From the start, Tom Swift has had the ability to be both hilarious and heartbreaking, effortlessly blending sci-fi cool with emotional vulnerability. But in “…And the Night to Remember,” one revelation impacts every aspect of Tom’s mission to save his father while calling into question everything we thought we knew about Barton Swift. Read on to see what happened when Susannah came to dinner on Tom Swift.
Love You Too Late
Isaac, Zenzi, and Tom debate what to do with their captured Road Back operatives. But Barclay reminds them that they only have 36 hours to save Barton Swift. Barclay found that the last capsule piece was in Utah — the same place Susannah sent her agents. She likely has the capsule piece.
After his love confession gone awry, Zenzi tries to continue on as normal while getting in a dig at how Isaac didn’t make his move soon enough. He hits back with a zinger about the “choices” we make. But Tom interrupts with a new idea about how to find the capsule: Susannah’s memories (Zenzi: “Oh, do you keep them in a drawer somewhere with pants that fit?”). Tom introduces Swiftsight, which can access memories. He wants to trick her into using it by inviting her to dinner.
They try it on Zenzi first, who inadvertently reveals that Eskol came over last night. Tom is delighted at the drama, but they don’t have time to go over the juicy details. Eskol calls, having brought flowers to Swift Enterprises to impress Zenzi. She reveals that Susannah is coming over, and he offers to help by joining the dinner as a double agent. Tom also invites Justin, who at first seems like he’s finally over their fling and even invoking his therapist’s plea for him to have “dignity” (she does not get paid enough). Tom sweet talks Justin with his more than fond memories of their after-Summit sex party, and Justin agrees to help out as long as Tom pays his therapist copay.
Take Your Memory With You
Susannah arrives, and the party starts. Tom finds an excuse to bring up the Swiftsight, but Justin doesn’t know the full story and tries to stop him from trying the device on her due to concerns about liability. Trying to prove himself to Tom as a long term prospect, Justin agrees to lie about how ready the invention is. Meanwhile, Isaac questions the hostages while Susannah and Tom try the Swiftsight.
But Susannah is one step ahead of Tom, bringing up the capsule piece first. She knows everything, implanting tracking devices into all her operatives. Those tracking devices double as murder weapons, and Susannah deploys them on two of the three agents. Susannah’s ultimate plan? Use the capsule piece to force Tom to join The Road Back. She gives her anti-technology sales pitch while Tom points out the irony of her killing her men with a cell phone. She offers to show him her memories that will explain her hatred of technology, and they hook up the Swiftsight.
The device takes Susannah to August 17, 2012. In a trance, she tells Tom that her parents are nervous but will be proud of her once she takes her new “gummies” to make her smarter. She starts choking and almost passes out until Tom forces her to go to a memory from four days prior. Through this, he gets the information that the capsule piece is in Tribeca and wakes Susannah. As she falls asleep from exhaustion, she shares that she knows she told Tom the location. But she teases him by saying there’s a lot his father didn’t want him to know that she could tell him.
A Matter of Trust
Isaac is shocked when the hostages die, and when Zenzi sees the carnage, she freaks out. She notes that right now they have two dead white men in a Black billionaire’s basement and fumes that “this is not American Gangster!” Eskol shows Zenzi and Isaac a flash drive that they can use to hack into Susannah’s cloud storage. Tom goes back to Justin. He is completely unaware of The Road Back and excitedly asks what Susannah thought of the Swiftsight. Tom lies and says she loved it before dashing away. Justin stops him from leaving and calls him a user. He says they’re as close as boyfriends before Tom stops him. He apologizes for misreading their relationship and tells Justin it was clearly more casual for Tom than Justin, but he has to go. Justin is stunned to learn that he was truly just a casual fling for Tom and nothing more, but puts on a brave face.
But Eskol gets caught trying to delete a file from the cloud: the tape of him killing the Swift family doctor. He tries to explain to Isaac and Zenzi that it was that moment that made him realize he needed to leave The Road Back and that he didn’t want her to see it, but Zenzi is angry that he lied to her. She tells Isaac that she can’t be with someone she can’t trust, and Isaac pleads his case, saying he’d never give her a reason not to trust him. She deflects by going to check on Tom.
That I Would Be Good
Susannah tells Tom the full story of the gummies. Her parents made her take them for years in the hopes of making her more intelligent, but all they did was give her irreparable liver damage that will kill her before she’s 40. She also reveals that Barton took the gummie prototype and modified it into something much worse: Attraction Correcting Gummies. All of a sudden, Tom remembers his childhood vitamins that made him ill. Susannah notes there’s no way to change someone’s sexuality and that Barton was a smart enough man to know that, but he was that desperate for Tom to not be gay. This revelation clearly rocks Tom, but he uses his anger to tell Susannah to get out. She tells him he has 24 hours to make his decision about whether to join them.
Zenzi protests that Barton would never do that to Tom, but Tom confesses that when he was 13 years old and Lorraine was out of town, he went to the hospital with an allergic reaction to something his father never revealed. He wants to use the Swiftsight to bring back the memory. He needs to know if what Susannah said was true. In his memories, Barton berates Tom for choosing pink toys before stopping himself, pulling out a bottle of gummies. He tells Tom, “These will make you feel stronger,” before Tom has the same reaction Susannah did. Zenzi rips off the Swiftsight to save him, and Tom is devastated by what he saw. He shouts that he’s fine as he rushes away from Zenzi.
Tom gives Justin the Swiftsight to bring to Susannah, who takes care of her henchman. He goes to destroy the capsule before Zenzi gets in his way. She says there are no words to excuse what Barton did to Tom, but Tom stops her. He collapses on the floor as Zenzi holds him, also crying.
“He used my brain to get to Saturn. But whatever I achieved was never going to be good enough. I knew he was ashamed. But to experiment on me? To risk my life? That man can rot in space. He won’t get more of my tears. I’m done.”
He storms out as Zenzi breaks down in sobs. Writer Erika Harrison, Tian Richards, and Ashleigh Murray all deserve credit for what is one of the most devastating and impactful scenes on Tom Swift so far. Richards is able to show the many layers of Tom’s anger and grief, while Murray’s Zenzi is torn apart by her sorrow for Tom and her love for the man who helped raise her.
Isaac and Zenzi talk over what to do, with Zenzi sharing what Tom found out about the gummies. Zenzi respects his choice and doesn’t want to make him help his father, but she knows he will regret it later if he lets his father die. They’ll have to go after the remaining pieces themselves, without his help.
Tom Swift airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW. You can find the rest of our coverage of the series here!