Ryan and Micki set out to find a poison pen that kills anyone whose name is written by it after a series of mysterious deaths predicted by the Oracle of Death prompts Jack to remember that Lewis had a quill pen with similar powers. Micki can't be taken in by the brotherhood, emphasis on the brother, but Ryan is sure to wrap up her boobs with some gauze and slick back her hair so that they can both go in together with the help of Jack's written letter of approval.
Once in the brotherhood, F13: The Series shows us just how creepy monkhood can be. Inside the castle resides a group of brooding monks who do hard labor outside during the day and pray and meditate at any other time; some of them, like Brother Drake (Alan Peterson) and Le Croix (Colin Fox) don't take too kindly to the new brothers, too. There's a guillotine in the brotherhood's basement, as though that's pretty normal for a peaceful brethren. And then there's Brother Currie, who's locked up in a dungeon because of his "vows of silence" and the terrible gift given to him - the one that allows him to predict the deaths of the abbots at the brotherhood.
Ryan and Micki know better, though. While they try to infiltrate the castle to take back the pen (with Micki trying her hardest not to pee in front of the boys), Jack sets out to make a look-alike of the quill pen so that he can swap it with Brother Currie's. He dons an Irish accent and a robe, poses as another visitor to the monkhood (who knew that monks traveled from one brotherhood to the next so often!), and joins Micki and Ryan.
They get themselves in all sorts of mishaps. Brother Drake, who conveniently has a hole in the bathroom wall, spies on Micki as she takes a shower. I wonder what else he's been hiding from the rest of the brotherhood? Le Croix is not who he appears to be on the surface; a peaceful man at first, he soon shows his true colors when he decides to sell the monk's land to an investor looking to put a soulful, pious shopping mall on the grounds.
Along the way are a couple of murders, one of which finds an abbot floating off of the roof and dropping a few stories to his death in the courtyard below. The special effects are definitely dated, but the blood spouting from the cross around the abbot's neck is a great touch.
But we just can't forget the floating guillotine blade that becomes the bane of La Croix's existence. The guillotine plays a major role in this episode - seriously, who knew that people just had these sitting around like treadmills? In the finale, La Croix unwittingly signs his own death sentence by writing with the poison pen on a paper he'd already signed. D'oh! You've always got to read the fine print.
After that, the guillotine blade flies around trying to chop La Croix in half, first embedding itself in the wall, then pulling free and soaring into his back with the delicacy of a chef chopping carrots. F13: The Series uses the infamous "it's behind you" gag - La Croix isn't falling for it, he says, and then falls for it anyway.
There are a lot of running jokes throughout this episode, especially because of Micki having to fake being a guy. "The Poison Pen" reminds a little bit of an Agatha Christie mystery; it's got the atmosphere and the suspense, and then also the subtle twists about who really has been doing the killing. It's a much slower episode than "The Inheritance," though, so don't go into it expecting the creep factor of killer dolls. You'll also have to suspend disbelief a little bit, because Robie can't pass for a man at all though she fools all of the monks.
But Jack's funny enough as an Irish monk, and Ryan always cracks a bunch of jokes about praying and guillotines and his cousin's girlish figure (which is kind of weird now that I think about it). "The Poison Pen" is a fun episode because of its different setting, and though it doesn't feature a lot of bloodshed, mysteries abound in the grim brotherhood.