • Evets makes a mistake during his visit, however: he uses his magic. Within minutes, mage goons are knocking on the door of the Drowning Swan. The Hunters stall until he can make his escape. He hasn't been seen since.
  • The Hunters find another ghost, this one haunting the ice skating rink where Dean and Lucy had their first date. (The rink is owned by old friends of Lucy and Simon.) This ghost only manifests when the song "Blame It on the Boogie" is played on the stereo, and it only speaks to those who are also dancing. After unraveling a murder mystery, the Hunters free the spirit and allow it to "move on." Happy times!
  • But Dan returns home to find his house wrecked and his girlfriend, Hannah, missing. Scrawled on the wall: 57-1.
  • Sunday's out of town, so the Hunters recruit Charlie and Rico to help them. The two mages owe them for…something (?), and agree to help. (Rico is upset, though, because he'll miss a rerun of his favorite show, Charmed. Hmm. Charmed. Where have I heard that before?) The trail of evidence leads to the Millhaven Home, where they've been before. Inside, they discover a vampiric infestation and an even more horrible secret: the vampires inside are using a magical artifact to steal the patient's souls. The Hunters destroy the artifact and find Hannah, but it's too late: she's been turned into a vampire. Even worse, she doesn't know – she's under some kind of mental control that blocks out that knowledge. With a broken heart, Dan does what he thinks is the humane thing: he kills her.
  • But things get even worse soon thereafter: Charlie and Rico attack Simon and leave him in a swimming pool to be eaten by lobsters. He's rescued, but the two mages make the truth clear – they're responsible for Hannah's kidnapping and Embrace (and, thus, her death). Then they burn down the Drowning Swan. Betrayal!
  • The next day, the Hunters find Sunday and prepare for vengeance. The mages taunt the Hunters into open combat, leaving a trail of clues that point to their location. After hours of searching and puzzling, the Hunters deduce the answer and head to Dr Pepper Park, the home of the Bazemore Fury, Bazemore's major league baseball team. Sunday asks the Hunters to let her talk to the Evil Mage Brothers for a minute before they start shooting; this will let her try to dispel any magical shields they have in place. But things get worse when they arrive, as Sunday realizes the baseball stadium is a Clearing: a place where the natural barrier that inhibits magic doesn't exist. Charlie and Rico can use their full magical powers without reality fighting back.
  • Sunday tells the Hunters that, after the fight (assuming they're still alive), they need to break up and leave town for about a month or so, just in case the other mages want retribution.
  • The hits just keep on coming. While Sunday does keep them talking long enough to disable one of their magical shields, Charlie also tricks her into admitting she's been aiding Evets…and the Mage Police descend from the sky. As she's taken away, she tells the Hunters, "Don't rescue me," but then screams at Dean telepathically, "Rescue me! You have to rescue me!"
  • The mages try their best, but they're no match for six Hunters with Zeal edges galore. Charlie dies in seconds, and Rico only holds out for a little while longer. Victory!

The Hunters have won. This time.

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