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Moonlight: The Ringer

“She’s a dead ringer for Katherine Coraline.”

Alex O'Loughlin spent most of this episode looking completely nonplussed—at Morgan, at the fire photos, at Beth’s idea that he was hitting on her co-worker. I found Mick’s reactions more interesting than the plot of the week, although the is-she-or-isn’t-she emotional roller-coaster definitely ended on a high note. Josef’s sassy comments were pretty delightful, too.

So Morgan is Coraline, huh? Somehow she’s either figured out how to become human, or she has managed to mask her vampire musk and super-fast healing tendencies, which is close enough for government work. Coraline is awfully manipulative: she put a lot of work into developing a convoluted plot involving arson, cancer, Proust, a fleur-de-lis (Who Dat?), and digital photography.

All for what? To get under Mick’s skin? To toy with him just when he’s making a connection with another person? To force him into re-turning her? (Re-turning as in making her a vampire again, not as in bringing her back to the video store.) Or does she just really, really want to torture Beth and finish off the job she didn’t get to accomplish all those years ago?

The scenes of Mick and Coraline meeting and beginning their torrid affair were pretty spicy. Mick is a singer—did we know that? (Will we get to see him croon?) At first I was amazed by Coraline’s heavy-handed seduction: ‘Hey, baby, will you undress me?’ is a bit on-the-nose for me. But she and Mick were evidently connecting, because he fell for it, hook, line, etc.

The symbol of the week is the plate-glass window that Coraline goaded Mick into smashing. She makes him crazy by remaining just out of touch, by putting herself in a position to be examined and to then astound the viewer. She wanted Mick to break the window, to break down the divide between them, and thus prove his lust. The window also recalls the scenes we’ve seen of Coraline’s “death,” when she’s looking through a window at Mick, begging him to save her from the fire. And, finally, it shows us how much has changed: in the 1950s, Mick was the looker. Now, Coraline is watching him, and she has the camera to prove it.

That same plate-glass window also reminds us of the separated-by-a-door scenes we’ve gotten between Beth and Mick. Their relationship is quite different from Mick’s and Coraline’s: Beth and Mick are more open, but also more hesitant. The have more self-imposed limits, and neither one is going to goad the other into smashing those limits with lawn furniture.

As I said, the plot of the week left me cold. But the triangle between Beth, Mick, and Coraline is extremely interesting, and I’m excited to see where the emotional arc goes for the rest of the season.


• Mick: “At the oddest time, you might find yourself feeling lucky, like maybe you found somebody. And—bam!—that’s exactly when the ex-wife shows up.”

• Mick: “Well, gee, I don’t know if this crowd would like the devil’s music.” Really, in LA? We love those diabolical tunes out here, and always have.

• Morgan/Coraline: “Yeah, I have this 50s-thing I’m trying to shake.”

• Josef: “Coraline did not come back from the undead to exact vengeance on you.”

• Mick: “Hank Mattola is a vampire working with Coraline to stage the whole thing.”

• Josef: “I don’t do perspective.”

• Josef: “Vinyl recliners, they have crazed killers written all over them.”

And Pieces:

• Josef was four years old in 1603, so now we know that he was born in 1599.

• Morgan was reading Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past, also translated as In Search of Lost Time.

• Mick and Beth were doing the mirrored body-language thing at the Buzzwire office.

• Beth had never had an intense affair. Mick said they were like a “fever,” recalling episode four.

Three and a half out of four New Orleans Saints.

Josie Kafka is a full-time cat servant and part-time rogue demon hunter. (What's a rogue demon?)


  1. I noticed that Beth was dressed more like a little girl in this one, too, as if the three of them were reverting to the roles they played twenty years ago. Mick and Coraline were the arguing parents, and Beth the confused child who doesn't know what's going on.

    And the homages continue. I wonder if they were intentional? The ones I kept thinking about during this episode were a certain plot from season two of Angel, and the glass-breaking scene in the movie Body Heat. The separated by glass symbolism was all over La Femme Nikita, too.

    Josie, your line about the video store made me laugh out loud. :)

  2. I'm embarrassed to say it, but the season two plot from Angel didn't occur to me until well after I'd written the review.

    By the way, folks, if you haven't seen Angel Season Two yet, or even the Season One finale, don't follow the link Billie provided--or at least, not yet. I got spoiled on that plot before watching, and I'm still upset about it, years later.

  3. Good point, Josie. I tend to think that anyone really into vampires has already seen all of Buffy and Angel, but that's not true.


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