This one starts with Pete and Myka doing some housekeeping at the Warehouse. They use a jade elephant that once belonged to Vyasa (author of the Vedas) to trap random balls of electricity that course through the Warehouse aisles. Once the elephant absorbs the electricity, Pete redirects it into a Ghostbusters style backpack to contain it. They’re doing okay until four electrical bursts come at once. Pete catches them all, but the elephant can’t hold all that power and a couple of bolts discharge, hitting some books on the shelves. One of the books explodes, showering Pete and Myka with blank pages, and when the rain of paper ends they find they’re in black and white and dressed like it’s the 1940s. Pete immediately suspects time travel, but Myka’s not convinced. (Myka: “No, no, it’s not time travel; the 1940s were in colour, much like the rest of history.”)
They quickly figure out they’re in a detective agency in Chicago, but can’t figure out how they got there. Myka examines the pages still clutched in her hands and sees the book that exploded was called “Kiss Me Forever” by Anthony Bishop. Myka’s a huge fan of Bishop, who was a writer of hard-boiled detective fiction, but never finished his last book; that would explain why the manuscript pages in the Warehouse were blank. She also says Bishop went crazy from writer’s block and killed himself … which is probably what turned his unfinished manuscript into an artifact. Back in the real world, Claudia and Steve are worried about Artie, who’s still depressed about his evil side killing Leena. They find a possible artifact mystery (classic cars are disappearing) to engage Artie’s curiosity, but when he tries to go investigate on his own, Claudia has to talk him into letting them tag along.
In the Forties, things go all Maltese Falcon as a slinky blonde (played by slinky Missi Pyle) comes in to hire Pete. She says her name is Rebecca Carson and she wants Pete to find her missing husband, Oliver. He’s an archaeologist who found a special artifact on his last dig—a jade elephant said to have magic powers—and now he’s disappeared. Pete and Myka figure this must be part of Anthony Bishop’s unfinished story, so if they want to get back to the real world they’ll have to solve the mystery and find the jade elephant. In the real world, Artie, Claudia, and Steve check out a rare auto dealership that has a bunch of the stolen models for sale. The sales manager (Amy) runs the usual spiel on them, but they only want the owner. He tries to pretend his cars are legit, but Artie uses a Tesla to blast the water cooler and says he’ll destroy all the cars next. The owner admits he has someone stealing rare cars for him, but he’s never met the guy; he makes a request and the guy calls to say where he can pick the car up. Steve suggests they tempt the thief with Artie’s car, a 1964 Mercedes 230 SL.
In the Forties, Pete and Myka check out Carson’s office, while arguing over the merits of Anthony Bishop’s novels versus cheesy noir films. Pete’s getting into the whole scene, narrating like a Chandler novel, but Myka’s kinda enjoying being trapped in her favourite writer’s world too. At Carson’s office, they’re surprised by thugs and Pete gets decked. They wake up tied to chairs in the Indigo Club, a very noirish nightspot. The owner, Caspian Barnabas (a rather portly fellow … I guess he’s the Sydney Greenstreet character), is also looking for Carson. Myka notices the bartender at the club watching them closely, but he leaves right away.
Myka knows Barnabas must be after the jade elephant, which impresses him to no end. (Barnabas: “You’re quite astute, for a woman.”; Myka: “Well, I went to college.”) Myka gives him a lesson in equal rights when she points out that his goons shouldn’t have gone easy on her because she’s a woman. She busts loose and kicks the shit out of the thugs, holding Barnabas at gunpoint. He admits he hired Carson to find the jade elephant but Carson kept it. Since Barnabas already paid him, he figures the elephant belongs to him. He offers them a c-note as a retainer to find Carson, which Myka accepts much to Pete’s surprise. She says they need something to live on while they’re stuck there.
They check Carson’s office, looking for something Barnabas’s thugs might have missed. Myka finds a meta-clue, one that nobody inside the story would recognize; a matchbook for a hotel called the Kristie Ann, which was the name of Anthony Bishop’s mother. They check out the hotel and Pete uses the c-note to bribe the desk clerk. (Myka: “Pete, it’s the Forties, you could’ve bribed him with five dollars.”) They find an erased name in the ledger and Pete uses a trick he saw in an old movie to raise the name … Augustus Pitt Rivers, which Myka recognizes as the name of a real archaeologist. Since Carson’s an archaeologist, they figure it must be an alias. As they head upstairs, lights flicker, making them think the jade elephant must be nearby. In Carson’s room, they find a body and an open window. Pete sees someone fleeing down the alley and almost gets zapped by a bolt from the elephant. Pete assumes the fugitive was Carson, but it turns out Carson is the dead guy on the floor … which means they not only have to find the elephant to end the story, they also have to solve a murder.
In the real world, Claudia and Steve put Artie’s Mercedes on a website to attract the thief’s attention. Artie’s not happy about using his baby (he’s named the car “Scarlett”) as bait, but they don’t have much choice. Claudia has come up with a way to track the car if it’s stolen, but Artie shorts out the tracker while messing with one of Claudia’s Tesla grenades. In the Forties, Pete and Myka go to tell Mrs. Carson that her husband is dead. If you’ve ever seen a noir, you know what happens next … yeah, the blonde that hired them wasn’t really Carson’s wife. The real Rebecca Carson (a brunette) tells them her husband took off with all her money after meeting some peroxide blonde at the Indigo Club. Pete and Myka go to check things out and see a few familiar faces: not only is Barnabas there, the same bartender who was around earlier is present and he’s still giving them the stinkeye. They also find the blonde (her real name is Lily) singing onstage. The bartender seems fascinated by Lily, but as soon as she sees Pete and Myka she tries to take off. They grab her before she gets away and she admits she lied about being Carson’s wife, but swears she didn’t kill him.
Lily says she owes Barnabas and he forced her to get close to Carson. Pete asks if she banged him and she slaps him. Lily says she felt bad for Carson and hired Pete to protect him, but she already has a guy and they’re going to get out of town together and live happily ever after. In the real world, Claudia is still trying to fix the tracker when the thief shows up to steal Artie’s car. She climbs into the trunk and when the thief takes off, Artie jumps in front of the car. Luckily for him, the thief is using some kind of artifact to render the car intangible, so it goes right through Artie and the wall of the parking garage. Steve asks Artie if he’s crazy, jumping in front of the car like that, but Artie says nobody else is dying on his watch. Claudia has fixed the tracker, so Steve and Artie start following the car.
In the Forties, Pete gets a mysterious note that gets Myka all worked up. When they go into the alley to meet the guy who wrote the note, it’s the bartender … but Myka realizes he’s also Anthony Bishop because the writing on the note is the same as the writing on the title page of his final story. Bishop (played by Enrico Colantoni) says he found himself inside the novel after his wife died and he tried to write through his grief. He got stuck and his sadness ended up pulling him into the book. When Pete and Myka say they’re trying to solve the mystery, Bishop tells them to leave it alone and threatens them with a gun. Pete realizes Lily is based on Bishop’s wife and he doesn’t want to lose her again. Bishop admits he loves Lily and says he can’t bring himself to kill them, but he’ll do everything he can to stop them from solving the case.
Pete and Myka go back in the club to look for Barnabas, who’s their last lead to the elephant. Turns out he left after making a phone call. Pete sweet talks the operator into letting him know what Barnabas talked about. (Pete: “Charm is timeless.”; Myka: “Or women just got smarter.”) In the real world, the thief takes Artie’s car back to a garage that has a few other classic cars inside. Claudia gets out of the trunk and sees the thief was wearing some gloves; she figures they’re the artifact, but before she can grab them the thief surprises her, knocking her Tesla out of her hand. The thief turns out to be Amy, from the car dealership.
In the Forties, Pete and Myka go to Barnabas’s meeting spot by the river, but he’s already dead. Barnabas has electrical burns, fingernail scratches, and a long brown hair on him. They realize Rebecca Carson must be the killer and they’re proved right when she jumps out and blasts Pete with the elephant. Rebecca admits she killed her husband for screwing around and killed Barnabas because he tried to take the elephant without paying. Before she can blast Myka, the sound of sirens drives her away. Myka brings Pete around with CPR and they figure Rebecca might go to Barnabas’s club to get the money she needs to skip town. At the club, Bishop and Lily are rifling the cash register and Bishop says he can get them into the safe so they can get out of town and go to Bora Bora like they always dreamed. Rebecca shows up and says if Bishop doesn’t open the safe for her, Lily is dead.
In the real world, Claudia and Amy fight and Claudia almost gets choked out, but Amy takes off (in a 1971 Chevelle) when Steve and Artie show up. Amy drives a car through the wall, but Claudia reveals she grabbed one of Amy’s driving gloves. Artie takes it, figuring if Amy can make one glove work then so can he. Artie drives through the wall in pursuit in a purple 1973 Cuda. In the Forties, Myka and Pete show up to find Rebecca holding Lily hostage with the elephant. They’re ready to challenge her, but Bishop shows up and says he’ll kill them to save Lily, even if it means letting Rebecca go. Lily is just like his real-life wife, saying she wouldn’t let him hurt someone to save her. Bishop grabs Lily and Pete jumps Rebecca, but she knocks him down the stairs. Myka shoots Rebecca, who falls over the railing and sprawls out on the floor like the cover of a Spillane novel.
In the real world, Claudia tells Artie the driving gloves belonged to Carey Loftin (stunt driver on movies like Bullitt and Vanishing Point) who was famous for getting all his stunts in one take and never crashing. Artie figures Loftin must’ve used the gloves to render the cars he was driving untouchable. But Artie quickly realizes the gloves only work once per car, which means he and Amy can crash now. He corners Amy and they end up facing each other. They play a game of chicken and Amy swerves at the last minute, blowing a tire. So everything worked out okay, but Claudia and Steve are worried that Artie seems to have a death wish.
In the Forties, Pete uses the elephant to open a portal in the fog which should lead back to the real world. Myka claims Casablanca stole the “walking off into the fog” ending from Bishop. Bishop says goodbye to Lily and prepares to return with them, but Myka says she doesn’t know what’ll happen if he goes back to reality. Bishop says one more second with Lily is a happier ending than a lifetime without her and decides to stay. Pete and Myka go through the portal and find themselves back in the Warehouse with the elephant. Myka notices that the previously blank pages of Bishop’s last manuscript are now full of writing, meaning she and Pete finished the story.
Later, Steve (who’s been keeping an eye on Artie for the Regents) tells Kosan about Artie’s reckless behaviour and Kosan says the Regents have been concerned too. He tells Steve they’ll have to do something, but refuses to say what exactly. Pete and Myka read Bishop’s story, the final page of which confirms that Bishop and Lily made it to Bora Bora after all. Myka thinks that’s a strange ending for a gritty crime drama and Pete says maybe that’s why Bishop got stuck … he didn’t know he was writing a love story.