Editor’s note: Haunting Staff Writer Erik Blair is co-creator and writer of the Captivated series and They Played Productions. He has provided elements of the recap below for clarity.
Captivated began when Victoria Polidori invited friends to one of her famous parties. On arrival, Victoria mentioned that Ely Lavenza was coming with his girlfriend, Justine Cage. But to her surprise, Ely announced that they had been married for over a year.
Captivated Act One: Justine
The party only got stranger from there. Ely’s assistant, Henry Clerval, was late bringing pizza. When Ely checked on him, some guests overheard Henry talk about finding the right one ‘for next time’. Others noticed Justine get very nervous when she heard Henry was coming. When Henry brought only one small pizza, Ely had to order more and call a Lyft to take guests with him to get it.
Victoria strangely asked some guests to keep an eye on Justine and Ely. Justine let others know that she was terrified of Henry. Henry’s conversation suggested he might be obsessed with Justine in a dark way. Through it all, Ely and Justine’s relationship story began to unravel.
Ely claimed that Justine had been in a car accident leaving her with total amnesia of anything before the accident. But why was she locked in his house 24/7? Where were her doctors? Why did she have no friends or family? Something was terribly wrong. Was he abusing her? Or was it something darker still?
Justine finally panicked over Henry and ran into a restroom, where she complained of not feeling like she was herself. Then she noticed that a tattoo she remembered on her arm was missing and she began to scream. Outside, Victoria, Ely and Henry had their own confrontation. Victoria suggested that Justine wasn’t ready. Ely told her there was a reason he had married ‘this one’. Henry begged other guests to see how ‘different’ Ely was from anyone else.
When Justine demanded that Ely tell her where her tattoo was, Victoria took control of the situation. She sent Ely and Justine to calm down on the balcony and Henry to a different room and ended the party.
Guests left only to have one final surprise. The Lyft driver, Mike Stone, appeared and told them that this wasn’t the first party. Ely had come here with more than one woman named Justine. He promised to dig into the problem and get some answers.
Mike Stone asked people to join him at the Midsummer Scream convention. Ely and Victoria’s assistant, Thea, were there, and Mike needed people to trick them into giving up answers that could be used to crack passwords.
People succeeded, but when they went back to meet Mike, Ely appeared instead. He told the surprised audience that they’d been too obvious. But when they demanded answers about who (or what) Justine was, he left fast.
But where was Mike?
Captivated Act Two: Victoria
It wasn’t long before there was an answer. Emma G. Nation, a hacker, gathered people together and explained she was the one who had used the info gathered at the convention to hack into Victoria and Ely’s computers. Mike was in hiding, but appeared via computer to ask for the help of those gathered to examine the files and see what they could learn.
By entering the video itself, people returned to 2013 and the wake of Victoria’s surgeon husband, Grant Polidori. A drunk driver had killed Grant and Victoria was devastated by his loss. Everyone at the wake, however, seemed to have secrets relating to her dead husband.
The hospital lawyer hid the knowledge that Grant had killed a patient while under the influence of alcohol. The patient’s husband claimed to want the truth about his wife’s death, but in secret only wanted a big settlement. Grant’s receptionist kept a relationship with Grant a secret because of her child — not because it was his child but because he helped pay for an operation as a way to redeem himself.
The strangest secrets at the wake concerned the funeral parlor director and Grant’s killer. The director was named Abigail Simmons — but looked exactly like Justine. In secret, Grant bribed her not to be cremated before his death and Victoria also bribed her to pretend that he had been cremated and give his body to Victoria, no questions.
The man who killed Grant also looked exactly like someone — Ely. He came to the wake to apologize for killing Grant while keeping the secret that he was actually Grant’s sponsor and had killed Grant on accident after calling him to a meeting.
Why did these two look like an entirely different couple in 2018? Victoria’s secret gave us the first answer. Her grandfather was the famous Victor Frankenstein and she intended to finish the experiments he started by reviving her beloved Grant.
First she needed a test subject and she wanted revenge on Danny for killing Grant. So she planned to kill him that very night and reanimate him as a monster.
Before any other information might be learned, Emma called everyone back to the present. Mike tried to communicate but his audio wasn’t working. Suddenly, Henry appeared, knocked Mike unconscious, and left a simple note:
“Leave this alone. Or Mike dies.”
Mike remained missing, but one final piece of the puzzle was still to be uncovered. A psychiatrist session with Victoria led to a hypnotic return to a different moment in the past, Christmas Eve, 2014.
We saw Abigail once more, hosting a poker game with all of those who were at the wake as players. Victoria guided the memory of that evening, as each guest received a present from Santa and his elf assistant.
Abigail received her present in her office, where she was shockingly strangled to death by the elf. Only then did the guests realize Victoria had poisoned them, removing any individual who might realize that she had faked Grant’s cremation.
When Santa and the elf returned to the room, they turned out to be Ely and Henry. Now Abigail was dead and Ely intended to reanimate her, just as Victoria had reanimated him. But Ely seemed to have no idea that Victoria had made him.
As the memory ended, it became clear that this session was Victoria talking to Justine. She reminded her that she was a dead woman. Why would she do that?
She made it clear: Ely had reanimated Justine a dozen times before — each time with a new body — and Victoria would explain the truth. Ely had decided another reboot was due.
The session closed with Justine screaming for help.
The rest of the story is up to YOU.
See how it all ends… Find more information on upcoming shows at They Played Productions’ website, follow them on Facebook, and purchase your ticket to the finale, Captivated Act Three: You, here. Check out our Event Guide for more immersive events throughout the year.