I just looked at my NaNo counter on the sidebar there. *sigh* I’m shooting for 30,000 words instead of 50,000 now, though, so maybe it seems better? I’m almost done, at that rate! Yay! Way to turn that frown upside down, Winters!
Okay. Now that I’ve pepped myself up, let’s get to it!
We’re staking out porn producers, apparently. I don’t know why. Is porn illegal in Canada? Oh, wait, apparently a woman was murdered, presumably by the porn producer in the sunglasses, indoors, at night, and not by the guy wearing the wire asking leading questions. Sunglasses discovers the wire and Nick’s flying to the rescue, but too late. Wired Guy gets shot, and Sunglasses gets arrested, claiming he didn’t do it.
Before we get started at the crime scene, can we talk about Nick’s coat for a second?
Every nerd I knew in high school and college – including dear Mr. Winters, so do not think I hold nerds in any contempt – owned a coat like this. What is the point of the shoulder ruffle cape thing? Why were they so long? Why did any of these guys think this was a good look? I mean, I love me some nerds, loved ’em then, love ’em now, but honeys, no. Do not wear this. This screams “Dungeon Master” – and not in that sexy way.
Okay, so, Wired Guy “turned stool pigeon” for the cops, and then died. The cops are looking for a movie of Sunglasses strangling Betty Gilroy, the starlet who died. Sunglasses claims that Wired shot himself, and he has a point about not being stupid enough to kill a guy who was wearing a wire. Nick claims that he saw the shooting, but oh, snap! It’s a lie!
For the sexxxy element this week, we have Mistress Tamara, a “business associate” of Sunglasses, who claims that “policemen are some of my best customers”. Check out the red suede ensemble she’s rocking:
I like her. She’s polite to Schenke, who’s obviously trying to slut-shame the hell out of her. And she’s in the phonebook! Who knew you could find a dominatrix in the phonebook?
Back at the station, they’re throwing Nick a party for “bagging the unbaggable”. Nick looks uncomfortable, probably because he’s lying out his ass, yo. The Crown Prosecutor is there to take his statement. Nat wanders into the remnants of the party, also looking uncomfortable. Methinks the autopsy has revealed that Nick’s totes okay with lying to the law.
Let’s take a minute, here, to applaud Nick for being a cop in the first place. He has the means to take the law in his own hands, all the time, and to get a meal out of every criminal he can find, too. He doesn’t, though. He has such a respect for humans and humanity that he willingly shackles himself to their laws in order to bring crooks to justice. It’s a nifty piece of characterization, really; a nice way to set up his character as being tortured by past misdeeds and longing to be part of humanity again. Even if we never got the exposition from Lacroix in the opening credits, we could figure this out about him just from his chosen profession.
So good job, FK writers! Credit where it’s due, and all. Now if only you could bother learning a little bit about how police work actually goes….
Nat reminds Nick that perjury’s a crime, and it prompts a flashback to Nick defending someone against murder charges back in Ye Olde Oldene Timese.
The Crown Prosecuter calls Nick and tells him he’s scheduled in court at 10:15 AM. “Bright and early!” she says. I’m really hoping she shows up in court like this:
But I’m not holding my breath.
Nick’s trying to get out of going to court because of his sun allergy, but Stonetree won’t accept a video testimony because he’s a primary witness instead of an arresting officer. So we’ll follow procedure when it creates a plot point, but only then.
Schenke brings Nick some sunscreen – Myra’s an Avon lady, only it’s not Avon, of course, because this is Canada and Avon is trademarked. And then he makes a George Hamilton tan vampire joke and references one of Lady Bird Johnson’s kids.
They’re on their way to see Mistress Tamara, whose office is red and green vinyl curtains and zebra-striped sofas. Taste: She does not haz it. She also does not have any information on a possible Betty Gilroy snuff film. Nick asks why she’s not being called as a character witness for Sunglasses, and I’m all, Buh? Would you put a sex worker on the stand? That shit don’t fly down here in ‘Murica. Maybe Canada’s different, but – Oh, wait, no.
Nick tries to confess to Schenke, but Honey Schenke don’t care, Honey Schenke don’t give a shit. I like how so far this episode hasn’t been all sanctimonious about what the “right” thing to do is. This is a legit moral grey area: you know a guy is terrible, you want to put him away. How far do you go? Does it matter if you’re human or not? Does it matter if he did what you say he did, or if he did something else? Or would do something in the future? This is the first episode we’ve seen written by Naomi Janzen, and I’ll be on the lookout for her name in future eps, because this one is, I think, the first really solid one of the series. You can see how these characters could be real people, finally, and how they would deal with these sorts of situations. We can finally stop gawking at the gruff captain, the bumbling partner, the righteous M.E., and the vampire, and start caring about Stonetree, Schenke, Nat, and Nick.
And continuing the theme, Schenke asks Stonetree why people don’t trust cops. Don’t cops follow the rules? Don’t they look out for the rights of the accused? Stonetree tells him to take some time off; that’s just the system. And then Schenke gets to say this:
“And it sucks. … And the sun comes up and the bodies roll in and the lawyers do their plea bargains and you get balder and I go grey and time goes by. And at the precinct reunion picnic, I look at you, you look at me, and it’s history. We’re history. Ugly, bloody, game-over history.
And your kid the architect and my kid the dentist, they visit us in the old folks’ home, and they look at us like we’ve lived our lives under a rock somewhere.
We’re not the heroes. We’re the bad guys.”
Schenke’s feeling a little hopeless tonight, folks. Poor Schenke. He goes over to Nick’s to encourage him to lie on the stand, because Sunglasses is the bad guy and they’re the good guys. Schenke needs to be a good guy today.
Flashback time! Greensleeves, top hats, cravats and frock coats, dropped shoulders and big sleeves on Janette. 1830s or ’40s, I’m thinking. And what’s this? IT’S LACROIX, MOTHERFUCKERS! AW, YISS!
They’re in a…tavern? I think? A guy and a girl are playing violins in front of a fire and before an audience. Janette pulls the girl away and Lacroix and Nick have a sniping conversation about how music feeds the soul, and that’s why mortals excel at it where vampires do not: because vampires don’t have souls.
The guy comes back after a break, but he can’t find girl. Nick has a bad feeling about that, and with reason: Janette totes offed her. Lacroix doesn’t even offer a quip, just a smug look as he walks by. I love him so. fucking. much, you guys.
Guy finds Girl after Janette has fled, and then another lady finds him with the body and accuses him of murder. So we have our historical allegory.
Nat drives Nick to the courthouse in his trunk. She’s scoped out the courthouse and sabotaged the pull-cords on the blinds in the courtroom. She’s worried about Nick’s testimony, but he assures her that he’s 800 years old. He knows right from wrong.
OMG! There’s no wigs, but check it!
God, court in other places is so much more fashionable. I wish Jack McCoy dressed like this, for realsies, yo.
Anyway. Sunglasses’ lawyer says he’s going to prove that Nick is lying. There’s some boring testimony, and then we flashback to Nick defending Guy, and then back to the boring testimony. Sunglasses is trying to squeeze out a few tears, but it’s not happening. We switch back and forth between courtrooms, illustrating how nothing really changes. The mob wants justice, but rarely knows what that actually looks like. It’s the first heavy-handed bit in this episode, and it doesn’t really work, but I suppose they have a structure to uphold with the flashbacks and all.
Schenke counsels Nick to lie, again, in the men’s room during a recess. And then it’s Nick’s turn on the stand. Everyone’s counting on him to put this guy away. He goes through the events of the night, and…
He tells the truth.
The charges are dropped, and of course none of the cops are happy. And it’s an oh-shit moment for Nick, because he’s lied to his colleagues and the Crown Prosecutor. What will the consequences of that be? Will he be fired? Sanctioned? Fined? Prosecuted?
Bitches, no. This is Metro Police. Nick’s just going to go talk to Janette about it, and she can’t understand why Nick concerns himself with all this human crap, these “specks in time”. They talk about Lacroix, and Janette asks Nick if he knows where their father is. Nick won’t say; Janette guesses dead. She tells Nick that he doesn’t belong anywhere: he’s not true to his own kind, and he’s not true to himself. And she walks away. Again, it’s a nice setup for the conflict that drives the whole series. Is Nick human, or vampire? Can he be both? Can he go back after 800 years? Janette doesn’t think so. And that’s doubly interesting, given what happens to her later in the series.
Nick goes back to work, where he’s getting the silent treatment and having cases taken from him. But Nick has an idea about the case and needs a warrant – for Mistress Tamara. Turns out she’s the mastermind behind all this, and she has the Betty Gilroy snuff film, with which she’s been blackmailing Sunglasses. Sunglasses did all the murders – and shoots Nick and Tamara on his way out – but only because Tamara made him. So Nick’s finally able to bring him in legitimately and redeem himself to the force.
Oh, and that musician Guy? Sentenced to death, but “someone” might have sprung him from jail before that happened. So Nick got to be a good guy twice in one episode.
I didn’t remember this episode well, and that’s probably because 15-year-old me only cared about the fangs and the Lacroix sighting. But I’m impressed with the writing here, especially for CrimeTime After PrimeTime. The show wasn’t really intended to be this deep, and you could watch it and not catch any of that, but I’m glad I’m doing this rewatch and did catch it all. Gives me the warm fuzzies for Nick and the gang that I’d lost after the first six episodes of evidence fuckery and unprofessionalism and bad special effects.
And on that note: Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers! I probably won’t have a recap up before December (although you never know, I could wake from my tryptophan coma long enough to jot something down.). So enjoy your turkey, enjoy your shopping, and if you’re not American, enjoy your week.
See you in Christmas season!Show SGRoA Post List