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My habitual brain-dump prior to reading anyone else's thoughts...

Well, if Lifetime is going to insist on calling it a season premiere, at least it's strong enough to be one! But without all that pesky catching-people-up-on-the-mythos stuff that is de rigueur when ACTUALLY writing a season premiere. Which can't help but get in the way of the storytelling, and in this case that would have been a crime. I'm curious how new viewers (and of course we hope there are MANY!) will digest it, particularly in the Henry department -- one fairly subtle whammying of the bartender, one burst of Speedy Vampzales, and nary a flash of fang. The dialogue specifically said he was a vampire, of course, and in general it's enough information for a reasonably attentive person not to be lost and get knocked out of the story going "Wait, what the heck did he just do??"

Perhaps it will function as an unintended test of the ability of the "average viewer" to do exactly that, an ability the industry is, shall we say, not well-known for ascribing to them. (Exhibit A: Moonlight's bullet-point exposition dump outlining the rules governing their vampire before giving the poor guy so much as five seconds to introduce himself as a person. And I promise that's all I'll go there.) Meanwhile, the character dynamics were, I think, crystal clear simply by being there and being established -- Vicki/Henry UST, Vicki/Mike history and bond, less-grudging-right-this-minute acknowledgment between Henry and Mike that the other is not entirely useless, and Coreen multitasking as Research Girl and irrepressible flirt.

I'm betting that last one is going to get on a few nerves -- and not just Henry's -- and I get why, although personally I continue to simultaneously giggle and eyeroll at it. I'm also perfectly fine with when they're getting along as friends, but I'm not wishing this away any time soon. Also, I'm completely on board with a theory that a friend came up with in a discussion a couple weeks ago, to wit: We're talking about someone who lost her boyfriend in a horrible manner, and had the geeky-but-nice-enough guy who hung out at the pub turn out to be a psychotic demon-summoning stalker/kidnapper, all in the space of a few days not so very long ago. Then, right before this ep, he turned up as a demon and kidnapped and freaked the hell out of her again.

With Henry, she can, as my friend put it, "play the best-friend's-little-sister-with-a-crush in perfect safety." He's never going to do anything but be slightly annoyed, and she can have a little fun without putting her rather battered heart at risk. It's not in her nature to put up the same kind of defenses Vicki does, but can you call this one any less effective?

Observation of interest: Henry -- generally the poster boy for "What is this 'personal space' thing you speak of?" -- very specifically and deliberately avoids touching Coreen. He's done so exactly twice: pulling her out of reach of the trapped incubus, and drawing the line when she was playing with his necklaces this week. The space bubble is small but solid -- witness the pair of them teasing Vicki about Mike being at Elena's place. Or his encouraging her to "be strong" taking care of an incapacitated Vicki in "Bad Juju," a moment where you'd expect a hand on a shoulder or something, but he just stood about six inches away and talked very earnestly. It's a really, really interesting choice. (Yes, I am movement-oriented theatre person, see me obsess about nonverbal...)

I'm not a mystery buff per se, but I would certainly not say no to more mysteries like this one. Hands down the best they've had so far. With information being gathered by four people semi-independently -- and, with complications like Mike's professional position, not always being shared promptly -- there was no way the audience wasn't going to have all the pieces before any one of them did, but it wasn't so much so that we would put it all together way ahead of time and just end up impatient with them. Nor was it so obscure that it was a cheat -- I may never have heard of the particular myth in question (and I'm a pretty big geek in that area), but it was possible to figure out the nature and M.O. of the creature without having to know its name. That was important for the last puzzle piece, how to destroy it, but by then the characters and the audience were pretty much all on the same page. The additional, mundane layers of exactly what Deeds had been up to and when helped keep it all moving nicely. All in all, very complicated but not hard to follow. No mean trick, and pulled off beautifully.

That being the case, this was a more plotty than character-examining episode, so I don't know that there's a whole lot new to parse out about who these people are and where they're going. Which is not to say it didn't have some very nice moments in line with what we already know. Like Vicki matter-of-factly declaring that it's probably the demon marks that let her see Deeds -- and, in true Vicki fashion, giving not the slightest acknowledgment that such an observation is so not going to make Henry feel any better, thank you (as his reaction shot attests). Or Henry teasing Vicki about her apology being unprecedented, as if he has any room to talk, and then coming back with "I was wrong too," which you will note is not in fact the same thing as "I'm sorry." (A phrase he has uttered onscreen exactly once, way back in the pilot, after he rushed into his building a little singed and snapped at the doorman. And that was at least as much a covering tactic as an actual apology in my book.)

So. Our show is back. Happy happy. More, please? ;-D

[xposted to bloodties_tv]

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( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
kevenn
Oct. 13th, 2007 05:09 pm (UTC)
Didn't read the entry yet. My mom told my to DV-R this show, so I gotta watch it. ;)
wiliqueen
Oct. 14th, 2007 02:12 pm (UTC)
Yes! Do! It is faboo. < /rabidfangirlpimping >
beck_liz
Oct. 18th, 2007 02:19 am (UTC)
I liked last week's episode very much. I liked the mystery much better than usual, and I liked the interaction between Mike, Vicki and Henry a lot. I did blink a little at Coreen's rather in-your-face flirtatiousness, but I like your explanation for it; it makes sense. I also noticed Henry being very specific about his personal space with her, and found it interesting.
wiliqueen
Oct. 18th, 2007 01:20 pm (UTC)
I did blink a little at Coreen's rather in-your-face flirtatiousness, but I like your explanation for it; it makes sense.

Even if she's serious about it, it's a nice reminder that she's a nineteen-year-old kid. And, I strongly suspect, a rather less experienced one than she would like people to think.
studiesinlight
Dec. 8th, 2007 09:26 pm (UTC)
Catching up on BT -- "D.O.A."
>"With Henry, she can, as my friend put it, "play the best-friend's-little-sister-with-a-crush in perfect safety.""

Oh, hey, that was probably me! :-) Yep, still running with that explanation.

I need to rewatch "D.O.A." -- my initial viewing was not under optimal circumstances, so I got all the audio, and little of the video. Normally that's fine with me, as I'm all about the words -- as soon as this teeny little writers' strike thing is resolved, I want to raise the issue of closed-captioning on webcasts -- but if I'm going to properly applaud your interpretations of non-verbal cues, it will help to have seen them. :-)

I did know versions of this myth -- if I'm remembering correctly, there's a Skinner-centric X-Files where it comes up, and a version in a first-season Angel ep, among other places -- or am I casting too broad a net? BT already did the incubus thing separately, in a much, much lighter and less invasive way. But I felt I could guess what was coming on that side.

Mike's tete-a-tete in the diner with his fellow officer who had been Deeds's contact -- both of them with an eye on the bike gang through the window -- put me in mind of a meeting of Highlander Watchers.
wiliqueen
Dec. 9th, 2007 02:45 am (UTC)
Re: Catching up on BT -- "D.O.A."
Oh, hey, that was probably me! :-) Yep, still running with that explanation.

It's certainly still working for me. :-)

if I'm remembering correctly, there's a Skinner-centric X-Files where it comes up, and a version in a first-season Angel ep, among other places -- or am I casting too broad a net?

*nods* I would say both of those are much the same thing. I wasn't fond of the actual visual effect on this one, but the concept was otherwise executed well.

Mike's tete-a-tete in the diner with his fellow officer who had been Deeds's contact -- both of them with an eye on the bike gang through the window -- put me in mind of a meeting of Highlander Watchers.

Thank you! I knew it reminded me of something...
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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