In case you don’t follow my TV recaps (but you totally should, they’re awesome), this one’s a double-header because I was sick last weekend and couldn’t blog. But I’m all better now, and we have TWO chapters today, so let’s get to it!
Chapter 4 opens with a Nightcrawler monologue about family. What makes one, what shapes us into who we become. But it’s really just a segue to hang out in Lacroix’s head for a while, and I’m very pleased to be here. Much cheerier than Nick’s head, and much more philosophical than Tracy or Nat. But then, I do love my villains – so much so, they sometimes become heroes.
Lacroix reflects on how much he loves being the Nightcrawler. Draining the city through words is almost as good as opening their veins – and listening to him is all their choice. The victims, as it were, come to him.
He moves from family to monsters – what makes us so? – because of a discussion he had with Tammy earlier in the day. She has a lot to say about so-called “family values”, and it reminds Lacroix of his own sometimes-wayward children, Janette and Nick – and of his biological child, Divia.
Too bad she’s not making an appearance – at least not right now. I can’t say what will happen later. OMG, that would be amazing. I have a serious love for Divia that hasn’t yet been dimmed by rewatching her episodes in Season 3.
Lacroix invites people to call in to list their family grievances, and how they’d get revenge. He pushes the mic away, and Tammy comes in to offer him a glass of the blood-and-wine mixture vamps drink at the Raven. She leans over his desk to do so, flashing her tits – or maybe trying to. Lacroix is distracted by her veins, and says that “What I’m looking at, I find very attractive.” Which…I dunno, I’m a little icked out by going from “Tammy’s like Divia” to “I would bite the shit out of her”. Not only because in general, the vampire bite is a sort of coded sex act, but because Lacroix’s character, as has been established, makes it a lot less coded and a lot more sex.
Eh…that’s not even it. Maybe it’s Tammy’s immaturity? Like, that she’s obviously coming on to Lacroix, and he doesn’t seem to mind, but she’s so young. I know Lacroix believes in other people’s agency to an almost detrimental degree, but I just think he should, I don’t know, try to discourage Tammy? She doesn’t seem to be mature enough to exercise such agency well, and the imbalance of power is making me all tsk-tsk-y.
Anyway. That’s probably way more analysis than anyone needed.
Oh! He goes on to think about how much he enjoys the cat and mouse game he’s playing with Tammy, because he’s not entirely sure he’s the cat anymore. He doesn’t know what she really wants from him, besides his approval, and so he’ll let her stay with him – on the couch, while he keeps his bedroom door locked. If she tries to get up to any shenanigans, at least there’s that between them – but really, that’s all that’s between them. Well, I feel a little better, then.
Nick comes in, surprised that Lacroix would let Tammy hang out in the booth. Or at all. Lacroix tells Tammy to leave, and she’s pissed. She glares at Nick as she goes, and Nick’s all, “Isn’t she a little young for you?”
Lacroix waves it off – “Aren’t they all?” and tells Nick to go get a drink, and then they can discuss Tammy, or why he came. Nick opts to discuss the silver box and the headless corpse.
Lacroix gets a caller, so Nick goes out to get a drink. Up till now, the writing in this chapter has been quite good. Sizemore’s done well capturing Lacroix’s rhythms, and in switching off between his thoughts and Nick’s. And then this happens:
By the time Nick came back to the broadcast booth, fortified with one of the bovine brewskis the club’s very special bartender had concocted especially for him, Lacroix was finished for the evening. [emphasis mine]
Aside from the torturous construction of that sentence, what with its ridiculously long parenthetical, “bovine brewskis” is so jarringly slangy and familiar that it’s just awful. The tone of the writing, Lacroix’s ruminations on family and Tammy’s youth, Nick’s need to interview him about a murder, all make that little bit of alliteration stick out not like something as tiny as a sore thumb, but like a broken leg.
When people say to “murder your darlings”? This is what they mean. That phrase should never have made it past the first draft. Yes, it’s terribly clever and funny, but come on. It just doesn’t fit.
And yes, that picture is what I found by Googling “bovine brewskis”. I am not disappointed in that, at least.
Nick is worried about everything, as usual, but mostly about Tammy. He watched her while he was waiting for Lacroix. She danced with a human boy, and she chatted with Urs – whom Sizemore calls a “moody vampire girl”. Which…what? Pretty sure Urs was a grown ass woman when she was turned, and she’s just kept on maturing since then, so…
He brushes all that off, though, because he is investigating a murder. He brings out the box, and of course Lacroix recognizes it. He tells Nick about the robbery, and that he knows who did it, and he’ll get him without any “help” from the police, thank you very much.
Nick, amazingly, has no problem with that. The thief invaded Lacroix’s home, and Nick says that a man’s home is his sarcophagus – sacred. Lacroix has the right to track the dude down.
But all this talk of homes and safety means…
Nick, Janette, Lacroix, and Radu went hunting together. They killed a whole hunting party, but during the chase, Lacroix and Nick end up separated from Janette and Radu. Dawn’s almost here, and they can’t make it back to the castle, so Nick and Lacroix start looking for somewhere to hide for the day.
During all this, there’s a lot of Nick’s thoughts about Janette boinking Radu, and how much he hates that. Apparently they’ve been eyeing each other? But, like, in the last chapter, Janette did not seem into Radu at all, so this feels…manufactured, to me. Like, this was a beat on the outline, and Sizemore was going to use it, no matter that she hadn’t set it up properly. Maybe she meant to edit it in, but she didn’t, and so now we’re all along on this confusing ride.
Nick insists that his jealousy isn’t really jealousy or possessiveness. Sure, Nick. Whatever you say.
He and Lacroix find a crypt erected at a crossroads – so it’s not consecrated ground, and they’ll be able to use it. They bust into it, and Nick’s watching the day get lighter through a crack in the door. It’s raining, so he doesn’t have to worry about direct sunlight.
While he’s watching, he thinks about the time that he and Janette lived in Rome – for ninety years – without Lacroix. This tidbit does two things: 1) it establishes part of the reason Nick is so close to Janette, still, and 2) it gives us a further clue to the timeframe of this flashback. Well, if we watched the show, and remember Janette’s da Vinci portrait. So we’re definitely post-Renaissance.
Nick’s still ruminating when a group of men come through the forest, stinking of garlic and armed with torches and stakes. He assumes they’re coming for the crypt, but they stop across the road, at a mound of earth. They pull another zombie-vamp out of the fresh grave, this one stinking of rot. It starts to burn in the sun and under the holy water they throw on it, and they hold it down in the road and stake it as Nick and Lacroix watch.
Nick picks up the box and puts it in his pocket.
“That is mine, Nicholas. You know how possessive I am of my property.”
Nick stood. “I’m keeping it for now. Evidence.”
He asks Lacroix if he knows who committed the murder, because obviously it was a vamp. Lacroix doesn’t. Nick leaves.
And we’re on to chapter 5!
Urs and Screed are outside the Raven, blocking Vachon from getting in. They both say they need to talk to Vachon, but all he wants is a drink, since he doesn’t feel like hunting tonight and he’s hungry. Urs says it’s a good thing he looked at his beeper, and Vachon’s all, “Um, sure I did.” He didn’t. He thinks maybe it’s in Tracy fridge, since the last he remembers it beeped at him while he was “looking for something for his rather specialized tastes”.
So, two things. One: Beepers. Hee. Oh, 90s, you so 90s. Two: Why is Vachon always looking for cold food?! This is twice in one week we’ve seen him rummaging in Tracy’s fridge, and I still don’t have an explanation for it.
We get a little backstory here: Vachon’s known Urs for a little over a century, and Screed for longer. Urs, he changed because she was suicidally depressed, and he thought immortality might fix her. It didn’t. Feminist therapy did. And then he has this thought:
He’d been considering what to do with his life lately. Maybe he should find an all-night medical school, specialize in psychiatry, then set himself up as a vampire shrink.
Which is such a great idea, there’s already a whole series of novels about one:
True, Kismet is a human shrink who sees vampires, but still. The books are by Lynda Hilburn, and they’re great. Set in Denver. All mine are signed. Be jealous.
He goes on to wonder if Tracy would date a doctor, and how her parents would like that. Because…he’s going to marry Tracy, or something? Dude. Whut. That is a weird-ass thing for a 500+ year-old vampire to be thinking. Fangy relationships don’t work like that, dude.
Which makes him just want that drink all the more. He tries to sidestep Urs and Screed, and they move with him. He suggests talking inside, and Screen points out that Lacroix will never let the likes of him in the Raven; Urs says she doesn’t want Lacroix knowing what she needs to discuss.
Screed goes first. He tells Vachon about the zombie-vamp. Vachon asks if it’s like “that crazy, dog-eating thing that lives in the park”.
So after all that in “Blind Faith”, they just let that thing live? WTF, Toronto vampires! You’re worse than the police!
Vachon says it’s not their problem. Screed says it is, and Urs is disgusted with Vachon’s shirking responsibility yet again. Screed says he usually comes around, and isn’t that why Urs is here? To beg a favor?
Urs says it isn’t for her, it’s for a mortal, and Vachon’s off on a thought tangent about how he should never have told these two that his maker commanded him to do good deeds with his immortality. He’s annoyed by the command, still, too – “he was a conquistador, not a crusader” – which is a nice little jab at Nick and his endlessly boring do-gooding.
Vachon says he’ll check around the docks for the zombie-vamp, and Screed says that’s great, and then hightails it out of there. Vachon’s all, “What’s his deal?” and Urs has to remind him that most vampires hate carouches. Vachon’s an exception. We also get to know that carouches are made by vampires who aren’t powerful enough to make children, and that’s why they come over less-than-vampy. Vachon wonders if a vampire who isn’t powerful enough to even make a carouche could be responsible for the zombie-vamp.
Urs brings the subject back to her request. She wants Vachon to talk Tammy out of seducing Lacroix. Since taking over the Raven, Lacroix’s been downright laissez-faire about the younger vampires in the city. It’s an arrangement that suits Vachon just fine, and he doesn’t really want to interfere with Lacroix. Urs begs him, though, saying that Tammy reminds her of herself – gothic and depressed. Vachon tells her not to look in that particular mirror, then, but of course that’s no answer for Urs.
She says that Tammy’s looking for a father figure, and Vachon is all, “No.” So she implores him to talk to Lacroix, but that’s an even bigger “no”, so he agrees to chat with Tammy.
As they’re on their way into the club, Nick storms out. Vachon almost stops him to ask if Tracy’s okay, but Nick is gone too soon.
Next week: Chapter 6! What’s in Tracy’s fridge? Why does Vachon keep looking in it? Will anyone ever kill the dog eater in the park? STAY TUNED!
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