Friday, 1 Jul 2022

L.A. By Night S4 E7 Recap – Dead Ecstasies

The streaming show L.A. By Night follows a group playing the latest edition of the Vampire: The Masquerade tabletop game. The fourth season chronicles the uneasy truce between the Anarchs and Camarilla, and all it would take is one misstep to shatter the fragile peace.

In the last episode, Baron Nelli G (Cynthia Marie) hosted her first party under her new title. Annabelle (Erika Ishii), Baron Victor Temple (B. Dave Walters), Eva (Josephine McAdam), Jasper (Alexander Ward), and X (Xander Jeanneret) were all in attendance. Annabelle dealt with the harsh reactions towards thin-bloods, X was secretly spying for Archangel, Jasper’s past as a cult member is revealed and Eva revealed that she had to leave for a while to deal with her problems.

The episode takes place in a stately mansion in Beverly Glen, which is the current haven of several members of the Prince’s court. Baron Nelli G is in the rose garden with Suzanne Rochelle (Amelia Rose Blaire), who is the current Seneschal of the court. Suzanne congratulates Nelli on her new position and the two flirt among the flowers. Suzanne tells her that a storm is coming and that she is in danger, due to her new position within the Anarchs. She leads them to the conservatory and hopes that the rain will muffle their conversation. There is someone close to Nelli who has a dark power that is a threat to them, but Nelli doesn’t know who she is referring to.

Suzanne asks her what it’s like to be the Baron. Nelli says it’s good, terrifying, but good. Nelli took the position to make things better for the Kindred and to make Hollywood a good place to live. Suzanne says this is impossible, as Hollywood is disgusting and full of gross people. The two activate Awe at the same time. Nelli asks who she should be aware of. Suzanne says that there is one among her who is illegitimate and has a dark power, and is also a drug addict, revealing her to be Eva. This girl has a power she doesn’t know how to control and that she is dangerous to all of them. Suzanne probes Nelli’s mind and sees the last conversation she had with Eva before she departed from Los Angeles. Suzanne says this is for the best as she is dangerous. Suzanne asks if Jasper is still sniffing about and Nelli says he plays a valuable role, as the Nosferatu perform a service that few Kindred would be willing to do. Suzanne says that Nelli has the power to end the war between the Anarchs and the Camarilla and must do so quickly, as they are all at risk.

In her mind, Suzanne has a glimpse of Prince Vannevar (Bryan Dechart), who is pacing around a room and clutching a book close to his face while muttering to himself. Suzanne tells Nelli that a madness is coming for them all and it will destroy the Anarchs. She wants Nelli to join them, as they will be stronger together. Nelli refuses. Suzanne says they will all die, but Nelli still refuses, as she won’t listen to anyone but herself. She has fought for everything so far to keep everyone safe. Suzanne says she is living in a fantasy and that the Camarilla has lasted for a lot longer than the Anarchs. Suzanne thinks they can change the Camarilla from within. Nelli asks how the Prince is doing and Suzanne says he is fine, but he also knows the darkness is coming and he will do what needs to be done. Nelli says she will do the same.

They are interrupted. Suzanne asked to be called when the Prince was ready. Suzanne asks Nelli if she is ready to meet the Prince. Nelli says she was born ready.

Vannevar’s Cerebro

Prince Vannevar is waiting for them in the drawing-room of the mansion, along with Katya (Shayne Eastin) and Ib (Noura Ibrahim). Suzanne formally introduces Nelli under her proper title as Baroness of Hollywood. Vannevar is surprised by her promotion and Nelli is shocked that news moves so slowly. Vannevar asks about Baron Abrams and Nelli says he had to leave. He asks what Nelli’s plans are for Hollywood and she says she wants to maintain the status quo and the Masquerade. Katya introduces herself as the Tremere Primogen. She has that Baron Temple is doing a bad job maintaining the Masquerade, as he has Ventrue symbols on his club. Nelli thinks there are different interpretations of the Masquerade and Vannevar thinks this is absurd. Katya thinks the Anarchs need to scale things down a little, especially as she knows Eva and Jasper, confirming that she is Eva’s sire. Vannevar is furious that Katya sired Eva without permission. Ib chimes in and says Eva and Jasper are getting into problems all the time. Katya blames Jasper, calling him a bad influence. Vannevar asks if Jasper is still alive and Ib says her plans to deal with him were foiled. Other than that, Ib has been maintaining the truce. Vannevar asks why Katya is there instead of Garrick, as he liked him more. Katya says Garrick has been relocated and that this was a Tremere decision.

Katya says she aided Eva and Jasper in a battle against a gargoyle within the Labyrinth. During the struggle, a leyline was pulled and it harmed the Magic Castle, which is within Nelli’s domain, but the matter has been dealt with. Katya reminds Nelli about the Tremere’s deal with Baron Abrams to stay in the Magic Castle. Nelli says it’s an interesting idea and she will negotiate it on another night. Vannevar wants Garrick to return to him and he reaches out with his considerable power to contact him. Garrick hears this call somewhere in the world and is compelled to return to Los Angeles. Katya says Garrick is a dangerous man.

Suzanne wants Vannevar and Nelli to work together to stop the war and preserve the Masquerade. Katya is concerned about Nelli, as Hollywood is the entertainment capital of the world and all eyes are upon it. Suzanne asks Nelli to join the Camarilla again and Nelli refuses, harshly. Vannevar says she doesn’t understand what is at stake and he calls for Bert. A young man enters the room and he is told to bring a book. It doesn’t take long for Bert to bring a copy of the Book of Nod into the room and Vannevar starts reading the prophecies of the end times and of the time of thin-blood.

Vannevar asks Nelli if all of this clear. Ib says the prophecy is bigger than their empires. Nelli asks what they are talking about when suddenly, the shadows in the room take form. Aurora (the Camarilla Scourge) enters the room and says she has found a nest of thin-bloods in Los Angeles under the protection of Baron Temple. Aurora explains that their numbers are growing and that some of them possess strange abilities, such as being able to walk under the sun, eat food, and make love. They can also brew potions from their blood. Aurora believes they should be hired and used as a weapon against the Anarchs before the Anarchs do the same. Suzanne asks if they have a leader and Aurora says the follow a woman named Delilah. Suzanne asks Nelli if she is aware that Baron Temple is harboring the thin-bloods. Nelli says she is and Suzanne reads her mind to confirm she is telling the truth.

Katya wants to get her hands on some thin-blood vitae to determine its power and Ib agrees, saying they should invite Delilah to see them. Vannevar thinks they should just capture Delilah. Ib wants to use them before they are disposed of, but Vannevar thinks they could infiltrate the tower and bring about the prophecy. Katya asks for a private word with Suzanne, Ib wants a private word with Nelli, and the Prince stays with Aurora and his book.

Katya tells Suzanne that there is someone in the house who can help them. They discovered the body of an ancient Nosferatu in the Labyrinth and it was in torpor. The Nosferatu has awoken and has revealed that he is Zelios – a well-known member of his clan that helped Suzanne and Vannevar escape from Versailles centuries earlier. Suzanne wants to speak to him when Nelli leaves.

Ib tells Nelli that she keep cleaning up after her mess. She is sick of people making stupid rash decisions, as they have bigger problems now, like the Second Inquisition and the thin-bloods. Nelli asks about Daffodil and Ib says she should use his real name, as it’s important to her that ghouls are treated well. Nelli agrees and says she will trust Ib… when Greg is returned safely to her. Nelli receives a text from Lavender saying they need to leave. Nelli says her goodbyes and Suzanne gives her one last warning to take care of her herself, as war is coming. Once Nelli departs, Katya reveals that she has Jasper’s address and gives it to Ib.

Glass Bottom Boat

Katya offers to lead them downstairs, as there is someone she wants them to meet. She leads them to the basement of the east wing, into the wine cellar. Suzanne uses Heightened Senses and hears footsteps pacing around. They meet a wandering Nosferatu. Katya recognizes him as the one from the Labyrinth, except his neck wound is closed. Suzanne and Vannevar recognize him from their days in France, as Zelios helped them escape from Versailles. Zelios bows and Suzanne takes his hand.

Zelios knows they found his Labyrinth, as have the Anarchs. Zelios recounts the story of how they met and the reminisce about the hall of mirrors in Versailles. He remembers Suzanne and Vannevar when they were fledglings, but now they are sovereigns. Zelios realizes something is wrong with Vannevar and wants to help his old friend. Zelios explains that he came to America a long time ago and spent his time protecting a place of great power by hiding it within a maze. Ib talks about the time she explored the Labyrinth when she worked with Baron Temple and that she was impressed by it.

Zelios confirms that he was sent into torpor by a wound inflicted by a lupine. Vannevar starts quoting the Book of Nod and Suzanne tells Zelios that the time of thin-bloods is among them and that it could be the end times. Vannevar asks Zelios if he knows blood magic and he says a little. Vannevar wants to know if thin-blood vitae could be harnassed to copy their abilities, such as walking under sunlight. Zelios thinks it might be possible.

Zelios asks if they remember the web of leylines beneath Versailles. Suzanne cannot forget them and believes they need to protect the same leylines in Los Angeles. The Anarchs stumbled across them by accident, due to a Nosferatu named Jasper. Zelios says this power should not be trifled with. Zelios created a portal specifically to keep the room safe and Ib confirms it’s still there. Zelios asks to speak to Suzanna and Vannevar alone.

Zelios believes something is manipulating the Prince from outside, causing his madness. He mentions the Malkavians and Suzanne realize that the Prince has been meeting with Therese Voermans all of this time. Suzanne brings Katya back into the room and they use Auspex to determine if something is affecting the Prince, but they cannot see anything. Katya has a ritual she can use, but it will require some of the Prince’s blood and a mirror. Bert swiftly arrives with a glass table and Suzanne pricks some of Vannevar’s blood onto it with a needle.

The delicious smelling elder blood pools onto the table. Katya starts to draw geometric shapes with the blood and soon, light emerges from her eyes and swarms into her hands. She shatters the table and a shield forms on the Prince’s body. Zelios says the aura he saw before is gone. The old Prince Vannevar has been restored, but only briefly. He decrees (possibly with the aid of one of his disciplines) that Therese Voerman will dance until sunrise on Santa Monica beach and will be consumed by the sun.

Katya falters and the spell breaks, restoring the Prince to his maddened state. Zelios asks Katya for a more permanent solution. Suzanne thinks Strauss can do it, even though Katya has now earned their trust. Katya could also use the remnants of the mirror to track down Therese, but this will take time. They could summon her to court, but they want to be ready first. Zelios is tired, but he hopes they can finish the conversation they started centuries earlier in Versailles. Ib asks if Katya is all right and Vannevar orders Bert to bring someone for her to feed on. Vannevar says it’s imperative they look after their own.

***

Meanwhile, Greg (Vince Caso) is still chained to the steering wheel of his car and has been unable to escape.

The new episodes of L.A. By Night can be watched on the World of Darkness Twitch and YouTube channels.

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