“He didn’t realize he was writing a love story.” ~ Pete Lattimer
“The Big Snag” opens with Pete and Myka capturing errant static electricity balls in the warehouse using Vyasa’s Jade Elephant. Pete uses the elephant to capture four electricity balls, but it proves too much for the elephant as it shoots lightening out and hits the nearby shelves causing loose, blank pages from a manuscript to fall all around them, sucking them into the story. They quickly realize they’ve been sucked into an Anthony Bishop tale (thanks to Myka) as they are in black and white and in the 1940s and have the title page of the manuscript at hand.
After checking out the area, they realize they are in an entire world of black and white with no way out, until a blonde woman (the client) walks in and asks for their help to find her missing husband, Oliver Carson, who is in possession of Vyasa’s Jade Elephant. Without any tools or other means of escape, they realize in order to get out of the story they must solve the case and agree to help the woman. They decide they must go check out Mr. Carson’s office. This part was a bit humorous as Pete begins narrating the scene and they both continue talking in 1940s lingo. Myka being an expert at it and enjoying the artifact’s effect was great.
As they reach the office, a man emerges and punches Pete in the face. When he wakes up, they are both tied to chairs and a gangster/club owner, Barnabas, begins questioning them about the missing Mr. Carson and the Jade Elephant. Mr. Carson, an archaeologist, was commissioned by Barnabas to find the Jade Elephant, but once he found it, he decided to skip town with it. As a woman, the men go easy on Myka so she is able to untie herself while they talk and manages to get a weapon and take out Barnabas’ men. Barnabas explains his side of things and commissions Myka and Pete to find Mr. Carson and the Jade Elephant.
They return to Mr. Carson’s office and see that it’s tossed, but the goons missed something as Myka finds a matchbook with Anthony Bishop’s mother’s name on it, something the goons wouldn’t look twice at. They head to the hotel, KristieAnne and Pete bribes the boy behind the counter with a very big tip. They get the guestbook and see that a name has been erased, so Pete scribbles it in and sees Augustus Rivers, the name of an archaeologist. (I find it interesting that someone wrote hard enough to leave an impression that deep and clear on the guestbook….that’s TV for ya.) Pete and Myka go to Rivers’ room and find Mr. Carson dead with an open window nearby. Pete runs to the window and sees someone fleeing, but he shoots the Jade Elephant at him and escapes. They turn around and realize they are in a murder mystery and must solve the murder in order to get out of the book, much to Pete’s chagrin who would have rather landed in a cookbook. Though that does sound like the preferable place to be as long as it’s not Hannibal Lecter’s Cookbook!
After leaving the office, they determine they must speak to Mr. Carson’s wife, so they head to her home. A woman answers the door, only it’s not the “Mrs. Carson” that asked for their help. After talking with her, they realize that she is the real Mrs. Carson and the girl was a blonde he ran off with. She tells them that the blonde and her husband met at the Indigo Club so they realize they must return to the club. They head back that night and see the blonde “Mrs. Carson” singing. Just a side note, if all they had was the $100 that Pete used to bribe the hotel boy, where did they get the money for the clothes?
After the blonde finishes singing, she dashes off the stage in an attempt to escape but Pete and Myka catch her and she admits that she lied. She tells them her real name is Lily Abbott and that she didn’t kill Mr. Carson. She was working for Barnabas and never loved Carson, because she has a man whom she’s going to run away with. Myka has fun with this moment and gets the truth out of Lily, leading their investigation to Lily’s boyfriend. As they are discussing where to go next, a server gives them an anonymous note asking them to meet in the alley.
When they get into the alley, the bartender of the Indigo Club confronts them. Dun dun dun, I never would have guessed that the bartender had more to do with this…he’s not portrayed by a well-known actor or anything! He asks how they got in “here” and Myka quickly realizes that the bartender is Anthony Bishop and by “here” he’s referring to the story. He admits that when his wife died he was lost, so he buried himself into his book, until one day he opened his eyes and he was in the book. They tell him that in order for them to leave, they need to finish the story, but he doesn’t want it to end. At this point they realize that Lily is modeled after his wife and he wants to stay to be with her. If they finish the story than an innocent person, most likely Lily, will die in a shootout just like every book he’s written, so he doesn’t want them to solve the case and runs off, leaving Barnabas as their only lead.
They go back to the club and someone tells them that Barnabas got a phone call and left. Myka is lost about what to do next, but Pete picks up the phone and talks to the operator. He charms her into telling him about the last phone call and finds that Barnabas was heading to meet someone at a bridge. They go to the bridge and find Barnabas dead, evidence pointing to a woman with long black hair as the attacker. They figure out Rebecca Carson is the suspect just as she shows up and shoots Pete with the elephant. She tells Myka that she loved Oliver before shooting the elephant at Myka and running off. Myka stays to revive Pete, barely managing to save him, and the two realize Rebecca will need money so they go back to the Indigo Club.
Anthony Bishop and Lily beat her to it as Rebecca enters and finds them taking the money out of the register and talking about getting into the safe. Rebecca shoots at them and demands they break into the safe and give her the money. When Pete and Myka get to the Indigo Club, Rebecca holds Lily hostage and Bishop tells them to go away, because his life is there with Lily. Lily realizes that he’s willing to let other people get hurt in order to save her and tells him she won’t let him do that. While Rebecca’s distracted with their conversation, Lily takes the opportunity to hit her and get away from her. Pete fights her and Myka ends up shooting and killing her.
After the shootout, they’re still stuck in the novel until Pete gets a vibe and uses the elephant to shoot a hole in the fog like the end of Casablanca, while Bishop says goodbye to Lily. He tells them that he doesn’t want to leave, but he’s not sure what will happen if he stays. After thinking about it a minute, he realizes that “One more second with her is a happier ending than a lifetime without her” and goes back to be with her while Pete and Myka go through the portal and emerge back in the warehouse. They begin picking up the papers and notice that they are all filled in and the ending shows that Lily and Bishop got their happily ever after. Myka notes that the ending doesn’t make sense for a gritty crime novel and Pete tells her, “maybe that’s why he had writer’s block. He didn’t realize he was writing a love story.”
Meanwhile, Steve and Claudia are determined to help get Artie back to normal so they trick him into getting involved in a ping with missing classic cars, but he decides to go out in the field by himself, so they have to finagle a way to join him. He agrees to let them come and they head to a car shop where the missing cars are being sold. In the car shop, a saleswoman attempts to sell them a car and they tell her they want to speak to her boss. The owner remains uncooperative until Artie takes out the Tesla and shoots it, threatening to shoot more if he doesn’t talk. The owner tells them about a guy and they decide to set a trap using Artie’s classic car, Scarlett.
They set up a fake article about Artie’s car being in town for the night as Artie messes with Claudia’s Tesla grenade causing the GPS tracker to malfunction. Claudia tries to fix it, but the car thief shows up before she’s done so she jumps in the trunk of the car. Artie freaks out about the plan not working and, afraid of losing Claudia, jumps in front of the car to stop the thief, but the car drives right through him and escapes. At a garage, the thief takes off some gloves, puts them down and leaves. Claudia sneaks out of the trunk and just as she’s about to grab the gloves, the thief returns and fights her, knocking Claudia’s tesla from her hands and revealing herself to be the saleswoman from earlier. Artie and Steve arrive just in time to save Claudia and the saleswoman jumps into another car and drives away through the garage door. Trapped, with no way to follow her, Steve is about to give up when Claudia pulls out a glove that she snagged off the saleswoman. They decide to go after her, but Artie tricks them and takes off in the car by himself.
As Artie chases the thief, Claudia looks up the artifact and finds the gloves belonged to a stuntman Carey Loftin who got every stunt on the first try and never got any scratches on his cars. The only problem with the artifact is that the gloves only work once, after going through something the first time, the car becomes “crashable” again. When Artie chases the saleswoman into a corner, he decides to play chicken with her and drives straight at her. She drives straight at him, but loses the game of chicken and crashes her car, allowing Artie to get the glove from her.
After returning to the warehouse, Steve meets with Regent Kosan and tells him that he’s worried about Artie’s “unnecessary recklessness.” Kosan tells him that the regents must act, but Steve protests noting that they need to be there for him, not bronze him or turn him into an H.G. Wells Hologram. Kosan merely tells him “the less you know the better it is for Artie Nielson,” and leaves. What exactly do the regents have in mind for Artie? He definitely needs help, but not the kind they’ve been noted for giving in the past!