Sunday, February 3, 2013

Only One Episode This Weekend.

I had a pretty busy weekend and my wife wasn't traveling for the first time in almost a month, so I've had other things to do.  But now, it’s a bright, sunny Sunday, and nice out, so of course I’m staying in to watch episode 4 of Kindred, “Romeo and Juliet.”  Can’t say I’m all that optimistic with that title.

It’s evening in San Francisco and Cash has come a’ callin’ on Jailbird.  Or, more properly, he’s taken her to his crashpad.  She’s unimpressed with the décor, but we all know why she’s there.

Anyway, Jailbird’s all, “You don’t have to play shy and sensitive with me.  I’m all yours.”  Because she’s subtle like that.  But Cash, to his credit is trying to maintain.  But the power of Jailbird is too strong and we fade out on the makeouts.

Meanwhile, we’re back at the Dock Workers’ Union office/warehouse.  Beef McBrujah’s long black wheels are parked outside.  Inside, it doesn’t look so warehouse-y this time.  More like a normal (by Hollywood standards) business office.  Beef is at his desk holding court with a number of (I assume) Brujah consigliere, all wearing three-piece suits.  Seriously, I must have missed that part of Clanbook: Brujah.  Anyway, Minion #1 says there’s trouble on the streets and they had to take down a Gangrel last night.  Minion #2 points out there hasn’t been a Clan War (Bingo!) in years.  Beef thinks that’s just what they need.  Minion #2 isn’t keen on the fact that Lobes and the Nosferatu are allied with Julian, but Beef says they’re a bunch of wimps.

Beef monologues for a while about how Julian keeping things “clean” has cost them too much business.  How he has to dance like a circus bear (seriously, he said that) at Julian’s whim.  And how Alfred is old news, but they have to deal with Julian once in for all.

(Could the title have been wrong?  Could this actually be some sort of bromance, an “Eddie and Julian” sort of tale.  I suspect not.)

Minion #1 cautions Beef about Julian’s anger.  Beef decides his perfect plan will be to make Julian’s anger go all the way to eleven.

(The part of me that likes to second-guess the plot kind of sees what’s coming from a mile down the road.  Should be an interesting train wreck to say the least.)

Back at The Cashpad and clearly Jailbird’s had her way with the lad.  He’s dressing and if there’s a getting dressed equivalent of the Walk of Shame, he’s totally doing it.  Jailbird, on the other hand has that look on her face like you’ve just had a quickie before your friends show up and they can’t figure out what you’re so happy about.

There’s a pounding on the door.  Cash grabs his gun and runs to open it.  It’s that Buffy-looking Gangrel chick from episode 1.  She starts to tell Cash what’s going on, then sees Jailbird.  Awkward.  But she tells him Jamie’s dead.

“Brujah killed one of our Gangrels?”

Sadly, they’re still going with the Gangrel singular Gangrels plural thing.  Sad, that.  Anyway, Cash tells Jailbird to stay at Julian’s compound, it’s too dangerous on the streets.  Since it’s not Opposite Day, I predict that Jailbird will do exactly the opposite of what Cash tells her.  This can only end well.

Roll Credits

During the establishing shots, before things start up again, I couldn’t help notice a couple of taxi cabs with tobacco advertising on them.  I’m not sure that would fly today, even for stock footage.

Anyway, we’re at Haven.  A massive stretch limo is parked out front, and it looks like Beef and a bunch of extras from The Sopranos are walking in.

From a balcony overlooking the main floor, Julian and Lillie look on.  “Something’s wrong.  The Brujah didn’t bring their women.”  WHAT IS THIS? I DON’T EVEN…

Wow.  Just…wow.
And, right on schedule, here comes Cash, along with a couple cast members from “The Lame List.”  Cash does the old “Bump and Glower” on one of Beef’s entourage and attempts a staredown with the well-dressed table of anarchists.

Oh hai, Jailbird.  Of course she comes walking in.  The Brujah, who are clearly here for a Boy’s Night Out, objectify her in the way of all douchebags in three-piece suits.

“You shouldn’t be here.”  “You’re here.”  Well, she’s got you there, Cash.  She’s able to locate you in physical space.

Julian and Lillie are still voyeuring it up upstairs.  Lillie is all, “They’re totally doing it.” And Julian is like, “But it’s badwrongfun.”  Because…hell, I can’t figure it out.  Besides, with the way this things inexorably progressing, the whole Kindred/Human angle is about to get mooted.

Jailbird wants to dance.  Judging from the music in the background (a wailing blues number), she’s either deaf, or the sound department didn’t actually read the script when putting music into this episode.  Cash tells her to go home.  She starts to leave, but only gets as far as Brujah Mook #1, who says he’ll dance with her.  Ah, the jealousy ploy.

They dance.  They dirty dance.  Well, what a Spelling production would consider dirty dancing, I suppose.  Not in any sync with the music I might add.  Mook #1 pulls her close and the makeouts are about to commence.

When Julian shows up with his Immaculate Cockblock Technique that he borrowed from a draft copy of Exalted he found in Lobes’ cellar.  He throws the Mook aside as Jailbird flees the club, then plays Enigmatic Staredown with Beef.  As Julian and Cash leave the club to follow Jailbird, Beef smiles a little.  This is going entirely to plan, BWAHAHAHAH!!!

Back at Julian’s compound, Cash comes walking in to…I don’t know.  It’s probably the same room they use for the meetings, but Julian’s up on a balcony looking down.  Julian tells him he knows the Brujah want war.  Cash tells him there are no Brujah on the streets.

Cash talks some sense.  If they wait for the Brujah to act, the war will come on their terms.  Take them down now, before they’re ready.  Oh, also, he’s banging Jailbird and wants to Embrace her.  This goes over with Julian about as well as you’d expect.

It’s daytime now and we’re at the San Francisco Times.  Katelyn is meeting with Julian, who is the most hands-on guy ever to buy a business via three cut-out corporations and a blind trust.  The paper is investigating strange doings afoot at a children’s hospital.  A bunch of kids with anemia.  She thinks the attending physician is involved.  Julian looks at a picture of the doctor and his eyes get all silver glowy like he’s activating a power.  But it’s nothing covert.  Maybe he was just copying the graphic to an internal hard drive of something.

And, we’re back at the mansion at twilight, in the tunnels underneath.  Julian needs Lobes to check out this doctor, and we immediately transition to a hospital at night.  Maybe Lobes has a SEKRIT PASSAGE into this one as well.  Doctor walks down an abandoned hall (because hospitals have those in the middle of the night, right?) and as Lobes looks on from the shadows, enters a room.  There’s the sound of a child’s scream.

The doctor leaves, wiping his mouth.  We see another kid peering through the window in his door (seriously, this hospital has some really odd features), then runs and hides under the bed.  But DOCTOR BLOOD must have heard or smelt him or something because he goes straight for the kid’s room.  But as he starts to look for Victim #2, the lights go out and the music gets all weird.  The whole floor is lit only with red light and Lobes is waiting out in the hall. “For the horror you bring to the innocent, your Prince sentences you to Final Death™.”

There’s a brief attempt at suspense, but Lobes totally catches up with and dispatches Doctor Blood.  Of course, he must be slipping up, because a kid saw the whole thing, but I’m sure that won’t become a plot point.

Now we’re in the basement and Lobes is feeding Doctor Blood to the furnace.  Oh, and here’s the kid.

I find it interesting the kid isn’t wearing hospital robes.  At first glance, it looks like a button-down shirt, but maybe it’s those pajamas that look like street clothes.  Anyway, he wants to know if Lobes is a monster.  Lobes wants to know if the kid is afraid, but he’s not.  Because guys with weird ears disposing of bodies in a furnace is perfectly normal.

And, we’re back in the tunnels under the mansion..  Lobes has brought the kid back with him.  What. The. Fuck.

Also, the kid is definitely wearing jeans and a shirt.  And now, Lobes has abducted him from the hospital, where apparently the only person on staff was a vampire doctor.

The kid wants to know why Lobes offed Dr. Blood.  Would’ve thought that conversation starter would have come a bit earlier in the relationship, really.  Lobes tells him it was to protect him in the kids, while mixing something with his chemistry set, possibly a rum and Coke.  “Do you drink kids’ blood?”  “No.”

Turns out the kid’s mom just kind of left him at the hospital.  He has some sort of terminal illness, so he lives there full-time.  Seriously, that’s what he’s saying.  HEY, KATE-LYNNE:  IF YOU REALLY WANT TO INVESTIGATE SOMETHING, HOW ABOUT LOOKING INTO THIS FUCKED UP HOSPICE ORPHANAGE MASQUERADING AS A HOSPITAL WITH NO NIGHT STAFF TO SPEAK OF.  THAT SEEMS LIKE A GOOD THING TO FIND OUT AND PUBLISH STUFF ABOUT.

Kid has this creepy Detect Vampire power going.  Dr. Blood isn’t the first one he’s seen at Phuqtupt Hospital.  Julian turns up and gets and after-action report from Lobes.  He tells Lobes the kid (LITTLE TIMMY) has to go back.  But the kid is all, “I want to stay here, with your valet/spy/assassin.”

Julian tries to talk sense, but Lobes is all, “He has no one.  He will die.  I want to help him. Oh, also, if I embrace him, he’ll be all icky like me, so you have to do it, Julian.”  But Julian is all, “Man, have you even SEEN ‘Interview With the Vampire’?  Take the kid back.”

We’re back at Haven.  The stretch limo from the opening shot is still there, just pulling away from the curb.  I’ll bet you a shiny nickel this fact has nothing whatsoever to do with whoever is actually in the club at this particular moment.

Not that it matters, because the real focal point is Jailbird, who just rode up in a super-short skirt and leather jacket.  I’ll admit, I’m not a motorcycle person, but I’m pretty sure bare legs and hot engines are, traditionally, a risky combination if not a completely Bad Idea.  Then again, Jailbird is pretty much the walking incarnation of Bad Ideas, so maybe it’s her thing.  Though she WAS wearing a helmet.

She plops down at Julian and Lillie’s booth.  She tells Julian that she and Cash are in LURVE.  Julian, who probably had plenty of time to read Love and Limerance back in the 80s asks what she actually knows about Cash, which amounts to diddly and squat. He then asks what she knows about him.  Same answer, really, but she knows that he and Lillie and Cash are different from her.  She wants that too.  She kisses his hand all Vampire Fealty style, while bad imitation Enya plays in the background.  Lillie’s all, “Sounds to me like she’s just joined the family” and Julian looks conflicted.

We cut to an exterior set we haven’t seen before.  Moolight and columns and trees. Probably part of Luna Acres.  Anyway, Cash is there and Julian drops the bomb that he’ll allow him to Embrace Jailbird if she wants it.  Cue the tragic twist…

Back at the C(r)ash Pad, he knocks for Jailbird to open up.  No answer, so he rolls well on his Break Doors check and busts in.  Jailbird’s on the bed, with a vampire on her throat.  As Cash rushes in, he gets jumped by a couple of Brujah suits.  Looks like Minion #1 is about to sire another Brujah.

(Does this mean Jailbird will have to start wearing suits, read the Wall Street Journal, and vote Republican?  I’m still terribly unclear on Brujah culture as depicted in this show.)

Apparently, the Embrace doesn’t take too long.  Because Minion #1 finishes draining her, gives her a five second swig off his wrist, and the two of them are good to saunter out while Cash looks on like a whipped puppy.  “She’s Brujah now, she belongs with us.”  Called it!

(Also, the whole thing is terribly terrible.  Seriously.  Basically, it’s claiming a woman by right of rape.  Really nice there, Spelling Productions.)

Back at the mansion, Julian interrupts Alfred’s nap.  OK, maybe he was just resting his eyes.  Anyway, the dude is wearing a Mister Rogers sweater, and looks like he just wants a nice warm blood pudding and his slippers.  Apparently Alfred is on his way out…somewhere and Julian is worried about what he’ll do when he’s gone.  But before we can expand on that possible character arc, Cash comes in and tells him the news.

And then storms out.  Seriously.  Bodyguard, head of security, and he just drops that in his boss’s lap and walks back out.

Cut to Beef’s office.  Julian busts in, sending suits flying.  He pulls this, “In my city, against my blood” speech while the Brujah pull gats and hold them on him 90s sideways gangsta grip style.  Because they’re totally street, yo.

Beef is all, “Simple economics.  We need to replenish our numbers and I don’t buy your argument that you get to say who we embrace and when. So, go soak your head.”  Or, words to that effect.

Julian’s all, “Give me Jailbird, and the head of Minion #1 or I’ll have yours.”  Looks like war is coming to Kindred Town.  It’s all very tense.  Also, Beef loves it when a plan comes together.

Back…I don’t know, it’s a bedroom. Maybe Lillies, maybe Julians.  Anyway, he’s all mopeygoth over Jailbird being Brujah now, and blaming himself (because, honestly, he did insist on her sticking around).

Hey, we’re at the hospital now.  It looks a lot more lit up than the last time we saw it.  And here’s C. Thomas Hero and Exposition!  Man, I’d forgotten they were even on this show.  Anyway, they’re investigating the furnace.  Well, Exposition and another cop are.  And Hero wants to know what’s up.  Seems a doctor and a kid vanished and they were poking around, noticed the incinerator was running, BUT THEY DIDN’T FIND ANYTHING.

That’s not good enough for Hero, who decides to take a look.  Other cop disapproves.  HE DISAPPROVES WITH GLOWY SILVER VAMPIRE EYES.  So we’ve got two vampire cops and C (for Clueless) Thomas Howell.

OTHER VAMPIRE COP (OVC) starts to make a move at Hero, but Exposition warns him off.  CTH pulls a skull and some bones out of it.  YEAH, YOU SURE DIDN’T FIND ANYTHING.

Down in the Lunacellar, Lobes is painting a picture of Little Timmy.  NOT CREEPY.  They hear someone coming down and the kid runs and hides.  No way this isn’t going to end poorly either, I suppose.

It’s Julian.  He wants to know what the Nosferatu will do in case of Clan War™. Lobes points out that Julian could, y’know, not fight, but Julian is all “R-E-S-PE-CT FIND OUT WHAT IT MEANS TO ME” so yeah, it’s totally on.  But if that’s the case, the Nosferatu spill blood for  no one.

(Of course, to date, we’ve only seen one of them.  Stealthy buggers.)

Luna finds the kid (not that it’s hard) and tries to use Lobes keeping him around as leverage.  No dice.  Also, Little Timmy needs to go back to the Puppy Store.

Back at the hospital, Lobes is trying to explain to Little Timmy (who may actually be named Abel because that wouldn’t be a Vampire thing at all) that he won’t be safe if there’s a war.  The kid’s all “I don’t want to die here.  I don’t want to die.  You have magic.  Can’t you help me.?”

And Lobes is all, “Damnit, Anne Rice! Why’d you have to do a thing.”

And, as Lobes vanishes, up wander the nurse who probably should have been working when the kids were getting attacked, along with Hero and Exposition.  And yeah, Little Timmy’s name is Abel, but too late now.  I named him, he’s mine.  We see lobes standing in the darkness, shedding bloody tears.

They ask Little Timmy what happened, but his Vampire Sense is tingling when he sees Exposition, and he keeps shtumm.  Exposition gives Hero a little, “Kids, what can you do?” shrug, and we cut…

To Haven.  Jailbird is outside with her new Brujah sire.  She’s still wearing her biker chick look, so I guess they haven’t scheduled a makeover and night spa for her.  She doesn’t look too happy, truth be told.  Cash comes tearing up on his bike (also wearing a helmet), knocks over Minion #1 and Jailbird jumps on the back of the bike.  They tear off.  The Brujah draw pistols, but Minion #1 stops them from shooting. “We’ll get them later.”

Looks like we’re in a park somewhere.  Cash gets to give Jailbird a Kindred 101 Orientation speech (I guess her Sire had problems getting his PowerPoint version to work).  Anyway…oh lord, now they’re doing this, “Gangrel and Brujah are enemies.  But I love you.  But how long can you with their blood in you?” bullshit.

Manufactured bullshit drama is what this is.  You know, I don’t remember seeing this episode when it aired, but I remember hearing about it and thinking, “Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.”  And I was right.  Utterly unnecessary melodrama.

Anyway, eventually they proceed to making out until we fade to commercial.  God, that was painful.

Back at Haven.  Julian, Lillie, and Alfred are having a confab in a booth.  It must be after hours, because the joint looks closed.  Julian says the streets are full of Brujah, even out of towners. Lillie doesn’t think Beef means to go head to head with Julian.  Alfred points out that Beef is stupid.

Lillie advises Julian to back down and offer an olive branch.  Julian is all “Nuh uh.  I HAVE RAGE!  IF BEEF WANTS BEEF, LET’S GIVE BEEF BEEF!”

Sunup.  Cash and Jailbird are behind some slummy buildings but totally outside.  She’s hungry and hurting (and about to get worse if she doesn’t find some cover, I should hasten to point out).  Cash slashes his own wrist to feed her (like you do) and she’s all crying and grossed out.

Back at the Hospital, Hero is still trying to get answers from Little Timmy.  Exposition tells him it’s been days (FLEXIBLE NARRATIVE TIME) and it ain’t gonna happen.  Hero continues to chat the kid up and the kid’s not saying nuthin’.  But he looks off to the side and in the shadows, there’s Lobes keeping an eye on him.  Aw, bless.

Hey, that’s right, K8Lyn is in this episode.  She wants to talk to Little Timmy as well.  But before that, she tries to grill Hero.  Who wants to know if she told Julian about this case?  Because he just wrote a big-ass check to the hospital yesterday.  Nothing suspicious about that, nosireebob.

While that’s going on, Little Timmy runs off.  Hero tries to catch up with him, but it looks like he took the stairs.  Catalina tries to follow, but she’s wearing heels or something.  Hero tracks Timmy to the basement, where Lobes totally jumps him and has him in a Byrne-Lock.  But Little Timmy jumps in to stop him.  And then Exposition runs in, CALLS LOBES BY HIS NAME, and tackles him off Hero.  Which leads to big conversation about how Hero is under Julian’s protection and that if Lobes destroys him, he’ll have to destroy Exposition too!

All of this, by the way, right in front of Hero in the open.  Assuming he hasn’t blacked out from the Byrne lock, he now knows Exposition is a vampire.

Lobes leads Little Timmy away while Exposition tends to Hero.  Sure enough, he knows.  YOU’RE ONE OF THEM!  But Ex clearly took a few dots in Dominate (always handy) and resets Hero’s memory.  Handy, but totally in-keeping with the game, so that’s a win.

Back at the Mansion, after dark (so I guess an entire day has passed, again).  Ceightline is there to talk to Julian.  It’s not the best time for him because business is chaotic.  He starts to put the moves on her, but she totally steps out of it with the old, “I need to put my purse down” ploy.  She confronts him about the hospital.  She wants to know if he’s Batman.  Or Tony Soprano.  Either way, he acts all wounded pride and righteous indignation and she backs down because she’s the MOST FEARED INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER IN THE CITY!

We’re back at the hospital and it’s daytime.  Lobes is down in the basement with Little Timmy, who’s dying.  Lobes has been crying and he gives Little Timmy a Cure Disease Potion.  He’s not sad because Timmy’s dying, he’s sad because he won’t see him anymore.  Lobes cannot have a BFF.

Timmy wakes up.  Apart from blue lips, he seems OK.

And we’re back at Lunaworld and it’s night again.  Or maybe day-for-night.  Anyway, we’re in that same columns and trees place as earlier and Caitlin is calling on Luna once more (assuming it’s another night).  She’s here to tell him Little Timmy has been found and he’s in remission.  MAGIC!

Julian says he’s glad, but his eyes don’t show it.  And Miss City Editor Most Feared Reporter on the Coast is all “Sorry about those true things I said about you.” And he’s all, “S’okay, I’m an enigmatic dude.”  And then they’re all FEELS and HUGS.

Cut to a warehouse.   An army of dudes in suits have formed a Reservoir Dogs Walk flash mob.  No, wait, it’s the Brujah contingent in “Wall Street on the March.”

Oh, and there’s another gang coming.  It’s Julian and Alfred and Exposition leading a crew of their own.  Lots of  Gangrel biker types, as well as Other Vampire Cop and what look like a couple of SWAT guys.

Is there going to be a dance-off?  I really want to see a dance-off!

Not present at the moment: Cash and Jailbird.

Julian and Beef walk out to the middle.  Are they gonna kiss?

Julian tells Beef that if this goes down, Brujah’s days are over.  Beef says, “Same to you, wit’ knobs on it.”

Before the DJ can drop mad beats, Lillie interrupts.  She’s got Cash and Jailbird in tow.  And a couple more guys with her.  Does this mean there’s more Toreador out there?  They do kind of look like they showed up after a “Fame” cast party.

Jailbird tells Julian she’ll go with the Brujah to stop the war.  Julian is all, “NO WAY! RAGE!” and Beef calls her.  When she doesn’t go over to his side, the Brujah pull their gats.  Lots of those goofy phosphorous guns in evidence.

And then…it actually got kind of cool for a second..  A weird wind comes up and the assembled flash mobs find themselves surrounded by a flash mob of Lex Luthor cosplayers.  Or House Nosferatu,  I suppose.”  Apart from their clawy fingers and lack of hair, none of them look particularly hideous, leprous, horrific, or in the least bit Schrecky.  But, I suppose if you aren’t going to devote your makeup budget to a primary character, why spend it on extras.

Alfred and Exposition are grinning.  They know the score.

Beef tells his boys to stand tough in the face of the sewere scum, but they’re scattering like the wind.  He, somewhat pointlessly, notes the Nosferatu are neutral.  Lobes is all, “Yeah, but we can be bought.”  And his price?  Minion #1.  Handy, that.  Minion goes running but gets caught in a mob of bald mimes.  Or Nosferatu.  Either way, he’s donezers.

Julian’s guys disarm Beef and Cash takes him into custody.

Jailbait talks with Uncle Julie.  He tells her that regardless of Clan, she’s still his blood.  And Cash?  Give him time.  Smiles all around, we’re a happy vampire show.

Cut to daylight, outside.  A limo tears up to an abandoned stretch of ground.  The door opens and a body is pushed outside.  It’s Beef, and he’s not too happy, what with the sun being out and all.  Personally, I figure at the rate these guys burn, he’s got like four or five hours, so he really shouldn’t panic, but he seems pretty pissed all the same.

Actually, he started burning straight away.  I guess that’s what happens when you’re the big bad and there’s less than two minutes left in the episode.

But wait, the limo pulls back up.  Beef pounds on the door to be let in.  He begs.  The door opens and Julian gets out.  “Know this, you brisket, you only continue to live at my sufferance.” Or words to that effect.  He gets back in the car and the trunk opens.  Beef crawls in and lives to scheme another day.

So yeah, that’s another one down.  I figured from episode 1 that Sasha (Jailbird) was going to get turned, and from the episode title, it was pretty clear by which clan.  I’m sort of surprised Beef didn’t do it himself, but maybe that would put her too high up on the Brujah org chart.  Of course, funny thing is, she’s closer to by-the-book Brujah material than any character in the show.  That said, the whole manufactured melodrama still pisses me off as well as the forced Embrace, but I suppose that’s television for you.

I particularly liked the relative lack of cops and could’ve done with less reporter girl.  The sick kid was an interesting plotline, though I find it weird the writers seemed to want to try to humanize the arguably most human character.


  1. Yep. I'm running back to back ICONS games on Sunday, playing stuff the rest of the weekend.