Arcane enters Dr. Oliver Duncan's hospital room and greets him by name. Oliver wonders if he knows Arcane, and Arcane sits down on the bed and tells Oliver that he's been faking senility for 15 years that he was dumber than he looked. The doctor chuckles and says that Arcane was the best assistant he ever had, and Arcane wonders why he pretended to be senile when they were on the verge of developing an alternative energy source. Oliver tells him that God put them on the earth to live within in rather than squeeze it dry. Until they learn to responsibly manage the resources they were given, alternative fuel would be nothing but a band-aid.
Arcane insists that he only believes in what is real, and figures that Oliver developed cold fusion. Oliver admits that he worked it out but the only records are in his memory. When Arcane says that he doesn't believe him, Oliver admits that he always worried what would happen if Arcane thought for himself. He tells Arcane that his brand of science disgusts him, and tells him to go before he calls security. Arcane agrees but says that Oliver will be released eventually.
Later that night, Oliver starts choking and then dies.
Graham goes to the lab and finds Arcane hacking apart a body. He says that Sheriff Andrews called and asks how Arcane wants to handle Oliver. Arcane is surprised to learn that Oliver is dead, and Graham is surprised that Arcane didn't kill him. He explains that Oliver had research that he wanted, and figures that Oliver would never have destroyed his old notes.
The next day, Arcane drives to Oliver's home and breaks in. Swamp Thing is waiting and warns Arcane that what he did to Oliver won't go unpunished. When Arcane insists that he's innocence, Swamp Thing slips away and Louise Brenner opens the door. Arcane admits that he was picking the lock and introduces himself. Louise says that she was Oliver's step-daughter, and Arcane offers his condolences. He tells her that Oliver had some research of his and he was hoping to retrieve it. Louise invites Arcane in and he accepts.
Inside, Arcane offers to help Louise catalog the estate. He says that he remembers her going off to MIT when he worked for Oliver. As they talk, Arcane hears the beeping of the Oliver's monitor machine, but there's no machine there and Louise doesn't hear anything. The doorbell rings and Louise answers the door. It's Will, who says that he just talked to Oliver a few days ago. Arcane joins them and Will says that he's a friend of the family. Will says that he was just going to do some fix-it work, but figures that he should stick around. Louise asks him to come back another day and Will leaves. Arcane suggests that Louise have dinner with him and go for a stroll, and hears the beeping again. Louise proposes that they have dinner there, and Arcane agrees.
As Arcane goes to his Harley, Swamp Thing grabs his arm and says that Oliver was a good man. Arcane insists that he didn't kill Oliver, and tells him to stop the beeping. Swamp Thing has no idea what he's talking about, and suggests that it's either Arcane's guilt or Oliver's revenge from beyond the grave. Arcane insists that he's innocent, and Swamp Thing disappears. However, he calls back telling Arcane not to hurt Louise. Arcane says that he has no intention of hurting her.
Inside the house, Louise yells at Oliver's portrait and demands to know where he hid what she's looking for. She says that she didn't come to Houma to kill Oliver for nothing, Calming herself, Louise figures that Arcane knows everything she needs to fix the fusion problem herself. When she's done, she'll kill him as well. The beeping sounds again and Louise screams at Oliver to stop.
Later, Graham goes to Arcane's lab and finds him dressing for dinner. He smells cologne, and Graham complains that they're not doing the spinal cord research that night. Arcane says that he has to gain Louise's trust to gain the cold fusion research, and refuses to simply knock her out and drain her brain cells.
After dinner, Louie and Arcane discuss where Arcane would live if he had a choice. He talks about the Mediterranean and having a lover to share it with, and Louise says that she'd like to be in the past when Oliver was alive. Louise talks about how Oliver was hard at work at night when she was a teenager, and showed her formulas. She says that formulas bring back memories for her, and Arcane asks if she's found any around the house. Louise claims that she hasn't, and asks if Arcane remembers any of the work he did with Oliver. Arcane says that he'd need some of Oliver's previous work to fresh his memory, and Arcane hears the beeping noise again.
Once Louise goes to get Oliver's notepad, Arcane tells the portrait that he didn't kill him and demands the research. Louise comes back in and Arcane says that it's only chemical computations. She suggests that he write down the formulas he remembers, and Arcane tries to turn her down. Louise persists and Arcane agrees, but she recognizes it as old useless formulas and writes out where Arcane should start. She explains that she has a photographic memory and is familiar with atomic theory. He realizes that she's smarter than she pretends and tells her to drop the charade.
When Arcane tries to go, Louise draws a gun and shoots a nearby vase. She complains about the beeping noise, and tells Arcane to write down everything he remembers about the cold fusion. Arcane accuses her of killing Oliver to get his research and then coming after him. The beeping continues and Louise shoots the portrait. Arcane grabs the gun but Louise knocks him away and says that he's dead. The beeping continues and Louise chokes and dies just like Oliver did as the beeping noise flatlines.
The next day, Will arrives after talking to Andrews. He goes to Oliver's home and finds Arcane there. Arcane hears the beeping noise, and Will takes out the smoke alarm in the closet and confirms that the batteries are dead. He came by to fix it the day before, and Arcane laughs in relief. Swamp Thing comes in and points out that Arcane seems amused at the death. Arcane tells him that if he wants to see God, he'll have to change his attitude. As Will picks up the portrait, Arcane sees the formula on the back. Swamp Thing has Will toss it in the fire before Arcane can stop him.
Written by Gadfly on May 18, 2017