Wolf Lake
The Changing

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The Changing

Sheriff Donner speeds through town trying to catch The Runner™. Lou, on his wimpy excuse for a motorcycle, follows. We see a close-up of him looking stern in his helmet. His is the face of renegade justice. He screeches to a halt when he hears that The Runner™ has holed up in a barn. Fast-motion WolfCam through the woods. Lou listens to the coordinates given out by Donner and the search party, then whips out a Wolf Lake map to find a shorter route. The map is the worst prop I've ever seen. There's hardly any map-like marks on it, and the type is enormous. It's Fisher Price's Wolf Lake. Lou recognizes his location as being somewhere in the orange bit, and that he needs to go to that other orange bit, so he sets his jaw and revs up the toy engine on his Yamaha Tricycle and speeds off into the night.

Lou pretends that he's an officer, having reached the farm first and begged the farmer to direct him to the barn. Farmer Bob says it sounded like a zoo in there, and that he was too afraid to go inside. Lou is afraid of nothing, except perhaps celibacy, so he forges ahead with a certainty that Ruby is hiding inside. Shining a light inside, Lou creeps around and discovers a silver pendant on the ground -- its charm is the "R" rune, a duplicate of the earring Ruby dropped in Lou's bed. He pockets it, then hears labored breathing emanating from behind a pile of hay bales. You'd think he'd recognize Ruby's panting after all that animal sex, but for some reason he's still not sure, so he tentatively shouts her name. Just then, Lou's kicked in the knees and wrestled outside by a trio of local law enforcement professionals. Donner, angry, is waiting there. "You know she's in there!" screams Lou. Donner calmly insists that Lou is mistaken, and has Lou arrested. As he kicks and screams, Lou's vision switches to slo-mo, and he notices animal wranglers heading inside the barn with very sinister-looking props, the likes of which Lou last saw on that really insane night in Atlantic City when he spent three days on a bender at a necrophiliac brothel.

Daylight. Donner is in Cates's study. The Runner™ is in "Station Twelve," and they're just hoping for the best. Donner adds that "our pal Seattle" showed up on the scene, and although they spirited him away before he saw anything, it still felt like a dangerously close call. They imply that Donner might've killed Lou if he'd seen The Runner™. Suddenly, Ty rounds the corner and breezily knocks. "What the hell is this?" Donner growls. Ty, too, is aggravated to see the sheriff. Cates orders them to sit down and listen, and we're treated to yet another of the most brilliant lines ever scripted. "On the day my father died, I came down to the kitchen in this very house and I saw him rubbing butter into his opera pumps," Cates says. Ty and Donner react as though they Get The Message and Deeply Appreciate the Wisdom, but that's impossible, because whaaaaaat? Cates adds, "That man led us for twenty-five years, and all he cared about was that his shoes were shiny." Has he tried shoe polish? Cates gets all the shit lines, but I have to give the actor credit -- he can keep a straight face. Scott Bairstow, however, is caught on-camera biting his lip, which redeems him for slumming on this show. Cates alludes to Donner turning his back on his heritage, so we're pretty sure he's a shapeshifter at heart. Basically, Donner enforces human law now, and Cates is the leader of the wolfpack, which tends to run with its own special code. Donner wants to bust Ty because he thinks he's a drug dealer, and is therefore breaking human law; Cates reminds Donner that all conflicts still must come through him. Of course, the language isn't this plain; they still don't outright admit the wolf thing. The language is replete with "us" and "them" references. Ty smirks and denies selling drugs; Donner claims he uses an intermediary, who we saw get chased and killed last time. But Cates never asks whether this is true; instead, he asks Ty whether he's aware of this intermediary's whereabouts. Therefore Ty can honestly reply, "No." Cates orders Donner to drop it.

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Wolf Lake




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