Bloody. Cut-throat. Dirty business. Avenger. Ruinous. Evil incarnate.
We’re not talking about The purge franchise; we are talking about the real estate market because as anyone who has ever tried to sell their home knows, it can be absolute hell.
As we learn in the pilot episode of SYFY Surrealist, it gets worse when the house in question is home to all kinds of supernatural squatters, the kind who just won’t be evicted without an exorcism. Luckily, there’s a guy for that: his name is Luke Roman (Tim Rozon), and his real estate group, The Roman Agency, specializes in selling so-called “branded” properties that others can’t.
And right now, the doom business is booming.
** SPOILER WARNING! Spoilers ahead for Surrealist Season 1, episode, “Pilot.” **
When we first met Luke, he met a Megan Donovan (Tennille Read), a medical student who inherited a gorgeous Victorian from her grandfather when he died. He failed to tell her the house was haunted – the fireplace tries to engulf it, old autopsy photos come to life in his textbooks, etc. – and of course, she wants GTFO. With a little persuasion, Megan urges Luke and the Roman agency to do whatever they need to get the house ready for the market.
Luke’s team is small but disjointed, made up of the “father” priest Phil Orley (Adam Korson) desperate for nothing, and the ever-quoted and tech-savvy August Ripley (Maurice Dean Wint). witty and ghoulish office manager Zoey L’Enfant (Savannah Basley). Additionally, the team welcomes new hire Susan Ireland (Sarah Levy), who comes from a rival real estate company that recently experienced an abnormal fire in its office building. However, as Susan is quick to point out, “it was a small fire.” More curious and more curious.
Let’s just say that when Luke first hired Susan, she was not aware of all of the occupational hazards involved in the business. But as he briefs her on the ins and outs on her way to another problematic property, she handles it better than most – that is, she doesn’t give up. After all, she doesn’t have many options: she was having an unhappy affair with her boss at the last place and wouldn’t be able to find a job there now. Whether she likes it or not, she is material from the Roman agency.
Luke and Susan arrive at Lenore’s. The enraged salespeople, their recalcitrant teenage daughter Lauren, and their real estate agent, a Rita Weiss, are convinced the place is owned by a poltergeist – but all of August’s and Father Phil’s tests are negative. However, when the books start flying off the shelves and the cabbage heads pop out of the fridge, the tests appear to be moot. Mystery to follow …
Meanwhile, at the Donovan Residence, August and “father” Phil arrived for further testing. The metaphysical disturbances are out of the ordinary, and August’s bifocals reveal that the place is teeming with malicious and benign (but nonetheless pricking itself) spirits. When Megan informs the Ghostbusters that she’s never been to the basement, they invite each other to take a look and are almost eaten alive by an otherworldly mutt hungry for human flesh.
Susan is also hitting walls with the Lenore case, as there has been another incident that would seem to belie the ‘no poltergeist’ theory: during dinner, a clock flew off the wall and caused a concussion in the body. dad. Susan meets the family at the hospital where he is recovering and finds Lauren in the waiting room on the phone. His heated conversation about a boy at school is disrupted by a nearby toddler screaming at a misplaced toy. With her back to him, Lauren inadvertently and telekinetically levitates the toy and places it back in the toddler’s crib. He’s not a poltergeist.
Susan decides to have a tête-à-tête with Lauren. All the scams at home? It’s the way Lauren deals with all this teenage angst. Susan knows this because Susan is also telekinetic. Do you remember the fire at his last business? She started after the boss gave her the boot. With Lauren’s powers under control, they should be able to sell the house fairly quickly.
Back at the Donovan house, Megan reached her tolerance for supernatural activities after finding herself at one of the autopsy tables in her textbook, a (real? Hallucinated?) Scalpel pressed to her chest. She arms herself with several bottles of her grandfather’s vintage wine, runs outside and calls Luke for help.
The next morning, a very sober Megan tells Luke all about the heartbreaking episode. He learns more about the bottles of choice wine Megan brought with her and learns that before her death, her grandfather worked in a wine cellar in the basement. Luke has a hunch.
Armed with a flashlight and store-bought pork chops, the two venture into the basement in search of the source of the spiritual shenanigans. The chops occupy the purgatory pooch as Luke and Megan investigate further into the unfinished wine cellar. Just as Luke expected, the workers inadvertently opened a portal to the demon realm while building the cellar and forgot to close it (rookie mistake); that’s where all the bad vibes come from. A little soldering and this house should be market ready.
Celebrating two cases closed in one day, Luke feels the need to celebrate but is instead overcome with nostalgia. At Megan’s? It has sentimental value for him. A few years ago her mother disappeared in this house and has never heard from again. That night, Luke returns to the Donovan house, and lo and behold, in a second story window is Luke’s mother, who looks pretty good for a deceased woman.
New episodes of Surrealist premieres every Friday at 10 p.m. ET on SYFY. You can look Surrealist Episodes 1 and 2 on SYFY YouTube page 11 p.m. ET on July 16 until 11 p.m. ET on July 30.