When last we checked in with our heroes, Grace had discovered that her sister Karma is dead. At Heart Enterprises, Julian Slink had been stripped of his position and became a prisoner of Heart.
Now the search is on for a new Captain of Chaos!
We open with a team of executives and programming consultants meeting with Old Man Heart in the board room. They have found a brand new candidate to fill Slink’s shoes as the host of Blood Drive.
And that man is none other than the Gentleman! He accepts Heart’s offer, top hat by his side.
Arthur works on Sexy Susie in a garage, trying to fix a leak. The car vomits blood and gore all over him. While recovering, he flips through his notebook and recalls ordering fast food with Carpenter from a restaurant where a girl Christopher likes works. He convinces her to write down her number.
After taking down the digits, Carpenters pages through Arthur’s notebook.
“I give you a lot of shit, but you’re the real deal. A hero in blue.”
In the present day, Arthur utters: “Thanks.”
At the Finish Line stop, Grace is swilling whiskey and looking hurt and lost. She spies Slink’s former assistant and asks where the Master of Ceremonies has gone. The fella is a bit uncooperative, so Grace decks him. As she knees him in the junk, Grace notices a familiar figure in the distance. He leans on a cane and his top hat is skewed at a jaunty angle.
Time to get some answers.
It doesn’t quite go her way. After her initial surprise when the Gentleman turns around, Grace is electrocuted by her implant and falls to her hands and knees. The new God of the Stage is holding Julian’s control box. During his time on the program, Slink never used the box on racers that were not actively engaged in the race, because that’s against the rules. Though he killed a few contestants (such as Clown Dick) for coming in last place, he never tortured or killed racers when they were out of their vehicles.
“Every gentleman gives every person a chance to learn manners.”
Through gritted teeth, Grace informs the new host that he will never be accepted by the unruly mob who adored Julian. Slink was one of them, a degenerate whacko with a depraved theatricality. As they talk, the last three racers to reach the Finish Line careen down a nearby alleyway. Rather than wait until one comes in last and dies, the Gentleman simply activates all their implants and kills all three.
Slink’s assistant is horrified.
“But…you can’t kill all three.”
Our new Captain holds up the control box.
“I can do whatever I want. I have this. There’s a new sheriff in town, and he’s fucking gorgeous, darling.”
The Gent points out to Grace that she and Arthur basically got Slink fired by constantly breaking his rules. That’s not going to happen anymore. He then mocks her dead sister, and Grace punches him in the face. Enraged, he activates her implant. It doesn’t work within the Finish Line party walls, so the Gentleman calls on the Scholar to fix it. As Grace walks off, smiling, the host promises to kill her the moment she leaves the party perimeter.
Arthur is pumping his own blood into Sexy Susie. He plans to leave the race and put his plan to bring down Heart into motion, and Grace agrees to go with him. With Karma gone, nothing is holding her here anymore.
We finally check in with Julian.
He’s now a lowly Heart janitor, fantasizing about his hosting days. One of the female execs who helped fire him sits across the cafeteria table from him. She laughs at his hairnet and mop. He responds as only he can:
“You can steal fire from a God, but he will get his revenge. And when the race careens off the tracks, you’ll come begging. And when you do, sweet meat, I’ll be mopping your guts off the floor.”
“Oh. So you’ll still be a janitor then.”
Julian learns from a television broadcast that the Gentleman is the new host. He also discovers that when Blood Drive premieres as a show, Slink’s involvement will be edited out. Furious, he breaks his mop handle in half and impales the exec.
Aki and Carpenter appear, carrying their lunch trays. Slink homes in on Christopher as a potential ally/minion after noticing the security guard’s access card.
Schemes are afoot.
At the Finish Line, the Gentleman is having dinner with the racers. If he was going for an atmosphere of elegance, it is quickly shattered when a female contestant stabs her counterpart to death at the table. Appalled by this lack of manners, the host urges the gathered psychos to embrace civility. One challenges him and gets a knife through the neck for his trouble.
Grace and Arthur approach the Scholar about removing the implants. It’s beyond his abilities, but Grace has another idea: distract the Gentleman long enough to steal the control box. She looks down at Arthur’s muscular body, quite possibly the perfect thing to distract the host, and begins unbuttoning his uniform shirt.
In the crimson tinted dinner chamber, Arthur reluctantly approaches the Gentleman. He’s basically shirtless and the host clearly appreciates it.
“Ya got room for one more naughty boy?”
“It’ll be tight, but I’m sure I can squeeze you in.”
At Heart, Slink offers Carpenter a way to control Aki and get her out of his head in exchange for Chris using his card to open a secured door. Julian takes them to a blank wall and uses a secret lever to expose a hidden chamber. They discover a door marked Do Not Open Under Penalty Of Death.
Slink cleverly stays out of view from an overhead security camera and tells Carpenter that the cell he wants opened contains one of Heart’s mistakes, an unjustly imprisoned being. Appealing to Christopher’s altruistic nature works, and the door is buzzed open. True to his word, Slink adjusts Chris’s eye implant so that he can see through Aki’s eyes.
We hear roaring from inside the open chamber and both men flee.
As Arthur flirts with the Gentleman, other revelers attack each other in the background. Grace stealthily enters and takes a seat near the control box, which is inside a leather carrying case. She drags it towards her with her foot as the host slides his hand into Arthur’s pants. Grace opens the case and finds it empty. It was a trick all along.
The actual box comes out and the Gentleman promises to fry Arthur and Grace’s brains for an hour. He never gets to make good on that, because a Blood Gate suddenly opens nearby and a huge creature emerges from it.
Looking a bit like a less friendly Drax from “Guardians of the Galaxy,” the monster picks up a racer and literally tears him in half. We see body parts and blood everywhere as the beast rampages through the compound. He tears an arm off another racer and beats him with it.
In the Scholar’s tent, the genius is attempting to fix the control box so that it can kill within the Finish Line party limits. The Gentleman cruelly calls him repulsive and worthless beyond his mechanical skills, and tells him that the grand plan is to allow the creature to attack Grace and Arthur and then detonate their heads, killing all three.
Back at Heart, Christopher sees through Aki’s eyes. She’s having sex with Carpenter’s former ContraCrime Sergeant, and the woman is enjoying herself.
“Oh, God! Oh, God!”
“There is no God.”
“Then Hail Satan, bitch. Just don’t stop what you’re doing!”
The Gentleman offers Grace and Arthur a deal: kill the monster and they can go free.
Ah, Episode 7! What hast thou wrought?
It’s a big episode for the Scholar, though he’s not in it much. His decisions shape the outcome.
Several cannon fodder racers die either by the Gentleman’s hand or the super powered creature, and we lose one big name contestant.
The origin of the monster is quite humorous and involves an accident in the laboratory of Dr. Vermaak, the same crackpot who gave the world the Dionysus Strain.
It features one of the most dazzling fight scenes in “Blood Drive” history in terms of choreography between Arthur, Grace and the creature.
Julian Slink has his revenge, in a manner of speaking.
Arthur and Grace almost kiss. Again.
A character gets stabbed and literally poops out the knife.
Christopher goes through some interesting psychological changes and takes a life.
There’s a battle of blades and words between the Gentleman and Julian that is superb. It ends with a fist bump between Slink and another.
As with “Booby Traps”, the episode ends with Arthur placing an unconscious Grace in Sexy Susie before taking the wheel.
It’s also a big episode for Slink, as he schemes for a return to power and shows why he deserves it. There are a number of choice Slink moments, particularly towards the end. You really shouldn’t try to take away the life’s work of a true artist!