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The Day Tennyson Died Recap

In Malcolm’s empty townhouse, the letters pile up inside the front door. Vanessa lies on her bed, staring off into space. She finally goes downstairs to the kitchen to feed herself. There’s a knock at the door and Vanessa cowers away. Ferdinand calls out and says that he knows Vanessa is there, and promises that he won’t leave until she answers. Vanessa finally lets him in and takes a seat. The bells toll throughout London, and Ferdinand explains that Tennyson has died. He then points out that Vanessa has ignored his cards and letters, and suggests that he bring her out of hiding. Ferdinand suggests that she see a mental doctor who he saw when he was depressed over his... unique sexual nature. She helped Ferdinand accept his nature. He leaves the doctor’s card and says that their lives are their own, and promises to make her an appointment. Vanessa smiles and rests her head in his lap, crying, and Ferdinand gently strokes her hair.

In New Mexico Territory, Rusk and his junior inspector sit in a train’s passenger car as it travels across the desert. Rusk asks the marshal if there’s a club car, and then excuses himself to a handcuffed Ethan. The inspector and his junior go to the car, and the marshals scrutinize Ethan carefully. The Englishmen go to the club car, unaware that Hecate is one of the passengers. The barman serves them tea and asks about Ethan. Rusk explains that Ethan butchered and ate a fair number of people,

In the passenger car behind Ethan’s, a man named Scarman checks the time and glances at several other male passengers. He then walks up to the next car. When the marshal on duty, objects, Scarman’s men draw their guns and hold him prisoner. Scarman then kicks his way into Ethan’s car and guns down the marshals. In the other car, Scarman’s men gun down the other passengers. Hecate is the last one, and she pleads with the gunman to spare her. Before he can decide, Rusk and his junior return and Scarman’s fire at them.

Scarman aims his gun at Ethan and welcomes him home, and then knocks him unconscious. Once they stop the train, the men ride off on their horses with Ethan their unconscious prisoner. Hecate watches them go, as does Rusk.

In Zanzibar in German East Africa, Malcolm writes to Vanessa. He says that he has buried Sembene in a private ceremony. The locals have been run off or taken as slaves by the Germans and Belgians, and the land is tainted as far as he’s concerned. He promises to cable when he knows his itinerary. Later, Malcolm makes his way through the streets, giving money to a beggar woman. She offers to prostitute herself, and several men surround him. The woman draws a gun, but a newcomer throws a knife into her head. He attacks her accomplices and Malcolm defends himself, killing them. Once they’re down, the newcomer, Kaetenay, takes their scalps. He addresses Sir Malcolm by name, saying the old traditions die hard.

On a ship trapped In the Arctic ice, the sailors slowly freeze and debate whether to eat the human flesh of their dead comrades rather than starve. Caliban is crouched nearby as the ship shakes from the ice. The ship doctor insists that they should die as men and Caliban laughs briefly. The cabin boy is dying, and the doctor confirms that he’s not long for it. One of the sailors draws his knife and says that they should hasten the end. Caliban blocks him and the sailor says that they should put the boy out of his misery. Unmoved, Caliban holds his ground and the sailor drops his knife after a moment.

Caliban goes to the boy and sings him a song. As he does, he has a brief memory of parents singing him the same song as he lay sick as a boy. The doctor confirms that the boy only has a few days, and Caliban breaks the boy’s neck before the sailors can kill him. He then wishes them luck and goes topside, telling the crew that he’s going home. Caliban walks off across the ice, unaffected by the cold.

Malcolm and Kaetenay go to a bar, and Kaetenay explains that he’s a Chiricahua Apache. He tells Malcolm that he missed him in London and found him in Africa. Kaetenay says that Malcolm can’t die until he has served his purpose to fight the great demons of earth and sky until he is dead. Malcolm insists that he’s done with it, and Kaetenay demands that Malcolm must come with him to America because Ethan needs his help. If Malcolm comes with him then he’ll tell him the story, and says that Ethan is almost his son. Kaetenay tells Malcolm to be who he is.

Scarman and his mercenaries stop and Ethan figures that they work for his father. He figures that it’s about time his father see him and smiles, and Scarman tells him to cheer up because they’re taking him home. Ethan wishes him luck.

In London, Dr. Henry Jekyll goes to a specific address in the tenements. He knocks at a door and calls to Victor by name. Victor recognizes his visitor and lets him in. Over tea, Victor thanks Henry for coming. Henry notices the needle marks on Henry’s arm and Victor admits that he’s been doing the old work that they dreamed of presenting to the Royal Society when they were students together. He says that he has created monsters, and Henry says that he is his true friend. Satisfied, Victor begins telling him everything that he has done since he left school... and reanimated the dead.

Vanessa goes to the office of Dr. Seward at the scheduled time. The secretary goes to get Seward, and Vanessa nervously twitches at the noises. She’s soon led to Seward’s office and Vanessa is surprised to discover that Seward is a woman. Seward insists on daily one-hour sessions and says that Vanessa can’t talk about them. She asks why Vanessa is scratching her hand, and realizes that it’s more than an itch. The doctor says that Vanessa is coming to her to get better, and there’s no other reason. She makes Vanessa accept that she is ill, not bad or unworthy. Vanessa hesitantly explains that she has a large inheritance, and Seward says that there are no manners there. When Vanessa smiles, Seward asks why and Vanessa says that she figures Seward doesn’t want her to leave because she scratches her hand... and indicates the phobias that Seward are interested in. Seward insists that she wants to cure people, and Vanessa says that she knew someone like her, Joan Clayton. The doctor admits that she came from the West Country generations ago, but it’s not relevant. She tells Vanessa when to come, and deduces what is bothering Vanessa from her appearance. Seward concludes that Vanessa blames herself for being alone, and recently lost something important to her. She points out that Vanessa seeks dark impossible men so that her relationships will fail, so that she will be alone, so she can blame herself. Vanessa agrees to return, and Seward tells her to break the cycle for one day by doing something she’s never done before... and then tell her about it before.

Victor takes Henry to his secret lab and explains that it’s where he created Lily. Henry admires his ability to create life, and Victor admits that it was either the needle or the noose because his sins have turned on him. His friend points out that Victor has ignored him for five years and then summoned him to tell his secrets. Victor insists that he needs Henry’s skills to destroy Lily, Henry says that he’s no killer, but Victor reminds him of all the boys who had insulted him, that Henry dreamed of killing. Taken aback, Henry nonetheless insists that he controls his anger now, and he works with the neurochemical processes of the brain. He figures that Victor wants to love Lily, not kill her, and offers to tame Lily. Victor admits that he wants that, and Henry tells him to come to his lab on Saturday and together they will attempt it. However, Victor warns that if they fail then they destroy her, and Henry nods in agreement before leaving.

As Vanessa walks back to the townhouse, a man follows her and nods to a young boy ahead. The boy offers Vanessa a death ribbon in honor of Tennyson’s death, and Vanessa buys it. She notices his pale skin, and the boy says that he has anemia and it has to do with his blood. As Vanessa walks off, the boy calls her beloved and tells her to savor the day.

Vanessa notices a nearby museum and decides to do something different by visiting it. She sees a stuffed wolf and studies it for a moment, and then moves on. Vanessa comes to cases of scorpions and a man, Dr. Alexander Sweet, comes up and explains that the smallest ones are the moist dangerous. He points out an albino one, a Deathstalker, and figures that most people study the scorpion because they’re dangerous. Vanessa says that she’s touched a scorpion before and figures Sweet for a zoologist. He introduces himself as the Director of Zoological Studies, and talks of the wonders of nature. Sweet tells Vanessa that his favorite are the broke and unshunned creatures that someone has to care for, Sweet’s colleague interrupts them and Vanessa introduces herself. The zoologist bids her farewell and leaves.

Vanessa returns home, opens the windows, and cleans the house. She then writes a letter to Malcolm, admitting that she has been depressed and lonely. Vanessa admits that she has lost her faith, but assures him that she still has hope despite all that. Because she remains even if her soul doesn’t. She concludes by telling Malcolm that Tennyson is dead and the city is in mourning. Lighting a cigarette, Vanessa goes to the window and looks up at the stars.

A man, Renfield, goes to a street in Chinatown and hires a prostitute. They go into an alleyway and a figure passes overhead and then smashes the woman into a wall. The figure pulls Renfield away into the darkness. When he wakes up, he finds himself in an abandoned building. The familiars that approached Vanessa earlier are there, and others that crawl in the shadows. They surround Renfield and the Lead Familiar says that Renfield is pink with blood. The Master enters and the familiars all back away, bowing. Their Master tells Renfield to have no fear, and orders him to look on him. He asks about Vanessa, and Renfield says that he knows nothing. The Master tells him to learn more and inform him, opening her secrets to him. He then has Renfield bend his head back and give him his neck. Sobbing, Renfield does so and the Master takes his blood... and says that his name is Dracula.

Written by Gadfly on May 1, 2016

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