Sunday, June 03, 2007

Demon Days: Season 3, Episode 6 -- "Nothing Bad Happened Today"

Previously, on Demon Days...
  • Dean fell head over heels (or maybe flat on his face) in love with Lucy about seventeen seconds after meeting her for the first time. It took her a little longer to fall in line, but she did. Eventually, he proposed, and she said yes.
  • Dan's girlfriend, Hannah, was abducted, turned into a vampire, and then destroyed in an act of mercy by Dan.
  • Lucy got stabbed in the back and killed (for a few seconds, anyway) by a crazy Hunter named Hopper. He could do this because of the magic of a mysterious Woman in Red, who has some pretty serious problems with our Hunters.
"Nothing Bad Happened Today"

I don't get many things right the first time
In fact, I am told that a lot
Now I know all the wrong turns, the stumbles and falls brought me here
And where was I before the day
That I first saw your lovely face?
Now I see it every day
And I know that I am the luckiest

--Ben Folds

The last three weeks have been largely uneventful (Willem went back to North Texas to get more explosives -- explosives that actually work as advertised this time; Lucy began obsessively working out), but today is Lucy and Dean's big day, as they're getting married at the ice skating rink. Simon is taking a large part of the responsibility for the event himself -- he's going to pick up their wedding rings early in the morning, and he's arranged for someone to perform the ceremony ("I know a guy," he says). Lucy is nervous and paranoid that something will go wrong to ruin her day, and she's been pleading for a single day unmarred by supernatural horror. Before she leaves to spend the day with her father and Dean's parents, she looks into Dean's eyes and begs him: "It's very important nothing bad happens today." She stops him before he can tell her how futile that wish is.

Dan is awakened before dawn by a call from Bruce, his police contact. Bruce wants his payment for the information he provided during the search for Hannah ("Schadenfreude": Season 2, Episode 12); Dan had promised him his entire marijuana stash, and Bruce wants him to pay up this morning. Dan agrees and heads back to his house to collect it. But while he's gathering the pot together, he's interrupted by a knock on door: an FBI agent named Caitlin Graves is looking for Hannah. It's not part of an official investigation; Caitlin is Hannah's sister, and hasn't spoken to her in years. Now she's like to speak to her again, and managed to track her this address. Of course, Hannah's dead now, but Dan can't explain that to her. So he tells her that Hannah was abducted (true), and that the police haven't found anything (which is true only because they haven't been told to look). She expresses surprise -- kidnapping is a Bureau matter, after all, and she would have known had Hannah been kidnapped. Stuck, Dan expresses ignorance as to why it didn't get back to the FBI. Caitlin says she'll investigate and leaves.

In a panic, Dan returns to Edgar's apartment, where Simon (who has just returned from successfully acquiring the wedding rings), Edgar and Willem are discussing breakfast. Dan asks if he screwed up, and Simon thinks he kinda did -- the agent isn't going to find any police investigation because there wasn't one, and she'll come back to Dan for answers.

SIMON: Why didn't you just tell her she left you?
DAN: ...That would have been smarter.

They come up with a solution, should the agent bother them again: they'll claim Hannah left Dan without warning or explanation, and Dan, in the resulting emotional breakdown, has concocted a delusion in which she was kidnapped. There is little doubt as to whether Dan can effectively portray a mentally damaged man.

Speaking of mentally damaged men, the fun stops when Dean arrives. Dean is worried Simon hasn't retrieved the rings, which is part of the larger worry that something will happen to screw up this day and upset Lucy. He's also resentful as hell that the other Hunters are going to the wedding in the first place -- he can't stand them, remember, and only invited them at Lucy's insistence. (Well, except for Simon, of course; Simon's cool, not to mention Lucy's brother. And Edgar's much better since he quit drinking. And, really, as long as he's not stoned, Dan isn't too bad. So it's really just Willem he can't stand. But I digress.) He's worried that Mikey, Lucy's old friend who runs the skating rink, will pick a wildly inappropriate song for their first dance: when they had their first date, his choice for a romantic skating song was Pantera's "Cowboys From Hell." He's worried that Simon's "guy" to perform the ceremony won't pan out. He's worried that any one of the dozens of supernaturals that want to see the Hunters dead might attack his parents while they're in town. He's about to marry the daughter of the Queen of the Vampires. The guy is stressed, is what I'm saying.

Dean testily asks if Simon picked up the rings, and Simon happily answers in the affirmative, and points to the dining room table where he left them...

...and, of course, they aren't there.

Simon insists he had them, and insists he left them on the table. Odd chirping sounds are heard outside the (open) window near the table, and Dean looks out to see a small, green figure, vaguely humanoid, standing perpendicular to the wall. It's about a foot tall, looks like a Fry Guy, and it's clutching the ring box. When it notices Dean, it shrieks in bizarre gibberish and flees, running across the wall. When Dean shoots it (obviously), it leaps off the building and lands on a passing bus.

Dean races out of the building, the Hunters following. They chase the bus down the street, weaving through traffic to catch up. When they do, Dean leaps from the car to the bus's roof [1] and finds the Fry Guy still holding the box. He starts to close in, but the thing belches an enormous fireball at him and leaps onto a light pole, and the bus zooms away. Dean jumps down into a passing truck, gets back to the car, and they give chase again.

Dean uses one of his Edges, Muse of Flame, to track the thing to a nearby parking garage. They follow the trail to a small maintenance office on the second floor. Inside, they find the thing...and a young woman Discern reveals to be a werewolf. The thing -- apparently called a "Chenga" [2] -- is her pet, and she can understand its mutterings. She says it didn't have the box when it came inside, though she admits that Chenga are "mischievous" and are often prone to stealing things -- it's their way of "playing."

This Chenga denies taking the rings at first, then confesses. It says that it left them "by the rainbow," and refuses to elaborate. The wolf tells them that this is part of the Chenga's game -- leaving them clues to figure out, a puzzle to solve. Dean ain't having it, though, and uses Insinuate to make the poor little bastard cry. It points out a nearby puddle, and the light reflecting off it, casting a rainbow on the ceiling. The Chenga says it left the box in there, and even wrapped it in plastic to keep it from getting wet. Dean goes to the puddle, and, of course, the rings aren't there.

Across the alley, on the same floor of the parking garage over there, another Chenga is laughing. This one's red, and it's holding a small bundle wrapped in plastic. When Dean sees it, it starts shaking the package at him and dancing, and even does a backflip with glee. The Hunters find all of this absolutely hilarious...except Dean, of course. The wolf warns Dean that the red ones are dangerous -- "Green Chenga are just mischievous, but the Red Chenga are mean." The absurdity of the situation threatening to drive him mad, Dean runs to the other garage.

Simon uses his Edges to freeze the red Chenga in position, and Dean rips the plastic bundle from the thing's clutches. He opens it, but finds only a copy of Tom Clancy's Red Storm Rising inside. Upon demand, the red Chenga says that he threw it away...into a dumpster that's now being emptied into a garbage truck.

The Hunters -- well, Dean, mostly; the others are struggling to catch up while laughing -- chase down the garbage truck and run the drivers out, thankfully before the dumpster is dumped. Dean uses Cleave to carve the dumpster open, and the Hunters jump inside, looking for the box. Edgar is left outside as a (ahem) lookout.

Soon enough, the box is found, and the rings are inside and undamaged. They exit the dumpster to leave, only to find the Woman in Red ("The Black Hand, Part 1": Season 3, Episode 1) standing outside, looking at Edgar with curiosity. She expresses simple confusion as to why a blind man would be standing alone next to a garbage truck. She's probably curious about other things, too, but Dean doesn't give a damn -- he wants vengeance (being an Avenger and all), and proceeds to Cleave the woman's face off. The Hunters make their escape.

Back at Edgar's apartment, Dean wastes no time in leaving again, heading to the skating rink well ahead of schedule just to get away from the others. He's not gone long before Evets arrives, eager to talk to the Hunters. They tell him of the Woman in Red's demise, but Evets isn't so delighted -- the Woman in Red is apparently the leader of the city's mages. The Hunters are ecstatic, but Evets warns them of the coming power vacuum that will result from her death. This will destabilize the mages, making them desperate and unpredictable. This could be very, very bad.

But finally, the time arrives, and the whole gang heads to the skating rink for the wedding. Simon reveals that the "guy" he got to do the ceremony is...himself. Several years ago, while playing on a losing baseball team in an independent league in California, he became an ordained minister online (which is fairly easy to do) when the team fell into a massive losing skid. One of their players was an ordained minister; after he left to play for a minor league club, the team lost fourteen games in a row, so the other players pressured Simon into becoming "a man of the cloth," as he puts it. The team won nine straight after his stunt, so it worked out well for everyone.

And the wedding itself is a wonderful affair. Simon is able to resist the urge to do an Impressive Clergyman bit during the ceremony (aside from one line: "Have you the wing?"). Edgar gives his wish that Lucy and Dean stay together forever, than Dean not forget how much he loves Lucy, cheat on her, get framed for murdering his mistress, develop a massive drinking problem and eventually go blind. Mikey's song for their first dance ends up being extraordinarily appropriate: "The Luckiest" by Ben Folds, a great song, but one so syrupy and sentimental it seems written expressly for use at weddings. And during that dance, Lucy has only one thing to say to Dean...

LUCY: See? Nothing bad happened today.
DEAN: ...Yeah. Right.

Footnotes: [1] Yes, thanks to White Wolf's system for jumping, he was able to leap from the car to the roof of the bus. We did the math, and with good luck, maximum effort, and a running start, Dean could jump from the ground to the fourth floor of a building. Yay for goofy jumping systems! [2] Not to be confused with Jenga, the puzzle game, or "Chinga," the mediocre X-Files episode co-written by Stephen King.

Storyteller's Notes: Well, I wanted something less serious, and I got it. It may have been a step too far, but what's done is done. And yes, the Chenga was indeed inspired by the Fry Guys. And Gremlins.

Next week, the aptly titled "We Now Return to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming."

No comments:

Post a Comment