Only took me two months, right? Well, here is Issue 9's summary, ready for you to read! It is much shorter and much more summary-formatted than Issue 8, but hopefully you will like it regardless. I mean, at least it tells you what was happening!
Knock on wood, the next issue summaries will come much faster.
The wrong place at the wrong time.
At the end of the last issue, Danny found Mad Bart in her bedroom, rifling through a very old photo album (despite the fact that Bart's eyes remain covered). When asked to leave, he informed her that he was there to help her bring down Creed.
Danny: What do you know about Creed?
Bart: Everything. What they really are.
Danny: Which is?
Bart: The machine of the beast.
Danny: I thought they were the ones running the show.
Bart: That's what they think, yeah. God and I would like you to prove them wrong.
Remember, Danny isn't privy to Penelope's theory that there are three forces at work here, not two. Danny's working under the assumption that Creed and company are the bad guys. Bart is in no hurry to clarify. Instead, he appears to be offering a partnership of sorts. Danny surprises Bart by outright refusing. Bart is not taking no for an answer, but after one of Danny's sore spots is accidentally poked (or, as Bart says, he was probably meant to do that without actually meaning to do that) during the conversation, she promptly throws Bart out on the sidewalk outside of her stepmother's home.
Frida is kind of really pissed off that Danny has just assaulted someone in her home. She does not care about Danny's reasoning. Danny storms back inside to argue with Frida, so eager to hash it out that she doesn't notice her brother, Efrén, and his Angry Friend about a block away. They, on the other hand, have not missed the fact that Danny just angrily threw someone out of the house and stormed back in to apparently chew off Frida's head.
Efrén and his Angry Friend help Bart up, asking what happened. Bart simply says that Danny owes him, and Efrén immediately assumes he is referring to money. He tries to offer Bart money, but Bart refuses (and Angry Friend adds that Efrén had said he wouldn't bail out Danny anymore). Since there are still loud and increasingly nonsensical screams coming from the two women in the house, the gentlemen decide to at least help Bart clean and bandage his various scrapes.
Elsewhere in the Houston metroplex, Betsy, Collin's mother (remember her?), is surprised by a visit from her son-in-law and her adopted granddaughter, Leon and Berlinetta. Betsy is delighted to see them both, though Leon wants to have a serious talk. Betsy sends Berlinetta upstairs to "give your Pop-Pop a good scare," and she and Leon settle down to talk about Collin. Leon has many misgivings about Collin going to France, and Betsy sympathizes with his inability to talk Collin out of things.
B: Oh, Leon. That boy had this hideous long blue hair when he was a teenager. I have never in my life been able to talk Collin into or out of anything.
After being tackled by her excited granddaughter coming back downstairs, Betsy admits she's glad Collin's held his ground on some things.
Going back to Galveston, it turns out Angry Friend accompanied Efrén to the island for his own reasons: while Efrén met with Danny, Angry Friend would meet with his girlfriend who goes to school there. Even though that plan is shot, Angry Friend still manages to take his dear Isla to lunch, and leaves Efrén alone and uncomfortable in a booth with Bart. Efrén admits that if Frida and Danny are arguing, there's a chance that Frida might kick Danny out and he might have to take her in for awhile, which has been an issue before - Efrén thought he might be okay with having her stay with him again, but the idea of a shouting, volatile Danny shakes him up a bit. Bart suggests Efrén go see Danny anyway, and Efrén continues to short circuit.
B: You could still go see her.
E: No, not now! It’d be awkward! So very awkward. She assaulted a blind man!
B: Well, I was probably gettin' on her nerves. Also I got a name.
E: Oh god, we’ve been talking for two hours and I bandaged your bleeding leg and I didn’t ask your name—
B: Bart is fine.
E: Please don’t sue, Bart.
Bart presses his advantage and makes Efrén incredibly uncomfortable by maintaining what would be a level stare if he had eyes. Efrén tries drifting into small talk and is surprised to learn that Bart apparently resides close to the area where Efrén's little apartment is. What a coincidence.
B: Maybe we’ll see each other around, then.
E: *small* ‘kay.
That will end well. Meanwhile, Danny is not exactly relaxing after her visit from Bart. She calls her buddy-in-conspiracy, Fox, to see if he might have any further details about the creepy sumbitch that leafed through her photo albums and is unbeknownst to her having a burger with her little brother.
Fox has no idea what Bart is talking about. He's curious, though. Danny promises to stall Bart the next time he shows up so Fox can meet him and together, he and Danny can figure out the mystery of the red-headed creeper. The idea of investigatin' something like that together makes Danny feel kind of warm and fuzzy.
And now, welcome to France, where something dastardly is afoot – not that we'd be able to tell from the swank hotel where Collin and Leon are staying. Leon is still really, really uneasy with Collin's decision to attend this mysterious meeting he won't talk about. He still plays dutiful housewife, preparing Collin's suit and a cup of coffee, but he attempts to talk Collin out of it one last time. Collin takes a sip of his coffee, realizes something is very wrong, and tries to make a break for it. It doesn't work; Leon tackles Collin, pins him to the floor, forces him to drink the rest of the sedative-spiked coffee, and chokes him into unconsciousness.
Hilary visits Danny. She hasn't found out much more about Bart, but has been trying to dig – the most she can get is that he's a drifter. He showed up at Sid's Circus after a series of unfortunate accidents left them without a mechanic. Danny hopes that this is the sort of thing that point to foul play, but no – just a series of very unlucky events that could've never been engineered by a person unless the person in question had very creepy superpowers.
Danny is not willing to even entertain that thought. Which is good, otherwise she'd be really freaked out at the idea that her baby brother was having coffee with Bart. They just bumped into each other, and Efrén has a lot of residual guilt about the circumstances of their meeting, and somehow that has ended up with coffee. Efrén is confused as to how this happened.
[Spoiler alert: Bart isn't.]
They have a very long conversation. Efrén tells Bart a little more about his insecurities than he probably should, but Efrén is a bit lonely, and aside from his Angry Friend, doesn't really have a lot of people he feels he can confide in. Bart is a really good listener. Efrén talks, Efrén talks a lot, and when Bart replies, it's in a soothing, soft drawl. This is kind of nice, Efrén thinks. Unnerving and he can't put his finger on why… but nice, nonetheless.
As for things that are creepy and very much not nice, there is this very mysterious meeting of very powerful people in France. They are missing one person (Collin), which doesn't seem like it should matter, but Corazón Paulín (the tall, blond Creed woman who seems to be everywhere and looks fab in a suit) is very, very upset about Collin's absence. This ruins everything, in her opinion. You'll find out why next issue.
Hilary gives Danny a ride off the island, and they both visit Mercedes – Hilary's nice enough to give them some space to talk, and they have a heart to heart about all the things Mercedes has been worried about. Mercedes relates to Danny what she found out when she attempted to dig into Creed a bit more: that Creed has noticed that she and Danny are digging. If you'll recall, it's not actually that Creed has noticed that they're digging – it's that Leon's a little paranoid about Danny and Mercedes since their inauspicious meeting way back in the first episode.
Mercedes admits she doesn't feel safe and that she's considering going to Chicago. Danny encourages her to do so, saying, "I've held you back long enough."
Mercedes smiles and corrects her. "You've held me up."
Hilary dry retches and ruins the moment.
Halfway across the world, Collin wakes in his comfy bed, neatly held in place by very secure chains. Leon has been very attentive to Collin's various injuries, but he is very standoffish and clearly upset. After prodding from Collin, Leon claims to feel concerned that Collin is starting to buy into the cult-mindset of the corporation, when as far as he knew, Collin's original intent was to take Creed for all he could and run away. Collin viciously berates Leon, telling him that of course this was the plan – and one way or another, it's too late and this whole thing is going to have serious repercussions. Leon is hurt, if not particularly remorseful, and Collin manages to give him an awkward, reassuring one-armed- because-the-other-arm-is-chained-down hug. It seems to calm them both down and they remember they love each other, violence and mean words aside.
After a pause, Collin admits he has a headache.