Thursday, April 26, 2012

Blood Ties, Season 1, Episode 4: Gifted

We open with Vicki in a comic book shop reading Henry’s graphic novel  - and being bothered by creepy geek boys in a classic “zomg a woman in here” moments. But then Henry arrives and we get back to some proper flirting.

To the plot we find a mother (Celeste) and her daughter (Sarah) planning to move – the daughter doesn’t want to, has a temper tantrum and then we get a whole lot of shaking and some very bad CGI attacking the mother

At work Vicki is fighting a losing battle about being considered the “supernatural” detective – but gets a case to find Steve Jeffries. An elderly woman wants to find her son-in-law who was estranged from her now deceased and murdered daughter, leaving an orphaned daughter (Sarah) behind.

At the police station she learns more about the murder – an open door and wounds inflicted by claws and teeth. And that Vicki’s own run-away dad makes her rather testy about men who leave their families.

Sarah is currently living at the Cobb Academy – her boarding school for gifted children (she’s an artistic prodigy) and Vicki finds out that the relationship between Sarah and her father is fraught to say the least. She goes on to search their house (bringing Henry along for no apparent reason…) and finds a picture drawn by Sarah of a monster killing her mother – before her mother died.

On to the pathologist – still dragging Henry. The pathologist points out the body has been mauled by an animal that left no fur nor salvia. She points out the police ignore things that are strange and don’t fit (as Vicki used to). I really liked her – her eccentric thinking looks a little fantastic and silly, but when considering this is an actual world with supernatural creatures it shows just how no nonsense she is and how she, as a scientist, isn’t going to let her preconceptions cloud the evidence that is in front of her. I love her “if it existed… does it?” line to the picture of the creature she’s presented. Not shock or horror or doubt – just simple curiosity.

She finds the father, Steve, but he’s utterly uninterested and hostile to the idea of looking after Sarah. Returning to the school we learn that the monster is “buttercup” a stuffed toy and that Lauren, Her art teacher was worried about the art Sarah was producing. This leads to Cobb’s “gifted” students in their special room testing magical abilities – and Cobb manipulating Sarah into setting “buttercup” on Lauren – causing another load of shaking and bad GI attack.

Consulting with the father basically confirms everything – Sarah is telekinetic and Cobb is using her powers to kill people – and drive the father away. Still despite original reluctance (and us seeing more of Vicki’s father issues). On tom the school to reunite daddy and daughter with evil Mr. Cobb on the sidelines to manipulate some more poor CGI deaths before the ultra ultra twee ending. And Celluci arrests Mr. Cobb for – well, whatever it’s for I’d love to see the court case

Celluci continues to try and check up on Henry out of jealousy over Vicki, including abusing his police powers and contacts – and he finds out that Henry is a “lady’s man” (of course, as a vampire he is feeding on many women). He continues to follow up on him through the comic shop as well and learns about his comics being “historically accurate” and Henry having a thing for blood.

At last Celluci begins to believe in the supernatural – namely that Henry is a vampire and dangerous. She he finally believes in the supernatural when it suits his jealousy. This character is really not growing on me.

I have to say the episode was rather predictable (and not just because Cobb’s British accent proved he was evil by laws of television), from the very beginning the cause of Celeste’s death was pretty obvious

Ok I can kind of accept that, even though she’s not a police detective any more,  Vicki’s past links grants her enough respect to allow her access to crime scenes, police interviews and even the morgue (kind of) but to do all that and bring a nocturnal comic book artist along with her at the same time. And why? She has no indication this murder is supernatural at the time – why does she, a police detective renowned for her skill and success rate, need to be followed around by a vampiric artist? This is a huge shift from the books where Henry constantly came to Vicki because Vicki had skills and knowledge (as a detective) that he and the supernatural community lacked.

I actually have no idea why Henry was in this episode at all, except to be stalked by the ultra-jealous Celluci

We have some POC inclusion but it is still in rather minor roles – an East Asian police chief (who has a hint of Dragon Lady about her – however that could equally be bouncing off Vicki’s own abrasive attitude, Celluci’s black partner/sidekick (who has more than a hint of servant about him), and a South Asian pathologist.  As well as some episode specific POC as well – largely devoid of stereotyping.

The GBLT inclusion from the books seems to have been erased for the television which amuses me not at all.

I still love Vicki as a character and the show is intriguing but this plot line wasn’t exactly the best crime dramas ever – it was far too predictable without any twists and, like so many shows the minutes kids are involved, a ridiculously twee ending,.