Snowflakes, I’ll be honest: I expect to see you falling here any day now. Colorado’s been having a year without a summer, and today it’s dismally rainy and about 60 degrees. I love it – but I don’t know if I’m Coloradan enough to handle snow in July. In any case, it’s a great day for a recap, so let’s get to it!
We open on a guy running through a field – a sunny, be-daisy-ed field – to ominous music and heavy breathing. He falls, and then is seemingly attacked by something. Later that night, when the gang picks up the case, Nat can’t find any trauma on dude’s body, or any apparent cause of death. SpooOooOooky!
After the credits, Schanke and Nick are discussing Myra’s new hobby: ice climbing. I love Myra. She’s unendingly interesting, and I love that we never meet her. But it’s her birthday, and it gets Schanke thinking about death, which bums him out, because he thinks it’s the end of a person. Nick’s all, “Don’t you think it might be an adventure?” and Schanke’s all, “No, because there’s no you left to experience it! Right?” And Nick says he doesn’t know, he’s never died before.
Anyway. The dead guy was an employee at the Macallum Neurological Institute, under Dr. Alex Nystrom, who reported dead guy missing. Why the captain delivers this info, I can’t say, except that she has a contractual obligation to appear in every episode.
In the lab, Nat tells the boys that there’s no reason for dude (Dr. Wellner) to be dead. He did have prostate cancer, but it wasn’t advanced enough to be the COD. Also, he didn’t die where they found him – the guy’s shoes were clean, so he was killed elsewhere and placed there.
The guys take Nat to the Neurological Institute so she can help them understand what Wellner was working on – turns out it’s “consciousness states”. Dr. Nystrom takes them to meet Wellner’s team, and HOLY SHIT IT’S AMANDA TAPPING!
Guys. GUYS. DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I LOVE STARGATE? SO MUCH. I AM SHOUTING BECAUSE I AM SO EXCITED FOR THE REST OF THIS EPISODE AND THE JOKES I WILL MAKE.
So Dr. Wellner’s team is Naomi Ross – aka Sam Carter – and Joel Beckett, who looks really unenthused. About everything, I suspect. There’s also Dr. Lindsman, but she’s in her lab, and they’ll talk to her later. Major Carter is really friendly, and does almost all the talking. Wellner was working last night, they knew he had cancer, he seemed fine. They’re studying the difference between waking and sleeping, but of course Carter says it all brainy-like, because she’s a brain. Take that, Daniel Jackson. You’re not the only smart one.
Nat and Schanke go to see their work, and Nick goes to see Dr. Lindsman, who’s having some flashbacks of her own weird dreamscape. More of Dr. Wellner was fine, handling his cancer well, everyone’s baffled. Which obviously means that someone knows exactly what’s going on, and everyone’s probably lying.
Joel Beckett continues to look grumpy while he and Carter explain their work to Nat and Schanke.
Meanwhile, Dr. Lindsman is going on about death. I’m guessing that’s the theme this week – what’s death like? Who knows? I’m kind of bored by all this, truth be told. It feels like the writers are overreaching, trying to make the show mean something, when it would have meant more if they just showed us how all these people deal with the uncertainty of death. Because you know that’s what this research is. “States of consciousness” my ass. Y’all are sneaking Keifer Sutherland and Julia Roberts in on the nightly and flatlining your asses off.
Anyway, she says something about people coming back from death, and it’s Flashback Time! Which will have no Stargate actors, but we can’t have everything we want in life, now can we?
Lacroix is offering Nick immortality, and it’s exactly what you think it will be. Dr. Lindsman brings Nick back to the future by talking about how everyone who comes back from the dead does so with a renewed respect for life, and he looks all sad panda about that, because obviously he didn’t. The doc postulates that there’s a liminal state between life and death, and Nick’s all, “Why do you think that?” and she says “Because I’ve been – I’ve heard from people who’ve been there.”
Schanke doesn’t buy anyone’s story, and he goes on about it in the car while Nick is having weird-ass flashbacks of his own liminal space. (WordPress, BTW, hates the word “liminal”. I’ve looked it up twice now to make sure I’m spelling it correctly, and WP just isn’t having it. Computers, amirite? Everything’s black or white.) Schanke’s sure that one of Wellner’s team moved the body, but Nick is skeptical that there was even a murder committed – especially since Nat’s best guess is that maybe one of the team’s experiments went wrong.
Nick drops everybody off and heads to the Raven to brood about his birth. Unbirth. Turning. Whatever. He asks Janette what it was like for her, and she talks about the light and how Lacroix called her back. (Nick does not ask her why she’s wearing drapery tassels for earrings, but hey, I guess he’s known her and her upholstery fashions for longer than I have.)
Dr. Lindsman is in her own liminal space, which looks a lot like most of Arizona, when a hand reaches up from the sand and tries to pull her down. Dr. Grumpy Cat and Major Carter pull her out of the machine, and she tells them the “dreams” are getting more disturbing – and that Wellner was trying to kill her.
Conveniently, Nick is standing right outside the door for this conversation, and is able to hear Dr. Lindsman wail, “Did we kill him?” He also hears Carter claim that it’s too dangerous, Lindsman was under for too long, they can’t keep doing this. Grumpy Cat is all, “No, it’s fine, shut your hole,” and then he and Carter leave the office. Nick goes in to see Lindsman and demand some answers.
“Okay,” she says, “I have six degrees of Kevin Bacon.”
She tells Nick that people have come back from near-death experiences without their illnesses. Wellner wanted to go under to get rid of his cancer, and died while he was under. They tried to revive him, but it didn’t work – either Wellner chose not to come back, or something stopped him. And yes, they moved the body, because they couldn’t take the chance they’d be shut down.
So instead of taking her down to the precinct, Nick asks her what she’s seen. She seizes on this and offers to put him under so he can experience it for himself, and he declines, then leaves. Without her.
At the Institute, Nystrom is pissed that the team kept the research from him. He tells Carter to shut everything down, no excuses, now.
Nat tells Nick that they have to shut the research down, too. Nick asks her about the scientific basis for near-death experiences, and she says it’s all just biochemical hallucinations. Which Nick responds to by telling her about his own NDE, complete with flashback. Janette wonders if Nick will choose to die, and Lacroix’s all, “Nope. He’ll pick me.” Which…pretty much sums up everything Lacroix’s done in regards to Nick for the last eight centuries, doesn’t it?
Nick sees a door, and a woman in a hooded cloak tells him that he needs to turn away from the evil that waits for him to see what lies beyond the door. He tells the woman that Lacroix has offered him everything he’s ever wanted; what’s she got on the table? “The choice,” she says, so of course Nick goes back.
He tells Nat that if he has another NDE, he’ll choose to go through the door to the light. Nat has to let him.
Nystrom tells Lindsman that the work has to stop, and she freaks the fuck out and kills him. While he’s dying on the floor, Nick calls her and asks her to bring her equipment to his apartment. So she leaves the body lying there and goes off to experiment on Nick.
At the Institute, Schanke tells Nat when the team left the building, and surmises that one of those times lines up with Nystrom’s TOD. Nat asks where Nick is, and Schanke’s all, “Oh, he called out with the flu.”
Lindsman sets everything up at Nick’s place, but noticeably lacking is any sort of pulse-monitor, which I assume would alert her that Nick’s already dead, right? I mean, how is this thing supposed to work on someone who’s not human? Oh, wait – she does have something monitoring him, and he has a normal heartbeat? Weird.
Nat realizes the machine is missing and rushes off to get to Nick. Schanke says he’ll drive her, though she doesn’t tell him what’s going on or what Carter meant when she said it was all her fault, because she told Nystrom about “the experiences”. Because Schanke’s a good friend.
Lindsman basically confesses to Nick, who’s already under, but then notices that the machine is taking too much power and Nick’s responses aren’t human. She tries to shut it down, but she’s too late: it blinks out on its own.
Nat brings Schanke up to speed in the car. Schank wants to get squad cars over to Nick’s place, but Nat tells him not to. She promised Nick, and Schanke has to promise, too, not to tell.
In the desert, the woman in the door now wears Lacroix’s face, because he’s the source of the evil that infects Nick, and it’s Nick who’s altered the form. Nick says he wants to make the right choice this time, and that he’s been fighting his evil. He asks if there’s a way to be absolved, and Lacroix asks if he’s willing to face the consequences of his actions. Nick says he is, so Lacroix shows Nick himself, on a table, consumed by maggots.
“Here is the soul of the vampire in its true state,” he says. Nick yells that he’s lying, that it’s not what he is now. Lacroix says they don’t sit in judgment of him. The truth is what it is, and it must be confronted. Lacroix shows him crosses, symbolizing all the innocents he killed. They linger there, until Nick can “complete [his] task.” Nick says he wants to finish this here, now. Lacroix says, okay, and Nick’s all, “What aren’t you telling me?”
Well, basically, that you’re going to hell, Nick. Still want to go through that door?
Meanwhile, Nat and Schanke have shown up at Nick’s place. Nat starts doing CPR on Nick, while Lindsman is all “It malfunctioned! It’s too late! I didn’t mean to kill him!”
Lacroix stands before the door and asks Nick what he values most. “Humanity,” Nick says. “And what is humanity?” asks Lacroix. “A state of grace,” says Nick, and Lacroix asks if that isn’t the way to the forgiveness that Nick seeks. Lacroix insists that Nick’s debt to humanity hasn’t been repaid, and Nick finally figures out that if he goes back, he has a chance not to be damned.
Nat’s trying to save him, and she starts to set up some weird rat-poison neural stimulator.
Nick asks Lacroix how to get back, and he’s all, “Nope. You have to rely on humanity now,” and disappears.
Nat’s strychnine solution totes works, and Nick comes back to life.
In the coda, once again everyone brushes Schanke off with half-serious answers to all his questions. Poor Schanke. You don’t ever get the truth out of anyone, do you? He actually takes Lindsman in before she can kill anyone else, and so Nat and Nick can be alone so Nick can be all “Forgiveness is something you earn” and we can all barf.
Next week: Escaped mental patients! Who aren’t murderers! If they had part of their brains removed, it’ll be Fringe Edition!
Show SGRoA Post List