Arthur walks across the desert and finally collapses from the heat. He rolls down a dune and keeps walking, and comes to a young girl selling lemonade. Arthur drinks the pitcher and the girl calls to her father. Her father and several other people arrive, and after a moment the father introduces himself as Jeff Warrens and shakes Arthur's hand. Jeff assures Arthur that he's safe from the Scar in their community and welcomes him to Cronenburgh. They go into the bright, cheery community... while in the church, a dark pit filled with skulls lies beneath the altar.
Grace tries to get the Camaro out of the sand without success. She continues on foot and finds the pages from Arthur's journal, forming a trail.
Jeff tells Arthur that people come to Cronenburgh looking for a fresh start and never leave. Arthur smells cinnamon toast or a g as leak, and Jeff says that it's just their construction. They patch up small cracks from the Scar from time to time. Jeff assures Arthur that it's nothing to worry about, and figures that Arthur is looking for a sense of purpose. He suggests that Cronenburgh is the place for Arthur. Arthur says that his life is complicated, but Jeff assures him that Cronenburgh isn't that complicated and invites him to the town party that night.
Grace comes to Cronenburgh and the girls say that the last guy cleaned them out of lemonade. She offers them twenty-seven cents to take her to them.
Julian arrives in the board room and tells Old Man Heart and Garrett that he has marketing idea. Armed guards come in and Heart tells him that they found a loophole in his contract. He fires Julian and the guards start to take him away. Julian wonders why Heart is so hung up on Arthur and Grace, and insists that he knows what the audience wants. He figures that Grace and Arthur are gone and dead, but Heart tells him that if they can't get them both on the road then he'll run Blood Drive into the town and force Julian to watch.
Arthur lies on the grass and relaxes as yellow gas flows out of nearby vents, and Grace comes up to him. She punches him and then assures him that she doesn't hold grudges. Arthur tells her that he's doing his own thing now, and Grace gives him the journal pages back. he says that he's done with the journal and Grace should be, too. Grace insists that they need it to take down Heart, but Arthur points out that there's no end game so they should just stop when they find somewhere nice. He says that she should appreciate a good thing when they find it, but Grace tells him not to buy what they're selling him. Arthur insists that they're not selling him anything, and it's a reward for all of the shit that they've been through. He then suggests that Grace go to the party with him before she passes judgement.
Later at the party in the church, Grace notices the smell and Arthur says that it's from the construction. Jeff welcomes them and Arthur introduces Grace. Their town cobbler David comes in with his wife Melanie, Jeff's daughter. Jeff says that they might be residents, and Grace walks off as Jeff watches her go. He follows her and offers to freshen her drink. Jeff figures that she thinks that it's too good to be true, but assures her that he can smell that she deserves it. As yellow gas pours out of the pipes, Grace says that she can smell something and then hesitates as the gas envelops her. She apologizes for being rude and giggles, and Jeff tells her to have a good time.
David tells Arthur that five years ago Jeff convinced him to stay. They want to make Arthur the town's new cobbler because he's retiring. He assures Arthur that he'll learn because he has all the time in the world. When David wonders what they're doing there, David says that holding his wake and Melanie explains that Jeff believes in celebrating life by passing it on to other people. The cobbler tells him that when he's gone, he wants Arthur to take Melanie.
Grace wanders around the town, laughing and swooning over Jeff. Three girls are jumping rope, and when Grace checks her makeup, she sees the face of one of the children in the mirror... and it's horribly mutated. When Grace turns around, the girl is gone.
Chris finds Aki screaming for them to stop and wakes her up. She says that she was remembering things and she hurt Chris but she loves him. Aki warns that Heart will punish her for becoming human and she deserves it. Chris tells her that he won't let them find her, and Aki says that they should hurt Heart. She knows how to breach their security protocols, but Arthur says that they should stick to the plan and find Arthur. Aki warns that when he gets there, they'll need a fast car and she knows where to find one.
The townspeople are dancing around the maypole and Arthur joins them. Grace comes in and shows Arthur the mirror. Jeff yanks the mirror out of her hand and says that beauty is vanity, quoting the Bible. he explains that mirrors are forbidden, and Arthur leads Grace out. He tells her that she's being disrespectful, and complains that she's digging for pain and suffering. Arthur points out that he hasn't seen any blood since he got there, and he's at peace for himself. He insists that he's the cobbler and the old cobbler gave him his wife because he's killing himself. Grace calls Arthur a dipshit, and he says that his fiancée would never call him that. As Grace walks off, Melanie watches from the shadows.
Grace trips over some tubes and sees gas leaking from them. She follows the tubes away from the church.
Inside the church, Jeff has Arthur help him open the altar. Below it is a shaft leading to the Scar, and Jeff says that it's the real scar. David comes in and Jeff says that it's an honor, not a death sentence. Arthur suggests that David should spend his last days at home, and Jeff tells him to take a deep breath and relax.
Grace follows the tubes to a house and notices the gas accumulating at the ceiling.
Six of the townspeople take David to the altar, and Jeff says that his gift will feed their souls for another year. They dump David down the shaft and everyone breathes in the gas... including Arthur.
Covering her mouth against the gas, Grace searches the house and feels week, and then finds discarded clothing. The mutated Melanie comes in and says that it's the special outfit for her wedding night. Grace wonders why she isn't with Arthur. Melanie explains that Grace is suffering from the withdrawals since she protected herself from the gas, and then knocks Grace out with an empty bottle.
A manacled Julian goes to HR and the representative, Bill Henry, terminates his benefits. He offers Julian his choice of last meal, and explains that he's dealing with all the Blood Drive mileage reimbursements. Julian asks for more information, and Bill talks about all of the readings from the wireless odometers and then Heart deducts them the wear and tear. When Julian says that he'll tell him an easier way to do it, Bill releases him. Bill warns that the manacles are a security protocol, but Julian convinces him to do it. Julian goes to the map on the wall and works out that they must be in Cronenburgh. Julian stabs the man in the throat with the compass and smiles.
The next day, Arthur is working on shoes when Melanie comes in with food. She's impressed with how well Arthur is settling in and says that he's handling it with a lot of grace. Arthur finds the word "grace" familiar, and wonders if they know someone by that name. Melanie distracts him but when Arthur sees her reflection in a polished boot, he realizes that she's mutated. He shoves her away but then says that it's nothing.
Jeff visits Grace, who is tied up. He says that he used to be just like her, mad at the world, until he learned to stop and take a deep breath. Jeff insists that he's saving the townspeople from their pain, and can see that Grace feels pain. He points out that her world fell and their world is still standing, and their happiness is real. Jeff invites Grace to share it with them, and Grace tells him that she'd rather die knowing who she really is. He tells her that at sunset she'll get her wish.
Chris and Aki sneak into a secondary office and she assembles a car for them to use. They fill it up with blood and Aki admits that it's strange leaving. Chris suggests that she has seen the world and doesn't remember it. Aki tells Chris that she wants to make a new memory with him, and he says that they're starting now. With that, they drive out.
Julian arrives at Cronenburgh, wearing a gas mask, and talks to the mutated girl selling lemonade. He pulls out his blades and demands to know where her father is. Once he gets directions, Julian enters the town and walks past the mutants. He reaches the church and spots the cement mixer working on the Scar.
Inside the church, Jeff prepares Arthur for the wedding.
Julian pours the concrete into the channel the gas is coming into.
Two mutants drag the protesting Grace into the church, and Arthur sees her as a willing bridesmaid. They toss her down the shaft... and she lands in the mud below.
Aki asks Chris to pull over, saying that she's fucked up. He offers her a drink, and she vomits multi-colored goo. She tells Chris that she's fine as she keeps vomiting.
As the gas stops flowing, Arthur starts seeing the mutants as they really are. Jeff begins the ceremony, but Julian enters the church and Arthur remembers him. The MC tells Arthur that he's saving him from making the biggest mistake of his life, realizes that the gas has stopped, and removes his gas mask. Julian says that Melanie is a mutant, and Arthur looks at her and sees her true face. She shoves him down the shaft. Jeff tells everyone that the pain is temporary and things will soon be okay again.
Arthur lands in the mud and Grace pulls him out. They look for a way out but it's too slippery. Arthur suffers from the withdrawals, and Julian calls down to explain.
Chris pulls over and Aki keeps vomiting. She tells him that the Heart security protocols are still active, and she may have trigged a security device. Aki warns that Heart may be on its way, and tells Chris to find Arthur and take down Heart. When Chris comes back, Aki will be waiting and free. They kiss and then Chris drives off.
The mud level rises, and Julian agrees to save Arthur and Grace if they go on one last adventure with them. Grace figures that he doesn't want them dead, but Julian warns that things have changed. Jeff grabs Julian and throws him back, and the mud continues to rise. Grace figures that Arthur is gay, and he hastily denies it. He says that he couldn’t stand up for her when he couldn't stand looking at himself. She tells him that she just needed him, and she just wants to move on because of Arthur. Grace hopes that he found what he was looking for, and Arthur looks at her and says that he did. They kiss.
Jeff accuses Julian of ruining paradise, and Julian cheerfully admits that he did. He twists Jeff's wrist and shoves him away, and Jeff says that Julian has been sent from Hell to ruin them. Julian goes to the podium and says that they've been stunted by life, and the gas shows them what they want to see. He sees the worst of reality, and Jeff looks human because there's an antidote and he's been keeping it for himself. Jeff denies it, but Julian says that the cure gives Jeff power over them. He tells the mutants that they've been wallowing in Cronenburgh when Jeff tricked them into staying. The mutants grab Jeff and tear him apart, and Julian mutters to himself that they can all be miserable. Julian then calls down the shaft to where Grace and Arthur are all but buried in the mud, and admits that he might have left it a bit late.
Once Arthur and Grace clean up, they go to the car and find Julian waiting at the cleaned-up Camaro. Camaro suggests to Arthur that they ditch Julian now that they've lost the brain bombs. Julian points out that he could chase them and fight, or they could keep their promise. Grace tells Arthur that they can handle it and she has to try and get the answers she wants. Arthur agrees and they kiss, and he promises that eventually they'll get a normal life. Julian is already in the Camaro with his mix tape, and they drive off.
Written by Gadfly on Aug 17, 2017