Alex and Strand visit an asylum where a mute young man named Simon Reese, implicated in the gruesome murder of his parents, is suddenly talking. And it turns out Simon Reese might have a strange and dangerous gift...or a curse.
Strand's Personal LifeEdit
Strand expresses frustration to Alex regarding the barrage of requests from people wanting to speak with him, largely because of his involvement with the podcast. He explains that they don't want to speak with him about the institute, rather they have questions about his personal life and Coralee. Alex defends her position, reminding him that she admitted her interest in his personal story, but Strand maintains that these requests classify as harassment, and he says that he doesn't think he can continue working with her on the podcast, and leaves the interview.
However, later in the episode Strand continues to work with Alex on the Trent Barnes / Simon Reese incident, resuming their partnership as though the disagreement had never happened..
Interview with Sanford Haines Edit
Alex conducts a previously-scheduled interview with Haines, author of the books, The Consolation of Ghosts: Why We Believe in the Paranormal, The Sadness of Today is the Joy of Tomorrow, Does God Cry?, and Will I Know You in Heaven? Haines admits that he's just guessing as to the existence of a life after death, and that religions are consolation constructs invented by humanity. But as these beliefs are created to make people feel better, why would someone take that away? Alex notes that Haines must be alluding to, and therefore familiar with, Dr. Strand and his work.
The Case of Simon Reese Edit
A health care manager at Three River State Hospital in Idaho, Fred Barnes, contacts Alex to discuss the case of Simon Reese, a patient who was committed seven years prior after being found guilty of murdering his parents when he was eleven years old. Nic explains that Simon was the subject of a segment Pacific Northwest Stories aired in 2008 about false imprisonment, as there was little evidence to convict him. When he was questioned, he would only tap out responses representing 'yes' and 'no', as in a recording Alex plays that was logged eight months after Simon's parents' murder: through a series of questions and subsequent taps, Simon seems to say he was in their room but not, witnessing their murders but not, hurting them but not.
Simon's case was in the process of being reopened by the Legal Justice Society, but progress was frozen after he attacked a fellow patient. Fred Barnes sent Alex video footage of Simon's room, demonstrating its security and distance from the room of Trent Orville, the patient claiming to have been attacked by Simon. Fred also notes the security camera in the corner of each patient's room, as well as the black markings covering one of Simon's walls, in the form of letters, numbers and a pentagram. On the night Trent was attacked the camera in his room went offline, and the footage from Simon's camera shows he never left his own room, though Trent claims he woke from a nap to Simon choking him. Fred's video also revealed the same pentagram from Simon's room drawn on one of Trent's walls. Alex explains that Trent had never met Simon prior to the attack, and that Simon has since starting talking again, confessing to killing his parents: he says he teleported into his parents' room and that his spirit killed them.
Alex goes to Idaho to interview Fred. He explains that Simon has had about five different personality disorder diagnoses, but he didn't want to discuss Simon's guilt or innocence. Fred shows Alex to Trent's room, where the drawing had since been washed off.
Alex next interviews Trent. She describes him as skittish, and she can still see bruises on his neck from the alleged attack. Trent tells Alex that Simon is crazy, and had confessed to being able to leave his body to watch Trent in his room. Trent shows Alex a DH Lawrence book containing drawings covering the text, mostly consisting of symbols, numbers, and pentagrams mirroring the ones found in Simon and Trent's rooms. Trent says Simon drew these in his book, and that Simon had told him that he doesn't like it when Trent prays, though Trent only ever prays alone in his room. Trent said that Simon said he'd "be coming to visit" if he didn't stop.
Alex interviews Simon, and describes the way he looks at her as unnerving. He seems to talk in code about how "he" sees everything but he's found a way to hide things from "him". When Alex asks Simon if he means God, he says he doesn't, and proceeds to tell Alex that "he" doesn't like him or her, referring to Alex and possibly Dr. Strand. While Alex is interviewing Simon, the camera in Trent's room goes black, and a hospital worker finds Trent seizing on his bed, the pentagram back on his wall and bigger than before.
Strand arrives to interview Simon and Alex waits outside the room. Strand questions Simon about his advanced knowledge of Sumerian numerology, though Simon doesn't confess to drawing in Trent's book. When Simon tells him to "look closer", Strand exits the interview.
Upon meeting up with Alex, Strand diagnoses Simon as merely sick, delusional, and having an unhealthy obsession with religion, specifically one Sumerian in origin that practices Dark Alchemy or devil worship. Strand doesn't believe Simon actually entered Trent's room, but merely psychologically manipulated Trent into believing he did.
Sacred Geometry / Demon Summoning Edit
Alex sends a copy of one of the pages from Trent's book to Dr. Strand. He notes the glyphs are Sumerian, and that one of the symbols is a reference to the Tower of Marduk, the legend of which was poorly translated into the Tower of Babel. Strand explains this was a tower dedicated to Marduk, the god of Babylon.
Strand later points out that the drawings on the walls of both Simon and Trent's rooms were on the south wall, positioning them as portals that would allow Satan and other demonic forces into our world. He notes that the drawings were also Sumerian binding symbols for the ancient god Anzu.
Sebastian Torres Disappearance Edit
The episode closes with a message from Detective Collins with the Los Gatos police department asking Dr. Strand to return his call; Alex explains that Sebastian Torres has disappeared.
Main Characters Edit
Nic Silver, producer
Alex Reagan, host and producer
Dr. Richard Strand, head of the Strand Institute
Sanford Haines, author
Fred Barnes, health care manager, Three Rivers State Hospital
Trent Orville, patient
Simon Reese, patient
Detective Collins, Los Gatos Police