Wednesday, January 12, 2011
When Leah arrives at the Figueroa Street Denny’s, Clark is already sitting in a booth. He looks somewhat out of place, wearing a trenchcoat and fedora. He has a milkshake sitting on the table. When Leah slides into the booth, the server comes around; she just orders tea. He asks what she called about, and she explains about her missing father and his missing secretary. He indicates he is familiar with the story. She has heard that Clark might be able to help her find them. He explains that he might be able to track them down, but it is probably just easier for him to call them. If he wished, he could have Leah’s father come into this Denny’s right now. She seems somewhat uncomfortable, saying that sounds too easy, that there’s always a price to these sorts of things. Clark says he has already paid the price, and it only seems easy because she doesn’t see the work. However, he’ll demand a price of her. He has something of an art project in mind, something that requires people to enact film tropes in real life without being aware of the tropes themselves or the manipulation that brings them to this eventuality. He’s been thinking of attempting to arrange a meetcute, although that is probably not terribly feasible, as he would have to find someone gullible enough to fall for it and ignorant of the trope. Leah agrees to help him, and asks if he would be able to teach her magic, at least a little to survive in this world. Clark recommends she find her own obsession, but yes, if she’s willing to help him with his project, something can be arranged. She says she’ll think about ideas to help him, and the two of them will be in touch.
Before they part, Leah makes smalltalk as well, asking about the American Café. He says he’s owned it for a couple of years, and it’s been the underground hangout since Mondo Video A-Go-Go closed years ago. He and his brother run it, although his brother is unaware of the occult underground; he primarily runs the day shift.
Kevin, having finished his meeting with Edna and contacted Jones about what she said, returns home. He is alarmed to see an unfamiliar black hatchback parked outside his house, and so snoops around his house to try to catch a glimpse of whomever is inside. Fortunately, it turns out the uninvited houseguest is Mabel, currently sitting inside talking to Felicia and Otis, so he goes in. Otis asks Kevin where he’s been hiding Mabel, and over small talk, she asks how he’s doing — pointedly, and likely referencing last night’s fiasco. He says he’s fine. The quartet hangs out for a while, although at one point Kevin manages catch to talk to Mabel alone and tells her to look after Felicia when she’s around, given her apparent history with self-harm. She says she will. Otherwise, the afternoon continues without incident until Mabel takes her leave.
Once she is gone, Kevin decides to go pay a visit to the astrologer, Dr. Soto. He takes his maps with him. Arriving at the observatory, he gains audience with Dr. Soto by indicating he has a delivery for him. Once back at Soto’s office, Kevin indicates he has these maps that lead to some manner of Otherspace. He is curious if Dr. Soto would be able to decipher them, and in return, he would be willing to explore this realm as an emissary of the King’s Court. Dr. Soto says he will need time to look over the maps; would Kevin be able to leave them with Dr. Soto, and he’ll call him first thing in the morning? Kevin agrees, and they exchange contact information.
Jones, growing restless, decides to go into work to check something. Once he arrives at LAX, he sits in the parking lot for a long time, debating whether or not he’ll go in. He finally decides to do so, although he ends up running into his supervisor, Dan Ibarra. Dan is very surprised to see him, and asks how he’s doing. After talking briefly, Dan lets him go, but says he wanted to ask him about something in February — since they work Sundays, Dan and his wife do Superbowl Monday, and they’d love for Jones to come.
Once he extricates himself from that situation, Jones starts going through records to try to see when Jasper Fitzroy may have come through. He finds his private jet left, although he was not officially on it — instead, a “Roy Krall” was listed as the passenger. According to the records, Roy Krall takes the flight to Medellín, Colombia. From there, he boards a passenger plane traveling to Panama City to Madrid to Algiers. Jones then gains access to security footage of that time, and sees Jasper, dressed in street clothes and wearing sunglasses and a ball cap, waiting in the terminal. He appears to be waiting for someone, and waits until his plane is about to leave before he finally boards. Whomever he might be awaiting never arrives. Once finished, Jones manages to sneak back out of work without incident, and returns to his hotel.
Once at his hotel, Jones calls the airport in Medellín to ask about the flight. He confirms that it arrived and the subsequent flight departed at the appropriate times, evidently with Roy Krall on board.
The next morning, Kevin receives a call from Dr. Soto, saying he’d like to meet again. When Kevin arrives at the observatory, a security guard lets him enter, and he goes back to Dr. Soto’s office. The astrologer indicates these maps are a little outside his purview, as they’re less star charts and more impressionistic, like old Japanese maps — less about precise directions and more a record of landmarks along the way. He did, however, note that there’s a maker’s mark belonging to Old Hippie Tom. He also says this appears to be quite the find, and he’ll bring Kevin’s proposition to the King’s Court.
Later in the morning, Jones calls Leah to let her know he’s found some things, and they make arrangements to meet that morning at Bex’s. When Jones lets Kevin know that they’re meeting, he says he’ll be there. They’ll bring food. Leah tells Bex, and she’s fine with them coming to her house.
When they arrive, Bex takes some food but says she has photography stuff to do, so she leaves them to talk. Jones and Kevin both reveal what they’ve learned; Leah decides to keep her meeting with Clark a secret. Leah worries that her father was somehow waiting for her, and she let him down, and the group as a whole wonders if he traveled to the final destination in Algiers or left the plane somewhere along the way. Jones is worried that Kevin’s making a deal with the devil by interacting with the King’s Court, but it’s ultimately Kevin’s thing.
After some discussion, they decide to meet with Old Hippie Tom, given that Leah has his number. Leah calls, and after making introductions, says she’d like to ask about a piece he made. He asks her to wait a moment, and tells her he’ll call her back. She briefly wonders as to the purpose of this before he calls her again, and says he’ll meet her. Kevin recommends a taco truck downtown, and they agree. They all pile into Jones’ rental car.
Old Hippie Tom is a tall, older, bearded man in wizard’s robes and a battered top hat. Kevin and Leah approach; Jones stays in the car. He’s surprised when he sees Kevin, as he says he hasn’t seen him since he was quite little. Kevin says Tom hasn’t been around to see his parents in a while, and Tom says he’ll have to remedy that. Leah then asks about the pipe. After describing it, he seems surprised that she received it, and asks if she obtained the map. She asks some questions, and Tom indicates that he made the pipe to be used with the map. He released them into the world to be used by someone in need of them. Unfortunately, he has no sympathetic tie to the things he’s made, and so cannot track them down. He further apologizes for hanging up on her earlier; he wanted to check and make certain she wasn’t a police officer.
As they’re talking, Leah gets a phone call, and she answers it to learn it’s an Officer Brown from the police precinct near her house. She goes back to Jones’ car to take the call. He says he has some questions to ask, and would she be able to come down to the station? She says she’ll be over soon. She asks Jones if she should be concerned by this development — what more could they have to ask her? Did they find her stash? Is she in trouble? She decides to call Melker and ask about it, and he says he’ll arrange to have a lawyer at the station when she arrives.
Kevin and Tom are making small talk when Leah returns. She indicates they have to go, but she thanks Tom for his help, and Kevin says he’ll be in touch with Tom again soon. Jones, Kevin, and Leah then head over to the police station.