Episode Report Card
Cindy McLennan: A | 1 USERS: A-
The Hardy Boys Face The Strange Ch-Ch-Changes

Jack arrives home, looking like he's a new man. He calls for Michelle, but she doesn't answer. He seems happy, confident, and in control. "Hey babe, you here?" He finds Michelle gagged and tied to a chair in the living room. She tries to move the chair and squeals (like a long pig -- you be the judge). A man's arm reaches out from behind, and chloroforms him, so he doesn't have to feel the pain of the METAL TEETH CHOMP!

Travis has Jack bound to a conveniently located living room column. He wakes, and sees his wife still bound, gagged and seated before an identical and equally convenient column. Travis appears between the two of them. Jack says they'll stay calm and give Travis anything he wants. He can just take it and go. Travis apologizes for how things are turning out as he removes the gag from Michelle's mouth, and says, "You've already met some friends of mine, two brothers." Jack says, "They said if I..." he looks at Michelle, not wanting to disclose his horrible secret to her. "I haven't hurt... anybody." Travis acknowledges this, but says eventually Jack would because they always do, and that he's doing Jack a favor. Michelle wants to know what Travis is talking about. Travis instructs Jack to tell Michelle the truth, but Jack just wants Travis to let Michelle go, because she's not a part of this. Travis begs to differ. He asks Michelle to tell her husband what she told him. Michelle says, "I said, 'Don't hurt me, because I'm pregnant'." Wouldn't it be a hoot if she lied about that? Seriously, if some older man who seemed cordial and kind enough (if you overlook the gagging, binding, and intent to burn people alive) broke into my home with a blow torch, looking for my husband, I might consider working him that way, if I had the presence of mind. In the end I'd decide against it though, because I know if I lied, I'd end up like Michelle, whom I actually do believe is pregnant. Travis tells Jack, "Now you see the mess we're in. I won't be around in another 30 years; this has got to end now. I know you don't believe me, but I'd give anything not to have to do this." Oh Travis, didn't you ever watch Buffy for research purposes? Be careful what you wish for, you old coot.

While Travis pours gasoline around the room, helpfully providing something for me to nitpick a few minutes from now, Jack pleads for Michelle's life, but Travis will not be moved. Jack struggles to break free from his cuffs. We see the same shots of blood cells traveling through veins. These alternate with Jack's flashbacks to tender moments with Michelle. I think this means Sam was right -- that some Rugarus might be able to control themselves. Don't get me wrong, Jack's not going to, but that could well be because Travis has backed him into a corner. After all, it isn't Jack's hunger that helps him muster the strength to break free, but his love for his wife. Between that and his appearance when he first arrived home, I'm putting a point down in Sam's column. Sorry, Travis. Jack's not sorry though; he frees himself and lunges for Travis. Travis fights back. He's a scrapper. He even whacks Jack with his cast. Jack grabs it and snaps it, and Travis's arm, clear in two. My phone rings. Caller ID says, "Chicago," so I'm not answering, and I'm turning down the volume on my machine. Jack's on top of Travis now, and he's holding his head to the floor. Eyes wide and wild, he tears back Travis's shirt, and descends upon his bare, vulnerable neck. Jack lifts his head. His chin is bathed in Travis's blood. It drips from his lips. His eyes are half shut. He chews Travis's flesh. WITH HIS MOUTH OPEN. My phone rings, again. Whatever. Michelle can't believe what she's seeing. Travis is still clinging to life, but not for long, because Jack's had a taste now, and he's going back for more. Crunch. When he unlatches from Travis's he spins his head quickly to look at his wife. She gasps. He hears her heart beat loudly, as she tries to breathe. He looks at her the way a curious puppy might consider someone, crouches down, and... unbinds her. She springs back from him and yells, "Stay away from me." Jack speaks her name, but she flees in terror and screeches away in her car. One can but hope she makes the office of a good geneticist her first stop. With Michelle gone, Jack tries to collect himself, but when he looks back down at Travis's corpse, he realizes there's plenty of good eating there. It's probably extra tender too, because of the beer.

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