Recap: Wicked City – Episode 3 (Should I Stay or Should I Go)

Wicked City Episode 3 Andrea Verschage
Kent reads the note that the killer used to lure Karen to the library.

Recap: Wicked City Episode 3 “Should I Stay or Should I Go” – ABC, original airdate Tue. 11/10/15
(For all Wicked City recaps, click here.)

This week’s episode of Wicked City had a lot less blood (no killing, but yet another head in a box) and even less music than last time (come ON, I had “Should I Stay or Should I Go” in my head all day today, and it wasn’t in the episode at all). The ratings on this show aren’t too great (but, if you’re keeping track at home, the networks are pretty much not canceling anything this season–at least so far). Still, I’m getting wrapped up in the story. Below: A recap of what happened tonight.

Wicked City Episode 3
This episode relies more on books than on blood. (I really wanted Roth to yell “BOOK ’em!” in this scene, but that didn’t happen.)

The episode starts with a voice over of Betty telling her kids a story — her story about Kent — only he’s a wolf, and she’s running from him. We see shots of her running through the woods, Kent chasing her, her falling down terrified. In the story–and the actual scene–she’s not killed. She bites back. “Does that mean she’s a wolf, too” the kids ask. A look crosses Betty’s face, and we know that she’s realized there’s something within her that’s just like Kent. She is a wolf. After she bites him, he kisses her, and takes her home, safe and sound — but she’s not out of the woods. This is kind of the undercurrent of the episode: Betty doesn’t feel quite right about Kent–but then again, she does.

Roth seems to lose it, more and more, throughout the episode, and it’s apparent that this is going to be a theme: tough cop cannot successfully balance work and family. (But really, who can?) In the beginning of the episode, he and his wife agree that their daughter, Vicki, shouldn’t go to this party this weekend, because they don’t know the parents (yada yada yada) and — TEAMWORK (yada). They’ll be a united front; Vicki won’t convince him to let her go to this party. (Of course she will. Of course she will.)

Roth and Contreras don’t know Mallory is dead; they’re still hoping to find her. They seem a lot less focused on tracking her down than I would hope real-life detectives would be; their efforts seem more focused on the corpse they found in the warehouse last week. This space was leased by a man named Bruce Forrester, but he’s now dead, with no surviving kin. They conclude he couldn’t have been the one to kill Vera Bennett (the lady they found), and Roth figures out that she must have been the killer’s first victim. She was older when she died than most of his victims are, and died differently, but this killer has since evolved. And while he was evolving, he held onto Vera — kept the last clothes she was seen in laundered, kept a pretty wig around for her — and dressed her all up before luring Roth to her body.

Wicked City Episode 3
Kent reads the note that the killer used to lure Karen to the library.

Vera worked at the library, so Roth and Contreras head there to see what they can glean from a conversation with the staff. Karen and Diver also head there, because Kent has lured her there with his crafty note. (They’re going to a public place, and she’s got some OFF! to spray at the killer to slow him down — “I’m packing heat” she tells the worried Diver, whom she no longer seems to want to sleep with, by the way.) Oh, and Kent’s there, with his niece, Mary. Somehow, he looks creepier than ever to me, dressed like a schoolboy in a button-down shirt and a backpack. (Funny how a backpack-clad dude could seem freakier than a knife-brandishing killer.)

Wicked City Episode 3
Kent looks about 12 with that shirt-backpack combo.

While the detectives talk to a librarian about Vera, Roth spots Diver and chases him down. He and Contreras aren’t super jazzed that Karen and Diver came to the library (why didn’t they tell the cops about the note?). Karen’s figured out that the killer is leading her to a particular book: the 1911 printing of The Phantom of the Opera. Only, it’s not on the shelf (Kent, who’s outside with his niece, has it — and we see that it used to belong to Vera). In its place on the shelf is a box. (Go into SE7EN mode here: “What’s in the … oh, never mind. Is this always going to be a thing?) Mallory’s head is in the box. (Gee, we didn’t see that coming from a mile away.)

In the meantime, Betty has talked to another nurse about Kent and his bad habit of chopping women up (subbing in the word “smoking” for “killing,” of course). She’s come to the realization that even though she finds his, ahem, habit enticing, and wants to be with him, she can’t. She calls him and leaves him a message asking him not to call her for a while, telling him gently that she just needs time to figure things out. (Um. I’d be afraid, if I were her, that he’d get mad and hack me up because I, uh, know he kills people. That doesn’t seem to cross her mind, though.)

While Kent listens to her message, she gets a couple of messages from her ex (I think), Jimmy, who seems a little possessive and a lottttt skeezy. He shows up at her door, asking her if she thinks she’s too good to sleep with a married guy now, and makes reference to her scraped-up knees (and how she must have been on them for someone). She gives him a whole speech about how Kent respects her, and hurts Jimmy, which freaks him out just enough to leave. (And while she’s hurting Jimmy, Kent cruises the strip — but he’s too depressed to kill anyone. Poor Kent, who’ll have to go home and do normal, non-murderous stuff tonight.)

Roth cruises the strip, too, then heads home to study the case even more. Vicki, his daughter, clues him into some crucial info about The Phantom of the Opera: the Phantom’s obsession with Christine, and the ring he got her. This, of course, makes something click in Roth’s head, so when Vicki asks him if she can go to the party and tells him she’ll check in (yada yada yada), he’s only half listening. Or maybe even less than half listening, because he just nods and tells her sure, no problem. We all saw that coming, didn’t we? He goes to the warehouse, and gets under the floorboards, where he sees a heart carved with “C+V” written inside. A clue!

Wicked City Episode 3
Roth tries to get into the killer’s head by getting into the floor.

As Betty leaves the hospital, Kent pops up. (And she somehow doesn’t scream at the top of her voice — how is that?) He tells her he understands that she has to think about their relationship, and gives her The Phantom to read. He hopes the book makes her think of him — of them both, actually. Before he leaves, he tells her, “You’re my missing piece,” Betty, and gently kisses her neck. (At least he’s only missing one piece. Those women he murdered are missing more than that.)

Roth and Contreras have a token cop-partner scuffle (I think they’re required in each episode, or at least bi-episodically), where Contreras yells at Roth for not respecting him or keeping him in the loop. They make nice, agree to share information, and Roth tells Contreras he’s figured out some stuff about the killer’s relationship with Vera (based on the C+V heart, the book, the ring). The killer must have been in love with Vera, but it was unrequited — so he killed her and put a ring on her to make her his bride in death. He clearly was obsessed with her for a while.

The detectives bring in Vera’s old boyfriend, who liked Vera so much he was gonna put a ring on it — but never could, because she disappeared. He tells the detectives about a young boy she took under her wing, whose mom had died when he was young. He was 10 or 11 when he showed up, and then things got increasingly weird in his later teenage years (he was hanging around her house inappropriately, for example), but the guy just never thought to mention this to the cops when she disappeared. (Is everyone this dull? Come on!) His name was Cooper, and that’s about all the guy can remember, except when his memory is jogged he can somehow remember that Bruce Forrester (the aforementioned guy who leased the warehouse) was his caretaker.

Betty comes around, and tells Kent that yes, she does want a relationship with him. Meanwhile, Roth tries to figure out what could’ve changed in the killer’s life that he’s now able to let Vera go. (It’s Betty! Betty’s Kent’s new Vera.) Betty gets all dolled up, and Kent takes her on a date to a club on the strip. (Creepy Jimmy is outside, with some friend, when the two walk to their car. I don’t think this is the last we’ll see of Creepy Jimmy.)

Meanwhile, Roth’s wife figures out that their daughter is at that party, and that he’s the idiot responsible for that. And she doesn’t get very worked up over this. She’s mad, but they have a somewhat constructive (and very fake) conversation about how his daughter duped him. He’s worried sick, realizing his daughter’s not really going to check in as promised. (Vicki, incidentally, is driving around on the strip with a bunch of guys, drinking and smoking weed.) He’s worried sick, but, predictably has to leave, for Karen has found another note from the killer and has figured out where Mallory’s body is: floating in a ravine. (After he leaves, Vicki comes home, by the way.)

While Betty and Kent walk around the club, and sit and stare into each other’s eyes, we again hear a voice over of Betty narrating a story, like at the beginning. (This time she’s reading excerpts from The Phantom of the Opera.) Betty sets her sights on a woman, and saunters over to her, under the Phantom v.o., and introduces herself as Christine — the female character in the book, whom the Phantom is so obsessed with. As she tells the brunette beauty she has someone else who’s interested in her, and she looks over at Kent, we know that this will be Kent’s — and Betty’s — next victim.

Wicked City airs Tuesday nights at 10/9c on ABC.

 

Photos: © 2015 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Photo Credit: Eric McCandless

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About Andrea Verschage 65 Articles
Maker of bad puns and good cookies. Enjoys proper punctuation; is a huge fan of the semicolon. Firmly believes every life situation can be tied back to an episode of Seinfeld. SERENITY NOW!