Thursday, July 26, 2012

Blood Ties, Season 2, Episode 4: Bugged

At a goth club there seems to be a new drug going round – Sweet Venom – and, like many drugs, it’s not healthy, but they don’t normally  call cockroaches to appear.

This concerns Lexia, the owner of the club who fears that it’ll  give the powers that be another excuse to oust her – so she goes to Vicki who, rather predictably, is less than amused and gracious about the whole goth scene, affectations and appearance. But Coreen is there – a friend of Lexia and Lexia has helped her when she needed to poke Vicki for judging her based on her appearance. And since it involves her subculture, Coreen wants to be part of the investigation, despite the risks (as Vicki points out, every investigation involves the supernatural since she got her pentagram tattoos). I don’t know if Coreen’s extreme eagerness is a plus or not, she reminds me of a puppy.

Dr. Mohadevan examines the body – and it’s been consumed by insects despite the very short period of death and gone into severe allergic reaction, very unpleasant indeed. Naturally this calls for a trip to the club for all the standard questions that don’t really reveal much, though the fact they keep mentioning absinthe looks like a particularly lamp-shaded clue. Though Vicki does hit quickly on the possibility of drugs and it’s quickly clear that Coreen’s closeness to the culture and Lexia is going to be a problem for her.

Meanwhile someone has delivered some take away to Henry – but forgot that he prefers his women alive and not dead and propped on his front door. He decides to lie about it to Vicki and go to Celluci for help and reporting that she’s dead (a fashion model). No, it doesn’t make sense to me either. Henry believes his little delivery means there’s another vampire in the city which, given their territorial nature, is a bad thing. This is a take-over bid by a rival vampire - and a vampire that’s willing to kill people making Henry the better choice to have around.

The body ends up in the morgue, the awesome Dr. Mohadevan takes a look – and Vicki arrives for her own investigation. Naturally, being a professional, experienced and capable police detective, Celluci is completely and utterly unable to lie with a straight face and Vicki quickly finds out something’s up – so she goes to see Henry about it. To protect Vicki (ugh) he gives her a complete brush off.

Vicki lays down the truth to Coreen – whether it’s insect summoning black magic or a more mundane drug, something is happening at the club, even if Coreen doesn’t want to face it, so it’s time for another little field trip. At the club, Vicki asks Lexia if she sells drugs who, amazingly, says no (because if she was, she would totally say yes, right?) Vicki also doesn’t seem to entertain the possibility that someone could sell drugs at a club without being the owner. Case in point, Winter, the bar tender, is passing another vial on to another guy – who drops dead among lots of cockroaches in the alley. And Vicki finds the body (with Coreen claiming one of the insects) – interrupting Coreen’s lecture about judging on appearances.

Time for a Vicki logic leap – Vicki decides that it’s a drug and insect attack – and that the drug attracts insects – which they confirm with Mohadevan (it’s revolving doors in the morgue today) who oks it. And, of course, fills Vicki in about Celluci and Henry, because she’s awesome like that.

Henry and Celluci go vampire hunting (and amuse me immensely with Celluci checking to see what actually kills a vampire). And Henry calls Celluci “Renfield” which should so be his name from now on. They arrive at the photographers where the model victim was last seen – and Vicki arrives to say hi and how she is not amused by them keeping a secret.

Stonewalled by Henry and Celluci, and frustrated – she returns to her original case and decides to send Coreen undercover into the club to try and find the insect attracting drugs. She tries to enlist Henry again but he’s still stuck on his vampire problem and keeping Vicki out. So Vicki is left to be Coreen’s back up on her own (and you have to love her cover – pretending to hand out religious pamphlets so everyone avoids her). For extra fun, Coreen is just bad at undercover. Still she does end up in a backroom with Winter – who grows long spines and stabs her with venom – not what we were expecting. And she singled our Coreen because it’s open season on Vicki, apparently.

Out in the alley Vicki runs to help - but Winter has already arrived to attack her. After much buzzing and grandstanding, the insect demon is killed by being hit by a great big van at high speed, driven by Henry – anti-climactic but it was kind of awesome as well. Which gives them time to cure Coreen.

But Henry has changed his mind about hunting down the vampire – it’s Christina, the one who made him and he’s unwilling to risk Vicki – or Celluci – in the fight against her, she’s just too powerful.

It looks like we’re getting some meta-plot! A big bad, that’s a new one for Blood Ties.

I do so hate the idea of keeping a secret from someone – even one that could get them killed – in order to protect them. It’s patronising to the extreme

I think this episode was supposed to contain messages about not judging someone for the clothes they wear or their appearance – if so it failed badly. Except for some snide remarks at the beginning which she dropped as soon as it became clear they bothered Coreen, she proceeded with a normal investigation. In fact, Coreen’s touchiness made it seem more like she was being naïve and overly protective rather than correcting Vicki’s assumptions. People die in a club with an unknown substance in their veins – whether that club is mainstream, goth, or whatever, drugs are a reasonable assumption.