To quote Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: “Oh, rats.” Of course, Indy was only dealing with regular rats. There were a lot of them and the stakes were pretty high, sure, but his rats probably hadn’t murdered an entire cargo ship of people, developed the ability to asexually reproduce, and created an alternate-universe-Nutcracker rat queen.
That’s the situation the Animal Avengers are dealing with tonight, leaving Paris to head to Massachusetts because Delavenne—you remember Delavenne… Animal Avenger assembler and Chloe’s boss who we know nothing about, including whom he works for or where he gets his funding—tells them about some abnormal rat behavior. And that’s when you know that the rat episode we’ve all been dreading is upon us.
Two weeks ago, a cargo ship headed for Portland reported going from an average amount of rats onboard to a total infestation in a matter of 48 hours. The ship was found adrift near Pender Island, Massachusetts, where a fisherman spotted thousands of rats swimming toward the shore. The ship had been transporting grain grown with Reiden Global products, and every crew member was found dead when the ship was searched, with wounds suggesting they had been attacked by rats. Sounds like a mass prison murder I once heard about…
Even weirder than seeing thousands of rats swimming from the scene of the crime is that they haven’t been spotted on Pender Island since then. Chloe and Jackson meet up with the sheriff of the town, Becky; she’s a friend of Jackson’s from when his family used to vacation on Pender Island, before his father fully went off the deep end. The sheriff tells them that they’re assuming the ship’s crew were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning, and then the rats just got a little hungry, but if they want to go poking around, word on the street is that that abandoned Wilson Hotel is having a bit of a rodent problem.
So, while the rest of the gang heads there to collect a male and female rat for experimenting purposes, Mitch has hung back in D.C. He’s making good on his phone call to Clem and going to visit his daughter for the first time since she was a baby. He hasn’t planned anything because he’s Mitch, but they take Henry—the dog Mitch gave her as a baby—to the park and eat lunch, and Mitch gives her a parking ticket he got from the day she was born. You know she’s a super nice kid because she doesn’t immediately tell him that doesn’t exactly make up for 10 absent years, and you know things are about to go down with the Mother Cell/life-saving-meds exchange we saw Mitch begin to coordinate last week because Clementine sadly tells him that, all told, she’s “not bad… for a dead girl.”
Back on Rat Island, Chloe, Jackson, Abe, and Jamie head to “search for killer rats in an abandoned motel,” as Jamie aptly puts it. Once Abe picks the lock and gets the electricity back on—seriously, what would they do without Abe?—the noise of hundreds of rats scurrying around is heard. But there’s another noise too, which Jackson immediately identifies as “bruxing”: “The sound they make when they grind their incisors… they’re sharpening their teeth.” (I think grinding actually dulls teeth, but what do I know.)
NEXT: What’s worse than a rat motel? A rat motel with a Rat Queen in its basement.