It’s never a good thing to relieve a disturbing past. For Sally, it’s doubly worse considering her piece of crap/now dead ex fiance (who liked to bully and toss her around) decided to push her down the steps. Sally starts to relive the moment when Donna pops up and fries Danny’s brain. But we find that Sally’s daydreaming; her true self is in the kitchen with Aidan and Josh, the latter of which seems like he’s back to normal…ish. Sally’s perusing through the Book of Magic—one that seems to change daily—when Aidan becomes the voice of warning. Magic has a price, it always does and you truly can’t guess what that price will be. But his warnings fall on deaf ghostly ears as Sally thinks she knows what she’s doing. “Can you just trust me?” she asks Aidan but, based on him walking away without a word, he can’t.
After the awkward dinner, the two roomies are going back to work together for the first time in months. Aidan casually tells Josh that his little sister is in rehab, the knowledge of things going bump in the night most likely the culprit of her collapse. But Aidan doesn’t make it in, distracted then taken by the drivers of the ‘Sapp & Sons’ van who “escort” him to Boston’s newest management: a seemingly normal Kenny, Aidan’s most recent child.
While Josh is saving lives despite his senses going haywire, Sally is perusing the spellbook when she runs across a particularly interesting spell; one that could help bring her door to a peaceful afterlife back. But you know the saying “if something looks too good to be true, probably is”, I don’t think Sally got that memo. With no regard for consequences, Sally casts the spell only to find that instead of her door popping up, Donna winks into existence. The dead witch was able to manipulate the book from her prison and, the more magic Sally uses, the more she’s able to manipulate the naïve and desperate ghost. With no other recourse, Sally fries the book and, sets both herself and Donna on fire. Though the latter disappears, the book burns its way into Sally’s mind. She’s now holds all of its knowledge inside of her ghostly form. She tells Nora what happened and the latter again cautions Sally on the potential blowback her actions may cause. A part of Sally is worried how relying on this magic to call on her door could tarnish her. But Nora tell’s her “I think we choose what we are. You can’t be corrupted unless you wanna be corrupted.” The words, derived from her past experience with Connor and Bryn along with her twisted ex, are powerful and touch the most vulnerable parts of Sally’s mind. Though Sally admires Nora finally getting out of such a terrible relationship, Nora tells the semi-depressed ghost “With all those spells inside of you, you could turn out to be the strongest of us all.”
As Josh contends with his wolf trying to break from its human host by coloring Josh’s senses and, more disturbingly, his behavior, Kenny’s giving Aidan the fifty-cent tour. Kenny’s been quite the entrepreneur, ready to open up a new blood club for vampires. He wants Aidan to be a part of it but the elder vampire, despite Kenny’s suggestions on how Aidan could really change things, even the way vampires go about things, he still refuses to be a part of it. At the hospital, Aidan can only think about the pre-vampire Kenny and the joy he experienced his first day outside the bubble. The regret is written on Aidan’s face, how he abandoned his child but he can’t change the past. And neither can Kenny, it seems, as the normal face is no longer that; it seems that Kenny’s deformities are still alive and well.
After Josh rushes home and back out again without a real explanation, Nora laments her concerns to Sally. “Josh thinks I don’t see it,” she admits to the ghost, “but the wolf is there; just under his skin…it’s a wolf looking back at me.” Wanting to be there for her friend, Sally knows she may not be able to change things with Josh, but she can remove the physical reminders of Nora’s horrible past—the burns across her stomach. Nora gets the spell ingredients and mixes it into a paste per Sally’s instructions. She rubs it across her stomach and wraps it up. Sally whispers an incantation and promptly disappears. She finds herself in the same house but this time it’s in the 70’s. She’s stunned to see the same young girl who was sacrificed in her original walkabout alive and well. Sally tries communicating with her to no avail. “What happened to you in our house?”
While all this is going on, Josh trying to calm himself more with some running but gets a surprise when two vampires corner him and try to take their pound of flesh. He gives them a bit of a surprise, wolfing-out, and driving away his attackers. He calls Aidan who brings him a change of clothes and when he tells Aidan that the vampires knew his name, Aidan confronts Kenny on it when the latter leads him to the forest spot where Aidan abandoned him. “I sent them to kill him,” Kenny says and it’s clear the young vampire is jealous and wants Aidan back. Aidan is pissed and challenges his progeny though that’s not what Kenny wants. He shows his vulnerability, revealing that his face is the same but he’s changed. He can compel vampires without a word, though the effort is draining. Their talk is interrupted when Kenny gets a call and the two of them rush out back to the club, finding the place nothing more than a tomb of ash, all that is left of a number of vampires.
A concerned Nora reams Josh for going out alone at night and he confides in her about his wolf, how it made him feel “powerful…strong” and was barely able to control it. But Nora has faith in him and offers her full support. “You will learn how to reign in this wolf,” she says, her words filled with love and confidence. Josh is not too sure and, removing the potential for collateral damage, quits the hospital.
After the carnage at the vampire club, Aidan is wracking his brain to figure out just who would initiate such a brazen attack on another vampire’s territory. “Not even Bishop would make this kind of statement,” Aidan admits. But entrepreneurial Kenny does have a way to find something out. He takes Aidan to his office to view the cameras set up throughout the club. And it looks like Kenny’s crazy “Van Helsing’s” comment isn’t too far off. A vampire hunter is shown laying waste to the club but it’s not just any vampire hunter…it’s Susanna.
Returning from her overnight time surfing, Sally returns to see a tearfully happy and healed Nora but rains on her parade with the 4-1-1 on the little girl. Said girl is also the culprit behind the mystery of the ruined wallpaper and she scrawls ‘don’t leave me’ on the walls which only Sally can read. Coupled with the fact she’s been taken to see the girl twice in her magical treks, Sally believes it’s up to her to help the mystery girl.
Past and Future
- The overriding theme of ‘Lil Smokie’ is how the past can shape us. Kenny’s transformation from sickly kid to deformed vampire has been integral in his rise to power in the vampire world but there is still that gigantic hole in him, one only Aidan’s presence can fill. Though he goes about things in completely the wrong way (if Josh had been killed, methinks Aidan wouldn’t have been as forgiving) his vulnerability is able to convey the pain of Aidan’s abandonment. Despite wanting nothing to do with the vampire world, I don’t believe Aidan will truly be able to maintain his distance from Kenny and nor should it.
- The second half of the past comes to life with Sally and Nora’s heart-to-heart talks. Both women got involved with the wrong men; Nora was permanently scarred in the physical sense while Sally paid the ultimate price. The shared experiences connect the women on a level Josh and Aidan cannot truly appreciate. And though the past is just that, Sally’s offer to erase the physical reminders of Nora’s experience is a thematic reminder that, no matter how severe the marks left on you by your past may be, do not let it define your future.
- Speaking of future, Josh’s ‘Teen Wolf’ transformation hints that there may be a new breed of werewolf in town, more of a hybrid than anything else. What will that mean for his relationship with Nora and is it a preview of the evolution of his kind?
- And then there’s ‘lil smokie’, the young girl Sally believe she’s been tasked to help. Lil smokie’s past seems to be inextricably linked to Sally’s future though, for good or ill, it’s too early to tell.