Episode three sees teen fugitive Cal hang out in broad daylight a lot, and still not get caught. Note: you should suspend your disbelief immediately.
So, as you may or may not recall, Cal was about to be run over by a train at the end of the previous episode (these people know how to do cliff hangers). Luckily, he’s screaming for help rather than being at all proactive about pulling his leg free, and a hobo hears him and somehow drops the bottom out of the train tracks so that Cal falls underneath? OK, yeah … sure.
Bruno wakes up beside the train tracks and runs away as the police approach, recovering remarkably quickly for someone who was just tranquillised with a needle. The police, as usual, do not look over or under anything, so Cal and the hobo reach the hobo’s hideout safely. Hobo, who calls himself Repro (short for reprobate, he says, showing remarkable vocab skills for a hobo), starts mouthing off about Vulcan after Cal explains who was chasing him.
The police, meanwhile, read a mightily confusing report by a train driver, who says he was about to hit a kid on the tracks, when suddenly the kid wasn’t there anymore. They watch CCTV footage of the train station, and see Cal limp through a tunnel while Bruno (who they think must be a “concerned citizen”) runs after him.
Over at Vulcan’s mansion, Winter overhears Bruno getting chewed out for losing Cal. Vulcan tells his “princess” that there’s nothing to worry about, but she tries (and fails) to message Cal anyway. We don’t know why his lack of phone reception would mean that her phone fails at sending the message, but there you go.
Repro, who consistently and infuriatingly talks about himself in the third person, gifts a pair of expensive Puma running shoes to Cal (hobos have the best accessories). Repro then punches Cal in the stomach when he tries to leave.
Boges visits Gabby in hospital the next day, and sees Cal’s mum and Rafe there. He urges Gabby to wake up from her coma, but gets no response. She’s not going to wake up, Boges; she saw the attackers, and will be able to set the police straight, which would foil the plot completely.
Back in crazy town, Repro admits that he used to work for Vulcan as a safe cracker. He says he “cracked the wrong safe” and got caught by some big shot, so a hit was put on him. He’s been on the run for 10 and a half years ever since. Sucks to be him!
Once Boges is home, he looks at Cal’s iPhone photos on his iPad (what, did they sync together on iCloud?) and comes across the one of Oriana de la Force (Julia Zemiro). He zooms in on the Ormond Riddle in her hand, and calls Cal excitedly to tell him about it. Cal cannot answer, of course, because he’s being held captive in no-reception land.
Over at Oriana’s place, Kelvin arrives home in a panic that he can no longer find Cal on the tracking map. She tells him to stop whining, move his gross car out of her nice car’s way and get over to Cal’s shack to check out what he left behind.
Repro finally lets Cal go for no apparent reason, and Cal waltzes out in a fake train-driver uniform, managing to get past several police officers despite the fact that his uniform is about five sizes too big, looks like it’s from a costume store and he’s wearing a giant school-kid backpack.
There he is!
The police show the surveillance tape to Cal’s mum, and ask whether there’s any reason why anyone would be chasing him. She recounts Cal’s claims that he was kidnapped, and wonders whether it could be true after all. The police exchange dubious glances.
Cal gets “home” to his ramshackle shack, where Kelvin’s still investigating. Kelvin’s on the phone to Oriana, telling her about the “stupid drawings on the wall”. He checks his map and only just notices in time that Cal has reappeared on it and is walking through the gate that very moment. He panics and runs off in terror, which is pretty funny, because Kelvin is a grown man and Cal is a high schooler.
Boges comes over with his MacBook (Apple is really into sponsoring this show) and shows Cal the picture with the riddle in it. He types a few letters and manages to unpixellate the Ormond Riddle, NCIS-style. The boys then get a bag of Doritos and sit outside in a park to look up the Ormond Riddle online, because eating Doritos in the park is what all fugitives should do.
Do these people need to be taught how to remain in hiding? How hard is it? Don’t go out in public. Don’t go out during daylight hours. Lay low. Scrounge for food at night. Jeez!
Cal, who seems to be directly adverse to laying low, suggests breaking into Oriana’s house to steal the riddle, but Boges says he’ll steal Cal’s grandfather’s address from Cal’s mum so that Cal can just ask his grandfather about the riddle. Did you follow all of that?
Vulcan and Bruno, meanwhile, plot evilly to grab Cal before Oriana can, so that they can “beat the truth out of him”. They act like this is some kind of exciting new plan, but isn’t this exactly what they’ve been trying and failing to do for six weeks now?
Boges turns up at Rafe’s house, where Rafe cheerfully rambles on about ferns for a while. Is there a point to this scene? For someone who was shot in the chest a couple of weeks ago, Rafe’s awfully spry. Boges asks Rafe if he can take a look around the house — not suspicious behaviour at all! Boges goes through Cal’s mum’s drawers, which is extremely painful to watch, but he eventually finds the card from Cal’s grandfather.
Boges hurries downstairs, telling “Mr O” that he “loves the design of the stairs; how they flow up and then flow down” before running out of the door. This kid is hilarious! He’s our favourite.
Or is Winter our favourite? One afternoon, she heads over to Cal’s school and approaches some girls to ask about “the psycho kid”. “Yeah, he’s really hot,” says one girl; “he’s not that hot,” says the other. Winter, feigning naivety and wide-eyed curiosity, asks what he was like, whether he had a girlfriend, who his best friend was … she does a great impression of a nosy little schoolgirl (probably because she is one). The other girls point her in the direction of Boges.
Cal rings Jennifer Smith (the nurse with his father’s USB stick) again (his perseverance is tiring us out), and finds out that she’s working at a government research lab. Kelvin follows Cal on the map, and tells Bruno where he is.
Cal arrives at the lab, and finally speaks face to face with Jennifer. He asks for the memory stick, so she plugs it in to her computer. They only find “holiday snaps” of Ireland, although Jennifer points one out: a house and a wall with the number five on it. She says it was one of the pictures that Cal’s father drew.
Jennifer hears a noise in the otherwise empty lab, and goes off to investigate. This is the part where she gets murdered, right? Once she’s gone, Cal hears a thudding noise as she’s hit over the head.
Cal goes to investigate, and stupidly walks right into Bruno. He runs and hides in a science lab room, and rings Boges for advice on how to create a diversion from the chemicals he has there. Boges provides instructions on making a gas bomb (not that kind of gas), since this is a thing that all teenage boys know how to do.
Cal successfully lets off the bomb, and the thugs immediately fall to the ground, gasping. He pulls the fire alarm and runs out, helping Jennifer (who was indeed knocked on the head) out of the building with him. Maybe she’ll mention to the police that Cal saved her from a bunch of thugs!
Speaking of the police, they’ve finally come up with the idea of tailing Boges, but they do so extremely obviously, driving an unmarked car directly behind him into an otherwise empty alleyway.
Boges makes a run for it and loses them, because they are again totally incompetent. He turns up at Cal’s, and is followed in by Winter, who says that she followed Boges (apparently more successfully than the police). Boges insults Winter a lot, and she leaves in a huff. One of the police officers patrolling the streets then breaks into the shack and tackles Boges, but Cal manages to stab him in the neck with a tranquilliser, and they run away.
The cop later reports to his boss that he didn’t see the face of either of the boys in the shack. Score another one for Cal’s luck!
Over the following days, Cal begins monitoring Oriana’s schedule, ingeniously hiding behind the trees in front of her house. Cal goes to Repro for help on breaking through the security at Oriana’s house, but Repro says no, and mimics playing a violin when Cal complains. He suddenly says he’ll help, though, changing his mind for no apparent reason. Oh, hobos. So inconsistent.
So Repro and Cal, in their highly sophisticated spyware (handyman/gardener uniforms), follow the schedule that Cal mapped out for Oriana and her cronies.
Once Oriana leaves the house with Kelvin, they ring the doorbell and pretend to Jake, her minion, that they’re there to deliver flowers. Cal pepper sprays him in the eyes, and Repro hits him over the back of the head. Gosh, that security was so hard to get through! Thank God you had a safe cracker with you.
Cal and Repro search her study — which is basically a shrine to the Elizabethan period (what a neeeerrrd!) — for the Ormond Riddle.
Cal finally finds the Ormond Riddle inside a book, but Jake is stumbling up the stairs by that stage, and Kelvin and Oriana have noticed that Cal’s at their house via the tracking map (but they never noticed him casing the joint over several days?). They rush back, but Cal and Repro get away, as usual. Oriana throws a book at Jake.
Elsewhere, poor Boges, on his way to one of his cleaning jobs, is taken to the police station and interrogated about Cal’s whereabouts. Boges eventually lies that he had a falling out with Cal, and no longer has any idea where he is. He rings Cal afterwards and tells him everything, saying that they’d better not meet up for a while.
Despite this, he meets up with Cal almost immediately to look at the stolen riddle. He points out that two lines are missing; it’s supposed to be eight lines, according to that bastion of knowledge, Literaturepedia. So Cal decides to hitch-hike to his grandfather’s place.
The guy who picks up Cal (and apparently doesn’t watch TV or read newspapers) ends up being tailgated by Jake and Kelvin (the horror!) all along the highway. Fortunately, Lachlan has fitted his car with a Fast and Furious-style button that miraculously gives him a boost of speed. This is highly realistic stuff right here. Unfortunately, said speed causes one of his tyres to blow out, and the car to flip and fall into a dam. We bet Vin Diesel never had to worry about dams. But then, he was never in Australia, was he?
Cal climbs out of the car and rips the windscreen off to save Lachlan, extraordinarily managing not to get any cuts on his hands, and then reverts to his old fallback: calling desperately for help.
Conspiracy 365 airs on FMC on the first Saturday of every month, 7pm AEDST.
See the last episode’s recap here!