Vade Retro is the second episode in the series and the 2nd produced hour of the series as a whole. It was transmitted on February 16th, 2009. Chase Quinn and her partner Roland Crisp begin their investigation into Melissa's death. Chase discovers an unlikely connection to her past, while Roland encounters an evasive Mattie Howard.

"Vade Retro"

February 19, 2009
Running time
Centric character(s)
Directed by


Flashback: Palo Alto, CaliforniaEdit

Chase awakens dreamily from her sleep several hours prior to the event in San Jose. She stretches and jokingly says to someone off camera that she doesn't want to go to school today. Andrew Jordan turns away from the mirror where he is getting dressed and chides her, wondering how it would look if the day after her promotion she played hookey. He climbs into bed and lies down next to her, playfully reminding him that she's now technically his superior, an idea she finds quite appealing. Plying her with the offer of coffee and ride into work, she agrees and he starts to head out. Before he can leave, she reminds him that he's forgetting something. He quickly takes his wedding band from the dresser and exits. Chase lies back, an expression of comfortable satisfaction on her face.

Present Day, BostonEdit

The body of Melissa Weller lies on a cold autopsy table. Chase Quinn stands by her side looking down and remembering her as a shy young girl. Chase smooths out a crease in the sheet covering the girl's body and is startled by the arrival of Joe Kramer, the city medical examiner. He appologizes for being late and Chase asks what he has for her. Lifting up the sheet to expose Melissa's leg, he says that he found some scaring on her leg. Chase asks if it happened while the body was being moved. Joe tells her that's what he thought at first until her bloodwork came back revealing trace amounts of [methacrylate)] in her system, a transparent thermoplastic typically found in orthopedic replacements, pace makers and dental implants. None of which, Chase points out, Melissa had. Joe agrees and produces a black light, which when moved over the scaring on her leg, reveals an intricately designed UV-reactive tattoo. Chase stares at it in disbelief--Melissa, she points out, wasn't into tattoos. Joe exits to get a camera to take a photo of the tattoo, leaving Chase alone with Melissa, wondering just how well she knew the girl.

Outside, Chase calls James O'Riley, the detective previously in charge of Melissa's dissapearance and asks him about the tattoo. He seems just as surprised as she is but agrees to look into local tattoo places that cary UV reactive tattoo ink. Heading to her car, Chase reflects on her childhood with Melissa, voices from her past swirling around in her head. She begins to hear whispers and realizes she is not alone. She turns and sees nothing, behind her, however a woman in black appears and whispers her name.


  • Melissa's Tattoo was one of the simplest practical effects in the series. The design was painted onto her thigh using laundry detergent and hair spray. As many a college student knows, the phosphorus in the detergent reacts with the UV light as it's passed over her leg.
  • The discrepancy of Melissa's previously established film degree is addressed (Hence These Tears).
  • Sandra's Lodge was a real shelter for homeless women and children, located in Waltham, MA. Shortly after the show was broadcast, state budget cuts resulted in the closing of the shelter.
  • The title of the episode "Vade Retro" is adapted from the latin phrase "Vade Retro Satana" or "Go back, Satan." Disassociated from it's religious implications, the phrase is generally taken to express strong rejection of an unacceptable (but possibly tempting) proposal, or dread of some looming menace. Namely, in the sense of "do not tempt me!", "I will have nothing to do with that", "will someone deliver us from that", and so on. Like many of the episode titles in the series it's significance is open to interpretation.

Production NotesEdit

  • Joey Pelletier and David Lucas join the main cast as Detectives James O'Riley and Andrew Jordan respectively, having been previously mentioned in the Pilot Episode.
  • Melissa Weller (Shaine Carney) appears for the first time as an adult and as a child (Renee Padell). Her hand, which appeared in the Pilot Episode belonged to Gabriella Ciambrone, who would later play Francesca Alessandro.
  • Paul Ezzy replaces Stephen Gurski as Director of Photography, after contributing to reshoots on the pilot episode.
  • The sequence between Roland and Mattie was originally shot at a different middle eastern restaurant in Brookline. The sequence had to be reshot when the actor playing Roland left the project and the restaurant was no longer available.

Bloopers and Continuity ErrorsEdit

  • During Robin's lecture, the lighting would indicate that an overhead projector of some sort was in use, however, there is nothing projected on the wall behind him. All of the notes are hand written on the whiteboard.
  • While standing out on the plaza, the weather changes dramatically between the first half of the scene and the second. Halfway through shooting a freak snow squall blew in and dumped an additional foot of snow on the area.
  • When Roland visits Mattie at SandwichWorks, he comments on the fact that there are only a few people present (implying that she isn't too busy to talk). In reality, the restaurant is empty.


Storyline AnalysisEdit

  • Chase is revealed to have had an intimate relationship with her partner, Andrew.
  • Melissa has a mysterious UV reactive tattoo on her leg, despite the fact that she didn't like tattoos.
  • We get the first appearance of Chase's "Friend".

Cultural ReferencesEdit

  • Spider-Man: Remarking on her promotion, Chase quips "With great talent comes well deserved vacation time," a play on the famous phrase "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility."

Episode ConnectionsEdit

  • Chase is seen sleeping in Andrew's bed. When Rhea previously asked about their relationship, Chase avoids the question (SA: Pilot)
  • Chase is seen babysitting a young Elias and Melissa Weller (SA: Pilot)
  • James O'Riley appears as the Detective who previously investigated Melissa's dissapearance. (SA: Pilot)
  • When Chase is in the parking garrage she hears The Whispers, as well as a voice call her name. It is the same voice that narrates the opening of the previous episode (SA: Pilot)
  • When Alexander comments that Colleen is a "character", Chase replies "That's not the term I've used." Previously, Chase called her mother a very vulgar term. (SA: Pilot)
  • Colleen continues to concern herself excessively with Rhea's wellbeing (SA: Pilot)
  • Alexander mentions that he knew Melissa through his friends John and Alisson. (Hence These Tears).
  • Alexander is revealed to be the Professor Weir that Rhea mentions (SA: Pilot)
  • Colleen mentions Chase's brother, Ronny. (ST: Drowning)
  • Deborah mentions Melissa's missing brother Elias (SA: Pilot)

Unanswered QuestionsEdit

  • What is the meaning of the tattoo on Melissa's leg and why does she have it?
  • What is Melissa doing with a business card for the Dabareh Corporation?
  • What is the nature of Chase's seemingly intimate relationship with Andrew?
  • Where is Rhea's mother?

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