After Blake and his ditzy date leave the party, Joan Cross sidles up to Vinnie and makes him an offer he can't refuse, asking him to bodyguard her. He refuses. A bald man tries to hire Vera to "remove" Vitaly Constantine, and negotiations ensue.
Down in the basement, Laura finds a giant chessboard. The "pieces" appear to have once been human. Laura rescues Cliff from a cage positioned on the white side of the board. Before they can leave the basement, they find Alexi the Butler hlding a shotgun on them.
Blake returns and tries to make contact with Joan, but is intercepted by Vitaly. Blake asks about the carved canes. Vera tries to strike at Vitaly, but holds off at the last moment. Plan B involves Joan, but she is nowhere to be seen. Time for Plan C. When Vitaly suddenly sprouts knives, Blake "stumbles" into a table and starts a fire, which vodka fails to extinguish.
Cries of "Fire" distract the butler enough to give Cliff a shot at him, but not before Laura is shot herself. The butler is built like a bear, but eventually they manage to knock him unconscious. In the chaos of the hallway, Cliff finds Joan bleeding on a familiar throwing knife. He tries to save her, but fails.
In the aftermath, we learn that Vitaly was training Gus Milo's thugs in Thule Society mysticism. Word on the street is that Vitaly is dead. Bald Piotr Gogorovich steps into his place at the head of the local Thules.
Vera goes to the borscht bar Piotr frequents, while everyone else does some laundry across the street. Piotr says he finished off Vitaly, and so Vera won't be getting ay further payment. He asks her if "This will be a problem?" Rather than prevaricate, Vera exits abruptly.