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Mitchell: "What's so important about me?"

Intriguing question, that. He asks it of Herrick in a couple different forms at different times.

If the character dynamics had stayed the same as in the pilot, I don't know if we'd have a clear answer. I was intrigued by something Toby Whithouse said in the "Being Human Unearthed" special that we got hold of (I think it aired fairly recently, in the run up to series 2), about how they weren't entirely satisfied with the presentation of the vampires in the pilot. He said they seemed "too gothic," and that the creative team wanted to find a way to make them more "modern" in a way that tracked with the rest of the world of the show. To which I immediately thought, "Oh, you mean more British." Which was confirmed a moment later when he said that Adrian Lester's Herrick (through no fault of his performance) seemed to be coming from somewhere else, "like Blade or something." Which is of course very modern, but also very American.

But of course they didn't just recast Herrick in that process, but Mitchell too. Which, as much as I really liked Guy Flanagan's take on the character within the parameters of the pilot (i.e. based on all the information available to him), I can't argue with. It was problematic in story-potential terms for both of the boys to be introverts -- I can't imagine pilot!Mitchell pulling the "O HAI GEORGE look I invited all the neighbors round for coffee isn't this BRILLIANT?" thing, f'rinstance.

Pilot!Mitchell is an ultracool angsty vampire with a sense of humor and a sentimental streak. Series!Mitchell is a spaztastic goofball with an extremely well-trained façade of ultracool angsty vampire. He's also one of those people who end up at the center of any room without trying, who innately make people feel special just by paying attention to them.

A tall, handsome, charismatic Herrick doesn't need to care whether Mitchell stays or goes. A more... Napoleonic one, however, has a very specific use for him as a people magnet. By owning Mitchell, he can wield that rock-star quality almost as if it were his own. People enter Herrick's orbit because they want to be next to Mitchell -- and Herrick can't afford for that magnet to break away and wander off to do its own unpredictable thing.

And in case we're tempted to think any pretty young face will do in that position, we have the example of Lauren, whose value to Herrick lay entirely in her ability to lure Mitchell back to the fold. When she failed to do so, Herrick (and the others, following his lead) barely tolerated her presence.

For his part, Mitchell knows he can generally get what he wants from people by turning on the charm, but he doesn't really grasp the full extent of that gift or how Herrick manipulates him to make use of it. And he doesn't quite seem to grasp that it's not that easy for the vast majority of people. Which seems a bit dense of him on the face of it, but I get the distinct impression that, where the world sees feral grace and careless cool, his internal self-image is still that of a gangly, awkward kid. (The "dorkiest of dorks" he described to Bernie.)

Which, considering that he wasn't much more than one last time he saw his own reflection, only makes sense.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
sabaceanbabe
Jan. 31st, 2010 01:39 am (UTC)
I wasn't really serious about waiting for you to write this, you know. ;) (But YAY! You did! \o/ )

Mitchell really doesn't get just how much of a mover and shaker he could be. And I can't say much more toward that because, if I understood some of your comments in other posts correctly, you haven't seen the new episodes yet? But your description of him as a rock star is very much in keeping with my view of his character, too, to the point that the 2nd fic I was compelled to write is a short little thing about Mitchell called Rock Star.

I think you're spot on in your assessment that he see's himself as an awkward dork, no matter how many women (and some men) throw themselves into his path just to be noticed by him.
wiliqueen
Jan. 31st, 2010 01:49 am (UTC)
Hee! Don't worry, it really was already in progress. My head go splodey if I don't get these things out of it. These thoughts and lots of others have been brewing for several days, while I was too sick to feel like sitting up at a computer and trying to make English out of htem.

You're correct -- waiting to dl the new eps until they've all run. At least that's the plan right now.

I don't think any of them really grok their own potential. Annie is probably closest as of the end of S1, what with the whole vengeful-spirit-storming-the-lair-and-liberating-the-larder thing. That leap still just blows my tiny mind.

And George takes that huge step toward owning the wolf, but then I expect that to become two steps back the instant he finds out he's infected Nina.

Which puts poor Mitchell bit behind the curve at that point, but considering some asshat shoved a stake through his lung a couple days before, he needs a bit of space to catch up.

With any luck, I shall have a bit of time this week to check out fic.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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