FEEDING THE BEAST

Season 1 Episode 18

Written by Alison Bingeman

Directed by Richard Lewis

Guest stars:

Monika Howard.................. Carrie-Anne Moss

Hillary Howard................... Hadley Obodiac

Angie.................................. Marina Anderson

Skip Polley......................... Diego Chambers

Henry.................................. Peter Messaline

Dr. Alyce Hunter................ Christine Reeves

No character name given:

Ian Deakin, Julie Armstrong, Louis Wrightman, Helene Rousse

Monica and Skip are kissing in a dark room before the meeting. He tells her he cannot do it anymore and leaves. Hillary comes in and asks if she is alone, sensing another person in a room. Unknown to her, Monica had sex with the guy. Hillary tells Monica the meeting is starting.

During the meeting, Skip is at the onstage podium, flanked by the twelve steps, six on each side of him. He introduces himself and tells about his battle with the bottle, including being fired. Various emotions show on the faces of the audience, fellow addicts. Skip tells them the Twelve-Step program was his salvation, it did not happen overnight, and would never have happened without his sponsor, Monica. The audience applauds as Skip walks off stage.

After the meeting, Skip is walking towards his car, not realizing he is being watched. Skip gets into the driver's seat and finds a bottle of alcohol on the passenger seat, asking if it is some kind of sick joke. His observer walks up to the passenger side of Skip's car and fires a single shot. The person then fires a single shot. The bullet passes through the bottle shattering it and into Skip. The unknown person flicks a lighter and throws it lit into the car, turning it into a giant torch, as the alcohol instantly becomes a fireball. The mystery person walks away.

At the crime scene, Angie W. tells Schanke she heard the gunshot and saw the fire like everyone else. Monica approaches Schanke and they briefly discuss his smoking habit before he asks if she's Clara B. She tells him she is not Clara Barton, but is Monica Howard. He tells her she is the only one giving a full name. She reminds him the Twelve Steps are anonymous. Talking to the police is not part of the program. He inquires how well she knew Skip Holing and learns she was his sponsor. Monica tells him Skip was really nice and was doing very well with his recovery and they only talked about booze. Schanke learns she can be contacted where they are. Schanke asks about her addiction and she will not tell him.

Nick’s on vacation at the loft. His dark mood is reflected in his painting mostly in shades of black. He takes a long drink from his wine bottle as the answering machine activates. He has a tired worn out leave me alone, I need a break look on his face. Schanke calls him in to work because he is needed, asking if Nick has any bad habits. Nick stops drinking and stares at the machine

Stonetree tells Nick the Twelve-Step group is stonewalling them. He tells Nick he was not at the crime scene so they won't know he's a cop. Nick comments they need him to go undercover as a member of the group. Stonetree jokes, asking Nick if he has any bad habits.

Inside Natalie's office, her expression is as serious as Nick's. He asks her what she thinks of Twelve Step programs. She carefully tells him they can be very helpful for some mortal addictions. He asks her about the more exotic ones, and is reminded of her theory, it's the blood that keeps him from coming across. His expression is since as he tells her he really does try. Hers is disbelieving, wondering just how hard he really tries. He asks if she thinks the program can help him give it up. She tells him he is the only one who can answer the question and it cannot hurt to try.

Inside the building, a Twelve-Step meeting is going on. Monica is at the podium telling the crowd when she came there three years ago she was on her knees, almost literally. She felt like a complete and total failure as a human being. She hated herself. Nick enters and takes a seat. She tells them she could not see any way out of her addiction, which is like a big, ugly, greedy beast, which demands to be fed, again and again. Nick flashes back to his attacking and feeding on Alyce Hunter in the museum, the first woman he drained in 1228 and Elizabeth (the leper).

After the meeting, Nick swipes the sign in sheet. Monica approaches, asking if it is his first meeting. He tells her it is. Hillary approaches an angry, jealous look on her face. Nick tells Monica her words were an inspiration and thanks her. Hillary politely tells Nick he should not feel pressured to join this group, as there are others in the city he might want to check out. Monica agrees, telling him it is important to trust those he's turning to for help. Henry approaches, asking who they'd rather turn to for help than Monica. Hillary has the angry, jealous look on her face. Henry tells Nick you come there to get off drugs and meet Monica. He privately tells Monica they will talk later, suggesting far more than talk. She uneasily confirms it. Henry leaves. She admits she's Henry's sponsor.

Monica tells Nick it will be rough, but they're all there for him. Hillary fails to lead Nick over to Angie, who has information. Monica gives Nick her telephone number, telling him to call any time he needs to talk. He thanks her and asks where to start. She tells him the first step is admitting to someone he loves and trusts he is powerless before his addiction. Nick looks serious as he tells her it's not going to be easy. She tells him it will hurt like hell, but the program works.

Henry's approaching the front door of a building, recognizes an approaching person. The person knocks him down, sticks a syringe into his arm and pushes the plunger, killing him.

The area becomes a crime scene. Stonetree asks Nick how he knows it's the same killer. Nick tells him the MO's are similar, the victim was killed with their choice of drug. Schanke says it means the killer knows them well. Natalie tells them Skip had sex sometime after the meeting, and that he was killed shortly afterwards. She leaves. Stonetree asks if they have the members last names. Nick tells them they do, along with telephone numbers as he turns over the sign in sheet. He says he feels like he is betraying them. Stonetree leaves.

Natalie worriedly watches Nick as he nervously admits to Schanke that he is an addict. Schanke refuses to believe it. He is shocked, as a part of him knows it could be the truth. Nick tells Schanke he is trying to talk to him. Schanke mentions the wine, seriously contemplating it for a moment before telling Nick he is not an addict, he is fine. He leaves. Natalie nervously looks at Nick, then looks around hoping no one heard Nick's confession. He tells her Step One didn't work. He is a little bewildered and upset Schanke did not believe him. She asks what's Step Two, her concern showing.

Inside the loft, Nick pours out all his bottles, lining the empties up on the counter. Nick's tempted and nearly drinks from the final bottle, but does not. He pours it out looking a little regretful, uncertain and a bit relieved. He washes it all down the drain with some water.

Nick is on the meeting stage, telling the empty hall he's an addict and is driven by his hunger. He admits it's not for booze, crack, junk, stammering as he starts to say what his addiction is when the podium starts shaking and blood starts pouring out of the cracks, running down the podium. It is Nick's nightmare. Nick admits he drinks blood so he can live forever. The two posters containing the Twelve Steps are now in Arabic. LaCroix enters carrying Monica. He asks Nick what is so horrible as he approaches. She tells Nick to fight it. He does not have to listen to LaCroix. LaCroix agrees, telling Nick to listen to his hunger, listen to the beast within. Nick hears her heartbeat, as well as her telling him there is help. LaCroix asks who can help his hunger, his craving for her blood. She repeats that he can beat it as the podium shakes harder and more blood pours out. LaCroix offers Monica, telling him to surrender to his thirst much like he did that very first night. Nick vamps out, growling. Nick resists a moment before sinking his fangs into Monica's neck.

Back in reality, Nick is asleep in his bed. His forehead is coated with a sheen of blood sweat, which he discovers as he wakes. He hurries downstairs to the kitchen sink. He tries to find enough blood to drink, trying to gather all the remaining drops into one bottle. He brings it to his mouth, hesitates as he thinks about what he is doing, grimaces and throws the bottle against the glass blocks frustrated and angry. It shatters. Nick desperately heads for the telephone and calls someone.

He and Monica are in a booth in a diner. He asks her if it is always that bad. She tells him that sometimes it is worse. They are their own worst victims. A waitress in a pink uniform puts a plate of French fries and a bottle of ketchup in front of him. Nick tells Monica it is not that way with him as he drowns his fries with ketchup. She tells him it is like walking through a door for the first time, and knowing that you might fall thirteen stories onto the concrete, but you have to trust that pain means you are getting better. Nick shoves a french fry into his mouth looking like it is horrible. Monica watches him curiously, asking what's up. Nick swallows, then tells her with a smile he just fell thirteen stories and it did not hurt a bit. She laughs. He admits she helps a lot. She thanks him because he made her feel good, which is a rare emotion these days. Nick grows serious, asking if it is because of the murders. She tells him it is. She was Skip and Henry's sponsors, which makes the whole thing bizarre. She tells him you get really close to people and then they die. Nick is more serious as he asks how close, upsetting Monica. She tells him there is a strict rule about no romance between sponsors and members. Nick tells her he did not mean to pry, just needed to know the rules. He admits he has never accepted help from anyone before, looking like the admission hurt. She relaxes telling him trust is earned and not given, reminding herself of that. She tells him it takes time to build trust. He should take as much time as he needs. She is there for him. He thanks her.

Inside the bullpen, Schanke tells Natalie everywhere you go someone is telling you what's wrong with you. If you buy more than a six pack, the guy behind the counter gives you a funny look. Natalie comments on his buying cigarettes, causing him to ask why should he feel guilty for smoking now and then. He should be able to without people looking at him as if he is a junkie. Natalie teases him that he does not have a problem and hears Schanke empathically state he does not have a problem. Schanke sees Nick and comments Nick does not have a problem either. Natalie cheerfully comments that Nick's cheeks actually look rosy. He cheerfully tells her it must be the french-fries, and that shocks her. She asks if he actually ate them. He nearly whispers into her ear that he did with lots of ketchup. She finds it incredible. Schanke's confused and asks if he missed something. Nick comments he must be in recovery. Natalie tells him it certainly does agree with him. Nick comments that Monica has been a big help. Natalie asks him to not get his hopes too high. He asks if she is a little jealous spoiling her mood. She tells him she is not, she's just being realistic. Stonetree approaches, asking what they have on the last victim. Natalie tells him the angle of the wound shows the killer's right handed, and she found identical skin cells under both victims' fingernails. Schanke comments he sees a pattern. Stonetree asks if any of the women are linked to the victims, learning Monica sponsored them both, and is Nick's sponsor. Natalie's concerned.

Inside the meeting hall, Nick and Angie sit next to each other. She tells Nick she does not think there is a better sponsor in the whole city than Monica. She was a mess when she first came in and Monica guided her through it all, making life seem worth living again, asking if he knows what she means. Nick comments how Monica seems to have a magical effect on people. Angie agrees. Hillary asks if there is anyone who would like to share with the group. Angie silently encourages Nick. He nervously stands and tells the group he is an addict and it has been three days since he stopped abusing. They all say hi. He tells them he is still alive. There is applause as Nick sits down feeling good. Monica smiles, while Hillary has that mean, jealous look on her face.

After the meeting, Nick drives off as Monica follows him. He sees her and pulls into a dead end street. He approaches her car. She stutters a little as she asks if they can talk.

Inside the loft, Monica tells Nick she was very proud of him at the meeting. He says he is making real progress because of her. She tells him it is because of their connection. He comments she's connected with a lot of people, and seems to have a talent for that. She tells him she has, but it is different with him, she can sense he's on a very sharp and is like her. She comments it makes her feel really close to him. He tells her it is why they have to fight so hard. She agrees. She looks at Nick's painting, which is mostly red now with wide light and medium gray slashes through parts of it, along with a little black. He tells her it is his beast. She titles it the beast within commenting it is a good description for the way it gnaws at you. He agrees. They are holding hands. She tells him that sometimes it gets to be too much to hold in as she caresses his cheek, telling him you just want to give in. She leans in to kiss him but he pulls away, cheerfully telling her it is why you have to control yourself. She says she's not so sure and kisses him. She tells him it is so hard to be sure all the time as she continues to nuzzle his face, seducing him. He tells her to go home because he needs his sponsor. She says she needs him too, as she tries to continue the seduction. He looks like he is almost ready to vamp out and bite her. She says she's been dreaming about him but wakes up alone. He pulls back totally sober as if he just regained control and tells her to go home.

She gets nasty, telling him not to get self-righteous with her. He tells her he is trying to recover. She tells him recovery is just the spaces between fixes. She tells him doing something about the need now and then is not going to make it any stronger, because it cannot possibly get any stronger. She helped him with his addiction so why can't he help her with hers. He is deadly serious as he tells her to go. She says they all come to her with their addictions and God forbid she should have a weak moment, asking if that makes her a monster. She sternly tells him the beast never goes away, it is always on their back. She tells him there is no cure, so he had better learn to deal with it. He looks hurt and betrayed by her words. She tells him she is going to get some help and leaves.

Nick is alone. LaCroix's ghost asks Nick if that is the humanity, he seeks, surprising Nick. He asks if that is his mortal strength, drinking from the bottle in his hand, tossing it to Nick telling him to remember where his last bottle is. Nick frantically searches for it, tormented by the ringing telephone. LaCroix is gone. Schanke's voice tells Nick Monica is a love junkie. She has been busted three times for giving massages at the Windsor Arms hotel. Nick finds the bottle tucked up inside the fireplace. He pulls it out and takes a long drink as Schanke tells him to bring her in for questioning. Schanke is more serious as he comments about what he said earlier about the addiction stuff. Nick is doubling over in pain, grimacing as Schanke tells him it is stricken from the record, and he apologizes. He will take Nick however he is and hangs up. Nick tells him it is good as he takes another long drink.

Inside the Raven, Nick is at a table drinking heavily. A woman in Goth makeup dances, trying to catch Nick's attention. Nick looks back and forth between her and the bottle, knowing he must stick to the bottle. She approaches Nick, but Janette beats her to the table. Nick is upset, frustrated, feeling betrayed angry and depressed, all of which show. He asks Janette if it is true, there is no way out. If not, he might as well embrace it. He darkly tells her he is revamping himself, and from now on he will say he is a vampire and proud of it. The hell with the mortal world. His dark mood spoils her good one. She's concerned and asks what caused the abrupt change of heart. He tells her it is mortal's weakness, false hopes, and lies. She senses there is more to it, asking if it is their humanity. He asks what strength is there in the ability to die as he finishes off his glass. She takes the bottle telling him he has had enough. His eyes glow yellow as he tells her he is hungry and going to feed. She tells him his eyes are glowing and tells him she cannot have a scene in the place, telling him to dance it off. He grabs the bottle back, changing his mind as he sees the Goth woman looking at him. He agrees to dance it off and heads for the Goth woman.

Inside the bullpen, Natalie and Schanke are worried about Nick. Schanke's telephones rings. He tells her it had better be Nick with Monica Howard. He answers the telephone telling the person they will be right over. Both are more worried. He hangs up and informs Natalie that Nick's at the Raven.

Inside the Raven, Janette grows worried and scared when she does not see Nick anywhere. Nick enters the back room with the Goth woman. He tells her he thinks she belongs as a denizen of the night. He caresses her cheek, holding her close, pinning her up against the red pillar. She is having serious second thoughts. He kisses her telling her it might just be her make up. She is as pale if not paler than he is. She asks how it makes her look, hearing it makes her look like death, which is sexy as he kisses her. She says she finds it sexy, and he asks if she means she finds death sexy. She tells him she finds it incredibly sexy as he kisses his way down her neck and is about to sink his fangs into her neck when Janette suddenly appears and very sharply calls out his name. He growls in frustration. The Goth woman sees him vamped out and freaks out. She runs out the door terrified. Nick plops down onto the seat frustrated at being interrupted.

Schanke and Natalie search for Nick but do not find him. Schanke tells her about the back room and points to it. In the back room, Janette is angrily scolding Nick, asking what did she tell him. He snarls at her, telling her to keep away from him. Janette backs out of the room frightened of Nick, even as he holds up his hands in surrender and apology. Janette blocks the doorway still scared and it shows as she tells Natalie and Schanke that Nick needs to be alone, and they should leave. When they do not leave, she tells them Nick's dangerous, he has had too much to drink. Natalie tells Janette she is going in there. Janette lightly fingers Natalie's neck, telling her it is her neck and leaves. Natalie's fingers go up to her neck, only partly consciously but it does not stop her. She is nervous and scared. Schanke has a confused, shocked oh my God he is an addict look. He asks what the hell is going on. Natalie asks Schanke to let her talk to Nick alone. He realizes it is the best way to go and offers Nick his support. Natalie sincerely thanks him and ducks into the room.

Nick asks Natalie if she has come to ogle the beast facing away from her. She tells him she came to help. He sarcastically comments they all come to help. When she holds out her hand, asking him to take it he very angrily tells her to back off as he faces her. She asks what happened, her worry and a little of her fear show. He is feeling sorry for himself as well as deeply betrayed as he tells her he was on the wagon and someone pushed him off it. She says Monica's name, not too surprised. He reminds her she told him to be realistic. He has just had a fair dose of reality and a good hard look at the mortal soul. He ominously walks towards her, as she remains still and quiet. He asks what secrets is she hiding, and what kind of betrayal as he walks around behind her, stopping so close she can feel his breath on her neck. She's scared but holds her ground and tries not to let it show. He asks if she is writing a medical paper on him, or if she is just seeking some dark sexual thrill. She pushes him away, angrily facing him, sternly telling him it's enough. He whines about there being no hope or cure. She sarcastically, angrily asks when someone told him there was an easy cure that they were lying. He has to find the answer within himself. She's growing angrier telling him just because Monica let him down doesn't give him an excuse, and is cut off by his roar that Monica betrayed his trust and his hope. Natalie reminds him Monica is an addicted co-dependant who lost control. He tells her Monica is a murderer, a killer, as he is, an irredeemable, uncontrollable beast. He snarkily tells Natalie that is his reality and walks away from her. She asks if he knows where Monica is and he seems almost mocking as he comments he is supposed to be bringing her in. She puts her hand on him arm comfortingly and tells him to let Schanke do it. Nick tells her it is perfect. He tells her Monica said recovery was just the spaces between fixes. Natalie is frustrated and angry over the damage Monica did to him. He vamps out telling her he is going to show Monica what backsliding really is as he flies through the closed window. Natalie's worried.

Nick lands in front of the Windsor Arms Hotel and enters. Nick asks where Monica is, learning she is with someone now. Nick shoves him aside and runs up the stairs. He follows Monica's voice to the room she is in. He hears her asking why it is happening to her, very upset. He opens the door and is shocked to see her only in her slip bending over a man whose throat is bleeding from a gash on it. She cries that she did not do it. Nick is stunned, all thoughts of vengeance are gone, and his features are normal again. He actually feels a little guilty and sorry for her.

Nick and Natalie are near the outside of the hotel entrance. Nick tells her Monica did not do it. Something Natalie said about finding it inside himself helped him. He ran up to the room, and when he saw Monica and the body, it all went away. The cop took over. He grins. Natalie's relieved and grins back. She tells him it might be part of the equation. He tells her he is supposed to acknowledge and apologize for any pain he might have caused. She tells him it is okay, as she takes his hand. He puts his over hers as she tells him no one said it would be easy. Natalie tells him the needle jab on the second victim and tonight's knife slashes were made with the killer's right hand. Schanke asks what is going on, cigarette in hand. He wants to know how Nick got there so fast. Nick humbly and a little embarrassed apologizes to Schanke for his behavior tonight and any pain he might have caused him. Natalie watches a little concerned. Schanke comments Nick's not going to answer. Natalie's disgusted by Schanke's smoking. Nick asks if there is any way to question Monica tonight. Schanke tells him he doesn't see why not. Nick grabs his cigarette, and holds it up telling him why not is because it is bad for him, tossing the cigarette to the ground. Natalie is surprised, triumphantly grinning as she walks away.

Inside an interview room, Nick asks Monica to list every Twelve-Step member she had a relationship with. She tells them it is a very long list, hearing they have all night. Nick tells her she can't view it as betraying anyone, hearing her whisper it's a little too late not to betray anyone, calling him by name. She picks up her pen with her right hand, but writes with her left.

Later that evening, in the bullpen Schanke tells Nick Monica's left-handedness does not mean she is not the killer. Nick tells him that with her alibi does not give them enough to hold her. Nick tells him the killer's on the list. Schanke says he hopes so because there are twenty names.

Nick's at the podium in the meeting room telling them he freely admits he's an addict but has been lying to them because he was also there as a cop. He tells them there is a killer in the room tonight. The crowd is shocked. Nick tells them the killer knows Monica and her problem intimately. He says he will go through the list of names he has, possibly embarrassing some people, and definitely violating the program's tenet of privacy. The killer may strike again. Nick asks them to break the rules of privacy and come forward if they have any information. It is no longer just about addiction, but murder as well. He tells them he needs their help, and that he has left his home number on the back table. He promises to keep it as private as he can. Angie watches Nick leave.

Nick is in his loft working on his painting. He adds bright yellow strokes on top of the red and black ones, like an arrow pointing to the top, with tree branches. He is purposely choosing where the yellow goes, something he did not really do with the other colors. Hillary calls saying she needs to tell him something. Nick hopes to catch the telephone before she hangs up. He is concerned.

As Nick is driving, he calls Schanke, telling him to meet him at the Twelve-Step Center. Schanke grumbles that it is his bowling night. Nick tells him he just has to wait for twenty minutes and if Nick does not call, he is to send in backup. Schanke grumbles he will do it.

Nick searches inside the Twelve Step offices. In the kitchenette, he sees Angie seated in a chair, her back to Nick. He turns her around, immediately realizing she is dead. He removes the note stuck to her chest and sees in large capital letters love me. Monica enters and tells Nick Angie told her to meet her there. Nick tells her Angie's dead. A gunshot is heard and it barely misses the back of Nick's head. It hits the wall a few feet behind Nick. Nick shoves Monica to safety, telling her to leave and call 911. As Monica runs for safety as there is another gunshot. Nick comes out into the open and is shot at, maybe shot. He dives for cover, slamming into the door. He grimaces in pain as he forces himself to his feet and staggers across the room with his gun ready fire.

Nick heads into the meeting room. Hillary is on the podium with Monica. Hillary tells the empty room hello, a bit nervously. She tells them her addiction is looking out for her sister Monica. She is obsessed with saving her and protecting her. Hillary fires on Nick, telling him she is sharing. Nick holsters his gun, his hands in the surrender gesture. Other officers arrive outside. Hillary tells Nick Monica was hurt bad when she was a kid and has problems because of it. Hillary is not totally sane herself. She tells them she could not protect Monica then, but she can and is now.

Schanke and the other officers run into the room and about halfway down the aisle. Nick holds up his hand as he orders them to stay back and give her room. Hillary tells them they all used Monica, Skip, Henry, and Angie. They did not love Monica. Nick slowly approaches Hillary telling her they are sisters, no one could love her like a sister does. Hillary asks how could she watch them use her. She tells Nick they were taking advantage of Monica's need for comfort, her need to have that dark wounded space filled with the love of another person. He tells Hillary she did what she thought was right as he slowly walks up onto the stage. She agrees, telling him Monica was just too weak. She tells him it is a firm rule, that you cannot take advantage. They deserved to die. She points her weapon at Nick as she tells him you can't take advantage of someone who's addicted as she starts to cry, telling him it's not fair. Nick takes her gun. She is hugging Monica. He motions the officer to stay back. When they separate, he lets the officer lead Hillary away. Monica watches concerned.

An officer asks Schanke if he wants a cigarette. Schanke tells him he has to be kidding. Nick escorts Monica off the stage, his arm around her.

Inside the loft, Nick and Natalie are looking at his finished painting. The colors are more balanced. The brighter colors highlight the basic black and gray. She cheerfully tells him she likes it. He playfully tortures more information out of her. After a few minutes, he wraps his arms around her and tells her he has tortured her enough. He releases her when he hears the elevator door open. Schanke studies the picture, commenting they think he knows nothing about art. Nick teases him about having a velvet painting of Elvis in his locker. Schanke seriously studies the painting and spouts off a bunch of impressive sounding artistic descriptions, sounding like an art critic. Nick and Natalie are shocked. When he is done, he sees Natalie's questioning, somewhat disbelieving look. He admits Myra keeps a copy of the Andy Warhol diaries in the bathroom. It makes perfect sense to Natalie and disappoints Nick a bit. He realizes it makes sense for Schanke to have quoted the book.

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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