SNOWFLAKES! IMPORTANT THINGS! I AM GOING TO BE AT DENVER COMICON THIS WEEKEND! Booth 938, specifically, with a bunch of other awesome local writers. If you’re going (and you totally should), stop by and say hi! I would LOVE to meet you guys!
Now, let’s recap!
We open with Vachon’s crew meeting at his church/apartment/whatever. He goes down to escort Urs in, since she was raised Catholic and…still needs an invitation? Needs an escort for a church? It’s not very clear, but then we get a bomb dropped on us:
…[H]aving known nothing about vampires before [Vachon] was brought across and having no contacts with other European vampires until he’d learned how to use his powers, very few of their restrictions had meaning for him. He had the garlic allergy, and sunlight meant death, but being repulsed by so-called holy images was not one of his problems. Over the centuries he’d convinced a few others of his kind that it wasn’t their problem, either.
He even had major proof that the fear of crosses was all in the older vampires’ minds. Nick Knight, the most hidebound European traditionalist Vachon had ever met, made the assumption that the church had been deconsecrated just because Vachon chose to live there. Knight sauntered in and out of the place without any adverse effects just because he didn’t know Vachon’s dwelling was still, technically, holy ground.
Um…my margin note on this is “WHUT” followed by “DOUBLE WHUT”. Like, seriously, what?! Reaction to holy objects is all psychosomatic? I mean, I’ve read vampire stories where holy objects only worked if the bearer of them had strong enough faith, and that makes a certain sort of magical sense, but this? This is just…weird. If you’re not religious when you die, you never are affected by holy objects? Is this something about the vampires’ souls?
And think of the implications this has for Nick, always wanting to be mortal. If he can affect his body so severely just with the power of thought, can’t he just “think away” his vampirism? If he believes he won’t want blood, won’t that be true? After all, he believes crosses will hurt him, so they do.
I mean, just…this changes the whole Nick Knight universe, you know? I mean, I’m sure Vachon will never tell Nick about any of this, so Nick will never be able to try it out, because this is still Forever Knight, but come on. This makes vampirism – and its restrictions – nothing more than a suggestion, and I find that ridiculous.
And one other quibble: churches – at least Catholic ones, as I assume Vachon’s is – are automatically deconsecrated once they’re not longer used. There seems to be no formal rite or ceremony of deconsecration; the very fact that the church is no longer used for worship is enough to remove the consecration from it, but it is also expected that the bishop (or archbishop, as case may be) will issue a decree that the church is no longer a sacred space. That decree is all that’s necessary for the church to no longer be a church.
So Vachon’s church is, indeed, deconsecrated. It took me literally one Google search to figure this out; I’m guessing that in 1997, Sizemore could have called the local Catholic diocese and figured it out, or looked up canon law at the library. It’s not hard.
Everyone’s there to discuss the zombie vamps, obviously. They’re wondering what they should do with them. Urs objects to killing them out of hand, but everyone else thinks it should be done. They just don’t know how. Someone suggests that they might be contagious, and we learn that Vachon is a total germaphobe, which is somehow charming – and it confirms my suspicion that Sizemore wrote this book while watching season 3, because she mentions that Vachon’s afraid that there might, someday, be a contagion that can affect vampires – which is the plot of the next TV recap.
Nick walks in to this almost sitcom-like scene: a bunch of young people sitting on a couch, drinking something, talking about this week’s problem. Some fanged version of Friends, I guess. What’s the vampire analogue of Central Perk? Central Line?
Nick tells them they have to kill the zombies. They’re a little hostile to him – after all, they don’t know him. They just know he’s the second-oldest vampire in Toronto (which is saying something; the city is just overrun with the things) and therefore probably the second-strongest, so getting directly on his bad side isn’t something they want.
Urs knows him a little better, so she asks what they can do. Nick’s been lost in his thoughts, and to get him talking again, Sizemore uses the expression I hate almost more than anything else in the world:
Then, feeling time ticking relentlessly by, he answered their questions.
Time is an abstract concept invented by humans. Maybe it’s a fourth dimension. Maybe it all exists all together all at once. Maybe it’s linear.
But you know what we definitely know? TIME DOESN’T FUCKING TICK.
Clocks tick. Clocks, which are solid objects made of moving parts that create vibrations we hear as noise. “Time ticking” is like “very unique” or “literally” used every five goddamned minutes. STOP IT.
Nick says it’s his job to kill the source of the zombies, and as long as they kill all the zombies before the humans figure out they exist, the Enforcers – who didn’t exist back in the 18th century when Radu was running around before – should just ignore the whole business and not punish them. Which makes me think the Enforcers are really just a convenient plot device when necessary, and not an actual policing force in the vampire world. Lame.
They all agree to kill the zombies, and Nick tells Vachon to organize them before he goes off after Radu.
At Tammy’s apartment, the girl’s having a psychotic break, complete with gratuitous girl-on-girl hatred.
She’s packing her shit and talking to the picture of Lacroix she has on her wall. Urs dropped her off and told her to think long and hard about what she wanted. She shouldn’t become a vampire just because some male tells her to – she should do what’s best for her.
Solid advice from a woman who’s been there, but Tammy tells Pic!Lacroix that Urs is just jealous because Lacroix loves Tammy, not Urs. Lacroix needs Tammy to need him, not Urs. Women aren’t to be trusted.
I just can’t with this. It feels like every Cool Girl ever, like every little college freshman who refuses to take a women’s studies course because, like, she just likes men, you know? Women are so catty.
And it doesn’t feel germane to Tammy’s character, frankly. That people in general aren’t to be trusted? Sure. That Urs doesn’t know Tammy, and how dare she try to give advice? Yeah, I can see that, too. But this very specific sort of mean girl bullshit seems thrown in to…I don’t even know. Are we supposed to sympathize with Tammy here, and declare that, yes, women are bitches? Are we supposed to find Tammy unlikable now, because she’s so misguided? Is it supposed to highlight how young Tammy is, and how she doesn’t know what she’s doing?
That last one feels closest, but as I just said, there were other, better ways to do this. Like the shorthand of “iffy BDSM=broken people” that Sizemore’s already used, this is lazy, lazy, lazy writing and characterization. Don’t do this ever.
Someone starts knocking on Tammy’s door, and she ignores it, because Lacroix wouldn’t knock. But then she thinks maybe it’s Urs, sent by Lacroix to get her, so she answers it.
It’s her dad.
He says he pretended to be mojo’d just to get out of the club, because it was too public there and he had no chance of getting her to go with him. But now she’s packing, so clearly she’s ready to leave with him.
She’s not, of course, and they argue about Lacroix. Drezerdic gets progressively more violent with her as she continues to insist that she loves Lacroix, and he’ll be her father now, and she’s not going to go with Drezerdic. Tammy thinks that she feels Lacroix nearby, and trusts him to intervene as Drezerdic puts his hands around her throat.
Tracy goes to see Vachon to ask for help with the zombie vamps. She says she saw a new vampire flying over a crime scene, and that he “felt wrong”, and she thinks Nick is out there tracking him. Vachon has to mojo Nick again, so he won’t know about vampires.
But she needs help finding Radu (though she doesn’t know that’s his name). Vachon considers her request, and decides that besides Knight, she’s the only one on the force who could conceivably handle hunting a vampire. So he sits down beside her to tell her everything he knows about the zombies and Radu.
Nick’s visit to Lacroix had annoyed Lacroix, but, he reflects as he goes to get Tammy, it reminded him that he never lets go anything that’s his, and in doing so, makes my little libertarian heart go pitter-pat:
“I do not let anything that belongs to me go easily. Should anyone? Shouldn’t the direst retribution be reserved for those who attempt to take what is yours?” the Nightcrawler had asked this evening’s audience. “Property rights are the only rights that matter….”
He considers the things stolen from his apartment. He doesn’t care about the box, but he knows that Radu will go after it. Radu always understood ownership – which he should have considered before he tried to take Janette.
Tammy won’t be a substitute for Janette, but she does have the capacity for evil. Lacroix laughs, thinking that Nick will hate having a bad little sister. And maybe he’ll send her to break into the police evidence room to steal back Lacroix’s numen, his household god, making sure to let Nick know she did it. It’ll rile Nick nicely.
But alas, Lacroix is too late. Tammy’s already dead, her body arranged nicely, her ghost lingering in the room. Drezerdic has taken what was Lacroix’s – and he will pay.
Next week: Lacroix filibusters the Patriot Act! And probably kills Drezerdic! Will Tracy find Radu before Nick does? Will Vachon’s crew kill all the zombies? Only two chapters left!
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