Friday, October 5, 2012

F13:TS 25: The Poison Pen


Episode Recap #2: The Poison Pen

Original Airdate: October 10, 1987

John D. LeMay as Ryan Dallion
Louise Robey as Micki Foster
Chris Wiggins as Jack Marshak

Guest cast:
Colin Fox as Le Croix
Larry Reynolds as Brother Currie
Alan C. Peterson as Brother Drake
Lewis Gordon as Abbot Capilano
Gillie Fenwick as Brother Arrupe

Written by Durnford King
Directed by Timothy Bond


The show opens on a sunny day at The Eternal Brotherhood monastery. The Abbot Capilano and his assistant decide they don't want to sell the place, much to the chagrin of Brother Le Croix.

As the Abbot sends a pigeon off the roof with a message, someone in a dark room is writing with a quill pen, his words mirroring what is happening on the roof. Suddenly, Capilano is lifted up, floating into the air. He is amazed, until the effect wears off and he drops from the sky to the ground, far below. The man writing the words in the book seems to have predicted - or dictated - this tragic event.

Cut to Curious Goods and Ryan reading about the Oracle of Death, a monk who claims to be able to predict death. Micki scoffs at the idea of predicting the future. Jack laughs, reminding her about Nostradamus. Micki still won't buy it, any of it. As her and Ryan argue, Jack sees a picture of the quill pen in the article and remembers he is the one who brought it to Lewis, saying it came from "a tailfeather from a giant Chilean condor. They're the worst kind." The manifest says it was sold to one Rupert Seldon. He reads about the monastery and finds that it is a cloistered order and it will be hard to get inside. Jack thinks he can forge a visitor's letter for Ryan, but since Micki is female, it won't be as easy.

Next we see Ryan wrapping Micki up as they attempt to pass her off as man. Jack forges their letter on old parchment, calling them Brothers Matthew and Simon from Yorkshire. The duo heads off to the monastery, where Brother Drake, in charge of visitors, shows them inside. He is skeptical about their unannounced visit. In order to help Micki's disguise, Ryan says "Brother Simon" has taken a vow of silence.

Really? This is the best they could do to make Micki into Brother Simon?

Drake tells them how they are all still in mourning over the death of the Abbot. He shows them to their room, a sparse space with cots. When they are alone, Micki rants about having to stay in one room with Ryan and tells him that she will not be taking any "communal showers". Ryan says not to worry, they just have to find Brother Currie and get the pen.

That night, Le Croix and Arrupe expresses doubts about these newcomers, telling Drake to keep an eye on the pair. After mass, the pair wander around the monastery, looking for Brother Currie. Drake follows them. Ryan and Micki go deep into the building, following the monk bringing Currie his dinner. They even pass through what appears to be a prison/dungeon room. When Currie comes out for his tray, Ryan asks about the quill pen, but Currie is scared off. Drake reveals himself and escorts the pair back to their room.

The next day, Ryan and Micki are doing yard work at the whim of Brother Drake when Brother Arrupe runs by. Ryan asks what the rush is and the old man says the Oracle of Death has made another prediction: the Abbot is going to die today. Ryan reminds the man that they don't have an Abbot, since no one has been appointed since the previous one died.

That night, the tired pair head to their room while Brother Arrupe receives a letter in his room. Seems he has just be named Abbot of the monastery. He happily climbs into bed and then remembers the prediction the Oracle made. But he is too late, as he is suddenly trapped in his bed as the wooden canopy begins to lower, pinning him in and causing him to suffocate and die. Ryan and Micki and some other monks arrive, but too late to help. The bed is back to its normal height, so he appears to the other monks to have died of natural causes. Micki gaps as she spots the letter naming Arrupe as the new Abbot.

Later, in his office, Le Croix thanks the brothers for attempting to save Arrupe. He asks who they really are. Ryan speaks for them both, keeping their cover as intact as he can. Le Croix reprimands them for attempting to speak to Currie. He orders them to leave the Oracle alone.

Back at chores, Micki (forgetting her act of a vow of silence) bemoans the situation she is in, including the store and all the antiques they have to get back. Ryan tries to get her to say it has been fun, as well, but she won't have it. Ryan tells her to go back to Leonard (Lloyd, she corrects him), but that if they don't get the antiques back, nobody else is going to do it. She rants a bit more, then gets back to mowing.

At the store, Jack is working on a fake version of the quill pen, happy with his progress. Later, Drake introduces another new monk to Ryan, a Brother Jack, apparently from Ireland. He shows the pair the fake pen, unaware that Le Croix and Drake are watching them, suspicous. Jack also tells them that the man who bought the pen from Lewis, Rupert Seldon, is wanted for murder.

Later, Currie rushes into see Le Croix, whom he calls Rupert, and tells him that the new brothers know about the pen. Le Croix tells Currie that he'd be in jail if it wasn't for him. Currie is having second thoughts about their whole scheme, about writing and causing deaths as the Oracle. Le Croix tells him he needs to keep pretending to be the Oracle cause Rupert can't show his face to the public. Le Croix has been named Abbot and has power now, but Currie won't hear about it, he is done. He leaves and Le Croix starts writing in his book with the cursed pen, this time writing about Currie himself, causing the man to unwillingly climb onto the bed of a guillotine.

Ryan and Micki search the dungeon area and Currie's room, but can't find the pen. They hear the screams of Currie as he lays beneath the blade and is forced by the curse to drop it on his own neck, beheading himself. Le Croix comes in and lies, telling them Currie predicted his own death in the book, writing of the end of the Oracle of Death.

This pen is WAY mightier than any sword!

In their beds, Micki tells Ryan she is scared. Ryan says he is terrified. As they sleep, Le Croix writes again, about the unfortunate fates that befell brothers Matthew and Simon from Yorkshire, intending to end the lives of the meddlesome pair. A large spider is then seen crawling into their room and onto Micki. She awakens and quietly calls to Ryan, who carefully whacks the creature across the room. Jack comes in and laughs, saying the spider is harmless.

The following day, Micki is at her wit's end. Jack tries to calm her, telling her that while there will always be an element of danger to retrieving the antiques, he is there to help. Drake and Le Croix are walking, with Drake saying that the Oracle is no more with Currie's death. Le Croix lies and says the old man left many predictions that he will unveil over time. He is then caught dumbfounded at the sight of brothers Matthew and Simon, alive and well. He asks how their night was, they say all was fine. Jack knows Le Croix was the one who sent the spider and says they didn't die because they aren't really who Le Croix wrote in the book. Le Croix tells Drake to meet with the press so he doesn't have to and also orders the monk to check with Yorkshire and see if they really did send Matthew and Simon to visit.

Ryan realizes Le Croix is the one who must have the pen and Jack says he will have better luck searching the man's office. Later, Drake is addressing the press, giving them the statement Le Croix prepared, saying Currie killed himself. The press wants more info, but he has none to give. Le Croix sits idly by, happy to not be in the spotlight.

Jack searches the office but is unable to find the pen. He does compare the signature of Rupert Seldon on the quill pen bill of sale with the writing in the Oracle of Death book and realizes Seldon and Le Croix are one and the same. He goes and informs Micki and Ryan, unaware Drake is listening in.

Ryan stands guard as Micki showers, unaware that Drake is again spying and that he knows she is not a he. Drake runs to Le Croix, telling him that Yorkshire never sent Matthew and Simon and that the real brothers were bitten by a poisonous tarantula last night and died. Le Croix chuckles to himself, realizing he inadvertently caused their deaths. Drake also tells him that Brother Simon is a female. Le Croix tells him not to act on anything he has learned and takes off.

Jack is again searching the office as Le Croix comes back. Jack attempts to hide, but Le Croix sees him and draws a gun. Jack is forced into the guillotine, Le Croix tying him down. Jack tells Le Croix he knows his name is Seldon and that he has the cursed pen. Le Croix leaves, but not before placing the candle flame burning at the rope to the blade. Micki, worried, goes in search of Jack.

Le Croix meets with the real estate developer to sell the monastery. Drake listens in, shocked that the new Abbot is selling the place. Le Croix demands a steep payment, but the developer sees no alternative but to agree to his terms. As they leave the office, Micki slips inside. She finds the hidden pen and swaps it for Jack's fake. She hides when Le Croix comes back and retrieves the pen. But he can't find his book, which Jack already removed. Micki follows as the Abbot leaves.

Ryan searches for Jack and hears his friend, but has trouble locating him. Jack asks him to hurry as the blade is nearly burned through the rope. Ryan arrives just in time, freeing Jack. Micki shows up, telling them she found and swapped the pen. But then Le Croix arrives and is happy to know about the switch. Gun in hand, he forces Micki to give back the real pen. Since he can't find his book, Le Croix grabs a paper Jack dropped, and begins to write about the imposters who came to the monastery, intending to cause their deaths.

Drake rushes in and slams an axe onto the table, telling Le Croix he will burn in hell for selling the monastery. Le Croix orders him to drop the axe, then gets back to his writing, telling the group he only has to add their names. But Jack tells him he shouldn't write on what he has already signed. The guillotine blade moves a little as Le Croix turns over the letter and sees it is the invoice for the pen, which he signed with his real name, Rupert Seldon. The blade floats free of across the room, flying at Le Croix, intent on killing him. The man runs and the blade imbeds itself in the wall. Le Croix again approaches the group, astonished the pen didn't work. Micki tries to warn Le Croix, but he scoffs, unaware the blade has resumed its mission and quickly stabs itself into the man's back, killing him. Ryan retrieves the pen, quipping that Le Croix "should have stuck to pencils."

Uh, you really should have listened to Micki!

Back at the store, Ryan is amazed at the power the pen has, but Jack reminds him it can only make evil wishes come true. Micki is releived to be a full-fledged girl again. She asks why they haven't put the pen in the vault and Jack says this one is his forgery. She wonders how he knows and he says an artist always knows his own work. Ryan says they can be sure by using the pen to write their lunch order, saying they should order something sinful. Micki and Jack rush to grab the pen away from him.


My thoughts:

Definitely a fun episode, even if it has some moments where you really have to suspend belief. I mean, really, who would EVER mistake Micki for a boy? Even with the monk's robes she wore, she never looks male. Also, the quick way Le Croix tries to sell the monastery seems a bit forced.

Overlooking these bits, we get a good look at just how difficult and dangerous it is going to be for our trio to hunt down and retrieve these antiques. The people who own them or are wielding them aren't going to give up these items of power very easily.

Colin Fox is great as the devious Le Croix, who created quite an elaborate scheme for himself at the monastery. His greed ends up being his downfall, however.

I do fell bad for the real brothers Matthew and Simon. Those dudes ended up dead simply because Jack used their names to get Micki and Ryan into the monastery. Sheesh, talk about collateral damage!

Oh, and brother Drake? Creepy, icky dude from start to finish. Ugh!

Love some of the lines here, too. In a moment where you think the male would play up bravado when Micki says she is scared, Ryan freely admits he is terrified, as well. Very nice.

Both Ryan and Jack remind Micki that this job falls to them and them alone. She can leave and resume her normal life, but no one else will stop these antiques from wreaking havoc on the world. Not a job any of them want, but in order to do the right and just thing, they really have no choice. Hard responsibiity to carry, but they bravely do just that.

Next week: "Cupid's Quiver"

No comments:

Post a Comment