Thursday, August 30, 2012

Blood Ties, Season 2, Episode 9: We'll Meet Again

 In perhaps the weirdest twist Vicki’s had for a while, her new client is a young teenager – an emancipated minor – who wants Vicki to find his wife. Apparently they’ve been together for 400 years – a dozen lifetimes, which Coreen takes to mean he’s been reincarnated. And Vicki thinks it’s time to bring in Henry. Thoroughly convinced by the kid’s nigh incomprehensible grasp of 20s slang, they decide to believe him. (Yeah, I know I know, it’s Blood Ties, just run with it).

Turns out Lee, the kid, met his wife back in the 1600s and she was a Mohawk – and they always die together (which is supposed to be romantic but feels vaguely creepy). And they have a plan through each lifetime – when one of them realises who they are, they go to their tree and carve their initials and a meeting place and time on it for the other to see. Only this time urban sprawl means the tree has been cut down and replaced with a shopping centre.

Celluci raises his head – he’s having a performance review and Crowley warns him that it isn’t all shiny – too much Vicki Nelson, too many weird cases, too many cases unsolved and shelved. Which complicates things because Vicki’s on the phone asking for a favour – tracking down an accident report about the last time Lee and his wife died (in a car accident). Celluci is also not moved by “love at first sight”, he has a full stack of case files on “love at first sight.” Henry has his own appointment – meeting with someone called Augustus about a move of some kind.

Looking at the accident report they get a different story from Lee’s memories – he was predeceased by his wife (Alice at the time) and he was survived by Jeff – a younger brother. Going to talk to Jeff they find out that Alice died in the accident but John (as Lee was then) was kept alive in hospital. Jeff didn’t want to pull the plug – and kept him alive for 10 years in a coma. This causes Lee to protest that he should have been allowed to die, causing Jeff to slam the door on them.

To Dr. Mohadevan, the awesome pathologist, with the report of the accident. It seems there was some discrepancies, the ambulance arrived quickly but didn’t leave that way since the paramedics had a fight. It’s hard to see more since the police report is a clear example of arse covering. Dr. Mohadevan also finds that Alice had haemophilia – which is exceptionally rare in women. Dr. Mohadevan points out there are only 3 in all Toronto.

Which results in taking Lee to see Helen Underhill, his long lost reincarnated love. And her husband. To which Lee explodes again.

Vicki goes to talk to Henry to encourage him to convince Lee to drop it – but the old romantic is all for true love (to which Vicki responds with the line of the night: “The 80s called, they want their lyrics back”) and thinks Vicki’s too eager to let it drop. She protests that Helen is married and you don’t just try to break up someone’s marriage. He says that Lee came back for the dead for love, there’s no force more powerful than that kind of longing – Vicki says that kind of longing will get you an ankle bracelet and a restraining order (she’s on a roll). Vicki also notices Henry has tickets to Vancouver – but when she asks about it Henry distracts her by saying he doesn’t understand her client.

The next day, Vicki has been doing some research – it seems Helen has been researching reincarnation and past lives. And she sends flowers to John Smith’s grave on the anniversary of the car accident (Lee’s previous incarnation). Vicki goes to see Jeff again and finds out Helen came to see him about John and that she knew things about Alice no-one else could have known.

They go back to Helen’s house and find Lee ranting in the garden about their past together. Helen eventually comes out and asks why he couldn’t stay away – and kisses him (uh, the kid’s 15. That’s not skeevy at all…). She tells Lee he’s too late and should stay away. Vicki tells Lee she said no – and he leaves with Coreen. While Vicki goes back to her office with Helen (brilliant line of the night #3 “Are you sure this is decaff?” “Real coffee would take this out behind the shed and beat it until it turned to tea.”).  She’s pregnant (which is extremely dangerous for a haemophiliac) and Barton, her husband, is safe and stable and gives her the security she needs (the kind of man who gives you socks for your anniversary – line #4!).  She’s followed her heart for a dozen lifetimes of rebellion and now she has security – and she does love Barton. And Vicki reflects on her own confusing love life.

Lee is reminiscing with Henry about how things used to be – the things he went through for love – and it quickly dips into skeevy territory. In the past they didn’t talk about love, they proved it – but they link this to not taking no for an answer. How, in the modern world, when a woman tells you to move on you have to as if this is a good thing. Vicki drops in to drop some reality on them and Henry gets snippy because she’s not all “keep fighting no matter what.”

And Lee goes off and gets into a fight with Barton, Helen’s husband – and continues to beat him when he’s down. The police report the next day – as discussed by Vicki and Celluci, is that Barton would be dead if someone hadn’t scared his attacker away. Celluci blames Vicki of course and then in comes Crowley to add to everyone’s grief, drag Celluci over the coals and threaten Vicki.

Lee arrives at Vicki’s office and see’s Coreen. He decides they have to start over – Coreen denies that, he nearly killed someone that isn’t “start over” territory. But he says “We” have to start over – and demands Coreen’s wallet at knife point. He goes from there to his brother, Jeff, who now believes him and has a car for him.

Vicki calls Celluci, tells him that Lee’s going to do something drastic and asks if he has a car at Helen’s house. Celluci scoffs at the idea he wouldn’t send a car – but she protests that he has had lifetimes of experience – as soldiers, trappers and similar rough combat people. Celluci checks up on the police guard and gets no response

Lee has kidnapped Helen and taken her to a new tree – tying her too it. He carves their initials as they used to with the old tree. She protests she loves Barton but he ignores her – it was messed up this time, but next lifetime it will be better. She protests that the last few lifetimes were not working for them – that she doesn’t want this. He ignores her.

Which is the same leap Vicki’s made – Lee’s trying a do-over, so she needs Henry’s tracking skills to find him. And even Henry has to accept that kidnapping and confinement crosses the line for True Love. They get there in time and talk him down and hand him to the police.

And we get to Henry’s issue – he’s hiring Augustus, a lawyer, to help him find a new territory. (I actually really like the process and the guarantees he has to offer and all the negotiation). And he has his eyes on the West Coast. He’s choosing to move on as well. And it seems Celluci is also putting distance between Vicki and himself. All of Vicki’s relationships are falling apart.

Ok Blood Ties, you have a teenaged actor (presumably), surely he could have told you have teenagers actually speak rather than this… this… hot mess? Teens don’t speak like this. No-one speaks like this. Similarly, I’m sick of the “teenaged hormones” excuse for him having zero sense of what’s appropriate, zero sense of self-control and him basically exploding messily every 5 minutes.

I do love Celluci’s cynicism over love at first sight – mismatched couples ending badly. It’s sorely needed in the genre. I also like that we finally have a mortal policeman getting into trouble for not solving any cases and constantly diving down the rabbit hole. In fact I love in general what this episode had to say about love. That obsession isn’t love. That breaking consent is not ok. That love does not justify stalking, that sometimes you have to move on. Even an eternal love ends and there’s no justification to try and force it. It’s a very very rare message in the genre – or fiction in general for that matter.