Last episode, Artie saved the world by turning back time with Magellan’s astrolabe to keep the Warehouse from being destroyed. The astrolabe’s keeper, Brother Adrian (played by Brent Spiner), told Artie if he used it he’d create an evil that would follow him the rest of his life. When Claudia took off with the magic metronome to bring Steve back from the dead, Artie wondered if that was part of the “evil” Adrian mentioned … especially after Artie had a dream about Claudia stabbing him.
This one opens in Philadelphia, with a couple of nerds at a diner having a spirited debate about who’s stronger, Klingons or Vulcans. (Turns out it’s Vulcans and they have the stats to back it up.) A dude in a baseball cap walks through the diner and out the emergency exit, which he chains from the outside. Moments later, everyone in the diner sees a freaky C’thulhu-spawn monster coming through the front door. They freak out and try to run, but the door is chained from outside, so they grab improvised weapons—brooms, plates, knives—to fight the monster. After losing their collective shit on the monster, the cops show up and settle them down. Turns out there was no monster, just a friend who was supposed to meet the other two nerds at the diner, and he’s almost dead from the beating.
At the boardinghouse, Pete and Myka want to help Claudia, but Artie says he’ll find her while they go check out this monster attack in Philadelphia. Artie’s already nervous about Brother Adrian’s warning and Claudia’s disappearance, so he almost shits a brick when Adrian shows up at the patio doors. Adrian knows about the Warehouse (“As I said, I work for the Vatican and we know an awful lot of things about an awful lot of things.”) and asks Artie’s help in finding a lost object. Adrian tells Artie about Magellan’s astrolabe and the unspecified evil that’s been unleashed, while Artie tries to pretend he doesn’t already know. Artie almost gives himself away, arguing that whoever used the astrolabe must’ve had a good reason, but Adrian insists the evil has t be eradicated by the same person using the astrolabe again to restore things to the way they were. Artie doesn’t like that idea, but promises to do everything he can to find the astrolabe. Meanwhile, Claudia is casing out the Regent facility where Steve’s body is being kept.
In Philadelphia, Pete and Myka talk to all the witnesses (or aggressors) at the diner, but can’t figure out what kind of artifact could make multiple people have the same hallucination. Myka is freaked out by the description of the monster—apparently, she has a tentacle phobia. No hentai for her, I guess. She and Pete decide to close the diner down to keep anyone else from having homicide-inducing hallucinations. But nothing’s ever that easy. At a dentist’s office across town, the same thing happens; some guy walks in and everyone—the patients, the dentist, the nurse—sees him as a C’thulhu-esque monster. They attack him and the nurse shoves him out the window and he falls to the street below. We see the same dude in the baseball cap from the diner staring at the guy splattered on the sidewalk.
At the Regent facility, Claudia fakes her way past a guard by dressing like a Long Island tart (at least that’s what she looks like to me; I guess she’s supposed to be some kind of classy businesswoman or something). She quickly changes to scrubs and heads for the morgue, where she zaps a guard with a booby-trapped security pass. The first guard gets wise and comes after her, but before she can Tesla him Artie shows up and drags her off for a good talking-to.
At the dentist’s office, Pete and Myka are getting nowhere; the victims of the hallucinations didn’t all touch anything that could be an artifact and none of them went to the diner. The description of the monster is somewhat different this time, but there are overall similarities and Pete figures the tentacles are important. Myka gets freaked out every time he mentions tentacles. (Pete: “Man, it’s like Indiana Jones with snakes.”; Myka: “Yes it is … I don’t know what that means, but it is.”) Myka calls Leena to see if there have been any more reports of freaky hallucinations.
At the Regent facility, Artie gives Claudia shit, saying that using an artifact for personal reasons is a slippery slope and she might wind up like MacPherson, or Wells, or Sykes. Claudia asks if he wouldn’t use an artifact to undo a huge stupid disaster and of course, he can’t deny that he would (since he already has), but still doesn’t want her to revive Steve. Jane shows up and says the Regents have agreed to let Claudia bring Steve back. Artie freaks out, saying it’s wrong and it could unleash something terrible. I think he’s projecting a bit, but Jane says the decision has been made. She warns Claudia that she isn’t putting her job on the line so much as her life.
Back in Philadelphia, a woman returns home and the dude with the baseball cap comes up to tell her she dropped her key, handing her an old silver key. She says it’s not hers and gives it back before heading inside. When her husband sees her, she looks like a C’thulhu monster and he loses his shit. Leena intercepts the husband’s 911 call and lets Pete and Myka know, so they head over. (The cops assumed the guy was drunk and told him to sleep it off.) When they get to the house, the guy has his wife locked in the hall closet and he’s brandishing a shotgun. Pete and Myka try to talk him down and get a look inside the closet, but he’s still hallucinating, so Myka has to deck him. When they open the closet, they see the wife inside, crying hysterically but obviously not a monster.
Back at the boardinghouse, Jane tells Claudia that reviving Steve is dangerous, so Jane will act as an anchor. Claudia puts one hand on the metronome and one hand on Steve’s heart. Jane tells her to concentrate and places her own hand over Claudia’s. Meanwhile, Artie’s in Univille trying to get more info from Brother Adrian about the evil that’s released by using the astrolabe. Adrian says it’s unique each user, but it’ll cut through their heart like a dagger. Artie asks if a resurrection could trigger the evil and Adrian says anything is possible. At the boardinghouse, Claudia revives Steve, but he’s hyperventilating and since she’s linked to him, so is she. Jane urges her to concentrate and Claudia sees herself on a featureless white plain with Steve in front of her. Jane says Steve has to come with her of his own volition, so Claudia yells until he notices her and moves toward her. When he reaches her, they both come back and Steve revives fully, wondering what the hell’s going on. Downtown, Adrian tells Artie the last time the astrolabe was used was in Revolutionary France and it unleashed the Reign of Terror. Artie says there has to be a way to stop the evil without reversing what was done with the astrolabe.
In Philadelphia, the woman tells Pete and Myka about the guy giving her the key and Pete remembers the C’thulhu comics he used to read. He figures that’s the connection and Leena confirms it, saying that Lovecraft had night terrors that he blamed on a silver key, the Key to the Gate of Dreams (which is actually from a Lovecraft story, “The Silver Key”). Myka realizes the key is the artifact but it isn’t affecting the people who are hallucinating, it affects the victims, making others see them as monsters. They head over to the diner victim’s place to look around. They find a bobble-head from a championship baseball game and Pete remembers the woman mentioning the guy with the key had on a cap from the championship game. (The teams are said to be Cincinnati and Philadelphia, but they don’t actually mention the Reds and Phillies.) Myka remembers there was a riot after that game where a woman was trampled to death and wonders if there’s a connection.
At the boardinghouse, Steve starts asking questions about everything that happened with Sykes and Marcus, and his lie-detecting ability is still spot-on. He finally realizes the metronome is in synch with his heart and figures out that he died and came back. He’s naturally a little freaked out and runs off in a huff. In Philly, Pete and Myka check video footage from the stadium riot and see that the three victims were all on tape near the victim, either ignoring her or refusing to help. They spot the victim’s fiancé, Ron Hatsell, who was begging them to help. Pete figures Ron must blame them for his fiancée dying, so he’s using the key so others will see them as monsters the same way he does. Myka notices a driver blocking the ambulance on the tape and figures there’s one more name on Ron’s hit list.
At the boardinghouse, Claudia says she’s sorry for not being up front with Steve about his return from the dead, but she refuses to apologize for bringing him back, saying she’d do it all again. (She also mentions that he was dead for 4320 minutes, which is 72 hours; seems like longer, but I guess it’s possible, especially if you include the extra 24 hours from Artie using the astrolabe.) Steve says it’ll take a while to get used to everything, but thanks Claudia for bringing him back. In Philly, Myka goes to Ron’s house, but nobody’s home. She finds a bunch of monster sculptures, as if the guy is an FX wizard for the movies or something; naturally, she’s freaked out by all the tentacles on display.
Pete goes to warn the next victim and runs into Ron. Ron takes off and Pete catches him in a nearby gymnasium. Ron puts the Lovecraft key in Pete’s hand and starts yelling for help. All the muscled-up gym rats come running, bringing improvised weapons to kill the “monster”. Myka was on the phone with Pete and comes in but she sees him as a monster too. Of course, she knows who he really is, so she ignores her tentacle loathing and shields him from the angry mob, holding them back with her Tesla. She sees Ron and goes after him, leaving Pete to face the mob. They attack him and he’s about to get chopped up with a fire-axe when Myka jumps Ron and takes the key from him, putting it in a neutralizer bag. That stops the hallucinations and saves Pete from getting the axe.
Ron is arrested and doesn’t show much remorse. He says his victims got what they deserved and should’ve been prosecuted for letting his fiancée die. He says he tried to just shoot them but couldn’t go through with it, so he got the key (which he’d heard about at a Horror Con) and figured he’d make them pay second-hand. Pete says he wants to feel sorry for Ron but can’t; Myka’s a bit more charitable, saying she gets how grief and anger can make people do terrible things. Back at the Warehouse, Claudia finds a pissed-off Kosan waiting for her. Apparently Jane didn’t have official permission to revive Steve, it was her own idea. I guess Claudia’s tirade a couple episodes back really hit home. Kosan’s not happy, saying Steve is linked to the metronome and the Warehouse for life, and if using the metronome ends up having dire consequences, the Regents will do whatever they have to in order to protect the world. At the boardinghouse, everyone’s thrilled to see Steve back. Artie gets a ping about an artifact that turns out to be a dagger … the same dagger Claudia stabbed him with in his nightmare. Pete knows something’s up, but Artie refuses to talk about it.