Thursday, August 2, 2012

Blood Ties, Season 2, Episode 5: The Devil You Know

After the death on his door step last week, Henry is doing a role call of all the vampires he can think of in the city – to see if he really does have Christina on his doorstep. And Vicki arrives, of course, irritated that he’s trying to freeze her out. She’s irritated he went to Celluci and not her, angry that he’s pushing her out and demands he acknowledge it’s Christina moving in on his territory – the vampire who made him. Henry is far from responsive.

And there’s another body, 2 in fact – which Celluci blames on Henry. He’s convinced it’s Christina and demands Henry sorts it out.  Henry, though is both angry that Vicki told Celluci and convinced it’s not Christina because the death is too public, too blatant to be a vampire, certainly one of Christina’s age. 600 year old vampires don’t get that way by being so open. He leaves, annoyed that  Celluci is so fixed on Christina they’ve dismissed other options.

Henry takes a brooch from the crime scene and goes hunting – smelling another vampire he shouts dramatically at it and has a Christina flashback

At the same time, Vicki and Celluci are eating Chinese, discussing vampire territorialism and who Christina is (yes, it’s a well done info dump) – and realising that Henry took the brooch. Now they have to question whether they can trust him.

And to add fuel to that fire, Henry returns to his home to find Christina in his bed. Vampire hormones go, lots of snarling follows and recriminations about the past (Henry says he “loved” her past tense and they mention a time she nearly killed him for encroaching in her territory) and finally we reach the dead models – which Christina says were killed by Alexander, another vampire. A vampire who has been hunting Christina and she brought him to Toronto to involve Henry.

Henry is, unsurprisingly, not best pleased but insists Christina speak to Celluci about the model murders to at least take some of the heat of Henry. His territory, his rules. She leaves when it’s over and he grants her territory she may hunt in.

Henry calls Vicki to explain everything – including his instincts and trust for Christina, the instinct to hunt, fight and love – but the conversation is interrupted by Christina arriving at Vicki’s. She’s arrived to be all pally and friendly so they can be strong women together. Hah, no, course not. She talks about Vicki’s relationship with Henry and how Vicki can’t possibly understand him blah blah, strong women jealous over same men, blah, Vicki cannot possibly like another woman who isn’t subservient, blah, blah.  

Get some pictures of Alexander off Coreen (who lampshade’s Vicki’s jealousy – this isn’t a show for subtlty) Time to go to the morgue and fill in Celluci. Mohadevan the awesome gives them the usual vampire schtick – drained of blood etc etc, but the marks on the bodies show hesitation – incompetence, inexperience which you certainly wouldn’t expect from Christina. We also run into Dave! Remember Dave? I almost didn’t – he was Celluci’s token Black sidekick for odd flashes of season 1.

And, shock, Celluci actually agrees with henry. Yes, I’m shocked – Celluci is actually using his police brain and not acting like a jealous boyfriend who hates Henry from  once. Unfortunately, Vicki is only grudgingly using that brain and is still all “Christina, booo! Hisss!”. The brooch out in the open was an obvious set up and famous glamorous people are often stalked, so is it that much of a leap to imagine a vampire stalking the old, powerful, beautiful and glamorous Christina?

More flirting and sniping between Henry and Christina – watched by Alexander. More recriminations – more relationship and history establishing. I’m actually impressed at how much depth they can add to their relationship, their past and give them both a sense of the centuries they’ve lived in these short scenes.

While Vicki, meanwhile, is interviewing one of Alexander’s living mortal relatives, his sister, who has a recent photograph of him, 6 months ago, in the sunset. Which rather conflicts with Christina’s story that he has been stalking her for a year. And why can Christina not defeat this baby vampire when he’s so young? And where’s his maker if he’s so young - is it Christina? And why did he go from dumping the bodies to posing them? More and more questions arise from Vicki. Especially when she goes to Mohadevan and re-examines the first corpse and finds that, despite the messy wounds, there’s also one very clean, professional puncture mark that was the real cause of death.

Christina is working at a photoshoot as a photographer, where she fobs off Celluci and Dave with vampire mojo – and Henry confronts her (after they both complain modern beauty standards that require women to be so very thin, which is a nice touch), over the truth – Christina can’t sense Alexander because she doesn’t see him instinctively as a threat, because the maker bond is still in effect. He doesn’t know what he’s doing because she cast him out without any real training.

It’s at this point that Alexander strikes – replacing the lights with UV bulbs, Henry pulls Christina to safety and Vicki knocks them over before she is fried in the artificial sunlight (a nice homage to the books where the same thing is done). Henry chases him – and catches up to him with his sister. He gets the chance to talk to Alexander after offering to erase his sister’s memory.

That done, they have a confrontation – Alexander has invaded Henry’s territory and killed people after all. But Henry talks about the fact that, as a vampire, he has control – something Alexander doesn’t have and can’t control, leading him to view himself as a monster. And we get Alexander’s story – Christina turning him without his consent and without him knowing what it means, him being repelled by himself and her when he saw his sister as a food source and the whole maker/child relationship falling apart. Henry offers to teach him – but Alexander doesn’t want to accept what he is, he wants to end it – which Henry does.

Christina and Vicki, meanwhile, are in Vicki’s office. Christina talks of eating Vicki while Vicki confronts her for killing the first model to get Henry involved and use him. Christina mocks Vicki’s relationship with Henry – that eventually Henry will turn Vicki and their instincts will drive them apart. It’s at this point Henry shows up and he is pissed at her for creating Alexander and breaking the vampire code.

Vicki and Christina *sigh* except for Coreen (the employee) has there been ONE women, just one, that Vicki actually liked – preferably one who wasn’t a victim? It’s ironic that they talk about vampire territorial instincts, because it’s nothing compared to Vicki’s Strong Female Character territory guarding.  I also don’t like that Christina, 600 year old Christina, had to resort to her terrible seductive manipulations of Henry in order to bring down a 6 month old vampire.

The mystery this week was good though, twist followed twist followed twist. I was impressed, the villain kept switching and we had a massive amount of world building. After all the desperate lampshading and logic leaps I’ve become used to, that was good.