Anderson (Philip Glenister) is cleaning up the aftermath of his bloody encounter with Evil Data/Sidney (Brent Spiner)—good God, talk about a bathroom of horrors—when Chief Giles (Reg E. Cathey) arrives for their standing poker game.
But, it's difficult to keep your mind on the game when there's a pentagram still oozing on your chest. It's even harder when Giles provokes Ogden (Pete Burris) into some light fisticuffs over the card table; afterwards, the good Reverend has no choice but to reveal what happened to the Chief, who is understandably frustrated that he didn't come directly to him.
What's the point in having a BFF on the police department if you don't call him when a demonic psycho breaks into your church to carve arcane symbols on your body?
The whole town is looking forward to this year's Remembrance Day—a local holiday honoring twenty-nine miners killed in a terrible accident. It promises to be a particularly special event this year: the Reverend is MC-ing and unveiling a new memorial.
Kyle's flashback to one of the dead miners suggests the accident was the result of the black tar creatures. At this point, it's probably safe to assume that every bad thing that's ever happened in this town can be laid at those demons' feet.
The Chief picks up Kyle for a ride and takes him to the burned-out camper. He doesn't believe Barnes when he says he came back to Rome because the family house was paid off.
GILES: You didn't come back for the free rent. You got unfinished business. A stain you want to wipe off of yourself. …I believe there's a stain on this town. And it's getting worse.
Anderson is on the trail of Evil Data when Patricia (Melinda McGraw) steps out, and he takes the opportunity to thank her for her support in the midst of his arrogant asshole-ishness—and even plants a big kiss on her.
I suppose that's one way to apologize.
A town or two over, Allison is spending the Remembrance Day in with Amber, who's still acting a little off. When Allison finds a family drawing her daughter did—one where her face was left blank—she finds it almost as unsettling as the brief flashes of memory that are coming back.
When she asks her daughter if she wants to finish the picture, the little girl shakes her head. “I'm not sure which face to draw.” Uh oh.
At the gathering festivities downtown, Kyle makes a point of shaking Ogden's hand to see if Giles's suspicions are correct or not. But, the Fire Chief appears unaffected by our hero's touch, accepting the handshake without the slightest grimace (and with an unsurprisingly nasty comment).
The guy may not be possessed, but that doesn't mean he's not A) an asshole and B) involved in something shady and/or evil.
This is only hammered home when he tells Giles that he understands how the Chief has often had to look the other way in the course of his job, in order to keep said job, and adds: “You want to know why I burned that camper in the woods? I'm telling you, for your sake and for mine, this is one of those times when you should look away.”
Then, they carry a coffin full of coal—each lump marked with a dead miner's name—to a pyre and set it alight, Viking-style. That's an…interesting tradition for a candlelight vigil. Most towns just settle for some picnic tables and a buffet, followed by some light speechifying, but that's apparently too normal for Rome, West Virginia.
This place is so southern gothic it's amazing that there aren't banjos twanging from the trees at all times.
Kyle meets up with Mark (David Denman) to find that Megan (Wrenn Schmidt) is still MIA; she hasn't returned from delivering her blackmail money to Douchebag Donny (Scott Porter). When Ogden's wife, Kat, approaches and hands out candles, only to be scorched by Kyle's hand, she promptly turns tail and runs.
But, Kyle's pursuit is interrupted when Anderson has a very public breakdown in front of the entire town, delivering a wild fire-and-brimstone speech and singling out Evil Data/Sidney, naming him the Devil.
Oooh boy. That may not have convinced many folks that you're a stable gentleman, Reverend. I can see this making next Sunday's service an awkward (and ill-attended) one.
After quieting everyone down, Mark is summoned to Giles' office; Douchebag Donny reneged on his deal with Megan, like the utter and total asshole that he is (good Lord, rarely have I wanted to leap straight into a television series and violently throttle a character), and filed charges against Mark for “excessive force.”
So now, Mark is off the force, Megan handed over every bit of their money for nothing, and the whole family is essentially imploding. Great work, Donny, you complete scumbucket.
After dropping Anderson off at the church, Kyle comes home to find Allison and Amber waiting for him. His daughter confides that she remembers what happened that awful day, that she saw the “thing” leave her mother. “It was black and cold,” she whispers.
Few things are creepier than when kids in a horror story whisper.
With their daughter tucked in for the night, Kyle and Allison “reconcile”—or so it seems. But, the next morning our hero wakes to find his wife has disappeared, leaving behind a note, “Take care of our little light,” and the aforementioned little light: Amber.
This might prove tricky to explain, what with the restraining order and his recent time served. Who wants to bet someone tries to take the little girl away; I've got twenty that says the whole town will be implying Allison's disappearance wasn't voluntary.
Because just when it looks like things might be turning around for Kyle, the road inevitably turns straight into a brick wall. Here's hoping the oncoming crash isn't too bloody and traumatizing…
Angie Barry wrote her thesis on the socio-political commentary in zombie films. Meeting George Romero is high on her bucket list, and she has spent hours putting together her zombie apocalypse survival plan. She also writes horror and fantasy in her spare time, and watches far too much Doctor Who. Come find the angie bee at Tumblr.