Friday, August 14, 2015

Summer TV Rewind: Moonlight 1.10: “Sleeping Beauty”

“I knew better than to get involved with a human. I knew it was a mistake but I did it anyway. It took me over 350 years to find her and only a year to lose her.”
- Josef

We have arrived at probably my favorite episode of the season. Why you ask? Because it is Josef centric and we haven’t had any of those to this point. And it is a beautiful and tragic story that Jason Dohring plays with precision. Before we get to the good stuff, Mick and Beth take Coraline to the hospital. She’s not doing well but the doctor is doing what she can to keep her stable. Beth feels horrible for what she did but Mick doesn’t blame her. He is a little defensive when Beth remarks that he still cares about his ex-wife. Well, duh. She may be crazy and turned him into a vampire but he still obviously had feelings for her.

Over in New York, things are being set in motion that propel the rest of the episode forward. A very old man has hired a guy to kill Josef. So during poker night with a few of his vampire buddies, the guy shows up and firebombs Josef’s office. Mick is quick to get there and tries to figure out what happened by talking with Josef’s head of security, Tom. Everyone thinks Josef is dead and Beth’s boss even sends her over to the scene to cover the story. This only serves to piss Mick off. Until he gets a call from the doctor that Coraline is awake. He shows up to the hospital but she’s so out of his she can’t (or won’t) tell him how she became human before passing out again. He manages to get a vial of blood before heading home. Beth is waiting for him, ready to apologize for busting in on his moment of grief earlier. Just as Mick admits he isn’t sure how he is supposed to grieve Josef, they go inside Mick’s apartment and find Josef is very much alive (well undead) and kicking. Somehow he escaped the inferno and he is damn pissed about nearly being assassinated.

Mick and Beth use a resource of Beth’s at Buzzwire to figure out who the killer is. His name is Martan and he’s a mercenary for hire. Definitely not someone you wanna go up against but it explains the use of military grade explosives. Josef has decided that since he can’t go out, he’d order in but Mick is worried it could have led Martan right to their doorstep so he puts the kibosh on the party. Having his fun spoiled, Josef sneaks out to his office where he runs into Tom. It appears Tom is a traitor because he called the mercenary to come finish the job and gets a bullet in the head as payment. Lucky for Josef, Mick noticed his buddy was gone and knew where to look. Just as Martan is about to put a bullet in Josef’s head, Mick shows up and beats the crap out of him. He even gets the name of the guy who hired Martan, John Whitley. Josef claims not to know who this guy is but Mick isn’t buying it. He doesn’t have time to ask questions because Josef has taken off again.

Beth does a bit of digging into John Whitely and learns that he is 93 and he had a daughter who went missing in 1955 in New York. So they are going to head there and try to stop Josef from doing something stupid. That assumes however that Beth can get out the door without Josh showing up and making the situation awkward. Her relationship with him is really going downhill and I feel a little bad for Josh because it’s not anything he’s done. He’s a good guy and he loves Beth but he just can’t compete with her connection to Mick. Anyway, Josef has gotten to New York and ends up at an expensive looking apartment building. Meanwhile, Martan pays Mr. Whitely a visit and demands to know what Josef is and how to kill him.

Mick and Beth make it to New York and track down Mr. Whitley, too and get the story of how Josef, going by the name Charles Fitzgerald, seduced his daughter, Sarah, and then killed her. His wife kept their daughter’s diary a secret from him until two years earlier. He’s been hunting down Josef ever since. Beth takes the diary and it seems like Sarah and Josef (nee Charles) were really in love and Sarah wanted Josef to turn him. Thanks to a little assist from Beth’s contact at Buzzwire, they have the address that Josef went to. Unfortunately, Martan has been following them the whole time and tails them to the address.

It turns out Sarah didn’t die in 1955. She’s been in a coma and hasn’t aged. Josef tried to turn her into a vampire but something went wrong and she never woke up. He recounts how they met and fell in love. He even started to think he’d been made a vampire just so he could live long enough to meet her. It was a beautiful scene and a great parallel for Mick and Beth’s relationship. Martan chooses that moment to bust in and shoot and stake Josef. Obviously that doesn’t do the trick and Mick gets the upper hand, snapping the mercenary’s neck. Nice save! Josef whines a little as Mick is digging out the bullets but says that what happened with Sarah means that being with humans can’t work. Mick takes the opposite angle and says that if Josef could fall for a mortal then anything is possible. Before they head out, Beth hands over Sarah’s diary to Josef and we get a very brief flashback to when Sarah and Josef were happy before he tried to turn her.

Mick wants to explore New York City a bit before they head back to LA (I guess he wants to just experience life with Beth) but Beth says she needs to get back to try and fix things with Josh. While Mick brushes it off you can tell he’s hurt. I don’t think he forgot that Josh is still around but to anyone with eyeballs, he and Beth aren’t in a good place. Still, I loved this episode for the character depth and history we gleaned about Josef. He’s not just a pretty face with an attitude. He has feelings and emotions!

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