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Threshold/Blood of the Children

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Blood of the Children
Season 1, Episode 3
Airdate September 23, 2005
Production Number 103
Written by Anne McGrail
Directed by Bill Eagles
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Trees Made of Glass (2)
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The Burning
ThresholdSeason One

Blood of the Children is the third episode of the first season of Threshold, and the third episode overall.

Guest Stars: Mark Berry (Agent Hargrave), Jake Abel (Brian Janklow), Cameron Monaghan (Josh Foster), Arthur Santiago (David Arroyo), Richard Cox (Capt. Hank Mancini), D.J. Evans (Kemper), Seamus Dever (Agent Detoro), Julie Berman (Kristy Foster), David Gautreaux (Commander Fox), Steven R. McQueen (Jordan Peters)


Plot Overview


Show opens with a middle-aged white male blue collar type standing in line at a burger joint, where he proceeds to go on a rampage, tossing people about like he's mainlining PCP. He eventually flees into the washroom in evident pain and upon looking in the mirror finds his face bulging with skin distortions. Moments later blood sprays liberally across the sink mirror.

At Threshold HQ Caffrey is getting an MRI and workup from Fenway, which detects nothing unusual except for the usual extraneous theta brain waves. No sign the partial alien signal is having further effect on her, no further weird dreams. Caffrey gets a page to the conference room, asap. Gunneson is sedated in the next room, showing no signs of consciousness, but his bullet wounds have already healed perfectly. Time lapse since injury = roughly a couple days.

On the way she runs into Baylock, who tells her they're monitoring emergency band transmissions and came across the chatter for the burger joint incident. They think it might be one of the missing crew members from the original ship exposed to the alien signal.

Suddenly Caffrey is alone in the corridor - Baylock's disappeared. Then she sees a figure turned away from her at the end of the hall - a young man in a black hoodie. Caffrey walks around but can't find anyone in the empty halls. She tries the only door and it's locked, then the hooded teenager appears and grabs her hand on the door handle, forcing it open. The boy is wearing a semi-transparent mask that obscures his features. Before Caffrey can see what's behind the door she wakes up.

It was all a dream - she's in an SUV outside the burder joint with Fenway. He prescribes more rest.

Inside they find the deformed body of the man from the opener, symptomatic of the effects of the alien signal. Fenway claims it for autopsy. Caffrey learns from the staff, to her surprise, that the man was a regular. Not a sailor at all, but the custodian of a local private academy. Unlike the horrible continuity of the pilot, Cavennaugh is sporting bruises from the beatings he took from Gunneson in the pilot - only a couple days before in the timeline.

The team, with military support, proceeds to the local military academy where they lock it down, claiming a drug/contamination investigation. The academy headmaster, being of course a stern law-and-order type, has no problem cooperating and ordering the students to submit to blood tests. Luckily it's a holiday weekend so there are only a few staff and students on campus to keep track of. The custodian had worked there for years and had a solid reputation.

Caffrey does interviews and organizes blood tests, while back at HQ Baylock, Lucas and Ramsey look for a link between the school and the original ship. Lucas asks for all tracking data for the ship's original region, Ramsey complains about doing grunt work, Baylock pulls him up short. Lucas finds a track for a passenger airplane that diverted course to within a mile of the ship at the time of the alien exposure.

In the evening, after curfew, Caffrey informs the headmaster that one student didn't show up for the blood test. The headmaster vows to find him, heads off looking, comes across a hooded, masked student in the library who proceeds to kill the headmaster with thumbs into the eye sockets.

Back at headquarters Baylock brings in the black box from the errant aircraft for Lucas to analyze, while he and Ramsey brace the pilot. The pilot admits nothing unusual, but Ramsey indicates to Baylock that he's hiding something. They hold onto him.

Caffrey finds the mess in the library, sans body, only blood. They find the still-warm computer the student was using. Caffrey takes it for analysis, eventually finding that the user was trying to get through the network firewall to email out an attachment.

Caffrey is attacked by an older student, a squad leader, who exhibits the same fascination/attraction with her that Gunneson did. When she tries to escape a group of younger students blocks her way. After pushing over a bookshelf onto the teenager, Caffrey flees into the basement and hides in the 'Map Room' where she discovers the missing student hiding.

The pursuing students start breaking down the door and Caffrey sets off the fire sprinklers to draw attention. The door gives way and Caffrey prepares to fire her gun, but it's Cavennaugh and commandos.

They lock down the school grounds and shut off all power, to keep the computers down. Questioning the student in hiding reveals that he's innocent - he huffed some gas and didn't want it showing up on his blood test.

Lucas uses the airplane passenger manifest to trace back to one of the students at the school, who was flying with his mother under her maiden name. Cavennaugh questions the young student who tells that his computer acted up partway through the flight while he was burning a CD. The student describes the alien fractal spiral (FS) appearing on his computer screen. When he got back to school the computer locked up again, and started playing the alien signal out loud. The student assumed it was spyware. Various other students, the squad leader, and the custodian all tried to help him kill the spyware, overhearing the alien signal in the process.

Lucas uses the black box to show that the FS appeared on the plane's intruments for several seconds, so the pilot must be lying when he says nothing unusual happened. Ramsey and Baylock get the pilot to admit about the FS, but nothing else happened. The pilot's not infected. He only lied because he's an alcoholic and didn't want to draw attention to himself.

The power comes back on in the school - the students have managed to turn on the generator. Fenway finds that the custodian's lungs are full of asbestos, leading Caffrey to figure out there are maintenance tunnels under the school grounds, which is where the missing students must be hiding. They must find them and shut off the generator before the students manage to email out the alien signal somehow.

Cavennaugh and his spec ops head into the tunnels. They find the squad leader with his laptop, who flees the tunnels. Caffrey goes in pursuit with a spec ops, while Cavennaugh goes to shut down the generator.

Cavennaugh finds the other young students guarding the generator, but he becomes convinced they're not alien infectees and are only following orders. He convinces them to disarm, and shuts off the generator.

Caffrey and her ops find the squad leader in the library, about to try and email out the alien signal file. Caffrey shoots the computer, the spec ops shoots the squad leader. End of crisis.

Fenway does some rat experiments and proves that the alien signal seems to have no effect on pre-pubescents. You have to be old enough to have children for it to start mutating you.

Baylock tells the squad leader's father that his son died a heroic death, saving other students from a fire at the school. Caffrey visits the squad leader in a holding facility at Threshold HQ - they only shot him with a stun shell. The student refuses to say anything.


Directing for this episode was noticeably better than for the pilot episodes. There is actually some promise to the show itself now, rather than merely to its premise.

Arc Advancement







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