Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Midnight Texas, Season One, Episode Two: Bad Moon Rising

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As far as I am concerned, the jury is still very much out on Midnight Texas. It's fun trying to figure out what kind of supernatural the residents of Midnight are and how it all fits together to form a community but given that this inspired from the work of Charlaine Harris, my skepticism is going to continue until I see good reason to let it go. 

Okay, Bobo has been arrested for the murder of his ex girlfriend Aubrey.  As an audience we know that Bobo is innocent but the cops don't.  There's a healthy fear among the supernatuals that the cops investigating the goings on in Midnight is not a good thing because for their community to be safe what they need is anonymity. At the end of the pilot, Manfred agreed to help the residents to free BoBo but to do that, he's going to have to confront whatever is glowing under the floorboards of his new home and get rid of the ghosts who have taken up residence. 

Deputy Gomez decides to throw Bobo into a cell with members of the Sons of Lucifer.  It seems that this was planned by the leader of the motorcycle gang. Bobo tries to explain that he didn't kill Aubrey but the bikers don't want to hear it and instead go on the attack.  It seems that Bobo has had some training somewhere because he is able to fight off all of the bikers, leaving all of them in need of some kind of medical care. I cannot help but wonder if some of Bobo's ability to defend himself is the result of the supernatural?

The supernatural residents of Midnight gather and Manfred admits that he needs help to deal with whatever is going on in his new home.  Joe and Fiji agree to help out. Joe volunteers when Manfred mentions that he is concerned that at least some of the infestation could be demonic. Once inside the apartment, Manfred allows Aubrey to take over his body so that he can see what happened on the night she died.  We learn that Aubrey was hit from behind and therefore didn't see much beyond the fact that her attacker was wearing a jacket from the local white supremacist biker gang and that it took her three days to die.  With this new information, it's decided that Joe and Manfred will go and see the sheriff while Fiji gets to work on an exorcism to free Manfred's home of ghosts and whatever evil is underneath the floorboards. 

Deputy Gomez returns after taking the Sons of Lucifer for medical treatment to find that Sheriff Livingstone is not pleased with her.  Gomez is suspended from active duty immediately which pisses her off. Gomez tries to justify her actions by bringing up what happened to their patrol car but Livingstone simply doesn't want to hear it. 

Joe and Manfred arrive at the station and Manfred tells Sheriff Livingstone what he knows about Aubrey's death.  Because Aubrey didn't see much, Manfred doesn't have a lot of details that Livingstone can verify.  When Livingstone expresses doubt, Manfred points out that it was him who told the cops where to find the gun.  Despite his doubts, Livingstone orders the lake where the gun was found dredged for further evidence. 

It's a full moon which means that the Reverend has to be locked up to avoid him hurting anyone. It's Olivia who does the duty, promising to see him the next morning, even as the Reverend reveals that he has a bad feeling that something just isn't right. It turns out that the Reverend's hunch was right because Gomez, determined to get to the bottom of exactly what is so weird about Midnight, ends up freeing the Reverend, who is now a tiger. Gomez ends up paying for her action by being killed by the now weretiger Reverend. 

A weretiger roaming around Midnight is absolutely not a good thing.  When Manfred realises what is going on, he rushes to find Creek to warn her and is scratched by the tiger for his trouble. The two manage to make it to Manfred's trailer but the weretiger isn't about to give up on his meal.  Fortunately for Creek and Manfred, this is when Olivia and Lemuel arrive, causing the weretiger to give up on his meal for now.  Free of the threat, Manfred returns home to find out how Fiji is dealing with the exorcism. 

Fiji has managed to send all of the ghosts packing but the evil spirit under the floorboards is still there.  The demon under the floorboards has taken a liking to Fiji and not only refuses to let her go, it gets all rapey. It even goes as far to call Fiji by name which of course is ultra creepy. The situation has escalated beyond Manfred's ability to deal with. Manfred heads out to his trailer and grabs the skull of one of his ancestors.  Manfred then rushes back to his place and banishes the spirit of whatever demon had taken up residence under his floorboard. This results in the skull being reduced to ashes.

With the floor demon taken care of, it's time to go and find the Reverend.  Fiji and a clearly nervous Manfred take off together, with Fiji assuring Manfred that Lemuel and Olivia are right behind them. After finding tiger tracks, they get out of the car and begin to track the reverend. Fortunately for Fiji and Manfred just as they find the weretiger, Lemuel and Olivia arrive. Olivia wants to put a couple of silver bullets into the Reverend, claiming that this is what he would want but Lemuel is determined to save his old friend.  After a short fight, Lemuel is able to subdue the weretiger.  When the Reverend wakes in the morning, he's aware of everything that happened the night before and is saddened that he killed someone. The Reverend buries Gomez in behind the church. 

Thanks to Manfred's tip to keep searching the lake, a jacket belonging to someone in the Sons of Satan's gang is found with Aubrey's hair caught in the zipper. This is enough evidence to free Bobo from jail.  Livingstone reveals that he believes that Aubrey's husband is the one who killed her and Bobo promises to call the cops at the first sign of the man.

A happy Bobo returns home and is greeted warmly by Fiji and Manfred. When Manfred and Bobo are alone, Manfred reveals his belief that Aubrey really did love him and that she just didn't know how to tell him that she was sent to spy on him by the Sons of Satan.  As far as Bobo is concerned however, the woman he loved didn't really exist. What I want to know is why no one is questioning why the Sons of Satan specifically targeted Bobo in the first place?

When Fiji returns to her home, she opens up a cupboard which is filled with jars containing samples of hair from the residents of Midnight and adds a new sample to her collection.  Suddenly, Fiji doesn't seem all that harmless to me. The voice from the demon under the ground calls out for Fiji. It seems that Manfred didn't exactly banish the demon after all. 

With everything calming down, Manfred gets a little visit from Creek. It seems that Creek has come to get her promised kiss and Manfred is all to happy to oblige. 

With all of the recent events, Joe is examining a painting which is straight out of Dante's Inferno.  Joe explains to Chuy that he's worried about the end of days because the veil between good and evil is fraying. The last time this happened and the veil cracked,  it was a millennia ago in Midnight. Fortunately however there's a prophecy about a group of warriors which will rise up, led by someone who has the power to speak to the living and the dead. 

Now that he has a true suspect to look for, Livingston leaves the police station and hops into his car.  When Livingston turns over the ignition, the car explodes. Unsurprisingly, it's the Sons of Satan who are responsible. 

This is episode two and we've been presented with the death of yet another female character. I am really hoping that this isn't going to turn into a trend. I really find it problematic that it was Livingston who while uncomfortable with all of the supernatural things that he had been exposed to isn't the one that decided to engage in corrupt policing.  All along the way Livingston was the calm one and Gomez was the one freaking out. Look, I'm not saying that anyone should be cool watching a witch crush their car but at the same time this conversation is more about who is comfortable with difference than anything else and the writers chose Livingston for that role.  

The romance between Manfred and Creek is rolling full steam ahead despite her father's objections.  I like that Creek is doing what she wants to do and is not being controlled. It helps to take some of the awful out of the sexist controlling behaviour her father is exhibiting.  At this point however, with everything going on, I really don't believe that Midnight Texas needs a romance. 

This episode came with a lot of dark foreboding. We had the Reverend say on several occasions that he thought that something wasn't right and that he sensed something bad on the horizon.  The writers then had Joe completely spell it out because somehow it was better to tell than show (yep, snark) It's really too early in the series for that kind of writers faux pas. So our merry band of supernaturals will be fighting off the end of days; how extremely original. 

I'm really interested to see what the writers are going to do with Joe and Chuy. Thus far, they've both been relegated to side characters with not much to do with the main plot. I'm pleased to see that gay characters have been introduced to the story but at this point, they really (especially Chuy) feel outside of the ensemble cast.  Considering that we are dealing with the end of days, I hope that this changes quickly. 

I think that Midnight Texas clearly takes itself seriously and I'm not so sure that this is a wise approach.  Yes, we have a dead talking grandmother as well as a grumpy cat who was noticeably absent this episode but it is far removed from the cheese which I think would serve this series better. I'm not saying that it should go over the line like Z Nation often does but I also don't think a serious approach really works in this setting.  I suppose we will have to wait and see where this goes.