WARNING: If you don't want to know what happened in this episode, don't read this photo recap!
It's time to get inside Scarlett's head this week. After meeting her and Vanessa's not-mother a couple weeks ago, another adoptive parent appears, this time in Scarlett's memories as she recalls the night her adoptive mother died.
This isn't just Scarlett's subconscious, though. It's the Elder getting into her brain to try to screw with her. He uses her father's voice to tell her that keeping secrets about Scarlett's real origins is what killed her mom. He also tells her that "Vanessa's light is no more" which sounds a lot like she's dead.
Scarlett and Axel have made it to the Crooked Falls weather station but the rest of their friends haven't been so lucky. Everyone at the station is wary of the newcomers and vice versa. Meanwhile, their boss, who is our new hero for the nonchalant way she strikes down ferals dressed like Laura Dern in Jurassic Park, has set out to find them. She finds Doc first.
Laura Dern, vampire hunter, manages to get Doc back to the station safe, though she's struggling to breathe through the mountain air. But they've got bigger problems. It seems either the ferals have gotten suddenly smarter, or there are some bigger badder vampires on the way.
Back inside, Doc has a lot to tell her friends. First, there's the part where Dimitri attacked them in the woods and killed Julius. Then there's the small matter of him getting the key away from her which is very very bad. Scarlett isn't happy, but she's handling it. Axel, on the other hand, is pissed. He accuses Doc of only ever being out there for herself and leaving Julius to die.
Flesh, Lucky and their new friend who they freed from Dimitri's traveling dinner caravan have also reached the area just by the weather station only they don't know which direction to head. Like magic, the little girl, Callie, who has somehow continued to survive this apocalypse, appears out of the brush holding a red balloon and a map.
That map proves immediately useful, as the group makes their way to the station just before nightfall, pursued by a pack of ferals. Time for our friends to earn their keep as Axel helps fight off the vamps. When Dennis, one of the less welcoming station members, runs off to save his dog and gets bitten, Scarlett takes it upon herself to take him out when his own friends can't do it.
Reunions mean sharing of information, right? Well, with all these old and new folks in one place, that's what's happening. First, Callie tells Doc what happened at Triage just after she left, leading to an awkward encounter with Jolene. Then Jolene gets to meet Axel, the vampire Doc stole all the blood to save. Then, all the leadership types get together to debate whether the ferals could be evolving, getting smarter. Most of this is good. Smart vamps, not so much.
Now that they've got a chance to breathe, Lucky and Flesh are also getting a chance to talk and BOY is it awkward. Flesh steps in it when he tells Lucky she never struck him as maternal, which prompts a whole fight about how they barely know each other before BAM, Lucky says she thinks she might be pregnant which brings up a whole new round of questions and angst.
Meanwhile, Doc and Laura Dern (seriously, what is this woman's name?), the boss lady, have made their way to a lab of some kind with dead Dennis' body and they are doing some science. The boss starts going on about how trying to kill all the vampires isn't the way to win, a vaccine is, and it's very reminicent of Dr. Bruce, only less crazy. Anyway, they confirm that the vampires are, in fact, evolving.
When the power suddenly cuts out and the vampire hordes attack, they decide to split up to get things fixed. The boss and one of her compatriots head for the generator while Scarlett and Axel run off to cause a distraction. They get the generator online but everyone has to make a frenzied run back to the station because the vamps are calling their distraction bluff.
Come morning, with everything safe again, we can carry on the business of heartfelt conversations. Like Jolene talking about Callie's ability to survive and calling her a "good luck charm", or Jolene finally forgiving Doc for stealing the blood and basically calling her a hero and then reintroducing herself to Doc and Doc telling Jolene that her real name is Sarah and can these two kiss already?
Back in the lab, boss lady and Doc make a whole new - and newly terrifying - discovery about their new vampire playmates. Not only are they evolving, but they've been genetically engineered. Someone is making vampires that can think and use tools and problem solve. Oh, and the best part? They can regenerate, so it's gonna be mighty hard to kill them now.
Speaking of hard to kill, dead Dennis is not so dead and he wanders out into the sunlight without any ill effects until Lucky puts another few rounds in him, but he's got friends, and those friends also don't burn, and they've got Julius who is also not dead but in a more human way.
The vampires manage to get the upper hand on Lucky and Flesh, biting Lucky then stepping back to see if she'll actually change. Not willing to become a vampire, Lucky pulls out a grenade and blows herself - and the vampires - all to hell.
Time for the final truths to come out. Julius confirms Doc's story about how he was captured and tells Scarlett that Dimitri has the key. Callie fixes the radio and tells some strangers their location which is probably not a good thing, given their track record. But the real doozy? Scarlett and the Boss head out into the woods alone because, as it turns out, the Boss is, of course, Scarlett and Vanessa's mother. Shocked faces all around.