Tuesday, October 9, 2007

"Moonlight" Recap & Review - "Out Of The Past"

“Out of the Past”

Original Air Date: October 9, 2007

Jon G - TwoCents Staff Writer

As the second installment of Moonlight opens, we’re drawn into a case that Mick was involved in back in 1983. A woman had seemingly shot herself in her car committing suicide, but Mick didn’t buy it. Mick had been hired by this woman in an abusive spouse case. He thought he had taken care of the husband by roughing him up, but this apparently only made matters worse. 100% sure the husband killed this woman, Mick attempts to exact justice and take this guy out. But in the middle of his vampire’s embrace, a cop shows up. Mick flees the scene, the husband survives and is imprisoned for the death of his wife.

The woman’s husband, Lee Jay Spalding, was jailed for his crime for 25 years, but has just won his freedom due to the investigative reporting of Beth’s friend Julia Stephens. He’s celebrated by the media as the man wrongly imprisoned – and he knows that Mick is a vampire.

Seeing Lee Jay’s story on BuzzWire, Mick’s friend Josef scolds him for having not killed Lee Jay when he had the chance. Mick is thinking the same thing and enters the fray once more.

At an event for the book about Lee Jay, Mick meets him in the men’s room, hoping to confront him about what he’d done in the past, but Lee Jay’s been studying up on vampires and thrusts a wooden stake into Mick’s abdomen. (Interestingly, Lee Jay mentions something about how a wooden stake is supposed to paralyze a vampire and that he was going to hang him in a museum.) Mick is stunned, but recovers just as Lee Jay puts his own head through a window and yelling out, accusing Mick of attacking him. This works perfectly as planned, and soon everyone at the event is looking at Mick with judging eyes. He takes off, but not before Beth gives him a scornful look - and he puts a tracking device under Julia Stephen’s car. (There’s a good line here as he’s doing this about how great modern technology is and how if he hadn’t become a vampire, he would have missed out on the internet, World of Warcraft, TiVo and GPS. Sometimes a little humor can go a long way. Sometimes…)
Glancing at her friend’s book, Beth notices a picture from the 1983 incident of a ‘Mick St. John’ and is confused as to how much it looks like the Mick she knows in present times. How could this be, she wonders.

The black & white shot of Mick in the book is from the 1950’s and is the last shot of Mick taken before he became a vampire and couldn’t be captured on film any longer. We find out later in the show that digital can capture him (a little too convenient, but works).

Mick visits his cop friend who worked the Lee Jay case 25 years back to get a police report file. His friend is now an older man in his late 60’s and very much blind, so he can’t see that Mick hasn’t aged a day. Mick’s friend is marveled by how his voice hasn’t changed and he still has muscles. Seems everyone’s picking up on what Mick is…

Back at Mick’s apartment, Lee Jay has somehow broken in as is waiting for him, fondling one of his bags of blood. After a quick argument, Lee Jay brandishes Mick’s gun and shoots himself in the arm with it. He immediately calls 911 claiming that Mick has shot him. Mick nervously rifles through his fridge and grabs all his bags of blood and is off in a flash before the LAPD bursts into the apartment (a little too fast for reality).

The media covers the incident, and Mick is all over the news. There’s also a warrant for his arrest. This is quite the antithesis of the desired shadow existence of a vampire. Mick turns up at Beth’s door and is met by her boyfriend, who is a lawyer and could be disbarred for aiding a fugitive. Beth brings Mick inside and they decide to film him (digitally) denying all charges against him and broadcast it on BuzzWire. All of the media then picks the video up and runs with it.

How’s Mick supposed to go back to a life of hiding after this? He’s everywhere now. So much for the internet being a good thing for a vampire…
Beth’s phone rings, and it’s her friend, Julia. She’s being held hostage by Lee Jay and threatened with her life. He gives Mick 1 hour to turn himself in, or he’ll kill Julia.

Mick, being the hero type, immediately sets out to find Julia and save her (penance for the life he couldn’t save in 1983), but for some reason brings Beth along. He tells her to stay in the car (which we all know she won’t do). With some cool vampire moves, Mick scales the side of the building, leaps in through a skylight and quickly dispatches two henchmen. He frees Julia, but is caught in the back by a shotgun blast. Lee Jay steps out and shoots him again, explaining that the bullets are silver (isn’t that for werewolves?). Mick’s in a hurtin’ place on the floor at this point, but isn’t dead. Lee Jay grabs a blow torch and brings it towards Mick to set him ablaze, just as Beth barges in and blows a hole in Lee Jay’s neck, sending him to the floor (good shot!).

Outside, Lt. Carl is tending to a frightened Julia in the back of an ambulance, trying to get the story straight. Beth wanders out in a daze, confesses to shooting Lee Jay, and is allowed to wander off again (shouldn’t they have kept her for questioning?).

Mick stumbles into his apartment, hands shaking, and finds a blood bag to heal himself. As he sucks down the red nectar, Beth walks in. He tries to get her to leave, but she sees his ethereal eyes and sharp teeth. She has to ask what he is.
“I’m a vampire,” he says.

I liked this episode a little more than the pilot, only because it felt more comfortable. It feels a little formulaic in that Mick again only really uses his vampire powers in flashbacks or at the end to take out a criminal. There’s still tension between Beth and Mick that’s no where near resolved, which should keep viewers coming back, but now that he’s been “outted” to Beth, hopefully we’ll see some more vampire moves coming out sooner in the show. The show Journeyman thankfully made the annoying wife aware of his time traveling abilities in the first episode, and it freed the writers up to explore the mythos surrounding the concept. Maybe we’ll see the same with Moonlight.

What I didn’t like was how fast the cops burst into Mick’s apartment after Lee Jay’s 911 call in comparison to how Lt. Carl just let Beth walk away after killing a man. Um, she wasn’t being attacked, so it wasn’t self defense; Mick saved Julia, but disappeared before the cops got there, so we can’t question him, but Julia was kidnapped, so it’s okay that Lee Jay died. Right? It’s a little too confusing to assume Beth could waltz off the crime scene like she did. I felt that was little too convenient.

Nonetheless, I’m still intrigued. I’ll be watching again next week to see how Beth deals with the realization that Mick’s a vampire and had saved her as a girl. That’ll be an interesting conversation.

1 comment:

  1. I also thought that it was illogical for Lee Jay to automatically assume Mick knew where he was keeping Julia......how long did Lee Jay have to wait in the dark with that shotgun? And how stupid is Mick to just walk into every trap that Lee Jay threw at him? The bathroom, his own apartment and the final scene. Mick is dumb.

    I also love the fact that in the first three episodes, Mick gets stabbed/staked. He's not much of a fighter.

    But I love the show, for all its illogic and the amazing and creepy tension between Mick and his could-have-been vamp daughter.


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