I have been exited about The Gates since I heard about it and my first reaction was that this is a Supernatural Eureka due this summer from ABC? I usually don’t make any real decision about a show after one episode and I don’t intend to do that here either. A new show has to find its way and you got to get to know the characters a bit before that. But you will get a first impression.
The Gates appeared as an Eureka for supernatural beings or Desperate House Witches. It’s about Nick Monohan, a homicide cop who gives up his job in a major city to be the chief of police in a planned gated community. But there is more to the residents than meets the eye. There is a werewolf football linebacker, a vampire housewife desperate not to fit in and even two magical tea shops at war with each other. I foresee a busy 13 episodes for the chief of police as he tries to keep order in this supernatural mess.
After watching the promotional videos and listening to the buzz I think it is a bit more dark than that. The cast looks solid on paper and I am about to watch my first episode with great expectations.
Episode: 1.01 Pilot
Series: The Gates
Genre: Supernatural drama
First airing: June 20, 2010
The Gates is a 13 episodes TV series about a gated community by the same name.
The dark foreboding Gothic walls sets the tone before we glide over only to meet an idyllic almost fairy tale like suburbia with a man mowing the lane, kids playing and a couple washing a car.
But under the facade moves vampires and running werewolves.
We learn that there is a mysterious man behind The Gates and that the town council more or less follows his lead.
The Monohans arrive at The Gates the same day their new neighbor Claire drains a contractor of his blood and hides his car in the garage. The Monohans love their new house but there is an undertone that the grownups are running from something too.
Nick goes directly to work on a case of a missing contractor and he soon comes to suspect the Radcliffs of hiding something. It is not like he gets obsessed easily or so but when a warrant to search their house is denied (according to his assistant) he sneaks in their house during the wee hours, threaten Dylan with a gun and avoids a love bite from Clair by seconds. Back in the house his wife is not happy. Their first night at this new place and he runs off in the middle of the night and gets back at three? No wonder she is unhappy.
Meanwhile their kids goes to school. Andie notice Charlie the new guy and like what she sees, she seems too good a girl to throw herself at him but that what she basically does anyway. Some of the scenes at the school seemed to be missing, things happened a bit arbitrary there. The lie detector scene was kind of cute.
Brett her boyfriend has a bit of a run in with his team mates and even if he turns into a wolf and smashes a toilet he has enough control not to kill Charlie. He seems to be a nice guy with a slight anger management problem and an inner wolf wanting to get out.
The pilot opens a lot of plots for us to pursue this season.
When we all expected them to find the contractor’s body at the end they found the body of the old chief instead.
Nick Monohan played by Frank Grillo (24, Blind Justice) plays a driven homicide detective that for some reason or another had to leave his job. At this time we don’t know, it could be that he somehow got involved in supernatural activities even. He seems to really obsess over his work, even to the point where he would break the law to find the proof he needs as shown when he sneak out in the middle of the night and into the Radcliff’s residence. Too early to say.
Charlie Monohan (Travis Caldwell – Parenthood) their teenage son came across a bit feeble as could be expected of a teenager on his first day in a new school. The way he showed interest in Andie was natural, she more or less threw herself at him.
Dana Monahon (McKaley Miller) their daughter suppresses her unhappiness better than her brother, but we didn’t get to see her much this episode.
Andie Bates (Skyler Samuels) is a bit of a mystery for me. She is going out with Brett and seems to have feelings for him but can’t help herself going for Charlie? That part didn’t compute for me, unless there is some kind of explanation we will receive later? Her character otherwise comes across as a typical lovely teenager. Her talk about being imprisoned in The Gates seemed more than just a figure of speech.
Claire Radcliff played by Rhona Mitra (SGU, Boston Legal) is a vampire housewife with some difficulties to fit in. She is at the breaking point under the facade of the perfect housewife. Her vampire cravings gets the better of her and she kills the contractor and tap his blood. The shower scene was strong when she tried to clean off her own despair with the blood. I must admit I could watch The Gates only for Rhona she is hotness personified.
Dylan Radcliff played by Luke Mably (The Prince and Me) is Clair’s husband and the one who turned her, which she still resents him for. Clair and Dylan really clicked for me, they could be the power couple of this show.
Brett Crezski played by Colton Haynes is Andie’s boyfriend and a werewolf. He seems to have some problems controlling the wolf in him especially when it comes to Andie.
Lukas played by Justin Miles is Brett’s friend? Pack mate? He seems to be keeping Brett in order a bit. Is he the leader of the Teen Pack? You should come run with us he tells Brett. He also talks about The Code they have to follow inside The Gates.
Chandra West as Devon the manipulative owner of the new tea shop. She used to be an apprentice of Peg before she set out to empower herself with her powers to Peg’s disdain.
Victoria Platt plays Peg Mueller the owner of the ‘white’ tea shop. We didn’t see much of her this episode.
Leigh Turner played by Janina Gavankar is one of Nick’s assistants. She seems to be in on the secret and I think she is running interference with Nick’s investigations.
The only ‘special’ effects I noticed was the colors of Brett’s eyes and Clair’s jump from the second store.
I would say that The Gates lives up to my expectations, I like what I have seen so far. Every good story need a start, a middle and an end. This is just the start. Beside the arbitrary love triangle the pilot was coherent and well implemented. It is also fine to see a cast of character easy to like and start to root for even if we don’t really know them after such a short time. I am looking forward to the newxt episode.
Next episode is called “What Lies Beneath” – Nick investigates the death of the last Chief of Police, disturbed by what he’s starting to discover about The Gates. Claire Radcliff deals with the repercussions from her recent transgression, fighting to put the past behind her. At school, Andie struggles to sort out her blossoming feelings for Charlie. And Brett works hard to keep dating Andie while fighting off Lukas’ tempting offer to “come running”.