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For I Have Sinned

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For I Have Sinned
Tn fihs 103
Broadcast Date  12 May 1992
Season  1
Broadcast Order  3rd
Episode Number  4
Production Number  103
Writer  Philip John Taylor
Director  Gerard Ciccoritti
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Take slow easy breaths, we don't want your blood to boil. It spoils the taste.
 
— Alma, For I Have Sinned


SummaryEdit

Another serial killer, this time preying on young women who all attend the same church. In order to catch him, Nick must try to overcome his fear and loathing of the Church and its symbols. Meanwhile, flashbacks to 15th Century France show Nick's encounter with a young peasant girl doomed to become a martyr when her claims that God spoke to her result in the Church branding her as a heretic and condemning her to burn at the stake. Nick offers her his version of immortality, but she refuses in favor of her own belief in life after death.



Guest CastEdit

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Detailed Story RecapEdit

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the crucified murder victim

Three girls are brutally murdered. One is decapitated, one disemboweled and the third is found nailed, crucifixion-style, to the macadam in a parking lot. All are suspiciously low on blood volume. Were they merely killed somewhere else or was a vampire involved?

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Alma in the Raven

Nick and Schanke go to the Raven so Nick can ask Janette if she's heard anything on this. She tells Nick she knows nothing of anyone of their kind doing anything remotely connected to this. Nick had told Schanke to stay outside, but he comes in anyway and is quite smitten by the beautiful and exotic Alma, a night-time acquaintance of Janette's. Nick drags Schanke out before he makes a very bad mistake.

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Nick tests the victim's cross on his own flesh

Nat shows Nick a gold cross on a chain that the third victim had been wearing. All three girls were wearing similar ones. The sight and proximity of the cross makes Nick feel nervous and weak. Later, alone in his loft apartment, Nick holds one of the victims' crosses in the palm of his hand. It hurts, but not excruciatingly so. It leaves a blister but there are no flames and very little smoke. Nick is very encouraged by this visible progress.

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Father Rochefort hears the murderer's confession

At a nearby Catholic church, a man enters the confessional Father Rochefort is waiting in to hear confessions. The unseen man confesses that he is doing God's work and purging the church of female defilers. Rochefort knows about the murders - he officiated at the funerals for the victims. He knows he has the killer on the other side of the screen from him, but before he can see that man's face, the killer runs off. Rochefort goes outside, where other church members are preparing the stage for an Easter pageant. He finds his superior and asks if it is ever morally justified to break the vow of silence of the confessional. "What if it will save lives?" He is told, "No. NEVER."

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Alma seduces Schanke

Meanwhile, Schanke has been dwelling on the lovely Alma and goes back to the Raven to see her again. Alma takes him into the back room and is about to bite his neck when Janette comes in and puts a stop to it. She tells Schanke, "Alma is not the kind of girl you want to get involved with. It could have FATAL consequences." Schanke assumes she meant Alma has AIDS, and he gratefully and quickly flees.

Nick goes to talk to Father Rochefort, who tells him that all three victims were members of his church. He also wants to tell Nick that the killer is too, but he struggles with his conscience vs. his vows of faith, chooses keeping his vows and doesn't give up the information he has.

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Nick arrests Father Rochefort while the murderer escapes

Later, at the office of a phone-sex company, one of the working girls, Magda, who is also a member of Father Rochefort's church, gets a frightening and threatening personal call from the killer. Very shaken, she leaves work early but the killer is waiting in the hall for her. Nick is driving by and hears her screams and rushes in and saves her, but the killer has a gun and shoots Nick. He sends Magda off on the pretext of calling 911 and when she is out of sight, and can't see Nick isn't really hurt, he chases after the killer. But the running man he catches in the alley outside is Father Rochefort!

Back at headquarters, the Father explains that he knew about Magda's job and guessed she was the next target and he was only there to protect her. Nick knows he has information on the killer but Broadford invokes the confidentiality of the confessional and refuses to divulge anything. Magda offers herself as bait to catch the killer but Nick refuses to do this and sets her up in a hotel room with a police guard.

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Nick shows Natalie the cross that had belonged to Joan of Arc

Nat and Nick go to the loft and Nick shows her a crudely handmade wooden cross that once belonged to Joan of Arc. He tells Nat what he learned from Joan about faith. She asks him why vampires are afraid of crosses and he tells her it is because the cross is the symbol of the one true light and vampires are creatures of the dark.

At dawn, in front of the church, Schanke calls Myra just to say he loves her. He is feeling very guilty about his attempt to cheat on her. Nick says he'll stake out the inside of the church and Schanke can watch the outside. Nick is uncomfortable inside. He has to avoid the light coming in through the stained glass windows and even more critical, the light streaming in every time a worshipper opens the big doors to enter! He finds the secluded and darkened confessional to be an ideal place to spend the day. While he is hidden in the priest's side, a woman parishioner comes in to confess. Nick pretends to snore and the woman giggles and says "That's OK father! You just rest. Why don't I give myself 20 Hail Mary's?" He grunts and she happily leaves.

The day passes with Schanke chain-smoking outside, thinking about what a terrible thing he almost did to Myra. He goes inside, enters the confessional, and not knowing Nick is in the priest's side, begins to confess his lust for Alva. Nick pretends to be an Irish priest and answers Schanke but soon takes pity on his poor partner and says things to clue in Schanke that it's him in there!

Later that night, Magda gives the slip to her police protection by going out the bathroom fire escape. She goes to the church. Schanke sees her go in but before he can relay this information he is knocked unconscious by an unseen assailant. Magda sits in a pew to pray and the killer sits down next to her. Chaos ensues. Nick finds her outside tied to the big wooden cross on the Easter Pageant stage, surrounded by a pile of fire wood, the killer is holding a torch and is just about to light it all. Nick fights with the killer and the stage gets set on fire. Scenes flash back and forth rapidly between Magda and Joan of Arc, both in the same predicament. Nick knocks out the killer and flies across the fire and saves Magda. As they cringe on the ground together, she asks him how he DID that? Nick tells her, "A little adrenaline and a lot of faith."

Back at headquarters, Magda tells Nick she feels sorry for the killer. When asked why she would feel bad for such an evil person, Magda answers, "She who forgives little, loves little." Despite her line of work she still believes in the teachings of the church. Nat hands Nick one of the victim's small gold crosses and he holds it with a lot more success than he had only a few days ago.

Flashback:
1430 France in a church... Nick meets Joan of Arc. She has successfully lead the French army to victory but she knows her time is short. God had told her to dress as a boy and lead the army, but because she admits to speaking personally with God, the church is looking to get rid of her. She knows about vampires and knows Nick is one but she is not afraid of him. Nick is very tempted to bite her but he stops himself. She is under God's protection and he reluctantly accepts this. After she leaves, Nick tries to touch the cross at the alter. His hand bursts into flames.

One year later, 1431, in another French church... Nick and Joan meet again. She has now been declared a heretic by the Church and knows she is about to die by burning at the stake. Nick offers to bring her across but she refuses. She knows she is in God's hands and is not afraid to die. She explains to Nick what real faith is. She leaves, and Nick, knowing exactly what she was talking about, kneels before the cross at the alter.

The last we see of Joan and Nick together is in rapid flashes, back and forth from her to Magda, both tied to burning crosses, 560-odd years apart. As much as he wants to, Nick can't save Joan. She never wanted or needed to be saved. Nick has to watch in horror as she dies but he understands what Joan is doing and he admires and respects her reasons why.


Vampire LoreEdit

Fan FictionEdit

DiscussionEdit

QuotesEdit

  • Nick: You think I am cursed? I, who will live forever?
    Joan: Oh, yes, very, because you are afraid of salvation. You who choose to live forever live in constant fear of death. I do not. I will pray for you, Nicholas. I will pray for us both.


  • Nick: Well, they do have a point. After all, why would God reveal His plans through a farmer's daughter?
    Joan: Why did He send His Son to us as a carpenter?
    Nick: And so you will die a martyr. I'm sure that will please you very much.
    Joan: What would please me very much is to be back in Domrémy with my family.
    Nick: So you are afraid of dying. Life isn't so "everlasting" now. I can give it to you. A life that never ends. A power beyond your imagination.
    Joan: Don't.
    Nick: Why throw your life away for the Church—for some pious old men who lied to you? How can you do that?
    Joan: If my death is necessary to keep the Church strong, then so be it. I will live on in the hereafter.
    Nick: How can you be so sure your God will be waiting for you on the other side?
    Joan: Faith. Pure, simple faith. Take this to remember me by, to remember that the faith you have lost is always there to regain.


  • Nick: Bring the cross closer to me.
    Natalie: Why are you all so afraid of it?
    Nick: Because it's a symbol of the one, true light and we're creatures of the dark.

NotesEdit

Behind the ScenesEdit

  • The German title for this episode is "Der Racheengel" ("The Avenging Angel").

ContinuityEdit

Canadian ContentEdit

GoofsEdit

  • The murder victims, all Catholic, are specifically said to have "all worn crucifixes." But the victim in the Prologue wears a cross, not a crucifix (which would have a Christ figure on it).
  • While he's in the confessional, Schanke's raincoat collar is turned up. When he rushes out to confront Nick, it's folded neatly down again.
  • When the parish priest is preparing for the Easter Pageant and gathers up the bundle of sticks, the microphone dips into the shot at the top of the screen. (Aired version only. Mistake was digitally removed on the DVD.)

See alsoEdit

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