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Episode Recap: Age Before Beauty


While putting the finishing touches on a swordfight, Myka and Pete respond to Artie's demand that they "swing by" Milan, where an unknown old woman uttered the phrase "You stole me," at a fashion show, just before dying. Pete uses his unique skill set to identify the woman by the serial number on her breast implants, and discovers that she was Anya Verdikov, a promising young model. Artie and Claudia search the stacks for any artifact that might induce rapid aging while Pete and Myka head to the next fashion hot spot: New York City's Fashion Week.

Pete is star-struck at the sight of one of his favorite models and, realizing she might be in danger, he follows her, and she eerily transforms from a young, beautiful woman to a 90-year-old before his eyes. He's spooked, but hits on a moment of inspiration: Myka can go undercover as a model and root out the perpetrator. In moments, she's transformed from a no-nonsense secret service agent to a fashion bombshell, ready to hit the runway - except for the fact that she feels like a giraffe on rollerskates. She makes a connection with a photographer named Perry, who tells her that she has a gift for modeling.

Claudia, plagued by the emotions from her fledgling relationship with Todd, is given some awkward advice by Artie. On a date with Todd, she realizes how little she can say - about anything - and runs away in shame. Artie tries to get her to get back on the horse, but in vain.

The first fashion lead turns up cold - Romana, the alpha bitch of the fashion show, is merely what she seems, and the intern leaving objects in her dressing room is just pushing illegal diet pills. Myka and Pete grow frustrated as the fashion show nears, and on the night of the event, Pete begs Myka not to go on the runway, saying it's too dangerous. She initially relents, but after an accidental pep talk telling her how beautiful she is, Myka gets on the runway - and works it. She's elated, but notices an old woman eyeing her in a menacing, hungry way. Moments later, Myka collapses and becomes a 90-year-old woman before Pete's eyes.

Analyzing Myka's blood, Artie discovers a foreign compound also in Anya's blood - silver nitrate - that is used in film development. They analyze security footage and find Perry, the photographer who was cozying up to Myka, shooting her photo with what they deduce was Man Ray's camera. By double exposing the image of an older person with that of a younger, the camera makes them switch ages, and Perry's been doing this all over the world. Pete goes on the hunt for Perry to find out whose image he switched for Myka's, and get him to switch them back. In a flash of insight, Artie realizes that Perry must have known Man Ray - he referred to him as "Manny" - meaning that Perry is much older than he looks. Artie and Claudia rush after Pete, and as they snap a photo of Perry, he transforms into the old man he actually was - returning Myka to her rightful age.

Back at the Univille diner, Artie tries to apologize to Claudia for the Todd debacle, but when Todd himself shows up, Artie's true motives become clear, and Artie scrams.