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Recap / LA By Night Season One

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Season 1

     Chapter 1: Mortal Stakes 
"Everything that you've ever known - gone."
Nelli G
A coterie of vampires—Victor, Jasper, and Nelli—discover that somebody’s been hunting in their territory without their permission. Their search for the poacher leads them to Annabelle, a fledgling vampire who doesn’t understand exactly what she is or what the rules are. She is unaware that her actions risk exposing all the vampires to the enemies who hunt them.

  • Action Bomb: The player characters are attacked at Griffith Park Observatory by a gang of mortals.
  • Ascended Extra: Isaac from Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines shows up as the Baron of Hollywood (and the Valley).
  • Creepy Good: Downplayed trope. The Tremere in Griffith Park hits all the "witch" tropes but is ultimately beneficial. She's still a vampire, though.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Nelli mentions she has students, which would mean she teaches at the Griffith College. It is never alluded to again and is hardly possible due to her being a vampire.
  • Epic Fail: The player characters slowly stalk Annabelle in hopes of finding their poacher and preventing a mortal from being killed. Instead, they almost kill her vessel and break the Masquerade as a result (when Annabelle had reasonable control over her hunger). They also end up exposing themselves as well as terrifying Annabelle.
  • Freudian Slip: Annabelle clues in the Baron to the existence of a Masquerade violation when she mentions, "We" were researching vampirism.
  • Horror Hunger: Victor falls prey to his while attempting to rescue a mortal from Annabelle's.
  • I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: Nelli G uses this a couple of times, combined with Presence.
  • Improvised Weapon: Annabelle attempts to hold off the coterie with a lacrosse stick.
  • Irony: The player characters are all Anarchs but are eager to please and differential to the Baron of Hollywood.
  • Kiss of the Vampire: Annabelle uses this method to feed on mortals.
  • Not Hyperbole: Victor attempts to impress upon Annabelle that everyone she knows and loves could be killed by the Baron.
  • Not So Different: Isaac Abrams runs his court very similar to how a Camarilla Prince might with the PCs acting like a Sheriff with his Hounds.
  • One Degree of Separation: The situation becomes much more complicated when they discover their "poacher" is dating Victor's son.
  • Take That!: Isaac and the other characters don't think much of the Valley.
  • Wham Line: "Macneil sent us."

     Chapter 2: Instruments of Darkness 
"Oftentimes, to win us to our harm,
The instruments of darkness tell us truths,
Win us with honest trifles, to betrays
In deepest consequences"

William Shakespeare, Macbeth

The protagonists survive an attack by rival Anarchs and go to investigate an old warehouse for clues. While doing so they are confronted by a man from Nelli's past, who hopes to get his childe back.

  • Action Bomb: A pair of Brainwashed and Crazy thugs attempt to gun down Victor Temple, which threatens his mortal identity not his actual life.
  • Blackmail: Chaz invokes this on Nelli G, revealing she's a secret diablerist.
  • The Beautiful Elite: Chaz attempts to portray the Camarilla as a whole like this but he mostly just acts like the Toreador are (which is, sadly, true).
  • Cerebus Retcon: A joke about the vampires using old style flip phones is revealed to be that they can't be tracked.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Chauncey vs the thugs is so one-sided the storyteller doesn't even roll for it.
  • Hate Sink: Averted with Chaz who does the minimum enough to avoid this trope.
  • Horror Hunger: Its Jasper's turn to succumb to his.
  • Jerkass: Chaz the Vampire turns every other line into a put down of Nosferatu, the Anarchs, Brujah, or other characters.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Chaz has once named Chauncey who is capable of both killing thugs as well as covering up violations of the Masquerade.
  • I Hate You, Vampire Dad: Nelli G has an antagonistic relationship with her sire but it's mostly reduced to sniping, which is positively benign by the other character's standards.
  • Killed to Uphold the Masquerade: Implied to have been the fate of Annabelle's date from Episode 1.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Annabelle has this reaction to the discovery that her date was killed in a hit and run hours after meeting with him.
  • Nightmarish Factory: The group visits one of these in hopes of finding answers but fail to discover anything of note.
  • Preppy Name: Chaz has rarely been used with such effete disdain.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Chaz is one of these and flaunts his wealth at every opportunity.
  • Stop Helping Me!: When Jasper succumbs to his Hunger, he desperately tries to get away from Annabelle to prevent himself from killing her. She tries to follow him.
  • Take That!: More shots at the Valley with a club there used by Nelli G for a meeting specifically because it's an insult to her side.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Chaz and Nelli G were once lovers but he grew bored with her. His defense is he would have eventually wandered back.

     Chapter 3: Fear No Monsters 
"I fear no monsters,
for no monsters I see.
Because all this time
the monster has been me."
Nikita Gill
The coterie meets X, a Malkavian who takes Annabelle under his wing as the vampires try to enjoy a night out at Victor's nightclub, where they're interrupted by old enemies and new threats.

  • Absentee Actor: Jasper is Put on a Bus because of the actor's commitments and replaced, temporarily, by X.
  • Analogy Backfire: Averted, actually, when X gives a story about reality being an elephant and vampire clans being bats feeding on it. It's actually a variation on a Buddhist proverb on the nature of religion versus truth (which uses blind monks instead of elephants). Victor, of all people, states that the metaphor is entirely accurate and it's a fairly good summary of how the vampire clans operate.
  • A Party, Also Known as an Orgy: A very downplayed example has Nelli G feed from a trio of drunk party goers in her private booth. They remember it as something sexual.
  • Breather Episode: Much of the episode is the group hanging around at Victor's club.
  • Bribe Backfire: Annabelle turns down Victor's offer of a job and points out she wants nothing to do with his criminal businesses (or legitimate ones). It becomes this because she also points out his son (who Annabelle is dating) feels the same way.
  • Foil: Ramona serves as this to Annabelle and the rest of the Anarchs in the group. While they are heavily involved in Hollywood's social scene and loyal(ish) servants of their Baron, Ramona is an Autarkis who stays out of the politics of the region. She is loosely affiliated with the Anarchs but hate that they've become mini-Camarilla. She also lives in an abandoned factory, like a homeless person, while they dwell among humans.
  • Mixed Metaphor: Averted. The discussion of cougars being dangerous is thought by the group to be this until he points out, no, he actually is just referring to a cougar (as in a mountain lion) running around Santa Monica.
  • Mundane Utility: Nelli Gi uses "Awe" in order to get people to move out of her way.
    • Victor mesmerizes Chocolate Drop into giving the best performance of her life.
  • Odd Friendship: Oddly, Victor is the least nonplussed by X and only concerned that he might feed on the staff rather than guests.
  • Rich Bitch: Nelli G takes way too much enjoyment using her Disciplines and status to push around random club goers for fun.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Annabelle tries to do it politely but more or less states she wants nothing to do with Victor's businesses since he's a criminal.
    • Victor gives a fairly decent Shut Up, Kirk! in response by pointing out she's a vampire so where does she get off looking down on his business.
  • Stylistic Suck: Chocolate Drop is a deliberately bad band name.
  • Toilet Humor: X once took a literal crap on one of Nelli G's exhibits. No one noticed. Either it happened during his mortal days or they're just screwing with Annabelle.
  • Vampires Own Nightclubs: Victor turns out to own one, Club Maharaja, that he uses to host a record drop.
  • Wham Line: Victor has one at the end of the episode
    Victor: You know my son Mark? That I didn't tell you about? He's a twin. The Baron has my other boy with him now.

     Chapter 4: Happy Families 
"All happy families are alike;
each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."
Leo Tolstoy: Anna Karenina
The coterie and X confront enemies who have been harassing them, and learn that their threat goes deeper than they imagined. Victor meanwhile grapples with uncomfortable truths, and Annabelle learns that nothing in the night is what it really seems.

  • Action Prologue: A fight with a Nosferatu and a Gangrel fills much of the game.
  • Always Identical Twins: Isaiah looks identical to Mark and this throws Annabelle for a loop. It's also part of how Victor has concealed him.
  • Berserk Button: X mentions Vannevar Thomas and almost gets staked by Isaac Abrams.
    • Nelli G gets one of these when Annabelle calls her a MILF.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: We find out Victor's family is this from top to bottom.
  • Best Served Cold: Bobby Blaine is going after Victor for things which happened twenty years ago.
  • Big Bad: Bobby Blaine is apparently the one working with the Second Inquisition.
  • Blackmail: Victor uses the fact Isaac Abrams is peripherially involved in a Second Inquisition plot to do this.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Literally as Victor makes use of the Inquisition vampire hunting tools to fight the attackers on his club.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Isaac is a cool Manipulative Bastard but is caught completely off-guard by the assassination attempt on Victor and the involvement of the Second Inquisition.
  • Mind Wipe: This is done multiple times to Victor's son.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Not true because it was always on her character sheet (we just didn't see it) but it's surprising to discover Nelli G has Blood Sorcery.
  • Rank Up: Victor successfully negotiates with Isaac Abrams to become Baron of the Valley.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Isaiah is sent to Vancouver as a way of getting him from the violence of LA (as well as keeping Bobby from using him against Victor).
  • Shout-Out: "Chaos is a ladder."
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Isaiah has gotten involved in criminal activity in part as a way of impressive his dad.
  • Zombie Puke Attack: X manages to make one of these by taking advantage of the fact he doesn't breathe to fill his stomach with lard then set it on fire to create a Breath Weapon.

     Chapter 5: What I Am 
"Gasoline, saccharinne
I've got no reason for the state I'm in
But I know what I am, they know what they are
So let me be"
Band of Skulls, 'I Know What I Am'
While dealing with immediate threats to the coterie's future, Annabelle discovers the truth about who made her into a vampire.

  • Berserk Button: Annabelle has one of hers triggered when she spots her sire.
  • Bomb-Throwing Anarchists: Annabelle turns out to have torched a Senator's office. A Nosferatu, Nick, killed her in retaliation.
  • Broken Pedestal: Annabelle has one of these toward Victor and (to a lesser extent) Jasper when they kill three people at the Thin Blood's alchemy lab.
  • The Bus Came Back: Jasper returns to being a regular player.
    • Put on a Bus: Nelli G is away from the group for this session due to the actress being ill.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: There's apparently a huge number of them donating money to Griffith College.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: For terms of "battle" where the PCs show up at the Thin Bloods' alchemy lab and kill a few before scaring the rest off.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The Thin Bloods killed by Jasper were "not innocent but they didn't deserve to die."
    • The police tear gassing a peaceful student protest.
  • Do You Want to Haggle?: The group does this with Ramona over giving her the domain of Griffith College.
  • Good All Along: Carver is an operative of the Anarch Free States as a whole.
  • Emergency Transformation: Annabelle turns out to have been made into a Brujah to save her life after a Nosferatu named Nick mortally wounded her.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Carver's reaction to embracing Annabelle.
  • I Hate You, Vampire Dad: Annabelle has a serious case of this for Carver.
  • I Love You, Vampire Son: Carver feels that Annabelle is a perfect candidate for the Brujah.
  • Kick the Dog: Victor kills a Thin Blood alchemist as punishment for being even peripherally involved in endangering his son.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Jasper has one of these when he accidentally kills two humans by banging their heads together too hard.
  • No Sympathy: Carver shows absolutely none of this for turning Annabelle. Because he was saving her life.
  • The Quincy Punk: Carver acts like a classic British one from the 1980s.
  • Powder Keg Crowd: How the protestors at Griffith College are treated.
  • Ragtag Band of Misfits: The Thin Bloods are one of these and confuse the heroes who expected a Second Inquisition location.
  • Reality Ensues: One for the Tap on the Head when Jasper kills two people trying to knock them out.
  • These Hands Have Killed: Jasper is not pleased by what he did accidentally did.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Sour Sugar wants nothing to do Victor Temple's offer of listening to their demo.
  • Troll: Ramona carves her name on the fine leather chair of Victor as well as the wood paneling of his work.
  • Undeath Always Ends: Carver has this opinion on undeath. Vampirism just extends your unlife. It's not forever.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: From a Vampire: The Masquerade perspective, offering Griffith College as a territory to Ramona free of charge is equivalent to giving her the equivalent of a small kingdom. All they ask is for her to look after it for them.

     Chapter 6: Immortal Longings 
"Give me my robe, put on my crown; I have
Immortal longings in me."
Antony and Cleopatra (V.ii)
Vampires from The Ministry invite the coterie to a discussion about the Valley's future as Kindred territory. Annabelle must decide the fate of the vampire who killed her, and the hunters finally show their hand.


     Chapter 7: Tooth and Claw 
"Tho' Nature, red in tooth and claw
With ravine, shriek'd against his creed"
Tennyson, Canto 56

With fire behind and blood in front, the coterie races to find Jasper after learning he may be in mortal danger. But what — and who — they find in the Nosferatu's underground lair leads them into their own peril, and leaves them with even more questions about him.

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: It doesn't get more absurdly spacious than when you have one that doesn't conform to time or space.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Most vampires are easily overwhelmed by werewolves. The player characters surviving even a short time against one is a big accomplishment.
  • Elaborate Underground Lair: Jasper has one of these since his underground home includes a slaughterhouse above it and the Labyrinth built into the side.
  • Eldritch Location: The Labyrinth constantly shifts, has mirrors that can teleport you, and can't be easily navigated. Ib tries to mark the walls but the marks disappear.
    • Of course, longtime fans of Werewolf: The Apocalypse might have an idea about just what an impossibly old Labyrinth deep beneath the earth might be. . .
  • Enemy Mine: The coterie makes a pact with the werewolf they encounter in hopes of getting out of the Labyrinth.
  • Fantastic Slur: The vampires and werewolves are mentioned to have several for each other.
  • Fur Against Fang: The player characters encounter a half-feral Bonegnawer trapped in the Labyrinth.
  • Genre Shift: The vampires have found themselves in a Lovecraftian horror movie where they are far from the most powerful thing down here.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: This apparently happened to a Nosferatu in the sewers.
  • Horrifying the Horror: All of the vampires are justifiably scared of what they encounter down here. Even the werewolf is scared.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The Labyrinth is primarily terrifying due to subtle things like warping space, a harmless gibbering Nosferatu, and how it is incomprehensible.
  • Spotting the Thread: Nelli Gi is forced to use some of her magic and reveal she has powers other Toreador do not.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: Our protagonists manage to survive an encounter with a Crinos form werewolf—by making a deal to escape the Labyrinth together.

     Chapter 8: Who Can You Trust 
"Where do you go
How do you know
Who can you trust..."
Arden and the Wolves, 'Who Can You Trust?'
The coterie learns unsettling truths about vampire existence when they visit the infamous Succubus Club for a showdown with the leader of the Blaine Gang.

  • Affably Evil: Victoria Ash, owner of the Succubus club, acts like a generous hostess to her guests, talks with Nelli like an old friend and even makes sure Annabelle has a proper outfit to wear. She's also a ruthless Camarilla leader who casually orders every human in the club slaughtered for the sake of the Masquerade.
  • Asshole Victim: The vampire Jasper had imprisoned turns out to not be as innocent as she seemed.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Victoria Ash does this to Jasper, forcing him to tell her all of his secrets.
  • Broken Pedestal: Everyone, except Nelli, towards Jasper after finding out he kept a vampire in a cage to feed on. Lessened somewhat when they find out his captive wasn't as innocent as she claimed.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: The price for irritating Victoria Ash is to force Jasper to dance in public.
  • Coolest Club Ever: The Succubus Club is a travelling one that is currently in a airplane hanger.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: A rare Invoked case of this trope: Victor intentionally pulls this on Bobby Blaine to humiliate him.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: How Victor justifies killing Bobby Blaine in the middle of the floor.
  • Kick the Dog: Victoria Ash abuses Jasper with her Presence and forces him to do the moonwalk.
    • Victoria Ash has all of the patrons of the club killed even though she specifically gave Victor permission to kill Blaine in public.
  • Killed to Uphold the Masquerade: Victoria orders every human in the Succubus Club killed after they witness the coterie's execution of Blaine.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Victor and the gang execute Bobby Blaine by dogpiling him.
  • Oh, Crap!: The reaction of the mortals following Victoria's order to kill them all.
  • Spotting the Thread: Jasper points out a big hole in his "innocent victim"'s story: if Jasper is her sire as she claims, why doesn't she look like a Nosferatu?
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Victoria Ash pays no attention to the mass murder of mortals going on around her while talking to Victor.


     Chapter 9: Jasper: Keep Us Apart 
"Nothing will keep us apart
I said, nothing will keep us apart"
Chelsea Wolfe, After the Fall
Jasper repays a debt, explores a maze, and confronts who and what he left behind after he became a vampire.

  • Bait-and-Switch: X asks Jasper to teach him the terrible secret he learned from other Kindred. How to moonwalk.
  • Break Her Heart to Save Her: What Jasper does to his girlfriend.
  • Continuity Nod: To episode 8 with discussion of how Victoria Ash screwed with Jasper's head.
  • "Dear John" Letter: Jasper leaves one for his girlfriend.
  • Eldritch Location: The Labyrinth makes a return.
  • Her Heart Will Go On: What Jasper is hoping will happen to Chloe. It doesn't work out that way.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Jasper wants Chloe to move on from him and find somewhere she can call home.
  • Magic Mirror: Jasper walks through one and it takes him to his ex-girlfriend at the coffee shop.
  • Mood Whiplash: The first part of the episode is mostly lighthearted banter between Jasper and X, but after that it quickly becomes depressing.
  • Odd Friendship: X and Jasper have one of these.
  • Oh, Crap!: Jasper has this reaction to Chloe recognizing his handwriting.
    Jasper: I might've fucked something up.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Jasper is following Chloe and observing from a distance.
  • Valley Girl: What Chloe and her friend come off as, albeit smarter examples than most.
  • Voiceover Letter: How Jasper's letter to Chloe is presented.

     Chapter 10: Nelli G: Black Magic 
"I got a black magic woman
Got me so blind I can't see."
Carlos Santana
Nelli G works behind the scenes to play a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse with vampire politics, her mysterious past, and her uncertain future.

  • Ambition Is Evil: Nelli reveals she intends to become a Baron herself.
  • Blackmail: Nelli is backed into a corner by Chaz.
  • Blackmail Backfire: However, not in the way Chaz thinks because Nelli feels like his secret means that she can never return to the Camarilla.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: What Nelli intends for Gregory, turning him into a ghoul.
  • Break the Haughty: A fearless vampire hunter reduced to begging for death.
  • Death Faked for You: What Gregory wants from Nelli G.
  • Fate Worse than Death: How Nelli views returning to the Camarilla.
  • Heel–Face Brainwashing: Becomes Nelli's ghoul which reprograms his brain.
  • Henpecked Husband: How Brad has been acting to Nelli after being caught cheating on her.
  • Hurricane of Puns: What the coterie unleash on Nelli when they find out what's the name of her new fragrance.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: What Isaac is worried about for Hollywood since he's feeling the Beckoning.
  • Internal Reveal: Isaac Abrams learns that Nelli is a diablerist. He doesn't care.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: How the coterie reacts to Nelli's new punny perfume line.
  • Made a Slave: What Nelli G does to Gregory.
  • Malicious Misnaming: Prefers to be called Greg, Nelli ignores his request, calling him Gregory every time.
    Gregory: Also Greg is fine. Just Greg.
    Nelli: Just Greg... So Gregory...
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Isaac Abrams comments on how mass murder isn't usually Victoria Ash's style and that might be due to the Vermillion Wedding where she's to marry an Assamite.
  • Rogue Agent: What the SAD team turned out to be. The FBI and possibly Second Inquisition as a whole hadn't given them any resources to go after Victor.

     Chapter 11: Victor: Uneasy  
"Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown."
William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 2 (3.1.31)
Victor and Ib work to establish control of the new Barony, and Victor gains new insight into what it truly means for a mortal to serve the undead.

  • Action Girl: Ib references numerous people she put in the hospital.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Ib is given a lot more attention than she normally gets.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Victor reveals his feelings for Ib go beyond that of master and servant.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Ib is completely so by her master.
  • Can't Spit It Out: Averted, just barely. Ib has to summon all her willpower to speak bad words against Fiorenze.
  • Downer Ending: Victor has to watch Ib go.
  • Evil Old Folks: Fiorenze talks like an old woman as she was Embraced at a late age.
  • Hidden Depths: Ib reveals a vast and complicated backstory that she never even hinted at before.
  • Pet the Dog: Victor plans on offering help to the Thin Bloods of Los Angeles and to give them a place in the Valley.
    • Victor offers Ib a variety of bribes as well as the Embrace.
  • Put on a Bus: Ib had to leave Victor and return to her master.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Ib is actually 130 years old, which makes her older than all of the coterie combined.
  • The Remnant: Bobby Blaine's organization continues on without him but is neither impressive or difficult to destroy.
  • Salt the Earth: Despite the fact that Bobby Blaine is dead, Victor makes it a point to wrap up his entire network and destroy all of his assets.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Victor has almost inhuman patience with Fiona before just starting to mock her It's All About Me attitude.
  • Wham Line: For Ib more than the audience as Victor causally offers to Embrace her.
    • Ib's revelation she's from before the Great War.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: When Ib explains her condition to Victor, she calls him by his first name for the first time.

     Chapter 12: Annabelle: Find My Home 
"Will I find my home, will I find my home?
My home in you, home in you?"
Through Juniper Vale & Vian Izak
It is time. Annabelle has put this off for as long as she can, but recent events force her hand. All choices are dangerous, and yet she must choose.


Example of: