Powered by i.TV
September 22, 2014

Moonlight: Dr. Feelgood

by Jen Creer, posted Oct 12th 2007 11:28PM
Coraline(S01E03) I love it when form follows content, so I really enjoyed this episode. In fact, I think it was the strongest episode yet: It was tight, it had pathos and humanity, and it had humor. "The Red Cross doesn't mention that in their literature." It was a funny line, but Sophia Myles' delivery made it great.

In this episode, the characters are starting to find themselves. Beth is more driven by curiosity than anything else. It makes her good at her career, but it also helps her overcome any fear she has toward Mick. Unfortunately, it also puts her into dangerous situations. And as she tells Mick, "That's why it's a good thing I've got you around." Rather than thinking maybe Mick isn't such a good person to hang out with now, she considers him her own personal body guard, and is more driven than ever to solve cases. I think her drive to solve cases and her curiosity are more compelling to her than her news stories; in any case, a journalist like Beth will protect her source, so I think she will protect Mick's secret.

In some ways, Mick and Beth are a lot alike. They are both driven to solve murders, though for entirely different reasons. Mick is driven by a strong moral code and guilt for being a vampire, which is something he didn't want and still doesn't. We know this from subtle cues: He calls himself a monster more than once. When Beth says, about the fact that vampires don't age, "Immortality looks pretty good from where I'm sitting," he disagrees with her. We are already seeing hints that if Beth ever wants to become a vampire, Mick is going to try to stop her.

There was a lot to like about this episode: I freaking loved the fact that the vampires have a cleaner who comes up and takes care of little accidents like vampire gluttony. I also loved the fact that there are consequences for sires who create rogues: The cleaner, with her hair pulled tightly back, is a lovely vision of cold efficiency. She doesn't just clean up dead humans. Her job is to make sure that vampires can co-exist with humans without danger to vampire existence. It is clear that the vampire code exists more to protect vampires than the weaker humans around them. This is because the vampires seem to understand that even though they have more powers, there are more humans, and ultimately, remaining hidden is the smartest idea.

The plot was tight too: There is a rogue vampire. He is killing people and exposing the vampires, so he must be stopped. Follow the clues, find the sire, find the vampire, clean up the sire, kill the rogue. Wham, bam, thank you, ma'am. Very neatly done. And building upon the thin but tight skeletal scaffolding of the plot which, this week, was not convoluted, the show hangs layer upon layer of having Beth find out what she wants to know about Mick. My metaphor is unraveling here: Just as layer upon layer adds to the show's substance, there is also a process of removing layers of mystery: We find out at a slightly faster pace than Beth, but clearly, we are being privy to an un-layering, just as she is.

Last week, I was complaining about not having enough answers, about the vampire back story not having a substantial mythology. However, this week, it became clear that the show does have a vampire mythology, and we finally started seeing glimmers of it. Through the plot of the doctor becoming a rogue vampire, we experience what it is like to change into a vampire: The hunger, the blood thirst, being out of control. We see much more than Mick could explain to us in words, so form follows content. So, in following the rogue, we see Mick's early vampire days: He explains that if Coraline hadn't taught him, he would have ended up out of control as well. He doesn't confuse his reflection for gratitude toward Coraline: He is clearly still pissed as hell that she has made him into a vampire, though we still don't know what human hopes and dreams died with him that night. However, he seems to have a new appreciation for how much worse his vampire existence could have been.

We got more Josef this week. Of course, at 400 years old, is there anything he hasn't seen or experienced? He has probably been alive so long to have been bored a few lifetimes over, so he doesn't understand why Mick still cares. Even though I have heard the story of the Buddhist monks before, I enjoyed Josef's use of it to show Mick that he needs to let go of the past. He doesn't need to become as apathetic as Josef is, but he will be haunted far longer than any mortal by whatever he carries.

It would be a bold move for Beth to be telling her boyfriend the truth that nothing that is going on with her has anything to do with their relationship. It seems pretty impossible for Beth and Mick to have a love affair, so they could be star-crossed lovers, or maybe, just maybe, they could be really really good friends. They are moving into a really nice rapport: "And wait in the car means?" "Look how well that worked out last time!" Those lines turned out to be foreshadowing as once again, Beth has to rescue Mick. His paralyzed telling her to take the stake out was hilarious too, and I am just going to roll with the fact that it was intentionally funny, especially when Beth starts babbling, "Maybe it's like glass and we should just..." "Take it OUT!"

Mick has now trusted Beth with all of his secrets. So, if she is the keeper of his secrets, then what does that mean they mean to each other? When will she figure out that Mick is the one who saved her from Coraline? I hope CBS gives us a chance to find out. I will be traveling next Friday, so I don't know if I will have a chance to see the show on time to review it. I will try to find someone to substitute for me, but if I can't find anyone, I will see you in two weeks!

Do you want Beth and Mick to fall in love?
No, that's a cliche.70 (25.9%)
Too late: They are already in love.133 (49.3%)
Yes, I want to see them fall in love.67 (24.8%)

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

8 Comments

Filter by:
Mel

The problem with this show is that it treats its subject matter with such gravity, like it's treading new ground. It forgets that a substantial number of its viewers find familiarity in this genre and already know quite a bit about modern vampire folklore. I cringed at how long and seriously it took Mick to explain each facet of being a vampire. Come on, you're got a few weeks at most to hook viewers and you don't need to treat them like idiots laying every step of the groundwork.

October 15 2007 at 6:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Laura

This show was good a few years ago when it was called "Forever Knight"!

October 14 2007 at 10:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Karen

Jen - Loved your review. Glad you are supportive of Moonlight. Hope you can review it next Friday. Hopefully, CBS reads your reviews and the comments and will give this show a chance to develop. I've enjoyed each installment and find Moonlight to be suspenseful, intriguing, humorous and, most definitely, romantic. The writers are creating a believable world, with interesting characters and situations. The scenes have been well acted. Great escapism for a Friday night. Can't wait for the next episode.

October 13 2007 at 5:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
clgbutterfly

I have to agree that this is the best episode by far. I was a little annoyed at first that it was another vampire story, but then began to enjoy how it was unraveling the Vampire world. For those that do not know this series has strong corelations with Vampire: The Masquerade, a roleplaying series. It's just different enough not to be plagerizing, but follows many of the basic rules to establish a Vampire Society that co-exists with the mortal society.
The Cleaner was priceless and I loved the fact that she not only cleaned up eating messes, but apparently has a duty to clean all Vampire messes that might endanger their society.
Josef reminds me alot of Mythros (sp?) from Highlander. I love his apathetic attitude (especially in last weeks 80's scene). I want some more development for him.
Giulliermo (sp?) was great and I like that they made it clear that he is not the Coroner, but perhaps just an assistant.
I also liked how they pointed out how difficult it is for a Vampire to maintain contacts when they don't age. However, this brings up the other point that why has a Vampire been hanging out in the same place for so long, to dangerous. Another flaw is the fact that in the first episode I remember Josef clearly saying Mick was 90 years old, but perhaps I was mistaken. Atleast now they establishing his age.
I was impressed however that the driving seen did not seem as fake as the first too episodes. Perhaps their budget was increased after they got the green light for a series.
Some things are moving a bit fast, but like many shows this season they have to establish allure, before they get canceled. Luckily they are also establishing a little dark humor that is needed these days for Supernatural shows. I was hooked from day one and now I am even more impressed with the attempt on better episdoes and developing the mythos. Keep it up Moonlight!

October 13 2007 at 12:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
LadyOracle

Perhaps that I am the only one who feels this way, but the whole Beth/Mick thing just feels a little incestuous to me. Watching her grow up, etc. I think Mick will need time to stop seeing her as the idealized kid he saved from Coraline, but rather an adult with faults and fears. I figure that will sufficiently stall the relationship's progression and personally make the whole thing a little less creepy.

As a sidenote, I haven't decided if having Moonlight almost back to back with Blood Ties is a good thing for both of the shows (having a veritable Friday vampire buffet) or bad (lending itself to comparisons between the two). I think this might work in favor of both shows, despite the horrible 11pm spot for Blood Ties.

October 13 2007 at 10:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kristen

Did Mick actually kill Coraline? I thought she popped up in the window during the fire... Mick saw her, so while he might think she's dead, I have a feeling we'll be seeing her soon!

October 13 2007 at 3:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brent McKee

Beth doesn't know all of his secrets - that it was Coraline who kidnapped her when she was a little girl and that to save her from being a perpetual child Mick had to kill his wife and his sire.

October 13 2007 at 2:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kristen

In your Beth/Mick poll, you don't have a selection for "Yes, I'd like them to be in love, but only slowly over time" - so that's my vote!

The episodes are just getting better and better, and I liked this one best yet. Though I was intrigued with the series' concept and like vampire mythos enough to hang in there despite a weak premier, I'm getting rewarded faster than I thought I would! Let's hope the trend continues apace, and I'll be there, waiting next Friday for a new episode!

October 13 2007 at 1:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Follow Us

From Our Partners