In a fine return to form after a brief hiatus, The Gates gets back on track with a suspenseful, action-packed episode.
The focus of this installment was the abduction of Emily Radcliffe (Georgia Cole) by vampire Christian Harper (Paul Blackthorne). Emilys parents, Claire (Rhona Mitra) and Dylan (Luke Mably), also vampires, enlist the aid of Sheriff Nick Monohan (Frank Grillo). Due to the circumstances, Nick agrees to help under the radar, with no amber alerts or the help of outside agencies.
In the course of his investigation, Nick learns more than he bargained for, including the fact that Claire killed Emilys birth parents. However, they were also drug addicts, and were neglecting their baby.
Nick and Dylan eventually capture Christian, and over the course of the interrogation, Nick figures out that Christian has taken the child to her true aunt and uncle, who happen to be living in the same house in which her parents had died. They have been searching for Emily ever since the entire family disappeared under suspicious circumstances.
In the end, the child is returned, and officer Leigh Turner (Janina Gavankar) releases Christian outside The Gates, warning him never to return. Then, somebody appears out of the darkness, and takes care of the Christian problem for good!
The other development in this episode is only touched upon in several brief scenes. Andie Bates (Skyler Samuels) is forced to reveal her secret to Charlie Monohan (Travis Caldwell). Needless to say, the realization that she caused his illness doesnt go over too well.
Past episodes have sometimes felt on the verge of collapsing under the sheer weight of all the different story lines and characters. Focusing on two distinct plots this time made for an extremely coherent and engaging episode.
The beauty of this show is the theme of flawed characters searching for redemption, which was omnipresent throughout this episode. Emily represents the Radcliffes last chance for redemption, which is why they are willing to go to any length to get her back. We are also reminded of Nicks need for redemption, after killing a suspect under suspicious circumstances when he was on the Chicago police force.
Christian, on the other hand, is not interested in redemption. He is evil, and proud of it. This makes it all the more surprising when he takes Emily to her real family, rather than hiding her away or killing her. We are able to see the fine line between the villain and our flawed protagonists.
What Didnt Work
I still have my reservations about Nicks motivation for helping Claire and Dylan, given the dangers to his career, family and life. Perhaps he feels empathy with the Radcliffes, in their shared need for redemption.
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
"The Gates" stars Frank Grillo, Marisol Nichols, Rhona Mitra, Luke Mably, Travis Caldwell, Skyler Samuels, Colton Haynes, Chandra West and Victoria Platt. Little Girl Lost" was directed by Steve Shill and was written by Robert Hewitt Wolfe.
"The Gates" airs Sundays on ABC at 10 p.m. ET.
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