LAST ACT

Season 1 Episode 4

Written by Brad Wright

Directed by Rene Bonniere

Guest stars:

Erica Bentley........................... Torri Higginson

No other character names given, only the actors.

Mackenzie Gray, Robert Bockstael, Laura Press, Allison Mang, Denise McLeod, Doris Petrie, Gillian Vanderburgh, Gema Zamprogna, J.R. Zimmerman, Elena Kudaba, Tony Meyler

An older woman’s husband is brought into the emergency room due to a heart attack. The young female doctor tries everything she can but is unable to save the older man’s life. She gently tells the wife then holds the devastated, sobbing woman.

In the locker room the resident tells Dr. Cole that she is so tired that she is about to drop, She is depressed about her failure to save her patient. Dr. Cole tells Marilyn it is the life of a resident. Not every one can be saved.

The resident is in the shower, letting it wash away her stress. Marilyn sees a friendly face and tells them they are nuts, sensing they want to join her. Suddenly Marilyn becomes terrified and screams as a scalpel weilding hand attacks her.

Erica Bently, an attractive woman in her thirties, walks through a park at night and sits on a bench. She has her hood up and stares at the rising sun, a little fear on her face. She seems to be in pain as the sun rises. She smokes, then bursts into flames, leaving only her clothes behind on the bench.

Nick is having a bad night and gets into a fight with Stonetree, part of it is Nick's eight unsolved cases. Stonetree sympathizes with him. Nick comments there is nothing to work with, no clues at all. Schanke huries in, tells Nick have a dead body at the docks.

Nick and Schanke are at the same park bench. The guy who called the cops tells Nick and Schanke what he saw. The guy comments a woman was running around telling everyone it was Spontaneous Human Combustion, asking if there was anyone in there. Schanke tells them he doubts it. Nick looks at the clothes and finds a ring he recognizes. From his expression, its someone he was close to.

Nick flashes back to 1690's England. He is sword fighting onstage and runs his sword through his opponent, then rescues the damsel in distress. His opponent springs back to life before they bow to the audience. They receive a healthy rond of appluase. After they leave, another member of the troupe passes the hat for donations.

Backstage Nick and his fencing partner are both out of costume. Erica playfully tells him he is very skilled with his sword. He pulls her down on top of him, commenting they should be packing for their next location. They kiss as she reminds him they have all the time in the world to write, perfom, love and live, for they are blessed. He happily repeats the forever part. Their fangs drop and they sink them into each other's neck.

At the park bench, both Schanke and Nick agree it was suicide. Nick is captivated by Erica's ring. Schanke catches Nick zoned out, and tells him they have to go check out a suicide at the hospital. Nick grumbles that he is coming as they leave.

At the hospital, Schanke grumbles no one is doing it with style, telling Nick he would have a gourmet dinner, sex, and a shot of nitroglycerine. Nick is disgusted with the discussion. Nick learns Dr. Cole found the body with the shower scalding hot. The victim's wrists were slashed. Schanke carefully examines a similar scalpel. They learn Marilyn had been on duty twenty or so hours and had just lost a patient which bothered her. Nick comments that it cannot be unusual. Dr. Cole tells him she has seen residents snap like that before due to the enormous pressure and frustrations. He gets confirmation that it was probably suicide.

Schanke walks into the hallway and sees the distraught finacee. Carl was coming to pick up the victim. Nick tells Schanke to take Carl home as he talks with Dr. Cole. Schanke grumbles and offers the med student a lift home. They leave.

In the morgue, Natalie examines the victim's wrist, commenting the incisions were fairly deep, and perfect, causing a rapid death. Nick asks why and hears only one person knows the answer. Nick is not convinced it is a suicide. Natalie admits she finds it a little strange, as it would be pretty hard to hold onto a scalpel with those incisions, but not impossible. She reminds him it was quick. Nick asks why she would do it at work, and Natalie tells him why not. Natalie plays Devil's advocate, commenting Marilyn lost a patient, was exhausted and depressed. She tells him there are no rules for suicide, it is very personal.

Nick pulls out Erica's ring and flashes back to England. They are still backstage. She tells him his memory laden blood courses through her. He learns she sees him fighting in the blazing sun at a Moorish castle, telling her it was the Crusades. He confirms he was badly wounded and nearly died. Erica says she hates the thought of dying. Nick is disturbed by what he saw in her blood, asking why she is thinking of dying if she hates the thought so much. She asks if she has infected him, hearing she has not. Erica tells him life is precious, picking up her doll. They must contribute to life to pay for all the lives they take. She tells him there will come a time when her lust for life will wane, when her writing or performing will no longer bring her joy. He says he cannot believe it. She tells him when it happens she will be a taker, one unworthy of life. It is best to go away before she becomes a burden. She cradles her doll like a mother cradling an infant. Nick is disturbed. He tells her it will never happen. She tells him it will. When it does, they will do what they must. She will kill herself.

In the morgue, Natalie asks Nick if he is going to investigate, hearing he is. She knows he is swamped and it is probably a suicide. Nick tells her he would rather know for sure.

Nick enters the loft, as Schanke leaves a message. Carl told him that the victim had been depressed for a while and was getting worse. He guesses that is all there was. He tried to round up witnesses for the Jenkins shooting without luck. Next time Nick should give him a lead that goes somewhere, and signs off.

Nick hears Erica's voice call out to him and looks around. He is alone. He's a little spooked and disturbed. He opens the shutter in front of him about halfway, allowing the sunlight to stream into the loft. He sticks his pinky finger into the sunbeam, seeing it barely smoke at first. Nick leaves it there as long as possible then pulls it away and examines his still smoking pinky.

The sun sets. Nick is seated on the upstairs floor surrounded by paperwork, looking at report, learning nothing new. All the clues go nowhere. He asks himself what he is supposed to do next. Erica's voice tells him that maybe it is time to move on. Nick drops his paperwork. Seeing her ghost downstairs, he lands in front of her, asking why she did it. She says she was already dead. He disagrees, commenting she was full of life. She tells him she was a burden, asking if that is how he feels. She seductively tells him to join her in the light as she fades away. Nick is confused, depressed and more unsure.

At the hospital, a nurse tells Nick Marilyn was cool while a lot of the other doctors are very uncool. Marilyn arrived with a lot of energy and unlike the rest of the residents, she kept it. She was always there ready to help. Nick listens intently as it paints a very different picture of Marilyn. He learns Marilyn was always taking pictures. Nick sees a bulletin board full of pictures, all of which have a smiling, happy Marilyn in them. Nick learns some believe Marilyn was killed herself. Dr. Cole arrives and scolds the nurses for bothering Nick with rumors. Nick tells her he has had many rumors lead to facts. They would not have said anything had he not asked. Dr. Cole apologizes. Nick asks the nurses if there is anyone who might have more insight, and is told to talk to Dean. Dr. Cole leaves a little upset.

Inside the children's ward, a clown is in the middle of a magic show for the sick kids. They love it. They are depressed it is over but happy to know it will be back tomorrow. Nick's waiting at the door and magically pulls his badge out of the clown's ear and shows it to him. Dean hears he is the one Nick wants to question. They leave.

In the hallway, Dean pulls off the wig and nose, leaning heavily against the wall. Nick is surprised to learn Dean is terminally ill and on chemotherapy. In Dean's room, he strips off the costume and stretches out in bed exhausted. Nick comments the pictures make it look like he and Marilyn knew each other very well. Dean tells him Marilyn made sure she knew everyone very well. Nick looks through the pictures. Dean angrily tells Nick he has two or three months to live and has trouble discussing the suicide of someone he thought wanted to live as much as him. Nick asks if he can borrow the pictures, Dean tosses them at him, bitterly telling him to keep them and get out, hurt by his friend's suicide.

Nick drives around and hears Erica tell him she loved the boulevards. Nick turns towards Erica's voice, surprised to see her in the passenger seat. She tells him the lights along with the crowds made her feel out of step with the time, asking if he feels that way, if he feels a part of the world. He looks at her and she is gone.

Nick enters the Captain's office and is not happy to hear Stonetree's considering turning over half of Nick's outstanding cases to a detective on a hot streak. Nick resents it and lets Stonetree know. Stonetree tells him he does not like the hospital telling him Nick is insinuating it is not a suicide, wanting to know why. Nick tells him it's possible, but does not yet have any evidence, refusing to let go. Stonetree asks if he has any suspects. Nick mentions Dean, due to a possible unusual relationship between him and Marilyn. Stonetree reminds him what Marilyn's fiancé said, along with finding no prints, signs of a struggle and the angle of the cuts were consistent. Nick angrily cuts him off ranting she had no good reason, almost as if he was talking about Erica, maybe both. Nick says he doesn't know enough about her. Stonetree tells Nick he cannot afford to care why, because he has other cases. Nick calmly tells Stonetree he needs one more day. Stonetree sees how important it is and gives it to him, reminding him that if he does not come up with something he will close the case as a suicide. Nick tells him it is a deal as he leaves.

Inside the Raven, Nick shows Janette Erica's ring, hearing Erica finally did it. Janette is both surprised and not surprised by the news. She tells him Erica did not want him to know she would tired of the world and did not want to infect him. Nick tells her he could have stopped Erica, hearing he is a fool to think so. Erica's dead and he should stop crying over her when there are those in the Community who want to live, because living is more interesting. Nick asks Janette to take him to Erica's place.

Nick and Janette enter a morbid place. Erica's doll is standing where she is easily seen. Nick tells her it cannot be Erica's. Janette asks if he is looking for the passionate tomboy with a fiery spirit. Erica grew old because she could not keep up. She tells Nick she hopes he finds what he's looking for. He picks up Erica's doll and flashes back to her dancing with it.

Nick sees Erica telling him it is a tragedy they cannot create life and leave behind little children like her Catherine. Nick tells her she is talking about death again. She tells him she is talking about death and birth. She begins to comment about when she dies, but is cut off by Nick telling her she does not have to die. She tells him she will be old and tired with nothing to leave behind but her plays as she dances with her doll. Vampires can live until they grow tired of life and then there is nothing. Mortals revitalize their love of life with each new generation, holding her doll like an infant, telling him children are how mortals achieve immortality.

A young woman enters, asking Nick and Janette what they are doing there. Nick says they are friends of Erica's. When asked, Nick tells her he does not know where Erica is, not willing to admit she committed suicide. The young lady says Erica was really excited about her new play, Last Act, opening tomorrow night and hoped Erica would be there.

Nick enters the loft in a bad mood as the sun rises, holding Erica's doll. Natalie comments he is cutting it too close. Natalie shoves Nick away from the sunlight, commenting on his self-destructive feelings. Natalie is cranky and concerned, telling him to talk to her. He tells her he lost an old friend the other day. She is surprised to hear Erica was two, three hundred years old. Natalie sees him reaching for the sunny pedestal and takes the doll from him. She tells him the doll is beautiful, hearing it was Erica's. She loved life more than anyone he's ever known. Natalie asks how she died. Nick tells her Erica's theory about contributing to life, and moving on when you become a burden. Natalie jerks his hand out of the sunlight almost as soon as he thrusts it into the light, angrily telling him suicide is never the answer. He wonders if it is not the perfect answer for his kind. He skirts the sunlight as he walks to the window. She tells him he is scaring her and to stay out of the light as she pushes him further into the darkness. She does not want to lose him.

He tells her that maybe eight hundred years is long enough. She tells him he's talking nonsense, he makes contributions to life every day. He tells her he has not been doing much lately, hearing frustration is a part of life. He steps towards the window, telling her maybe it is time he died. She shoves him back into the shadows, telling him he does not want to die any more than Marilyn Segal did, getting Nick's attention. She tells him their talk got her thinking so she went back and did a few more tests. Marilyn was six weeks pregnant. He stares at Natalie. Schanke is on the video intercom telling Nick to let him up and he had better have food. Nick kisses Natalie, both in a much better mood.

Schanke enters the loft and heads straight for the refrigerator, disgusted to see only a Jell-O like substance and the wine bottles as the contents. He grabs a wine bottle telling them it is truly pathetic, asking if Nick has an alcohol problem. He hears they were gifts and leftovers from parties. Schanke tells them red wine is not supposed to be refrigerated. Nick and Natalie play ignorant. Schanke does not understand how Marilyn's pregnancy means she was murdered. Schanke reaches for the bottle, which Nick pulls across the table to him. He gets the message. Natalie tells them it does not feel right that a woman who knew she was pregnant would kill herself. Schanke is searching for food, commenting that maybe she did not know that she was pregnant. Natalie reminds him Marilyn was a doctor. Schanke tells them maybe she did not want the baby and learns Marilyn was pro-choice, so she would have had an abortion if she did not want the baby. Nick suggests it might provide a motive.

Schanke is eating a Souvlaki as he knocks on the front door of the fiancé's apartment. Carl answers. Schanke apologizes for bothering him, he just had a couple of questions and didn't think he was up to it the other night. Carl admits he is still a basket case. They head upstairs. Carl tells Schanke the cat's Marilyn's, as is the décor. Schanke watches Carl. Schanke sees pictures on the bulletin board and learns Carl did not take them. Marilyn's in almost every picture. Schanke gets the same answers as the night before, Marilyn seemed depressed, tired all the time. Carl tells Schanke that in hindsight everything Marilyn did or said seemed suicidal. Schanke nods. Carl tells him she was distant, as if he is trying to give Schanke the answers he wants to hear. Schanke tells Carl her coworkers seem to think she would never kill herself. Carl says he loved her. He's angered and upset because the coworkers did not spend, as much time with Marilyn as he did, so he knew her better. Schanke tells Carl that he is married and understands. Schanke suggests losing the baby makes it worse, watching Carl closely. Carl has almost no reaction, finally telling Schanke they were never a hundred percent sure she was pregnant or he would have said something. Schanke finds Carl's reaction interesting. He tells Carl he feels bad and should have kept his mouth shut, working Carl for more information. He does not think she wanted to have a baby.

Inside the bullpen, Nick says it brings them back to the abortion question. Natalie tells them that if Marilyn did not want the baby, she would not have had it. Nick asks how Carl feels about it and is asked how would he feel if he was in med school and learned he was going to be a dad? Nick asks if the apartment was comfortable, cheerful, had plants and a pet. Schanke's surprised, telling him he is right, asking how he knew. Stonetree grows curious and approaches, telling them you cannot tell what is in someone's mind by how their house looks. Natalie says she thinks Marilyn was murdered. Schanke comments it was someone who did not want her to have a baby. Natalie adds they knew how to use a scalpel. Nick admits something's missing, but does not know what. Nick sees the clock and tells them he will be back in a couple of hours. Stonetree lets Nick go because he likes him thinking, passionate about the job again. Natalie gives Stonetree an uneasy smile. Schanke's confused, asks Nick where he will be, an hears it's obvious, the theater, not sure what business it is of Schanke's. Schanke's confused.

Nick is absorbed by the play. A young lady asks her grandmother what the man looked like. Grandma tells Catherine he was tall and attractive, his hair blonde and his eyes flashed with the confidence of a young man who believes he will never die.

Meanwhile, someone stalks the hospital corridor as Dean lies in his bed depressed, looking at a framed picture of Marilyn and him. He closes his eyes thinking.

At the theatre, the two women are dancing together, Catherine hears her grandmother tell her they slow danced all night. She was like a doll in his arms. When Catherine wants to dance faster, grandma tells her she has to wait for a boy to take her dancing. She must wait until she feels like her feet have left the floor and she's bursting at the seams with passion and energy, thirsting to squeeze every minute she can out of life. Catherine tells her it sounds wonderful making grandma wish she could live it all again. Catherine tells her she can stay, hearing grandma say it would not be the same. She pulls away telling Catherine the rising sun will fill her with warmth and life. It has been a long time since it warmed grandma.

In Dean's room, someone fills a syringe from a drug vial, while Dean is asleep.

Nick is still totally absorbed as Catherine begs her grandmother not to leave her. Grandmother says she must, because her time is done. It is time for Catherine to live her life to the fullest because she is the miracle of life. Grandma lives on through her.

As they enter the precinct, Nick asks Schanke what he would do if he was in love with someone about to die, wanting to know the best way to keep a part of the person alive. Schanke thinks it is a trick question.

At the hospital, Dr. Cole tells Nick and Schanke they just found Dean overdosed on Morphine and are working to save his life. Nick and Schanke wonder if that is just too coincidental. The same for Dr. Cole being that she was the one to find both Marilyn and Dean. Or is there more to it? A while later they learn Dean's conscious and enter.

Inside the room, Dean asks if it can wait until morning. Nick tells Dean they don't believe he's been entirely straight with them about him and Marilyn. Dean tells them they were close, but does not see what matters. Nick tells him he thinks they were very close.

In the Caddy, Schanke cannot believe Marilyn was going to have Dean's baby. Nick explains it was her way of making Dean immortal.

Inside the bullpen, Stonetree asks Nick how the theater was, learning it was enlightening. Stonetree asks Nick if he took Schanke. Nick asks if he is joking, he picked Schanke up on the way to the hospital. Stonetree learns they are setting a trap and smiles.

Schanke is at Carl's place, telling him his fiancé was murdered. Schanke mentions Dean snapped last night, saying the baby was his, totally obsessed with Marilyn. Carl tells him it is crazy, asking if Dean killed Marilyn. Schanke comments that as a med student he has heard all the stories about patients falling for doctors, only this one went too far. Carl asks if he was arrested, hearing Dean got a hold of an overdose of Morphine and spilled his guts, but is not dead because the dose was not large enough. They will get more when he wakes up.

Inside the hospital, Nick and Dean switch places. Dean gives Nick his hooded sweatshirt, asking if Nick believes in life after death. Nick tells him in a way he does. Dean comments how there is something in everyone that wants to live forever. Nick gives a small grin, telling Dean he will not get any arguments from him. Nick slips into the sweatshirt and into Dean's bed while Schanke hides in the supply closet next door. Schanke will come running when he hears Nick shout. Nick uses the hood to hide his blonde hair, keeps his back to the door and turns off the light to make the deception more believable.

Erica appears waiting for him to follow her as he once said he would. Nick tells her he still finds life exciting and thinks he has more to give. She loves the romantic in him, telling him his time will come. He tells her it won't, and if it does, it won't be by his own hand. She tells him becoming mortal is a fantasy. He tells her he still believes it.

Someone with long curly hair, in full surgical gear heads for Dean's room.

Nick tells Erica there are two ways to escape eternity, to join the dead as he pushes her away, or to join the living. She kisses his cheek, tells him she will be waiting and vanishes. Nick hears someone outside the door and curls up, back to the door again. The person enters, tells Dean if he wants to be with her, he will send them there, as he stabs Nick hard in the side with a knife. Nick yanks the knife out, brandishing it as he scares the guy, grabs him and pins him to the wall by his throat. He asks angrily growling if life is that cheap. The guy somehow gets loose. Nick gets hold of the surgical cap and wig, revealing Carl is the killer. A terrified Carl bolts. Nick chases Carl down the hall, catches him.

Nick is fully vamped out as slams Carl around then shoves him out the window, holding him by the front of his scrubs, demanding to know why Carl deserves to live. Carl's terrified, angrily tells Nick she was having Dean's baby, then begs Nick not to let him go. Schanke bursts in and sees Nick. He tells Nick to bring Carl in. Nick angrily, but softly, says Carl does not deserve to live. Schanke tells him to think of the paperwork if he drops him. Nick tosses Carl across the room. Schanke cuffs Carl, who is ranting to keep Nick away because he is a monster. Nick's features are normal again. Schanke tells Carl he is alive and not to blow it by insulting his partner. Schanke escorts Carl from the room.

At the theater the next night, Nick asks his friends what they thought of the play. Natalie thought it was great, very life affirming even if it was about death. Schanke found it sleep affirming. To him the word play means football. The actress from Erica's apartment approaches and nervously asks what they thought. Nick tells her it was a great play. She tells him it is too bad the critics did not agree. Nick comments it was the most insipid play he has ever seen, upsetting the actress. Nick tells her it was Romeo and Juliet's first review, and hopes Last Act has the same shelf life. He gives her Erica's ring, telling her Erica wanted her to have it. She asks if he knew Erica well and hears they danced a few dances together. The actress comments that Erica had an old soul. Nick tells her Erica did not when he knew her.

Schanke, tells his friends to come on, he is starving. He politely and somewhat automatically tells her it was a wonderful performance and an excellent play. Nick wishes her luck. Schanke tells them to explain the play to him because Myra is going to ask. Schanke's teased for sleeping through the middle of it. He asks what he missed. Natalie tells him only the Middle Ages. He teasingly asks if they were funny. When he is out of earshot, Nick tells Natalie he enjoyed them. Nick and Natalie share a look.

Introduction
Dark Knight Part 1 | Dark Knight Part 2 | For I Have Sinned | Last Act
Dance by the Light of the Moon | Dying to Know You | False Witness | Cherry Blossoms
I Will Repay | Dead Air | Hunters | Dead Issue
Father Figure | Spin Doctor | Dying For Fame | Only the Lonely
Unreality TV | Feeding the Beast | If Looks Could Kill | Fatal Mistake
1966 | Love You to Death

SEASON 2 | SEASON 3

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