Ring of Fire

Part 1

by Chris

We see Gail preparing for bed. She picks up the picture of her and her parents in front of the Guardina building and says, "I know I promised not to leave without answers. I'm sorry, I don't have the strength." Then she goes over to the window and closes her hand around the key she's wearing around her neck. She has a vision of a covered baby carriage. She walks up and lifts the cover, and sees a boy inside. He tells her to use her instincts and dig deeper. "Don't let me hang in this limbo forever." She doesn't understand what he means and reaches for him, but a puff of fire emits the carriage, and she finds herself back in her room. As she closes the window, she sees Lucas Buck outside, looking up at her.

The next morning Gail goes through the library's newspaper archives, trying to find some evidence connecting Lucas with her parent's death. The librarian sees what she is trying to do, but tells her that she won't find anything in old newsclips. "The secret history of the south is hidden (written?) in blood, genealogy, family."

Gail goes to Lucas' house, struggling against the strong wind. The front door is locked, but she can enter through a back door. She takes a step or two up the stairs, but then stops, as if something terrible would be waiting for her above, and goes back, opening a door and finding a library/living room. Stuffed raven and a skull look on as she starts rummaging through a secretary. When she takes out a piece of paper a big hairy spider is sitting on, Buck grabs her and slams her against the wall. "And you thought you found the smoking gun?" He asks her what kind of journalism school she went through to think he'd keep something incriminating in an unlocked desk. She says she wants the truth about her parent's death, and she willl get it in some way. He says if she wants the truth all she has to do is ask and say please, and he'll be happy to tell her. But Gail just leaves.

She asks Caleb if he wants to go to Charleston with her, and they talk about the city a bit, then she hugs him fiercely. "What's the matter, cuz?" he asks. She asks him if he knew why she came. To look after him, he says, and she's doing a real good job, so if she has to leave... which she answers with a fierce, "No!". She says that of course taking care of him was a part of it, but she also came to find out about her parent's death. Caleb asks her if she suspected Lucas Buck, and she says
yes. Caleb shocks Gail by saying he'd surely be capable of it. When she asks him who told him, he answers after a long pause, "My sister told me. She's gone now too."

Gail calls the Sheriff's department and asks for Lucas Buck - spitting the "Buck". She says you win, I'm asking. Please.

Selena is at home, lighting candles for a romantic dinner for two, when someone knocks. "Must be my backdoor man." But instead it's only Ben, who'd been sent by Lucas to tell her he couldn't come. Selena gives him a return message, flustering Ben. After he leaves she throws her wine glass on the wall, furious.

At the restaurant. (Forgive me if I am too elaborate with this scene, but it's one of my faves of all the series!) Lucas receives Gail in his usual black jeans, a black vest and white shirt (swooon!). He offers her a seat and pours her wine, unsettling her quite a bit. At that moment we hear Selena's voice: "Now isn't this the tender moment?" She makes a remark about Lucas' "strange taste" and drops a hors d'oeuvre into his wine, then leaves. Lucas tells Gail not to pay any attention to her, to which she answers that Selena's just in love. Lucas only smirks and tells her to ask her questions. She puts her little tape recorder on the table and starts asking when he found the bodies of her parents and if he was alone at the time, but doesn't get far with it. He asks her if she will trust him, and she asks why she should. "How about you and I stop playing games? You said you wanted the truth. Well, I'll give it to you." Gail nods, "Okay, so give." "I don't actually give, I deal. Are you ready to make a deal?" "And then what, you own my soul?" Lucas leans forward. "I don't want your soul." G: "I decide what I give. And when." L: "Then I'll take that as a yes. Give me your hand." She does, and feels something change. He tells her to close her eyes. She struggles against it. "Try to be still" he says. She says she can't. "Let it go", he says, once, then repeatedly. She finally lets go, and finds herself in her family's summer house. Her mother is hiding a bundle of letters in a music box, and the music box too. Then a man appears and slaps her, Gail shouts "No!" and awakes in the restaurant. She mumbles something that she can't do this, and leaves in a hurry.

Gail goes to bed, though for what reason she had to be naked eludes me... especially since she always wore something the other times we saw her in bed. She wakes up in the morning and drives to the graveyard. She tells her parents she knows about her promise to find out about their deaths. "If that means trusting Lucas Buck, opening myself to him... I don't have the strength." She lays down a single yellow rose when suddenly arms shoot out of the earth and hold her down. The heads of her parent's corpses come up and demand she find out who killed them. Gail wakes up with a start.

Next another of my favourite scenes: we see Gail and Matt sit on the porch (of the boarding house?), a very intimate moment, and Matt asks her, "You're using him as some sort of a psychic tour guide?" She insists she knows what she's doing, and he cites the Spanish mystics: Those who seek the truth run the risk of being consumed by heavenly fire. G: "I don't think we're talking about heaven here." M: "No we're not." At that moment Lucas appears to take Gail with him. "You be careful" Matt calls after her, then they drive off in the Crown Vic.

Caleb comes around the corner on his bike, and when he sees them together in Buck's car stops and spits on the street. He throws a look at Matt, who looks off after the CV, and then drives on.

Lucas and Gail drive to the summer house of the Emory's, and Gail is surprised to find everything as it was. She storms out of the car, but miraculously when she arrives at the porch Lucas is already standing there. He tells her to be careful: "You may know what you're looking for, but you never know what you gonna find."

Inside, Gail is looking for the music box her mother had hidden in her vision, but doesn't find it. She searches through the bookshelf, and eventually throws it over. Behind it, taped to the wall, she finds a big envelope and opens it. When she reads it Lucas watches at her with that concentrated look of his - getting information from her? - and says, "It's about the beating ain't it?" Gail assumes that he'd been the one to beat her mother, and starts pummeling him. He takes it and tells her to "stay with him", and eventually she cries in his arms.

More later!


1 Pilot2 A Tree Grows in Trinity3 Eye of the Beholder4 Damned if You Don't5 Dead to the World6 Potato Boy7 Meet the Beetles8 Strong Arm of the Law9 To Hell and Back10 The Beast Within11 Rebirth12 Ring of Fire12 Resurrector14 Inhumanitas15 Plague Sower16 Dr. Death Takes a Holiday17 Learning to Crawl18 Echo of Your Last Goodbye19 Triangle20 Strangler21 The Buck Stops Here22 Requiem

Buck MansionTrinity NewsWho Am I Floyd?Let Your Conscience Be Your GuideThe Joy of a Thousand TrumpetsTrinity Museum of (Un)Natural HistoryThere's No Such Thing as 'They' in TrinityTrail MixJohnson BridgeContact Chris

1. August 2002