The Gates Watch: Digging The Dirt
Author: Drew Stewart
published: 2010-08-09 01:32:21
Iím beginning to notice a pattern to Nick Monohanís police investigations in The Gates. Something bad happens Ė usually a death or murder. A character is implicated early on in the episode. At some point, a new, ancillary character is introduced, and provides further exposition about the crime. Around the 45-minute mark, Nick learns the first suspect did not commit the crime, and the investigation is back at square one. At the 50-minute mark, Nick learns that the real culprit was none other than Mr. or Mrs. Ancillary Character! Dun dun dunnnn!
If this isnít a huge revelation to you, itís probably because youíve seen an hour-long crime drama in the last 15 years.
I donít begrudge the show for its somewhat formulaic crime subplots, because The Gates throws so many subplots at you in every episode; not all of them can be winners. Still, itís hard to feel happy for Nick when he cracks the latest case when youíve come to the same conclusion a half-hour before.
This latest case revolved around the murder of Billy Harrison Ė Frank Buckleyís business partner and co-founder of The Gates. The details of Harrisonís murder are uncovered when Nick and Dylan look into the case; Harrison died under suspicious circumstances, and Nick thinks Frank may be involved. If Nick and Dylan can implicate Frank in the murder, they will have leverage against Frank, should he ever try to blackmail them.
This episodeís Mr. Ancillary-Character-Turned-Murderer is Lloyd Foster, the CFO of Buckley and Harrisonís enterprise. After Harrison and Buckley had a falling out, Harrison wanted to close The Gates, which Foster didnít want to happen. Foster, who was bleeding Harrisonís estate dry, wanted to keep The Gates in operation so he could keep collecting on it.
When Nick finally cottons on to Fosterís guilt, he catches Foster in the act of trying to destroy evidence. Unfortunately, so does Buckley, who gets shot when he encounters Foster. Nick rushes onto the scene, subdues Foster and saves Buckley. A thankful Buckley tells Nick he can leave The Gates if he so chooses. But will he? Probably not, since then thereíd be no show.
While the plot structure on an episode-to-episode basis may seem pretty consistent, you canít say The Gates keeps things stale. After all, by the end of this episode, several characters have changed dramatically (at least in the eyes of the viewers). Vanessa Buckley Ė who before seemed naÔve when she fell for Devonís charms Ė reveals herself to be a vampire, and very much in the know about The Gatesí happenings. Frank Ė who before seemed like a scheming, blackmailing jerk Ė is evidently only trying to protect his wife. Claire Radcliff and Karen Crezski Ė who have been at each otherís throats for the entire series run Ė unite briefly to help convince Sarah to stop drinking Devonís tea.
Not every character gets an overhaul, though. Two characters Ė Andie and Devon Ė keep behaving exactly how they always have. And perhaps not coincidentally, Iím slowly becoming annoyed with the storylines of these two characters.
Devonís spooky witch subplot is becoming boring because it never goes anywhere. For the past few weeks, in the closing scenes of each episode, we see Devon performing some creepy and ominous bits of witchcraft in a dim-lit room. And itís not like we learn something new each time. Granted, in this episode, we do finally learn that Devonís tea seems to have some mind-control effects. And we also learn that Devon uses the internet to lure guys to her house so she can harvest their eyes (which to me is enough of a deterrent to ever try online dating). But we really donít know her motivations for her actions, or what her grand schemes are leading us toward. When everything else on this show moves at a mile-a-minute, itís frustrating to see Devonís storyline is moving at a snailís pace.
Andie, however, has a different problem (though one no less bothersome). Plenty of things are happening to Andie, and her storyline is trucking along; so far in the series, sheís dumped her boyfriend (Brett), been involved with a new boy (Charlie), found out sheís a half-Succubus, had really creepy things happen to her veins, almost killed Charlie, and started taking new medication. However, throughout all her actions, she never seems to learn anything. Itís been days since she almost killed Charlie, and sheís already disposing of the medication that can help her subdue her Succubus powers (while her doctor is out of town, no less). She just saw Brett Ė who has had violent tendencies in the past Ė beat the everlasting tar out of Charlie, but now she seems ready to hop back in the sack with the wolf pack. Forgive the rhyme. Andie is getting less sympathetic by the episode since she never really takes steps to improve her situation, despite having every opportunity to do so.
- You may think I chose the pictures for this post because there are attractive women in bikinis, but it seems ABC did the choosing for me. Of the 18 photos released on ABCís website for this episode, 15 were of the pool party. Thatís called marketing, folks.
- We finally see Brett Crezski again after a few episodes with him off the radar. Last time we saw him, he was running as a wolf outside of The Gates, alone. If he and Andie are getting back together, I wonder if theyíll incorporate that storyline into the mix. Brett opened up to Andie about being a werewolfÖ but maybe he didnít share everything.
- Speaking of wolves, we also got a quick glimpse of Karen Crezskiís ultra-wolf-hearing while at Sarahís pool party. Call me a geek for superpowers, but I really wish the writers would incorporate that into the show more. Suburban housewives with elevated auditory systems should be excellent at getting gossip.
- Christian just wonít stop stalking Claire, despite her repeated shut-downs of his advances. Christianís romantic strategies seem to be centered on a barrage-fire philosophy Ė eventually, one of his advances will sneak past her defensive walls, and heíll steal her heart once more. Sadly, this appears to be working. I canít wait to see what Dylan does to Christian when he inevitably learns the truth.
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