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Birds of a Feather - Recap

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Atlantic City, NJ – 1981

A young Harry Dresden is asleep in his bed when a noise wakes him. He looks up and sees the closet door open. Harry calls for his dad and his father Colm comes in. He looks in the closet at his son’s insistence and finds nothing, and then hands him a bag that he says belonged to Harry’s mother. Harry opens it and finds a shield bracelet. Colm explains that it was supposed to protect Harry’s mother, and that she wasn’t wearing it when she died. He doesn’t know why, and Harry vows to kill whatever it was that murdered his mother. The closet door closes, and...



Chicago, IL – present day

Harry wakes up from his dream and greets the woman next to him, Laura Ellis. When she realizes what time it is, she rushes off. Harry gets ready to go and goes to his magical workshop to find the keys for his jeep. His spirit assistant, Bob, is working on a mystic equation. Harry tells him about his dream and Bobby notes that it’s the third time that Harry has had the dream and suggests that it’s a portent. Harry avoids the issue and notes that he’s seen the formula before, and Bob admits he’s working on a project from before his retirement, a supernatural “Doom Box” that captures and explosively releases amplified magical energies. When Harry realizes that the artifact formula was in his uncle’s grimoire, Bob admits that it was until Harry killed him. Irritated, Harry orders Bob back into his skull and the spirit obeys.



Harry goes out and discovers that his Jeep has been booted and ticketed. A young boy, Scott Sharp, comes up to him holding Harry’s phone book and asks if he’s a wizard, and says that he has monsters and they’ll kill him and his mom Sheryl if Harry doesn’t help. He offers Harry $5,000 to help and hands him cash. As Harry tells him to put it away, a raven watches from the tree above.

Harry takes Scott to the diner where Laura works as a waitress, and tells the boy that monsters aren’t interested in killing the boy or his mother because they don’t exist. Scott insists that they were outside his door, but Harry refuses to take advantage of him and walks away.

Lt. Murphy with the Chicago PD is checking out a murder scene at 5809 McKinley Ave when Harry calls her. He asks for her help getting his ticket unbooted but she tells him to pay the fines and hangs up. She then talks with her partner, Detective Sid Kirmani, who explains that the victim came home the previous night and the postman found her dead that morning. The victim was moved around a lot by the government and the police are trying to track down her current assignment. The woman was skinned alive and posed, they’re assuming she’s the woman who lives in the apartment. However, there’s no blood.



Bob apologizes for mentioning Harry’s uncle and suggests that he may have put Harry in a bad mood so that he refused to take Scott’s case. The spirit notes that Harry was once a frightened boy, and Scott’s fears may be justified. Bob figures that if Scott does suffer, Harry will blame himself, and tells the wizard to have Melissa check into the records of the High Council.

Later, Harry goes to the diner and meets with Melissa Perrini, and awkwardness ensues when Laura meets her and the two snipe at each other. Once Laura leaves, Harry asks Melissa for a quick look through the High Council records. Melissa points out that an unauthorized check with the records is risky. The wizard insists that a mother and child are in danger, and Melissa tells him to shut up and let her work. She concentrates and her eyes turn solid white, while Harry tries not to look embarrassed. Once she comes out of her spell, Melissa tells Harry that she has nothing and tells Harry to leave her.



At JFK Junior High School, Scott is in the restroom and notices a raven at the window. His teacher, Whitney Timmons, orders everyone back to class and asks if Scott is okay. He nervously assures her that she is and Whitney asks him to stay after spell to help tutor some other students. As she walks away, Scott sees a black-skinned man with wings on his back watching from the outside door. Scott turns and runs away, and Whitney comes to investigate but sees nothing.

Back at his lab, Harry tells Bob that Melissa found nothing and there’s no case. Bob suggests that he at least tell Scott the news, but Harry isn’t impressed. Scott runs in and yells that there are monsters out there. Harry takes the boy home and talks to Sheryl, who figures that it’s a psychological problem with her son. She explains that sometimes Scott gets better, and then it builds until Scott seeks out someone like Harry. Harry asks if there’s a man in the picture and Sheryl admits that Scott’s biological father isn’t interested in his son. She admits that all of the psychologists are useless and Harry asks if anyone has tried magic. He casts a protective glyph on a piece of paper and tells Scott to hang it on his door to keep the monsters away. Sheryl assumes that Harry is just playing along but Scott feels much safer.



Whitney comes by the house to return Scott’s backpack and Sheryl introduces her to Harry. Sheryl insists on paying for Harry’s cab and he tells her to call if anything happens. As Whitney starts to come into the house, she hesitates and then tells Sheryl that she has to go back to school to lock up.

Harry goes to a diner and Murphy finds him and wants a consultation on her current case. She offers to take care of his tickets in return for his help, and he suggests Xipe Totec, an Aztec deity, the Flayed God. However, Harry admits that he’s not sure what it is without seeing the crime scene, and Murphy agrees to take him there.

As ravens perch on the trees outside of Scott’s house, Sheryl tucks Scott in bed and promises to tape up the glyph.

Murphy and Harry examine the apartment and she explains that the victim was a schoolteacher. Harry sees a photo of the dead woman, Whitney Timmons, and realizes that it’s the woman he saw earlier that day at the Sharpe home. He tells Murphy to make a call for him and that they’re dealing with a skinwalker.

As Sheryl tapes up the paper with the ward, unaware that the phone lines have been cut, she sees scraps of paint on the carpet outside of Scott’s room. Looking up, Sheryl sees a glyph etched into the wall. The raven man from the school appears behind her and Sheryl screams.



The police arrive at the Sharpe home and Harry runs inside. He finds Sheryl sitting on the carpet, clutching the paper. She tells Harry that the raven man took Scott and Harry confirms that the boy is gone.

Atlantic City, NJ – 1981

Colm is performing stage magic with a noticeable lack of success, while Harry watches from the audience and fingers his mother’s shield bracelet. Colm tosses the ring up into the air... and Harry makes it hover in mid-air. As the audience applauds, Colm realizes that Harry used real magic. After the performance, he tells Harry to never do that again, particularly in public. Colm warns that Harry is going down a dangerous road and that his talent is a loaded gun that other people will want him to use it to their benefit. He insists that Harry tell or show no one his abilities.

Chicago, IL – present day

The next morning, Harry goes over Scott’s room and finds a single black raven’s feather. He pockets it before Murphy can see it, and then tells Murphy to put Whitney’s photo out on TV but warn everyone not to approach her. Murphy demands answers but Harry only tells her to find Whitney. He then goes to Sheryl, who is blaming herself for ignoring Scott’s concerns about monsters, and assures her that he’ll find Scott. Harry asks if anyone in the family has any special abilities but Sheryl has no idea what he’s talking about. Next, Harry asks if she’s noticed ravens hanging around Scott, and Sheryl says that they have been ever since she brought Scott home.

Harry goes back to his workshop and Bob identifies the feather as belonging to the Raven Men, a magical group of mercenaries. Bon figures that the ravens, being morally neutral, wouldn’t have set off the glyph above Scott’s door while the skinwalker would have. The tomes suggest that the Raven Men follow set migratory patterns and go to the same places over and over again where they have set up their nest. Before Harry can pursue that line of thought, Melissa arrives at his door and yells to be let in. Harry lets her in and she says that she’s in trouble, and figures that Harry has Scott hidden somewhere. While Bob studies Melissa carefully, Harry says that he doesn’t have the boy. Melissa finally admits that the skinwalker threatened to kill her unless she delivered Scott to the creature. Harry realizes that Melissa lied to him, while Bob asks if Scott acquired his “gift” from his mother or father. Melissa says that Scott was placed and that Sheryl isn’t the boy’s biological mother, and Harry admits that he figured the skinwalker had Scott.



Upon hearing that, Melissa rips the wards off of the door and snatches off Harry’s shield bracelet. She says that she didn’t have a choice, and then her face rips apart and she’s skinned in a matter of seconds. The skinwalker, still wearing Whitney’s form, walks in with Melissa’s skin and drops it on the floor.

Atlantic City, NJ – 1981

Harry tells his father that he misses Florida, and Colm says that he knows it’s hard on the boy. The boy admits that his Uncle Justin called and said that he wanted to talk to Colm about Harry.



Chicago, IL – present day

The skinwalker strings up Harry and asks if he belongs to Justin Morningway. She asks Bob if he just stood there as Harry slaughtered Justin, just like he is now. Bob vows to make her pay if she hurts Harry, but the skinwalker dismisses him as impotent. She offers to save Harry if they reveal where Scott is, noting that she wouldn’t be there if she had the boy. The skinwalker beats Harry and demands to know where the truth is.

At the Sharpe house, Sheryl talks to Murphy, who says that she has a nine-year-old daughter named Anna, and that her ex-husband currently has her. Sheryl talks about how she knew something would ruin her life with Scott from the day she brought him home. Murphy asks her if Scott’s father might have had something to do with it, and Sheryl explains that the father has kids of her own. The officer realizes that Sheryl adopted Scott illegally and says that she needs to know everything possible about Scott’s background.

The skinwalker releases Harry, who still insists that he has no idea where Harry is. She starts to rip his skin away and Bob finally tells her that the Raven Men took Scott, but they don’t know where they’re nesting. He directs her to the raven feather and tells her to get out, and the skinwalker says that Harry is lucky that she’s under orders to spare him. The skinwalker leaves while Bob and Harry realize that Bob was suckered. When Bob says that they have no leads, Harry says that they do.



Harry calls Murphy to confirm that Scott was adopted. Sheryl picked Scott up at an old Methodist church and the minister arranged the adoption. Murphy gives Harry the address but warns that it’s been closed for years. Once Harry hangs up, Bob starts to apologize but Harry cuts him off. They work out that it will take the skinwalker an hour to create a tracking spell, and Harry asks Bob for the Doom Box.

Atlantic City, NJ – 1981

While Harry sits outside and listens, Justin talks to Colm and says that he can give the boy training and exposure to others with his abilities. Colm refuses to let Justin involve Harry in his shadow wars against the High Council. He vows to destroy Justin if he tries to recruit the boy and leaves Justin’s hotel room, taking Harry with him.

Chicago, IL – present day

At the church, Scott sits within a circle of raven men, eating a banana split. One of them offers Scott a can of whipped cream. The leader, the one who abducted Scott from his home, goes downstairs as he senses someone. He finds nothing, but Harry grabs him and demands the boy. The raven man says that Scott is in hiding but Harry warns that the skinwalker is on its way. The mercenary warns that Sheryl can’t protect Scott from what is coming and will die trying to protect her son. Harry explains that when they placed the boy with Sheryl so he’d blend in, they did their job too well and now they love each other. He says that he’ll handle the skinwalker and shows the raven man the Doom Box.



The raven man takes Harry to Scott, and the wizard tells Scott to keep everything he’s seen secret. The raven man warns that the Doom Box isn’t a permanent solution, but Harry assures him that by that time, he and Scott will both be ready.

The skinwalker arrives at the church, still pretending to be Whitney, and finds Harry waiting for her. He tells her that it’s too late and suggests that her employer double-crossed her. The skinwalker doesn’t believe it and Harry realizes that she knows where her employer lives. He asks for a meeting with her employer, but Whitney tells her to deal with him. Harry offers her the Doom Box. The skinwalker demands the box and Harry tosses it to her. As he backs away, it glows red in her hands and she realizes that she’s been set up. The box explodes in a burst of magical energy, disintegrating her in seconds.



Outside the church, Justin watches the explosion, smiles, and drives away.

Later, Harry meets with Murphy and gives her the story that the killer died in a gas explosion. Murphy isn’t convinced but Harry point out that what matters is that Scott is back with his mother. When Murphy warns that the adoption wasn’t legal, Harry says that until the real parents show up, Sheryl and Scott should be together. He goes back to his apartment where Sheryl and Scott have come for dinner. Sheryl thanks Harry for his help, and he tells her that Scott is special. She’s not sure what he means, and Harry tells her to call him if anything strange happens. Sheryl realizes that Harry was like Scott when he was little, and Harry admit that he was. She asks who looked out for him, and Harry says that his dead watched over him. As Harry sits down with the Sharpes, the ravens watch over the boy from outside.

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Warning: The Dresden Files season 1 episode 1 guide may contain spoilers
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