"Pilot" is the premiere episode of the supernatural-themed television series The Gates. This episode first aired on ABC on Sunday, June 20th, 2010. It was directed by Terry McDonough and written by series creators Grant Scharbo and Richard Hatem. In this episode, former Chicago police detective Nick Monohan relocates to the exclusive upper-class community known as The Gates where he accepts the position as the neighborhood's new police chief. Despite the idyllic setting and charming, friendly neighbors, Monahan and his family have yet to learn the true nature of their new home. There is more to The Gates than meets the eye as mysteries unfold involving several of the community's more notable occupants, which include vampires, werewolves and witches.
Starring: Frank Grillo (Nick Monohan), Rhona Mitra (Claire Radcliff), Marisol Nichols (Sarah Monohan), Luke Mably (Dylan Radcliff), Travis Caldwell (Charlie Monohan), Skyler Samuels (Andie Bates), Chandra West (Devon Buckley), Colton Haynes (Brett Crezski), Janina Gavankar (Leigh Turner), Justin Miles (Marcus Jordan),
Guest Starring: McKaley Miller (Dana Monohan), Johnny Messner (Mark Woodbury), Roger Cross (Coach Ross), Brett Cullen (Frank Buckley), Victoria Platt (Peg Mueller), James Preston (Lukas Ford), Georgica Cole (Emily Radcliff), Devyn Tyler (Mia Mueller), Matthew Cornwell (Eddie Barnes), John Rodriguez (Riley), Carrie Scharbo (Concerned mother), Billy Slaughter (Mister Pollack), Randy Asutin (State cop)
The Gates is an upper-class, isolated gated community catering to residents who enjoy the feeling of living in a safe and respectable neighborhood. One of the residents, Claire Radcliff is trimming roses while her daughter Emily Radcliff is playing out in the street on her skateboard. The skateboard gets away from her and Emily chases it out into the road. A motorist named Mark Woodbury nearly hits her, but swerves his truck around at the last second, colliding into a power box. Claire rushes over to see if Emily is okay. Afterward, she notices that Mark has a severe laceration across his forehead and invites him inside so she can tend to it.
While cleaning him up, Claire learns that Mark is a contractor with no wife or girlfriend. Mark flirts with her, but it is not his appearance that enraptures her, but rather the sight of his blood. Claire is a vampire. She seduces Mark and the two begin making out on the kitchen island. She bites down on his neck and drinks his blood until he falls over dead. His blood drains into the kitchen sink.
Later in the morning, the Monohan family arrive at the Gates. Nick Monohan is the new police chief for the neighborhood. He drives up to the community gates with hiw wife Sarah and his children Charlie and Dana. They are greeted by a friendly security guard named Eddie Barnes who gives Nick a welcome packet and keys to their new home. The Monohans drive up to their new home and they are all astonished by how large and opulent it is. Dana Monohan is particularly pleased to find a pool and an outdoor Jacuzzi.
At the Radcliff residence, Claire takes a shower and scrubs the caked-on blood from her body. After which, she applies a thick layer of lotion to herself to help protect her from the deadly rays of the sun. She misses a spot though and as she passes near a window, a ray of sunlight touches her leg, causing it to blister. She rubs more lotion on the affected spot.
Nick Monohan goes to the police station for his first day on the job. He meets his two deputies, Leigh Turner and Marcus Jordan. Marcus tells him that the old police chief, now retired in Mexico, liked to keep a Spartan staff. Marcus shows him their advanced security system, which monitors all activity on the perimeter of The Gates, making it one of safest communities to live in. He takes note of a brief period of time when the cameras went down after Mark Woodbury's truck hit the power box. Woodbury has turned up missing and Nick wants to check the situation out.
Meanwhile, Claire Radcliff goes to the Monohan home to welcome them to the neighborhood. She presents Sarah with a lasagna dish and Sarah invites her inside. While they talk, Sarah complains about the stress of moving to a new location. Claire recommends seeing a woman named Peg Mueller, a specialist in holistic medicine. Sarah hopes that the move will help to ease the tension between her husband and she. She mentions how he used to be a homicide detective in Chicago and how he tends to get caught up in his work.
Meanwhile, Charlie attends class at Gates Academy. He meets an attractive young woman named Andie Bates as well as her boyfriend Brett Crezski. Crezski doesn't care for Charlie, mostly because he manages to show him up in front of the teacher during Lit class. After class, Andie goes out to the quad to talk to Charlie. She likes Charlie and recommends that he should join the school's debate team. The two talk for a bit and eventually go their separate ways. Brett comes out and notices that Andie had been talking with Charlie. His dislike for the new student begins to grow.
Later, Claire's husband Dylan Radcliff returns home early from work. He notices that the garage door appears to be stuck. This is because Claire has hidden Mark's battered truck inside and doesn't want anyone to see it. He goes inside and can smell the blood on Claire's breath. Angrily pinning her to the wall, he demands to know what she did with her latest victim. Claire tells him that he's in the wine room. Just then, Nick Monohan and Marcus Jordan arrive at their home. They question the Radcliffs about the missing persons report filed for Mark Woodbury. Claire tells him that she patched him up and sent him on his way. She is convincing in her lie, but something about this seemingly meager incident makes Nick suspicious. Despite this, he thanks the Radcliffs for their time and leaves. Once they are gone, Dylan admonishes Claire for her actions and putting their lifestyle at risk.
Elsewhere, Sarah visits Devon Day Spa on Main Street. She meets the proprietor Devon Buckley, an apparent colleague of the woman that Claire had mentioned earlier. Devon prides herself on the fact that she offers the same products and services as Peg Mueller, but at half the price. She is very cordial and offers to help Sarah find whatever she needs.
At Gates Academy, Charlie goes out by the football field where he finds Andie setting up a lie detector booth for a charity event. The idea is that people will pay money for her to determine whether they are lying or not. Charlie is incredulous at the idea and doesn't think she'll make any money. Andie is slightly embarrassed and says that it was her friend Mia Mueller's idea. From the field, Brett Crezski sees Andie getting chummy with Charlie and one of his teammates taunts him over the matter, suggesting that Andie is cheating on him. Crezski suddenly turns feral and violently tackles Ford to the ground. Coach Ross comes over and breaks them up.
After school, Brett is walking home when a boy named Lukas Ford comes up to him. He says that he heard what happened on the football field and is surprised to see that Brett has violated "the code". He reminds him that such behavior inside The Gates is not the way that the Pack operates. The tension between them mounts and there is a deep rivalry between the two.
At the Monohan residence, the family sits down for dinner. Charlie and Dana talk about school while Sarah tells Nick how she received gifts from Devon and Claire Radcliff. Nick doesn't feel its right for the wife of the police chief to be accepting gifts, especially seeing as how Claire Radcliff might be involved in a possible missing persons case.
As darkness falls, Dylan and Claire Radcliff drive off beyond The Gates to dispose of the body of Mark Woodbury as well as his truck. Dylan dumps him by the river and tosses a bunch of empty beer cans around the area. To cover up Claire's bite marks, he savagely tears at the corpse's throat to make it appeared as if he had been gnawed on by a pack of wolves.
The following day, Nick monitors the security footage from Eddie Barnes' post at the front gate. The video shows Mark Woodbury's truck leaving The Gates. Claire Radcliff is seen driving the vehicle and Nick notes how she looks directly at the security camera. He asks Leigh and Marcus to obtain a search warrant for the Radcliffs' home.
Charlie goes to the Gates Academy auditorium to meet Andie. Andie sets up her lie detector equipment and she tests it out on him. The machine monitors Charlie's heart rate and Andie notices that his emotional state becomes increasingly agitated. She realizes that her presence is making him nervous. In turn, Andie grows nervous as well and makes an excuse to leave. She goes to her locker and Brett comes up to her. He instinctively senses that something is wrong and asks her if Charlie said anything to upset her. She responds, "No", but Brett knows she's lying. He punches the locker, creating a deep dent then storms off. He goes into the men's restroom and in his anger, breaks a porcelain sink and cracks a mirror. Charlie hears the noise from outside and goes into the restroom to investigate. Brett walks out of a stall with his shirt off. Charlie asks him what happened, but Brett dodges the issue. He walks out of the room, but not before telling Charlie that Andie and he are together.
At the police station, Frank Buckley, the developer responsible for building The Gates pays Nick Monohan a visit. He knows about Nick's interest in the Radcliff family and lets him know in no uncertain terms that he intends on quashing Nick's request for a search warrant from the D.A. He politely alludes to the notion that he intends on respecting the privacy of the residents of The Gates and brings up Nick's controversial history with the Chicago Police Department as a veiled threat to his new position. Nick understands fully what Buckley is talking about and realizes that he will get no help from him.
Meanwhile, Peg Mueller enters Devon's Day Spa. Both women are witches and Devon is a former student of Peg's. However, she doesn't hold the same moral values as her mentor and is willing to use her talents to exploit the people that come into her shop. Peg alludes to something underhanded that Devon puts into the tea that she sells to people.
That night, Nick takes it upon himself to inspect the Radcliff home on his own. As he circles the perimeter, Claire is immediately alerted to his presence. She watches him from the shadows and bears her fangs. Dylan however, goes outside to confront him. He surprise Nick who lies and says that he received reports about a prowler. Dylan doesn't believe him though and escorts him out the front. Claire continues to watch in secret and retracts her fangs. After Nick leaves, Dylan goes inside. He sees Claire's state of mind and asks if she was really willing to kill the chief of police. Claire admits that she is having extreme difficulty with being a vampire and Dylan reminds her that he can supply all the blood she will ever need from his laboratories. Claire says that it’s not about the blood, but that it’s about having to assimilate in this community as if she were a normal person.
At the Monohan house, Sarah and Nick talk about his excursion to the Radcliffs' place. Sarah sees how obsessive Nick is becoming and doesn't want a repeat of the events that forced them to leave Chicago.
The next day, Gates Academy hosts its annual Harvest Festival. Andie sets up her lie detector booth and Charlie comes to see her. Charlie tries to explain his nervousness, but Andie admits that she does feel something for him. From some distance away, Brett overhears every words that she says.
At night, the Monohans got to the community amusement park. Sarah is happy that Nick has decided to take some time off from work to have some fun. Claire, Peg and Devon are also present at the park. Claire tries to ask Peg for something to help her with her cravings, but Devon interrupts their conversation. She tells Claire that a neighbor, Jessica Cooper, saw her putting Woodbury's truck in her garage. She says that she whipped up something to make her forget the incident, but adds that the effect is only temporary. It is clear that Devon's sentiment is meant to be threatening and that she is more than willing to use her knowledge to blackmail her. Claire responds by telling her that she could end her without any effort if she wanted to.
Meanwhile, Andie and Charlie are walking together through the woods. Lurking in the shadows is Brett. He sees them together and it drives him crazy. A physical change overtakes him and he is prepared to lunge. Lukas Ford appears, accompanied by a pack of wolves. He pounces on Brett and warns him about violating the code of the pack.
Later, Nick Monahan receives a call from Leigh and Marcus. They tell him that a dead body has been discovered nearby. Nick goes to investigate and discovers that the body belongs to the former police chief who allegedly retired to Mexico.
- The former police chief's name is revealed to be David Phelps in the following episode.
- This episode establishes that Devon is Frank Buckley's ex-wife.
- The location of The Gates community is not revealed in this episode, though there are several indicators that it is in Washington state. Mark Woodbury is from Franklin, which is located in Washington. Andie Bates mentions that she's from Seattle and Frank Buckley speaks of the Seattle expansion project.
Behind the Scenes
Allusions and References
- Plot elements and themes featured in The Gates are reminiscent of programs such as Desperate Housewives, Supernatural and Eureka as well as the comedy film Hot Fuzz; the latter two of which involve a central authority figure entrusted with keeping the peace in a strange new environment.