Sapphire yanks the parasol away from the girl and tears it, saying that it's a paper parasol and paper children. She charges at them and they run away. She finds Steel, who has returned to the real world. The landlord is standing behind them, and Sapphire confirms that they see different faces on the man: Steel sees the face that Liz saw.
Steel prepares to move toward the Shape while remaining in telepathic contact with Sapphire. The Shape telepathically says that it will let them choose how they wish to communicate with it. Sapphire chooses to speak and asks what its true face is, and the Shape tells it that its face will have to do. Steel figures that it doesn't have a real human face and says that they want to see what it looks like before they send it back. The Shape tells them that it can't be done, and Sapphire asks why it needs the children. Steel tells the Shape to return Williamson and Liz's roommate before they send it back, and it says that maybe Steel can do it when he joins them... later. The children chant briefly and when the agents turn back to the Shape, they discover that it's gone.
Sapphire tries to spot the Shape in the nearby photos, but it fades away from each one. Steel sets out to destroy every photograph in the junk shop, but Sapphire warns that they can't destroy every photograph that exists.
As she goes out, Liz picks up the photo that fell off the wall.
Sapphire and Steel arrive at the base of the stairs and find the Victorian photo on the floor. They hear the music from Liz's flat abruptly stop.
Liz puts the picture back on the wall, and in it the Shape turns toward her as she walks out. Steel calls her by her full name--Elizabeth Owen--and tells her to look closely at the Victorian photo. Sapphire knows that Liz's roommate was Ruth Phillips, and asks if Liz can see Ruth in the photo. They go to the darkroom and Steel gives Liz a magnifying glass to spot Ruth in a window in the background. Williamson is in the crowd on the street, and Liz suggests that it's a fake. Steel irritably says that he has to work, and Sapphire leads Liz out when she argues. Once they're gone, Steel finds a triangular filter and attaches it to one of Williamson's cameras.
As they go downstairs, Liz tells Sapphire that Ruth used to watch Williamson work. Steel goes past them to the shop, and Sapphire and Liz go to the cellar. As she looks around, Sapphire confirms that Ruth was in the darkroom the night that she disappeared.
Steel collects old items from the shelves.
Liz wonders if Williamson did something wrong, and Sapphire says that he let something in. She suggests that Ruth can tell them when they talk to her.
Steel returns to the darkroom and takes photos.
As they go upstairs, Liz asks Sapphire how she's going to talk to Ruth in the photo. Liz opens the door to the courtyard in the back and discovers that the children are gone. The woman says that the children's songs used to seem old-fashioned, and she never saw their parents. As Liz starts to go inside, the children appear and Liz assumes that they were hiding. Sapphire says that they're frightened and not exactly children, and tells Liz to go and look. As Liz goes over, she realizes that the children's clothing are in sepia. She hugs one of the children to comfort him, and he turns into plaster and paper. The other children disappear, and Sapphire asks if that's enough proof that the children aren't human.
In the darkroom, Steel develops the photo that he took: an enlargement of Ruth in the window. He mentally tells Sapphire that he's ready, and they bring up Liz and asks if Ruth in the photo is wearing the same clothing as the night that she disappeared. Sapphire says that she's going to try and communicate with Ruth, and Steel tells Liz to be quiet and let Sapphire works. Reaching out with her mind, Sapphire calls to Ruth, asking her to speak with her mind.
Ruth speaks up, trying to remember a rhyme that she heard as a child. She recites the poem about the man on the stairs that wasn't there.
The Shape appears on the stairs. The children appear as well on the cellar stairs.
Ruth explains that she remembers a lot of things because of the man on the stairs, and it's the last memory that she ever had. She talks about how it's like she's under anesthesia, and asks if she's going to be all right. Sapphire asks Ruth what Williamson was working on in the darkroom, and he said that he discovered something.
In the darkroom, the photo of the street drifts upward and then disappears, reappearing in the Shape's hands. A wind blows up, and Ruth asks what's happening. She screams as the Shape holds the photo and it burns. In the darkroom, Liz stares at the image of Ruth as it disappears from the photo.
Written by Gadfly on Feb 13, 2019