Wolf Lake
The Changing

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The Changing

Lou weaves in and out of the maze of graves, stepping over the dry-ice machines. All the tombstones mark the burial sites of dead fifteen- to eighteen-year-olds, shunted into this dismal graveyard because if you're not in 18-49 demographic, you just don't bloody count. Each headstone has the "R" symbol on it, so Lou whips out paper and a pencil to trace the pattern. Lou stumbles upon Amanda Cates's tombstone and freaks out just as a thunderstorm hits, raining anvils upon us all. He sniffs the fresh rose. Interesting note: it says Amanda is the daughter of Willard and Regina Cates, but Willard's wife on the show is named Vivian. I am so scandalized by this.

If one clause in the world is my nemesis, it's the Lou Diamond Phillips Nudity Clause, which apparently mandates that he be shown topless as often as possible. Here, we get him hopping out of the shower sopping wet. The makeup people really outdid themselves -- there must be an entire jumbo tub of Vaseline greasing his torso. I could fry chicken on him. Glistening with goo, Lou grabs the ringing phone and listens to Rev. Raunchy report news about the "R" symbol. It's from the Norse alphabet, circa the fifth century, and it means "aridho" or "journey," specifically referring to a spiritual or religious transformation. The wearer hopes it will protect him or her from danger. The Rev offers to email more information, because CBS is really high-tech and telephones are for old people, and if this network loves anyone, it's young people, yes sir. Raunchy adds that the pendant is incredibly valuable.

Cates practices his batting. Vivian emerges from the house and makes some stupid "I'm a chick, so I don't know sports" comment that makes me want to pull out her insipid hair. He begs her for good news about Sarah. "Her body is starting to reject itself," Vivian says sadly. Her husband remarks that he can certainly relate. "You look like you're in pain. Are you?" she asks, without the level of concern one might expect a wife to have for her dying husband. And here we go again: "Even pain gets bored occasionally. Even pain gets pissed off," blasts Cates. Man, I am going to miss him if he dies. Every time he opens his mouth, I know something spectacular will ooze out of it. I'm quitting this scene.

The red Mustang stops, and we see Sophia and Luke inside it. She's begging him for more juicy information, but he's gently resisting because he wants to know some of Sophia's secrets first. She confesses to Xeroxing her ass and putting it on a flyer that protested the school's attempt to enforce a strict dress code. Luke is completely aroused by that and decides to return the favor. He tells her that It is like "a full-on body rush, but more. Your spirit goes totally pyro." To prove it, he compares a still car to most humans, and then floors the gas pedal with the windows down as a way of demonstrating the wolfish rush. There's a lame rock tune playing as Sophia's hair swirls and she widens her eyes and tries to look like driving 60 mph through the center of town is the best damn thing she's ever goddamn done, goddammit. Luke's eyes glow orange, which is either a sign of wolf transformation or erection, or indigestion. They're pretty fast and loose with the supernatural stuff. Donner notices the red rocket -- the car, not...anything else -- and pulls it over. When he sees Sophia, he flips out and drags her into his own car, swearing he'll give her the truth and that she needs to stop thinking the "kids from the hill" are privy to some special secret.

In his classroom, Sherman looks around for something under the lab tables. Probably his résumé. Lou is harassing him about the secret of Ruby's twin sister, but admits he's partially just miffed that she didn't tell him the truth herself. Lou spots a rat on the floor and darts over in a split-second, swooping it up off the floor. Sherman is impressed with the technique, and regards Lou as though he's imagining the cop naked and then covered in fur. Lou pets the rat while revealing to Sherman that he found the grave and thinks it's mighty suspicious that all those teenagers died. Sherman thoughtfully attributes it to inbreeding, which is extremely classy of him. The weird thing is, incest and shallow gene pools don't seem to faze Lou in the slightest; in fact, he looks interested, like he's about to go home and call his sister. Sherman also explains that a local religious sect, The Church of Unified Science Triumphant, forbids the use of medicine or anything unnatural because they believe it will damn their souls. He cites the Cates family as believers, then continues looking for his escaped animal. Lou holds out the rat. "I've got him right here," he says. Sherman shrugs. "Oh, that's not my rat," he says casually. Lou looks aghast. And here's where it gets creepy -- I actually laughed. How wrong is that?

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Wolf Lake

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