“For them, to love us is to watch us die” said a human woman about her vampire lover’s feelings towards her in this episode of Moonlight. And for Moonlight fans in the UK, to love the show was to watch it end forever this week.
The last ever episode was fine, not quite the “freakin’ vampire apocalypse” Mick’s friend Josef was worried about, but we had some thrills and spills, and the odd, unexpected little laugh. A doomed femme fatale, a tale of yet another undying love (albeit not one of Mick’s this time), some more romantic drama between our hero and heroine, and some scary vampire court justice – all in all, a decent enough way to go out. There were enough loose ends to enable the series to start afresh, but that’s not to be, and so thankfully there were also enough tied-up ends to satisfy the viewers.
What of the all-consuming, Mills and Boon-style love between Mick and Beth though – the reason why I started watching this? Well, they had their ups and downs, but fittingly the final scene was a declaration of love, a kiss and a door closing on our loved-up pair, as well as on the show itself. Goodnight, Moonlight – we had fun, but now it’s time for the sun to come up.
Every child is scared of Things That Go Bump in the Night. The child in this week’s Moonlight had more reason than most, it turned out, as he was snatched from his bed by the man in the attic. Interestingly, the bad guy turned out to be your common or garden psychopath, as opposed to the supernatural variety, but no matter – he was still creepy as anything.
Sadly, despite the odd funny scene, this episode was a lot less amusing than last week, but the race to save the child was well-paced and exciting, all the “do” was very “derring”, and there were some nice scares and surprises to be had, as well as a poignant little personal drama for our hero Mick St John.
Two things puzzle me though. Firstly, why kill off Beth’s boyfriend Josh, the old DA, a few weeks ago, only to replace him with the new DA Ben who seems to have an even bigger role? And secondly, just how many heartbreaking loves has Mick had? At first, I thought there was only Beth. Then, I thought okay, Beth and the Ex, Coraline. This week we find about some other female from the past? Dude gets around.
“We’re all vampires in one form or another” says Mick St John and that is, I suppose, the flipside to “Everbody’s beautiful in their own way” as well as being the unofficial theme of this week’s episode of Moonlight.
This snappy episode centred around the murder of a young movie starlet, who had hired Mick the vampire PI to review her security just before she was inconveniently murdered. Obviously, our Mick and his lady friend Beth have to investigate, if only to assuage Mick’s guilt – almost a character in its own right, it plays such a big role in Moonlight.
Along the way, Mick accidentally becomes a tabloid celebrity, and gets knocked down by a car, while Beth is blackmailed by and orders a “hit” on a nasty paparazzo. As you do. Indeed, paparazzi stalked our hero for most of the episode, giving the usual accusation that they “feed” on celebrities an additional layer to the norm.
But despite all that potentially serious stuff, this episode was actually very funny. Much of the dialogue poked affectionate fun at both the show itself – for instance Beth saying to the new DA “Someone’s trying to kill me” and the DA replying “Seems to happen A LOT” – or various other apects of pop culture. Mick’s explanation of the evolution of emo music was a particular highlight, and also, who knew vampire PI’s had facebook pages?
As well as the mystery, the comedy, and the paparazzi, we also had our usual healthy dose of romance, with Mick and Beth’s relationship simmering nicely, at an almost (whisper it now) normal pace. Before she died, Mick told the starlet the relationship was “complicated”. She told him to “Uncomplicate it.” Words to chew (sorry) on indeed.
Is the moon really made of cheese?
The first few minutes of this week’s episode certainly were. Opening with temporarily human/ permanently vampire Mick St John sampling the benefits of his recent return to the world of the living, we watched Mick enjoy Bedlinen! Brushing his teeth! Drinking orange juice! Walking in the sun! Yes, ok, simple pleasures – I think we get it, writer-folks.
Anyway, the montage o’fromage ended with a picnic on the beach (of course it did) with the lovely Beth and a suggestion that our boy seize the day and his girl and stop dithering about. Fair enough. Having reached the summit of cheese mountain however, we then zoomed off into a fast-paced fun episode with 3 potential suspects, each with a secret, in the murder of Beth’s boss. Beth and Mick, back together, fighting crime on Buzzwire’s time, and trying to keep one step ahead of the new DA – a definite return to form after last week’s wishy-washy episode. This was 3 mysteries for the price of one and better for it. Mick pulled off some brilliant heroics, some tortured sacrifice and lo! Our favourite vampire is back and badass again. A nice bit of romance to top it all off, and this armchair critic is definitely appeased.
Just a shame the network didn’t take the same view. Moonlight is not getting a second season so I guess I’ll just have to enjoy it while it lasts.
I’m fairly sure I’m on record somewhere, even if it is only in my own head, as saying I’m really not keen on the over-arching “mythology” stories behind some programmes. For instance, I was always happier watching an X-Files freak of the week episode, than one about the seemingly endless alien/smoking man conspiracy. I loved Buffy when she was kicking ass or kissing Angel, but not when she got mired in the Initiative storyline or the Glory nonsense that went on forever. And you know what? I love Moonlight when Mick and Beth are fighting crime or romancing each other, but I am completely uninterested in the back story of Mick’s Ex Coraline and how she turned him into a vampire, and how she still haunts him, and whether it can be fixed, and Oh! the tedium of it.
So this week’s episode of Moonlight was a game of two halves for me. I loved the scenes where Beth tried to come to terms with and forgive Mick (and herself) for her boyfriend’s death last week. I don’t actually remember her being quite so keen on the poor boyfriend when he was alive, but hey-ho. The scenes were moving and engaging, and bode well for the rest of the season. I did not love the ostensibly A-plot about Coraline and the vampire “cure”, however. Or should I say, Whatever.
The only advantange of the Coraline shenanigans was that it left us with an interesting future plotline – as a result of her ducking and diving, Mick has been made temporarily human. Ooooh. So what was the first thing he did on regaining his humanity? Order take-out. Now that’s my kinda guy.
To turn or not to turn? That was the question facing our hero the vampire P.I. this week as Beth’s District Attorney boyfriend Josh fell foul of some nasty gangster types and Beth begged Mick to bite him, prompting some more angst and yet more guilt. No wonder the episode started with Mick working out – you must need serious muscles to carry around all that emotional baggage everyday.
A fairly derivative plot involving a druglord threatening Beth and kidnapping Josh was competently and excitingly executed, although obviously, despite the combined powers of the police force and DA’s office, Mick was the only character remotely capable of defeating the bad guys. Well, duh.
Anyway, some nice bullet-dodging, damsel-saving, ass-kicking and, oddly enough, artery-clamping ensued as Mick charged around being both a lover and a fighter, as well as a medic tending to Josh’s physical wounds, and a patient suffering from his own lovesickness. Busy guy! Let’s see what he manages to cram into his schedule next week.
A tale of three Exes this week, as our hero Mick’s ex-wife, his best friend’s ex-girlfriend and our heroine Beth’s surely-soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend (NOT a spoiler, just an educated guess) all lined up to demonstrate that yes, vampire-human love is indeed like Bad Medicine, and the side-effects are a real bitch.
Craziness, comas, and losing a clean-cut boyfriend, are apparently only a few of the nasty things that can happen when vampires and humans fraternize, meaning Frankie was right, and love is danger – but like the man said, love is also pleasure, so I’m fairly sure Beth is not going to be keeping Mick the vampire from her door, regardless.
So, wise decisions by the writers not to focus the whole episode on Mick’s boring Ex, to give Mick’s fun best friend Joseph some tragic back-story, to remind us of the existence of Beth’s loose end, sorry, boyfriend, AND to give me a chance to roll out some 80’s lyrics? Win win win! Some clunky dialogue notwithstanding, this was a much better episode than last week, with lots of tortured emoting, lots of heartfelt hugging, and the promise of more of both to come. Bad medicine? Next dose soon, please.