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Your Freudian slip is showing

Two weeks ago, this would have been a solid, interesting X-Files-ish detective plot with some fun banter bits.

Now? It was a solid, interesting X-Files-ish detective plot that came perilously close to going off the investigative rails at several points due to fallout from last week's Great Big Bomb of Bad. Whoof.

Never let it be said that Henry Fitzroy can't compartmentalize. Of course, agreeing to pitch in on the case also gives him a handy excuse to keep an eye on the girls, because he was probably only going to get away with turning up and bluntly quizzing them about symptoms once without another reason to be there. And while I think he can trust Coreen to answer honestly, he knows damn well Vicki won't. What he did accomplish by it was giving her a list of things to watch out for, which will stick in her mind whether she wants to pay attention or not. I'm sure she normally gets more than her share of eyestrain-triggered headaches, f'rinstance, and that's probably all that one moment of taking off her glasses and wincing was. But it crossed my mind nonetheless, and I'm betting it crossed hers too.

Speaking of which, it appears last week's sudden improvement in her vision was temporary. Which makes me think it resulted from drinking Henry's blood itself, rather than being a side effect of the ritual. Betcha there was some not-fit-for-basic-cable vocabulary involved when that wore off.

Vicki might not verbally admit to feeling any different, but if she's making any effort not to show it, she's doing a crappy job. Her fuse is shorter than ever, and don't get me started on the tumbler of scotch replacing beer and bad Chinese as the accessory of choice for going over the facts.

And on that note, a rousing standing ovation to Mike for calling her on her crap. It hurts like hell, for both of them, but it's necessary now more than ever -- even to the extent that she was right. They're all in this mess in part because her hunches have ridden roughshod over everyone else's judgment too many times, and Mike has been putting up with it the longest. He has to be the one to put his foot down about it.

Even if it did lead to her using Henry to circumvent the roadblocks. As someone pointed out to me in an email discussion earlier this week... While I certainly don't blame Henry for feeling betrayed, it should be no actual surprise to any of these people that Vicki will use them, or any other means at her disposal, to accomplish what she believes needs to be accomplished. For all that she's such a straightforward, no-nonsense personality at first glance, she's also extremely people-smart, and will use that to manipulate the hell out of you if she thinks it's called for. She's done it to Mike forever. She railroaded Coreen into participating in the ritual.

And Henry fell right into line and let her use him against Mike, despite his being considerably more sympathetic to Mike at the moment than he would prefer. Sneaking into the crime scene at the very moment Mike was pointedly excluding Vicki from it was one thing; volunteering to "talk to" Mike about the information he was withholding was considerably more problematic. That one was under his own steam, but Vicki certainly didn't argue with the results, or show a sliver of misgiving on Mike's behalf. It got her what she wanted, and any blame for the method is entirely at Henry's feet. Ostensibly barely speaking to her, and he hands her that on a silver platter? Henry, hon, you are a sucker, and I don't mean your dietary habits. I know not everyone shares my issues with his cavalierness about messing with people's minds in general, but Mike is severely pissed off, and rightfully so.

On a mythos-building note, interesting that eye contact isn't required after all. I was wondering with that one "Stop" in "5:55," but this is the first solid confirmation. Christina's attempt already blew the theory I saw bouncing around early discussions (that maybe he failed to whammy Vicki in the pilot not because she's actually immune but because she couldn't really see him) but still interesting in and of itself.

Dude. Dr. Mohadevan is not entirely unflappable. Which we knew had to be the case, but still a "whoa" moment to actually see her upset. And am I the only one who thinks maybe she wasn't on edge only because of the calls she was getting from parents of missing kids? I wouldn't put it past someone who jokes (?) about conversations with her deceased "clients" to experience some cognitive dissonance in Vicki's presence.

Love, love, love that Mike was the one who thought there was more to the Perkins case back-when. (And yes, the Psycho references were worth a giggle, without really getting in the way. Nicely done.) It was eye-opening to see their positions almost reversed in the flashbacks, with Mike and his more analytical instincts being the one to say things didn't add up as neatly as Vicki (and everyone else, no doubt) wanted them to. And the EXTREME cuteness of the workplace-romance stuff was a nice bonus, while being suitably knife-twisty next to where they are now.

And yet, looking at where they are now... A week out from the Great Big Bomb of Bad, they've proven that you can't really isolate this team from one another. Coreen is sticking by Vicki, staying to serve as sounding board instead of going home as instructed -- and Vicki actually accepts the offer! Henry continues to make a point of including Coreen in his stated concerns, and acknowledges her with a separate, polite "Good night" in the middle of storming out on Vicki. As angry as both Mike and Henry are with Vicki for different reasons, as determined as they both are to draw a line with her and hold it, they're both there for her without a second thought. Henry says he can't protect her from herself, but to some extent that's exactly what he's doing. Mike managed to be there long-distance. (And how much do I love that, coming on the heels of dream!Mike telling her he wasn't there and she had to take care of herself? Possibly even more than her beating the guy down with the chair she was handcuffed to while still looped out on chloroform. And that was all kinds of awesome.)

In short, as out of sorts as they all are with each other? They still managed to pull this thing off as a team. I am in awe.

Amid all this, my complete and utter jawdrop moment of the episode? "I can't keep doing this." Even from a too-dopey-to-stand-unassisted Vicki, I did not see that one coming. Not that I expect it to stick, of course...

[xposted to bloodties_tv]

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Comments

( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
mylittleredgirl
Dec. 1st, 2007 02:26 pm (UTC)
I loved this episode!!

And I'm still pretty on the fence about this show. Sister watches it, but I tend to wander in and out, because I tend to lose interest a bit when it gets too supernatural. I LOVED this because it was X-Files-y in that it was supernatural... but had all kinds of science thrown in and it almost didn't need for it to be paranormal for it all to add up.

AND MIKE. I LOVE YOU, MIKE. I love those characters, the Walt-Bannerman, John-Doggett, ordinary shmoes who are stuck in this crazy paranormal batshittery and are just making do as best they can. Poor guys. They need some kind of special paranormal-free Club Med vacation where they can sit around and sleep with ordinary women and talk about how utterly batshit their lives are through no real fault of their own.

And I really loved him saving her life from a distance. :)
wiliqueen
Dec. 1st, 2007 02:30 pm (UTC)
I would be totally behind this theory, except for the part where I don't think you could get any of these guys to be interested in any ordinary women. The Batshit Paranormal Heroines have ruined them. :: pets them ::
mylittleredgirl
Dec. 1st, 2007 02:31 pm (UTC)
They don't need to have a relationship with them or anything, but I think a nice, strings-free, alien-free, demon-free lay might do everyone some good. ;)
wiliqueen
Dec. 1st, 2007 02:34 pm (UTC)
Agreed.

And oh, dear, now I'm picturing the vetting process by which they would be certified demon-and-alien-free... %-}
mylittleredgirl
Dec. 1st, 2007 02:38 pm (UTC)
"So... *kiss* you've never felt like you're being possessed by an alien entity *kiss* have you?"

"Huh?"

"*kiss* You know... head spinning around kinda stuff?"

"Dude, I ain't into freaky costume stuff."

"Never woke up somewhere convinced you were called to that location through otherworldly means?"

"... What, are you some kinda weirdo Trekkie?"
splash_the_cat
Dec. 1st, 2007 02:37 pm (UTC)
You know, I was kinda hoping these last few episodes would suck, because it would make any likely cancellation easier to bear.

Now I'm just gonna be pissed if/when it doesn't get renewed, because, oh show!
wiliqueen
Dec. 1st, 2007 02:37 pm (UTC)
Indeed. *sniffle*
mylittleredgirl
Dec. 1st, 2007 02:40 pm (UTC)
If it gets cancelled, I'm not telling Sister. She likes it too much and it's on at such weird times of year that she'll just hang around waiting for it to come back for three or four years, and I'll just make up stories about how it's airing in the summer now... oh, wait, midseason winter replacement!... oh, you know, the DVR just probably forgot to record it?

*sigh*
wiliqueen
Dec. 1st, 2007 02:41 pm (UTC)
She does know Lifetime isn't going to air the last two on TV anymore, right?

I'll be keeping the flist posted on plans for DVD trees out of Canada, etc...
mylittleredgirl
Dec. 1st, 2007 02:43 pm (UTC)
She knows nothing. I ration her fandom intake for my own sanity.

What do you mean, not airing the last two anymore?
wiliqueen
Dec. 1st, 2007 02:46 pm (UTC)
See the news Tanya got stuck with breaking, and some additional comments I posted yesterday.

We are not happy with Lifetime just now, no, we are not.
amilyn
Dec. 1st, 2007 03:58 pm (UTC)
This sounds like it was fantastic.
wiliqueen
Dec. 1st, 2007 04:09 pm (UTC)
It really, really was. *beam*
maiac
Dec. 1st, 2007 06:34 pm (UTC)
I need to think about this one a while, and probably watch it again. I was struck by the irony that in the flashbacks, Vicki was all about Perkins being guilty, and was just as adamantly about his innocence after talking to him in his cell. I think this is an example of one of Vicki's flaws: She's Always Right, and nobody can tell her otherwise, not even the people who love her. And she's so damned competitive, did that influence her conclusions about Perkins? The conviction would be another item to bolster "Victory" Nelson's success rate.
wiliqueen
Dec. 1st, 2007 06:44 pm (UTC)
And she's so damned competitive, did that influence her conclusions about Perkins?

Is that even a question? *wry g*

I need to watch it at least once more, soon.

And then go back again and dissect that move with the chair. It's right up there on the Coolest Moves Ever chart with using the momentum of Henry's attack in "Heart of Fire" to roll over the chair and out of his reach. Vicki Nelson, Mistress of Chair Fu! :-D (Hi, I'm Val, and I'm a stunt geek...)
krf13
Dec. 1st, 2007 08:28 pm (UTC)
I don't have any more to add to the great comments already here, except to second all of them.

I haven't watched a program with this much character intensity in a while - probably since start of the Dead Zone. Now I have two - Bloodties and Torchwood.

The threesome of Mike, Vickie and Henry is fantastic. All three of them have been rounded out and the way they can stil act together even when they're fed up and angry with each other is something I haven't seen much of before.

I can see what's coming, and then again, I'm also surprised. I only just started watching it on the TV so it sounds like I'm going to have to go back now to seeing in online.

I don't know how they can think about cancelling it. Mike is incredible, Vickie is stunning and Henry is well...Henry.

My favorite like this week was the one that went something to the effect of: "Thanks for sparing me another Anne Boleyn comment..." as Henry and Vickie walked away from the murder site. :)
wiliqueen
Dec. 2nd, 2007 12:11 pm (UTC)
the way they can stil act together even when they're fed up and angry with each other is something I haven't seen much of before.

This is the main thing that makes me so very, very happy. It's certainly at the heart of the books (which I keep saying I must reread, darnit, because I must), and I love that they've captured it so well in the series.

My favorite like this week was the one that went something to the effect of: "Thanks for sparing me another Anne Boleyn comment..."

Wasn't that awesome? Payoff for all the little snarks he's been doing all season. (And his contempt for AB just amuses the heck out of me anyway -- yeah, whatever, little apple, because you fell so far from the tree. Dad has some culpability there too, y'know.)

Edited at 2007-12-02 03:12 pm (UTC)
maiac
Dec. 3rd, 2007 02:05 pm (UTC)
This is a bit of deviation from the books. There's a brief flashback in one of them in which Fitzroy expresses some sympathy for Anne Boleyn. Or at least opines that she didn't deserve execution. I think perhaps young Henry was beginning to be a bit disenchanted with his father. It's obvious he categorically disagreed with his father's split from the Roman Catholic church (given he still considers himself a Catholic after nearly 5 centuries).

wiliqueen
Dec. 3rd, 2007 03:10 pm (UTC)
I know I've been saying for months that I need to reread them (since it's been like 15 years), but I need to reread them. I remember an opinion being expressed, but not really what it was.

Then again, TV!Henry might not necessarily think she deserved execution either. Although I was a bit surprised they had him actually say she tried to poison him, just because that charge held so little water in the first place -- it's always struck me as a panic response, looking for some explanation for what was wrong with the kid that they could do something about. Since this universe is partially constructed from an explanation, it seems odd to me. *shrug*

I do suspect he absorbed the attitude of a lot of people around him, namely that they would have had no problem with her as a respectable mistress like her sister or Henry's own mother before her. It was demanding the whole pie that most people couldn't forgive her for.

Edited at 2007-12-03 06:11 pm (UTC)
maiac
Dec. 3rd, 2007 01:53 pm (UTC)
I just remembered a comment I was going to make earlier, except I forgot it as soon as I thought of it... Kate's going to be disappointed in her obvious wish for a more-than-just-professional relationship with Mike. The reason I'm certain of this is that Kate just does not have banter. She may be smart enough for detective work, but damn, the woman is way too serious even when she's trying to make a joke. She doesn't challenge Mike professionally or intellectually. He'd be bored by the end of the first date.
wiliqueen
Dec. 3rd, 2007 02:08 pm (UTC)
I must be incredibly dense, because I seem to be the only person in the fandom who Just Doesn't See It. The one mild-innuendo joke this time (I don't even remember what it was now) was the closest I've come to thinking maybe we are supposed to think Kate is interested, but even then, it just pings to me as a joke. *shrug*

I actually thought she seemed downright alarmed by the notion of Mike asking her out in the observation-room conversation with Vicki in "5:55."
studiesinlight
Dec. 17th, 2007 02:25 am (UTC)
Kate and the donut comment
>"I seem to be the only person in the fandom who Just Doesn't See It."

I don't see it, either. I don't think Kate has any romantic interest in Mike for herself -- she is a very vocal and public cheerleader of him getting back with Vicki in the premiere, and I haven't seen anything since that makes me suspect otherwise.

But speaking of Kate in the premiere, what's with Vicki's "Someone get that girl a donut" comment? Kate does not look unhealthfully skinny to me -- am I missing something? It's especially weird, because the premiere goes out of its way to make assorted people call Vicki attractive in so many words, so it makes her look judgmental to be snarking someone else's appearance. Is it supposed to be the free-floating suppressed jealousy that later exploded in "5:55"? Or is it a cop-thing joke -- perfect archetypal cop, missing only a donut in her hand?

(I rewatched the premiere last week, and I'm planning to introduce someone with eating-disorder-issues to the series, and now I'm slightly worried about the donut comment ruining things for her right off the bat.)
maiac
Dec. 17th, 2007 11:02 am (UTC)
Re: Kate and the donut comment
I'm certain that "Get that girl a donut" was a cop joke, not an insinuation that Kate is too thin.
wiliqueen
Dec. 17th, 2007 01:06 pm (UTC)
Re: Kate and the donut comment
I've never been entirely sure, although I understand it was an ad-lib on Christina's part. Certainly the cop-joke interpretation is a safe enough one, and makes more sense overall.
maiac
Dec. 17th, 2007 01:36 pm (UTC)
Re: Kate and the donut comment
I just can't see Vicki making snide comments about another woman's appearance. Snide comments, yes, but not "catfight" snide comments.

Vicki, however, might very well have made a snarky joke out of envy that Kate gets to be a cop and Vicki had to give up the career she loved. Encountering Mike again after months of avoiding him would have torn the scab right off that wound.
studiesinlight
Dec. 17th, 2007 02:42 am (UTC)
catching up on BT: "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"
So I'm up to the "See you later, boys" episode.

>"In short, as out of sorts as they all are with each other? They still managed to pull this thing off as a team."

Mmmmm, continuity. Mmmm, characterization. :-)

This was impressive. Writing, execution, sheer permission to be so developmental rather than limitedly episodic. Taking an "inside out" angle on the standard structure is daring for serial television, especially in a first season when viewers are still getting to know the characters. There are things I would have tightened up in the MOTW plot -- the Bronson Alcott-y ick made post-Freud ; history of psychiatry ; argh! -- but the keeping the action moving with the interpersonal dynamics shifted was flawless. The "remote rescue" is one to remember -- and learn from and, where applicable, imitate.

I didn't catch who wrote the episode. I will on a subsequent viewing.
wiliqueen
Dec. 17th, 2007 01:05 pm (UTC)
Re: catching up on BT: "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"
...sheer permission to be so developmental rather than limitedly episodic.

Amen. I love so much that such has been the intent from the word 'go.'

the Bronson Alcott-y ick made post-Freud ; history of psychiatry ; argh!

I have the same reaction, and then remember that most people really aren't acquainted with more up-to-date thought in the field, and it would take a lot of explaining. Basic Freudian models can be shorthanded. So I roll my eyes and forbear.

The "remote rescue" is one to remember

I love that more every time I think about it. And especially that it was Mike, who doesn't ignore supernatural reality but most assuredly isn't happy with it and is working harder all the time to keep his feet planted in everyday reality. But that doesn't stop him from saying "This is how this works? Okay, let's try this. Are we done with this craziness yet?"
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )

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