Friday, September 8, 2017

Midnight Texas, Season One, Episode Seven: Angel Heart

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The first season has essentially been about the residents of Midnight dealing with their secrets, past or whatever is haunting them. So far, Olivia, Manfred, Bobo and Creek have all had issues that the community in some form or other have helped them  deal with. This week, it's Joe's turn.

From pretty much the first episode, I've been complaining about the limited role that Chuy has been given.  In order to save Creek in Blinded by the Light, Joe revealed to the community that he is an angel.  This revelation as it turns out is not without consequences.  Joe is a fallen angel and it turns out that his mentor Bowie, isn't pleased with Joe's relationship. 

Bowie swaggers into town with a red leather trench coat (gotta say I love this look) and begins her search for Joe. The first person she meets is the reverend and when he won't answer her questions, she is quick to knock him unconscious. Joe is at loss as to what to do because Bowie is far older than he is and consequently much stronger.  It's Chuy who suggests that they need to turn to the friends that they've made in Midnight and ask for help.

Manfred is on his way to the meet up when he sees Bowie walking towards him and so he quickly turns around and heads into the van to get help from Xylda. It turns out that not only is Bowie a kick ass angel, she can read minds. In order to stop Bowie from being able to read where Joe is hiding from his brain, Manfred has Xylda enter his body. It's creepy and funny at the same time. Does anyone really want to share their body with a relative?

Manfred finally makes it to Olivia's and meets up with the gang.  It's now time for Joe to finally tell everyone the whole truth about who he is and his past. Joe reveals that he is an angel and that Bowie was his mentor.  Joe says that Bowie wasn't pleased that he fell in love with Chuy. It's Creek who wonders whether the is issue is that both Joe and Chuy are men.  It turns out that the issue is that Chuy is half a demon. It seems that Chuy's demon father raped his mother and his mother taught him to suppress his demon side.  Joe and Chuy met when Chuy was given a beat down by a group of men who stole everything from him. Joe was impressed that Chuy didn't fight back because he believed that if they stole from it was probably based in need.  Chuy and Joe have actually been a couple for quite some time. The crew is shocked to learn about Chuy and not impressed that though Joe and Chuy have lived in Midnight for quite some time, this is the first time they are finding out who Joe and Chuy actually are.  Creek in particular is not impressed and wonders if everyone is keeping dark secrets. 

Bowie is getting frustrated in her search for Joe and so she heads to the diner where of course Creek is working.  Bowie fixates on Creek when she recognises Creek from what she was able to pick up in Manfred's mind.  The people in the diner are naturally defensive of Creek, given what she has gone through recently but Bowie has absolutely zero empathy.  It seems that just like Joe, Bowie is now fallen.  Bowie uses what she has learned about Creek's family to hurt her terribly. Bowie uses Creek's phone to call Manfred and demand that Joe turn himself in.

The truth coming out about Joe and Chuy gives rise to a conversation between Lemuel and Olivia.  Lemuel and Olivia see themselves as a mixed couple, not because of race but because he is a vampire and she is human. It's clear that Lemuel always assumed that when the time came, he would just turn Olivia but she has other plans. Olivia knows that their relationship has an expiration date because she will continue to age while Lemuel stays the same and she will only be able to work for so long.  When the time comes, Olivia plans on leaving Midnight and Lemuel behind her because she doesn't want to be turned. Olivia wants them to enjoy what they have now for as long as they can.  Lemuel nods his head in agreement but is clearly not pleased with Olivia's assertion.

The big plan is to use a mirror to create a portal to hell and then push Bowie through it.  Chuy is going to stay inside because the last time he went full on demon, it took Joe three years to get Chuy back to normal. Before the battle begins, Joe drops the news on Manfred that he believes that Manfred is the chosen one. Manfred is naturally incredulous but Joe argues that he fits the prophesy to a T.  

Joe confronts Bowie and she releases Creek, while Bobo and Fiji work on getting the portal open. As soon as Fiji gets the portal open, Lemuel pushes Bowie from behind sending her flying towards the mirror.  Unfortunately, Bowie uses her light to break the mirror.  Joe and Lemuel encourage everyone to flee.  Bowie reads Manfred's mind and learns his belief that he is the chosen one and starts mocking him.  Bowie tells Manfred that Creek blames him for what happened with her father and brother and questions what good he is, if he couldn't even warn her that she was living with a murderer. Creek is horrified that Bowie is revealing her inner thoughts.

Joe flies up behind Bowie and the battle is on.  An anxious Chuy watches the battle from a distance, struggling to stay in control of his demon side.  Joe holds is own for a bit but is soon over powered by Bowie.  Bowie prepares to end Joe's life in front of all of his friends when Chuy comes rushing out in his full demon form. Bowie is horrified that Joe left her for Chuy.  Chuy attacks and ends up killing Bowie by biting her neck.  With Bowie dead, demon Chuy is looking for someone else to kill.  Joe tells everyone to run.  Chuy targets Manfred but before demon Chuy can kill Manfred, Joe intervenes.  Joe holds Chuy down and calls on his light, promising to kill Chuy if he has to. Joe begs Chuy to remember who he is and what they are to each other. It's a struggle but Chuy slowly comes back to himself. 

With the battle over, the Midnighters gather once again.  Chuy apologises to everyone for what happened and Joe asks Manfred to come and see him later because they have things to discuss.  

The next day, Bobo finds Fiji cleaning up the mess in her yard.  Fiji is angry that her sleepy little town is no longer quiet and that every time she turns around there's a new threat. Bobo does the only thing he can - he offers to clean Fiji's yard for her and stand guard while she sleeps in case of another demon attack. Fiji is surprised by Bobo's offer of support but accepts.

Manfred heads to see Joe and for first time sees Joe's end of days painting. Yeah, I kind of think that painting would intimidate anyone. Joe tells Manfred that it's not an accident that he arrived in Midnight when he did but Manfred protests that he's only staying because of Creek and doesn't have the ability to lead an army against the demons.

When Manfred heads home, Creek informs him that in order to deal with everything that has happened that she's going to need some space. It's slow to dawn on Manfred that what Creek is really saying is that they are done.  Creek makes it clear that this is what she needs for now. Manfred tells Creek to take the bed and that he will sleep on the couch.  Rather than going to sleep, Manfred hops in his van and leaves Midnight. Xylda tries to argue that Manfred was setting down roots and building a life in Midnight, but Manfred won't even consider turning around because for him, the only reason to stay in Midnight is to be with Creek. 

This week, there was a lot of coming out talk regarding the identities of Chuy and Joe. I'm not really sure how to feel about that given that we are in fact also talking about two LGBT characters.  It feels like appropriation to me. Chuy quite literally talked about the closet while hiding in a closet. Then there's the issue that the only type of oppression they face is because of Chuy being a demon and nothing about the fact that they are a same sex couple or an interracial couple. Similarly, the fact that Lemuel and Olivia are also an interracial couple is also overlooked in favour of stressing human versus supernatural. These are not issues that should be skirted. Yes, Midnight is a small town but it's still a part of the world. I find it interesting that when it comes to actual marginalised people, actual instance of bigotry and oppression are erased, whereas; Bobo, who is white and straight was used to discuss white supremacy. 

This week, Bowie was easily dispatched by Chuy.  Every week we have a random bad person who is killed.  I mention Bowie's death because of the deaths that we've seen so far, the majority have been women.  Even Xylda, who I have come to enjoy as a character is dead.  The deaths thus far have all been very violent and all at the hands of men and yet there's no discussion of this.  The deaths of women only seem relevant on this show to the degree that they expose the members of Midnight to outsiders.  We know that Fiji is in danger, so we will see if this changes once one of the reoccurring characters is involved. 

Manfred driving off because Creek wanted space just proves what a manbaby he is. A woman should be able to want space to deal with trauma. Sure, he didn't fight Creek over her autonomy but leaving town doesn't exactly show support now does it.  Xylda is right, Manfred had laid down roots, he had made friends but none of that was important once his fee fees were hurt.  

I know that I have some criticism of Midnight Texas this week but I still love this cheesy show. I want to see it do better. I don't want it to skirt around major issues to play up on the supernatural. Yes, it's great to have interracial couples and it's great to have same sex couple but that means that you actually have to discuss their lives - the good the bad and the ugly.