At an inventor’s seminar, a ruffled middle-aged man stays behind after a meeting breaks up to chat with a handsome, sweater-vested young man about his invention. The young man, clearly picking up on the subtext of this scene, shows him a design for a new, more efficient mini-rocket launcher. The older man lights up his wooden pipe, carved to resemble Satan, which was a gift from his uncle and the smoke dissolves the younger man. The older man then takes the plans to a weapons manufacturer and passes them off as his own, landing a sizeable amount of money and a job, which he then takes home to his shabby apartment as a prelude to proposing to his girlfriend.
Back at the shop, Ryan receives an invitation to his father’s wedding, and so now we know that all the previous was focused on Ray Dallian, Ryan’s disapproving father. After Micki talks Ryan into attending we learn that actually it was Connie, the fiance, who sent the invitation, but Ray and Ryan declare a truce long enough to go through with the wedding and at least pretend to reconcile. On the factory tour, Ray tells Ryan how, when he was growing up, Uncle Lewis was his only positive male role model, which Ryan somehow fails to take as a huge red flag that something hinky might be up with his father. Fortunately, when Micki hears the story of how Lewis used to give Ray gifts, she shows some damn sense and goes to the factory. Meanwhile, a coworker who has discovered Ray stole the weapon plans attempts to blackmail him so Ray dissolves him with the pipe, thus graduating from “guy who made a bad mistake” to “active participant in doing Satan’s work,” and Micki arrives just in time to witness this. When Ryan insists that the thing that looks, quacks, and walks like a duck is a goose, Micki calls Jack to search the Manifest.
The next day, which is both the wedding day and the big weapons demo, Jack shows up and tells Micki that Lewis recorded receiving the pipe, but never selling it, so he and Micki search for the pipe, not realizing that Ray has locked it in his desk at work. Ray almost has an attack of conscious when talking to Ryan, but then he discovers that Micki and Jack have taken his keycard for work, and rushes there in a panic, running into the Totally Not A South American Dictator that his company is planning on selling the weapons to. Micki gets trapped in the building with the pipe, but Ray manages to knock Jack out and hide his body on the weapons testing range. Ryan narrowly saves Jack, but Ray has cornered Micki in a supply closet and gotten the pipe back. With a gun pointed at his father, Ryan disowns him and demands to know where Micki is, as she’s slowly surrounded by smoke, which then turns on Ryan as he approaches. With a final pang of conscience, Ray pushes Ryan out of the smoke and is dissolved instead. And our heroes leave, letting Connie think she’s been jilted at the altar.
An only okay episode. John LeMay’s given a lot of good scenes again, but the “Ryan’s family is terrible and haunted” theme was already touched upon when we got the dead brother stuff out of nowhere, so making his father a murderous con-man feels a bit like gilding the lily. The nature of the antiques suggested here is somewhat interesting, as the corrupting influence actually plays out here, and the fact that Lewis targeted his own relatives certainly speaks to the man’s sadistic nature. It’s also another hint that Lewis was specifically crafting the situations with regards to who got what antique towards specific ends, which, again, makes him going after a relative particularly sadistic. We’re also explicitly told that Ray’s death was the result of renouncing the gifts of the curse, which is a new wrinkle and not a resolution we’ve encountered before.
A Very Robey 80s