The Dresden Files
A young boy approaches Harry on the street, asking him to help with the monsters he's scared of, and amazingly producing 5000 dollars for payment! Harry blows it off, but Bob the ghost insists he should at least do a little checking, and so Harry enlists the aid of some woman who can check the council records - she's a bit like the records woman from Wolfram and Hart, able to look up all the details just by rolling her eyes back and looking. Anyway, no details, but the boy sees a winged man at school and runs back to Harry, who this time at least buys the story.
So, to the kid's house, where he gives him a protection ward to block his bedroom door with. He also has a run in with the kid's teacher, who's mysteriously affected by the ward. Unfortunately, the kid's snatched from his bedroom that evening, by the winged man, who doesn't seem to be affected by said ward, having put one of his own over the door sometime earlier! Meanwhile, Morgan calls Harry to a crime scene where a woman's been skinned in her living room - no blood, no skin, still fully dressed - and worryingly for Harry, the dead woman is the school teacher. Cue monologue about big supernatural bad thing, a skinwalker.
Harry has a lead on the kid's location - a raven feather taken from the house - but before he can use it to track down the kid, the council records flunky turns up to break all his wards so the skinwalker can get to him... but the flunky gets taken out first, so that was bad planning on her part! Skinwalker tortures Harry for information, and Bob cracks and tells her about the feather - but they do find out the skinwalker is working for somebody, and she wasn't intending to kill Harry. So, without the feather, they have to rely on the fact that the kid's adopted to track the Ravens, leading to an abandoned church.
Harry resorts to Bob's 'doombox' thingammy-whatsit, turns up and talks the Ravens into letting the boy go, gives the doombox to the skinwalker when she turns up, who gets zapped and killed. Cue long-shot of Harry's allegedly dead uncle, clearly the man behind the curtain, driving away. Then Harry gets to give the boy's adoptive mother a few cryptic hints about how the boy's 'special' and to call him if anything odd happens.
Harry's investigating a ghost, or at least, an antique dealer who thinks his daughter is haunting the store where she died. Initially, Harry's skeptical, until he gets thrown around the room reliving her death, and the robbery of an egyptian artifact. So, is she there for vengeance on her killer? Probably not, considering he was subsequently killed by his own shotgun in a bad carjacking attempt. The guy whose car was being hijacked, Miller, a rich guy who collects Egyptiana, is particularly unhelpful, but Harry manages to get a look at a tattoo he has on his neck - looks like an Egyptian naming glyph, one of those oval things with hieroglyphs in it that give someone's name.
Anyway, said rich guy complains to the police about Harry harassing him, so Murphy pulls him in for a stern talking to. Harry takes the opportunity to ask lots of questions about the robbery and the dead robber, Boone. Back with the antique dealer, and it turns out there was someone else interested in the artifact that was stolen (and subsequently smashed), a prisoner at the same prison that Boone was in. So Harry treks out to the prison to have a word with him - turns out he was Boone's cellmate, and he's the expert on Egyptian stuff. He even has a tattoo just like Miller's.
Of course, Harry jumps to the wrong conclusion, that the prisoner and Miller are somehow in it together, but why does the prisoner want to see Boone's autopsy pictures? And why, if Boone had an identical tattoo to his cellmate, does the guy they autopsied not have one? Murphy takes Harry to see Miller, on the pretense of formally apologising on behalf of the police force, but instead, her and Harry get to put the squeeze to Miller, giving Dresden enough time to work out what happened. Except, Boone then takes the opportunity to do it again - switching bodies at the point of death that is; this time from Miller to Murphy.
So how does Harry get Boone out of Murphy without killing her? Start with a voodoo doll, at least to get the bad guy's attention, and then lure him away from his potential meeting with a rich Vegas guy (clearly his next bodyhopping target) with threats of having the mystical artifact and being able to undo what was done. Cue weak fight scene, followed by Boone getting zapped, Murphy passing out and subsequently forgetting everything, and antique dealer's daughter passing over. Oh, and these episodes are clearly out of order, what with this being the "Don't lie to me again" speech from Murphy.
A very abbreviated version of Book 2, Fool Moon, with werewolves and FBI agents. They're on a TV budget, so they cut out the super-werewolf and his hot girlfriend, and instead concentrate on a much smaller story - dead woman found in the park, with her canines and hair removed, and traces of silver in her lungs. Dresden does some checking, but doesn't get very far, until he manages to talk the dead girl's roommate into opening up to him. Seems they were at a bar, and she got a bad feeling and left, but the room mate stuck around, met some guy, and it was him that she was on a date with when she died.
Bob manages to prove that the dead girl was a lycanthrope, but this being the 8th in a string of murders across several states pulls in the FBI. But roommate, and a spot of mirror magic, show that head FBI agent was at the bar when the dead girl was picked up. It's at this point that Dresden's interfering gets him thrown in gaol, and the roommate abducted by the FBI. A clever escape, and a chat with Bob, and we get the fact that you can cure lycanthropy if you kill 9 wolves of the same bloodline. Seems our FBI agent is biting girls, waiting for them to turn, then killing them - I guess that's one was to guarantee a cure!
And roommate is number 9 - having been bitten by the agent, she escapes from her and her assistant and runs to Harry for help. Managing to resist tearing his throat out, she gets him to help her, and they set about tracking the agents... but the agents have tracked them first. Cue weak fight scene, where FBI assistant turns out to have been bitten himself, thereby managing to get in the way and become victim number 9. Roommate resists attacking anyone, and she decides to leave town with a serum that should help her suppress her instincts - but she wants time alone to prove to herself she can make it. Harry laments...
Ah, here we are, the first episode they shot, and actual explanations about the Council, and about how mortals can't be told anything unless they already know. So how long would we have to wait in the series before Harry gets around to breaking that rule and telling Murphy everything? He cracked in the books, so he'd probably have to do so in the series at some point... Anyway, back to the story - gorgeous young woman wants Harry's help tracking a sleazeball who stole a whole bunch of money from her mother (or aunt, or some other relation I don't recall). But said sleazeball is dead, having been killed by hellfire, and Morgan's around to blame Harry for it, because that's just what Morgan does.
Murphy and Harry go to the girl's apartment, but someone else is there, a particularly vicious demony person who takes particular pleasure in tempting mortals into becoming Hellions - and he's looking for a chain. After jumping out of a window and disappearing, the girl shows up, and gets suitably interrogated by the police, before Harry gets a chance at questioning... not getting anywhere and getting fired in the bargain! So, only other lead, he and Morgan go to question demony guy, who wants his chain back - seems the girl's boyfriend was seduced and the chains of sin are what bind the hellions to the demony guy, preventing them from running amok. Boyfriend stole the chain, so now he can do what he wants.
Girl gets broken out of prison transport by the boyfriend, and Harry manages to track them down, thinking he'll save the girl (when did he take the girl's ring? I missed that bit). But the girl decides to hit him over the head with a wine bottle and stick with the guy! So, finding the chain will have to suffice - fortunately, the crispy critter from the start gave him a clue - a church - where a kindly nun returns the chain to Harry. Bob then spills that the kids were trying to break the chain, turning the hellion back into a mortal boy.
Aha - Harry can use the chain to summon the boy, persuade Morgan to help him out for once, perform the ritual, save the lovers, use Bob masquerading as the boy to trick the demony guy into thinking the boy's dead, and send them off to live a happy life in whatever the Council call witness protection. See, easy when you know how! He even has time to buy a slice of pie for Murphy!
We open on an attempted assassination - two women and their bodyguard getting attacked by some masked men with machine guns... and crossbows. Yes, it's the vampire episode, if the title hadn't given it away. The vampire in question, Bianca, did Harry a favour many years ago, pulling him out of the gutter after he "self-defenced" his uncle to death. And now she wants him to return the favour - she wants to know who tried to kill her. Unfortunately for her and Harry, the evidence points to Clive, a former Council hire, and Harry sets about tracking him down.
Unfortunately for Clive, grabbing Harry off the street for asking too many questions gets him killed - someone follows them, and Harry assumes it's Bianca. But sticking a crossbow in her face probably isn't the best plan. Harry gets interrogated by the Council, or at least their top dog, Ancient Mai, who wants Bianca, and wants some drug called Third Eye off the streets. Bianca manages to overhear the conversation, and after getting Harry to agree she's being framed, they do some digging.
A check of Clive's death gives a lead on a Black Court vampire, a Third Eye drug addict, who doesn't give them much to go on, and manages to get Bianca drugged in the process, forcing Harry to knock her out. Coming to, she reveals that her former flunky wanted to deal Third Eye, and she ran him out of town for it, but he's involved now, and she can set up a meeting. Seems he has a mysterious buyer in town - Bianca's latest flunky, who's not exactly the brightest tool in the shed, getting caught by Harry and turned over to Ancient Mai! So Bianca and Harry are even... yeah, that'll last...
Harry's meeting with a guy who keeps having premonitions that he's going to die. Problem is, just after Harry blows him off, he drops dead right there in his office. Hey look, the balding coroner actually is Butters - no polka music yet though. Anyway, seems the guy died of a heart attack, and Harry didn't get enough of the body to find a trace of magic. While he's in the midst of trying a last ditch attempt to get a read on the guy, his wife shows up, distraught, and also drops dead in his office!
So, that might entail an autopsy, except the husband has already been cremated. Except, maybe he hasn't - the ashes that are returned to the police belong to an old woman, at least if Bob can be relied on. So, find the mortician, and she gives them a lead on the coroner's assistant, an asian woman who paid her a large sum of money to lose the body. Dresden gets hold of the money, and tracks the asian woman - but instead finds the husband alive, kicking, and believing he's someone else. Harry knocks him out, takes him back to his place, and he and Bob do a little interrogating.
Bob finally realises what's going on - they weren't premonitions of his death, they were memories. The guy's been dead several times, probably for the life insurance, and the asian woman has the power to keep bringing him back, over and over again. Apparently that's really bad news. Anyway, the asian woman kills the husband for real this time, and after the police have left, sneaks back in with the wife, drugs Dresden, and carts him off to Milwaukee. Fortunately, Bob breaks lots of rules and leaves words floating in the air to give Murphy a clue - yeah, like she doesn't have questions about that...
Anyway, Harry wakes up, groggy and with little memory, and with the wife claiming to be his wife bringing him breakfast. This scene actually took place at the start of the episode before doing a 'previous 24 hours' flashback, but it's more coherent chronologically, if not quite so dramatic. So, wife brings breakfast (and a big f'in knife), but this time we know that the orange juice is seriously drugged. Fortunately, Harry's more with it that he's supposed to be and throws the juice in the wife's face. It isn't quite fast acting enough though, and she proceeds to destroy the house in an attempt to kill him, before collapsing on top of him and kissing him just as Murphy and the cavalry show up.
Asian woman gets away, Harry refuses to give up the 'writing in the air' secret, Bob warns him that the woman will be back, and confesses that the reason he has to spend eternity trapped in his own skull is that he once fell in love with a sorceress, and he was the one who brought her back, several times. Turns out the Council frown on that sort of thing, so that asian woman had better stay off their radar!
A woman comes to see Harry, but he's out, and Bob doesn't persuade her to stick around. Unfortunately for her, upon leaving, she's killed in a hit and run, right in front of Harry. And the driver of the car? Well, there appear to be two of them... drivers that is! Harry wants to find out what the girl wanted, Murphy doesn't want more nonsense - she still wants the truth out of him... pity that won't happen here. They find the car, and there's tallow in the cup holder. The only leads - a picture of the girl's friend, and a name on a post-it, "Caleb."
Following the girl's necklace to a fraternity party, Harry questions the boy in the picture (the girl's boyfriend), as well as his two very rich friends. The don't give up very much - the boyfriend was elsewhere during the hit-and-run, watching over his sick grandmother. Next stop, the girl's apartment, where Harry gets attacked by someone who escapes through a closet! Harry sets up surveillance (very painful, getting stung in the eye and ear by wasps just so he can use them to eavesdrop?) on the boys, and follows them to a bank, where one of them is cut in half by a blunt object (the wall of the bank), and Harry gets a good view of the artifact du jour, a tallow covered hand that looks suspiciously like a hand of glory.
Turns out I'm right, when Bob confirms its identity - the hand of a thief that allows the user to travel through walls; but the spirit of the thief feeds on those using it, getting stronger until he can manifest. And he's got a pretty good grip on the remaining boys, forcing them to go on a robbery spree until one of them drops dead. That just leaves the boyfriend, who Harry catches up with when he's robbing the hospital pharmacy. The boyfriend runs for it, but Harry catches up... just as the thief, Caleb, gains enough strength to manifest... pity he's made of wax though, because Harry's got his drumstick handy. The police get a pack of lies, the boyfriend's grandmother gets better, the boyfriend pleads guilty to everything, and Morgan steps in to offer him work with the Council - seems it was his talents that reactivated the hand, but they also allowed him to resist it longer than most.
This is an episode from the Mirror Universe Dresden Files. I mean, come on, Harry uses more magic in this episode than he has in the previous seven combined. He's open about it with Murphy, he effortlessly opens stuff and moves stuff around, and he doesn't need Bob to tell him how things work, he already knows it all. For that matter, where is Bob? I mean, yes, Susan finally puts in an appearance, which is nice to see, and Bianca's back, and true to the book, Harry pretty much strips her of all her beauty, so she might not be quite so friendly in future. Oh, and the cat's finally here.
So anyway, storyline mostly follows the book - girl and mobster boyfriend die in an hotel room, their hearts explode out of their chests. Morgan and Ancient Mai want answers - well, Morgan just wants to kill Dresden and get it over with, but Mai gives him time to prove it's someone else. Harry knows strong emotion is needed to pull it off, so starts with friends and family. The dead girl's best friend turns out to have died a year earlier of a drug overdose, that girl's father committed suicide, and the mother is pretty distraught. But that doesn't stop someone taking a potshot at Harry when he leaves questioning her.
Then he and Susan get attacked by a demon in his apartment. He finally manages to fry it with a lightning bolt, and catches a glimpse of a car fleeing the scene. The license plate, after a quick call to Murphy, allows him to track it down, but the driver's dead, and the last person she spoke to, was Bianca. Cue confrontation with the vampire... which leads to a fight when she won't talk. Turns out all three girls came to one of Bianca's parties - and they all got something they wanted: the last to die got Bianca, the one from the start of the episode got a mobster boyfriend, and the one who died of an overdose discovered a talent for black magic.
Except she didn't die of an overdose, she tried to summon a demon, screwed it up, and the demon killed her. Harry confronts the mother, but she doesn't have any talent of her own, which means the father must be out there somewhere. Susan's supposed to be tracking him, but isn't answering her phone, and Harry's having heart problems. Fortunately, Murphy has an address, and Harry can go out and confront the guy, and save Susan in the process. Of course, he has to go up against the demon again, but this time it's more interested in killing the father than it is Harry. But just when it decides to do the deed, Morgan rides to the rescue. So yeah, reasonably true to the book (although no Gentleman Johnny Marcone - I guess that'd be one too many side plots for a 45 minute episode) and totally unlike the rest of the series so far. So where do we go from here? Are the last four like the first 7, or like this one?
Claudia Black guest stars in an episode which returns us to the status quo. Harry's back to occasional feats of derring-magical-do, but otherwise is a harmless schlub. He's apparently not allowed to work for the police unless he gets his PI's licence, and Claudia Black is the lecturer's assistant. Harry of course, is behind in his tuition, but that all goes out of the window when the lecturer dies via magical means, and Claudia (who witnesses what she thinks is Harry killing the guy via electrocution) has to solve the crime with Harry's help.
The last case the guy was working on involved a fertility clinic, a rich nothing of a guy and his stunningly gorgeous wife who mysteriously can't get pregnant. Posing as a couple with fertility issues gets Harry and Claudia into the clinic (which sits on a bunch of lay lines, as Harry goes to great lengths to point out). Anyway, there's a hot but evil acupuncturist (is there any other kind, really?), a mysterious tea that Harry gets a sample of, and a strange circular talisman hung above the treatment table. Oh, and Harry gets a bomb through his door for his troubles (fortunately, he can trap it inside a bubble with his trusty hockey stick so the explosion doesn't harm anything).
Bob identifies the talisman as allowing transit between wherever Incubi live normally and the mortal realm. And the tea is like a mystical aphrodisiac. So clearly the clinic is a cover for incubi to impregnate women and reproduce - and the dead PI's photos back that up, one of them having trapped the incubi's offspring in the photo itself. Claudia decides to confront the acupuncturist at the rich guy's house, but as the rich guy is the incubus, she gets zapped and persuaded that killing Harry would be a good idea. And she's got a gun. Harry offers a trade - the photo for the girl, but the incubus decides taking him out would be easier.
Luckily, Harry still has his hockey stick and can block all the bullets. Then he sets fire to the photo, but the incubus dives and grabs it, and when Harry blasts him, the swirly energy thing travels through the circular talisman thing in his house and escapes. We presume at the end that Harry gets his license, and he persuades Claudia to take over from her former boss/friend, even providing a little magical assitance by changing the door lettering...
Harry's latest girlfriend steals Bob. Seems she's being paid a lot of money by someone who looks suspiciously like Harry's uncle Justin. Unfortunately for her, she left some handcuffs back at Dresden's, and Justin decides killing her would be safer. Meanwhile, the police have an anonymous tip that Justin's heart attack wasn't - that he was murdered - so Murphy spends most of the episode trying to prove Harry was involved...
Justin - well, okay, the copy of Justin who has no real powers - needs Bob to drain Harry's life energy to bring the real Justin back. Harry can't track the skull while it's shielded, so it's a good thing that once Justin's made Bob mortal again, he takes the skull out of its cage. That gives Harry the lead to his uncle's huge castle/manor house thing. Meanwhile, the police have dug up the real Justin and found suspicious marks around his heart, as if all the arteries were crushed by an outside force.
So Harry goes to the manor, Bob knock him out, then back in the morgue drains him to bring Justin back. Justin does away with the copy, and then Bob shows his true colours and kills the real Justin. Of course, it kills Bob again in the process. With the copy in place of the real Justin, there's no suspicious marks around the heart, so Harry's off the hook for murder. He and Murphy have a heart-to-heart about the deaths of his father and uncle, and how she can't live in his world full of black magic.
Not a bad episode - ties up some loose ends, continues the Murphy sliding into depression storyline that played out in the books - is she going to have to get attacked by a giant plant monster in a Walmart and defend herself with a chainsaw? We've only got two more episodes - it's possible they were saving that for season 2! Anyway, flashback heavy episode - we see the death of his father, we see how he self-defenced Justin, but we don't really find out what Justin's big plans for the Council were.
Harry's trying some yoga when Murphy shows up - there was an explosion of green fire nearby and she wants his help. Unfortunately for them, Morgan, three trainee Wardens, and a severely injured Ancient Mai show up before the building is surrounded by a big black cloud. The cloud is stuff from the other side, and as one of the trainees finds out, wants to lure you in with images of dead friends and kill you.
Murphy gets quite the explanation in this episode, against the wishes of Morgan and Mai, but it's difficult to keep things secret from her at this point. There appears to be no way through the cloud, and zapping it with lightbeams doesn't work. According to the wards on the place, whatever is causing it must have been done from the inside, so Harry sets Bob to spying, although that doesn't get very far. Harry's shield bracelet could be modified to get people through, but they don't know how thick it is, so Bob gets sent on a scouting expedition.
Bob finally makes it back, informing them that it isn't a barrier, someone's transported the whole store to the other side. Harry's father shows up to persuade him to kill everyone inside, but another ghost must have got to one of the trainees first, as he goes berserk and tries to kill everyone - before Murphy puts a bullet through his heart! Harry manages to work out that Mai was the one who moved the shop, but she's unable to heal because something's making her sick. But the only way that could happen is if he invited it in.
Cue the big reveal, Murphy isn't Murphy, she's really a dragon. Mai's holding back the black stuff, so Harry makes her sicker so it'll close in and swallow up the dragon. Then the remaining wizards can help her heal to get them back home. Of course, this all does tend to imply that Mai is a dragon... Back in the real world, Murphy (presumably the real, unknowing Murphy) shows up to see Harry (who shows some common sense and doesn't introduce her to Morgan and Mai), and the two of them head out for lunch.
A man drowns on a snow-covered street, the victim of a guy with a branding iron. Harry and Murphy are out drinking when the call comes in and Murphy seems to be taking some heat with the rest of the cops over her unorthodox consultant. Harry's thinking about pulling back and letting her go back to working alone. Anyway, dead guy, former gang member, so wonder-cop Munzer is called in - he's the expert on gang crimes - and he's got his faithful reporter friend tagging along. Oh, and just to give the episode that extra emotional moment, Murphy's father is in town...
Fortunately, the guy with the branding iron was caught on camera and Harry can use Murphy's sunglasses and some ant vomit to track him - at least until he gets in a car, when the ant vomit needs an extra magical kick - a strong emotional charge - and when Murphy won't slap him, he kisses her. Then she slaps him! Unfortunately, the reporter gets the kiss on camera. Anyway, they track the hooded guy to an apartment where they find the branding iron and a scrapbook about people getting second chances in life. The killer's there though and gets away with the iron and several pages from the book... oh, and several bullets from Murphy's gun!
Murphy gets thrown off the case due to the photo, and her usual partner gets to take over, with Munzer's help. They find a heart medicine tablet at the apartment and arrest Murphy's father for the killings. He's got an airtight alibi though. Harry thinks it's the reporter, but when confronting him in his office, discovers Munzer's quite the lucky man, surviving many things that'd kill a normal guy. So obviously Munzer's the killer - using other people's second chances for himself. And after Murphy's shooting, he's going to need another victim.
Fortunately, a GPS trace on his mobile phone gets them to where he's trying to kill a waitress. He makes a run for it when the waitress decides she'd rather fight Harry than be rescued. And he gets another chance to get his latest victim when Murphy's father tries to stop him - Murphy saved him from a heart attack once, so now, being branded, he has to go through it again. Harry gets thrown around the room a bit until the father dies and Murphy gets Munzer at gunpoint. Luckily for her, Harry can use the iron to bring her father back, and prevent her from shooting Munzer. Her father makes his peace with Harry, Murphy's back in the good graces of the department due to collaring Munzer, and she's decided she's not going to slap Harry any more...