Hardboiled homicide detective Nick Monohan leaves Chicago after killing an unarmed suspect. Seeking a fresh start, he and his family move to "The Gates," a planned mega-community where he's to replace the Chief of Police, who's just retired to Mexico. Most of the community residents seem like upstanding citizens who simply want to get away from the dangerous outside world [With its trigger-happy police officers? - Zach] and find safety in the heavy iron gates and plentiful security cameras that surround them. There are a few, though, who have unusual secrets.
Take, for example, Claire Radcliff. She's a vampire who loses the fight against her raging blood-lust when she kills a horny contractor who crosses her path. Her husband, also a vampire, is not happy. They came to The Gates so that they could raise their adopted daughter away from others of their kind. Together they dispose of the contractor's bloodless body and arouse Nick's suspicions. He investigates them, which pisses off his coworkers, the community's founder, and his wife, who wants him to stop being so much of a cop all the damn time.
Then there's Brett, the school's football star and angst-ridden werewolf. The fact that his girlfriend Andie is drawn to Nick's son Charlie has him howlin' mad. He wolfs out, ready to attack Charlie, but his own pack members stop him, because killing inside The Gates is "against the rules." Plus, it's only the pilot episode. Rounding out the supernatural menagerie in town are Peg and Devon, witches with competing spas/apothecaries. Devon's magic "tea" is apparently doing something to the townsfolk, but we don't know just what yet.
In the end, Claire decides to try harder to assimilate into boring, book-club-joining human life. For his part, Nick agrees to call off the investigation into the Radcliffs, which pleases his wife. All seems fine and dandy until the former Chief of Police's body turns up. Looks like he didn't make it all the way to Mexico.
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The show opens on a rather ominous-looking stone wall surrounding a community that's anything but. The skies are sunny, the lawns are impeccable, the children are athletic and boisterous. Rhona Mitra clips roses from her garden, pausing when she sees a young blond girl toeing a skateboard in the driveway. She admonishes "Emily" not to skate without her helmet. Emily's skateboard begins to roll down the driveway, and Emily goes chasing after it, oblivious to the truck that's speeding down the road towards her. The driver is a man who's arguing on his cell phone about shower installations instead of paying attention to the road in front of him. Rhona Mitra looks up to see the tragic accident that's about to occur and runs screaming into the street to grab the little girl. The driver swerves and hits a concrete mailbox. "I'm sorry, Mommy," Emily says. Mother and child hug desperately before going to check on the driver, who's sporting a bloody gash on his forehead. A driver stops, identifies Rhona Mitra as "Claire" and is assured that everything is fine. She's there to pick Emily up for school, and with one last hug from her mother, she's off. Claire invites the wounded driver inside.
Inside her fabulous kitchen, Claire helpfully tends his wounds and suggests he call someone, perhaps the clients he was on his way to meet. He doesn't want them to know their contractor crashed on his way out of The Gates. Dude, if I were waiting on a new shower, I wouldn't care if you'd just crashed through the Taj Mahal. Just get my new fixtures in! Claire offers to contact a wife, or girlfriend... He takes her offer as flirtatious digging, but she informs him she's married. He backs off, but after she gets a good look at a few blood-soaked cotton balls, she starts flirting in earnest. Her hubby, we learn, is out of town. As the wayward contractor starts kissing Claire's neck, she returns the favor by sprouting some long fangs. She bites down into the side of his neck. The next thing we see, Claire is stopping up the drain in the sink and holding the now-unconscious contractor against the counter so that his blood oozes into the pristine white basin. Guess those clients won't be getting their new shower today.
Over the opening credits, a family in a red SUV pulls up at the gates of The Gates. A man and woman up front remark on how intimidating it looks. A little girl in back, reading from a brochure, helpfully exposits that the developer, Frank Buckley, said "no expense would be spared when it came to security." The 11-ton gates, she goes on to say, have never been breached. A teenage boy sitting beside her playfully asks, "What about the people trying to get out?" A security guard comes out to meet them. The driver, we learn, is Nick Monohan, the town's new Chief of Police. Eddie, the guard, happily hands over Nick the keys to their new house, and Nick responds by razzing him for not checking for ID first. The woman introduces herself as Sarah, Nick's wife, and apologizes politely for her rude-ass husband. They're admitted through the gates and find the town inside bustling with pedestrians and shops and acres of woodsy wholesomeness. Their house, when they finally get to it, is yooge. Everyone marvels at its pre-furnished splendor, kitchen and pool. Ι look at it and think, "Man, I bet that place is expensive to heat and cool." Nick assures his wife that "things are going to be better here." Famous last words.