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This is the THIRD episode. I'm afraid of how much further the walls can close in on Mitchell. The only choices are bad ones. I understand that.

With all that said... What the FUCK was he thinking??

Condemn Cara? Fine.

Smash her teeth out of her head while declaring the tradition to be a sick joke? Ew, ick, totally unnecessary, but I'll cut some slight slack for clinging to the rules when he's so out of his depth he's swimming for the damn ocean floor.

Fail to finish her off? Leave Herrick's broken toy suffering and begging for absolutely no purpose? (Yes, I know it's a reversal of the fantasy she described to Annie in 1x06. I don't care. She only imagined it. Also, she's batshit insane.) Okay, boyo, get your sorry undead ass over here so I can shake you until your eyeballs rattle.

Okay, I know. Asking what he was thinking presumes that he was thinking, when in fact he's been doing precious little of that. Mostly at this point he's just reacting, with whiplash-inducing swings between compassion and ruthlessness. ("My name is John Mitchell, and I've killed more people than you've met." Oh, shit.) The mix of both that he directs at Cara (and after starting the ep talking to her exactly as he would to a sane human, and giving her the responsibility of gathering the others) is just... gheeeee.

Seriously, when Daisy is making more sense than anyone else in the room? You have a VERY big problem. And of course the biggest source of the problem -- the one that the bureaucratic breakdown merely exacerbates -- is that there are just too damn many vampires. And Mitchell didn't just inherit that problem; he helped to create it by facilitating last season's stepped-up recruitment.

And a fine one he is to be lecturing George about learning from things! Just as George is calling him on the same damn mistake that nearly destroyed him last season. Because, hey, keeping shit from his friends always works out so well for everyone! *shake*rattle*repeat*

Trapped? Can't see a way out? TALK TO YOUR FRIENDS, YOU IDIOT. They will not condemn you. You know this for a FACT from prior experience. They might even have workable ideas. If not, they will at least give you whatever support they can. And, despite the fact that they started the episode respectively hiding in bed and mourning their visibility, their minds are working much more effectively than yours just now.

They've been in the house for, what, nearly a year now? You'd think they'd learn to stop saying "You wouldn't understand" by now, because they're always wrong. Always. Every. Single. Time.

George and Annie, meanwhile, are demonstrating a kaleidoscope of what is so awesome about friends you can rely on, even when they go a little wacky on you. Annie in particular is picking up Mitchell's slack in the "fixing other people's lives is an excellent way to avoid dealing with mine" department. Only she's several orders of magnitude cuter about it. *g* Though she's going to be insufferable now that it actually worked, if not exactly according to her plan.

Curiously, though, it does more good for George, mostly just by getting him out and doing things. The bonding with Hugh is also kind of awesome, even if I am foreseeing messy side effects in the wake of the "I'd like my best friend back" scene with Mitchell. And every step of the way -- with Hugh, with Kirsty, with Annie herself (even when it doesn't fit her plans) -- things always, always work out best for him when he's just honest.

I don't think the show has ever failed to reward him for that, which I love. I mean, that's just who he naturally is, but that's precisely the point. The circumstances of his curse have forced him to become a liar, which just makes it that much more important to be his honest self about everything else. And as much as he has it in his head that people think he's awkward and weird in general, he really only comes across that way when he attempts to deceive, or to be something he isn't.

But oh, gods, he also hurts so honestly, I couldn't breathe for watching that phone call from Nina. I've always been impressed with Russell Tovey, but they're pushing him a lot further this season, and he's running with it and then some. Damn.

And oh, Nina. I'm not sure whether she's really been taken in, but I am sure she was sincere about telling George to live his life. Which is a turnaround from when she took Mitchell to task for telling him the same thing ("You took a loaded gun and you fired it into a crowd"), but I think this is more representative of what she really believes, where that was the product of morning-after-first-transformation emotional exhaustion.

The "house meeting"... HEE! What was it I was saying a couple eps ago, about how the boys are wonderful but they're still boys? Annie's face when they agree that going out and getting hammered is exactly what their friendship needs right now... Yep. That. Although I admit I totally relate to their joint flipout over the unexpected rearranging of their TV habits. And find it curiously reassuring that Mitchell can still blow off at least a little steam with such a mundane snit.

I'm surprised they did the Lucy reveal this soon. I guess it shows faith in the audience, since they have given us some pretty big breadcrumbs to follow. A doctor who's just arrived, who first disparages religion and then gives a cross to a vampire victim? That one pretty much sealed it for me. But I really expected it to be another ep before we got confirmation.

The real question, of course, is what she's about. We've already seen that Mysterious Creepy Guy (Have they given him a name? All the minions seem to just call him "sir") disagrees with her on the risk vs. benefit of studying the housemates in the wild, as it were, even though he doesn't argue with her orders. She doesn't strike me as delusional enough to tell herself that dating is a remotely appropriate context for just studying Mitchell, which then raises the question of what she does want to accomplish there. It does seem quite possible that she sincerely wants to help the supernaturals -- in contrast to MCG's twisted motivations in the guise of doing so -- but it remains to be seen whether that's actually the case, and whether her objectives are compatible with their actually being happy/functional people.

Comments

studiesinlight
Aug. 4th, 2010 07:34 pm (UTC)
BH S2 E3
>"he's so out of his depth he's swimming for the damn ocean floor"

Well put.

>"Seriously, when Daisy is making more sense than anyone else in the room? You have a VERY big problem."

I'm considering the possibility that insanity is the normal state of being for a BH vampire -- that they don't usually live long, period, and they don't usually live even that long sane. There's more canon for this down the road, but it first comes to mind here, with this crowd, with Daisy and Cara speaking.

Ivan and Herrick are "old" and respected, but by the standards of other vampire universes, they're infants. So this universe has decided that vampires don't often make it for centuries and centuries on end. Baseline. Also, there aren't many of them (though there are far too many of them!) compared how rapacious they are, how frequently they seem to "recruit." Also, looking around that room, Daisy and Mitchell are the only pretty faces, and I'm not so sure there are any entirely sane minds. Again, Ivan and Herrick were the most sane, the most respected. There's such a lack of self-control in general that Mitchell looks like a viable example and leader. Perhaps this universe's vampires demand a "king" because, by and large, they innately cannot control themselves, cannot make sane choices for themselves.

The vampire whose name I'm forgetting right now, the one who accidentally killed his partner and had to pretend suicide and leave, he seemed pretty sane, and not young. What role does staying off blood play in the relative sanity of a BH vampire?

In other vampire universes, there is often a dividing line between those who live long and those who are new based on accumulation of power with time. I'm theorizing that the BH universe is the other way around; they do not gain power with time, but rather they gain time only if they had the power to hold on to their sanity to begin with. Maybe Herrick picked Mitchell because, in the context of the horrors of warfare, Mitchell looked like someone who would not crack up in the face of the horrors of BH vampire existence.

>"TALK TO YOUR FRIENDS, YOU IDIOT."

Yes, thank you. Mitchell, listen up!

>"The bonding with Hugh is also kind of awesome, even if I am foreseeing messy side effects in the wake of the "I'd like my best friend back" scene with Mitchell."

I would love to see more of Hugh in the context of being George's friend! Also, I think that George, Mitchell and Annie could go to his completely human, well-lit, neighborhood pub more often. Just be attractive in the window; good for business. Meet people. ~g~

>"But oh, gods, he also hurts so honestly, I couldn't breathe for watching that phone call from Nina. I've always been impressed with Russell Tovey, but they're pushing him a lot further this season, and he's running with it and then some. Damn."

Much more of this, and less of the wasting story time being naked, please, yes. George is such a delightful and impressive character across the gamut of every emotion they've yet dared put on Tovey's plate, so high and so low, so well and so broken.

>"The "house meeting"... Although I admit I totally relate to their joint flipout over the unexpected rearranging of their TV habits."

That was such a great scene, beginning to end! Every bit.

>"I'm surprised they did the Lucy reveal this soon."

I think that my opinions about this belong in the next episode....
wiliqueen
Aug. 4th, 2010 11:38 pm (UTC)
Re: BH S2 E3
I'm considering the possibility that insanity is the normal state of being for a BH vampire

It never occurred to me to crystallize it that way, but this strikes me as really, really accurate. At least as far as what we've seen. I have to remember that the Bristol "rabble" are Herrick's legacy, and my impression through S1 is that his recruitment strategy favored those he could easily manipulate.

That said, though, it's particularly striking to look at the human Cara in 1x01, who's a little awkward but not even a teeny bit crazy. I've been wondering what on earth happened in the interim, and this is a more elegant explanation than anything I've come up with. (Though it was on the second viewing that I realized she killed the bullies and didn't touch their victim.)

It's also striking that both Carl and Ivan -- as you've observed, the adults -- explicitly dislike Herrick. Whom I'd hesitate to call sane, but who did enforce order in the service of his particular delusion/obsession. And the question of why this universe's "old ones" are not so very old is one I've been quite curious about.

Certainly it seemed implicit even in S1 that Mitchell's judgment is impaired post-feeding. It was harder to track Lauren's ups and downs, but I'm particularly thinking of that moment Annie witnesses, where Lauren is giggling over her kill and Herrick reads her the riot act for carelessness.

Meeting more vampires now, the pattern seems to hold. Daisy is borderline (perhaps with Ivan to anchor on?), Cara is quite thoroughly nuts, and the rabble are, well, rabble. I definitely think you're onto something there.

It would also explain Mitchell's patience with various bizarre behavior. I've been chalking it up to his being generally non-judgmental (recognizing that he has no room to judge), but if in his head that's just how vampires are, then it makes sense that he doesn't bat at eye at, say, Cara heaping abuse on him every chance she gets.

Maybe Herrick picked Mitchell because, in the context of the horrors of warfare, Mitchell looked like someone who would not crack up in the face of the horrors of BH vampire existence.

Interesting thought; I'm definitely thinking it figures into the mix. Herrick had a particular function for everyone. Mitchell's was a key position, as people magnet and propaganda machine, but in Herrick's head every cog had its place, and he made sure they stayed in them. Mitchell has no idea how to do that (nor does he really believe in it), but you're absolutely right that they're not capable of functioning on their own.

I would love to see more of Hugh in the context of being George's friend!

I'm starting to think they have the curious problem of being too good at creating characters and too blessed with fortuitous casting. Whithouse has stated outright that Nina wasn't intended to be a regular, but once she got started, he couldn't imagine not keeping her. The front half of S2 seems to throw a lot of things at the wall and have more of them stick than there's room to keep.

Edited at 2010-08-04 11:47 pm (UTC)

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