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Man of Influence Recap

In Washington, DC, Senator Albert Hanover goes to the estate of spiritualist Ernest Gide, and takes his friend Senator Ben Baldwyn with him. Two other important couples are also in attendance. Ernest says that one of them is burned with sorrow, and takes Hanover's hand. He tries to reach Hanover's deceased wife Margaret and her face appears floating in the center of the table. Margaret calls to Hanover and tells him not to be troubled. She says that things are different than they thought, and warns that the work he's engaged in won't be successful. Margaret tells her husband that he's going in wrong directions, says that she loves him, and disappears. Ernest says that he will bring her back... another time.

Later, Baldwyn tells Daniel, Kate, and Walter that Margaret was referring to the energy development bill coming up on the Senate floor in a week. Since the séance, Hanover has been leading the fight against the bill. Baldwyn figures that Ernest is a fake, and there are people who stand to lose billions of dollars if the bill goes through. He believes that Ernest is a fake and one of the groups is paying him to make sure that Hanover votes against the bill, and wants the team to find proof.

In the lab, the team reviews a report by the Psychic Research Bureau in London. They didn't find any hint of magic or fakery, and they have a photo of Hanover's daughter Andrea. She and her father had a disagreement ten years ago and she left the country, and was found dead in the Andes two days ago. Daniel suggests that Kate pose as Andrea. If Margaret materializes and accepts Kate as Andrea, that would give them the proof they need to expose Ernest as a fake.

At home, Kate makes herself up to look more like Andrea, and wonders if Daniel believes that Ernest is a fake. They go to Ernest's estate as several older women come out with Ernest and his assistant, Williams. Daniel introduces Kate as Andrea and himself as a friend of the family, and Kate says that she returned to the States because she had heard that Hanover was in contact with Margaret through Ernest. Ernest ushers them in and Kate claims that she and Margaret were close. She asks if Ernest can bring Margaret back so she can talk with her, and Ernest says that he'll try.

They begin a séance and Margaret appears. Margaret says that she doesn't understand and fades away, and Ernest summons her back. The spirit of Andrea appears and says that Kate is an imposter, and she died in Peru. Williams turns on the lights and draws a gun, and Ernest demands to know who Kate really is. The assistant explains that someone tried to assassinate Ernest, and Kate says that they're with the American Psychic Research Institute. There's a $100,000 reward for proving that there's life after death, but Ernest notes that most Institute members are practitioners themselves.

Thinking quickly, Daniel says that Kate is the magical one and specializes in telekinesis. Interested, Ernest tells Williams to put the gun away and invites Kate to prove her claim. She says that she should be alone, and Williams lets Daniel out. Once in the hallway, Daniel removes his mask and clothing and hide them in a drawer.

Kate begins by having Williams check the door. Once he confirms that it's all clear, she concentrates and the door apparently opens on its own. Williams looks out, and Daniel slips into the room. Ernest dismisses it as a breeze, and Kate looks at a jade elephant figurine. She concentrates and it lifts up and then sets back down. Ernest wants one last test and has Williams set in a chair. Kate warns that it may be too heavy, but Ernest says that it would convince him that she's legitimate and he'd invite her to the séance with Hanover the next day. Kate finally agrees and the chair shakes and then falls over. Ernest congratulates her and says that she could improve her capabilities with practice, and they go outside to find Daniel.

Daniel slips out and puts his disguise back on. He goes outside and joins the others, and Williams shows the Westins out. As they drive back to town, Daniel congratulates Kate on her performance. Kate wonders how Ernest made Margaret and Andrea appear, and isn’t convinced that Ernest is a fake.

At the lab, Daniel and Kate rig a laser projection system to try and recreate Ernest's "spirits." Walter summons them to his office to meet with Dr. Theophilus from Duke. Theophilus admits that no one has ever been able to determine if Ernest is a fake. Kate still isn't convinced, and Theophilus figures that the key is their optic experiments. As they go, Walter tells the Westins that the information Daniel asked for is coming.

Williams confirms that Daniel and Kate work for the Klae Corporation, and Ernest is familiar with the Klae Resource.

As they drive home, Kate points out that Theophilus hasn't been able to disprove Ernest's manifestations. An orange pick up moves in behind them and tries to sideswipe them off the road. A truck comes from the opposite direction and the Westins have to swerve off the road. Kate catches a glimpse of the driver and tells Daniel that it was Williams, and the Westins continue on.

Williams returns to the estate and tells Ernest that he failed. Ernest points out that they have a large fee at stake, and Williams says that he understands.

As the Westins return home, Kate admits that she finds Ernest's confidence attractive. As they relax, Walter calls with the information. Three Senators and Congressmen are among Ernest's clients, as well as a five-star general and a Cabinet member. All six Congress members are voting in a bloc against the energy bill, Williams worked in show business as an impressionist. Walter tells Daniel to be careful, and Daniel insists that the "spirits" must have been projections. The lights were turned off, but they figure the spirits are projected down through the crystals of the chandelier.

Williams pulls up outside in the same truck, and Daniel hears him. He removes his disguise and invisibly goes down to where Williams is tampering with their car. After Williams cuts the hydraulic line and closes the hood, he drives off in his truck. Kate comes out and helps Daniel undo the damage. Daniel suggests that they then help convince Williams his sabotage worked.

Later, Daniel drives Kate to the estate but tells Ernest that his brakes are mushy and he's going to find a service station. Ernest takes Kate to the séance where Hanover is waiting, and explains that she's also a practitioner. Meanwhile, Daniel rigs the car to go off the road and off a cliff, and the moves his disguise.

Once the police receive word of the crash, Ernest, Williams, and Hanover accompany Kate to the site. When Hanover says that they'll have to reschedule the séance, Daniel invisibly pinches Kate's cheek. Getting the message, Kate asks Ernest to hold the séance so she can talk to Daniel. Ernest refuses, saying that it's too soon, but Hanover insists. He questions Ernest's abilities and Ernest has no choice but to agree. As they get into Ernest's car, Daniel jams his clothing into the rear bumper and climbs onto the trunk to ride back with them.

When the group returns to the estate, Williams tries to close the door and it jams open briefly. They go to the séance room and Ernest whispers to Williams that he'll need the voice. Williams turns off the lights and Ernest calls on Daniel's spirit. The assistant throws his voice and mimics Daniel, saying that he can't appear, but the real Daniel speaks up and says that someone is answering for him. Daniel says that Williams murdered him by sabotaging the hydraulic line... and Ernest gave the order. He then tells Hanover that Margaret is there, and jams a handkerchief into Williams' mouth.

The "spirit" of Margaret appears below the chandelier and Daniel tells Hanover that things aren't what they seem. He shakes the chandelier and the image shakes as well, and Ernest has Williams turn on the lights. The spiritualist says that there are evil spirits there, and Daniel continues his accusations. The candle in the center of the table levitates and Daniel orders Ernest to confess.

Ernest accuses Kate of unleashing a poltergeist and goes to his office, and Daniel shoves him in and locks the door behind him. He continues haunting him, taking a sword from the wall and throws it at Ernest. Daniel tells Ernest to confess, and Ernest finally cracks and yells that he killed Daniel.

Later, the police take Ernest and Williams in. Kate tells Hanover how they did it, just as Daniel comes in. He claims that he got out of the car before the brakes failed. Ernest wonders how Daniel did it, and Kate says that she'll reveal all when she writes her memoirs.

As the Westins leave with Hanover, he admits that he wanted so much to believe that he let himself be fooled. He thanks the couple for their help, and asks Kate if she can move thing with her mind. Before she can answer, Daniel says that they're going to the lab to find out.

Written by Gadfly on Jun 1, 2016

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