04 March 2011

The Gates S1 E11 "Surfacing"

Spoilers Ahead

I wish I had more to say about "Surfacing" but it's pretty standard Gates/soap opera fare: melodrama, scheming women, families being torn asunder. They even managed to include a possession this time. And while there were moments of actual scariness it was all resolved far too quickly. Apparently it's not that hard to appease vengeful spirits these days.

We start with Nick suddenly waking from a nightmare, which he's apparently been having for weeks. Since he won't talk to Sarah about it, she consults Devon. Our resident bad witch suggests an inhibition-lowering tea (supposedly to get Nick to talk about what's bothering him) and then with a word manages to hypnotize Sarah into forgetting she ever spoke to Devon (presumably this is a side effect of the "relaxation" tea Devon has been giving Sarah). Once Sarah leaves, Devon brews up a potion that lets her get into Nick's mind, where she sees him reliving the death of Teresa (recap here). Armed with that information Devon decides to consult her tome of summoning spells. Enter the aforementioned vengeful spirit.

Strange things start happening around Nick, although he doesn't get concerned until he actually starts seeing Teresa. But after he hallucinates that Sarah has turned into Teresa as they're kissing, Sarah drags him to Devon who gives him some of her tea, telling him that whatever's bothering him won't go away without it. He doesn't trust Devon but he agrees that if the hallucinations don't stop soon he'll drink the tea.

Elsewhere, Claire's nerves are on edge. Not only did Emily nearly see her drinking blood but the biological aunt comes for a visit and brings a child services worker along with her. Although the child services woman is satisfied that Emily is in a great home, the aunt isn't letting up, asking to see a copy of the adoption papers. At least things are getting better between Claire and Dylan--their 50-year anniversary is coming up and they're planning on renewing their bond (marital as well as sire/sired).

As Nick has more and more Teresa encounters he finally decides he needs to check that she's really dead. After getting the location of her burial site from Dylan, Nick heads to what turns out to be a bog. I thought for sure he was going to get sucked under as he was digging but instead he cuts himself (I couldn't quite tell on what but I think it was a bone shard) and finds Teresa's necklace. The cut prompts him to go see good witch Dr. Peg, who administers spiritual advice as well as medical care. She tells him he needs to help Teresa's spirit move on but cautions that it'll only happen if she's ready to move on. Helpful.

It turns out Teresa's not quite ready to depart. She haunts Nick's house, returns her necklace (after he dropped it back at the burial site) via his garbage disposal, and nearly drowns Charlie in the pool. Finally she possesses Sarah (possibly because Sarah decided to put on the haunted necklace). Desperate, Nick makes a deal to kill himself (justice, according to Teresa) in exchange for her leaving his family unharmed. Of course before he offs himself he gives a teary, heartfelt apology for killing Teresa's brother. That's good enough for Teresa--she departs, leaving Nick alive and Sarah unaware of what happened.

The fallout of all this? We get another hint at what's up with Leigh (after being shot in the chest by Teresa, Leigh is fine. She claims she was wearing a vest but it's fairly obvious she wasn't. My theory about her being literally heartless is looking promising). After nearly dying Charlie realizes he loves Andie, so they're back together. And Nick comes clean with Sarah about everything--including the fact that Dylan's a vampire. Sarah wisely decides it's time to get the hell out of The Gates. Devon also suffers some disappointment when Nick returns her tea unopened. Maybe next time she should be a little less obvious when she's pushing it on someone.

Speaking of coming clean, Claire and Dylan decide it's time to tell Emily what they are. But surprise--Emily already knows! So they have some family bonding time over how old they are and what it's like to be vampires.

What's going to happen with Nick and family? I'm guessing they won't get very far. And if the show had more than two episodes left I'd wonder how long before Emily lets the family secret slip to the wrong person. But overall I remain unenthused.

Fang Files

Appearance: Human with subtle fangs when needed.

Strengths: Super speed, strength.

Weaknesses: Going too long between feedings (almost like sudden drug withdrawal).

Mythology: Vampires can make or break bonds with one another.

Sound Bites

Nick: I don't trust her.
Sarah: Yeah, well I don't trust you.

Nick: Put the gun down, Sarah.
Teresa in Sarah's body: Sarah's gone.

The Gates, Season 1 Episode 11 "Surfacing." Written by Grant Scharbo. Directed by Holly Dale. From ABC.

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