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The creepy and the crawly

Another iteration of the two-parter structure that contributed a lot to the strength of "Heart of Ice"/"Heart of Fire," with a MOW plot in the foreground for part 1 giving the mytharc developments plenty of time to come to a slow boil. The approach wasn't quite as successful this time, only because, unlike the Wendigo case, this one wouldn't have needed any padding to fill its own episode. Some tantalizing glimpses of Coreen's "off-duty" life, but those elements ended up feeling a bit rushed, and at the end of the day we really don't know much more about her than we did before. What little we did gain has cost her another friend, one she credits in an all-but-throwaway line with being there for her when she lost Ian -- the first time she's mentioned him onscreen since "Blood Price."

Now we know she has remained part of a world that seems like it should pale next to the realities she has experienced. And a pretty integral part of it, if Lexia was sincere about the "favorite" thing. Which is, of course, questionable, and frustrating -- this woman who apparently has an awful lot of influence on Coreen showed us nothing but suspicion and the very closed-mindedness she accuses Vicki of. Certainly no evidence that she's anything but show, except that it's hard to believe Coreen would continue to fall for that kind of shallowness. Maybe there really is some sort of there there, but within the framework of the story there's none to see. Winter's contempt for her is a bit of a clue -- the way she agrees with Vicki's comment that Lexia would have to be blind not to see drug activity in her club, with the subtext that she doesn't see something much worse going on right under her nose. ETA: And as I think about it, maybe it's the shallow Coreen wanted. She could get the trappings of "dark beauty" without the risk to life and soul that comes with the real darkness she's encountered. She's been through some scary things, and needs safe spaces, and now another one has been tainted for her. :-/

I was certainly with Vicki in getting the sense that Lexia was more worried about her business and its reputation than about the death of one of her "night children." Coreen's loyalty does her credit in its way -- after all, she's presumably been friends with these people much longer than she's known Vicki -- but I'm not very happy to be left with the impression that Lexia doesn't deserve it.

And of course there's a bit of mytharc touching the bug-demon plot, with Winter's declaration that it's "open season" on Vicki. Which jells with what Norman told her about things being drawn to her because of her marks, but it's interesting to see another demon interpreting it that way, especially in light of what Vicki keeps saying (with good reason, based on what we've observed) about them "saving her for something else." What exactly did Winter want with her? Going to all that trouble to get the attention of Astaroth's "property," when one has to assume he's considerably bigger and badder than she is, doesn't seem very wise. Obviously there's no way to find out what she had in mind since she's thoroughly splattered (the windshield thing was groanworthy, but in the good way), but if I were Vicki, I'd sure as hell be wondering.

Henry certainly would be, if his mind weren't very much otherwise occupied. I did like the nice little parallel with Winter using Coreen to get to Vicki, while Henry worries about the new vamp in town using his nearest and dearest to get to him. But oh, honey, if that's how irrational you get before figuring out that it's Christina? This is not gonna be pretty. Anyone who's watched you for, y'know, two nights is going to have identified Vicki as Target Number One. Pushing her away when they're already leaving you calling cards? Um, yeah. That'll work. Probably almost as well as lying to her. Spectacularly unconvincingly, I might add.

I can just about buy Henry being arrogant enough to think they could fool her for, like, thirty seconds, but Mike? Let's just say I'm choosing to believe he never actually thought it would work, but just decided that if Henry was right, they might as well give it a shot. And take the heat from Vicki for it later. Because right now, I think the only thing keeping her from ripping the pair of them up one side and down the other is (well-justified) worry over Henry's state of mind. The more of a picture she (and we) have gotten of Christina over the course of the series so far, the more it looks to me (and I think to Vicki) like she worked his adolescent head over but good. That's something he -- with that generally admirable insistence on owning and not regretting his choices -- rather obviously doesn't want to believe and hasn't come to terms with. Did I mention this is not gonna be pretty?

That said, the whole Henry-and-Mike teamup was just fun through and through. Favorite dialogue of the ep: "Which one were you?" -- "The one who's still alive." Second favorite: "I swear if I ever try to kill you again, it won't be with a method you told me." Still funny even though he didn't really try to kill him the first time.

Love seeing Vicki in mentor mode, and how good she really is at it. She recognizes that she has different things to teach Coreen than Henry, and knows how to present them on the fly in a usable way. Training others in something that's second nature to you isn't easy.

Mohadevan! We've missed you! "What I'm not supposed to tell you is that Henry Fitzroy is involved." *splorfle*

Love that Coreen took care of herself, still shrieking. Though I'm a bit miffed at Henry and Vicki for standing in the alley bantering while she could have been dying in there! Love her clinging to the fire extinguisher like a teddy bear.

Is it Friday yet?

[xposted to bloodties_tv]

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
maiac
Nov. 7th, 2007 11:03 pm (UTC)
One of the Big Questions that I have about this episode is, who's the Big Ugly who's declared open season on Vicki? Is it Astaroth? Or Christina?

But I have serious qualms about this episode's hints that Christina's going to appear in the next ep. I don't want her to be overt; it works better for her to be Mystery, for the hints about her to provide clues to Henry's history and character ... but only clues. Henry is Mystery, too, and ambiguity is important.

Christina shouldn't be reduced to a plot device. I hope she won't be.

(But mostly, I hope the hotel where I'll be this weekend has Lifetime in its cable lineup, so I don't have to wait to see the ep!)
wiliqueen
Nov. 8th, 2007 01:12 pm (UTC)
*nods* Quite a few people seem to be interpreting the "powerful enemy" as Christina, and I see the point. Which then raises questions about whether Winter was trying to "get in good" with Christina, as a lot of people seem to be thinking, or had some other agenda in mind by "taking her down first."

It seems odd to me that Winter would think Christina would appreciate someone else doing her dirty work for her -- maybe she was just out to capture Vicki and/or lure her to the right place at the right time, rather than kill her? The elaborate scheme of getting her attention through Coreen's friends would make a little more sense that way.

All of which would indicate that scoring brownie points with Christina is considered worth crossing Henry, at least in Winter's calculation. There must be one hell of a betting pool going on in the supernatural underworld!

I'm of two minds about seeing Christina. I've been considering it inevitable; she's just too much of an implicit presence to never be dealt with directly. I see your point about preserving the mystery, but I think that can be done without keeping her completely offscreen. Certainly plenty of ambiguity is maintained with Henry, even when he's being as open as he gets.
studiesinlight
Dec. 8th, 2007 08:32 pm (UTC)
Catching up on BT: "Bugged"
This is the most recent episode I've seen to date, so this is the outer limit of my mild spoiler avoidance for the moment.

I also interpreted the question as open, of with whom Winter thought she was scoring points by attacking Vicki. I thought it could be Christina as easily as Astaroth, and I was leaning toward Christina within the single episode frame.

I'd also like to not see Christina on screen yet . . . if the series is going to survive. If this is to be the end, then that's all right: pull out the big guns, give us all you've got. But it would be nice to have more mysteries worth the puzzling, not fewer, if we're to go forward. Every mystery solved must be replaced with a new one opened -- and of course I don't mean Vicki's cases.

Regarding Coreen playing in that goth environment, I think you're right on the money with the observation that it is another safe thing that pretends to be dangerous. Granted, it is dangerous, with drugs and predatory people, but, aside from Winter the demon, it is not really dangerous in the things at which the patrons are playing, only the ordinary things that threaten any of us in the real world, no matter how we dress or where we hang out.

I felt negatively about Lexia. I tried not to see her as a competing mentor with Vicki, because that's silly; there's no competition, and Coreen can have as many friends and teachers as she can manage. But nevertheless, Lexia's attitude toward Coreen seemed very selfish; she seemed to appreciate Coreen only as long as Coreen was her fan, her pet, her supplicant. Vicki, on the other hand, gets exasperated with that very Coreen -- the one who wants so much to be approved -- not because Vicki doesn't approve Coreen, but because it's a big flaring vulnerability, and Vicki fears vulnerability.

>"the whole Henry-and-Mike teamup was just fun through and through."

Yes, it really was. As mentioned in a previous comment (on another post), I was intrigued by Henry's "Vicki trusts you with her life" rationale for engaging Mike's help. He is trusting Mike with Vicki's life by turning to him on this. And that's the one goal they have completely in common: keep Vicki alive.

>"Though I'm a bit miffed at Henry and Vicki for standing in the alley bantering while [Coreen] could have been dying in there!"

I was surprised that Vicki stopped to fight the demon at all! "You're too late to save your friend," the demon says, and Vicki stops and fights the demon, instead of running ahead and saving her friend. What? She couldn't possibly have supposed the demon was telling the truth. So she must either have a) been unwilling to turn her back on the demon, figuring that would get both her and Coreen killed in short order, or b) continued hearing Coreen over the transmitter, and known Coreen was getting by.

So the title of the next episode is "The Devil You Know," which was actually a line in this episdoe -- Henry's reason for Mike to support him, rather than the then-unknown invader. Hmmmm.
wiliqueen
Dec. 9th, 2007 12:15 am (UTC)
Re: Catching up on BT: "Bugged"
But nevertheless, Lexia's attitude toward Coreen seemed very selfish; she seemed to appreciate Coreen only as long as Coreen was her fan, her pet, her supplicant.

Yup, this was exactly my problem with her. But then, I'm reasonably sure Coreen is cognizant of it at this point in a way that she wasn't before, because it only makes sense that she continued to interact with Lexia according the habit developed well before she knew any of the people she spends most of her time with now. By the time Lexia was throwing that "you want to protect your minimum wage job" malarkey at her, I was quite ready for Coreen to never speak to her again.

I was surprised that Vicki stopped to fight the demon at all! ... a) been unwilling to turn her back on the demon, figuring that would get both her and Coreen killed in short order

*nods* This is how I decided to interpret it, with a dash of thinking the fight needed to be set up to more clearly force Vicki to handle it first.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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