Midnight, Texas was a good show last year, but it’s improved to become a great show, within it’s genre, this year. It’s a fun, sexy, funny, slightly scary, thought-provoking romp through Charlaine Harris’ world. It’s True Blood Lite, and that’s not a bad thing. True Blood was amazing, but it also took itself too seriously at times and went off on some ridiculous tangents. Not to mention the gore.
Midnight Texas can be watched by a general audience, but it’s not just fluff and vampires. The characters have chemistry and have developed a bond that makes the drama they go through compelling. The supernatural elements are often used as metaphor, which gives the show relevance. But Midnight never forgets to have fun, and if all you want from it is a relaxing Friday night, you can ignore the larger implications easily.
Midnight, Texas is my choice for this season’s best show that nobody’s watching.
This week, the Midnighters help a newborn baby weretiger find her way to her rightful family and discover a forced supernatural fight ring run by gypsies. We learn more about Olivia’s past along the way.
Fiji and Bobo continue to struggle with the ancient curse that’s forced them apart. Bobo won’t give up on Fiji, so she’s looking for a way to deter him and a way to break the curse. This leads her to take some extreme measures.
Manfred and Patience finally have a little time to relax and get to know each other better, which leads to her taking part in this week’s caper. She’s a great addition to the group, able to jump into any situation and land on her feet, with no judgement of the supernaturals. And she has excellent chemistry with Manfred. Jaime Ray Newman is listed as a guest star every week, which makes me nervous that they plan to kill her off. Can we keep her? Please?
I Put a Spell on You begins with a young pregnant woman, Sheila, driving into town and breaking into Rev’s church, just as she begins to give birth. The baby is more active than a normal child, and claws its way out through her abdomen, Alien-style.
Lem, who is working at the pawn shop, smells the blood and rushes to check the church. He finds the baby and a note left by the now deceased mother: Rev- Her name is Mary. Please help her.
Manfred and Patience are at the bar having drinks, sharing secrets, and staring into each other’s eyes. Patience confesses that Kai spends a lot of time on the road with Lyric and Sequoia (said in the most disdainful voice possible) and doesn’t have much time left over from his demanding career to spend with her. Like every cheating husband ever, she thinks he’s a good man who has a busy schedule.
Lem calls Manfred and the rest of the gang to the church. Patience tags along. Fiji is holding Baby Mary, but puts her down when everyone else comes in. Manfred tries to get a reading from Sheila’s ghost, but she’s already moved on. Olivia notices ligatures marks on Sheila’s wrists and Bobo notices a scar from a stun gun on her arm, suggesting that she was held captive.
Suddenly the baby hisses, growls, cries and has a grow spurt, stopping when she looks as if she’s about 3 years old. Joe uses his angel light to look inside her mind. He can see that she’s hungry for meat. Combined with the other clues, they figure out that Mary is a weretiger.
Lem and Olivia bring Mary home with them for the night. Olivia is worried that a baby weretiger might be unpredictable and dangerous, but Lem explains that she’ll only turn on the full moon, which is weeks away.
The rest of the gang is searching for where Sheila and Mary came from. Joe is looking for the Rev. Manfred and Patience search the truck Sheila was driving.
Olivia is freaked out by seeing Lem sit watching a baby sleep. He tells her that when he was human, he always wanted kids. He asks Olivia if she’s ever thought about it. She becomes upset, reminding him that her father abandoned her and her stepmother pimped her out to support her drug habit. Lem says that having kids has a way of healing the past. Olivia tells him, “That is a hard no.”
Fiji packs the rest of Bobo’s belongings to give back to him in hopes that she can get him to move on. But Bobo isn’t ready to give up. In an homage to the movie Say Anything, Bobo stands in the driveway with his bluetooth speaker and plays Edwin McCain’s I’ll Be at full volume for Fiji. Fiji tells Bobo that they’re not right for each other, and it’s over. Bobo tells her that they’re soulmates, and he’s never giving up on her. Then he plays more I’ll Be, promising to be the greatest fan of her life.
WHERE IS MY BOX OF TISSUES? 😭😭😭😿😿😱😱
Manfred and Patience discover that Sheila stole the truck she was driving, probably to escape whoever was holding her captive. They also find a photo of Sheila with a man they hope is Dad. The truck has a locked metal storage locker in the back.
Lem has gone to bed for the day and left Olivia to play mom. Mary is as much of a handful as you’d think a young weretiger would be. She’s picking up language and culture at lightning speed from TV. At midday, she has another growth spurt and becomes a cranky preteen.
Awkward questions and shared clothing come with the growth spurt. Mary asks where her mom and dad are. Olivia tells her that her mom died, and the only one she can depend on is herself.
Fiji brings Bobo a cup of coffee at the bar. The coffee has been laced with a tincture and a spell to make him forget all about her. The tincture works. It’s as if they’ve never met. But as they reintroduce themselves, it’s clear that Bobo is still very attracted to Fiji.
Manfred uses a crowbar to pry open the locked box in the truck’s bed. He discovers that it holds shock collars sized for humans. Before he and Patience can investigate further, two thugs, who’ve come to town looking for Sheila, come around the corner and see the truck, which is theirs. Manfred and Patience hide under the truck. The thugs complain about the broken lock, then drive away in their car to look for Mary.
Olivia discovers that Mary has wandered outside, just as Manfred calls to warn her about the thugs. Olivia looks fondly at the drawing that Mary made of the two of them, then grabs a gun. Manfred, Patience and Olivia find Mary right after the thugs do. Mary has already taken care of the situation herself by transforming into a tiger, and the goons are dead.
Olivia is able to talk Mary down the rest of the way, then she takes her back inside. Manfred, Patience and Joe are all sympathetic. They stay to run interference with the police, who were called by the hotel guests. Manfred explains that it looks like an animal attack to him. The police officer says that it always does, in Midnight.
Best police officer they’ve had yet. They should definitely keep her and her sarcastic wit.
As the bodies are loaded for transport to the morgue, a ghost appears to Manfred for a moment. Manfred gets his first good look at the thug and realizes he’s a gypsy, too.
Olivia and Lem reassure Mary that she’s safe and they’ll take care of her. She’s worried about being different, so they also convince her that being different is cool. Even Olivia gets in on the hugs. Then they go to Home Cookin’, and Mary eats about a dozen burgers.
Fiji and Bobo meet again for the first time at Home Cookin’ and he’s all over her. He’s in danger of becoming a stalker. Olivia asks Fiji the obvious question, what if he falls in love with her again? But Fiji refuses to think about that eventuality.
We know how Aunt Mildred handled it.
An older woman shows a photo of Sheila around the restaurant, claiming that she’s looking for her daughter. Olivia and Fiji tell her that Sheila died. The woman, Grace, cries and acts sad. Then Mary introduces herself.
Olivia, Fiji, Grace and Mary sit down together to talk the situation over. Grace knows who Mary’s dad is, but she doesn’t seem to know that he’s a weretiger. She seems gentle and loving, like the perfect person to raise Mary. Olivia doesn’t trust it, and asks Fiji to do a spell to make sure they’re really relatives.
Patience dresses up in a skimpy outfit and pretends that her car broke down near the morgue, so she needs her battery jumped. She plays the lost southern girl to perfection. The security guard buys her Daisy Mae act and follows her outside so he can jump her.
Once they’re gone, Manfred slips in through a side door and finds the ghost thug’s body. For some reason it’s a moldy green color. Manfred thinks his gypsy tattoo will gain him cooperation, but the thug doesn’t like Manfred’s clan, the Bernardos. Manfred threatens to leave the ghost frozen in the morgue drawer for 6 months or so, unless he cooperates.
He says that his client runs an underground, supernatural, traveling fight ring. Mary’s dad is a huge weretiger and one of their best fighters. They didn’t want to lose Mary, since she comes from such good stock. The owner is the baddest b–ch around.
And maybe a grandmother. Fiji returns to tell Olivia that Grace and Mary are definitely related, just as Manfred calls to warn them that an evil old woman is looking for Mary. Olivia has already told Fiji that relatives don’t always have one’s best interests at heart. Olivia gets off the phone and discovers that Grace has disappeared with Mary.
Grace has forced Mary back to her fight camp at gunpoint. As she drags Mary in, she villain monologues about how things work. The supernaturals are kept in circus train car cages, which always smell because the living conditions are so horrible. Everyone has a shock collar- silver for weres, gold for banshees, iron for demons.
Grace expects Mary to make a lot of money for her in the ring, once she’s full grown, which should be soon. Sheila was a traitor, who slept with a filthy animal and defiled their gypsy bloodline. When Grace found out Sheila was pregnant, she locked her up, but Sheila escaped. She’ll make sure that Mary doesn’t escape.
One of the large men in a nearby cage calls Mary over. He tells her that he’s Mike, her father. Grace activates his shock collar before he can say more, and pulls Mary away.
Bobo finds Fiji at home in her store, working on a protection spell for Mary. He invites himself in to talk. Fiji tries to discourage him, but he touches her arm. The memory spell burns away, so that he remembers everything. He knows that they’re in love, and his feelings haven’t changed.
The gang have found where the fight ring is camped and are ready to infiltrate. Manfred’s tattoo elicits hostility here, too, so Patience jumps in and uses her skimpy outfit and improvisational skills again to get them in. Once they’re inside, Manfred takes over, introducing Lem as a new vampire fighter, and himself as willing to bet a lot of money on Lem.
Grace: “He’s a vampire? We never get vamps around here. How’d you manage to capture a vampire with no shock collar or silver chains??
Manfred: “You don’t need collars and chains, when you know how to break down their spirit.”
Manfred tries to make dorky threatening movements toward Lem, but lacks any conviction. Lem barely bothers to respond.
The fight begins with Lem vs one were-something adversary, but Grace decides that it’s uneven, and sends several more of her fighters into the ring. Good thing Lem has a little something extra, too.
Joe and Olivia sneak into the back, where Joe uses his power to get Mary’s location from a guard’s mind, leaving the guard dazed. Joe moves on, figuring the guard is disabled. Olivia stops to beat him up a little, in honor of the women everywhere who’ve been taken advantage of by men.
Mary’s in her own circus train cage. Olivia easily breaks the lock, but Mary won’t leave without Mike.
Lem plays it like he’s losing the fight, until Manfred sees a goon informing Grace about the escapes. Then Lem easily throws off and disables an entire pile of monsters. Definitely a good person to have on your side.
Everyone meets up by the cages and is ready to go, but Mike asks them to let the rest of the fighters out, since they’re all victims. Before they have time to make a plan, Grace catches up to them and activates Mike’s collar. She threatens to fry everyone if the Midnighters don’t leave empty-handed.
Olivia raises her hands in surrender, trying to calm Grace down, and says, “Okay!” Then she throws a knife at the hand Grace has the remote in. Once Grace drops the shock collar remote, everyone runs, and Joe uses his light to unlock the collars and the cages.
Once they get away, Mary asks her dad to come to Midnight with them. He explains that there’s a were safe haven in Nevada where they can go and be protected. Mary asks Olivia to come with them, but she tells Mary that Midnight is her home. She and Lem hope Mary and Lem will come back and visit them someday.
Olivia tells Mary that if she had a second chance with her dad, she wouldn’t think twice about taking it. She reminds Mary that they’re both strong and special, then they hug goodbye.
Manfred and Patience walk home down the middle of the Midnight main street, with Patience marveling over the way everyone in Midnight looks out for one another. She thinks that they’re a family, and that Manfred is amazing. He thinks she’s not bad herself. They almost kiss in the middle of the street, then she remembers she’s married, then he remembers she’s married, and they take off for their own places on opposite sides of the road.
Fiji has found a, hopefully temporary, solution to her Bobo problem. It’s the same solution Aunt Mildred used with the love of her life. She hoped it would be temporary, too. It wasn’t.
Fiji turned Bobo into a golden retriever.
Mr Snuggles is not okay with this. Not sure if he’s not okay because the same thing happened to him and he feels bad for Bobo, or simply because he’s a cat and he doesn’t want to share the house with a dog.
Bobo isn’t talking. Yet.
Olivia looks at Mary’s drawing. Lem asks if she’d really give her father another chance. Of course she wouldn’t, he willingly left her to a terrible fate.
Lem tells Olivia that it’s okay to cry. Olivia says that it was only two days, but it felt like they were a family, and it’s been such a long time since she’s had that. She breaks down in tears.
Manfred sits alone in his front room drinking whiskey. Patience appears behind him on the front porch. He senses she’s there and turns around, then stands up. They stare at each other, and move together to the door. When he opens it, they look at each other a moment more, one more chance to change their minds. Then Patience moves forward and they grab for each other. As they kiss, she jumps up into his arms. He slams the front door shut.
I wouldn’t have minded an extended version of the last scene. It was very grown up, and I’m very into the maturity of this pairing. 😘 When Manfred gets that wild look in his eyes and she answers right back, all bets are off. 🔥🔥🔥 😘😘❤️❤️😍😍🔥🔥🔥
Despite what Lem says, studies and statistics show that abuse gets handed down through the generations. Having a baby won’t fix your childhood trauma anymore than it will fix your marriage. Bad idea, Lem. If you had a rough childhood, please seek help with processing it and learning better coping and parenting skills before you have kids, so you can stop the cycle of abuse.
I’ll Be is the perfect choice of love song for two 90s kids from Texas. They both probably danced to it at their proms, and they’ll dance to it at their wedding.
The Annie Lennox version of I Put a Spell on You is perfect for Manfred and Patience, who are a little out of control and needy, but also actually fit together. They’ve got some tough times ahead, since she’s married and her husband is whatever not-good thing Kai is. But they’ve been drawn together since the minute they met, and have always taken care of each other. The writers had better get them through this together, too.
I just hope that they aren’t going to take Manfred and Patience down the Bobo-Aubrey route, and reveal at some point that Kai forced her to get close to Manfred for his own reasons. I suspect that she does have some ulterior motive for getting close to Manfred, but I want it to be her own, not Kai’s. Maybe she thinks Manfred can free her from Kai, with the help of the town, so she wants to be accepted by them as soon as possible.
I don’t think we’ve seen Lem working at the pawn shop before. His attachment to the shop plays a significant role in the books, so I’m glad to see the show including this thread. Lem will need to keep the shop going while Bobo’s a dog.
The show seems to be sticking a little closer to the books this season, while still putting their own spin on each element. They’ve found a good balance, including enough book lore to give the series a sense of structure, but veering away from the books’ specifics enough to keep it unpredictable.
I wouldn’t have minded having Quinn show up, though. I hated him in the Sookie Stackhouse books, but came to enjoy him in the Midnight, Texas books. It’s odd that such a huge part of both book series has been ignored.
With the Rev gone, and Mike and Mary moving on, the supernatural population of Midnight appears to be shrinking. Kai and Chuy are hardly ever around, leaving Joe, Lem, Manfred, and Fiji. Seems like they’re due to recruit some new blood.
The show left an opening for Grace and her thugs to show up again in the future, either for revenge, to “recruit”, or to deal with whatever their issue is with the Bernardo clan. They also expanded the supernatural world further than they ever have before, mentioning that there are many kinds of weres, and bringing up banshees. They told us that the weres have a colony of their own and that there’s a way to control demons without killing them (iron shock collar). We found out that silver controls weres the way it controls vamps, and that gold controls banshees. We also found out that there is an unusual lack of vampires in the area around Midnight.
Three guesses as to why the vampires steer clear.
Though Olivia has a problem with the name Patience, it’s been used as a name since the Puritans of the 1600s. It had some renewed popularity in the 1800s, when virtue names were popular, and has come back into use again in the last 25 years.
Given the history of her name, could Patience’s family go back to the Puritans and the New England Witch Trials? Could she have witch blood in her? Could her family be responsible for Fiji’s curse? Could Patience herself have been alive since the 17th or the 19th century?
Patience says, “A trapped woman will do desperate things.” That sounds like she’s talking about more than just Sheila. When Patience says it, Mary is about to be desperate enough to kill 2 men, but I think it has something to do with Patience as well. Something that will be revealed in an episode or two, I hope?
I desperately want there to be more to Patience and Kai’s marriage than faded love and a business arrangement. Maybe he’s blackmailing her, or able to hold her hostage as long as he has the painting or some other relic. Maybe Carolyn Baker, and her attempt to flee her abusive marriage and the hotel, were foreshadowing for what Kai’s really up to.
As I keep pointing out, Kai never releases the negative energy he removes from his clients. Maybe that means he owns your soul after he heals you. He sucks something out through everyone’s mouths. That would be a traditional way to remove the soul. Maybe Kai is some form of devil or higher demon. It would be typical of a devil to forget to mention the downside of a deal.
Next Week’s Promo- Season 2 Episode 5: Drown the Sadness in Chardonnay
“What kind of secret would be worth killing somebody for?” Joe and Chuy are alarmingly naive this season. But is Manfred jumping to conclusions because he wants Kai to be guilty, or is he basing his accusation on good evidence?
Images courtesy of NBC.