I’ll be real with you, reader: I was pretty excited when this episode, for the first time this season, turned out to be about the weird and esoteric, and kicked off with a magic ritual featuring two men covered in hand-drawn sigils conjuring something in a candle-lit room. One of the conjurers starts to freak out and tries to flee, but the door is locked. Downstairs, another group hold hands in a circle. Their leader tells them to stay put, even when they hear screaming from upstairs, but two of them have had enough. One guy leaves entirely, and soon after a woman breaks the circle too, this time to go upstairs. In the locked room, the older conjurer (who turns out to be the circle-breaking woman’s grandfather) keeps chanting, ignoring his friend’s yelling. Suddenly the yelling stops, but the leader from downstairs still won’t hand over the key. And outside, the guy who left calls the cops and reports a MURDER.
Soon after, Euro Cash and Hassell arrive on the scene confused and unamused, and are met with even less amusement by the group leader, who I’m calling Magic Man. They’re cops, so they get their way, and Magic Man finally takes them upstairs and unlocks the door. Euro Cash and Hassell draw their guns and walk in to find the yelling guy dead, and a very horrified Grandad Conjurer shaking on the floor and insisting that “Belphegor did it.” Given that he’s also covered in blood that doesn’t hold a ton of water, and uniformed officers come to take him away while he insists that none of them can leave: Belphegor, who’s apparently a demon, is still here.
Grandad Conjurer is still yelling about demons when Eddie turns up and gets the update: the older man was the only person in the room with the victim, and they were trying to conjure a demon. Eddie thinks this is a joke at first, but delightfully, it is not, so they head upstairs to get more info. Specifically, that there doesn’t appear to be any entrance to the room other than the door, which was locked the entire time. Eddie, who doesn’t like the occult, wants this to be open and shut, but everyone else, being the goth kids we know and love, aren’t so sure. Drunkie Howser also has a scientific reason that Grandad Conjurer can’t have been the only murderer in the room: it turns out the victim’s eyes have been gouged out, and Grandad Conjurer didn’t have a speck of eye gunk on him. Neither does the victim, in case you were thinking he pulled an Oedipus and ripped them out himself. There’s also hoof prints in a pile of sand in the conjuring circle: all signs point to demon, and Eddie? He’s freaking out.
Downstairs, Magic Man explains that he and his pals are followers of Aleister Crowley, who Eddie has never heard of, naturally. If you, reader, are in Eddie’s shoes, just know that Crowley was an occultist and magician who’s basically the father of modern dark magic and a great wikipedia rabbit hole (and if you DO know a lot about Crowley, my apologies for the over-simplification). Euro Cash doesn’t have a ton of patience with the magic talk, assuming as he does that a human person did this murder, but Hassell gets more info from the guy who called them in the first place. The group calls themselves The Order of the Blood Moon and they were trying to summon a demon just to see if it could be done. He claims it’s all benign, but was so scared that he called the police so… not sure I buy that. In the next room, Magic Man tells Euro Cash that the victim is only dead because he left the ritual circle, and that none of them intervened because that’s what they agreed to in advance. Meanwhile, Eddie interviews the granddaughter, who basically says she wasn’t a member of the order, and was only there because Grandad Conjurer invited her.
Interviews complete, Euro Cash and Hassell meet up to look over the scene some more. They both think this is obviously not supernatural, and that they’ll find another entrance to the room. Euro Cash also shares that he talked to Lena and has agreed to meet up and hear her out. But first, they have work: Euro Cash claims the task of going to the victim’s job (he was a psychiatrist), and gives Hassell the crap job of informing his widow and kids of his death. The widow is completely shocked: her husband had told her he was going to be giving a talk about trauma, not conjuring a demon. An affair, she’d buy, but this? She’s also got a bandage on her hand which she says is from cleaning up broken glass, but I don’t totally buy it, and neither does Hassell, who clearly has doubts about the wife’s statement.
Across town at the victim’s office, Euro Cash steps on a pile of sand and bones in the entryway, which turns out to be the apparent decorating scheme overall: when he finally gets inside there’s a dead cat on the ground and 666 written in blood next to the body. Yikes! Also yikes? Euro Cash’s next stop, which is that chat with Lena. He tells her he can’t go back to the way it was before, and isn’t prepared to take her suggestion that they go forward either. They don’t have a ton of time to talk, because of the case, but she does reluctantly tell him she’ll give his boat key back, and he agrees.
Arriving at the morgue, the goth besties find out from Drunkie Howser that the victim was on a LOT of drugs, and has a magic square (a perfect palindrome that reads the same way in ever direction and is in Latin) tattooed on his back reading:
As for physical evidence? None of the other occultists at the scene had eye goo on their hands, and while Grandad Conjurer’s fingerprints are all over the knife, something else has held onto it too.
Back at the office, Citra gives everyone the update on what she’s researched so far about the occult elements of the case: the demon Belphegor is a minor demon who has his own prime number and The Order of the Blood Moon are basically a glorified study group. The crew posits that the victim and his wife must not have been very intimate if she didn’t know about his magic back tattoo, and they decide to look into former members of the group, clients of both conjurers, and the cat sacrifice at the victim’s office. Unfortunately for Eddie, he and Citra are sent to look into Magic Man’s business, a tattoo parlor. Eddie’s freaked out, having had to shoot a tattooer/kidnapper in a previous case resulting in the injury of the suspect and a child. Citra reassures him, and he pulls himself together, heading inside. Magic Man is annoyed to be interrupted, but tells them the magic square is for protection from demons, who apparently can’t read palindromes. They also ask if he knows anything about the dead cat and bones over at the victim’s office, and Magic Man explains that it sounds like an occult war: two magicians trying to attack each other supernaturally.
Meanwhile, Euro Cash and Hassell talk to Grandad Conjurer. Well, they talk to his granddaughter: Grandad Conjurer still completely unresponsive, per the psychologist who’s treating him. They find out that Grandad Conjurer has been repeating a specific phrase in Latin, and when Euro Cash recites the words in the magic square, Grandad Conjurer gets up and starts trying to make a protective circle, while his granddaughter confirms that yes, that’s what he’s been saying, and that all of the members of the group have that tattoo. She also explains that Grandad Conjurer and the victim had been close. Interestingly, once the circle is completed, Grandad Conjurer starts speaking for himself: he calls someone a liar and cheat (but doesn’t specify who), describes some weird stuff he saw, says he blacked out, and then tells the detectives that he felt a woman’s presence: someone named Angelique was attacking them.
Despite calling Angelique “Hecate’s agent on earth” Grandad Conjurer still has an address, which they check out. Angelique’s place turns out to be a very chill, spa-like space which the goth besties immediately ruin by bringing up murder. Angelique tells them she doesn’t know about the ritual, and has an alibi for the previous night: her lover (who turns out to be in the room with them, so that’s that sorted). Her business focuses on bringing the spiritual and sacred into the modern world, which Euro Cash and Hassell pretend to be unimpressed by, but secretly seem to find pretty cool. Angelique admits to knowing both conjurers, but describes them as old school (and not in a nice way) and dead to her… just like Hassell’s siblings are dead to her. And then she talks about a super intense and clearly traumatic experience from Hassell’s childhood that very obviously has our friend rattled. Euro Cash puts a stop to it, and after they leave the interview, asks if she wants to talk, but Hassell’s also a loner, and heads off on her own.
It seems that Angelique isn’t just intense to our protagonists. When she’s getting into her car later, Magic Man confronts her: did she mess with the summoning? Angelique says no, and brushes him off, but when he insists on asking questions she turns it back on him like she did with Hassell: Magic Man must be pleased, she suggests, because with both conjurers out of the way, he’s in prime position to take over leadership of the group. Magic (?) accomplished, she drives away, leaving him looking confused, upset, and called out.
Later, at the bar, Hassell has calmed down a bit and tells everyone that Angelique’s business checks out. She isn’t working in secret, and has modernized: she even does rituals on social media. Hassell’s more concerned about the victim’s wife, who she still thinks is suspicious. Before we can get into it more, Drunkie Howser appears and explains that the hooves are from a goat, not a demon. Also, the cat died in a different location, possibly from old age, and was stabbed after: the blood writing next to it? That was from a person.
Next, Eddie also shares some new info: there’s a door in the original building plans that doesn’t fit the modern design. Could someone have snuck in? Maybe an ex member? Conveniently, there’s one who might fit the bill: a young woman who used to work at a nightclub owned by Magic Man, was a patient of both conjurers: the psychiatrist victim, and Grandad Conjurer, who’s a brain surgeon. Concerning! This young woman has completely disappeared, and seems like a good lead, so Drunkie Howser and Citra go to check out the club for info about her while Eddie and Euro Cash return to the scene of the crime to look for a hidden door. They guys actually find it pretty quickly, and end up in a spooky dark hallway where they come across some goat hooves, a costume, and other materials almost definitely dumped by the killer.
At the club, Drunkie Howser and Citra find Granddaughter and Magic Man sitting together in a booth, and Citra cuts right to the point: what do they know about Missing Member? Magic Man says she never really fit in, and then left. The guy who called the cops, who also happens to be a server at the club and is passing by during this interaction, adds that he never new Missing Member. But Granddaughter? She’s got thoughts: Missing Member was nice but misguided. Magic Man adds even more info: Missing Member was very close with both conjurers, and was having an affair with the victim, which is already damning based on their age difference before you factor in the fact that he was her psychiatrist. Info gathered, Drunkie Howser suggests they stay and watch the suspects, while having some tequila, and Citra somewhat reluctantly agrees.
And while the team is making so much progress on the case, something much worse is happening with Grandad Conjurer. At the hospital, he’s somehow gotten ahold of a syringe. Later, he starts to fall apart, muttering to himself and slamming his head against the wall hard enough to draw blood. Blood which he uses to draw the magic square on the walls of his hospital room. And when someone comes in to check on him, he attacks, stealing their keys and making his escape. What the heck is going on with Grandad Conjurer? Is Angelique actually magic? And who killed the first victim, really? We’ll just have to wait for next week’s season finale to find out!