The intense spellwork continues from last episode in the new episode of Midnight, Texas, and Fiji isn’t the only one practicing. Guests in Midnight, who may or may not be welcome, also dabble in magic spells.
Another magical practitioner, Kai, returns home with his “assistants”, Lyric and Sequoia, in tow. Even though Kai’s wife, Patience, is tucked in bed with Manfred when Kai calls to let her know he’s back, there don’t seem to be any bad feelings between them. But soon there is a dead assistant, Sequoia, in the lobby. Manfred’s initial investigation makes him suspicious of Kai.
The fact that Kai never releases the supernatural energy he absorbs, which has bothered me all season, is finally addressed, in a big way.
Lem and Olivia’s relationship and long-term issues, as well as her past, are also examined in a creative way, which includes holiday festivities. Both get a chance for a bit of a do over, Olivia with her childhood abandonment, and Lem with his decision to become a vampire, which meant the loss of his ability to form a human family.
Fiji meets a cousin who’s accepted the dark magic within herself. Celeste tries to convince Fiji that accepting her own dark side is the only way to save Bobo from the curse and to continue to grow into the powerful witch she’s meant to be.
But I keep remembering wise Aunt Mildred saying that she embraced dark magic to save her lover, the man Mr Snuggles used to be, and that dabbling in dark magic is what killed her. What if Celeste lied to Fiji and also tricked Mildred into using dark magic? What if Celeste is an ancient creature in disguise who cursed the family herself?
Betrayal and the misuse of power and magic are themes in the other two storylines in this episode. It’ll be a surprise if they aren’t themes in this one, too.
This episode is the halfway point of the 9 episode 2nd season of Midnight.
This weeks episode begins in soft focus, with a very pregnant Olivia and Lem getting ready for the birth of their baby girl. They’re all warm and fuzzy, sweetly happy that they’re about to become parents.
This must be an alternate universe, right?
Close. Olivia is asleep and dreaming.
Lem is at the Cartoon Saloon, drinking away his sorrow that he can’t ever father a child for her, so Olivia will have to remain barren as long as she’s with him.
Sperm donorship must not exist in the Midnight universe.
Olivia wakes up still in that warm, cosy frame of mind, then panics for a second when she thinks she might actually be pregnant. She chuckles in relief at her reaction to the realistic dream.
We’ve all been there.
She gets up for the day, and discovers Lem at the window, looking at the fully risen sun! Olivia screams at him to get away from the window before he disintegrates! Lem turns to her, and we can see that he’s fine. Except he now has brown eyes and normal teeth. He had Kai turn him into a human again after he experienced Olivia’s emotions during the dream.
OMG, Lem, have we learned nothing? Who’s going to leach the energy out of the fussy weretiger babies now? Think of the children!
Olivia is not thrilled with this development either, and tries to explain to Lem that her dream really wasn’t a passive-aggressive message to him. It didn’t reveal her deepest longings. Sometimes, Dr Freud, a pregnant belly is just a pregnant belly.
Lem is feeling all romantic and paternal though, making it clear that he actually did this for himself, and Olivia’s dream just gave him the permission he needed. As she points out, they’re married, and generally married people talk about life-altering decisions, using their words. Lem sweet talks her into dropping the argument, for now.
Manfred and Patience wake up together in Manfred’s bed and pick up where they left off the night before, until they’re interrupted by her phone. Kai, Lyric and Sequoia are home, so Patience needs to go back to the hotel. She’s not happy about it.
Manfred asks why Patience stays with Kai, if she’s not happy with him. Patience explains that their work is important and their lives are so entwined that it would be more difficult to disentangle them than it is to stay together. She reassures Manfred that she doesn’t want to end what the two of them have together, and falls back into bed with him to make sure he doesn’t feel neglected. He definitely doesn’t.
Fiji brings Bobo, who is still a golden retriever, to the diner for breakfast. Madonna tries to kick him out, but Fiji convinces her that, as a regular, Bobo should be allowed to stay. Joe and Manfred decide they should help Fiji with the curse, but she doesn’t think they can. Joe mentions the ways witches networked with each other in the past, and suggests that she look up other witches to see if they can help. Manfred thinks she might be able to find distant relatives who would know more about the curse.
Madonna gets her second shock of the day when Lem strolls in wearing a Hawaiian shirt and sunglasses. Joe thinks it must be great to go out in the sun, but Fiji and Manfred are horrified that he’d give up his powers and make himself so vulnerable.
Lem orders a strawberry milkshake with whipped cream and a cherry. He looks very satisfied, and says that he’s been wanting to try one of those since the fifties.
Fiji takes Joe and Manfred’s advice, and finds an online witch network, the Delilahs. When she posts about her family curse, they throw her off the site, saying she doesn’t belong there.
Olivia takes out her childhood ballet slippers and a photo of herself with her mother, which she keeps locked in a safe. She looks at them nostalgically.
Lem comes home from a trip to the mall, so Olivia hides her keepsakes away. He’s bought out the maternity/baby section, including 2 breast pumps and a nursing pillow. Olivia is unhappy with him, because she hasn’t agreed to having a baby. Or pumping her breastmilk.
She reminds him that her mother died when she was 9, then her father remarried an evil woman who sold her to other men. She has no idea of how to be a mother and doesn’t think she can teach a child how to love. Lem may have fixed himself, but she’s still a mess.
Manfred and Patience are going at it hot and heavy again, this time in a hotel hallway 🙈, when they hear a woman scream. They run toward the sound and find a bloody Sequoia dead in the reflecting pool in the lobby. Kai is with her, but wasn’t able to save her. “Goodbye” is written on the wall in blood. Lyric is sobbing on the floor nearby.
Patience is shocked, as is everyone else. She goes to call an ambulance and get something to calm down Lyric, saying that the two young women were like sisters. Kai can’t understand why Sequoia did this. Manfred decides to talk to her ghost. She appears, but gestures that he shouldn’t reveal that she’s there. Manfred says that her ghost has moved on, so Kai walks away.
Manfred follows Sequoia into a private room. She shows him that someone cut her tongue out, so she can’t talk. Instead, she possesses him. He sees an old-fashioned jukebox begin playing a Patsy Cline song. Then he sees Sequoia in her bedroom, packing to run away. Something invisible hits her in the head with a heavy weight, knocking her unconscious. She wakes up in the reflecting pool, with her wrists cut, holding the knife. The invisible killer is writing “Goodbye” on the wall.
When the vision ends, Sequoia leaves Manfred’s body and moves on to the next plane of existence. He’s left confused by what he’s just seen, since it wasn’t more than quick flashes seen from her perspective.
Olivia is at Home Cookin’, having a drink and a heart to heart with her good friend Madonna, who thinks it’s romantic that Lem gave up his immortality for her. Madonna’s phone buzzes while she’s locking up and Olivia moves to grab it for her.
Since the phone is with Madonna’s purse, Olivia also notices that Madonna has an envelope with the logo from her father’s company. Olivia needs to know what connection Madonna has with her evil, abusive father, so she checks inside the envelope, and finds a check for $10,000 made out to Madonna.
When Madonna comes back to the bar, she realizes that Olivia knows her secret. Madonna tries to explain, but Olivia throws a knife at the wall next to her as a warning shot, then starts a fight. Surprisingly, Madonna keeps up with Olivia, as she defends herself from the assassin’s attacks.
Madonna also answers Olivia’s questions. Her real name is Simone Davis. She enlisted in the military at age 18, hoping to become special ops. She was sidelined when she lost part of her left leg to a landmine explosion. “That’s when things got dark.” She shows Olivia a cybernetic leg.
Olivia’s father heard about her and offered her a job at Charity Private Securities and a new lease on life. She doesn’t say if he’s the one who gave her the leg, or if the leg is magical or strictly mechanical.
He had Madonna doing surveillance at first, but eventually wanted a sample of Olivia’s blood. Madonna doesn’t know what he wanted the blood for. But she has Phillip’s address, and he lives nearby, so she says Olivia can go ask him herself.
Madonna says that, while it started out as a job, she fell in love with Midnight and the people here. Olivia tells Madonna she doesn’t ever want to see her again.
Fiji returns home to find a stranger in her living room. A glamorous witch who says her name is Celeste has let herself in, instead of waiting outside, because her designer shoes were getting dusty. Bobo is barking at the intruder (good dog), so Celeste waves her hand at him and takes away his voice.
Fiji puts up her hands, ready to defend herself and her home with her power. Celeste tells her to put her “pistols away, Cowgirl.” She says that she keeps an eye on the Delilahs website and saw what they did to Fiji. Fiji complains about how rude they were. Celeste agrees that the Delilahs are catty witches who think they’re better than the other witch clan.
Fiji asks who the Delilahs are, surprising Celeste with her lack of knowledge about the wider witch world. Celeste says, “Wow, you really do live in flyover country.”
Fiji is insulted, so Celeste backs off and shows a little empathy. She explains that, “All witches are descended from an original witch. Delilah, the good witches. Or Theophilus, you and me. We’re sisters.”
Fiji doesn’t like what she just heard, and jumps up, insisting that she’s a good witch. Celeste tells her that the curse proves that she isn’t, since the hereditary dark witches are the ones who share the ancient curse. But Celeste is okay with the darkness, and makes a toast to it.
While she’s been talking, Celeste has pulled a couple of tumblers and a bottle of wine from her bag and poured herself and Fiji each a drink. Now she encourages Fiji to drink up.
So many red flags in this conversation. Celeste violated Fiji’s home and Bobo’s autonomy. She purposely undermined Fiji’s self-confidence in several different ways, all while claiming to be Fiji’s long lost relative. Since we know nothing about the Delilahs and Fiji had no contact, the site could be a front for whatever scam Celeste is pulling.
She also said that all witches are descended from one original witch, then named two. She’s lying to Fiji, but we don’t know how big the lies are, yet.
The scariest part is when Celeste pulls out her own beverage and glasses, and convinces Fiji to drink without a second thought. The bottle or the glass could be enchanted or poisoned. Fiji shouldn’t be so quick to trust a stranger who broke into her house.
Lem returns to the apartment, still eating ice cream, and finds Olivia preparing her go bag for a run to daddy’s house. She’s going to find out why he wanted her blood, then kill him. Lem thinks Olivia should take a minute to calm down before she acts, but that’s not her style. She pointedly tells him that if he was still a vampire, he could leach the energy out of her. But he can’t, so she’s going in hot.
In Joe’s studio, Manfred and Joe go over the facts of Sequoia’s death, trying to rule out suspects. He tells Joe that Sequoia was upset and tried to leave town, but something cut out her tongue (so she couldn’t talk to Manfred) and killed her instead. The killer didn’t act like a ghost, since they want attention not secrecy. Sequoia didn’t want Kai to know that her ghost was still present, but he’s not invisible, so he’s not the killer. Sequoia stayed hidden from him for some other reason.
Just as Joe mentions invisibility, they hear a strange creak in the floorboards and realize that someone invisible is there, listening. Manfred uses a can of bright green spray paint to find them, but only hits their hands as they run away.
Olivia and Lem break into her father’s house, where it’s inexplicably Christmas Eve. Olivia’s nine year old self is decorating the Christmas tree. That was the year her mother died and everything went wrong in her life.
Olivia tries to talk to her child self, who calls in her father, Phillip. Phillip is happy to see grown up Olivia, and acts like nothing is wrong. Olivia pins him against a wall with a knife to his throat and threatens him. Then her mother, as she looked the year before she died, joins them, playing the welcoming hostess.
Manfred hangs around the hotel lobby with Patience, who blames herself for not noticing how unhappy Sequoia was. He tells her, “People have their secrets.” He hugs her and swipes the hotel master key at the same time.
Phillip explains to Olivia that her mother and nine year old Olivia are living manifestations of his memory of that Christmas. He was devastated after he lost Olivia and discovered what her stepmother had done to her, but she wouldn’t respond to him. He was wealthy enough to afford anything, but his money couldn’t give him back what was important to him, his family. When he learned about Midnight and that magic is real, he searched for another way. He found this spell, which uses Olivia’s blood and her mother’s ashes to recreate this one last perfect memory. He offers Olivia what he knows she’s always wanted too: their original family, all back together again.
Olivia can’t resist the temptation to talk with her mom. Lem tries to pull her back to reality, reminding her that she was going to kill Phillip and this is a fantasy. She just wants to be happy for a few minutes.
Manfred has Joe stand look out while he searches Kai’s office for evidence that the healer can absorb powers. At the last second, Manfred is drawn to search Sequoia and Lyric’s bedroom, which is across the hall. There are green fingerprints on the door.
Inside the bedroom, he can hear a Patsy Cline song coming up through an air grate. It’s Three Cigarettes in an Ashtray, the song he heard playing on the jukebox while Sequoia possessed him. It’s a song about a woman whose husband leaves her for another woman. That’s not pertinent to this story or anything.
Sequoia and Lyric slept in bunk beds and had a messy, cluttered room, decorated on the level of a college dorm room. Manfred finds a glass vial on a vanity table which has the remains of an iridescent blue liquid in the bottom. He dips the tip of his finger into the liquid, and the wet part becomes invisible. When he dries his finger on his pants, his fingertip reappears.
Manfred figures out for sure that Kai wasn’t the killer. Lyric has silently slipped in the door. She says, “Yeah, duh.” Then she becomes invisible and attacks him. They wrestle around the room, while Manfred questions Lyric. Lyric thought Sequoia was one of Kai’s true believers and their closeness was based on that. When she found out that Sequoia was going to betray him, she had to protect him.
Kai promised her that he wasn’t going hurt anyone, so she’s not afraid of him the way Sequoia was. And she knows that Manfred is “screwing his wife.” Manfred has thrown a blanket over Lyric so he can tell where she is, but she gets a belt around his neck and is strangling him with it. He finds a knife on the floor and reaches behind himself to stab her in the eye. She falls off him, dead.
Celeste encourages Fiji to drown the sadness in chardonnay as Fiji gulps down Celeste’s wine. As they drink their second bottle, she tells Fiji that she needs to embrace the darkness, let go of her fears, stop worrying about consequences, and stop being afraid of her full range of powers. In order to break the curse, she just needs to pledge herself to the darkness and officially join her Brothers and Sisters of Theophilus. Then she’ll be able to draw on her dark power to break the curse and everything will be fabulous.
Fiji doesn’t think this sounds fabulous at all. All her life, she’s believed that dark powers are evil. She could never pledge herself to the darkness. She just wants Bobo back. Celeste turns Bobo back into a man. She explains that she used a cloaking spell to hide him from the curse as a temporary reprieve. Fiji has 48 hours to think about joining her.
Sitting alone under the Christmas tree with her mother, Olivia wonders whether she’s someone her mother would approve of. Her mom tells her that 9 year old Oliva isn’t what she expected. She’s so much better than she imagined. Little Olivia tells Phillip she doesn’t feel good, and shows him that her hands are becoming invisible.
Phillip sneaks off to another room, where he takes out a spell book that he has hidden, which looks like an old Grimoire, a witch’s personal book of spells she’s collected over her lifetime. He opens to a specific page and takes out a ceremonial knife. He says the incantation, “Blood for my daughter, blood for my wife.” Then he cuts his hand and bleeds into the book. Little Olivia and her mom become solid again. Just as he casts the spell, Olivia says, “I wish this could be real.” Her eyes sparkle for a moment. She’s been enchanted by the spell.
Lem tries her to convince her to leave, but she refuses. He calls Fiji to asks her to help break the spell. Phillip knocks him out with a fireplace poker halfway through the conversation, saying that he’s not going to let Lem ruin Christmas.
once a year everyday after all.
Joe, Kai and Patience find Manfred and Lyric. Joe tells Kai that Manfred was investigating Sequoia’s murder, before he can get upset with Manfred. Patience is shocked. She still thinks that Sequoia killed herself. Manfred explains what really happened. He asks Kai why Lyric would think that she needed to protect Kai. Kai is hostile to the question and says he doesn’t know.
Kai and Manfred are likely enemies now.
Lem is tied to his chair for Christmas dinner, while the rest of the family enjoys the meal. Olivia was right when she said that she comes from a messed up family. Tying up the son-in-law before dinner is pretty extreme.
Lem tries to convince Olivia to break free of the spell. He tells Phillip to let Olivia go. Phillip says that he didn’t mean for Olivia to get caught up in the spell, but now that she is, getting her out of it would mean shutting the whole thing down. He’ll kill Lem if Lem tries to sabotage his dream come true.
I’m thinking Lem is really wishing he was a vampire again right now. Phillip makes him wear a Santa hat. Then he leads the family in a Christmas sing-a-long.
Fiji and Bobo find a way to stop Phillip’s spell. They ask Madonna to take them to Phillip’s house. When Phillip answers the door, Bobo distracts him by punching the daylights out of him.
Bobo might have a little pent up anger to work through.
Madonna, following Lem’s priorities, removes his Santa hat, then unties him.
Off camera, they promise to never speak of this again. 😜
Fiji goes to the fireplace to perform the reverse spell, which involves using her own blood. But her light magic isn’t enough to make the spell work. She opens herself up to the full spectrum of her power, her arms appear to catch fire and her eyes go black. The spell works and Olivia is released. She rips off the ugly Christmas sweater she’s been wearing. Little Olivia and Olivia’s mother hug Phillip as they dissolve into nothing.
Once the spell is broken, Fiji goes back to normal and is fine. Madonna leaves by herself. She packs her stuff, closes Home Cookin’, and gets out of town.
Olivia asks her father, “If you can be a father to a fake daughter, why couldn’t you be a father to me?” Her father says that he was too broken after her mother died to take care of her, but he can be there for her now. Olivia says that it’s too late. She needed him then. Since then, she’s cloaked herself in anger and pain as her protection, because it was all she had, but she’s not alone any more. She has Lem.
Phillip tells her to kill him and put him out of his misery, since that’s what she came there for. She tells him that she’s not going to kill him. She’s going to leave him as alone as he left her.
Back at home, Olivia reconfirms that she feels healed from her past and she loves Lem, no matter what. Lem loves her and considers her his family, too.
Bobo asks Fiji how she feels, after her brush with dark magic. She says that she doesn’t feel evil, and she’s glad that she could save Lem and Olivia. She wants to do whatever it takes to save Bobo, too. She’s done with being afraid of her magic. She picks up Celeste’s card, which reveals a phone number. Bobo looks like he’s still having second thoughts.
Manfred shows the vial with the blue liquid to Joe, and tells him that Lyric didn’t always have the power to become invisible. The iridescent glow is monster energy. Sequoia was trying to tell Manfred that she’d discovered Kai’s secret.
Joe wonders what kind of secret is worth killing someone for.
Manfred decides to find out. He hides in Lyric and Sequoia’s room, and watches Kai in the basement through the air grate, just as Sequoia must have done.
Kai comes down the basement steps, pushes the buttons on the old-fashioned jukebox to make Patsy Cline play again, and opens the door on the front of the machine. Inside are dozens of glass vials like the one Kai found in the assistants’ room. Kai picks up an empty one, holds it open in front of him, and opens his mouth. Blue smoke flows back out of him, into the vial, where it becomes more of the blue liquid.
Now we finally know where, when and how Kai releases the energy he removes from others. But what is he doing with a refrigerator full of powers? Does he put the pain in there too, to use on someone else someday? What does this have to do with the demon head behind the painting in his office?
Do y’all have any guesses for what power Kai took from Patience? Lately I’m wondering if she’s a succubus who voluntarily gave up her power. But it seems as though he has some hold on her, so she can’t leave. Maybe he holds the threat of restoring her evil powers over her head. They showed us a succubus who was terrible in season 1.
Is Manfred’s demon cancer in one of those vials, waiting for Kai to use it on someone else?
Joe creates a “Welcome back to being human” gift for Lem: a knife that he can use in fights against evil, since the town has lost his ability to fight as an energy leaching vampire. Olivia isn’t the only one who’s sad about the change in Lem.
If Olivia doesn’t get pregnant before Lem gets his powers back, there are a few very healthy specimens living right in town that they could approach to be sperm donors.
Manfred and Patience positively sizzle together. No wonder they can’t keep their hands, and everything else, off each other. Kai shows more interest in collecting powers than in anything in the physical world. Creek was nice, but always kind of a wet blanket.
Plus, Manfred’s new look this season is so much better than last season. Thank you, whoever cut his hair. Everyone has had a style upgrade this season that looks better.
We lost three supporting female characters this week, Madonna, Sequoia and Lyric. Everytime I think the male to female ratio might even out a bit, the ladies get zapped. It’s odd, at a time when so many shows are doing better with female representation, that a show based on books by a best-selling female author and with female showrunners would continue to be so uneven. Especially given the tone and subject matter of the show.
They were a lot of knives this week. Olivia’s knife was always in her hand, and she held it to two different people’s throats. Manfred stabbed Lyric and Lyric used her knife to kill Sequoia. Joe made Lem a knife. There was also an unusual amount of power transference and use of power by people who don’t normally have it, as if the amount of power is spilling over into normal people.
There’s so much crazy energy in town this season, both sexual and violent. Is it coming from an external source in the hotel, and influencing everyone?
I can’t help but notice that there’s a demon head in the hotel that’s giving Kai powers, and that one of Kai’s powers is the ability to take other people’s powers. And the ability to disstill powers so they can be passed on to others. Kai also told the demon head he’d avenge it. I’m wondering if all the power Kai is amassing is for the demon, and if there’s power transference going on between Kai and that demon or other demons.
Is Kai doing whatever he’s doing willingly or is he being forced? He doesn’t seem any happier with his life than Patience does. Could she actually be the one who’s holding him in the marriage? Are they both trapped by something? Are they both evil, as we thought at first?
Where did Phillip get the Grimoire, and the ability to use it, from? I have a feeling that book might pop up again. A book that wants blood seems like a very dark object, one that would try to addict the user to it. It’s probably going to call to Fiji or turn out to belong to Celeste.
Madonna’s exit looked final, but I hope it’s not. She’s a cyborg! Who runs a diner! And is a spy for hire! And she was a good friend to most of the town, most of the time. She’s an interesting character who I’d liked to see get some real development. Plus, I want more on the story of her leg. But if Creek is back next week, it must be her turn to (wo)man the diner for a while.
Images courtesy of NBC.