Players: Blake, Sean, Casey, Savannah, Christy
Author: Casey ((Is this stupid long? Yes. Am I sorry? No.))
Casey: "I was going to ask for a Chris Deland emoji, but then I realized. Every emoji is a Chris Deland emoji."
Blake: "I don't even have an intellect."
Christy: “Nita was gonna ask if she could “see the dragon,” but I thought that might be a little much.
Simon kisses Chris. Gallows attacks the Hall banquet. Delta Force steals the painting for The Guild. Nikolai gets shot and kidnapped by Gallows. Ana gets kidnapped by Fissure.
PART THE FIRST: Drama-Drama-Drama-Drama-First Per-i-ooood
We find our heroes at Miller Academy. Ana and Nita are in the hall, exchanging texts:
Text to Ana from Nita: I think Eric left a note in my locker, it said "I will never ask more of you, but know that I will never forget you". Is promising I think it means he accepts it.
Text to Nita from Ana: Good, I'm glad he's taking it okay! That must've been really rough. How are you holding up?
Text to Ana from Nita: Ok, I think. It's weird. But I was already living a different life, so I'm just throwing myself into that I think.
Text to Nita from Ana: I'm taking you for milkshakes at lunch! Chocolate will make us feel better
Meanwhile, before Simon’s eyes and in Simon’s arms, Chris Deland has morphed into Harold in the 3rd floor boys' bathroom. "Harold" kisses Simon and then steps back, uncertain. Chris Deland shifts back into Chris. Simon asked how Chris knows that he’s in love with Harold. Chris responds, simply, "I watch." Simon says Chris is in trouble with the knife. Will Chet, that muscle-bound bundle of malice, tattle? Chris is sad about not being like Harold and offers to "put on a mask" for Simon, but Simon tells Chris that he doesn't have to anymore. Chris picks up the knife and puts it in his pocket. Simon says "It's not safe for people like us," and pulls the knife back out of his pocket—with his telekinesis. Chris quickly connects the dots and figures out that Simon and Psych are one in the same. Chris: "You're a real hero. Not just for me…"
In Biology Class: Mr. Foster enters, looking displeased. Because of The Expedited Exposure to Scientific Literature Act of 2027, the class has to read the "latest EPA-funded paper." We're reading over and discussing the article. Miss West gets called on to answer how to vet an academic paper, then Ana fills in the gaps. The paper we're reading is obviously a problem for Mr. Foster. He has issues with methodology, statistical analysis, data sets, etc. The paper is a comparison between the environmental impact of CO2 emissions by Delta Humans and by folks with commuter cars.
Nikolai is openly angry and asks if Mr. Foster is intentionally teaching them how to critique bogus articles. It's clear that Mr. Foster is being pressured by this Act to expose the class to this article. The class topic on "adaptive genomics" was canceled to talk about this. Nikolai angrily mutters in Russian and writes out on the worksheet what exactly is wrong with the article. Troy asks Simon why he has a black eye. Simon says that "Chet fucking jumped me." Troy doesn't believe him. Ashley shushes everyone and Nita snips back, "Your concern for your fellow classmates is noted." Ashley: "I'm SORRY if I care more about his education than about a little scuffle." Ana: "Ashley, could you please stop talking; you're distracting me." Simon heads to the nurse to get some treatment for his black eye and comes back patched up. Mr. Foster obviously doesn’t buy Simon’s story that Simon fell and hit both his eyes.
In the hallway, Marcia whispers to Simon, “I think it’s really cute to hear about you and Harold.” Simon asks us to head to Sky High Pizza for lunch so that we can talk about what has just happened to him.
At the pizza place, Simon is quite nervous and very emotional about sharing the fact that rumors started by Ruby, Sabrina, and Katrina are actually on point. He’s gay. Nikolai nods and responds, “Yeah, okay. So what’s the issue you wanted to talk to us about?” Nita is equally blasé about the reveal. Everyone gets furious on Simon’s behalf when Simon lets us know that being gay is a serious bully-able offense and that, furthermore, his highly religious family would disown him if he came out. Simon also fills everyone in about what happened with Chris AND admits that he’s been in love with Harold (his best friend).
Ultimately, the group decides to try to convince Chris to give up his knife and take a Tesla-designed Delta Force pager instead. Everyone is devoted to protecting Simon’s new love interest.
Back at school, Annette asks Nita to help wrangle Rosa to the school library to work on the Delta paper project at 9 am on Saturday. Ultimately, in an after-school encounter, Rosa refuses this request but DOES promise Ana and Nita that she won’t pursue vigilante work. Instead, she’ll focus on making the school a safer place by keeping an eye on Chris Deland and maybe teaching some self-defense.
Tom (the Black Knight) texts the group to meet up that night. Nita and Ana offer to bring dinner and dessert.
In the halls, before finding Chris, Harold comes over to talk to Simon and expresses concern for his friend. Simon tells Harold not to believe the rumors, a warning that Harold laughs off with a cavalier “You know you love me.” Simon “blows a mock-kiss to Harold and then dies inside” (Blake).
Speaking of dying inside, Eric slouches through the halls playing some Elliot Smith songs. It’s public and noticeable. Nita uses her ex-boyfriend’s drama to bribe Ruby, the gossipy high school reporter, into ceasing her cruel rumor-mongering about Simon’s sexual orientation. Nita tells Ruby she broke up with Eric on Halloween because they weren't compatible. Nita then lies and says that she got a note from a secret admirer and she suspects it's from Simon.
While Nita and Lulu field hallway drama, Ana, Nikolai, and Simon seek out Chris. Nikolai shares a quick hullo with Lucy on the way. The three talk Chris into surrendering the knife (which is subsequently hidden in a textbook and taken to the Delta Den) and taking the Delta Force pager. Nikolai reveals his identity as Tesla, and it’s pretty clear what Ana’s role it, too. Skittish Chris seems a little uneasy with all the good vibes (understandable) and retreats shortly after receiving the pager despite Simon’s kind, warmhearted shoulder pat.
Afterwards, Ashley West approaches the trio in the hall and rudely asserts that Ana was presumptuous to give multiple answers in biology class and that Ana “is not impressing Mr. Foster.” Ana responds with a snarky, “Isn’t he a little old for you?” And Ashley huffs away.
While Nita and Ana talk to Rosa after school, Lulu, Simon, and Nikolai bond over some Mario Kart at the Delta Den. Simon emerges victorious, of course. When Ana and Nita rejoin the group, the Jack of Hearts knocks on the apartment door. We exchange pleasantries, Ana informs him that the cards are free as long as they have their own deck, and the Jack tells the group that the Queens are laying down the law on the South side of Manhattan. Monster territory. Everyone but Nikolai is nervous about the cards hurting folks and claiming territory. What a suiteheart.
Delta Force makes Mediterranean fare, along with baklava, at Simon’s request, and marches the food to Morgana’s estate. At the dinner, Tom flirts with Ana, Dane flirts with Nita, Psych tells some bad jokes, and Nikolai, fully armored, attempts frequent emotional interposes between Tom and Ana. The Lady of the Shard doesn’t join the group for dinner, and Gamesmaster is tending to Annex, who is “having a bad day.” The group does make a plan for the Hall heist:
Weather Witch creates a storm and, on cue, distracts the banquet-goers with loud, perhaps destructive, lightning strikes while Tesla cuts the power and the security systems. Simon lifts the painting and takes it to a window where Gamesmaster will swap in someone with a facsimile painting to be quickly put in the real painting’s place.
The Guild insists that Tom gets swapped in to help, over Tesla’s loud protestations. Dane takes Nita to meet his dragon, Feshelra. The Weather Witch challenges Lulu’s speed by zapping her feet. Lulu dodges all but one blast. Tom takes Ana (and Tesla and Simon, at Tesla’s insistence) upstairs for a small tour. Tom shows the group into a room full of artifacts: a tome on a pedestal that resembles Ana’s grimoire in terms of handwriting (though it is either in code or an unfamiliar language); a gold eagle; rings in a case; a ring set with runes that glow as each person passes by; a cloak that flaps against its case and tries to attack. Ana picks up the tome, which resizes to fit her hands, and asks to borrow it. The Lady of the Shard initially appears and refuses. Ana snarkily bites back, "I picked it up. By your rules, doesn't that mean It's mine now?” The group, along with slimy old Tom, talks her into the loan. Tom and the Weather Witch are apparently the Lady’s children. Nikolai recognizes the gold eagle as the topper of Lady Liberty’s flagstaff. He and Ana try to convince the Weather Witch to let them have it, but she petulantly refuses. Ana mocks the Weather Witch, telling her that she has “no natural powers.” The Weather Witch and Nikolai connect over that slight, and Nikolai tells the Weather Witch that he agrees with her about not babying Annex. They have a moment.
PART 2: Gallows Humor
While preparing for the banquet, Peter, Simon’s brother, haughtily instructs him not to do anything Simon-ish or embarrassing. At the event, there’s rain and tranquil classical music. Delta Force gives their IDs to the guard and walks through two pillars obviously serving as metal detectors. Simon’s parents are present, along with Nita’s family and New Gowan, the Chase family lawyer. The teens chat with those adults. Nikolai makes awkward assertions about how they love Simon for who he is and then gets wrapped up talking electric wiring with Simon’s dad, Emin. Peter also joins the conversation to reiterate that the teens shouldn’t do anything disruptive.
Tesla ducks to the men’s bathroom to hack into the backstage security system, the second-floor security system, and the lights. Tom texts Tesla to ask about getting swapped in, but Tesla decides not to inform the group, rationalizing through his jealousy that it’s too dangerous to bring him in in front of CIDD guards. The rest of the group checks out the painting, a 14 ft. by 8 ft. monster hanging on stage, and finds their table. They sit with Sabrina and exchange pleasantries. Sabrina doesn’t seem too keen on Hall, either. Nita fawns over Simon, feeding the rumor mill, gushing about Simon’s connections.
Hall gives a speech that’s eloquent but very anti-Delta. Hall's maiden name is "Hochsberg." She "used to run from that name." Her family crest, hanging behind her, is a silver tower on a field of blue. Her ancestors were knights, also metal manipulators, and she brings up her son, Titan, who died to save the city. We have to "stop evil's power at its source." She says NYPD will have "long-range countermeasures to inborn Delta human powers soon." If that ONE sentence doesn’t scare the ever-living Hell out of all of us, I don’t know what will. Hall is definitely cuffed. She walks around mingling and comes to the “youth table.” Media people take photos when Nikolai jumps up to shake her hand. He says he's so happy to meet Titan's mother. He starts to argue with her about Titan's legacy, but Senator hall cuts him off. Hall gets pictures with all of the teens.
Simon and Nikolai head off to greet Emma Prescott, sitting at a table with NYPD Captain Bruce Hardig, Sgt. Lydia Weltzer, and Special Agent Mitchell (from the CIDD questioning after the Miller dance fiasco). Simon brazenly announces, pushing past folks, “Coming through! We’re tomorrow’s future.” Prescott greets them warmly, sharing their enthusiasm for Delta Force’s actions at the dance. She also informs them that, thanks to Hardig, she’s being transferred to the Delta Human Response Force.
Lulu, Nita, and Ana head upstairs to scope out windows and transference spots. Too many CIDD agents dampen their initial plans, but they do find that the hallway to the bathroom terminates in a window and is attended by one solitary guard. Ana checks the men’s room to find one occupant, and Nita gives the women’s room the all-clear. Nita feigns tripping in front of the guard, distracting him long enough for Tom to swap in Lulu’s place, bringing a miniature facsimile portrait.
That’s when things go awry. An EMP knocks out the lights, the security systems, and all of our phones. In the ballroom, a waiter (Brent Gallows in disguise) shoots two detectives (Alvin Schumer and Darryl Mathis) and starts to pursue Hannah Hall. The Weather Witch obviously responds to the escalation imperfectly and starts shooting down helicopters outside. Simon and Ana carry on with the painting-swap plan, successfully, I might add. Nita helps her family escape the chaotic ballroom. Nikolai, in the meantime, launches his vulnerable body into Gallows at every opportunity, imperiously demanding that Gallows stand down and surrender his weapon. Gallows appears irritated and distracted, but refuses to shoot Nikolai, opting instead to pile on bruises in his pursuit of Hall. Nikolai doggedly follows and, after landing a nice, solid punch with Lulu, manages to get himself shot by a security guard while trying to shield Gallows himself. Tom hangs out beside them, watching and being totally useless. He definitely doesn’t look like a sexy vampire.
Gallows takes the dying Nikolai with him. Tom and Lulu follow.
Ana and Simon book it to the manor to hand over the painting. Ana is immensely upset that she can’t contact Lulu, Nikolai, or Tom. The Lady of the Shard appears to start the ritual to de-zombify Alyssa (by setting the fountain-of-youth painting on fire) and tells Ana, “Someone is desperately looking for you. Orpheus.”
Simon and Ana book it to Orpheus’s shop and start demanding that he attempt to contact Nikolai. Orpheus nervously tries to insist that Simon wait outside. The two heroes can tell something is up, but three figures in shadowy robes creep forward, revealing Grayson Childs; an unknown, apparently important man; and a random-looking minion. Orpheus, shamefaced, blocks the exit. The unfamiliar man lifts his hands, bells sound, and thick, black smoke further blocks the exits. Simon encases Orpheus, Ana, and himself in a force field, but Grayson Childs casually disperses it with a shadow glaive. Bells McSmog tells Childs, “Careful with her! The Master needs her alive.” Ana tells Childs that she and Simon will stop fighting back and that she’ll come with them if they let Simon go. Orpheus and Simon skedaddle and Ana gets kidnapped by Shadow Wizards (the Unknown Archivists). Grayson Childs says to Ana: “Eclipse has been waiting so long to see you, Miss MacNamara."