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Last Act
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Broadcast Date  19 May 1992
Season  1
Broadcast Order  4th
Episode Number  5
Production Number  104
Writer  Brad Wright
Director  René Bonnière
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There are only two ways to escape eternity. One way is to join the dead. The other is to join the living.
 
— Nick Knight, Last Act


SummaryEdit

A young woman dies, and all evidence points to suicide. Nick, however, has a gut feeling that it was murder, but seems unable to prove it. Added to his stack of unsolved crimes, it makes Nick question his own feelings of self-worth, especially after hearing about another, real suicide: that of one of his "old friends". Nick must search through his memories of their relationship of centuries past to determine why she killed herself, and why he shouldn't.




Guest CastEdit

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Longer Story SummaryEdit

The prologue opens with Marilyn (a hospital resident) trying to save a patient in the emergency room. The patient dies. In the locker room, she expresses how tired she is. A fellow doctor tries to relax her. Marilyn takes a shower and someone whom she knows surprises her. The person slits her wrists and kills her.

After the opening credits, we see Erica walking into the harbor park. She sits on a park bench, watching the sky turn lighter. When the sun rises, she sizzles and bursts into flames. All that remains are her clothes.

Later, at the precinct, Stonetree questions Nick, asking what's wrong with him. He asks if Nick is constipated. Nick has eight cases outstanding.

When Nick and Schanke investigate the empty clothes in the park, Nick finds Erica's ring. He knows her. He remembers them being together on the stage and as vampire lovers.

Nick and Schanke investigate Marilyn's death. They meet her fiancé at the hospital. Later, Nick and Nat discuss the possibility of murder. He's going to make certain if it was suicide. At the loft, Nick thinks he hears Erica's voice, asking if he is a burden. He raises the blinds and sticks his finger in the sun until it sizzles. Erica appears and invites him into the light.

During his investigation, Nick finds that Marilyn was full of life. He meets Dean, a terminally ill patient, who had a special relationship with Marilyn. Later, Stonetree considers giving half of Nick's load to someone else. Nick convinces him to give another day on the suicide case. He needs it. In the Raven, Janette and Nick talk about Erica, her desire to die.

They go to Erica's apartment. It's ill-kept and depressing. A young girl comes in and tells them about Erica's new play called "Last Act".

Nick returns to the loft feeling self-destructive. Nick frightens Nat by being careless around the sun. Nat tells him he doesn't want to die anymore than Marilyn did. She was pregnant. Schanke comes in. He raids the refrigerator, but only finds the green bottles. He wonders if they should talk about a drinking problem. He doesn't understand why being pregnant is a motive.

Schanke goes to Marilyn's apartment and talks with Marilyn's fiancé, Carl. Carl describes her as depressed. He's surprised about the baby. At the precinct, Stonetree is pleased to see Nick fired up. Later, Nick goes to the theater to see Erica's play. The theme about "Last Act" is about living life to the fullest. Meanwhile, someone overdoses Dean, the patient. He doesn't die. Nick and Schanke talk to him and find out that the baby is his. It's Marilyn's way to make Dean immortal.

Stonetree wants to know what's going on. Schanke says they're setting a trap. Carl is told that Marilyn might have been murdered and that they suspect Dean. Dean says that the baby is his. Later, Nick takes Dean's place in the hospital room. Erica appears, wanting Nick to join her. Nick declares that he still finds life exciting. If he dies, it won't be by his hand. A garbed figure stabs Nick. It's Carl. Nick chases him out of the room. Nick catches him and hangs him out of the window. Schanke convinces Nick to bring Carl back in.

In the epilogue (tag), Nick, Nat, and Schanke are at the theater. They discuss "Last Act." When the young actress comes out, Nick gives her Erica's ring. Schanke wants to leave. He had fallen asleep.


Flashbacks center on Nick and Erica. Nick remembers himself and Erica on stage, performing. Afterwards, they share vampire intimacy in a bedchamber. Erica talks of giving to life. She says that mortals have immortality through their children.

Detailed Story RecapEdit

Teaser: A man is brought into the emergency room and a young female doctor tries to save him as the wife cries in the hallway. The man dies against the doctor’s best efforts. Later that day in the locker room the young doctor talks about how useless she feels and sounds depressed. An older doctor gives her a back rub and may have questionable advances to the young woman. The doctor is then in the shower as someone pulls away the curtain. She turns and sees someone she recognizes and relaxes her guard, but then is attacked, her arm cut out of camera view as she screams.

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Erica

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Erica burns at dawn

Act One: A woman walks through a park on a thoughtful stroll. She sits on a bench and puts her hood up. As the sun rises, she begins to burn but she does nothing to stop it or to hide and eventually her body turns to dust.

Later that evening, Nick is getting pressured by his captain because Nick is feeling frustrated about not being able to solve any cases. Schanke calls him over to go down to the docks where they find the clothes of the woman. Schanke is thinking Spontaneous Human Combustion, but when Nick sees a ring, he has a flashback to the 17th Century where he is on a stage, fighting over a woman in a play.

Once the scene is over, Nick and Erica, his fellow actor, are in a back room speaking of eternal joy and fun on the stage. They begin to make out and it’s revealed she is a Vampire too and they make love by drinking each other's blood.

Nick is snapped back to the present when he and Schanke are called to the body of the young doctor. The older doctor mentions about how she had felt at the death of her patient, and how likely suicide is. Once Natalie has had a chance to look at the body, she agrees that it’s not the most perfect case of suicide known, but suicide is not out of the question. The talk of suicide sends him into another flashback as we see a down-turn in Erica’s personality as she feels that even Vampire’s can grow old, stop becoming meaningful contributors to society, and thus should end their life or else become a burden.

Nick decides to look farther into the doctor’s suicide because he can’t reconcile himself with Erica’s death so uses the case as an outlet for his frustrations, even if he won’t admit this to himself.

Act Two: Nick is looking over his cases, still feeling like he’s stuck with nothing but clues that don’t connect, not knowing what to do. He then sees a hallucination of Erica asking him if it’s his time now, to move on before becoming a burden. He considers it as she fades into the light.

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Dean Simmons entertains the children at the hospital

At the hospital, Nick learns that the doctor was a very good doctor, everyone liked her, they can’t see why she would kill herself as she had lots of energy and was a ray of sunshine. There are also rumours of the doctor having been murdered. He is led to a cancer patient who is very distraught with Marilyn’s suicide, not believing she would kill herself either. Nick sees another hallucination of Erica, she asks him he feels apart of the world they currently live in, another hint at Nick’s depressive slide.

Back at the station, the chief thinks about taking Nick off his cases since he’s having such a hard time. Nick doesn’t like this and gets angry. When Marilyn’s case comes up, Nick reacts almost as if he’s thinking of Erica, believing that there is more to the whole situation and that Marilyn had no good reason to commit suicide, simply because he doesn’t know enough about Marilyn to know for sure. He asks the chief for one more day on the case, he asks why, Nick responds that he needs it. The chief shrugs and agrees, twenty-four hours.

Nick takes the ring to Janette du Charme who admits to knowing of Erica's wish to commit suicide. She tells Nick that Erica didn’t want Nick to know, she didn‘t want to infect him with her thoughts. They go to Erica’s apartment and it’s old and dirty, much like an old lady might have lived. Nick finds Erica’s doll she’s had for a few hundred years and he is put into a flashback from when Erica was thinking of death again, noting the great irony of how human’s can give back and revitalize their life with children, but vampires just get older.

While there, a young woman shows up looking for Erica. She mentions that Erica’s new play starts tomorrow and shows Nick a flyer, it’s called “The Last Act”.

Natalie is waiting for Nick when he gets back to his place and scolds him for being in his self-destructive state. He talks of Erica and her theories. He scares Natalie with talk of suicide and even almost walks into the light of his window but she stops him. Telling him that he’s in a slump, it happens, and that he really doesn’t want to kill himself. She also drops the bombshell that Marilyn wasn’t suicidal either, she was pregnant.

Vampire LoreEdit

Fan FictionEdit

DiscussionEdit

QuotesEdit

  • SCHANKE: You know, the problem with suicide is that nobody does it with any flair or panache. If I was gonna buy any ticket out of here I'd do it in style.
    NICK: Oh yeah, and how's that?
    SCHANKE: First, romantic gourmet dinner for two, followed by a few minutes of fabulous lovemaking, then a night cap of nitro-glycerine. Talk about going out with a bang.


  • (in flashback)
    ERICA: Life is so precious, and we are so blessed with our endless years, we must contribute to it, to add to it, to pay for those lives we've taken away. There will come a time when this lust I have for life will wain, when the plays I write will cease to amuse me. When I will no longer shout for joy when I perform.
    NICK: I can't believe that.
    ERICA: It's true. And when that happens, I will be a taker, unworthy of life. Best to go away lest I become a burden.
    NICK: That will never happen.
    ERICA: Yes it will, and to you. And when that happens, we will do what we must do.


  • ERICA (hallucination): I always loved the boulevards, especially on nights when it rained. The lights reflecting like stars in the puddles beneath my feet. But it's so crowded now, so noisy. Made me feel out of step with the time. Do you feel like that, Nicholas, do you feel a part of this world?


  • NICK: I lost an old friend the other day.
    NATALIE: How old?
    NICK: Oh, two, three hundred years?
    NATALIE: "Old friend" takes on a whole new meaning with you.


  • DEAN: Do you believe in life after death?
    NICK: In a strange way, yeah.
    DEAN: I guess there is something in all of us that wants to live forever.
    NICK: Well, you aren't going to get any argument from this guy.


  • NICK: I still find life exciting. And I think I've got more to give.
    ERICA: I always loved the romantic in you. But the time will come—
    NICK: No. Not by my own hand.
    ERICA: By whose, then? You don't really think that you can become mortal? That's no more than a fantasy, Nicholas.
    NICK: Well, I believe it.



  • NATALIE: There are no fast rules for suicide. It's a very strange, personal thing.


  • (Nick is holding the murderer out of the window.)
    SCHANKE: Nick, bring him back in.
    NICK: He doesn't deserve to live.
    SCHANKE: Nick, you've solved this thing. Besides, think of the paperwork if you drop him.


  • (talking about the play, The Last Act)
    SCHANKE: Did I miss something, what did I miss?
    NATALIE: Only the Middle Ages.
    SCHANKE: Damn, were they funny?
    Schanke walks off.
    NICK: I enjoyed them.

NotesEdit

Nick spent a fair amount of time on the stage and also mentions having spent time in the circus.

Erica is the first Vampire we see that shares the same thoughts of Nick of giving back to the world that they have taken from, though her thoughts lead to suicide.

Behind the ScenesEdit

  • The German title for this episode is "Weg zur Unsterblichkeit" ("Way to Immortality").

ContinuityEdit

  • One of the nurses in this episode also appears in "I Will Repay".

Canadian ContentEdit

  • Erica's final play, Last Act, is performed at the Factory Theatre, a real theatre in downtown Toronto.

GoofsEdit

  • The doll that supposedly belonged to Erica three centuries ago is anachronistically modern. Rather than being made of wax or wood, it clearly has a plastic head and body, and artificial hair.

DiscussionEdit

See alsoEdit

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