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Smoke and Mirrors Recap

Two teenagers are listening to rock music on their stereo. They clasp hands and then hang themselves.

Rock star Nathan Stone is out driving when Officer Nestor pulls him over. He tells Nathan that he was speeding, and Nathan says that he's a famous singer. Unimpressed, Nestor writes out a citation but says that he might not have to sign it depending on Nathan. Nathan offers him $50, and Nestor tells him that he'll need $150. The rock star pays up and drives away.

The next morning, Nathan arrives at Tressa's house and finds his agent Larry Keffler Larry reminds Nathan that he wanted total isolation, and says that Tressa is renting the place out. She's out of the country and her stepson is staying with friends in Houma. Larry tells Nathan that he's going to be served because two teenage boys in Michigan killed themselves and their parents are blaming Nathan. They're claiming Nathan's lyrics drove them to kill themselves. Larry warns that the boys worshipped Nathan, and warns that there's nothing he can do. Nathan grabs him and tells him to come through for him, and says that his fans are idiots. Larry tells him that he'll talk to the agency, and as he leaves, Nathan throws his beer bottle into the swamp. Swamp Thing looks at it.

That night, Nathan is playing his guitar when there's a knock at the door. He answers it but there's no one there. As Nathan goes back inside, he sees Swamp Thing standing in the living room, but the creature disappears when the rock star takes a second look. He opens the refrigerator and finds a photo of the two boys. Swamp Thing reappears and tells Nathan that there's no running away. Unimpressed, Nathan figures that he's hallucinating, walks back to the living room, and trips. Swamp Thin picks him up and tells Nathan that he must take responsible for the death of the teenagers. The rock star insists that he didn't know his lyrics would drive someone to suicide, and wonders what he should do. Swamp Thing tells him that he should care, and lightning flares. Nathan's tormentor disappears and Nathan passes out.

Later, Nathan wakes up on the sofa and the newscaster talks about Nathan being accused of inciting two teenagers into killing themselves. The TV shuts off and the newscaster appears in the room, telling Nathan that the teenagers idolized Nathan. The newscaster turns into a minister and tells Nathan that he's a pawn of Satan and has been doing the devil's work. He asks if Nathan repents, but Nathan doesn't believe him. Nathan insists that he's not real and he's loaded, and says that rock 'n roll is the only thing that matters. The minister transforms into Satan and says that they'll see, and disappears.

As Nathan dismisses it as smoke and mirrors, the TV turns on and the two dead teenagers appear on the screen. They reach for Nathan accusingly, and when Nathan touches the screen he feels blood. Nathan wakes up and figures that he's been hallucinating, but sees blood pooled in front of the TV. He runs to the door and the two teenagers are waiting. Horrified, Nathan faints.

Swamp Thing watches from the doorway. When Nathan wakes up, Swamp Thing disappears. Rock music starts playing on the stereo even though it isn't plugged in. Plants fil the room and Swamp Thing appears on the TV, saying that he doesn't care about anything but himself. The two teenagers approach Nathan and say that they did what he told them, and they came for him. Nathan runs outside and tries to calm down, and gets a gun from his glove compartment. He realizes that his car keys are inside and goes back into the house. As he reaches for them, the teenagers reach up from the cushions and grab Nathan's wrist.

Nathan finds himself on stage playing. Feedback fills the mic and Nathan sees the teenagers standing backstage looking at him. They prepare to hang themselves and Nathan runs over, yelling at them to stop. Back in the living room, he pulls his hand free and fires into the sofa. Larry comes down the stairs and Nathan shoots him as well. Dying, Larry asks why and Nathan says that he thought it was an intruder. Nathan calls 911, and Swamp Thing appears and says that Larry will be all right... and asks if Nathan will be.

The EMTs take Larry to the hospital, and Nathan sits in his agent's room. Larry finally wakes up, and Nathan tells him that he's sorry. The agent says that he came back to talk to Nathan, and he can't babysit him anymore. Nathan tells him that he won't have to, and he got into music because it was the only way he could get his dad to pay attention to him. He talks about how he learned to play from a friend who gave him his guitar, and he let him down and caused him a lot of pain. Nathan admits that his friend was right, and he's ending the tour and going to Michigan to talk to the boys' parents.

Later, Nathan goes back to the house, gets into his car, and prepares to drive away. He thanks Swamp Thing and drives away.

Written by Gadfly on Sep 4, 2017