Vampires, werewolves, and holistic remedy makers! Oh my! The Monahans are the newest members of the practically perfect community know as The Gates. Just as you'd expect, nothing is quite as it seems in this ABC series premiere.
We open on a picturesque town complete an overprotective mother chiding her daughter — Emily — for not wearing a helmet while riding her skateboard. While mom's back is turned, Emily dumbly follows her rolling skateboard into the street and nearly dies at the hands of a distracted driver. Mom, called Claire by a neighbor, seems distracted by the blood on the driver's face and quickly agrees to the daughter running off to school while she takes care of the helpless man...
So she can drink his bloooooooood! No, really. There's the standard sexy vampire-type banter and then she bites his neck and collects the blood from his dying body in her kitchen sink. At least that's an easy clean-up job.
The Monahans are moving into the gated community called The Gates. Their daughter is clearly the smart one and for some reason has been talking to the developer about the community. Or maybe she's just read the brochure. Precocious little bugger. It turns out Nick, the father, is the new Chief of Police for the development — as well as a bit anal retentive about protocol. The family celebrates when they see the size of the house and their giant pool. Yeah! There's clearly nothing suspicious going on here.
Meanwhile, Claire is slowly freaking out in the shower trying to wash off the blood. While putting lotion on her legs a sharp pain causes her to cry out. When she reaches for the lotion again, a lesion has appeared on her calf.
The Monahan kids show up for their first day at school and learn it's some kind of freaky super smart school. Nearly every kid goes on to attend Ivy League universities. I'm half expecting Lorelai Gilmore to peek around the corner with Sam Winchester tight on her heels. He'd fit in really well here. The oldest Monahan child is named Charlie. We never learn his sister's name so for now she will be known as ULM — Unnamed Littlest Monahan. Charlie attempts to grab an in-between classes snack when he becomes the victim of a flirt and run at the hands of a witty girl with curly hair.
Across town, Nick reports for duty and quickly discovers that the old Chief of Police retired to Mexico. "Couldn't handle the fast pace?" Oh, Nick. I'm sure you'll eat those words soon enough. The two officers currently under his employ show him the souped-up surveillance system and call his attention to the missing contractor who entered Claire's house. There is no footage of him leaving the community.
Speaking of Claire, she's arrived at the Monahan residence introducing herself as "Claire Radcliffe." Sarah, the Monahan mother, is the only one home and she seems pretty stressed about that fact. Claire suggests Sarah go see Peg who has holistic remedies for pretty much everything.
At the school for the super smart, Charlie schools the rest of the kids in his English class much to the enjoyment of the cute and witty girl from the pop machine. While on the quad, she introduces herself as Andie and tries to convince Charlie to join the Mock Trial Club. As soon as she walks away, her apparent boyfriend Brett greets her. He almost seems jealous at first but then good-naturedly accepts that Charlie isn't a threat.
Nick finds out from one of his officers that a missing person's report was filed for the mysteriously disappearing contractor and decides to pay a visit to the Radcliffes'. Claire is currently decanting blood into a wine bottle as her husband pulls into the driveway. We see a shot of the contractor's truck stashed away inside the garage as Mr. Radcliffe tries to open the garage door, fails and walks inside. Claire hides the bloody decanter and straightens herself out before answering his beckoning call. They greet warmly but once he gets a whiff of the glass of white wine she handed him, he throws her against a wall and demands to know where "it" is. She dutifully tells him "it" is in the wine room. The doorbell rings. Dun Dun!
Nick, now a guest in the Radcliffes' living room, questions Claire about the now missing contractor. Claire deflects saying she told him to go to the hospital to get checked out. Nick clearly seems suspicious of the two, but tries to hide it as best he can. As soon as the police leave, Mr. Radcliffe (called Dylan by IMDB) opens up the freezer to see the body of the contractor. He's worried about what would happen to their daughter were they to be discovered.
While shopping, Sarah comes across a store called "Devon Day Spa." Once inside, Devon introduces herself and gives Sarah a sales pitch about how her herbs are the same as Peg's at half the price.
Charlie and ULM meet Andie on the sidelines of football practice. ULM complains about how the move would be easier if Charlie played football and I'm really not so sure about that in this town. Andie shows the lie detector booth to Charlie who immediately points out the obvious flaw: people don't want to be caught in a lie and certainly won't pay for that opportunity. Andie begs him not to tell anyone, grabbing his hands in the process. Brett is of course on the football team and sees everything. One of his teammates ribs him about his girl hooking up with Charlie and Brett freaks out. He slams into a teammate causing the coach to chew him out and pull him off the field.
Sadly Brett is just not having a good day. While walking home he's approached by a boy in very tight pants riding a bike. Brett doesn't usually violate "the code" but Tight Pants isn't really one to uphold the rules anyway. Tight Pants says Brett doesn't know how the pack works and suggests he go "running" with him sometime outside The Gates.
Nick's two underlings leave the HQ discussing Nick's career. Girl Underling says she has a friend in Chicago who told her Nick went to bring a suspected rapist and murderer into custody and ended up shooting the guy. But Nick claimed he saw the guy reach for a gun. Either way, he was cleared of charges and retired from the Chicago Police Force.
The Monahan family sits down for dinner and shares stories about their day. Sarah reveals to Nick that Claire came by to introduce herself earlier. Nick voices his suspicions about the Radcliffes much to Sarah's frustration.
Claire leaves the subdivision gifting the security guard with cookies. Once out of the complex, Claire and Dylan dump the contractor's body but not before he tears into the contractor's neck and body. Claire asks why and he tells her "it has to look like wolves."
Nick and the rest of the police force watch as the contractor's truck drives out the gates right under the nose of the sleeping security guard. Once Nick hears that Claire gave the guard cookies, he pulls up the footage of her leaving the subdivision and notices how she seems to watch where the camera is located. Nick asks his underlings to get a search warrant, which might be difficult considering they've never done that before.
Andie and Charlie meet in the auditorium to test the lie detector machine. They banter about brooms and it's all very cute up until it's clear Charlie wants to be anywhere but with her. The machine goes crazy and Andie soon realizes that Charlie is crushing on her big time.
Brett sees Charlie and Andie leave the auditorium together and confronts her. Though she denies anything happened, he notices the way her pupils dilate and the sweat on her face and knows she's lying. Barely containing his anger, he punches the locker next to her face and he escapes into the bathroom. The rage starts to take hold of him and soon he's crushing the porcelain sink with his bare hands and his eyes have turned strangely animal.
Charlie hears noises from inside the bathroom and goes to investigate it. He creeps into the slightly wrecked restroom but, despite the ominous music and growling, Brett is completely human when he emerges. He also not so subtly tells Charlie to stay away from his girl and stalks out. Wow, being the new kid in a super smart school filled with supernatural students is tough these days.
Finally we meet the real estate developer of this kooky community when he walks into the police station. Unfortunately, he's there to tell Nick to stay out of the Radcliffes' house.
Devon, the wonder herbalist, is working away when the infamous Peg walks through her door. Peg accuses Devon of exploiting the problems of the other residents including Sarah.
Sarah and Nick are preparing dinner when he gets a call from the station. Female Underling is letting him know the search warrant was denied. Not one to be beaten so easily, Nick decides trespassing and sneaking around is the answer. Claire senses him outside but before she can sink her teeth into the new Chief of Police, Dylan escorts Nick off of the property.
Once the pesky police chief has gone away, Dylan chastises Claire for nearly causing even more trouble for their family. Despite his thoughtful gifts of blood from his company's lab, Claire is having trouble assimilating and she's angry that her husband always dodges his responsibility for making her the way she is now.
In a nice parallel of family issues, Sarah confronts Nick about his late night stroll and his single-mindedness. She needs him to think less like a cop and more like a family man in order for his wife and kids to have a normal happy life.
Claire seems to have taken the track of faking it till you make it. The next day at breakfast, she tells Emily and Dylan she's joining a book club — a book club that is currently reading Middlesex.
At the Harvest Festival, Charlie walks up to the lie detector booth and tries to apologize to Andie for what happened in the auditorium. He tells her she's the only good thing that has come out of moving to a new town. He starts to go on, but she stops him. Andie says she thinks she left in such a hurry because she feels something for him as well. This is, of course, the single stupidest thing she could say considering her boyfriend has super human hearing. Because he's obviously a werewolf. I'm just saying.
Ignoring the wishes of his wife, Nick continues to stalk the Radcliffes, watching them leave their house for the festival. He eventually seems to realize how fruitless his little stake out is and meets his own family at the festival.
Claire approaches Peg in a secluded area of the fair grounds. She says she needs help controlling her "cravings." Devon interrupts the little information session to tell Claire that one of her neighbors saw her put the contractor's truck in her garage. Luckily, Devon's a great neighbor who helped the witness forget. Hurray! Claire doesn't seem so happy about this act of generosity, however.
Apparently, everyone is stalking someone in this town as Brett follows Charlie outside the fair and into the woods where Andie is waiting. His rage nearly consuming him again, Brett transforms into a wolf and is about to attack when Tight Pants tackles him. "Not now. Not like this."
Later that night, Nick is roused by his underlings; a body was discovered. No, it's not the contractor — it's the old Chief of Police.
Well, I think this show offers an intriguing pilot though I'm not sure it has quite enough oomph to draw me in just yet. There are definitely a few too many plotlines going on right now. Still, if they can figure out how to juggle the different stories, this could be a fun series.
Vampires, werewolves, and holistic remedy makers! Oh my! The Monahans are the newest members of the practically perfect community know as The Gates. Just as you'd expect, nothing is quite as it seems in this ABC series premiere...