The Damned

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WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers, so if you haven't read these episodes yet and you intend to, this is not a good place for you to be. If you've read the episodes already, or don't intend on reading them at all, then go right ahead.
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301. New Beginnings
Written by Joel Rauch

New Beginnings picks up where the award winning Season Two finale leaves off.

In the last hours of 1999,
Ashur Badaktu and her new partner Ezekiel Stone conceive a child.  Ash, in accordance with their bargain, releases William Kane, and gives Stone a powerful tool for developing his hell powers.  Afterwards, Stone leaves to visit the millions gathered below in Times Square.

In the hall, a bellboy offers to call an elevator for him, asking him if his destination is up or down.  After considering the question, Stone visits the rooftop, meeting
Lizzy Darke there.  Another former resident of NYC, she is disappointed in herself for contributing to the destruction of Times Square.  Cheered when Stone reveals the plan has been called off, she gives Stone the room number for Marcus Atom.

William Kane is accepting his impending death.  He places a call to Sophia D’Amato and apologizes for the way their relationship ended.  After making his peace with God, he begins to believe that he will be able to escape into the wilderness before death strikes him in a fiery blast.  Unfortunately, he is pulled over, and a high speed chase begins.

While Stone visits with Atom,
North Ratare arrives to summon Atom to a meeting with Ash.  Stone is suspicious, and knocks North aside, rushing off to Ash’s hotel room just in time to find Atom creating more explosives.  Ash has broken their deal, and now intends to kill as many as people as possible to create chaos in the afterlife and cause another jailbreak in Hell.  North Ratare, wielding a metal pipe, attacks Stone from behind.

Stone, using the hell powers that Ash taught him, is able to melt the pipe and counterattack, jabbing North in one eye.  Then, Stone sets off the atomic triggers, causing Ash to flee.  With the crowd below counting away the last seconds of the year, he defeats Marcus Atom, returning everything he had touched, including Kane, back to normal.

Afterwards, the Devil reluctantly admits that Stone still has his job as hunter of the damned.  North Ratare complains to a pregnant Ash that his eye won’t heal because of the molten steel lodged there. And three thousand miles away, Rosalyn Stone accepts Dan Copper as her new husband.

302. Hell Gate - Part 1
Written by Phil Gee

On June 15th, 1904, the steamship THE GENERAL SLOCUM caught fire and sank in the East River. The captain --
William Van Schaick -- and most of the crew jumped over board, leaving the passengers to fend for themselves. One of those on board was a young pregnant woman named Marietta Booth. The disaster caused her to go into premature labor. The Devil (who of course was a contributing factor to the blaze) offered her a deal; he would save her and her unborn child IF she gave him both of their souls. In a panic, she agreed.

Dan Copper informs Rosalyn he’s accepted a teaching post in Brazil that he applied for prior to meeting her. He will be out of the country for about six months. Having promised to take his daughter Maya with him if he got the post, the only choice is for Stephen and Rosalyn to remain behind. Stephen will stay with is aunt, and Rosalyn agrees to keep house by herself.

Stone meets an old woman in Thompkins Square, claiming to be looking for her lost son. Stone evades her, only to meet another strange character moments later named
Judas Booth. They discuss the monument dedicated to the survivors of the General Slocum, and Booth confides the date of the incident is also his birthday. Later, Stone is chatting to Alex while she’s working on an assignment. He discovers a picture from an old newspaper which shows the Devil with Marietta Booth and her son. Stone puts two and two together and realizes whom he met earlier.

In hopes of putting more pieces together, Stone returns to Thompkins Square and finds the old woman. She confirms what Stone has guessed, and she states that all of the Damned Souls know of Stone’s mission. She offers a deal; if Stone tracks down her son and destroys him, she will accept her damnation. She also makes a claim that surprises Stone; there is a way to send back ALL of the Damned Souls at once.  Feeling the deal is too good to pass up, Stone agrees.

Booth, meanwhile, has found Van Schaick combing the East River docks. Booth believes the captain to be the cause of the fire. They begin to fight furiously. Stone and the old woman enter the scene, and Van Schaick makes his escape. Stone shoots out Booth’s eyes, but something is terribly wrong. He isn’t sucked back to Hell. After a moment, Booth stands up. That’s when the old woman drops the bombshell: Booth is IMMORTAL!

303. Hell Gate - Part 2
Written by Phil Gee

Having just planted two bullets in
Judas Booth’s eyes, Stone is surprised when he is not sucked back to Hell. Marietta Booth's deal with the Devil caused her to be damned, and Booth became an IMMORTAL BEING. The old woman tells her son the truth; that if it was not for her giving in to weakness, he would not be this way. Booth is overcome by anger. He unleashes his fury on Stone, punching him brutally in the eyes. Although not with enough force to send him to Hell, it causes Stone to pass out.

Dan prepares to leave for Brazil and his teaching post. Rosalyn can’t see him off; she locks herself in the bathroom until everyone is gone. Then, she rechecks the results from a home pregnancy test. It's positive. She’s pregnant, and Dan has no clue.

The Devil catches up with Booth, who asks why he was never told the truth about his condition. The Devil replies he had no obligation to do so. Booth begs to be released from his immortality, but the Devil refuses.

At his apartment, Stone has been blinded by Booth’s attack.  The old woman visits him and touches his temples; suddenly his sight returns to a degree. Once more she presses Stone to destroy her son and free him from his burden. Stone admits there may not be a way to do so. They eventually meet up with Judas Booth, who wants Stone to end his life. Stone says he will try his best, and they all agree to meet at midnight at the monument in Thompkins Square.

At Mario’s Bar, Stone’s old pal Salvatore Valis, whom he met in Newtown, CA, spots him. Stone confides his latest problem to him, and Valis suggests Stone try to take Booth’s head off, as in the movie HIGHLANDER.  Maybe art imitates life.

At midnight, Stone says he may have finally figured out the solution, but first they must take out
Van Schaick. The old woman helps Stone conjure up a vision, and they learn Van Schaick is headed towards Hell Gate bridge -- the location of the General Slocum fire all those years before. The trio tracks down Van Schaick, and Stone allows Booth the privilege of taking his eyes. Stone then decapitates Booth, and his body dissolves into electricity. The old woman tells Stone that all of the Damned Souls that escaped are bound to Ash. If Ash is sent back to Hell, ALL of them go, too. She also tells Stone of a Damned Soul named Pandora who knows the location of each Damned Souls at all times. If he finds her, she might lead him to Ash. Their deal complete, Stone sends her back with two shots.

Later, the Devil confronts Stone, who informs him he knows of the bond between Ash and all of those who escaped. Stone guesses the Devil wants him take a long time tracking down the Damned Souls, so he has longer to try and get back together with Ash. The Devil denies this claim and vanishes. Stone pops a beer; it was a helluva night.

304. A Friend in Need

by Greg Lemieux

Stone’s friends Samantha and Amie are stranded in New York, where Amie makes the mistake of signing a contract to be in a beauty pageant. Unfortunately, the contest is being run by
Alise-Marie Linburke, a damned soul. Alise promptly shrinks Amie to the size of a toy and imprisons her on her antique beauty pageant display, along with 10 other girls. Linburke is looking for two more girls to complete the contest. The winner gets a free trip to Hell.

Samantha persuades Zeke to help find her missing friend. Unbeknownst to him, the Devil is hampering his every effort. Satan has made his own deal with Alise – she provides him with 13 girls for his contest and he promises that neither he nor his demons will send her back to Hell. Of course he never mentions Stone in his deal.

When Samantha finds a clue to Amie’s whereabouts, she leaves a message for Stone but the Devil intercepts it. Sam confronts Alise by herself and ends up on the display next to her friend. By the time Stone tracks down Alise’s office, she has already fled. He takes the info from the landlord to Sophia who tracks down Alise’s name on the computer and eventually issues an APB on her. 

Alise finds another contestant named Vanessa, but unlike the previous girls, she insists on reading the contract before signing. Furious, Alise tosses her in front of a moving car. But Vanessa survives and is able to tell Stone and Kane where Alise is. They arrive at the new office before Alise can get back with another contestant. Alise catches them in the act of rescuing the other girls, but a crafty Samantha turns the tables on the damned soul, forcing her to enter her own display as the 13th (and now only) contestant. The device dispatches Alise to Hell, while Samantha, Amie and the other girls are all returned home safely.

305. Illusionist
Written by Robert Rand

Dimitri Savant was a Russian magician who died 400 years ago.  Stone first encounters him while investigating a warehouse break-in.  Savant’s abilities leave Stone hypnotized, living out his life in a fantasy world where Gilbert Jax never raped his wife.  He believes he is a police captain, happily married to Rosalyn, and father of three children.  His subconscious manifests itself as the Devil, trying to break him free of the illusion.  But the only way to awake is by outside stimulus – the arrival of the warehouse manager finally brings him back.

A search of the warehouse reveals that a Russian book written by Arakel Gulayev was stolen.  There is an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art featuring Russian paintings; Gulayev has a work featured there as well.  Kane and Stone stake it out.  Kane speculates about what happened between
Ash and Stone on New Year’s Eve, and imagines what he might do with Stone’s abilities.  He glimpses this fantasy after confronting Savant and falling under his spell.  Stone arrives and wakes him, but the painting is already gone.

The artist Gulayev also created a golden statue of a cherub; it is in the hands of a private collector, Peter Rothman.  Stone and Kane visit him, expecting Savant to strike there next.  He tells them about Gulayev, how his father, Dimitri Savant, was a magician in Ivan the Terrible’s court.  He hypnotized the young boy, making him believe that he could fly.  The crowd was greatly amused as the child climbed to the balcony and jumped off, flapping his arms furiously.  Poor Arakel never walked again, and his mother took him away from Savant, no longer allowing him to see his son.  Rothman refuses Stone’s offer to guard the statue, confident in his security system. 

That night, Savant arrives at Rothman’s door, and easily manipulates him.  Once in possession of his son’s statue, his focus wavers, and Rothman breaks free.  Savant kills him.  Stone faces him on the front lawn, but is again drawn into a dream world.  This time his wife is Ash, pregnant with their child.  His subconscious, in the form of the Devil, allows him to assert himself out of the illusion, where he finally destroys Savant, whose descent into hell leaves a scorched patch on the grass.  Part of it is in profile; his son’s statue.  Savant has taken back to Hell with him.

306. A Souvenir of London
Written by Phil Gee

307. Dreams
by Greg Lemieux

Roz’s visit to an OB-GYN reveals that her unborn daughter’s umbilical cord is slowly deteriorating and will soon rupture, killing the baby and possibly herself. But a surgeon is willing to fly there and perform an operation that can repair the baby’s cord while still in the womb. Rosalyn agrees to the surgery without hesitation.

Meanwhile, Stone has been given the name of his next target –
Ogden Parker – but nothing else. He is led to an alley where a message is painted, “All Hope will die tomorrow at noon.” Kane tells him another warning by the same author occurred before a hardware store was obliterated by a massive bomb. Kane then gets a call from Susan King, from which Zeke learns about Roz’s plight.

Stone is determined to be at the hospital while his widow has her surgery. Since Susan knows him, he develops his powers to change his physical appearance. He goes to the hospital waiting room pretending to be an old buddy of Zeke’s. Another visitor, a former student of Roz, tells Stone he has faith in this hospital because it was originally called All Hope Hospital. Zeke connects the clue from the alleyway and goes down into the basement to check it out. There he finds Ogden, who had planted a series of cigar-shaped fuse bombs to blow up the hospital - the place that once treated and saved a man that he feet betrayed him. Stone goads Parker into attacking him, and then uses his own cigar to send him back to Hell.

Roz’s surgery is successful and Stone returns home and to his normal form. He recalls that Roz once told him she wanted to be a teacher and that her dream really has come true. All during this tale, both Roz and Zeke have had flashbacks to a kidnapping case from 19 years earlier. In the last scene we meet the surgeon who saved Roz's baby and find that the past and the present share a very special connection.

308. Wolf Day Afternoon

Written by Joel Rauch

309. Pandora's Box
Written by Phil Gee

310. Escape
Written by Greg Lemieux