Art of Attraction: Episode #313
Tag: As the Mutant X team fights to retrieve a formula hidden in a collection of artwork, Shalimar is given vital information from a mysterious source. [Transcript]
Cast & Crew: Written by Alfonse Ruggiero; Directed by Andrew Potter
Lyriq Bent....Randall Blake
George Buza....Lexa's Dominion Contact
Vladimir Radian...Guard with dog
Eric Weinthal....Wine critic
Official Synopsis: At an art gallery opening, Lexa (Karen Cliche) poses as a waitress in an attempt to locate a particular piece of art for the Dominion. Via comlink, Brennan (Victor Webster) and Jesse (Forbes March) tell her that the painting is in a room in a guarded corridor. Lexa is about to head for the corridor when Randall Blake (Lyriq Bent) steps in front of her and begins flirting. Flattered, Lexa sees Shalimar (Victoria Pratt) across the room and moves on. Moments later at the entrance to the hallway, Shalimar distracts the guards allowing Lexa to slip inside. Using a code Jesse provides, Lexa enters the room only to find Blake stealing the painting. He knocks her down with a beam of dark matter, but just as he's about to hit her again, she fires off a laser. The two energies combine into a massive explosion and they both crash into a wall, triggering an alarm. As Lexa and Blake flee the scene, they hear guards close behind and Lexa grabs Blake and makes them invisible. Once the guards pass, Blake kisses Lexa and then warns her to stay away from him. Back at Sanctuary, Lexa's Dominion contact demands that Mutant X retrieve the painting. Lexa then goes to see Jesse and Shalimar, who are examining a holographic image of the artwork. She tells them there's a code hidden inside that could threaten world security if it falls into the wrong hands. Knowing Blake is after the art, Lexa and Jesse head back to the gallery immediately. Alone in the media area, Shalimar is startled by a 3-D image of a face that appears on a computer screen and says her name. The face informs her that the scientist who owned the painting, Illich Sefchek, is the key to what's going on and to remember the number 380735. Meanwhile at the gallery, Lexa sees a strange shadow moving along the floor and realizing it's Blake, takes off down the corridor. Unable to open the door with the code she used earlier, Lexa tries the number Shalimar was given by mysterious informant. The door opens and Lexa runs in, cuts the painting from its frame and puts it into a container. Just as she's about to take off, Blake walks in and demands she give him the painting as it is part of a series of three of which he already has one. Lexa refuses and fires off laser beams at him, but Blake retaliates with a blast of dark matter that overpowers her. As Blake closes in on her, Jesse suddenly phases through the wall and pulls Lexa back into the hallway. The next morning, Jesse discovers part of the code hidden in the painting. Realizing that they'll need all three paintings in order to interpret it, Lexa decides to ask Blake to partner with her to find the third. A short time later, Jesse and Lexa arrive at a high-class bar that Blake owns. Lexa enters and is immediately met by Blake, who agrees to work with her to get the final painting. Meanwhile, Shalimar and Brennan are at the computer when the 3-D face appears again. Shalimar keeps the face engaged in conversation while Brennan attempt to trace the transmission. Before the trace is complete, however, the screen goes black and the face disappears. Digitally analyzing the conversation, Shalimar hears the name of a Chinese restaurant and she and Brennan head out. Back at Blake's bar, Jesse joins Lexa to verify the paintings are real, but when Jesse and Lexa turn their backs, Blake makes a duplicate of their painting and hides the original. Unknown to Jesse, Blake hands him the copy and then tells him to leave since he'll only deal with Lexa. Later, Brennan and Shalimar are leaving the Chinese restaurant when a pay phone rings. Shalimar picks it up and immediately recognizes the voice of the mysterious informer. Using her feral hearing, she picks up the sound of a neon sign in the background. Spotting a neon sign on a building in the distance, she and Brennan race towards it. Inside, they hear a loud squawk coming from one of the rooms and when they burst in they find a stack of discs on a chair and a parrot saying "Good work, Shalimar." Back at Sanctuary, Brennan and Shalimar download a file that shows Sefchek created a cost-effective method of processing water into hydrogen power, something scientists have been working on for years. Brennan and Shalimar then trigger an alarm on Lexa's private line to contact the Dominion and when he comes on the screen, Brennan demands a meeting. Meanwhile, Blake tells Lexa that the third painting is part of a collection belonging to a Russian mob boss and they devise a plan to break into his estate. When Jesse comlinks Lexa to tell her Blake switched the paintings, she decides to do whatever it takes to get back the original. Seducing Blake, Lexa discreetly places a tiny transmitter on the back of his earlobe. Across town, Brennan and Shalimar wait in a dark alley. A black sedan pulls up revealing the shadowy profile of the Dominion contact who tells them that the impact of the pollution-free fuel technology could shift the balance of world power overnight. He adds that the Dominion has controlled the evolution of technology for hundreds of years and plans to release the formula when the world is ready for it. Lexa and Blake arrive at the Russian mansion and make their way to the painting. Inside the room, Lexa uses her powers to bend the lasers protecting the artwork as she walks towards it. She then cuts the painting from its frame, puts it into a tube and hands it to Blake, who sets off an alarm and disappears. Hearing a guard approaching, Lexa makes herself invisible, but the laser beams outline her body and the guard aims his gun at her. A blast of electricity suddenly slams the guard against the wall and Brennan and Shalimar come charging in. The three then run outside to the Helix where Jesse informs them that Blake is heading for the train station. There, Shalimar sees Blake placing the paintings inside a locker. As Jesse moves behind the locker, Shalimar distracts Blake, allowing Jesse to phase the paintings out and replace them with fakes. Back at Sanctuary, Mutant X agrees to turn over the paintings to the Dominion and to keep a set of copies for themselves. Moments later, Shalimar is in her room when her laptop comes on and the 3-D face appears on the screen. Angry that the person won't reveal his identity, Shalimar cuts the connection to the man, who unbeknownst to her is Adam Kane (John Shea).
Lexa: One slippery navel, one sex on the beach...Oh, my personal favorite, pink pantie pulldown.
Jesse: Sounds tasty. You know, I was thinking, Lexa. Maybe you and I could go for one when this is over.
Lexa: Well, it’s a date.
Jesse: That’s not bad. It’s got definite echoes of the Byzantine empire.
Lexa: Whatever his power is, he seems to be able to counteract energy.
Shalimar: Guy looks pretty smooth.
Jesse: Very smooth. Looks like your having a hard time fighting him off, Lexa.
Brennan: Well, in case you were wondering, I have an update on your mystery mutant. Turns out he’s an international thief specializing in high end art.
Shalimar: Take a look guys, I’m throwing him at you. His name’s Randall Blake.
Brennan: Yeah, and according to his dossier, he’s quite the lady-killer. He’s made a career selling paintings and hearts.
Jesse: Well, that’s good to know, isn’t it Lex?
Randall Blake: Why don't you be a good girl and hand over the painting?
Lexa: Because I'm not a good girl.
Randall: Even better.
Lexa: Wait a minute. He thinks I’m a rival thief, right? What if I convince him to partner up and split the profits of the two paintings?
Jesse: Wait. We’re not just gonna jump into bed with this guy!
Lexa: Speak for yourself.
Jesse: Are we all taking crazy pills here?!
Jesse: Looks like Blake’s got a place here in town.
Lexa: What, is his listed in the Yellow Pages?
Jesse: No. He owns a bar downtown listed under one of his aliases: La Brasserie de Boheme.
Lexa: Looks like his love of art goes deeper than cat burglary.
Jesse: Lexa, why are you so eager to face this guy again? He tried to kill you, you remember that?
Lexa: Listen, if he had wanted me dead, he would have tried a lot harder.
Lexa: Oh, but first, I want to see your painting. Just to verify it.
Randall Blake: Okay. You show me yours, I’ll show you mine.
Brennan: Whatcha working on? Il-ich Sef-chek. Who dat?
Shalimar: Not sure.
Brennan: First you pull the code for getting into the gallery outta thin air, and now you're looking up Russian scientists. What, can I buy a clue?
Jesse: Tell me we are not just going to hand this painting over to him.
Lexa: It’ll never leave my sight. Once I get in there, I can get a look at his painting. That way, we can get information from both.
Jesse: Yeah, but once he gets his hands on our painting, he’s not gonna need you anymore.
Lexa: I told you I can handle this.
Jesse: Yeah, I heard you. Look, I’m coming along this time. No arguments.
Jesse: So when do we move on the third painting?
Randall Blake: We don’t move on anything. I’m working here with Lexa alone. Don’t need any more baggage.
Jesse: Hey listen, buddy–
Lexa: Hey, Jesse, Jess? Just take the painting. I’ll contact you when we’re ready to move, okay?
Randall Blake: Ah, don’t worry, Jess. I’ll be gentle with her.
Parrot: Good work, Shalimar.
Brennan: Well, unless you and your feathered friend here go way back, our informant knew we were gonna be here.
Shalimar: I know, but how? The only way I found him was through my feral hearing.
Brennan: He anticipated it. He definitely knows our moves. That’s how he’s able to stay three steps ahead of us. What say we check out these little door prizes he left for us? [to the parrot] Skrawk!
Lexa: A cat burglar, a bar owner, and an artist. Tell me, who’s the real Randall Blake?
Randall Blake: All three. The bar keeps me legit, the burglary keeps the doors open, and the painting...ah. The painting feeds my soul.
Lexa: And that’s important to you?
Randall Blake: The rest is just survival. Art is life.
Lexa: Oh, I didn’t realize I’d be getting a free lesson in philosophy.
Randall Blake: Are you always this cocky?
Lexa: No. I’m worse on the job.
Randall Blake: This job is about as deadly as it gets.
Lexa: You say that like it's a bad thing.
Brennan: Clean, safe, cheap fuel for the whole world. Am I stupid, or is this the breakthrough we've been looking for for the past 50 years? [Shal smirks] Don't answer that.
Brennan: Why did The Dominion lie to us in the first place, right? They said this technology could jeopardize world security.
Shalimar: Well, everything always boils down to money.
Brennan: I don’t know who to believe anymore. But I do plan on asking some questions.
Shalimar: Hey, not so fast. Lexa’s the only one with an all access pass to the Dominion.
Brennan: Well, maybe we oughtta add our name to the list.
Shalimar: No, it’s not that easy. We need access codes. I mean, calling the Dominion isn’t like picking up the phone and dialing 911.
Brennan: Well, if we can’t call them, maybe we should get them to call us.
Lexa: How many men does Slavik keep on staff?
Randall Blake: I don’t know. No one’s ever made it out alive.
Lexa: Good. I’m looking forward to being the first.
Randall: You really are fearless, aren't you?
Lexa: That's the only way to play it.
Randall: What I wouldn't give to capture that fire on canvass.
Lexa: I'll bet you would.
Jesse: Your boyfriend pulled a fast one on us.
Lexa: What are you talking about?
Jesse: He switched the paintings.
Lexa: That’s not possible.
Jesse: Oh, it is. I just re-scanned it. Now you try and tell me that he doesn’t have your head all turned around.
Lexa: You’re wrong.
Jesse: Okay, then you explain it. Because the Lexa that I know wouldn’t drop her guard for a minute for some low-life smooth-talking–-
Lexa: Let it go, Jess. I’ll get it back.
Shalimar: Sure you know what you're doing down there, babe? I mean, we can call Jesse.
Brennan: Jesse, Jesse, Jesse. Man, you know, he's not the only one with a brain around here.
Shalimar: I'm just saying, you don't exactly have a degree in electronics.
Brennan [fires up a tesla coil]: Oooo, hey, look at that! Hey, that's my diploma.
Lexa: So while we’re on the subject of trust, when were you going to tell me you stole my painting?
Randall Blake: I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Lexa: Let’s try this once again. Or were you looking for some free laser surgery?
The Voice: This was a very risky maneuver on your part. I take it Miss Pierce had no knowledge of your actions.
Shalimar: We don’t answer to her.
The Voice: Clearly. It was foolish to suggest you would reveal the formula to the world. We don’t take kindly to blackmail.
Shalimar: You lied to us. You said this was a threat to national security.
The Voice: We anticipated your response to the real nature of the technology and we told you what you needed to know to do the job.
Brennan: At least you admit that you tried to play us.
The Voice: We directed you. That’s our role. Do you have any idea what would happen if you release that formula?
Shalimar: Oh, I don’t know. The world woulld have an endless supply of fusion-free fuel?
The Voice: And the impact of that technology would cause a shift in the balance of world powers overnight. Whole enconomies collapsing, decades of war and millions of lives lost before order could be restored. Does any of that fit into the category of ‘threat to national security’?
Brennan: So you are going to bury the formula.
The Voice: We will release it when the world is ready. These kinds of changes take careful planning. The Dominion has controlled the evolution of technology for hundreds of years. This conversation is over.
Brennan: Think again. I didn’t sign on to be your puppet, so you’re gonna give us everything you know from now on.
The Voice: You’re in no position to make demands. I’ll advise you to back away slowly, as there are ten weapons sighted on you right now.
Jesse: Took you long enough.
Lexa: I did what I had to do.
Jesse: Yeah, I know. So how’re we gonna get the painting?
Lexa: Right after the job tonight. I attached a tracker to the back of his earlobe.
Jesse: How’d you do that? I don’t wanna know.
Lexa: I’m sure you don’t. Just keep your eye on his every move, all right?
Jesse: Oh, I intend to.
Lexa: I don’t do dog.
Jesse: Decades of war and millions of deaths. All for a safe non-polluting fuel.
Brennan: So what do we do with it?
Jesse: Tough decision. I know what Lexa’s vote would be, though.
Brennan: Yeah. I say we hold onto it.
Jesse: Not enough information.
Brennan: So we get it.
Jesse: Nope. We’re gonna have to give it to the Dominion. Look, I talked to Shalimar and she agrees. Right now, we’re just gonna have to trust them. But we will make a copy for here in Sanctuary, just in case.
Lexa: Little parting gift. It’s how we found you.
Randall Blake: Maybe I’ll keep it. In case you ever want to find me again.
Lexa: Oh, I’ll be back.
Lexa: Yeah. There’s a little painting over here I’m just dying to add to my collection.
Informant: Hello, Shalimar. You’ve chosen to trust the Dominion.
Shalimar: You telling me that was the wrong thing to do?
Informant: As far as I know at this point, it was the right choice.
Shalimar: Then why didn’t you tell me that to start with?
Informant: I did not have all the answers. You needed to discover the truth on your own.
Shalimar: Who the hell are you to tell me what I need?
Informant: Patience, Shalimar. You’ll find out soon enough.
Shalimar: Next time we speak, it’ll be in person.
Adam: All right. If that’s the way you want it.
Trivia & Nitpicks
This is the first time we learn that there’s a limit to how long Lexa can remain invisible. It's also the first appearance of Adam since season 2.
Special Guest Star: Lyriq Bent, who played Harris in "Within These Walls," has returned with more independence and an improved vocabulary in as art thief Randall Blake.
In the opening scene, when Jesse asks Lexa out on a date via her comlink, doesn’t the bartender wonder who she’s talking to?
Since the man didn't really touch her, Shalimar probably got that poor art critic fired over nothing--all for the sake of creating a distraction for Lexa.
Note that while tracking their locations, the Helix’s computer alternately tags the Mutant X teammates by their first or last names. In this episode, it's first names.
Lexa and Randall Blake’s combined explosion pushes them back against the walls, which sets off the alarm. Too bad they didn't think to turn off the alarms around the paintings at the same time they turned off the motion detectors.
While Blake is attacking Lexa, Jesse phases the wall and pulls Lexa out. But how does he even know exactly where she is on the wall? And if he could phase into the room at any time, why is she even bothering with the codes for the door?
Once Blake has Lexa's painting, why does he still need her? Yes, she's fun in bed and handy while getting around the laser security system in Achekinov's house, but presumably Blake had already had a plan in mind for getting the third painting without her.
Randall Blake's bar, La Brasserie du Boheme, is the same set as the bar in which Brennan is captured in "Into the Moonless Night."
Lexa’s ability to bend light allows her to evade security lasers. This might have been helpful information for Shalimar to have while she was planning to go after the prion in “Wages of Sin.”
When Brennan and Shalimar find the door to Adam's apartment room locked, Brennan pushes Shalimar back so that he can break down the door with his head. Hello, feral? She's fully capable of knocking in doors...with style. See "The Meaning of Death."
Brennan and Shalimar meet Lexa's Dominion Contact in our beloved season 3 alleyway, complete with red Chinese lettering on the doors.
In “Brother’s Keeper,” Lexa explains that she has to shoot Leo with a special tracking device created by Genomex to stick to moleculars through their changes. Randall Blake is clearly also a molecular, but in this episode, she sticks a tiny microchip on his earlobe, seemingly unconcerned that it might just fall off when he changes into a gas.
Shalimar tells Jesse that Blake’s locker is the fourth from the right, but she doesn’t specify whether she means the fourth from her right or from his. Since he's behind the lockers while she is in front of them, this might be important to add.
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