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Shadows of Darkness

Mutant X Episode Synopses


Shadows of Darkness: Episode #306.

Tag: The Mutant X team is called in to investigate bizarre activities occurring at a local hospital. [Transcript]

Cast & Crew: Written by Mark Amato; Directed by Andrew Potter
Andrew Chalmers....Young Johnny Cummings
Jessica Greco....Sandy Fetko
Tim Hamaguchi.....Orderly
Diego Klattenhoff....Johnny
Nancy Palk....Dr. Denise Willett
Leon Pownall....Dr. Victor Palance
Mark Terene....Janitor
Brandi Ward....Nurse Donna Campbell


Official Synopsis: Brennan (Victor Webster) tells Lexa (Karen Cliche) about an urgent call he received from Dr. Palance (Leon Pownall), his school psychiatrist who was the first person he told about his mutant abilities. Palance is now the head of Psychiatry at St. Pastor's, a hospital that recently reopened 15 years after a fire in the Psych Ward killed several people, including children. There have been reports of strange activity at the hospital and Palance asked for Brennan's help. Intrigued, Lexa offers to help. At the hospital, an orderly walks down the corridor and hears a child singing a lullaby. A little boy suddenly appears in front of him and the scared orderly runs past a young janitor (Diego Klattenhoff) into a room. Looking down, he sees hundreds of cockroaches moving under the door. The boy appears next to him again and says, ?This place is mine.? Terrified, the orderly crashes through the window, landing at Brennan and Lexa's feet. The young janitor approaches Lexa and Palance and tells them the orderly was running from something, but he didn't see what. Moments later, the hospital's administrator, Dr. Denise Willette (Nancy Palk), arrives and Palance introduces Brennan and Lexa as investigators from the State Board. She insists the orderly committed suicide, and walks off. Palance then takes Brennan and Shalimar to the room where most of the activity has been occurring, and shows them the words ?GET OUT,? which are written on the wall in blood. In the hallway, Brennan spots the Janitor, but when he follows him around a corner, the man disappears. A short time later, Lexa notices a cockroach crawl out of the drain as she washes her hands and suddenly sees a boy behind her in the mirror, but when she turns, he's gone. Meanwhile, Brennan finds a nurse in an old fashioned uniform who offers to take him to the basement to find the Janitor. Lexa then enters the hallway and sees Brennan alone by the elevator acting as if he's talking to someone. The elevator doors open on an empty shaft and Lexa tackles Brennan just before he falls inside. At Sanctuary, Shalimar (Victoria Pratt) tells Jesse (Forbes March) that the children who died were being treated for various phobias. Locating the fire's sole survivor, Sandy Fetko (Jessica Greco), the two decide to pay her a visit. Meanwhile at the hospital, Brennan uses old personnel files to identify the nurse as Donna Campbell (Brandi Marie Ward), the head nurse in the Psych Ward who died in the fire. Her file also reveals that she was involved in Project I.E.T and Dr. Palance suggests they check the records in storage for more information. Shalimar and Jesse arrive at Sandy's apartment, but the young woman insists she only remembers the smoke and Nurse Campbell taking her to safety. Back at Sanctuary, Shalimar reads Sandy's medical files and learns she was agoraphobic, but oddly had been given Cortisol, a stress hormone that would have increased her fears. Back at the hospital, Brennan, Lexa and Dr. Palance are searching the basement when Nurse Campbell appears and puts a lit cigarette on a stack of papers. Palance suddenly hears the valves open on nearby oxygen tanks and yells for Brennan before running to the elevator. The doors open to reveal the young boy, who raises his arms causing a sea of cockroaches to race out of the elevator. Overcome with fear, Palance suffers a massive heart attack. When Brennan and Lexa find him, Brennan zaps his chest with a tesla coil, reviving him. When Palance asks Brennan and Lexa if they saw the boy, Lexa admits she saw him in the mirror. After some research, Jesse learns the boy is Johnny Cummings (Andrew Chalmers), one of the fire's victims. Meanwhile, Dr. Willette tells Brennan and Lexa that Palance is delusional and offers to show them what she has on Project I.E.T. to prove it has nothing to do with the unusual occurrences. As Lexa and Willetter sit at the computer the phone rings and when Willette hangs up, she demands to know who Lexa is since the State Board doesn't know. Meanwhile, Shalimar and Jesse dig up Johnny's grave only to find that it's empty. Back at Sanctuary, they learn that Johnny's mother was treated for infertility during Genomex's embryo research phase and that Johnny is a psionic mutant who can cast illusions. Believing Johnny faked his own death, Shalimar goes back to Sandy's apartment. At the hospital, two guards escort Lexa out, but she makes herself invisible and slips back inside. Brennan is in the basement when a nearby box suddenly fills with cockroaches. Surprised, he drops a tape he's holding just at Willette enters. She hears him, but Lexa quickly grabs Brennan and the tape and they run out. Convinced that Sandy can help, Shalimar tells her that Johnny's not dead. It is then that Sandy reveals that the hospital was forcing the children to confront their fear in the hopes it would cure them. Since Johnny's fear was insects, Nurse Campbell would give him a drug and let roaches loose in his room. Johnny's room was next to Sandy's and when she would hear him screaming, she'd sing him a lullaby. One day Johnny opened the valves on the oxygen tanks in the supply room, and when Nurse Campbell went in to smoke, the wing burst into flames. Taking all this in, Shalimar realizes that it was Johnny posing as Nurse Campbell who rescued Sandy. Back at the hospital, Brennan and Lexa watch the tape, which shows what was done to Johnny. When Brennan tells Lexa that Willette was in charge of I.E.T, the young janitor, who's been listening outside, morphs back into Johnny Cummings. Willette is at the nurse's station when Nurse Campbell appears and says she won't get away with what she did. Willette runs to the elevator, and when she looks back, Johnny's there instead. Proving he's not afraid of bugs anymore, he raises his arms and the hallway fills with cockroaches. Meanwhile, Shalimar and Sandy meet Jesse at the hospital, but Sandy hesitates and Shalimar stays with her while Jesse runs inside. Finding Brennan and Lexa, they hurry to the basement where they see Johnny pouring gasoline on Willette, who's tied to a chair. Just as he's about to ignite the gasoline with a lighter, Sandy enters singing a lullaby. He puts out the flame and Lexa quickly restrains him. Later, Shalimar, Jesse and Sandy watch as Johnny, bound at the wrists, is escorted away. He lifts his hand to wave and Jesse notices the handcuffs are no longer there. At that moment, the real Johnny sits in the basement, doused in gasoline, and ignites the lighter one last time.


Quotes:
Brennan: Someone called me. They need my help.
Lexa: Who?
Brennan: Dr. Palance, an old psychiatrist friend of mine.
Lexa: Wow, I'm impressed. I think it's high time you started to deal with your inadequacies.
Brennan: Very funny. Back in high school I had a choice between juve and court-appointed therapy. Dr. Palance was the first person I told about my new mutant ability. He's the head of the psych department at St. Pastor's.
Lexa: What? St. Pastor's? Someone I know spent some time there.

Dr. Victor Palance: No matter how many times we repaint, the words always bleed through.
Lexa: Ever think of hanging a picture?

Shalimar: So are they still at that place?
Jesse: Yeah. Shal, what's up with you and psychiatric hospitals? You act like you'd rather walk into a wall of fire.
Shalimar: Yeah, well if you'd spent half the time I did in the place my father threw me, you'd probably feel the same way. Just the thought of setting foot in a place like that just makes my palms sweat. Crazy, huh?
Jesse: No, not really. Lots of people are nosocomophobic. An intense fear of hospitals.
Shalimar: You're kidding. You spent the night in a chat room talking to people about panic disorders, didn't you?
Jesse: You say that like it's a bad thing.

Nurse Campbell: Aren't you a brave boy. Haven't you heard? Strange things have been happening around this place.
Brennan: Yeah, I guess it's a good thing I don't scare easily.
Nurse Campbell: I see that.

Brennan: I never should have left Dr. Palance alone. None of this would have happened.
Lexa: You really care about him, don't you?
Brennan: I was really messed up back in high school. I was headed down a really bad path. He was the first person that really gave a damn about me.

Jesse: What I don't understand is, if Johnny didn't die in the fire, then what's he been doing with his life?
Shalimar: Maybe he never left the hospital. I mean, think about it. It's all he knows. In a sick way, that's home.
Jesse: Yeah, but all this time, hiding in the shadows...
Shalimar: Any hint of threat, he goes into ghost mode. Scares away any intruders.
Jesse: Until now. With the hospital reopening, he must think it's all starting up all over again.
Shalimar: That's what this is all about for him, shutting them down. And I'll bet I knew who put the flowers on Johnny's grave.

Dr. Victor Palance: I am not a vindictive person. But I don’t think there will ever be any true justice here.
Lexa: Well, I AM a vindictive person. And if it were up to me, I’d pump her sorry ass so full of cortisol, it’d make her hair turn white. But that’s me.

Sandy Fetko: He’s not a bad person, you know. He’s just...he's just broken.
Shalimar: I think we’re all a little broken from time to time.


Trivia & Nitpicks: It's very apparent how small the interior of the Helix is at the beginning of this episode. Brennan has to stoop in order to get inside. We also see that the camoflage mechanism for the hanger doors in the side of Stormking Mountain is only one-way. From the inside, you can see bright sunlight.

In high school, Brennan had a choice between juvenile detention and court-ordered psychotherapy. Dr. Palance was the first person Brennan told about his mutant abilities...something he kept Emma in "Shock of the New" when he told her that he hadn't told anyone before.

It really doesn't make sense that Dr. Palance chooses to contact Brennan for help with his hospital’s haunting, long before anyone knows that the cause is a psionic mutant. Mutant X is not Ghostbusters, after all.

Lexa's brother, Leo Pierce, spent some time at St. Pastor's. This must have occurred while Lexa and Leo were in the military facility or earlier, since the hospital has been closed for 15 years since the fire.

At the beginning of the episode, Brennan and Lexa take the Helix to the hospital. Several hours later, Shalimar and Jesse take the Helix to visit Sandy’s apartment. Either the Helix returns to Sanctuary on autopilot, or there are two Double Helices.

Dr. Palance introduces Brennan and Lexa to Dr. Willett as investigators from "the State Board." The State Board of what? Hospitals? Health? Psychiatry? The Paranormal? Given that they are not wearing name tags (and Brennan's not even wearing a suit or tie), Dr. Willett must be psychic, for she knows which State Board to call in order to find out more about them.

In a flare-up of early Alzheimer's, Jesse asks Shalimar what her problem is with mental institutions. Of all people, Jesse should already know about Shalimar's past with her father. Better to have had Lexa ask that question to clarify things for the viewers who hadn't seen S2.

More on the Pierce Triplets... Remember how Lexa called her brother Luke instead of Leo in "The Taking of Crows"? Just after Lexa types 'LEO PIERCE' into the computer at St. Pastor's hospital, the camera pans to her face and then back to the computer screen...where the name has magically changed to "LUKE PIERCE."

The scene where Shalimar and Jesse dig up Johnny's grave is a little campy, with lightning and wind effects. This will come up again in "Cirque des Merveilles" when Lexa and Jesse go to visit the *cough* werewolf *cough* dog feral.

While we're on the subject, Brennan saw the "ghost" of Nurse Campbell, who tried to lure him into the elevator shaft, and Lexa and Dr. Palance saw little Johnny. Though both were listed as deceased in the fire, it's a good thing that Shalimar and Jesse decided to look for Johnny's grave, not Nurse Campbell's, hm? That wouldn't have been pretty, and would have led them down the wrong path--that episode would've been longer than the allotted hour, I'd say.

We are somehow supposed to believe that a smart, resourceful woman like Dr. Willett did not destroy all the evidence of Project I.E.T. after the fire. She's had 15 years to cover her tracks, but leaves trails of her misdeeds neatly boxed up in the basement. Sure.

As psionics go, Johnny is almost unbelievably powerful. During the fire, the little boy must have been terrified to be caught in a fiery hell of his own creation, but he preserved enough mental control to create an image of Nurse Campbell to lead his friend Sandy to safety. Consider the amount of mental concentration it would take a psionic to “haunt” an entire hospital for 15 years. While constantly maintaining the bloody words “Get Out” on the wall of one room, he is simultaneously able to send separate visual, tactile, and auditory images into the minds of others: the song “Hush Little Baby,” the little boy, cockroaches, the young janitor, and Nurse Campbell for the orderly, Lexa, Brennan, Palance, and the other hospital employees. The full scope of Johnny’s abilities is especially revealed at the end of the episode, as he sits, doused in gasoline in the basement of St. Pastor’s hospital, while projecting a convincingly solid image of himself to the minds of dozens of people in the police station miles away.

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