L.A. By Night S4 E4 Recap: The Darkest Places
L.A. By Night is a streaming show that follows a group playing the latest edition of the Vampire: The Masquerade tabletop game. The fourth season of the show is underway and the truce between the Anarchs and Camarilla seems to be holding, but all it would take is one misstep and the fragile peace would be destroyed.
The last episode involved a meeting at Club Maharani between Annabelle (Erika Ishii), Victor (B. Dave Walters) Jasper (Alexander Ward), Eva (Josephine McAdam), and Kyoko (Faye Mata). Victor was hosting one of his “House Nights”, where local Kindred could come and air their grievances, which involved visits from Gary Golden and Velvet Velour. The latest episode takes place later that same night.
The guests at the club have left and the last few mortal stragglers are being ushered out, leaving Annabelle and Victor alone in the VIP room. Victor says he was thinking of edging out Baron Abrams in order to give Hollywood to Nelli, but Annabelle says this way is better. Victor’s only concern is if Abrams returns and Nelli doesn’t want to give his territory back. Campbell says that Baron Griffith’s entourage has arrived. Nelli G (Cynthia Marie) is escorted into the club by Lavender, who checks the security of the club. There are mortal fans and members of the press outside who await Nelli’s arrival and she is led through them.
Nelli is escorted to the VIP room and Annabelle congratulates her on her new position. Nelli loves being the Baron of Hollywood, but there is a surprising amount of reading involved. Annabelle offers to spread the word about her promotion and Nelli initially wants to keep it quiet, until she hears that Gary Golden and Velvet have been around. Victor tells her that Velvet was with a man named Eddison, who is part of a coterie of Camarilla vampire called the “Stardusters.” Annabelle says Velvet is angry that she was passed over as the Baron. The Stardusters have done an incredible amount of business in Hollywood in such a short time. Annabelle believes they should get a message out to the people and find out their opinion of the new Baron. Victor mentions that Velvet wanted a sit-down meeting about starting a nightclub network and that Jeanette Voerman will be there. Annabelle thinks they should refuse, but Victor wants to know what they’re up to.
Campbell interrupts the meeting, as a large package in a metal box has arrived. Victor asks him to check the package and it has a book inside. The box is delivered to the VIP room and it contains a book wrapped in red cloth and a card with the letter F. Victor removes the cloth and reveals that there is a copy of The Book of Nod inside. Victor points out that there is a passage in the book about how thin-bloods will cause Gehenna, which is why they are hunted by the Camarilla. He receives a text message from Fiorenza from the Camarilla, who asks to call him. She calls and asks about the gift, pointing out the part in the book about the thin-bloods. She mentions that there are a lot of thin-bloods in his domain and asks his plans for them. He intends to use them as a buffer, but he has offered them protection and wants to treat them well, as he hopes the prophecy isn’t real. Fiorenze says that there are powerful people in the Camarilla who believe it and who use it to their own ends. Fiorenze is put on speakerphone and she congratulates Nelli on her latest promotion, warning her that leadership is both a burden and a curse. She tells Nelli to fight for her position and that she’ll hear from her again, before bidding them all good evening.
Annabelle asks about the warning and how it relates to the thin-bloods. Victor says that the large population in L.A. will make them an easy target. Annabelle believes they will bite back if persecuted. Victor believes that the Camarilla will either destroy or enslave the thin-bloods, but they’re currently protected by the truce. Annabelle tells Nelli that Carver has returned and has shown an interest in the thin-bloods. Victor points out that Nelli is within her rights to close Hollywood to the thin-bloods and she wants to think about it. Victor thinks Nelli should throw a party to let the world know she is Baron. Annabelle can get the word out to make sure other Kindred are aware and can make it. Campbell texts Victor to let him know that Nines Rodriguez (Luis Carazo) and Mark (Josh Dempster) have arrived and they are called up. Annabelle tells them that Mark has been training with Nines.
Nines and Mark enter the room and Nines asks Nelli what it’s like to be Baron. She says she has been planting new roses and getting rid of the old ones like weeds. Victor asks Nines why he has arrived. Nines is shocked that Abrams left without warning, but he is more concerned about the Beckoning and how it could affect him. He wants to know the signs of the condition. Nelli mentions that Abrams only brought it up to her a few months ago. Nines thinks Abrams has left them in a tricky spot, as he was a key member of the Anarchs. Victor points out that there is a new Baron of Hollywood. Nines wants to know if Nelli has what it takes to fill Abrams’ shoes. She has been going through Abrams’ documents and intends to meet the other Barons soon. Nines wants to know what her relationship with the other Kindred in the city is like and that she has become their caretaker. He purposely challenged her during their first encounter and he was struck by her conviction, but she has to put the needs of others before herself. Nelli mentions the party and Nines confirms his attendance. Victor thanks Nines for his help in dealing with the Camarilla, which was pivotal to creating the truce. Nines has been working behind the scenes and that he will be there if he needs them. Victor brings Nines up to speed with the gargoyle situation and how Maximillian Strauss set a trap for Eva & Jasper but the truce is intact.
Mark asks about Jasper. Victor says he’s fine. He mentions the gargoyle and that Jasper has gone to deal with it and that Nine is welcome to come. Annabelle asks if Nines’ people need anything. He says they need a solid alliance, but he’s worried about the party, as he believes something will happen to Nelli. She needs to be prepared. Victor wants to know Nelli’s goals and she says she wants to protect her people and for them to thrive, without the restraints of authority. Victor points out that she might need to fill that role. Nelli knows this as she was in the Camarilla and she didn’t like it, which is why she left. Nines confirms his support for her.
Victor points out another problem, as they’re probably going to lose Therese Voerman now that Abrams has left. Nines agrees and says they never really had Therese. Abrams kept her around because she respected him. Nelli needs to impress her in the same way. Annabelle offers to speak to Jeanette on her behalf. Victor says Therese is always looking out for herself and that Nelli has to convince her that she is still looking out for her best interests by sticking with the Anarchs. Nines says he hasn’t come to lecture Nelli. He sees the potential for negativity and wants to dispel notions of the Kindred curse, as it’s really a gift. If he hadn’t been embraced, he’d be dust. Nines wants Victor to help with this, as he shares this belief and he can be a teacher to others. Annabelle disagrees about it being a gift, as she can potentially hurt people and can’t live her old life anymore. Mark says they have a bigger shot at solving things than they used to. Annabelle agrees and she can use her time and powers to make things better for those who don’t have what she has.
A Wizard Is Never Late
Lavender interrupts and tells Nelli that the preparations for the party have already begun. Victor is impressed that Nelli was able to text ahead without alerting anyone. Campbell mentions that there are several Kindred still waiting to see Victor, including Robert Garrick – the Tremere Primogen of Los Angeles. Victor wants all non-essential personnel gone and security beefed up, explaining to everyone that Garrick is a vampire mage with power beyond that of Eva.
Garrick enters the VIP room and Victor formally introduces everyone in the room. Garrick asks what Nelli should be called and she says Baron Griffith. Victor asks Garrick’s title. Garrick is surprised an Anarch asked him that. His name is Mr. Garrick and his title is Primogen. He is also the new Keeper of Elysium as Strauss is busy with other matters.
Annabelle asks why is he here? Garrick says he has come about the truce. He has been asked to talk about a possible violation. It seems some Anarchs returned to the Labyrinth and they attacked a servant of the Tremere. Victor says that the place is in Griffith Park within his domain and that the presence of any dangerous servants would violate the truce. Garrick says the attack was unprovoked. Victor says any dangerous item left behind on the site of a truce would be a violation of the truce, but it could be an accident. Victor says if the servant can be retrieved safely then that should be acceptable for everyone. Garrick has an offer – since the entrance has been restored, they will use it to return anything that was left behind and then they’ll go. They will overlook the fact that anything they left behind was attacked. Victor says they will also overlook any injuries of the citizens of his domain. Annabelle offers an escort, while Victor texts Jasper and Eva to tell them the Camarilla is on the way and to get out of there.
Garrick is curious whether Camarilla Kindred be welcome at Nelli’s party or if its Anarchs only? She says invitations are open to those who play nicely. He says that so long as the truce is observed they will play nicely. He will convey their invitation to the court. Garrick asks if Jasper is around, but he is not. Garrick has questions about how the property got damaged. He also wants to know how he repaired the mirror. Victor says he is a Kindred of extreme resourcefulness. Garrick agrees. Victor is curious about how he knows about the mirror. Garrick says the mirror is the only way to access the chamber.
Victor offers to trade information. He asks if the sleeping Nosferatu that had been claimed from the Labyrinth by the Camarilla has awoken. In exchange, Garrick wants to know where Abrams is. They agree to the trade. Garrick says he is awake and Victor says Abrams was last seen heading east. Victor says there is room for Garrick in the Anarchs as there are other Tremere here who are happy. Garrick says the renegades will be dealt with soon enough. Garrick says he has to decline because he is leaving and has another assignment. Clan Tremere will have a new representative soon. Garrick is going to another domain that needs his knowledge. Garrick says they’ve never met his replacement and he is curious as to how they will get along. Victor asks him to give his best to Strauss. Garrick says Strauss is still here and will be excited to see Victor again. Annabelle says they understand the truce and they want to keep the peace. It’s not a sign of weakness as they are just waiting. Change is coming and it will knock down the Ivory Tower, regardless of what they do. Garrick compliments her words.
Victor asks why Garrick got angry at Aurora during the Labyrinth battle. Garrick says his clan values structure and order. They were there for a specific reason and her personal vendettas had nothing to do with that. Garrick is relieved to be going as he leaves. Victor asks for his license plate and type of car. They wonder if there was a plot to break the truce and if Garrick was just gauging their reaction. Victor doesn’t want to be the first one to break the truce, but he wants a retaliation plan in case it’s broken. Nelli thinks the truce is fine. Annabelle is fine striking first if necessary. Victor wonders why Strauss stepped down as the Keeper of Elysium, as it’s the third most powerful Camarilla rank in the city.
Jeanette’s Way Of Saying “Good Luck!”
Nines originally suspected the Garrick was suffering from the Beckoning, but now he’s not sure. Victor brings Nines up to speed regarding the Labyrinth beneath Griffith Park. Nines wants to see the Labyrinth and Victor promises to ask for permission. Nines feels a lot better about their position after seeing them deal with Garrick and that he isn’t missing Abrams as much as he thought. Nines isn’t ready to let go of the Anarchs and of what they started. Nelli says that Abrams had a plan and was ready to leave. Nelli says Nines should be prepared in case he gets called as well. Annabelle wants to talk to Mark in private while Victor brings Nines up to speed regarding the thin-bloods.
Mark has been training hard with Nines. Annabelle says peace is happening at the moment but it could go away at any time. She asks if he is happy with this. Mark says he has been stuck in the dark for a while now, but there is so much he doesn’t know. He’s worried that the thing that took Abrams will take Nines as well. Annabelle agrees as she would be upset at losing Nines. She says feels like Superman sometimes, with power and purpose, but deep inside, he’s just a farm boy who wants a normal life. Mark says she’s changing things. She doesn’t have to feel small. She was just in a room with three vampire Barons and she had a voice of her own. She asks if he wants a voice as well. He says not yet. Parts sound attractive but he’s going to keep training for the time being and he wants to be more of a part of their world before he makes that call.
Victor thinks Nines is right and they’ll test Nelli in the same way they tested him. Nelli agrees and thinks they need to talk to Therese. Nelli invites them to her hotel. Nines wants to keep up with everything they talked about and promises to work out how to use a phone, as he still uses paper and written letters. Nelli asks if they’re love letters as that’s all she has ever received. Nines leaves for his domain and Mark isn’t far behind.
Victor is waiting for everyone in the car. Annabelle asks Nelli about what it’s like handling a ghoul who is also something more. Nelli says delicately, as free will is important and they have to be careful about that. They cared about freedom in life and Nelli says to show him what it looks like. Annabelle asks if Nelli is OK with all of this. Nelli has prepared for this her whole unlife and wants to protect women. They affirm that they have each other’s back. Nelli thinks she should learn as much as she can, especially from Nines, as he has a lot of experience. She misses Baron Abrams a lot. Annabelle mentions that Abrams killed an innocent person when she was first turned and she swore revenge but she regrets it a little now as she understands why he did it. They leave the Maharani and head to Hollywood.
They arrive at a hotel complex. Lots of flowers have been left by admirers, including one from Victoria Ash saying “Get it girl”. The preparations for the party are just getting started. An assistant with a clipboard runs up and apologizes for not being able to stop a woman named Jeanette and that she’s here somewhere. Nelli has never met Jeanette and they try to prepare her for the chaos to come. They enter the ballroom, expecting to find Jeanette, but there is no one there. All of the surfaces have been spray-painted with blue hearts. Annabelle thinks this is Jeanette’s way of congratulating Nelli. Annabelle and Victor text Jeanette. They soon receive a response, with Jeanette telling Annabelle she’ll see her soon and for Victor to save a dance for her.
The episode ends with Greg (Vince Caso) and Ib (Noura Ibrahim) still on their stakeout. They keep watching a man pacing backward and forward near a stoplight. Greg asks Ib how she handles all the politics of the Kindred world and Ib has just been learning from those who know more than her.
The new episodes of L.A. By Night can be watched on the World of Darkness Twitch and YouTube channels.
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