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Forever Knight: If Looks Could Kill

"Their enthusiasm will fade soon enough, Nicola, as they watch each younger generation arrive to cut in on their dance, turn their possessions into artifacts and store their pictures in dusty attics."

When a dead woman suddenly ages fifty years, Nick and Natalie begin hunting for a supernatural explanation that will tear open an old wound.

Absolutely everyone who sees the opening scene wants to do violence to the annoying woman behind the sales counter and also break her Sally Jessy Raphael glasses. I'm not saying we should open fire when we're upset at people, I'm just saying we understand.

I've worked retail. The work honestly isn't bad, and I even enjoyed a lot of it. But then they would open the doors and let people in, and that's when the job turned sour.

Anyway, the investigation uncovers a group of young women living up the prime of their lives, but something's rotten in Toronto. The deceased has a legit social security check in her pocket, even though she looked no older than 20... before transforming into a much older person once the body bag is zipped up. Natalie thinks it's something spooky, but Nick thinks he would have seen something like this before. He can't explain it either, though.

We see a lot of women struggling with their appearance in this episode, and it's honestly an important conversation. Some of the women probably come off as weak and helpless, but it's because they've surrendered to a game that's rigged, being slaves to unfair beauty standards. It's a little heartbreaking to see them depressed and crying their eyes out over how they look (or how they think they look), because we know this happens to people all the time. It's a genuine struggle.

Nothing makes sense, until Nick sees a familiar face...

Flashback:

In the distant past (I guess) Nick is at a night time party attending to a woman he calls "The Baroness." She's middle-aged, and thinks her time is done. Also... she knows what Nick is. The Baroness begs him to turn her into a vampire so she can be young and beautiful forever, but he won't do it.

At this point, I'm very amused by the young lady who shows up with a scroll and says it's an invitation to tour the garden that's right behind them. Apparently the baron gives tours of his plants. At night. And you have to have a hand-written invitation even if you're already there.

Nick abandons the Baroness, but that's not the end of her story. Enter Janette. She feels sorry for the Baroness, and, unlike Nick, she isn't a self-loathing pool of nihilistic despair. She likes being a vampire, and as a woman, she understands what the Baroness wants.

But the Baroness isn't happy just being immortal and beautiful. She thinks there's a way to help other women battle the effects of aging, and gets the bright idea to inject them with her own blood. Surely, nothing will go wrong.

Little Bites:

-Fashion Police: The spandex clothes at the gym are what cringe is made of.

-Vampire Lore: Vampire blood can reverse the effects of aging in a normal person. But you'll get bloodthirsty and violent every now and then. Sort of a trade off.

-This episode contains an infamous scene of a chunkheaded trainer picking up a woman and throwing her onto a workout machine. It's supposed to look like he's being encouraging in a big brother, tough love sort of way, but it doesn't work. It makes you want to call the police, honestly.

-Something must have gone wrong in the scene where Nick finds the lady at the gym in the dark office and is confused at the sight of her face. She looks completely normal. I'm not sure what the script called for, but it's unclear what we're supposed to think. Was the actress was supposed to look old or ugly?

-No Janette last week, so we get lots of Janette this week. That's a good thing. And she and Nick make out more than drunken prom dates. He interrupts her story just to plant one on her and then they see how far they can cram their tongues into one another before she continues. This is friends with exceptional benefits. Meanwhile, Natalie, who never gets more than a peck on the cheek, has disovered her first grey hair.

-Speaking of Janette, a while back she said she had never brought anyone across because she's too much of a glutton to avoid draining her victims completely. This is a normal continuity issue for an older show, when one one expected us to rewatch shows and remember things that happened months ago.

Final Analysis: I always love it when Nick's past comes back, and also when we explore the nature of vampires and blaze new trails in the lore. Five out of five tiny shorts coming down the stairs.

Adam D. Jones is a writer, historian, and undefeated cat wrestler. He's also something of a successful gym rat himself, having recently carried his recliner into the next room in only two hours.

2 comments:

  1. On rewatching, I think this is one of the best episodes in season 1. "Shootout at the beauty counter" is an unusual way to start a TV episode. After that it is a whydunnit rather than a whodunnit plus the mystery of the bodies. Natalie and Janette are both proactive and get some good dialogue, the flashback actually links into the current day, and the Baroness is a "villain" with complex motives.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right on. This one gives us a lot of plot and some interesting ideas.

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