|Broadcast Date||13 January 1996|
| Previous Story: Sons of Belial
Next Story: Fever
|“||Dad, I can't talk right now. Because I'm on duty, just like the last time.||”|
— Tracy, Strings
- Joy Tanner......Christie Black
- Peter Hutt......Dr. Ben McGee
- Joel Keller......Matthew Neary
- Amanda Smith......Helen Neary
- Elizabeth Brown......Captain Forrest
- Victor A. Young......Czar Nicholas
- Caroline Yeager......Czarina Alexandra
- Sam Malkin......Rasputin
- Natalia Jasen......Rose Woolcott
Detailed Story RecapEdit
A woman gets off a bus and starts walking down a city street. Then she is deliberately run down by a car and thrown through a shop window. Mannequins are silent witnesses as the driver gets out of the car and shoots the woman five times. (Okay, I think she's dead now.)
Nick and Tracy arrive on the scene to investigate the case. While they examine the car, Tracy gets an inconvenient call from her father, who wants Tracy to accept a transfer to the corporate crime division. Natalie identifies the murdered woman as Helen Neary. When Nick and Tracy try to notify Helen Neary's son, Matthew Neary, he flees before they can talk to him. Nick and Tracy have a look around Matthew's apartment, and Tracy gets another inopportune call from her meddling father. While Tracy chats with Dad about her impending transfer, Nick flashes back to memories of other family meddlers he knew in the past.
Nick and Tracy call on the dead woman's daughter, Christie Black, a famous singer with serious dependency problems, and an equally serious lack of gray matter. Although she is a famous singer, no one except Tracy seems to know of her. Christie is living with her therapist, Dr. Ben McGee – in his house. Dr. McGee is treating Christie with a combination of drugs and videotape therapy. Childlike and almost in a trance, Christie at first seems unaffected by the news of her mother's death, but then she leaves the house and nearly walks in front of a car. Nick catches up with her and pulls her to safety.
Nick, Tracy and Reese discuss the murder of Helen Neary and decide the prime suspect in the case is Matthew Neary, who is a drug user and apparently had a difficult relationship with his mother. After dismissing Nick, Reese scolds Tracy for not notifying him about her impending transfer. Tracy says she hadn't made a decision herself yet, but apparently her father has made the decision for her.
Nick visits Natalie in the morgue and asks her about Dr. McGee. Natalie attempts to explain competing theories of psychotherapy to Nick. For his part Dr. McGee is quite alarmed at Christie's suicide attempt – after all he doesn't want to lose a goose that lays golden eggs. He regains control of her with a transparently manipulative speech that's so inane it's hard to believe even Christie could fall for it.
A bit later, Nick and Tracy return to Dr. McGee's residence to question him about his treatment approach and to learn what he knows about relationships among the members of Christie's family. While Nick and Tracy wait in the living room, Dr. McGee responds to the doorbell, and becomes the apparent target of an attempted murder. The culprit is Matthew Neary. Nick and Tracy take him into custody. Matthew tells them he was only trying to frighten McGee, who he believes is brainwashing his sister. He denies any involvement in the murder of his mother, Helen Neary.
The next day Tracy begins her new career in forensic accounting. While she's busy rooting out corporate crime, another woman, Christie's business manager, is murdered. This time we see the killer – it is Christie herself. Christie then visits her brother at the precinct and kills him too, right under the noses of the police.
Bored with her new job, (and a homicide detective at heart), Tracy decides to look into Christie Black's financial statement instead carrying out her new assignment. Tracy discovers that all those who were murdered had a controlling interest in Christie's music business. And only two people are left: Christie herself, and Dr. McGee. Tracy alerts Nick and joins him at Dr. McGee's. When Dr. McGee doesn't answer the door, Nick forces it open with a flick of his wrist. Nick and Tracy look around for evidence. Nick listens to one of the tapes used in Christie's therapy, and hears a subliminal message which says "This is the person you must shoot." Nick realizes that Christie will kill herself next. While Tracy takes Dr. McGee into custody, Nick flies off to save Christie, arriving just as she has turned her gun on herself. Nick puts the whammy on Christie to counteract the conditioning Dr. McGee used to control her.
At the epilogue, we learn that Christie is getting better – somehow. (But a brain transplant seems the only thing that could help.) Tracy's cell phone rings yet again. It's Dad. But this time Tracy finally seems to begin to stand up to her overbearing father.
The flashbacks were to Russia under Czar Nicholas II, just before the revolution. We all thought little Alexis was a hemophiliac, but it turns out he was actually a victim of the vampire Rasputin. Rasputin used the power of the whammy to control the Czarina, so he could sip from the czarevich. Nick tries to interfere, but fails in an attempt to out-whammy Rasputin. Lacroix, master of control and manipulation, does not waste the opportunity to have some fun of his own. (And guess who brought Rasputin across, and who was really responsible for the Russian revolution?) Poor Nick is left to clean up the mess and in doing so, exposes himself and loses a friend.
- REESE: We're still a few pieces of evidence away from guilty.|
Behind the ScenesEdit
- The German title for this episode is "Manipulation".