The Gates Watch: Surfacing

The Gates has always been a show about supernatural beings – creatures from old folklore that generally inspire fear in the hearts of men. However, the beings in The Gates have never been scary, per se. Sure, there’s plenty of murder on the show, but it’s used more as a means to further the plot rather than as a precursor to more violence. Denizens of The Gates are much more snarky than they are malicious. They may not kill you, but they’ll definitely mention if you look fat in those jeans. This is one reason why I, normally a wuss of colossal proportions when it comes to the horror genre, have no problems recapping this show on a weekly basis. But this episode, The Gates jumped from the supernatural suburban drama we know and love to a hair-raising thriller from opening to closing credits.

For the majority of this episode, Nick is being pursued by a ghost from his past – quite literally. Teresa, who was killed by Dylan during her failed attempt to murder Nick, is still not at peace with what transpired. Her spirit rises wherever it is spirits rise from (and conveniently just in time before the season finale) and proceeds to haunt Nick, seeking justice for her murdered brother. Through the course of the episode, Teresa appears to Nick in many ways – in his dreams, in the monitors at the police station, and in brief flashes while he’s awake.

Nick eventually realizes these visions are visions of Teresa, and he visits her last resting place. He does not find solace (or Teresa), but he does unearth a necklace of hers while digging for her body.

These appearances get Nick on edge, and he seeks help from his wife (who takes him to Devon), and from Dr. Peg. Nick ignores Devon’s advice (and gift of tea – wisely), but takes Peg’s advice to heart. Peg tells Nick that his visions are the manifestation of a disgruntled spirit, and that he must confront and make peace with the spirit before his torment will end.

He tries to take Peg’s advice, and he visits Teresa’s last resting place to return the necklace. Teresa apparently doesn’t take kindly to this gesture, though. She “gives” the necklace to Sarah by sticking it in the garbage disposal, and appears to Nick again to threaten him and his family. Later in the episode, she stalks Dana, tries to drown Charlie in the Monohan’s pool, and eventually possesses Sarah. Nick, unwilling to allow Sarah to come to harm, agrees to do whatever he can to please Teresa. He drives into the middle of the woods with the Teresa-Sarah demon hybrid and prepares to shoot himself. Before he does, however, he tells Teresa how sorry he is about what he did to Teresa’s brother, and that he never stopped thinking about it.

That was all Teresa needed. She leaves Sarah’s body, and Nick takes Sarah back home. Once there, Nick explains to Sarah everything he knows about The Gates and its inhabitants. Sarah – visibly shaken – tells Nick she wants to leave The Gates forever. Cue end credits.

Sarah wasn’t the only person who had to sit down for the “big talk” this week. Emily Radcliff got a similar talk from her adopted parents after Aunt Nancy and a representative from Child Services paid the family a visit. The Radcliffs make it through the encounter with their secrets intact, but the close call prompts the pair to tell Emily everything about their nature. However, the Radcliffs were shocked to discover their adopted daughter was quicker on the uptake than they assumed. Emily tells her parents that she knew about their blood-consuming condition all along.

When Emily was presented with the opportunity to ask any question about Dylan and Claire, Emily asked perhaps the most boring question possible: “How long have you been this way?” This is essentially the vampire equivalent of asking about one’s age. That’s very interesting, Emily. Don’t bother asking about how many people her parents have killed, what kind of powers they have apart from eternal youth, or anything that may be useful to know. Ask about something as asinine as age. What Emily has in detective skills, she apparently lacks in imagination.

Charlie comes close to having a comparable exposition-heavy talk with Andie as well. Thanks to a combination of diplomatic prodding from Dana and a near-death epiphany, Charlie gets over Andie’s Succubus-related baggage and the two are back together. However, Charlie doesn’t ask Andie anything about her nature, despite it being their first encounter since Andie first revealed her “genetics” to Charlie. Instead, he makes some lame joke about how Andie should add more iron to her diet, then acts as if nothing between them had ever changed.

Keep in mind Charlie knows nothing about vampires, werewolves, witches, and the rest of The Gates’ supernatural aspects. So, are we to understand that Charlie just takes Andie at her word – that she’s a Succubus, and that’s just something that happens normally? And that he won’t ask a single question about it?

The same thing applies to Sarah and Emily. Sarah, though clearly distraught over learning her friends are mythical monsters, seems to accept the fact rather quickly. Likewise, Emily is awfully bright to accurately diagnose her parent’s condition, and is very patient to have never confronted them about it. These behaviors from Charlie, Emily and Sarah are just too incredulous to overlook.

That aside, however, many storylines came to a close this week. It could have just as easily been the season finale, but that comes next week, in a special two-hour episode. What questions will be answered then, I wonder? Will we learn about what Devon has been planning all season? Will the uneasy truce between the vampires and werewolves break? Will the Monohans leave The Gates? We’ll find out in six days time.

Quick Hits:

- While Sarah was being possessed by Teresa, she shot Leigh – who was sent to the house by Peg to protect the Monohans. However, by the time Nick deals with Teresa and returns to the house, Leigh is fine! She claims she was saved thanks to her bullet-proof vest, but that’s most likely not the case. She may not be a vampire, but there’s definitely something odd about Leigh Turner.

- The most puzzling thing about this episode is why Teresa waited so long to exact her revenge. Multiple times throughout the episode, Teresa had the opportunity to kill Nick or members of his family. Maybe she has a flair for the ominous and dramatic. Or maybe she needed to kill 40-45 minutes of screen time.

- I mentioned I was a wuss earlier. This is perhaps an understatement. Thanks to this episode, I will not be able to drink water from a glass without inspecting it thoroughly, walk alone through any terrestrial area, or clean the garbage disposal for at least a month.