Friday, August 17, 2012

Blood Ties, Season 2, Episode 7: Unwrapped

Some enterprising thieves have hit a truck full of artefacts heading to a museum. In particular, they’re after the Incan mummy which they’re convinced will have lots of gold on it. They do find some gold – at which point the Mummy wakes up and drains one of them to a skeletal husk. So they’re probably not going to be spending it

Vicki and Henry have another problem – Henry has been having vivid nightmares which worry him considerably, despite Vicki’s mockery. Vampires, being undead, don’t dream – they lie like the dead while the sun is up. What does worry Henry is that the only way a vampire can die, other than being killed, is suicide – and several vampires do just that. He worries that the dreams may be a sign of his own self-immolation. Especially since he’s dreaming about the sun shining.

Coreen assures him that it’s a good omen to see sunlight in your dreams – it means all kinds of wonderful things, though Henry points out that he is a vampire and the sun is generally rather less wonderful to them. All Henry can do is describe a figure in his dream – by his clothes he was an Incan. And he’s warning Henry off.

Cellucci and Kate (wow Kate, they let you out of the plot box? Did they put Dave back in? I’m beginning to think these 2 may be the same person, or the show doesn’t particularly care which POC side kick they dredge up) are investigating the death at the museum. Except Kate thinks the body is a mummy since it’s so dessicated and the mummy is out of its sarcophagus (if it looks like the mummy, then why was it called in as murder?) but Celluci sees the spider web tattoo on the corpse’s neck and wants forensics to look.

The Incan mummy and his new little servant (Wendell. No, really. At least he’s got a good reason for his life of crime) who he spared have gone on a little soul eating spree – but he wants something special – the life of a nightwalker, another immortal, will give him ultimate power. He also did something unpleasant to the golden amulet that imprisoned him by spilling Wendell’s blood on it.

Celluci, having finally dealt with his doubting issues, has decided to drop his case in with Vicki – thousand year old corpse with 10 year old tattoo and a missing Incan mummy, which Vicki connects to Henry’s dreams not being that oblivious. So it’s find out who the mummy is, why he’s back and what he wants. Vicki follows up looking into the gang that uses the spider web tattoo.

She does her illicit checking and finds the identity of the dead guy – but not much else so hands the name to Celluci in the hope he can get his phone records. Coreen, who has one hell of a research library, of course knows the identity of the mummy – Pacha Kamaq, an Incan priest who worshipped Supay, the god of death and lead a cult to (unsuccessfully) try and take over back in ye olden times. Really, that whole building is Coreen’s library and I want to know what her indexing system is because 2 days she can find out anything.

Because Pacha Kamaq was buddy buddy with the god of death, he couldn’t be executed. So they used the amulet to bind his aya and bury him alive instead. They conclude that the newly awakened Pacha Kamaq isn’t a happy fun guy and needs to be stopped – and from Henry’s dreams they know he’s aimed at the vampire.

Pacha Kamaq has moved, killing the old owners to set himself up in a new house. He’s catching up on the news and seeing lots of death and destruction – which makes him think Supay is happy and this is why he’s been woken up. He has another vision/dream about Henry (in which he easily defeats Henry) and wakes up knowing his name

Henry wakes up from the nightmare with Vicki at the door filling in the gaps for him. Henry instantly pulls out a full level of macho, grabbing his sword and declaring that he will show Pacha Kamaq who the predator is. Vicki is less than amused, apart from anything else, killing the unkillable sorcerer isn’t that easy. She convinces him not to run out to him and hand himself to Pacha Kamaq on a silver platter.

Meanwhile Kate, being an able investigator, is putting 2 and 2 together and not liking the results. Why would someone break in, get a clean getaway, but leave all the exhibits, including lots of valuable items, behind? She also finds that, surprise surprise, Celluci is sharing more information with Vicki again than he is with her. More anger and resentment follows. But eventually Celluci convinces her she has a good lead on Wendell (using Vicki’s tips) and he makes a crack about her getting him coffee and, Kate, you should have shot him.

They go to check out Wendell’s place – and find it empty. Though Celluci does find the mummified body of a woman Wendell fed to Pacha Kamaq – which he then conceals from Kate. But Kate finds the blood stained amulet from the mummy. He tells Vicki and she realises that the amulet is toast. But she comes to the conclusion that it’s magic that imprisoned Pacha Kamaq and magic can do it again – all it needs is power and a grimoire to know how to use it. Her demon marks have power and she knows where to get a grimoire. Of course, Henry is going to be angry at her using magic (since he despises magic) but Vicki would rather him be mad and alive than content and dead.

To Henry with Coreen who Vicki leaves to guard Henry during the day (I love how Henry recognises her by her heart beat). Henry still wants to hunt down Pacha Kamaq but Vicki is determined she will be the one who will hunt him down and she won’t let him have Henry’s soul. It’s a touching moment that is interrupted by Henry dying for the day.

While he’s asleep, Coreen goes through his library for a decent grimoire they need. And Wendell has found out that Henry draws comics but hasn’t found him yet (Pacha Kamaq takes issue – they’re graphic novels damn it! Yeah just roll with it, it’s funny. I’m going to go with “he’s absorbing the memories of the people he eats and isn’t it interesting how that can affect his opinions” rather than “random non-sequiter”).

Celluci goes to see Vicki and he has an issue. He’s destroyed evidence and lied to his partner. He, as a police officer, has destroyed evidence and made the decision that it’s not admissible, couldn’t be explained so it needed to be destroyed. In doing so the body won’t be found, DNA won’t be taken and the woman’s family will never know she died. He’s having problem dealing with it and how, since working with Vicki, he has increasingly hidden things and ignored the law. He blames Vicki, but Vicki points out he brought the case to her –he’s just seeing what’s actually out there. He just can’t see how he can keep doing what he’s doing and ignore the rules when he still wears a badge.

Vicki and Coreen finds a spell that could work – but Coreen is worried about it. And Henry wakes from a nightmare where Pacha Kamaq says he’ll kill Vicki if Henry doesn’t come to him – and gives Henry an address. He wakes – determined to go. Vicki can’t talk him out of it – so she stabs him with his own sword.

He collapses and she takes some of his blood from the wound to use in the spell – she makes it clear it’s the only way  but he’d rather die, but is too weak and injured to stop her. Using the blood and herbs Vicki uses the spell which Coreen couldn’t bring herself to recite. Vicki drinks the blood and herbs.

She leaves Henry’s home – and realises she can see in the darkness, despite her disability, and no longer needs her glasses. In another twist, and a sign of how desperate she is, she draws a gun. I don’t think we’ve ever seen her with a gun before, she has always preferred her baton. Which may be more effective since, when she arrives at Pacha Kamaq’s house, it seems he can catch bullets.

The fight is brief – he is physically greater than her and can kill with a touch. He begins to feed – but the blackness spreads up his arms, not hers. The spell Vicki used has poisoned her life force which leaves him prone on the floor, presumably dead (I’d want to check that a little more). She rushes back to Henry – but he’s already left to feed, without talking to or listening to Coreen. He is not a happy vampire. He visits Vicki later and he is not happy by her using dark magic – he considers it a deal with the devil, that she now owes something. She considers it something she had to do and isn’t worried about the cost

Celluci is also not happy - he doesn’t even leave his desk when Vicki tells him it’s over (meaning the mummy).

It was certainly an episode of rocky relationships – Celluci and Vicki as well as Vicki and Henry, definite damage there and very well done.

I’m inclined to think, in urban fantasy in general, that borrowing random monsters from other cultures while, at the same time, declining to include any of the mythological context around them – and certainly if you’re not actually going to make any effort to include the culture or people from that culture in the show at all – is generally pretty skeevy. It feels like appropriation and should at least be backed by some inclusion. Especially since Supay makes up part of cultural rituals in Latin America today. It’s something I’ve complained about before in Blood Ties.

I am happy that Celluci finally called out Vicki’s constant law breaking, illegal searches et al and asked her if she’s forgotten what it was to be a cop. Vicki just blows it off however – which I didn’t like but it’s nice to see one of these crime show s- and not just urban Fantasy – acknowledge that, hey, there are actual rules and the police shouldn’t be breaking and entering whenever they feel like. I am glad he has a problem with the evidence he is destroying – especially the body – and finally, finally, there is a show in this genre where the characters are concerned by their taking the law into their own hands.