Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Ultraviolet: Season 1, Episode 3: Sub Judice

A woman, Marion, goes to her car in a dark parking lot to find 2 men waiting for her to rob her. She passes out against a pillar – and then someone unseen does something unseen (honestly, director, are you aiming for a PG rating or something? Is that why we can’t see any of the fight scenes?) that leaves the two men dead on the floor covered in blood.

For some reason we get to see Father Harman wake up. He seems to have had a rough night, probably caused by him trying to sleep while fully dressed. Kirsty tries to track down Mike but he’s moved and the people who live in his house now don’t speak English. Frances, however, has found Mike – because secret-squirrel stuff is her job. She has a house warming plant for him – one of those pot plants everyone tells you is low maintenance and you still manage to kill within a week. She praises him for being sensible in cutting off Kirsty.

At work, Vaughan and lackey review the case in the car park and while they don’t get the attack on camera, they can clearly see no-one approaching or leaving the area. Vaughan raises the possibility that she did it since breaking necks isn’t that hard – which earns him a pointed look.

Harman is getting checked out by Angela though for his night sweats (not terrors, he insists), lost weight and other maladies. He insists they’re not psychological, she gives him A Look.

Looking at the case, we learn Marion is a barrister, her husband killed himself 2 years ago and she’s working on a complicated fraud case involving VAT – and it’s the only thing Vaughan can see the vampires may be involved with since it involves serious money.

Angela goes to interview Marion but, as we’ve seen before, her technique would make even the most innocent person feel attacked and accused. She makes it clear she was unconscious for the duration of the attack. They commiserate over the fact both their husbands have committed suicide.

Angela goes from there to Marion’s doctor and threatens her with being struck off to make her break her patient’s confidentiality. Marion was depressed after her husband died and before he committed suicide they were struggling to have a baby – Marion got pregnant and lost the baby 12 times.

Interviewing her second in the case, Vaughan and Mike learn that he’s brand new and his predecessor, Mr. Keep, was killed in a hit and run. The police don’t consider it deliberate – but do mention he was close to Marion.

They drag Marion in where she demands to know if she’s under arrest (Harman doesn’t answer, such niceties are beyond him) and he grills her about her relationship with Dominic Keep. She refuses to co-operate since Harman isn’t even going through the pretence of acting like she has any kind of rights – then she has a nose bleed which perks Harman up and set the ominous music playing! Pay attention guys, ominous music says this scene is important.  She passes out again, apparently she’s been having a lot of time off work.

Mike exhumes her ex-husband’s body – except it isn’t there. While Vaughan searches Marion’s house. He goes through her medicine cabinet to find medicines that Angela recognises. While Marion is unconscious, Angela decides to do an ultrasound on her (and she’s threatening over doctors with being struck off?) she finds a gestational sack with nothing inside it – and shares the information with Father Harman while taking blood from him to test (Harman, remember wants his medical testing to be handled privately which he’s apparently entitled to).  It could be a natural condition but she’d need a vaginal scan to be sure.

While Angela goes along with her non-consensual medical scans, Vaughan and Mike watch from CCTV cameras – oh, it gets better and better! Vaughan doesn’t believe vampries can father children since they reproduce differently and vampire men are sterile.

Back in the room, Marion has forgiven all the non-consenting scans without a mention (convenient that) and Angela tells her it’s a phantom pregnancy. Marion says her husband is the father using his frozen sperm through IVF (her husband had poor sperm motility).

She passes on the news to the team that, with IVF, they may be looking at a hybrid. To the fertility clinic! Where they learn the poor quality of the sperm meant only one embryo was fertilised (usually several are fertilised during IVF) and that vampire sperm does apparently show up on camera. But when exposed to sunlight it explodes – the sperm envelope is human but the DNA is Code V (vampire).

Harman doesn’t understand why the vampires would want this – they would produce an offspring that may be immune to daylight but which wouldn’t be immortal. Angela agrees – if it’s an experiment, but unlike Harman she doesn’t rule out the possibility that a vampire simply may want to have children. He asks if she’s ever performed and abortion and she turns round on the Catholic priest and asks if he’s sanctioned one. He says it isn’t human, she says it’s half human – and he says that’s what he said. Half human = not human.

Angela goes to Marion and offers a termination of her phantom pregnancy – to spare her the pain of a full miscarriage (they’re pretending she’s not really pregnant). Marion rejects it saying she’ll make that decision with her doctor, not the police and not a doctor she knows nothing about. Vaughan explains to Mike about Angela having lost her child and husband because the vampires wanted to make her join them and she refused. And Marion asks Angela personal questions cuttingly, noting that she won’t mind of she invades Angela’s privacy all things considered.

They take her to a clinic to be tested and the second opinion confirms there’s no heartbeat (vampires aren’t picked up on any electronic devices, remember). I have no idea why Marion is choosing to allow Angela follow her everywhere during this. Marion agrees to a D&C and Angela pulls strings to make it happen tonight (but insists that the tissue be kept without Marion’s knowledge). But as she moves to leave the clinic, the lights flash and Marion is stopped by a sudden pain. She announces she can feel the baby moving the doctor protests that even if they were lying she wouldn’t feel anything this early in the pregnancy – but she refuses to let him touch her. She screams that she’s not having a termination and her doctor agrees, encouraging her to go home and get a second opinion if she wishes. Which is when Angela steps in and says she’s in custody (based on? Ah, no-one has any rights at all, I forgot) and Marion has to go with her. Marion realises they’re not the police and that Angela KNOWS she’s pregnant

Meanwhile, Vaughan and  Mike search the building – but don’t find the vampire until he’s already broken a window and escaped. Angela is distracted by the gunfire and goes to check, while the clinic staff help Marion sneak out the back door, likely worried by Angela’s frightening tactics. Marion escape and Angela storms off in a huff. She checks Marion’s private diary and finds and appointment with a midwife.

Marion, alone on a park bench at night, calls the police detective she worked with over her colleague’s death – but he transfers her to Father Harman without listening. He tells her she’s pregnant but it’s not her husband’s child and she’s in danger, the samples have been tampered. She has to terminate the baby to save her life. He advises her to go to a hospital or an abortion clinic.

Vaughan and Mike check out a secret address the midwife had – a dark, secluded warehouse with medical supplies inside and a makeshift clinic complete with incubator. Mike looks at the incubator and accuses Vaughan of being willing to pull the plug if a baby was in there he says he wouldn’t – because Angie would want it for the lab. Angela sees the midwife and sees she’s advised a lot of vitamin D but not the primary source – sunlight. The midwife, nervous and with a bandage on her neck, says she thinks Marion had an allergy.

At the abortion clinic she got from directory inquiries, avoiding the big ones, Marion wants to know if there’s a way she can discover the child’s father before having an abortion. It’s then that she looks around and realises they’re lying, they’re not an abortion clinic, they’re an anti-choice front (menacing music used most appropriately). The woman at the clinic laments that people make “pro-life” sound like an insult but Marion is angry that this wasn’t what they advertised. She tries to give Marion the spiel but she’s not having it and tries to leave. The woman blocks her way and spouts more rhetoric but Marion gets woozy and fixates on the woman’s crucifix. She passes out. While on the floor she starts bleeding

The ambulance arrives to take Marion away and the anti-choice woman calls Marion’s midwife to tell her what’s happened as well as the clinic Marion uses. Angela who is at the midwife’s arranging to have her locked in a small room, takes the call and hurries out to the hospital, when she arrives Marion hasn’t arrived – as she calls and tells Vaughan. It is intercepted on route by a vampire.

Angela arrives at the abandoned ambulance to find the paramedic dead and a trail of blood leading into a nearby park. She arrives to find Marion waking up in her husband’s arms and points a gun at him. He says she wants to come with him and she will die if he doesn’t turn her. Angela says he killed any chance of happiness she could have had with another man. He says he died to give her what she wants and that it was Angela who killed her happiness, not him. Marion looks up and begs for her husband. Angela, crying, shoots him and he explodes.

She tries to resuscitate Marion, but her husband was right and she dies.

Examining the tissue samples Angela concludes that Marion miscarried and couldn’t have survived the haemorrhaging. Harman can’t see what the vampires would have wanted from her if she’d miscarried, Angela speculates tissue samples, Mike thinks he wanted to bring her over. But Angela won’t hear that the vampire husband may have cared for his wife. But the team won’t accept vampires have emotions.

We follow Angela moving around to sad music – why are we supposed to be sad for this woman? She goes home to her child, reading the suicide note that was left to Marion and she carried in her bag, saying that he’s going somewhere where he’ll be able to help her more than he can alive.

Kirsty, meanwhile, doesn’t take kindly to being fobbed off and mushroomed and tracks down a reporter to tell him her story. Mike said Jack was being hunted by people trying to kill him, then Mike changed his story, seemed to join a new organisation then disappeared leaving no forwarding address. It does sound rather shady when you put it like that.

I’m not a fan of the whole trample on every human right going this show espouses so merrily. It’s, again, making it hard for me to see them as even remotely the good guys or sympathise with any of them. I’d actually be quite happy if vampires ate all of them – especially Harman and Angela.  They seem to get worse every episode.

The treatment of Marion throughout this episode really makes me want the whole team to be vampire bait.

I do like the open challenge of the deception of the anti-choice clinic and they’re not presented as saintly, but Marion has zero choices this episode. We are having some challenges from Mike about the dubious morality of the group, but it’s slim

Ultraviolet has a lot going for it – direction isn’t one of them. We have so many ridiculously over-dramatic camera work and excessively dramatic music. But whenever there’s any real action the cameras quickly pan away, it’s pretty ridiculous in a way that goes beyond how dated the show is.