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Forever Knight: Feeding the Beast

"Hey, Nick — got any bad habits?"

When a killer preys on members of a twelve-step program, Nick infiltrates their ranks and discovers a possible cure for his condition... but when group therapy fails, Nick falls off the world's tallest wagon.

You can't help but feel sorry for Nick, because at no point does it even seem remotely possible that a twelve-step program will stop him from being a vampire. But Nick is so desperate, and he hates himself so much, that he'll reach out for anything that might curb his bloodlust.

Predictably, it doesn't work. A recurring theme on Forever Knight is Nick's boyish hope being dashed by reality, over and over again. He never learns.

Which means that when realizes his mistake, he spirals into depression and nearly kills someone on the dance floor at The Raven. This twelve-step program nearly undid centuries of work. Nick's naive blundering toward any possible solution always leaves him vulnerable to crashing like this. We could argue that he should never have thought this would work, but, then again, he's desperate. We all do dumb things when we're desperate.

Mind you, this is a vampire we're talking about. Real human beings often get real help from group therapy and similar programs. Don't knock it. (Unless you're a vampire.)

Continuing their centuries-long conversation, Janette doesn't understand why he can't be more like her. She doesn't murder people, but she gets by, living it up as the owner of the coolest goth club in Canada and sipping on blood by candlelight in her migraine-friendly cellar. Nick wants more than that, he wants a life that Janette knows is out of reach.

As for the Killer of the Week, that case is a little hard to follow. Monica never acts like someone who's seeing her friends die, which makes us suspect her. The real killer's motivations are a little unclear. Nothing in the wrap up explains what's going on to my satisfaction, except that we, once again, have an unhinged psycho on our hands. Still, it's pretty dark and twisted to watch someone murder people with their addictions.

Flashbacks Hallucinations:

Similar to "Dying for Fame," this episode features bizarre imagery from Nick's imagination. This is apparently not too unusual for a vampire. Every now and then, when Nick is very emotionally wounded, he experiences unsettling visions that are difficult to distinguish from reality.

This time, the room shakes as Nick tries to admit his addiction, and then La Croix carries Carrie-Anne Moss in like a drunken bride as blood flows down every side of the lectern and covers Nick's guilty hands.

It's hard to tell, but the words written on the walls have changed. Instead of the twelve-step program rules in plain English, it's now something (probably the same rules) written in... Hebrew? As if it's the Ten Commandments, maybe. Lots of thought went into creating this spooky moment, and I'm not entirely sure I get it. (Someone please correct me if I'm wrong about that writing.)

It gets weirder when La Croix (who is dead, btw) shows up in his living room and laughs hysterically while leading him toward his hidden stash of blood. He takes great joy in shoving Nick off the wagon with both hands.

When he wakes up, Nick immediately wipes blood from his forehead. This is an extremely rare condition called hematidrosis which would be very unlikely to affect someone lacking a circulatory system. Hardly any cases have been studied. Some say Jesus endured this on the cross, which could make this an attempt to make Nick into a Christ figure. Then again, it's also said to be brought on by extreme stress.

Little Bites:

-Familiar Faces: You can't miss her. Carrie-Anne Moss, who did quite a few TV appearances before her big break, is lighting up the screen. And don't overlook Diego Chambers, who played alongside Reeves in Johnny Mnemonic.

-The opening scene involves teddy bears and a classroom. They were going for something kinky, but it didn't pan out.

-It's not immediately clear why Nick keeps a bottle of blood in his fireplace.

-When Nick tells Nat the program might be working, she is skeptical, and Nick accuses her of being jealous. That's a pretty rude thing of him to say.

-Nick does a lot of painting in this episode. Painting is a long-time hobby of his, and he normally paints the sun. This makes sense. He hasn't seen it in ages even though it's blazing right outside his walls. He could open the windows and take it in for a shining moment before turning into vapor, but instead he interprets his memory of the sun onto a canvas.

-Today he's not painting the sun, but creating something abstract with broad, thick strokes, complete with very angsty faces. (Also, he's on vacation. This is what he chose to do.) I think his final piece looks like it's made from the ketchup he ate. To be fair, he did say the darkness underneath was his "monster," and the red might be the blood that he uses to control it. And maybe the yellow represents the light, the sun he can never see, and his hope — which also keeps the monster in bounds.

-That freeze-frame ending is adorable.

-In The Raven, Nicks says he's "Re-vamping himself." Very funny.

Final Analysis: Great creativity in the flashbacks, but an average episode of crime-solving television. 3 out of 5 commandments.

Adam D. Jones is an author, historian, and undefeated cat wrestler. He's also quite the painter himself, having recently used toothpaste to fill a hole in his wall before the landlord showed up for inspection.

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