Midnight, Texas: Angel Heart

"There's just so many secrets floating around here. I can hardly keep up."

I love it when I'm right. Well, half-right if we want to get into specifics. And I will since, you know, that's the point of reviews.

I have a lot of mixed feelings about this episode. In many ways, "Angel Heart" perfectly encapsulates all of the best and the worst of Midnight, Texas. I'm still trying to figure out which side outweighs the other. I find myself looking forward to each new episode, but as the weeks go by, it's getting harder and harder to look past the negatives.

But we can talk about that in a bit. It really shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, but what saves this show for me is the characters. I keep coming back to them and for them. I'm always a sucker for romantic relationships, and this episode placed essentially all of them in the center.

Let's start with Joe and Chuy since they really were the focus. As I said before, I was half-right! Chuy is a half-demon, but the cliche remains the same. I loved it, and I loved seeing more Chuy. He was a lot sassier than I remembered him being, but it was definitely welcome. What I loved most was how genuinely supportive and caring they are for each other. Even if it was just how close they stood to each other.

Probably my favorite relationship is Lem and Olivia, even if they're starting to make me nervous. This is the second time now that Olivia said that she didn't want to be turned. That's essentially a guarantee that she'll join the ranks of the undead by the time the season is over. The only question is how it'll happen.

I wanted to give Olivia major props when she told Lem that she loves him and will enjoy their relationship while it lasts, but also that she will leave when she feels that she needs to. It perfectly fit with the strength of character that we've seen so far. What I liked less was Lem's quiet reaction to that. It made me nervous that he would do the selfish thing and turn Olivia against her will if presented the opportunity. At the very least, it looked like he was considering a future without her and hated it.

Manfred hated the idea of not being with Creek so much that he left town. Wow. I knew that he really cared about her, but I was not expecting that. It felt a little hollow, if only because I know that his quick escape from Midnight won't last long. He is the prophesied leader against the forces of Hell, after all.

That being said, I'm proud of Creek making the decision to break up. It's very hard to figure out who you are as an individual when you're in a relationship with someone else. Francois Arnaud really, really impressed me this episode. He knocked it out of the park both in the break up scene, and when Xylda was possessing Manfred.

Oh. And Fiji and Bobo are slowly but surely working their way back to coupledom.

Okay, okay, I won't leave it at that. I did find it interesting that, like Creek and Manfred, only one half of the couple admitted their love. When Bobo told Fiji that he loved her, she was obviously flustered and quickly switched the topic. I can't decide if Fiji loves him back or not. Was she just being flustered and awkward, or was she flustered and uncomfortable?

Wow. I wrote a lot without really talking about the plot. That's because the plot neatly shows what's wrong with Midnight, Texas. As much as I enjoy the characters, this show doesn't know how to properly plot either an episode or an entire season. Hopefully I'm just being pessimistic since the entire season hasn't aired yet, but I'm beginning to believe that the issues with the writing are here to stay.

Bowie unfortunately falls into a very familiar pattern. She's an initially intriguing, intimidating villain who is ultimately dispatched far too easily. This is a problem that has faced all of Midnight Texas' villains, including demonic Chuy. Like Hightower and Connor, Bowie's motivations weren't all that well fleshed out either. We're told one thing about their character, but shown something completely different.

I'll be honest: I'm a little nervous. I'm not sure how much faith I have to this show pulling off a fulfilling ending. I realize that we still got a few episodes, including two episodes next week. (Mark your calendars!) But each subsequent episode shows that the same exact mistakes are being made. At this rate, I wouldn't be surprised if the final episode wraps everything up in a quick five minute sequence. I'm sticking around for the characters, but the plot is beginning to lose me.

Random Thoughts

No Mr. Snuggly again. Is he okay? Is Fiji feeding him? Am I far too attached to this fictional, talking cat?

There were a few weird blocking decisions. Characters moved a little unnaturally while they were standing around talking and it distracted me.

What makes an angel fallen? Do they simply choose to leave Heaven, or is there an emotional component as well?

At least Midnight, Texas has really good continuity when it comes to details. Lem couldn't enter Fiji's house.

What happened to Lem when he tried to leech off of Chuy? He obviously had a bad reaction, but why? Because Chuy is half-demon?

When we got that first flashback, I was expecting more. Instead, it just felt out of place.

Quotes:

Joe: We're safe for now. Bowie's not coming this way.
Chuy: Good, because the two of us hiding in a closet is making my head explode.

Lem: I'm growing tired of all the secrets.
Olivia: I have a hidden armory. I'm good with secrets.

Bobo: Hey, you need help?
Fiji: What I need is peace and quiet! I miss our quiet, little town where other happened, ever. Now everything's so exhausting!

Joe: When the Veil starts to tear, a hero will rise. He will lead an army to fight the evil that emerges and seal the Veil forever.
Manfred: Oh, we should call this person.

I don't know, guys. Am I worrying too much about this? Or are you having the same issues with the plot that I am?

An Honest Fangirl loves superheroes, science fiction, fantasy, and really bad horror movies. And sometimes she writes about them.

2 comments:

Billie Doux said...

Fangirl, I think you're right about the problems. A series with supernatural elements has to be done carefully or it will feel silly. The characters are fun and interesting, but the plotting is haphazard. I thought Bowie (good actress!) was quite possibly a really good villain, but oops, she's dead. The idea of the Veil and the battle with Hell and Manfred as their leader, interesting, but they needed better set-up for all this.

Actually, my favorite bit in the episode was when Olivia told Lem that the two of them weren't the only mixed couple in town. :) I also liked what she told him about growing old.

The Midnight Texas books (which I am reading right now, which means I'm getting them confused in my head with the series) are charming. They have stronger characterization, slower reveals and much better plotting. I think the TV guys might have made a mistake by moving too quickly and throwing all of the different supernatural characters at us in the first episode. And I don't know if this is a mistake they can overcome.

And maybe I should add that the second book made it clear that this is indeed the same 'verse as True Blood.

An Honest Fangirl said...

That's interesting, because "Lemuel Unchained" seemed to make it clear that this and True Blood are in different universes. The invitation rules are different. Maybe that has something to do with different companies having different rights? HBO has True Blood and NBC has Midnight, Texas?

I think I'll read the books as well once the season's over. I like all of the characters, and if the plotting is better, then I'm sure that I'll really enjoy the books.