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We begin in 2016 Seattle, where news broadcasts report that the volcano at Yellowstone Park has erupted, sending a flurry of volcanic ash upon the Pacific Northwest. Vanessa is an unemployed single mom forced to give blood at a clinic to help make ends meet for her and her young daughter, Dylan.
There are vampires among us even back then, though their numbers are few and they live in hiding. A bloodsucker named Bob breaks into the clinic and steals several blood samples, including Vanessa's. He gives it a taste in the car and immediately starts retching, coughing up the blood and going into spasms …
When Bob delivers the blood supply to his vampire pack, led by Dmitri and Rebecca, he is suddenly human again. What's up with the blood he drank? Rebecca orders one of her vampire goons, Balthazar, to track down the source.
Meanwhile, Vanessa and Dylan return home to the sounds of their neighbor, Susan, being beaten by her no-good boyfriend, Tommy. Vanessa shows off some impressive fighting skills as she persuades Tommy to leave and never come back, much to Dylan's chagrin. Has Mom displayed a violent temper like this before … and is she not always in control when it happens?
This is just the beginning of what ends up being a very tense birthday for Dylan, as the cake is smushed and her dad in Denver ends up canceling her weekend trip (he claims it's because of the volcano, but both Vanessa and Dylan think it's so he can spend the weekend with some floozy).
Things quickly turn tragic when Balthazar breaks in, engaging in a brutal throw-down with Vanessa that leaves her horribly bloodied and battered. Balthazar retches and runs from the apartment after tasting Vanessa's blood and Dylan bursts into tears as her mother seemingly dies on the floor in front of her.
Vanessa is taken to the hospital, where Doc (whom we met in Episode 1) is bewildered by the fact that the body isn't cooling, rigor has yet to set in … and the victim's blood still seems to be, well, alive. Doc contacts Grace, a Naval doctor and Doc's sister, who alludes to similar cases on her end … and the fact that it's all classified, per the Pentagon itself.
Later, Doc is eating lunch in the hospital cafeteria when she's approached by a military unit led by a no-nonsense Major, who demands to see the Vanessa's body. Just then, the hospital is enveloped in darkness as the volcano at Yellowstone goes ka-boom yet again, resulting in total chaos in the hallways as vampires attack. Two of the Major's soldiers, Axel and Ted (both of whom we met in Episode 1), are assigned to watch over Vanessa and Doc.
Cut to three years later and we're in the world we were introduced to in Episode 1. Vanessa is still deep in Sleeping Beauty mode at the hospital, with Axel, Ted, Doc and two other soldiers, Smith and Gomez, holding down the fort, slowly but surely running out of supplies and going stir crazy.
Meanwhile, it would appear that Dmitri and Rebecca have recruited the services of another doctor to conduct a series of experiments that will allow vampires to walk around in daylight. The results so far are gruesome and horrific, though the key to success may lie with a woman who's been mentioned in hushed whispers. This is, of course, our Vanessa, and Dmitri orders the doctor to find her and bring her to him … alive.
Back at the hospital, an increasingly despairing Ted has come up with a desperate plan: He, Smith and Gomez will walk the 40 miles to base, bring back supplies and hopefully receive updated orders that absolve them of looking after Sleeping Beauty any longer. The mission is a complete failure within the first 30 seconds as vicious vampires attack them in the street, during which Doc's arm is bitten as she's trying to close the hospital door.
Axel tries to help Doc but it's too late; the infection has already spread. Axel prepares to mercy kill Doc but she begs him to spare her life. Axel relents, strapping her to a gurney and watching in horror as she turns into a vampire, growling and snarling and thrashing under the restraints.
Oof. Bad day.