Alex barges into a senate meeting, demanding to share vital information about Michael with the Senate. He tells them that Michael has knowingly kept the information from them that higher angels are living in Vega. He also explains that Michael hasn’t always protected humanity, that he massacred humans in the past. And to top it off, he exposes Noma as a higher angel, serving right at the heart of the Archangel Corps.
Becca comes to see Michael in the Stratosphere tower to tell him about Alex’s accusations. The Senate is talking about removing Michael, talking about forced exile. Michael grabs his swords and is ready to leave to save them the trouble. He asks her to protect Louis, which she promises to do. If she’s ever wondered whether he’s capable of love, she should know the answer to that now.
Out in the market, Michael finds Alex and confronts him. He throws him into a shelf and then flees from the approaching guards.
William’s conviction to lead the Black Acolytes is still strong, and he’s managed to convert his father too. Eyesight obscured by a dark blindfold, the congregation praises Gabriel and his cause.
Alex is back in his red SUV, driving away from the city. Quite surprisingly, Michael soon joins him and we learn that their public animosities were just a ruse to fool the city (and Gabriel) into thinking Michael was the bad guy and that humanity had finally turned against him.
Another congregation from Helena arrives in Vega and delivers Evelyn’s severed head. Arika tries to interpret the news when she is joined by one of her followers who is revealed to be Uriel dressed in a Haika. Uriel confesses that she’s missed Arika just before the two of them kiss and make out. There’s something going on with Claire that Arika seems to sense, and Uriel wants to meet her to confirm Arika’s suspicions. And not only that, Arika herself is not who she claims to be. It was not Evelyn’s head delivered on a cushion, because it’s Evelyn and not Arika who is alive and well, and right there in Vega.
The wedding is finally here, Claire is now officially welcomed into the family of House Whele. And isn’t William quite the gentleman, he doesn’t expect Claire to sleep with him even if it’s their wedding night.
At an abandoned waterpark well outside the city, Alex and Michael plot their next course of action. They want to finish Gabriel once and for all and end the quarrel. Noma joins them to tell Michael that she’s set the wheels in motion. She’s lured Furiad to a motel where Michael wants to meet with him.
In Vega, Becca reports to General Riesen on her latest scientific findings on the higher angels and their anatomy. Riesen confesses to Becca that he’s leaving Vega. Now that Claire is stepping up, he feels that he isn’t needed anymore. His plan is to go to New Delphi.
At the waterpark, Noma knows they’re ready. Furiad will take her to Gabriel’s aerie, where she’s going to set things in motion so that Alex can get a chance to kill Gabriel. She’s well aware it may be a suicide mission and she makes Alex promise not to go after her if things go sideways.
Arika and Uriel finally get their wish and meet Claire. Uriel pretends to offer a special Helenian blessing, but what she’s really doing is getting confirmation on Arika’s suspicions. Yes, Claire is pregnant with Alex’s child. And she doesn’t even know it yet. Their end game is lure Claire to Helena, and Uriel wants an in to study Alex’s markings.
Furiad takes Noma to Gabriel’s aerie, and Gabriel almost buys her ruse. But then she slips up and he reads her like a book. He tells his lackeys to lock Noma up.
As Claire is looking for her father, he takes an ATV and leaves the city, never looking back.
Alex has another vision. Jeep comes to him and challenges him to a fight. Alex attacks him, mortally wounds him, and he dies in his arms. Again. Soon Alex realizes it was just a vision or perhaps even a dream when he wakes up on the ground at the waterpark — all alone with the sun already setting. Michael approaches and tells him that Gabriel’s obviously not coming. They’re heading back to Vega.
And that’s exactly what Gabriel has planned as well. He appears right outside the gates of the city and lets himself be captured and escorted inside. What does he have planned now?
The leaders of the city promptly start discussing what they’re going to do with Gabriel. Keep him hostage? Try to kill him? Extract information from him? Claire gets slightly suspicious when David is all too adamant not to kill Gabriel.
For now, Gabriel is being held in a voltage cell with a wing suppressor contraption around his torso. Claire tries to find out how many higher angels he’s hidden in Vega and who they are, but Gabriel only wants to speak to Michael. Claire is trying her best not to be intimidated by Gabriel, but he’s a master manipulator. First he surprises her by the knowledge that desert sage is her favorite flower, and then he gives her the news that she’s carrying a child.
Alex and Michael walk in, much to the surprise of the onlookers, including Claire. There is much discussion as to whether they should let Alex speak to Gabriel, and Claire outright forbids it. But Alex wouldn’t be Alex if he didn’t flat-out ignore her orders. Of course he goes in anyway. Gabriel taunts him first, and finally tells him he’s going to be a father.
When Michael finally speaks to Gabriel, it’s almost tragically beautiful. You can tell there’s a long history between the brothers and they can never truly hate each other. Gabriel really is quite the Svengali as he manages to find Michael’s most vulnerable buttons to press. Michael promptly goes to House Thorn to find out first-hand if any of Gabriel’s accusations are true.
Alex confronts Claire about the baby, and she doesn’t deny it. William inadvertently overhears their conversation when Claire tells Alex that he couldn’t possibly be a father to their baby, and that she wants William to raise the child with her.
Walking into Becca’s underground lab, Michael finds that Gabriel wasn’t lying. The picture that presents itself is gruesome. The lab is lined with evidence of experiments on angels. Plucked feather, x-ray images, photos of blood-smeared higher angels.
Somehow Alex finds him there, and together they go in search of Louis whom they find in one of the nearby rooms. The sight is nothing less than horrific. Louis is strapped to a hanging gurney — his chest has been opened in a Y incision, his wings have been cut off and are now affixed to a metal frame to be examined and studied.
As Alex and Michael make the grisly discovery, Gabriel executes the next step in his plan. He tells the Acolytes he planted in the room to shoot the guards. They free him from the voltage cell. Once they’ve done what he’s asked, they shoot themselves martyr-style.
In Becca’s lab, Louis begs Michael to kill him and end the suffering. Michael doesn’t think twice and drives his sword into Louis’s chest, all of which Alex watches silently. Steps approach. It’s Becca. Michael has nothing but contempt and hatred for her. She tries to explain that she had no choice but to prioritize the safety of Vega over any angel’s wellbeing.
Michael can’t believe that she’s been using him all this time and flies right into a blind rage. He grabs Becca’s throat and squeezes. Squeezes until the life drains right out of her and she drops to the floor, lifeless and unmoving. Alex is being flung across half the room when he tries to intervene.
Archangel Corps guards enter and go against Michael, but of course they have no chance. He kills them one by one despite Alex’s pleas not to. Alex draws a sword and the both of them start to duel. It’s an even fight, but Alex counters one of Michael’s moves and slashes his chest in one swift flourish.
The pain rips Michael out of his fury and it’s as if he’s only just realizing what he’s done. Unbelieving and stunned, he stares at the inconceivable picture unraveling before his eyes — from Alex’s bloody blade pointing at him to Becca’s unmoving form on the floor. Never uttering a single word, he takes in Alex’s accusation, then unfurls his wings and flies through the skyline above, leaving shards of broken glass in his wake.
Gabriel enters the scene, with very much of a “told you so” air around him. It’s then that Gabriel executes his master strike. He asks Alex to join him and bring Father back through his markings. Alex is never going to do it, but Gabriel threatens to burn down Vega and kill Noma if he doesn’t.
At House Riesen, William and Claire have a very honest conversation about raising the baby as a family. Claire is truly touched, until William gives her a bunch of flowers. Her favorite. Desert sage. And then the realization hits. How would he know that? It all comes together and the puzzle pieces align. She has him arrested without further ado despite his protestations.
Outside the city on a deserted road, Gabriel and Uriel meet up. Gabriel is content that he’s made Michael fall into his old ways and alienated him from mankind. He’s also cautiously optimistic that Alex will come to him of his own free will. Uriel kneels down in front of Gabriel and promises him her allegiance.
David is taking William’s place at the next Black Acolyte gathering, reassuring the congregation that Gabriel’s way is the only way. While the followers blindly chant along, David pours fuel on the ground and retreats undetected. A candle ignites the fire and David seals the door behind him as he flees, trapping the Black Acolytes inside to burn to their certain death.
Alex has a difficult favor to ask Ethan. He hands him a sealed letter and asks him to give it to Claire. Then he says his last goodbye to his friend.
An ATV is driving along the road beyond Vega, David behind the wheel. He has William in the back seat with a hood over his head. David drags William out of the car and puts him in the middle of a dirt road, handing him a knife, a gun and a bag with supplies. He gives him one last hug and tells him he can never come back to Vega.
In the Riesen residence, Claire opens the letter that she received from Alex. It reads, “My name is Alex Lannon. I’m your father and these are the hardest words I’ve ever written. When I was a boy, I was given a letter by my dad. A note that took me years to understand. My hope here is that the message is clear. Your father loved you and never wanted to leave you. It breaks my heart to say goodbye without ever meeting you. It’s what I had to do, not just for you, but for all of us. I do this to give you what I never had, a normal life, a family, happiness. Things in short supply. But if you’re reading this, then chances are everything I’ve done will have been worth it. I love you. More than you’ll ever know. Your father, Alex.”
Claire tears up as she’s reading this, while Alex climbs up the basalt pillars that lead to Gabriel’s aerie and Michael flies away from Vega to locations unknown.
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