Cult 1.2 – In the Blood

Last week Jeff put in the disc.

This week we open up with Kelly and her partner, Paz, stumbling upon a makeshift grave, the victim buried upside down. Paz has never seen anything like this. Cue Kelly having a flashback of her inverted baptism into Billy’s cult. He welcomes her to the family, to The Blood and she is way stoked. In the present, however, she’s less stoked and more antagonized. Billy is sending her a message, obviously. I think Paz is wondering if Kelly’s ever going to get over thinking it’s always about her.

In the “real” world Jeff is doing some heavy meta; he’s watching the show and he’s digging through Nate’s geek stash. A gold coin on the screen, a gold coin on Nate’s desk. Skye spent the night on the couch because she’s oddly not weirded out by any of this and is 100% on board with Project Find Jeff’s Brother. Probably because Jeff is hot.

Jeff heads back to Fan_dom.ain for more info. By the light of day it’s a pretty basic semi-hipster coffee shop/web café. The Cult room is closed. The barista claims it’s because they caught a fan with a concealed shank. Run of the mill, y’know. Comfortingly, Cult is playing on the café television. It’s apparently the new Law & Order. Just then, Jeff gets a video call from Billy welcoming him into the fold. Also totally comforting. Thankfully, Jeff is saved from Billy’s facetime by his coworker/techno pagan, E.J. She’s convinced that Jeff is an idiot for uploading a sketchy, nearly unmarked disc onto his laptop. Note to everyone: always consult your neighborhood techno idolater before upgrading. She does have some good news for him, she’s got Miriam’s last name: Livingston

Back at the studio, Skye his chugging coffee and spazzing out at every little sound. Skye is positive that Cult fans push the fanatic button a little bit harder than your average TV watcher. Her coworker, Peter, doesn’t really find her fan forum obsession to be healthy.

Meanwhile, one of the Fan_dom.ain employees, Kirstie, is torturing the network executive, Mark Segal. I don’t think we’re supposed to mistake him for former CW headmaster, Dawn Ostroff, but if you’re a Supernatural fan feel free to use your imagination.

Anyway, he’s bound and bloody. And about to be slice ‘n’ diced. From who we can only assume is Billy Grimm. Or a stunt double. Not actually sure yet.

After the commercial, Skye and Jeff meet up at the Livingston household. Because they’re BFFs by circumstance now. Jeff shows the creepy Billy phone vid, but it turns out it’s an auto-reply kind of thing, a fan perk for signing up for the official show website.

Mr. Livingston is even less willing to talk to them today. His wife blew his brains out and he’s really not in the mood. The shotgun he pulls on them emphasizes his point quite well, I think.

They head to LAPD to tell Detective Sakelik about Mr. Livingston flipping out on them. She’s not pleased with them doing their own digging. It’s weird; we know Detective Sakelik is riding the Billy Grimm tattoo train and that’s the reason she’s throwing up roadblocks… however, she’s actually making the most sense on a logical level.

We return from the break and we’re in the warmer toned Cult ‘Verse. Kelly and Billy are having a confrontation. Kelly knows that he’s behind the burial, knows that it’s a punishment, what she wants to know is why and what for. Billy’s not wavering; in fact he’s continuing to taunt her. They’re really more alike than different according to Billy. Classic villain logic.

Jeff and Skye are back at Fan_dom.ain questioning the patrons. Jeff is getting kinda creepy. Skye is Binging Miriam Livingston, because, well, the CW doesn’t believe in the existence of Google. She’s found the basics: Facebook page, family briefings, oh and the fact that Miriam’s funeral is raring to go. That very afternoon. They plan to be super classy and crash it to interview Miriam’s grieving friends and family.

In walks E.J. and if you kinda caught that she may have a thing for Jeff in her previous scene that gut feeling is cemented by her unenthusiastic reaction to Skye’s mere presence. Subtle E.J., real subtle. Skye, on the other hand, has zero jealousy. In fact she thinks Jeff should totally hit that. Yeah.

E.J. tosses Jeff’s laptop onto the table, interrupting Skye’s wingman endeavor. E.J. demands to know where Jeff got the disc because it’s wigging her out. There’s no real data on it, nothing but a tiny repeated image. She isolated and enlarged the image. It’s the arm from a knight’s armor, three of them. Fanning out from around the elbow region. With swords.

Well, that’s new.

Jeff wants more info on the creator, Steven Rae. Skye’s got nothin’. He’s not a face-to-face type of guy, he’s all plug in, no human interaction. Jeff doesn’t like that, but there’s no time to push harder, they’ve got a funeral to attend. But, um, aside from Mr. Livingston and the priest they’re the only ones that showed up. Mr. Livingston apparently has better things to do than stay at his wife’s funeral. First he was on the phone, then he grabs something that looks like ancient scrolls, from his truck and bails. The priest is perplexed.

Jeff and Skye follow Mr. Livingston and guess who he’s meeting up with? Detective Sakelik. He gives her the package, she gives him a sweet kiss, Jeff and Skye remain confused.

Time to run a Bing search on Detective Sakelik. Turns out she’s an awesomely awesome detective. Bing has just about nothing on Steven Rae. 2-1, Bing. Skye doesn’t blame Bing at all, she calmly reminds Jeff of Steven Rae recluse tendencies and tells him he’ll never get to Steven.

Jeff’s gears start turning. He remembers that when he went to the studio impersonating his former position at The Washington Post, Skye ever so conveniently swooped in just as he was poking around for Steven Rae. Paranoid or perceptive? Either way, Skye is affronted. Jeff demands to know why she’s all up in this. Time for Skye’s selfishness to shine through; she’s hoping that this will tie into her search for her missing father, because before he disappeared 10 years ago her father was looking into a man named… Steven Rae and a cult. Or ‘Cult’. Either way it’s fishy because the show itself is only in season 1. Their next stop is Livingston’s house for a little B&E. The house freaky. And wallpaper-less. The wallpaper was what Mr. Livingston took to Detective Sakelik.

The tension is broken by a phone call from E.J., she’s got a triangulation on where Nate called Jeff from the night before. Unfortunately, it covers a four-block radius. Fortunately, Skye recognizes the area as a former Cult shooting location. It’s KidPlay Fun Palace, a children’s pizza and gambling joint. That has gold coins. The surveillance tape shows Nate making frantic gestures while on the phone at the exact time he called Jeff. It also shows Miriam’s husband forcefully taking the phone from Nate and scolding him sternly. Then the footage turns to snow.

Roundtable script read. Kelly, played by Marti, is having some intense dialogue with Paz, played by Oz. Billy, played by Roger, has some notes on his character and interrupts the dialogue to tell the de facto network head his thoughts and feelings. She’s not responsive. Roger is creepy. REALLY CREEPY.

Actors, man.

Let’s get back to Jeff and Skye. They’re still scoping out the Livingston living quarters. Even without the wallpaper Jeff can see the shadow of the writing on the wall. Same stuff as Nate’s notebook. The wall also has a sketch of the three-armed coat of arms thing. Know what’s missing from a dark, scary house? A thumping noise coming from the kitchen cabinet. Jeff opens it and there’s Mr. Livingston, stuff in and taped up, but alive at least. Once Jeff rips the tape off his mouth Mr. Livingston suddenly has all kinds of things to say: He watched the show first, Miriam only watched so she could hang out with him for an extra 42 minutes a week, they will come back for him. Who’s “they”?

The True Believers.

Someone is scurrying outside, the scent of propane gas fills the house, a smoke bomb crashes through the wind and hey, these things just snap right off.

Jeff and Skye barely make it to safety.

In the Cult ‘Verse, Billy Grimm is entertaining some kids at the KidPlay Fun Palace, grinning with gold coins on his eyes all in fun. A henchman sits with him at a kiddie table and Billy discreetly slides him a severed finger wrapped in a handkerchief. The henchman’s job is to plant the finger to help Kelly solve her case. Kelly gets a pat on the head from her captain, Billy and his followers throw the scent off their trail. Win-win.

We end with Jeff and Skye having a phone date. Jeff is at Nate’s watching the show. He’s one day away from Bing’ing for fanfic.

Skye is still at work. Steven Rae is on line 2. Peter brought Skye her favorite for dinner: Cuban.

And the torturing barista, Kirstie? She just literally ran into Roger and it seems she’s never met him before, but she knows he’s Billy Grimm. She’s his biggest fan.

Wait a second…