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Memo to Canadian TV industry: Javier is Spanish. You pronounce that last 'r'. Really. Call my insurance agent and ask him what his name is.

And suddenly things get...a bit more interesting. Which, since I knew this was going to be a two-parter, I was hoping for but not counting on.

Vicki's having to struggle to have an impact on the boys' head-butting, and -- quite understandably -- doesn't like it. It's not like they don't both know she's the last person in the world who would appreciate being sidelined while they fight over her. At the top of the ep, she was doing the smartest thing she could, which was to say "screw it" and concentrate on getting the work done. Or trying to. It's complicated by her being so frustrated with the pair of them that she lacks patience for things that are genuinely an obstacle to their pitching in, be it Henry's deadline or Mike's permanent reservation on the captain's shit list. (Not that the latter isn't well-earned, mind you, but more on that later.)

Then again, the whole thing could pleasegodplease be substantially resolved by the time they all get out of the mess they're cliffhangered in. It's interesting -- and smart -- that they chose to make it a two-parter, when they could as easily have separated it into the Wendigo case and the apparent vampire victim + hunter issue. This gives them the chance to stretch their legs and give more depth to the latter, with the Wendigo providing a nice solid B-plot instead of being stretched/padded more than necessary. So far my hopes for sustained writing quality are panning out, which is nice to see.

Much to my surprise, starting from about the halfway point of this ep, I'm giving Mike way, way more credit. WAY more, considering that in the first act I was saying out loud to the TV "Do not get yourself fired for this." Because dude, I thought I understood the obsession with getting something on Henry and where it was coming from, but...well, not quite. He's not looking for an excuse, or for something to convince Vicki. It wasn't clear to me before this how much he wants to be wrong, for the simple but very important reason that he assesses Henry as a person, not a monster.

The beautiful bit with putting the pictures up, studying the pattern, and asking a colleague for a "hypothetical" opinion really brings it home: Even though there's no practical way to make Henry subject to legal penalties, in Mike's head he should be entitled to the benefit of due process. More than that, he makes a very clear distinction between Henry being dangerous, which he (correctly) believes, and Henry being evil, which he (again correctly) doesn't. He wants to do something about the dangerous, and has no idea what, but destroying Henry has never been on the table. Then in waltzes Mendoza and promises exactly the solution he needs, while effectively shutting down most of his skepticism by playing on his fears for Vicki.

The other really, really interesting sign is just a throwaway -- when Mike tells Coreen "You guys are all insane, you know that?" Which raises the question, who is "all"? Just Vicki and Coreen is a "both." Women in general aren't really a "you guys." So unless it's just sloppy writing (which wouldn't track with the rest of the ep), the only logical conclusion is that he's including Henry. Not as an outside threat with malign intent, but as a member of the group who's taking a stupid risk with their lives. Like a reckless driver who needs his keys taken away for everyone's own good. It's a development I didn't expect, but in hindsight it makes perfect sense, and lends a whole lot more dimension to Mike's character.

As for Henry, as pretentious as his Prince of Darkness schtick is, what he's trying to say with it is essentially true...if a bit overstated. Which, on the one hand, makes it pretty comical that he gets cranky with Mike for believing exactly that, and at exactly the pitch Henry plays it.

But on the other, it's something Vicki needs to know. Which she didn't really, until Mike "ambushed" Henry with the photos. That's directly attributable to two things: her not asking, and Henry not telling. Because pulling the schtick on her in the second ep? So doesn't count as telling. Certainly not balanced against seeing him slashed to ribbons and unable to stand, shoving her wrist in his face, and still being the one with the strength to lean on after he had taken what he needed. In most universes, that would be a nigh-impossible feat of self-control on his part. How is she supposed to give credence to any likelihood that he might do her real harm? (Not that the promo for next week doesn't make it look like imagining is about to become unnecessary.) She had a bit of a better idea after he assaulted Mike in "Gifted." But while that was a shock -- she was freaked enough by his being that violent with a human bad guy a few minutes before -- it was also easy enough to write off as a non-lethal-intent temper tantrum, especially as it became Of The Past and in light of both guys' subsequent behavior.

But in any event, if he sincerely wants her to have a good idea how cautious she needs to be, he's going to have to be a lot straighter with her about things that aren't going to be comfortable for him. Flatly admitting to Mike that he killed Delphine doesn't do much good when he's then too pigheaded to deign to explain that it was her idea and she didn't stay dead. Vicki knows that now, but he's still being cagey about the other photos. It's not impossible, but seems pretty damn unlikely given the territorial thing, that he turned all of them. It's also entirely possible he didn't know, and/or didn't kill, any or all of them. Or he may have killed any or all of them. "Who says I didn't know them?" tells her squat, except that he's pouting and being difficult. Again.

The whole "I chose blah-blah-blah" speech is accurate enough, but he left something out: He chose to associate with humans. There are rules for that, and consequences for flouting them. Being all surly about it isn't going to change that. He chose to live centuries of human history, all right -- right on into a time where being the living proof of H8's male-heir-producing capacity, and a buck-fifty, will get him a cup of coffee. Being pretty and dangerous will get him a thrill-seeking neck or three. For anything else, he's gotta play by the rules like everybody else.

Also? She knows you're not human, dork. She pretty much got that memo before she knew your name. You just sound silly continuing to say it.

It'll be interesting to see how much progress they've each made on their various issues once they're done surviving this little encounter with Tourquemada Mendoza. Who is, incidentally, 31 flavors of whacked. I mean, dude, everything else aside, anyone who uses the phrase "the vampire's whore" seriously in a sentence? Has about 11 cards in his deck. The followup being even creepier, of course -- it took me several seconds to figure out that "If you care for this creature, do as I say" was addressed to Mike and referred to Vicki! In his sick little head, she's not just tainted but less than human. And poor Mike, standing there having it hammered home just how thoroughly this scumwad played him. Yikes.

On a lighter note, once again, how much do I love Coreen? Silver bullets and a SUPER-SOAKER FLAMETHROWER. You go, Little Red! "I made one for a party last year." -- "Of course you did." Bwah! Okay, so it broke down at exactly the wrong time, but hey, that's one tree that won't mess with Vicki Nelson again...

Y'know, I was telling mrv3000 yesterday that I think the reason I'm jamming on this so much (aside from the basic "shiny new fandom!" factor) is that so far everyone seems to be watching the same show. (I loves me some complex and ambiguous and in-depth meta, but it really does get tiring sometimes. Ya gotta have popcorn.) Then I said I gave it two weeks. With this ratcheting up of the complicated, that may have been a liberal estimate...

ETA: Oh, and just for the record? My money's on Tourquemada Mendoza having hired the victim and fed her to Delphine in order to set Henry up. Not that it's that huge a mystery, but I just thought I'd toss it in there.

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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
taraljc
Apr. 16th, 2007 09:31 pm (UTC)
I don't think the series is going to go with the territorial thing from the books. It closes off too many potential storylines. Starting with Christina showing up eventually. That said, my liens are blurred between what I've actually heard with my ears, and what I've read at this point. I need to rewatch the pilot again. But it wouldn't make sense for Delphine to be in Toronto if Henry is....
wiliqueen
Apr. 16th, 2007 09:44 pm (UTC)
Henry gave Vicki the Reader's Digest version of him and Christina and love-conquers-all-but-the-vampire-territorial-instinct in the second or third ep, I think. I had completely forgotten about it from the books.

I'm assuming Delphine got dragged there in Mendoza's custody and hasn't been at large to trigger anything from Henry. I figure he temporarily removed the sun gizmo to feed the "decoy" to her but left her VERY securely bound. Then he put it back to keep her in reserve until he was sure the body was found and connected to Henry. Once that was done, her purpose was served, cue the "I am setting you free" scene.
(Deleted comment)
wiliqueen
Apr. 16th, 2007 09:51 pm (UTC)
Ooh, yay! This should be a good point to marathon up to, I think. They're just starting to hit their stride.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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