It’s time to return to Midnight, Texas, or to visit for the first time if you’ve never been. There just happens to be a new hotel in town, owned by a renowned healer and his lovely wife. They can help you with anything from a crystal meditation session to rebalance your energy to an exorcism of your terminal demon cancer. And anything that might require a severed demon head, but let’s keep that between you and me. Healer Kai seems to want to keep his frequent sessions with the head private.
The town’s resident psychic, Manfred Bernardo, is a bit under the weather this week, having never fully recovered from last season’s finale, when he allowed 6 demons to possess him at once, so that he could drive away a really powerful demon, Colconar, who wanted to own the town’s resident witch, Fiji. The demons left a little something behind inside Manfred that’s slowly taking him over. The fact that it’s enough to bring his ghostly grandmother, Xylda, back from the hereafter, might make the whole thing worth it.
Other than Manfred and his girlfriend Creek, who are understandably having some relationship issues, the town’s couples are doing great. Bobo and Fiji are having such great sex that they don’t just feel like they’re flying, Fiji’s head actually hits the ceiling. Lem and Olivia now share a psychic connection to facilitate their wedded bliss, since he fed her some of his blood to heal her after she was gravely injured. He doesn’t have to be told which spot is the right spot anymore. And Joe and Chuy are as centered and peaceful as ever, or so it appears. Chuy is doing a lot of yoga to get his demon side back under control.
This episode opens in the middle of the night, with Manfred in nothing but his underwear and a pair of work boots, walking down the middle of the road through the crossroads, carrying a shovel. He goes out into the desert, where he uses the shovel to dig graves. There are several open gravesites just waiting to be filled. Next he goes home and stares at Creek, in an aggressively demonic way, as she sleeps in his bed.
But then it’s morning and he pops awake, alone in his bed, like none of that ever happened. Creek brings him some coffee and asks if he had another nightmare. He says he did, and they talk about whether he should get a new pillow, stop eating spicy food or maybe move to Austin with her.
Creek is looking into going away to college to become a writer, so that she can do more with her life than be a waitress in a diner, and she wants Manfred to come with. Manfred decides that wherever Creek is, is his home.
That was how he and Xylda and the RV lived their whole lives. Now that Xylda’s gone and the RV is too unreliable to go far, Manny needs a new person and home. I’m just a little verklempt.
Creek notices that Manfred’s nose is bleeding, but the blood is black. Like bloody demon goo. Manny runs to the bathroom to look for himself and sees his muddy work boots tossed in a corner. Shoot. The dream was not a dream.
It’s been 2 months since the season 1 finale and I’m not sure that Fiji and Bobo have gotten out of bed the entire time, other than when they’ve had flying sex. They’ve gotten really good at sex magic, verging on elite status. I knew the idea that Fiji was more powerful as a virgin was just a dumb misconception thought up by
cavemen demons. Energy that’s flowing will always be more powerful than energy that’s stopped up.
Olivia returns home from her latest job and opens her secret closet/panic room to change and unpack. She returns her disguise and many weapons to their proper places in her arsenal, then puts her wedding ring back where it belongs, on her finger. She pushes a button that opens the floor compartment where Lem has a sunken casket and kisses him hello. He asks how the hit went. She says, “It was killer.”
Joe is out for his regular morning jog, while Chuy does some sunrise yoga in the fresh air. Chuy isn’t being troubled by his demon side, leading Joe to hope that Midnight will be free from evil monsters altogether for a while. Chuy tells him he just jinxed it.
What, 2 months doesn’t seem like a long time to them?
Manfred eats breakfast in the Midnighters room at Home Cookin’ Diner with the rest of the gang, but becomes overwhelmed by the demon voices he hears. One overpowers the others, trying to compel him to pick up his table knife and use it on someone. Creek disrupts his trance when she brings him juice.
Madonna, the diner’s usual cook, is on a cruise.
Olivia interrupts breakfast to share what she’s learned about the new hotel. It’s named the Crystal Desert Hotel & Spa and is fully booked for the next month. The main attraction is Healer Kai Lucero, who now runs the hotel, along with his wife Patience. Kai has a huge following.
The Rev thinks Kai could be legit. Fiji is upset that they’re encroaching on her business. Manfred says that the hotel is full of ghosts, so it will probably close within 3 months. Olivia informs them all that they’re doing reconnaissance at the hotel’s grand opening.
Manfred drives the RV out to the desert to do some reconnaissance of his own. He tapes his phone to his bare chest so that it will record his movements overnight.
I’m not sure why the demons want Manfred to be mostly naked on his nightly treks, but I’m not going to argue with it.
Olivia and Lem enjoy the boost their psychic connection gives to their sex lives. Lem knows what Olivia wants before she knows herself. Olivia didn’t think she was the marrying type, but this isn’t bad.
Manfred wakes up in the morning, back in the RV, having walked 7 miles to Blanco Canyon. He drives straight there and discovers the graves he’s been digging in his sleep. Xylda appears to help him out, even though she went to the hereafter last season.
She looks great, like she’s been on a cruise. She sounds like it was a cruise too: Rosé all day, canasta with Tammy Wynette, living someplace without wheels, and the total makeover. But she heard he was in trouble, so she came back.
They figure out that there’s a grave for each Midnighter, and that his symptoms started right after Colconar and Manny’s demon “gang bang”, as Xylda refers to it. She wants him to tells his friends what’s happening, but he doesn’t want to lose their trust again so soon.
Xylda wonders if he still has a demon inside him, so Manfred dips his hand in holy water. If he were possessed, it would burn him. It doesn’t, so that’s not the problem.
Manfred joins the gang for the hotel open house. The girls are disdainful of the hipsters that it’s brought to their authentic desert town. Fiji notices how overpriced the stock is, especially compared to hers. Patience introduces herself and gushes about how wonderful Midnight is.
She says they were traveling healers before this, but it was exhausting. They decided to create a spiritual center to be their home. They think Midnight has amazing spiritual energy, way better than Sedona.
Manfred has a vision of himself drowning the Rev in the spiritual reflecting pool in the lobby. He decides it’s time to leave.
Healer Kai makes his entrance, heralded by followers with chimes, then walks on the water of the reflecting pool. Fiji explains how the illusion works to the others. His welcoming speech is interrupted by a man in a wheelchair who begs Kai to heal him so that he can walk at his daughter’s wedding. Kai tells the man to get into the water under his own power, so the man flops down onto the floor, then into the pool. Kai runs his hands over the man’s legs and breathes into his mouth. With that, the man is miraculously healed and the hotel’s success is assured.
The ghosts will just add to the ambiance.
Manny and Xylda look over his gypsy ancestors’ journals in the RV. Xylda points out that it’s getting late and Creek isn’t safe with Manfred at night. He needs a plan.
Bobo now owns the Cartoon Saloon. He and Joe are bartenders while Lem is the bouncer. Bobo also still owns the Midnight Pawn Shop. Fiji comes to the bar and brings Bobo a key to her place. She’s worried it’s too soon, but Bobo is thrilled.
Olivia is still suspicious of Kai and Patience. She says that people only move to Midnight when they’re running from something or hiding something.
Manfred gets drunk and goes naked in the bar parking lot so that he’ll be put in jail for the night. That way Midnight is safe from him. But he still wakes up in his bed the next morning, and this time, there’s blood all over Creek’s pillow. While Manfred is frantically searching the house for her, he discovers a large, bloody cut on his hand.
Manfred finds Creek working at the diner. She’s angry that he stayed out all night and didn’t call. She asks if he’s having second thoughts about Austin.
Manfred says he definitely wants to go to Austin. He just got drunk. Creek tells him that he’s been acting weird, and it has to stop. She’s had enough of drama and lies to last a lifetime. Manfred gets distracted by the demon affecting him again and has to leave, which doesn’t sit well with Creek.
You can’t really blame her. She just escaped life with a serial killer brother and a violently abusive, alcoholic father who kept her brother’s murderous tendencies secret from her. At the same time, her father controlled every aspect of her life. She was almost murdered by her brother before the whole mess was taken care of by the Midnighters.
The town is full of bad memories and she’s been fully traumatized by volatile men. And then her boyfriend swallowed 6 demons. And now he’s bleeding demon blood and acting weird. And she knows he wasn’t such a great person before she met him.
From her perspective, maybe his true nature is showing itself again. Or maybe he just attracts trouble, being a psychic who can see and channel ghosts and all. And maybe she doesn’t want to live that way anymore, since she doesn’t have to. But maybe he just needs a change of scenery.
Olivia signs up for a crystal healing session with Patience, which she uses as cover to search the hotel. She finds Kai in his office talking to a painting of a veiled woman in red, saying that it was a long road to get there, and now he asks for strength.
Seems innocent enough, but I’m gonna guess that it’s not.
Manny and Xylda continue to look over the family journals and catch up. Manny finds an entry from dear old Uncle Barney that looks exactly like his symptoms. They call forth Barney’s ghost for a chat.
Barney doesn’t have any good news. The demon goo is leftover demon residue. “Left untreated, it takes over the body, cell by cell.” Manfred relates it to demonic cancer. Barney says that, “Once it reaches the brain, you start hallucinating, and then, before long, you lose your mind.” The only remedy Barney knows of is a bullet in the brain, hopefully before you start killing others.
Bobo and Fiji are at it again, this time in the Pawn Shop office, but Bobo notices that the Pawn Shop has been broken into. The money in the safe is still there, so he doesn’t know what was taken.
Manfred finds Xylda in his living room with a small trunk full of weapons. She tells him that after he got out of the drunk tank, he broke into the Pawn Shop. He cut his hand breaking a window to get in. Manfred picks up a knife and decides it’s time to share his affliction with his friends. Xylda suggests he give in to it and use the weapons, starting with Creek.
Manfred remembers that his house is inhospitable to the dead, thanks to a ritual that Fiji performed last season to keep the town’s ghosts from driving him crazy. That means that Xylda isn’t really there. She’s a hallucination, and the goo disease has reached his brain. It’s too late to save him. The blood in his veins turns black and he goes full on demonic.
Joe takes the trash out to the dumpster behind the bar and is met by a demon he’d had trouble with earlier. Now, the demon has brought a few friends to join the fight. A handsome human cowboy, who was sitting at the bar, has followed them out and jumps into the fight to help Joe. He’s Walker Chisum, a demon hunter who’s a fan of Joe’s work. Joe uses his Angel light to kill the demons, while Walker uses a lethal gadget he invented himself. He and Joe bond over a pile of black hearts.
Creek finds Manfred’s pile of used demon goo-covered towels in the bathroom waste basket and texts a photo to Fiji, letting her know that something’s wrong with Manfred. She’s on her way out of the house when Demon Manny confronts her, with teeth covered in black blood. He tells her he wants cut her with the knife he’s holding and insults her as a person. She slips her taser out of her purse and jolts him, then runs to the door. Manfred drops to the floor, but opens his eyes as she grabs the doorknob.
Fiji gets Creek’s text while she and Bobo are going through the pawn shop’s inventory. There’s no one home at Manfred’s house when they get there.
Manfred is driving out into the desert with Olivia. He’s somehow convinced her that Creek hitched a ride out to Blanco Canyon alone after they’d been in a fight. Olivia says that it doesn’t sound like something Creek would do. Manfred says she’s not acting like herself. Creek is unconscious and tied up in the back of the car.
They drive out to Blanco Canyon, which is a deserted patch of desert, as far as I can tell, at sunset. It’s fully dark by the time the get there. Olivia is rightly suspicious that Creek, a human woman, would catch a ride with a stranger out there in the dark, for no reason, when there’s nothing there.
Nothing except the graves Manfred has dug, that is.
Olivia pulls a knife on Manfred, but he gets the jump on her. The demon blood probably gives him extra strength. He puts her unconscious body into an open grave, then goes to get Creek out of the car.
But Creek has already freed herself and a tire iron. She gets in some good hits to his head, then tries to drive away, only to discover that he has the keys in his pocket. He gets ahold of her and is choking her when Lem rushes up and drains Manfred of his energy. The energy is so toxic that Lem vomits up demon goo immediately afterwards. Lem found them because of his psychic connection to Olivia.
Just a reminder: In season 1, Creek’s murderous brother, Connor, tricked her into driving him out into the desert, where he intended to kill her. That time, she was saved by Joe Strong revealing himself as an angel and using his light. Lem killed Connor so that he wouldn’t kill again.
They take Manfred back to the pawn shop and chain him to a chair, where he acts like he’s possessed, writhing, screaming in a demonic voice and bleeding black blood from various orifices. Fiji’s magic doesn’t work to cure the demon cancer, but Creek is able to bring Manfred’s true self to the surface for a minute. He begs her to kill him before he hurts anyone else.
The Rev enters with the Luceros, and says that there’ll be no killing. Healer Kai volunteers to help Manny. The Midnighters are skeptical, but decide to give him a chance.
Healer Kai does a quick laying on of hands and says a quick prayer, then steps back from Manfred, holding himself as if he’s drawing the bad energy away from his patient. Manfred calms, looks around for a moment, then spectacularly vomits a geyser of black goo straight up in the air for several seconds. When he’s done, Healer Kai presses his lips to Manfred’s in the mouth to mouth thing that he did with the old man at the hotel. A cloud of black smoke flies from Manny’s mouth into his. It’s a lot like the gray smoke from ghosts who possess Manfred occasionally.
Kai takes the black smoke into himself and collapses to the floor, saying the healing is done. HE NEVER RELEASES THE BLACK SMOKE OUT OF HIS BODY. If the show is being consistent, this would be the spirit of a demon, or at least demonic spiritual/psychic energy. That same basic stuff was poisonous to Lem, who’s a nearly 200 year old vampire, and it was killing Manfred, a human who was born with the ability to tolerate possession by ghosts. Just what is Kai, really? He’s more than just a human with extraordinary healing powers.
Whatever’s really up with Kai, he does seem to have actually cured Manfred. Manny thanks the Luceros and apologizes to his friends for lying and putting them in danger. The Midnighters forgive him. They’ve all been there, what with the white supremacist family and weapons cache, and the vampire extended family who couldn’t be trusted, and the angelic former partner turned bounty hunter, and the actual half demon side… We can’t really help what our genetics set us up for, and he ended up in that position because he helped them. Fiji reminds him to tell them what’s going on, the next time.
Creek has left the building, though. She comes from some bad genetics herself, but hopefully she’ll avoid the violence and addiction that affected the men in her family. She’s made a run for it back to Manfred’s house, and is hurriedly packing her stuff. She tells Manfred that she’s leaving for Austin, now. He starts packing, too, but she tells him to stop. She’s had as much she can take of violence, Midnight and him.
Manfred desperately tries to change her mind, making promises he can’t keep. Yes, it wasn’t Manfred who attacked her. Yes, Manfred would never do that. But Manfred will always be a psychic who’s vulnerable to possession. Certain kinds of trouble will always follow him, and she’s realized that’s not the kind of life she wants, at least not right now.
Manfred lets her go. He wakes up the next morning, finally feeling normal again, having forgotten that the break up wasn’t just a bad dream. He remembers when he reaches out to creek’s side of the bed, and finds it empty.
Bobo carries Fiji over the threshold into
her their house, signifying that he’s officially moved in. They call each other their soulmate, and Bobo says he wants marriage, kids, and happily ever after. Fiji’s plants all wilt and die.
It’s definitely not the sex or love killing the plants, because that’s been going on for months. It’s either having a man living in the house, or the talk of commitment, that someone or something doesn’t like.
Kai stands in front of his painting again, but this time he moves the artwork to reveal a hidden compartment behind it. Hiding a severed demon head in a cage. Kai tells the head, “I will avenge you.”
So, who is the demon to Kai, and who killed the demon? Or, more importantly, who does Kai blame for the demon’s death? People aren’t always rational about these things, especially people related to demons.
Xylda was back for real, right? It was only the time she was in Manfred’s house that was a hallucination? It’s too heartbreaking if he loses Xylda and Creek at the same time. Especially while the rest of the town is romancing it up.
Creek wants to go to college, major in English and become a writer. Eventually, she’ll become Charlaine Harris and be inspired by her early years in Midnight, which will help her write best-selling novels that are turned into TV shows.
Madonna Reed, who runs the diner and is the main cook while moonlighting as a spy for Olivia’s father, is on vacation this week. I hope she wasn’t written off. They’ve already dropped the husband and child she had in the books. She plays an important role in the life of the town, since most of them spend time at the diner nearly every day. With Creek also being gone, they need a character who works at the diner so that it isn’t weird that they use it as a meeting place.
Jaime Ray Newman, who has been in a million other things, absolutely pops here as supposed Southern belle Patience Lucero. She usually plays much more down to earth characters. I’m loving watching her ham it up as Patience, who may or may not be a con artist. We definitely don’t know the whole truth about her, as befits a resident of Midnight.
Episode 2 promo:
Meet the Midnighters:
Images courtesy of NBC.