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MORE SPOILERS AHOY

I love Nina so, so much for that line. SO much. Not that I didn't love her anyway, but.

If there's any one thing I regret most about Mitchell's death, it's that those two never got to be the friends they could have been. It was obvious at various times, even well into Mitchell's spiraling paranoia, that each cared about the other, and while a lot of that was for George's sake, I'm convinced that wasn't all of it. There was a window where, if he'd managed to muster the courage for a confession just one more time, she wouldn't have shut him down the way George and then Annie did, precisely because she didn't love him like they did. She would have been able to face it the way they couldn't. And she would have been appalled, and probably even considered turning him in, but I don't think she would have done it.

Not then. Not before "The Longest Day." She was unnerved when he went so gung-ho after Herrick, but at least she knew where that came from. But then suddenly there's this very intense and (from her perspective) completely incoherent "little bullet" ramble, and Mitchell doesn't even seem to register that he's making no sense. And as ghostinsweats has pointed out, "I'm going to make you so happy" is delivered by body and voice as absolutely a threat, in opposition to the words. And that moment tips Nina over into being actually afraid of him, into seeing him as capable of anything in a very concrete way she didn't before. Mitchell couldn't have primed her more perfectly for Herrick's manipulation if he'd tried. (And no, I don't think Herrick understood everything that was going on, but he damn well knew he was playing with people's heads just to see what they'd do. Revealing the scrapbook to Nina when he did, and especially asking her to keep it just between them, is the prime example.)

In any case, they didn't solidify that bond, and now they won't, and it makes me sad. And that tangent got longer than I intended.

Though it's related to what's on my mind the last day or two (now that the emotional upheaval has settled a bit and the analytical impulses have fully kicked in), which is sort of the culmination of my having observed a few weeks ago that, for all that it presented at various points as guilt or rage, Mitchell's actions this season have virtually all been driven by fear. Primarily, of course, the fear of death, honed into an obsessive weapon of self-destruction by Lia's spurious prophecy.

Mitchell was conceived and overtly presented as an iteration of the addiction metaphor, but over the course of 22 hours he's left his mark on pretty much everything a vampire can stand for: forbidden and/or violent sexuality, primal aggression, existential alienation, mental illness. But the end of his journey crystallizes into a brilliant modern-fiction expression of the most fundamental vampire metaphor of all. Pretty much any scholar examining folklore from a psych or sociology perspective will tell you we created vampires (among a gaggle of other traditions) so we could tell stories grappling with our fear of death. Sex, drugs and psychosis come in WAY down the vampire evolutionary line, well past the point where folklore became literature, and they get a lot more attention. But they all rest on that foundation, don't they?

The foundation is laid unmistakably bare in the cage scene, when Mitchell admits straight out -- to Herrick, and maybe for the first time to himself -- that he will say or do anything to survive. Though it was there from the very beginning, really, in the form perhaps most commonly seen in modern vampire fiction, i.e. unwillingness to let someone else (in that first instance, Lauren) die. But the full-on naked truth of it in this final arc may be unique. It's remarkable at the very least.

And of course that fear is absolutely, utterly human, though it can drive us to do inhuman things. So in the end his peace comes from still having that fear, but being MORE afraid of the monster he already feels himself becoming, and the weapon the Old Ones will force him to be.

It occurred to me yesterday to be impressed that he projected enough beyond ADHD limits (because seriously, he so is, and probably some form of bipolar too) for the "I will kill again" prospect to register as real. Then I realized that no, the prospect was just immediate enough to fall within ADHD limits.

Which isn't all that surprising, really. He hasn't fed in three months, which is the longest we've ever actually seen him go. We have no idea if he had any longer stretches before we met him, but I kinda doubt it. He's always talked like the initial detox is the critical part, but Carl's case in particular would indicate that the subsequent background craving has spikes that don't necessarily correlate with particular high stess or temptation.

If he's just been lurking around Barry trying to figure out what to do next, with no routine or activity to distract him, he almost has to have had multiple instances of finding it nearly impossible to think about anything but killing the next person he saw. No wonder he's terrified, even aside from "they set up some poor guy for the murders, now they're going to want something from me."

So, fear, fear, and more fear. And once again I have to register my gratitude for the plot device of Wyndham and the machinations he represents, as much as I hatehatehateHATE that they're going to have to deal with a whole new batch of vampire bullshit even after losing Mitchell. Without that, in their position, I would have been "Fuck, no, we ARE locking you in the attic, we WILL successfully keep you there whatever it takes, you DON'T get to decide whether it's worth it for us, and we will resume this conversation when you have had some serious downtime that doesn't involve wandering the streets with everyone's heartbeat pounding in your head."

And I do see the other side of it, and would ultimately have come to terms with it, but only at the point where the addiction metaphor breaks down, i.e. because for Mitchell using doesn't just lead to people getting hurt or killed, it IS hurting/killing people. He can't disappear down the self-destructive spiral and end up ODed in an alley somewhere. His OD made national news and destroyed dozens of strangers' lives. At that point, yeah, I can concede that maybe the voices of depression and moral logic have converged.

But not easily, and not with certainty. I'd have lost a lot MORE sleep this week if the deciding factor hadn't been the immediate prospect of his being reduced to a weapon and really, truly, identity-obliteratingly destroyed.

Comments

( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
djarum99
Mar. 19th, 2011 02:11 am (UTC)
The foundation is laid unmistakably bare in the cage scene, when Mitchell admits straight out -- to Herrick, and maybe for the first time to himself -- that he will say or do anything to survive

We never learned anything much about Mitchell's origins, but I think this is who he always was underneath; he was a soldier for at least a few years before Herrick turned him, in the midst of some of the most horrific combat and devastation in the history of human warfare. Mitchell learned to kill, and to survive at all costs, before he became a vampire.

On a good day, he's a warm, charming man with the remnants of adolescent ADHD jitters. In season three, he is, as you said, driven by fear - and he's conditioned to kill in response to that, not to mention being an addict. To me, Mitchell appeared to be very much a product of his experience, and at war with it.

Addiction doesn't ever go away; the circuits just lie dormant for a time. We're all hard-wired for it. Those of us who are fortunate develop protective, adaptive strategies for creating healthy lives - and we still fall down, sometimes. The metaphor of vampirism/addiction can only extend so far, IMO; even in "recovery," a vampire is something that's Other, something not human.

I'd have lost a lot MORE sleep this week if the deciding factor hadn't been the immediate prospect of his being reduced to a weapon and really, truly, identity-obliteratingly destroyed

Yes. And George, delivering the blow out of love.

Well. I know everyone and their second cousins are writing "Mitchell comes back as a ghost" fic to work out the angst, but I may have to do it myself anyway. I'm left with a lot of unanswered questions, about Mitchell the man, what his life oculd have been, what he'd do with something just shy of redemption. And then there's George, and Nina, and Annie. This show! I'm so glad there will be a season four.
ghostinsweats
Mar. 19th, 2011 02:29 am (UTC)
I've thought about the soldier aspect as well. I'm almost certain he killed, and quite a bit, before ever becoming a vampire. Killing his officer wasn't the beginning, it was the final stroke.

And ha, I am now faced with facts that the "Mitchell remembering nothing like Herrick" fic I was putting together in my head earlier this season will not work. But I might have to AU it anyway, because--well.
djarum99
Mar. 19th, 2011 03:10 am (UTC)
Oh, definitely AU it anyway :-)

I'd love to "know" more about Mitchell's pre-vampire past. It must have been a hardscrabble life in late 19th century Ireland; there's nothing to suggest he was a son of the merchant class.
ghostinsweats
Mar. 19th, 2011 12:18 pm (UTC)
I probably will. :)

Ha, this is funny because I ficced his pre-vamp past a while ago. Let me find this:

http://ghostinsweats.livejournal.com/1664.html
wiliqueen
Mar. 19th, 2011 02:55 am (UTC)
he was a soldier for at least a few years before Herrick turned him, in the midst of some of the most horrific combat and devastation in the history of human warfare. Mitchell learned to kill, and to survive at all costs, before he became a vampire.

Absolutely, and that's one of the topics I've been mulling over in my head but haven't started to dig into for posting purposes. He was a very young man in what was supposed to be "the war to end all wars," when the technology of destruction had outpaced our ability to adapt the traditional constructs of honor in war. And the roots of the fear, if not the conditioning to kill in response to it, most likely go deeper than that. I still occasionally wonder about that apparently random disclosure to Josie that he was an only child. In that time and place, that's a pretty unlikely thing for him to have been, and it makes me wonder about the reason. The death of a parent is a simple likelihood.

Another reason to regret the missed connection: Nina recognized and called out the "poison" in him as more than just the vampire. She probably had her theories as to what that was (and suddenly I'm wondering if her mysterious ex was a veteran), but she'll never get the chance to find out.

Yes. And George, delivering the blow out of love.

That would have been the case regardless, but it would have been a lot harder on him without the threat from Wyndham. There were just too many doubts.

Well. I know everyone and their second cousins are writing "Mitchell comes back as a ghost" fic

*chuckle* Or, in my case, "Mitchell in purgatory..."
djarum99
Mar. 19th, 2011 03:23 am (UTC)
Another reason to regret the missed connection: Nina recognized and called out the "poison" in him as more than just the vampire. She probably had her theories as to what that was (and suddenly I'm wondering if her mysterious ex was a veteran), but she'll never get the chance to find out.

I'm hoping for an exploration of Nina's backstory in season four. I'm not sure if she recognized the "poison" as that of her abusers, or as something she sees in herself, or maybe both. It's hard to come out of those experiences untainted, although she's a good person, someone who has fought so hard for love in all its aspects. Like you, I would have loved for her to have the chance to recognize something of that fight in Mitchell. So much of what happened in season three was so cruel, so dependent on the misstep of a moment.

I know that part of Mitchell's demise was simple necessity, born of Hobbits and uncertain schedules. Wyndham was a necessity as well, as you point out; without him the cruelty would have been unbearable.

Mitchell in purgatory, yeah. I've never seen a series that invites so much between the cliffhanger fic writing, and great meta like this one :-)

ghostinsweats
Mar. 19th, 2011 02:32 am (UTC)
yeah, I can concede that maybe the voices of depression and moral logic have converged.

In some way, that's what's so baffling to me, I think--I've been taught that the voices of depression and moral logic Never Ever Converge, that what we think during breakdowns is always, always wrong. I'm not saying they made the wrong decision--but maybe that's why it's so hard to wrap my head around it.

I wish he didn't kill so easily, honestly, because despite the long life it's just been this constant reaching and I feel like that never ended. And that's the tragedy of it, really. But they did the right thing.
wiliqueen
Mar. 19th, 2011 03:14 am (UTC)
I've been taught that the voices of depression and moral logic Never Ever Converge, that what we think during breakdowns is always, always wrong.

And that's an absolutely vital tool... for a human. So it's where the mental illness metaphor breaks down too. Mitchell during a breakdown is more dangerous than it's possible for any human to be, so the moral question is just not the same.

because despite the long life it's just been this constant reaching and I feel like that never ended.

It didn't -- it doesn't -- but it also hasn't just been reaching. That was the thing I was so proud of him for recognizing. His life wasn't just long, it was pretty damn awesome in many, many ways. He had friends and lovers and fun and thinkytimes, and he watched the whole world change almost beyond recognition, and a million things that are worth the wonder.

(I need to make an icon of Spaztastic Goofball Mitchell. The Eyebrows of Confused aren't cutting it for everything...)
ghostinsweats
Mar. 19th, 2011 02:03 pm (UTC)
Yeah. It's just rather funny to wrap my head around. Though I disagree on the breakdown being more dangerous than any human can be--certainly more dangerous than anyone as lucid as him, but there's far more serious disorders out there. But that gets into the argument of crazy vs. evil with every time something awful happens and I'm really not sure I want to go there.

I agree. His life's been a tremendous mixed bag, but in some ways a brilliant one.

Off topic/related to earlier point in the thread--do you think Nina's ex was necessarily abusive? Because I never got that sense, per se, but that doesn't rule it out, obviously.

(No, definitely. Manic Pixie Dream Boy needs his own icon.)

Edited at 2011-03-19 02:05 pm (UTC)
wiliqueen
Mar. 19th, 2011 02:38 pm (UTC)
Though I disagree on the breakdown being more dangerous than any human can be--certainly more dangerous than anyone as lucid as him

It's possible for a human to come close, but as you noted in your previous comment, it's just too easy for Mitchell to kill. His weapons are part of his body, and undetectable until it's too late. A human could have approximated what he did on the train, but not without, at minimum, coming prepared with a weapon. It's not physically possible.

The other factor is that, no matter how much more insane and/or evil a human might be, they have recourse to institutions Mitchell doesn't. Not perfect by any means, but better than nothing. Better, unfortunately, than an attic and three friends without a further support structure, however determined.

He's always been a different level of risk. After 2.7, I said that what he needed, absolutely baseline NEEDED, was to trust his friends with the truth and with the means to physically restrain him if they saw him even start down the secrets-->lies-->isolation-->catastrophe chute. I still maintain that could have saved him, but it didn't happen, and the others didn't have the tools to make it happen.

do you think Nina's ex was necessarily abusive? Because I never got that sense, per se, but that doesn't rule it out, obviously.

I resisted it. "People can be bastards" could be anything, and I would still have said the burns could still have been inflicted by her mother, though she only specifically mentioned hitting. And the initial "you're not my type, not anymore" to Mitchell could likewise just have been "I've outgrown the oh-so-cool bad boys, thanks" without said bad boys being outright abusive.

But then they kept going back to it -- George in 2.1, "You said you'd had enough of men like him, you wanted something good." And I was still calling it ambiguous, because honestly at that point I was starting to wonder if there were any non-abusive non-supernatural men in the BH world. But her character bio on the official site this year spells out that the scars were "given to her by a violent ex-boyfriend," so I guess we were meant to interpret it that way all along.

Manic Pixie Dream Boy

Oh, gods, that is SUCH A PERFECT DESCRIPTION. :: hugs S1 Mitchell fiercely ::
ghostinsweats
Mar. 19th, 2011 03:51 pm (UTC)
Ha, in some way he's like the opposite of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl--he has the stock personality but he locks everyone into his personal problems instead of *solving* theirs. That probably has something (everything?) to do with being a dude. But I suppose Aidan comes closer to Manic Pixie than most dudes do, generally speaking--in Hattie, even though he's got his own problems, he kind of exists to bring new *life* to the house and he definitely Manic Pixied the rest of the PRB for a while, before he kind of went into his own thing.

But I guess if Mitchell were an MPDG, George would be the *dude to have the life spiced up*?

Oh, god. I didn't see that on the website. I assumed it was her mother, but I guess not. I don't know why this disappoints me--I don't know why I'd be invested in a relationship I know nothing about--but something in me wanted her pre-Mitchell to be troubled, but not violent. No idea why.
wiliqueen
Mar. 19th, 2011 04:13 pm (UTC)
Well, he certainly tries to solve others' problems any time he's not overwhelmingly wrapped up in his own, so maybe sometimes it applies and sometimes it's the opposite? And maybe sometimes both. I mean, "OH HAI GEORGE look I asked the entire neighborhood round for coffee isn't this BRILLIANT" definitely fits, as does sweeping Annie out to the club to meet Gilbert.

Having already seen the ex-boyfriend thing on the website, I kind of winced when Nina went into the thing about her mother. Unfortunately, far from being too much to believe, it falls into the truth that childhood abuse tends to set one up to gravitate to abusive adult relationships.

And it makes me that much more impatient with the "she should be more underSTANDing!" crowd, because dammit, she DOES have her own trauma. And just because she's come through it incredibly strong and able to identify what she does and doesn't want, doesn't mean she no longer gets to have it recognized and understood. It certainly doesn't mean she's immune to that coloring her interactions when her warning bells are triggered.

In fact, it's inevitable, because that's how she protects herself now, by simply having nothing to do with anyone who sets off those warning bells. She didn't have that option with Mitchell, because he was George's best friend and part of the household she moved into, and she was caught between Mitchell's evident goodwill toward her and her inability to entirely trust him. Which you can't even call unfair to him, because he wasn't ever entirely trustworthy.

I'll just have to hold onto that hug at the end of 3.1. :-/

Edited at 2011-03-19 04:13 pm (UTC)
ghostinsweats
Mar. 19th, 2011 04:18 pm (UTC)
Lol. I'm just looking forward to the movie where the plain, sober lady living her plain, sober life suddenly meets ZOMG Turner and he teaches her to dance and have fun and has conveniently no backstory but enjoys yelling *penis* in the park. This will never, ever happen but it would be some justice.

I agree that Nina is perfectly within her rights to avoid anyone who sets that off, absolutely. It's part of what maddens me about the people who think she should be *understanding*. Mitchell's condition lets him get away with anything and her past counts for NOTHING. It's as though because she's not some Ophelia type, she must be entirely invulnerable.

Edited at 2011-03-19 04:19 pm (UTC)
wiliqueen
Mar. 19th, 2011 04:46 pm (UTC)
he teaches her to dance and have fun and has conveniently no backstory but enjoys yelling *penis* in the park. This will never, ever happen but it would be some justice.

And tremendous fun for Aidan, I suspect. I'm glad to see him making the tier jump the way he is, because it'll help keep him from getting entirely pigeonholed as Dark Angsty Brood-Boy. I'd LOVE to see him get to rock some kind of wacky comedy, romantic or otherwise. There need to be more movies with guys who are funny in ways other than the currently dominant Seth Rogen mode.

It's as though because she's not some Ophelia type, she must be entirely invulnerable.

THIS. She's not falling apart all over the place, so she can't really be hurting can she? Ugh. :-P
ghostinsweats
Mar. 19th, 2011 05:07 pm (UTC)
Lady in her mid thirties who has a wonderful fiance, a good job and for all intents and purposes, a perfect life--but for once, unlike every other movie, SHE feels stifled. Aidan could be a MPDG video store clerk or something who encourages streaking and *learning to live life*. I'm sort of thinking Last Kiss crossed with 500 Days. Fake Godard black and white French scenes, shouting obscenities in the street for the hell of it, etc.

And yeah, I'm hoping he'll get to do what James Franco could have if he hadn't turned into such an incredible narcissist who had to hog the screen all the time. Freaks and Geeks era Franco reminds me a lot of Aidan, so I'd like to see some of that.

Yeah. Thank you. I really hate the notion that unless you're mid-breakdown, you have to *buck up*.
evie27
Mar. 19th, 2011 05:03 pm (UTC)
Such an interesting discussion.
As a first-timer, I hope it's OK to add my thoughts. I feel a bit bi-polar myself at the moment, veering between different perspectives and seeing truths in them all.

I too love Nina to pieces, along with her determination to remain appalled. Though I can't see her as black and white as sometimes portrayed. After all, she certainly urged Mitchell to be an 'attack dog' at the end of s2 ep8, and she didn't seem at all bothered by McNair and son's chosen violent path and happy references to how many they'd killed that morning. This made her objection to staking Mitchell only in terms of what it would do to George very uncomfortable to hear, for this viewer. I trust the writers to take the character in some pretty interesting directions in s4. She has so many more depths to explore.

I also say thank god for Wyndham. So much more than a s4 set-up. Without that added jeopardy - that the remaining echo of Mitchell would soon be forcibly stripped away - I think it would be incredibly difficult to accept what George looked ready to do. As it is, I'm still not really sure where the three friends sit in relation to George's 'ultimate test' of humanity - 'forgiving the unforgivable'.

One of the saddest moments for me was the quiet shake of the head from Mitchell when Wyndham told him his future. A man who had experienced the horrors of the War to End All Wars faced with the prospect of reliving that and worse for the rest of eternity. That really would be a journey into hell.

Mitchell rightly gets lambasted for not confiding in his friends, but the wonderful reveal that George knew in his heart about Mitchell's culpability throws up another dilemma. Did George think Mitchell would just get over it somehow? Why didn't he reach out? Did he not see any of his friend's fear and guilt? Or was he already distancing himself. Could George have stopped everything by that single act?

Though how wonderful that the last words Mitchell heard were '... I love you'.

Nearly a week on, and still so much to mull over. Thank goodness for this rare beacon of intelligent and challenging tv.








wiliqueen
Mar. 19th, 2011 06:03 pm (UTC)
The more the merrier! Welcome. :-)

You're right, Nina's definitely not entirely consistent. One reason I held out hope for Mitchell at the end of S2 was that curious role reversal, where Nina lashed out so angrily and irrationally and Mitchell was the one saying "You're better than this." Her "I don't know what I want" goes on the pile of reasons I think they could have done each other tremendous good as proper friends.

she didn't seem at all bothered by McNair and son's chosen violent path and happy references to how many they'd killed

Oh, I saw it bothering her. She doesn't like the compromises, and she's still working out where they are, and they're definitely not entirely consistent, even though she puts on a good show of ostensibly logical arguments.

In some ways she's more like Mitchell than she'd ever want to consider.

her objection to staking Mitchell only in terms of what it would do to George

That's a puzzle. As much as Nina and Mitchell were oil and water so much of the time, it doesn't ring true to me that she would only care what happens to him in terms of what it would do to George. The argument she actually articulated was in those terms, but maybe because the immediate point is his asking George to do it?

Mitchell makes a persuasive argument for why that has to be, with which I don't necessarily agree, but it's notable that Nina stops the "shared bloody trauma" harangue when he raises it. To me that's the big clue that she's assumed the same thing I did: that Mitchell is still too afraid of death to simply stake himself.

If that had been the case, playing the "why drag George into it?" card would have been an effective immediate-term tactic, probably the most effective one she has available. The others might have some impact by saying they didn't want him to die, but Nina knows Mitchell believes she hates him, and that he probably wouldn't believe her if she said she wanted him to live. (Not least because, yeah, there is a part of her that thinks everyone's life would be easier with him gone. Not pretty, but there it is.)

With a suicidal person, you say whatever gets them back from the edge, and deal with the nuances and rest of the emotional tangle later.

Did George think Mitchell would just get over it somehow? Why didn't he reach out? Did he not see any of his friend's fear and guilt?

I think he saw it, but didn't know what to do. I'd like to think he reached a point of stability where he could resume the conversation he cut off with "I need you too much right now" in 2.8, but I keep coming back to that: George didn't know what to do. I mean, he knew Mitchell had done terrible things, and he's never been under any illusion that all Mitchell's killing was in the distant past. They'd known each other for a year and a half in the pilot, when George was surprised by Mitchell apparently casually mentioning that he was going to try to go on the wagon, which George hadn't previously known was even possible.

So that leaves George with the same compromise he had before, but on a larger scale, and wrestling with what the difference is. And I think maybe he just couldn't find an answer to that one way or the other, or come up with anything he could say that would help Mitchell and make it worth opening the can of worms. So he did nothing.

It's interesting to consider how each of them dealt with it, really. I'm convinced Nina also suspected all along -- she noticed Mitchell obsessing over the radio news reports in 2.8 too -- but also did nothing until she had evidence. And then took ambiguous action -- "talk to this guy," not actually saying he did it -- to go along with the fact that, as she said to Herrick, "It's not proof, though, is it?" She didn't want it to be true. She wanted Mitchell to be worthy of George's love and her respect.

And Annie, our stubbornly blind Annie, who was the one bluntly asking "What's he done?" well before Mitchell brought down his wrath on the CenSSA facility. Then she buried that awareness and came back from purgatory determined to grant him a clean slate.

They all knew at some level. They all looked away, because they didn't know what to do or how to get back the Mitchell they knew before.
evie27
Mar. 19th, 2011 07:11 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the kind welcome and taking time to consider my ramblings!

- Nina's definitely not entirely consistent -
And that's fine with me! Neither am I. The nearest thing Being Human has to a catch-phrase is 'It's complicated', and so are the characters.

-I saw it bothering her -
I believe this to be true, but just can't remember being shown it. If Tom has a role in s4 it will be intriguing to see where this goes.

-an effective immediate-term tactic -
A lovely idea. Sadly it might have been for more pragmatic reasons that it was George and Mitchell's moment and there just wasn't time. Still uncomfortable though.

- They all looked away, because they didn't know what to do or how to get back the Mitchell they knew before -
Definitely, to greater or lesser degrees. And how big a part did that play in Mitchell's disintegration? Which is particularly sad when there was still so much of the old Mitchell left at the end of ep1.
As the story played out over the course of just 2/3 months, and George had so much to concentrate on re-establishing his relationship with Nina, being happy, and then the prospect of fatherhood, perhaps he kept thinking he'd think about Mitchell 'tomorrow', but then it was much much too late.

- stubbornly blind Annie -
Is a bit of a mystery to me at the moment. Need to wait for the dvd and rewatch I think.

So, in BH world are vampires by virtue of their 'stubborn gene' inevitably doomed like Mitchell if they don't embrace their vampirism? In my little world, Mitchell spent the time between the beach and returning to the house seeking out Nancy (?) and Adam, and giving them the warning and advice he never had - not to start down the violent path he embarked on in 1917, and lean on good people.

wiliqueen
Mar. 19th, 2011 08:03 pm (UTC)
Sadly it might have been for more pragmatic reasons that it was George and Mitchell's moment and there just wasn't time. Still uncomfortable though.

Very. I think even more than that, I wish they'd let her speak as a health-care professional in the kitchen, and voice the position that Mitchell was in no fit mental state to choose between tea and coffee, let alone life and death. I hope we get to hear that later, though of course it will be a source of guilt for her. Of course, so will wondering if he died believing she hated him. I don't think he did -- thank goodness for that "all of you" -- but I'd always wonder if I were her.

As for Annie, the codependent habit of denial is no easier to break than Mitchell's habits of lying and violence. It would be nice if she could learn that lesson once and not have to deal with it anymore, but the mind doesn't work that way. She was alone for an undefined time in a place with no day or night or any idea if anyone was hearing her, to the point where she started to lose her memory and her identity. The surprise would be if she didn't revert to old defense mechanisms.

are vampires by virtue of their 'stubborn gene' inevitably doomed like Mitchell if they don't embrace their vampirism?

I don't think so. I think Mitchell's story is Mitchell's alone. It has much to teach others, whether vampires in his world or humans in ours, but no one else's journey will be exactly the same, and no one else's has to end the same way.

If Nancy was recruited (and I hope she was, for the sake of the story possibilities, though I'd never wish such a burden on a real person), I don't think Mitchell knew about it, or he would have told them.

The idea of his seeking out Adam is interesting, but I wonder if he wouldn't be afraid of it doing more harm than good? He knows Adam was freaked out and horrified by what Richard and Emma wanted him to do, and that he spent his first three decades as a vampire under his parents' protection and constantly absorbing their values. Mitchell might see himself as more of a corrupting influence than a cautionary tale, and figure the kid has a better chance if he stays safely away. He gave Adam the best advice he had, and so far it's serving him pretty well.
(Anonymous)
Mar. 19th, 2011 09:44 pm (UTC)
Thanks Wiliqueen.

Re. Nancy and Adam. I know you're right. My little fantasy was just a comfort-blanket for me. I'd rather imagine Mitchell doing something other than just contemplate his failure and need to die during those days/weeks. Sniffle.
wiliqueen
Mar. 19th, 2011 11:56 pm (UTC)
Don't blame you a bit. {{{hugs}}}
brightknightie
Jun. 6th, 2011 12:04 am (UTC)
And More On UK BH S3 E8
>"There was a window where, if he'd managed to muster the courage for a confession just one more time, she wouldn't have shut him down the way George and then Annie did, precisely because she didn't love him like they did."

I very much like the idea of three fully parallel confession attempts. If there were an opportunity to rewrite this season, that's the first thing I'd add. I would still stymie them all in some way, by deux ex machina if necessary in Nina's case (as you say, she would listen as the others would not, and the others would absolve where she would not), because I think we have to end up at the same place in the end (including George having known, at least subconsciously, all along). But it's a wonderful concept. They should have thought of it.

>"Primarily, of course, the fear of death, honed into an obsessive weapon of self-destruction by Lia's spurious prophecy."

"Those who live forever in the night live in constant fear of death." -- St. Joan, Forever Knight

I appreciate your summation of Mitchell's spring-loaded pinball journey through all the major metaphors vampirism usually serves, ending at the primordial one that, interestingly, is no metaphor at all. Fear of death, misunderstanding of the doctrine of the Resurrection, all the converging origins of the vampire myth...

I don't often laud "Last Knight," but on its behalf, Nick is no longer afraid of death. As Mitchell also no longer fears his own death in "The Wolf-shaped Bullet."

>"He's always talked like the initial detox is the critical part, but Carl's case in particular would indicate that the subsequent background craving has spikes that don't necessarily correlate with particular high stress or temptation."

Two thoughts.

One: Stress. Secrets are stressful. Inherently. Any vampire in this universe lives with secrets that compound, like interest, through the years. Mitchell then adds on top of that his own special confused heap of secrets and lies. He builds a pressure cooker around himself. He could have released pressure through truth -- painful truth, confession -- but instead he explodes (box tunnel massacre) and is convinced he will explode again, feeling the pressure rise, knowing no other way. And I was completely in agreement with him. But! I now see that there is another way he never even tried. Releasing the secrets, reducing the stress, would probably have failed, eventually, but... if New Bad Guy had not appeared, it's another pitch George should have made.

Two: Physiology. I'm wondering whether Mitchell is like a person who starts a certain healthy way of eating, follows it just long enough to begin to see some benefits, then falls off it catastrophically, eventually gets back on, and does it all over again and again and again. Each time, this person does more damage to his metabolism, making it take that much longer for his metabolism to heal each time he returns to eating healthfully. This person thinks "the initial detox is the critical part" because he's never really gotten beyond it, never graduated from the strict initial phase into the eating-for-life phase... never really learned how to make it a lifestyle, not a diet. Whereas someone who did it right and stuck with it straight through would not have done all that extra damage to his metabolism... Nothing undoes the underlying condition -- vampirism rather than carbohydrate-sensitivity or whatever, in this metaphor -- but Carl's tragic loss of control versus Mitchell's: what if every time Mitchell fell off the wagon, he further damaged his metabolic/physiological ability to control himself?

>"...I wish they'd let her speak as a health-care professional ... voice the position that Mitchell was in no fit mental state to choose between tea and coffee, let alone life and death."

That is a very keen idea -- keen meaning incisive, and keen meaning swell, alike. In my imaginary rewrite, I would add that, too. :-)
wiliqueen
Jun. 6th, 2011 12:54 am (UTC)
Re: And More On UK BH S3 E8
I very much like the idea of three fully parallel confession attempts. If there were an opportunity to rewrite this season, that's the first thing I'd add.

Me too, as frustrating as I would find it to see it stymied as you outline. It drove me crazy enough to watch them all so concertedly Not Talk About It. Even if you don't think (as I did) that they all knew at some level about the BT20, there's no arguing that George and Nina knew he killed about eight of Kemp's boys in a very short period of time. The damage to his psyche with that alone would not have been the same as the random act of terrorism hours before, but still.

As Mitchell also no longer fears his own death

Or at least fears it less than the alternative.

I've given a great deal of thought to the stress factor, and reached much the same conclusions, but your analysis of the physiological issue enters territory I hadn't considered, and makes excellent sense. I had a notion that it got harder with each fall -- indeed, Mitchell himself articulated as much to Josie in 1.6 -- but the clarity and precision of this reason hadn't occurred to me. Thank you!

The wish for Nina to have articulated the position that Mitchell wasn't in a fit mental state to make this choice -- especially as representing the values of her vocation over her tangled personal impulses with respect to him -- just keeps getting stronger, but I acknowledge that the discussion was already longer and more complicated than one would expect from TV. And I have reasonable hope that it will be come back next season as a regret on her part.

Edited at 2011-06-06 01:15 am (UTC)
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