Midnight, Texas is a weird show. It’s fun. It’s sexy. With all of those shirtless men and relationship plotlines, it’s clearly aimed at women. It’s based on a series of books by Charlaine Harris, who is a famous and successful woman.
Unlike True Blood and the Midnight, Texas books, this TV series kills off its female characters right and left. In episode 6, Creek returns to Midnight, only to be fridged by the end of the episode. Time after time this season, we’ve watched the women be killed or duped, while the men leave town alive, or overcome whoever cons them. After the deaths of Creek, Lyric, Sequoia, and Mary’s mother, Sheila (just to name a few off the top of my head), will the Rev and Mary the baby weretiger’s father be returning Midnight to be murdered in episode 7, and will Olivia’s father die the week after that, to help balance the scales?
This show’s history suggests that a woman from Midnight will sacrifice and be punished in some major way before the end of the season. It will probably be Fiji, with Patience as the dark horse coming up strong from the outside. Trace Lysette’s character Celeste will likely be brought back to die. Fiji has already given up her heart, and the aunt who raised her, to the dark side, but the town will rescue Bobo’s true love. She’ll be contrite for overreaching and daring to think she could handle dark magic as a mere woman (of color).
The promo for episode 7 shows us that now the women are under attack specifically in the context of belonging to the men. That’s the same as an attack on the men, and can’t be allowed to stand. The rest of the town forgot Fiji existed during the shenanigans of No More Mr Nice Kai. Next week, she’ll have to learn her place.
All of that being said, it’s becoming clear that Patience is the mastermind behind the goings on at the hotel. She’s the one with the true powers. She’s possibly something as powerful as an immortal Maenad. She’s the one who’s stockpiling vials of powers. She’s the one who whispered in Lyric’s ear to convince her to kill Sequoia. And she’s definitely influenced Manfred’s actions.
I think Patience and Kai moved to Midnight to collect the powers of the residents. They said that they moved to Midnight because of its “energy”. They quickly set about showing everyone what they could do, and making life look more desirable without powers, than with, like any con artist would do. Once Patience realized that the residents of Midnight could be dangerous to her and Kai, she stepped up her plan and started to bring a few under her control. She also sent Kai out of town more often, to keep him safe.
No More Mr Nice Kai begins with Manfred explaining to Patience that Kai is stockpiling the supernatural powers he removes from others. Patience explains that the residue is like toxic waste. Kai can’t just release it into the environment, so he puts it away for safe keeping. Manfred assumes that Kai is lying to Patience. Patience defends Kai, herself and their 12 year marriage.
She gets right up in Manfred’s face, making sure he has to breathe her breath and look into her eyes. When he tells her that he’s getting his information from visions supplied by Lyric, she pauses to think for a moment.
She thought she’d taken care of Lyric’s ability to tell tales.
Finally, she looks straight at him as if she’s trying to hypnotize him with her words: “Manfred, I know Kai. He would never put anyone in danger. You need to trust me. Do you trust me?” Then she kisses him passionately. Whether it’s to seal her words or because she hears Creek coming, we’ll never know.
Creek walks in and is surprised to find that the boyfriend she abruptly walked out on has had the nerve to take up with someone else. After he literally begged her to let him move to Austin with her, and she told him no, in no uncertain terms, she apparently thought he should still be hoping she’d change her mind any minute.
This is why I like Manfred better with Patience and I wish she wasn’t going to turn out to be the Big Bad of the season.
Patience leaves the awkward situation as quickly as possible. Creek is upset because Manfred left her a message, hours ago, saying that he was in trouble. She’s been trying to get through to him since. Manfred insists that he didn’t leave the voicemail. Creek doesn’t believe him. He convinces her to meet Lem and Olivia at Home Cookin’ with him.
Fiji looks over her new ritual in a box from Celeste, which has everything she needs to pledge herself to
the Dark Lord Theophilus. There’s an innocent looking butterfly, supposedly meant to symbolize metamorphosis, carved into the top of the wooden box. There’s also a foot long knife, which is awfully big for something ceremonial.
Bobo gets a bad vibe about the whole thing and reminds Fiji that dark magic always has a price. Fiji very seriously tells him, “Losing you is worse than any price I could pay.”
Fiji confesses that she’s scared, but also excited. But, what if dark magic isn’t really a big deal, and the scary stories were just meant to hold powerful witches back from reaching their full potential?
Okay, she knows from Mildred that some holding back is necessary, so that one’s power doesn’t fly out control and kill one’s boyfriend during sex, to use a hypothetical example (though, in hindsight, that was probably the family curse). But she also knows from Colchanar how freakin’ much evil demon energy is out there, and how much it would like to possess witches. There’s literally zero chance in the Charlaine Harris world that all energy is benign and all witches are just sweet, oppressed creatures.
What did Celeste put in that wine? Something that made Fiji braindead?
Fiji says that she’s light and dark, and it’s time that she accepted all of herself. Bobo will accept all of her, too.
There’s dark, as in maybe you pull in some energies of death and decay at times, because you understand those energies provide balance in the world, and then there’s becoming a serial killer, because you’ve allowed the darkness to consume you. I don’t think balancing her energies is what killed Mildred.
Lem is still eating! Manfred shows Olivia and Lem the vial he took from Lyric and explains about the powers that Kai is stockpiling. Manfred is convinced that Kai is disarming the strongest fighters in Midnight, lying to his wife, and collecting enough powers to create an army.
Lem argues that he and the Rev both went to Kai of their own free will. Manfred wants to put Kai to the test. He wants Lem to ask Kai for his powers back. If Kai is on the up and up, he’ll return Lem’s powers.
I believe there was some unseen element of coercion present that helped convince Lem and Rev to give up their powers, such as lots of talk around them about how wonderful it is to be human and how freeing it would be to put down the burden of past murders, for example. And probably some magical influence as well, from someone like Patience or Kai, when we didn’t see it. Both men went and asked for their powers to be removed, then had them removed, all alone, off camera, without much forethought. Neither even brought a friend for moral support. Eventually, the amnesia they undoubtedly also have will be removed and we’ll find out what really happened.
Chuy and Joe sit down for Chuy to give his hubby a thorough manicure. Chuy is surprised by the scrapes on Joe’s hands, and says they remind him of the Middle Ages. Joe can’t lie anymore and tells Chuy that he’s been going out demon hunting. Chuy is supportive, because he, of all people, knows what demons are like and this is what Joe is meant to do. He’s glad that Joe is happy.
Chuy is the best.
Lem and Olivia discuss whether or not he should become a vampire again. Lem says that he wants her input this time, after making the decision to get rid of his powers without her. He admits that he does want his powers back. The fiasco with her dad made him feel powerless. But children won’t be possible if he’s a vampire.
Excuse me?! I believe that Olivia still has a fully functioning uterus. Human couples face this issue all the time, and use donated sperm. Why is Midnight being so weird and patriarchal about this??? It’s like if the baby isn’t Lem’s blood, there’s no point in having one.
Olivia says they can foster or adopt, which is always a worthwhile decision, don’t misunderstand me. I just don’t get why Olivia’s side of the baby making equation is being dismissed, after the dream where she was pregnant. I guess she only wants to carry her husband’s baby. Maybe any other child isn’t worth wrecking her figure for. 🙈
They make the decision that Lem will definitely ask for his powers back, just as a delivery boy brings a Frito pie pizza for Lem’s last meal.
Patience brings Kai some lunch in his office, but Kai is too upset to eat. He received a mysterious phone message from Patience, in which she thought she was talking to Manfred, and told him how much she misses him. The message makes it obvious they’re lovers. Patience says that she didn’t leave that message.
They have a huge argument, with him saying that he sees how much time she spends with Manfred and the way they flirt. Patience claims they’re just friends. Patience responds to Kai’s attacks by asking what she’s supposed to think about all of his trips to Tulum with his holistic harem. Kai insists that those trips were for them, to build their future.
Manfred is still trying to convince Creek that he didn’t call her, and she’s still refusing to believe him.
He’s never going to win that one. She doesn’t want to believe she drove to his house when he doesn’t want her.
She criticizes him for sleeping with Patience, because she didn’t think that he was that kind of boy. He tells her that he was in a bad place when she left, and Patience was there for him. The depression led him to make some out of character choices.
I like Creek, overall, and don’t blame her for needing to leave Midnight. But Manfred really doesn’t owe his ex-girlfriend, who dumped him, an explanation for his current love life. Boundaries. They exist for a reason.
Walker Chisum, the cutest little demon hunter in Texas, stops by Midnight and parks way too close to Joe and Chuy’s place. Joe hotfoots it out to Walker’s van to tell him to move to a new spot. Walker says that he got a text from Joe, telling him to come pick Joe up. It’s another mysterious communication that the supposed sender never sent.
Fiji’s all set up for her ritual, except for her little Theophilus statue, which, Holy S–t! Could that thing look more like a statue of an evil demon that she’s about to pledge her soul to? Seriously, Celeste has already sucked the common sense out of Fiji.
Normally, I’d quote Fiji’s oath to Theophilus here, but let’s not take any chances with anyone’s immortal soul or beating heart.
She makes the pledge, and by the time she finishes the first line, Theophilus has her and her eyes go fully black. Then she surrenders to him, and cuts out her heart. When Bobo tries to stop her, she uses a blast of magic from her hand to throw him against a wall.
Fiji holds her beating heart out in the open palm of her hand. It becomes an iridescent blue butterfly. The butterfly takes off, then turns into blue smoke. Her eyes go back to normal, but her hair now has a white streak, just like Celeste. Probably for the part of her that just died.
Bobo runs over to check on her. Fiji has barely caught her breath before she’s ripping Bobo’s clothes off. No time like the present to check to see if the curse has been broken!
Lem asks Kai for his powers back. Kai becomes agitated when he explains that removing supernatural powers is like dropping an atom bomb. Once the power is released, it’s out in the world, and can’t be collected again. He speaks quickly, in a manner we’ve never seen from Kai before.
I’m wonder if there was mind control going on right then. Kai is normally thoughtful and sincere. That’s how he was in this interaction, until Lem pushed a little harder.
Joe and Walker are still arguing, having moved on to how secretive each is with the other. Walker finally removes his hat and tells Joe to
Vulcan Angel Mind Meld him. Joe does, and sees tiny Walker hiding in a closet while his mom is murdered by demons. I think he may actually be Sam or Dean from Supernatural. Or maybe he’s another long lost Winchester brother that Negan forgot existed.*
Joe is moved by Walker’s boy to man pain. Walker says that only Joe’s angelic love can make him whole again. They kiss, then rip each other’s clothes off and make hot, sweaty love in the back of Walker’s van, which he also happens to live in.
Some of this may have only happened in my head. But the human/angel sex definitely happened. Walker has already admitted that he’s an angel groupie who stalked Joe until he found an excuse to meet him, hasn’t he? Their story is totally self-insert fan fiction. With a crossover from Supernatural.
Creek and Manfred are still arguing.
OMG, give it up, Creek, you can’t leave town, break up with the guy and expect him to wait for you indefinitely. He’s doing a lousy thing to Kai right now, but he didn’t treat you badly.
They finally argue themselves out, and both admit how much they miss each other. They start to kiss, but are interrupted by Patience knocking on the door.
She looks upset, so Manfred invites her in. Patience tells them about the fake voicemail that Kai got. Manfred decides that two fake voicemails equals a pattern that will only get worse, so he’d better get Creek out of town.
He goes with her in her car, but they can’t leave. Even though they drive in a straight line, the road keeps looping them back around to Midnight.
After Lem left Kai, he found Basil, the pizza delivery boy, on the street, having had a bike accident. Lem brought him back to the apartment to get patched up. Basil’s mom yells at him for messing up the orders. After the call is done, Lem and Olivia’s phone’s die, and the power goes out all over town.
Once Joe and Walker are finished, Joe comes to his senses. Walker says that Joe may be confused, but he felt love. Joe gets dressed and complains that he’s cheated on his husband of 1,000 years, making this a darker day than the day he fell.
Way to let poor Walker down easy.
After Bobo and Fiji are really, really sure that the curse is broken, Bobo decides to go check on the rest of the town. Fiji decides to stay in bed and stare at herself in the mirror, giving us a clue as to how her personality has changed.
The Midnighters, minus Fiji, meet and decide to break into the hotel to get Lem’s powers back and investigate the demon head further. As they walk away, it’s revealed that Basil is the one leaving the fake messages and instigating other inconveniences. He leaves a message for Walker in Joe’s voice, telling him that there’s a demon loose in Midnight. The demon will, of course, be Chuy.
Basil settles into a rocking chair in front of Home Cookin’ to watch the last act of his machinations play out. He’s joined by Fiji, who’s figured out what’s going on. Thanks to the changes in her, she doesn’t care about what’s happening as more than an audience member. Basil explains to her that he’s a particularly sadistic trickster demigod who really loves to create suffering based on exposing people’s secrets. He came to Midnight because of the energy. And he knows that Fiji doesn’t care about these people any more.
Remember that time that evil and death were drawn to Midnight because the rift to hell was slowly opening, and we almost had to sacrifice a virgin to it? It seems like the rate of bad things being drawn to Midnight is ramping up again. Someone might want to check on Colchanar. Just sayin’.
Kai’s followers are meditating around the reflecting pool, while Kai lights candles, and Patience tells lies of omission to try to save her marriage. Creek helps Bobo into the hotel lobby, saying that he’s hurt his back and needs Kai’s help. Kai takes him to a treatment room. Creek asks to speak to Patience privately, so they head off to a treatment room, as well. Manfred, Lem, Olivia and Joe are next up. Olivia and Lem go to the basement to look for the jukebox while Joe and Manfred head to the ofice to check out the demon.
Manfred shows Joe the demon head in a cage behind the painting. When Joe touches the cage, colorful energy bursts out of it and it won’t budge. Joe says that powerful energy has it tethered there. Manfred wonders if the spell means that only one person can remove the cage from its spot in the alcove.
Creek and Patience talk in one of the rooms. Creek tells Patience that she loves Manfred, and asks Patience how she feels. Patience begins to ask if the two of them are getting back together, but then she’s interrupted by a member of the hotel staff and rushes out. Creek texts the others that she’s lost Patience, then follows.
Lem and Olivia find where the jukebox should be, but it’s been moved. When Patience finds them, Olivia holds a knife to her throat and tells her they want Lem’s powers back.
Manfred and Joe continue to examine the demon. He has the ancient Syriac language carved into his head. Joe is a little rusty at the language, and wants to translate it using his books that are at the pawn shop. Manfred snaps a photo for them to work from.
Before they leave, Joe decides to see what an Angel Mind Meld will do. The demon opens its eyes, and looks way more human. Yikes.
Creek is left wandering through the hotel alone, checking rooms for Manfred. She pokes her head into Kai’s office and says, “Manfred?” Kai appears from the darkness, lights a super bright candle and asks ominously, “Why would Manfred be in my office?”
Before we jump to conclusions about anything, we need to take into account all of the abilities various supernatural creatures possess. At that moment, Kai could be literally anyone, and so could Creek. Between glamours, shapeshifting, spells, potions, hallucinations, hypnosis… The list goes on. Patience or Kai could have given anyone, any kind of powers, with or without the recipient’s knowledge. That’s the point of showing us how easily someone as powerful as Fiji could be taken in, when her emotions were involved.
The demon head might have power of its own and be able to throw off some illusions, too. Just before this moment, there’s a shot that’s a silhouette of Creek, walking down the hall, backlit, and the lights look like the hallway is lined with fire. That seems like some clear foreshadowing that she’s about to be offered up as a sacrifice to something.
Everyone else meets back in the Pawn Shop, where Lem drinks the vial of monster energy that Patience gave them. Lem’s powers seem to return to normal. Manfred, Lem and Olivia go back to the hotel to look for Creek.
With Basil’s help, Walker has zeroed in on Chuy as the dangerous demon. He follows Chuy from Home Cookin’ out into the street, where Chuy appears to be about to attack Joe, given the way he’s rushing toward him with a smile on his face. Walker yells out to Joe to be careful. Joe tells Walker that this is his husband.
Which means he has to confess to Chuy that he has a demon hunting partner. And Chuy figures out on his own what else they partner up for. Which triggers his demon side.
Bobo sends everyone who’s out on the streets inside, so they don’t get injured in the angel-demon fight. He tries to get Fiji and Basil to go in, but Fiji sets her skin to burn him when he touches her. He tells her that this is what he was worried about, that she’d lose herself in the dark magic. Fiji says that she’s more herself than she’s ever been, and walks away.
Manfred finds Patience in Kai’s office, wondering what’s going on. She doesn’t come out of the room the whole way, and holds the door closed behind her. Manfred tells her to go back into the room and lock herself in. She does. Since when does Patience follow orders, especially Manfred’s orders, in her own hotel?
Whatever Patience and Kai did with Creek, that’s when it happened.
Chuy calms down, but then Walker, who has no sense of self-preservation, grabs Joe and lectures him on how evil he is for being with a half demon. When Chuy sees how intimately they touch each other, right in front of him, he gives up the fight and turns demon. He tosses Joe out of the way and beats Walker right on into the hotel and the reflecting pool, because blood has to get into that pool every single episode.
Joe follows and grabs Chuy out of the pool, trying to get him to come back to his human side and to convince him that their relationship can make it through this.
Easy for Joe to say. He wasn’t lied to repeatedly and cheated on. He didn’t have to watch another demon hunter suggest that not only should he be dead, but he’d ruined Joe as well. Joe may have fallen to be with Chuy, but Chuy has to live with the guilt of knowing what Joe gave up for him, and that everyone will always think that Joe made a terrible mistake. So far, the show has made it seem lke they live in hiding because of Joe. But they live in hiding for Chuy’s safety, too.
After everything they’ve done and been and given up for each other, over a millennium, cheating with a 20 year old demon hunter is going to be insulting as well as painful.
Chuy begins to calm down, but Walker, who must actively have a death wish, stands right in his sightline. Chuy attacks again, until Joe drives him away using his angel light from a distance. Walker has the nerve to be upset that Joe let Chuy run away, because he’s sure that Chuy would have killed everyone in the place if they hadn’t intervened.
No, honey, he just wanted to kill you about a dozen times over. No one really blames him, since you didn’t have the grace to walk away once the argument between the married couple started.
Lem leeches Walker into unconsciousness, which finally shuts him up. Joe is free to go find Chuy. Lem looks surprisingly tired after he’s done with Walker. Was there something wrong with the vial Patience gave him?
Patience and Kai are finished with whatever they did to Creek in Kai’s office. They race into the lobby and are shocked at the scene. Patience herds the hotel guests out of the lobby. Kai tells the Midnighters that they’re animals who’ve turned his dream into a nightmare. He throws them all of his hotel and tells them never to set foot in there again. He’s nearly in tears.
Everything Kai said goes double for that homewrecker Manfred, who’s ripped Kai’s heart out. He ought to be able to trust that no one will take his wife up on her offers, while he’s in Tulum with young women who fawn all over him, after having told his wife to stay home.
But let’s go back to Kai and Patience in the hotel room with Creek and the demon head. Someone sucked the life force out of Creek for dinner, right? Patience was wicked jealous of her. She basically has a magically surveillance system on Manfred, so she knew she was losing him to Creek. Kai would love to get revenge on Manfred through her. Something is keeping the head alive. Maenads love to munch on human life force. Maybe it was a picnic and they shared her?
Basil gives the Midnighters a round of applause for being so entertaining. He congrationates Manfred on being particularly messed up, with Walker coming in at #2. Lem and Olivia have no secrets, so they were boring. Then he throws his magical Rubik’s cube at the floor and disappears.
The Midnighters decide that they have to live with no secrets, and love for each other, in order to avoid another visit from Basil.
Once it’s all over, no one can find Creek. Bobo says he saw her take off in her car. Manfred doesn’t think she’d just leave, but Olivia does, as a matter of self-preservation. Manfred tells them about his affair with Patience.
Bobo goes home to Fiji, who acts like she’s back to her normal self, and so sorry for the way she acted early. She says that it took her a while to harness the dark energy. Bobo forgives her, but it’s clear from her face when he’s not looking that she’s just pretending to be back to normal.
Manfred goes home, and finds that Creek left without her jacket. He calls her and leaves a message, asking her to let him know when she’s home, and telling her he loves her. After he hangs up, he hears her voice outside and thinks she’s come back.
When he goes out to his porch, she’s a ghost. She says that she loves him, too. He asks who killed her, but before she can answer, she turns to flames and disappears.
It looked as though someone forced her into the next plane so that she couldn’t warn Manfred.
Who are Patience and Kai?
I left Patience out of the misogyny discussion below on purpose, because what the show is actually doing with her isn’t clear yet. I am sure of one thing. Patience is acting suspiciously, using one of the oldest female tricks in the book: Get your enemy to trust and underestimate you. I’m just not absolutely sure who her enemy is yet.
So, she’s a wild card. She claims that the painting in Kai’s office has come down through her family. But what if it’s actually a painting of her? Maybe she’s immortal or close to it, and has something to do with the demon head.
Her behavior with Manfred has gotten more possessive and more strange. I wondered last week if she was something like a powerless succubus. This week it seemed like she was using her powers. Did she use one of Kai’s vials when she was in the Crystal Desert basement to regain her former powers or gain new ones?
Kai seemed convincingly innocent of any overarching evil plan in this episode, except that he was caught in lies. Patience hasn’t done anything obviously evil, but she has con artist skills, which she’s been using on Manfred for weeks.
The Chuy/Joe/Walker triangle is a good contrast for the Kai/Patience/Manfred triangle.
In the Chuy/Joe triangle, we know the married couple well, and know the basics of their history. We know they fought to be together, are good people, devoted to each other, and have never cheated, until now. We know for certain that Walker, sympathetic and cute though he may be, came on to Joe and wore him down over time, even though he knows Joe is married. Walker has been close-mouthed about his past. We still only know that he hates and hunts demons because they killed his mom, and that he made his hand weapon. It’s not strange to wonder if a homewrecker like Walker has an ulterior motive.
In the Kai/Patience/Manfred triangle, Patience seduced Manfred. She picked up on his vulnerability and made sure she was there for him, while trotting around in skimpy outfits. If she also has the power of seduction, that would be enough to ensnare him.
But why? Is there something in the hotel that she’s hiding, so she needs him distracted, since Kai wouldn’t let Fiji do the spell to make it inhospitable to the dead? Is she just a seductress and is afraid she’s lost Kai, so she’s hoping to nab Manfred next?
We do know that by getting close to Manfred and getting him to trust her, she’s gained access to insider knowledge about the key players in town. Manfred had Fiji do the intention spell, but Patience has taken other steps to appear trustworthy. She always wears white, the color of innocence, and always wears a dress, like a lady. She speaks with a thick (fake) southern accent, which, combined with her outfits, makes her seem like she’s on her way to church. She’s played the devoted, but ignored wife, to arouse his protective sensibilities. She also manages to frequently end up in minor danger, so that Manfred can be the hero and save her.
That brings us back around to what I said at the top of this section. Patience is using patriarchal tropes against the men. Good for her. But what is her motivation?
What Are Patience and Kai?
There was a maenad named Maryann Forester in the True Blood TV series, which shares a universe with Midnight, Texas in the books. Maryann was an antagonist who was the Big Bad of season 2. There was a maenad named Callisto in the Sookie Stackhouse book Living Dead in Dallas. She was a much tamer character, but her powers were the same as Maryann’s.
Charlaine Harris’ maenad’s have the powers of immortality, mind control, ability to inflict psychic pain, increased speed, durability and strength, the ability to feed by channeling human energy, poisonous talons they can make appear at will, aerokinesis (can create strong gusts of wind), and can force shapeshifters to shift or vampires to go mad.
The power we’ve seen Patience use most often is a glamour/succubus type of power to sexually attract men then get them in her thrall, at least temporarily. She uses that to control them. But the effect is temporary. We saw her use it twice in I Put a Spell on You, when she distracted the security guard at the morgue and when she talked her way into the monster fights.
With Manfred, she used both more and less power, because he’s open to the effects, since he wants a distraction. But he’s also inquisitive and intelligent, so she has to be careful not to let him realize what she’s doing. In this episode, at one point, when he’s distracted from her, she turns his head so that he looks at her eyes and breathes her breath. One or both of those must be the key to her power.
Maryann also had the power to create amnesia in humans when she wanted them to forget specific events. Thinking back over the season, that would explain a few things about Kai, and maybe Manfred. Maybe even Fiji. But with Kai, in particular, Patience may make him think that he releases the monster energy into the air, when she really uses her mind control powers to send him down to the basement.
It seems like this power comes naturally to Patience and she’s had it a long time. Her name is typically a 19th century name, though it’s been used for much longer. The woman in her painting could be her, as could the arm in Manfred’s vision which cut off the demon’s head. Patience could be immortal or very old.
She could also be human or a witch, or using the energy that Kai absorbs from others to give herself powers. She could have been a con artist who somehow tricked Kai out of a vial of energy, and has been in control ever since.
Either way, it became clear during this episode that she’s the one with the most secrets and the most information. Ever since she showed up, strange beings keep finding their way to town to interfere, like Basil the trickster demigod, the evil magical book, and Celeste the dark witch. Some of that is probably because word spread quickly that there was no longer a weretiger and an especially powerful vampire protecting Midnight. But I’ll bet Patience called a couple of friends, too. With that jukebox full of vials, she has a lot to offer in return for a favor.
I’m not sure how much Kai is in on her plans and how much he hoped that Midnight would work out as a permanent home for them, like he says. But he keeps up the act when they’re alone together in private. Kai’s purpose in the business has always been obvious. It’s built around his gifts. When there’s a crisis, he thinks about how decisions will affect the hotel and his practice as a healer.
Kai’s always working, and when he’s around he’s closed mouthed, so we haven’t gotten to know him. That makes it easy to pin the blame on him when things go wrong. Patience has fluttered around and made herself available to people. She’s inserted herself most deeply into Manfred’s life. He’s the de facto town leader, which allows her to keep tabs on the rest of the town. Because Manfred trusted her, Patience learned many of the town’s secrets.
But when it comes to personal information, Patience likes to be vague in that way that sounds like an answer, but isn’t, really. We hardly know Kai and Patience at all, and I doubt that anyone is sure that the little bit of backstory we’ve been given is the truth. They’re hiding huge, megaton secrets.
We were misled into believing that Patience is trustworthy, but she must have a way to beat the intention spell. She’s thought Fiji was a joke from the beginning, and has no love for other women. The introduction of Basil the demigod/trickster in this episode, opens the world to more powerful, lesser known beings.
Certainly Kai is a very powerful creature. It takes a lot of power to suck the power out of something as powerful as a weretiger or a vampire, then hold it in until the right moment. And that’s not Kai’s only power. He heals others as well, which we’re led to believe is a minor function of his ability to remove negative supernatural energy. I don’t see how that can be true. I’d like to think that my chronic pain isn’t monster energy. Or, if it is, I wish I’d transform into a powerful monster already!
I haven’t done a ton of research on what Kai might be, but my current best guess is that he’s some form of hereditary dark witch. They showed Fiji removing her heart and the soul energy flowing out with it, dispersing into the air as blue mist, just as Kai expected the monster energy he removes from supernatural creatures to do. Dark witches draw their energy from demons.
Kai has a demon head in his office, and Patience said he draws his power from it. Kai said he would avenge it. Someone has increased the protection spells around it, after Manfred got too close. But Patience was the one who discovered Manfred in Kai’s office. If she’s not a maenad, she may be a very powerful witch, and/or a succubus.
In the True Blood/Charlaine Harris worlds, witches have many possible powers such as mind control, telepathy, telekinesis, necromancy (control of the spirits of the dead/undead), theurgy (magic that draws power from divine sources, as one would when doing an exorcism), demonology, and channeling (ability to draw energy from external sources), to name a few.
Kai may have learned how to manipulate one or more of these practices to create the work we’ve seen him do. Much of what he does with humans looks like faith healing, and we’ve been lead to believe that curing monsters is an extension of that work.
If most supernatural powers come from demons, the ability to use theurgy, which comes from divine powers instead of demons, to do exorcisms of the powers, then contain the powers in his body, would explain what Kai does and why it’s so unusual. So would an extreme ability to manipulate demonic energy, using telekinesis, necromancy and demonology. If Kai is using theurgy, he might also be able to affect Joe’s powers, since Joe is a fallen angel and is presumably not under God’s protection. This is something to keep in mind, because Joe was confident that Kai couldn’t affect his power.
Midnight and the Treatment of Women
I love this show, but the lack of respect for their female characters and the imbalance in the male to female character ratio is becoming very disappointing.
So far this season:
Xylda’s ghost moved on, leaving Manfred behind. She was a benign, motherly figure who was Manfred’s mentor in his gypsy heritage. She was also the only physically elderly character shown on a regular basis.
Manfred and Patience discovered that Carolyn Baker had been the victim of a murder-suicide perpetrated by her jealous husband, Bruce, in the 1950s, and her ghost still haunted the hotel, since Bruce interred both bodies in the basement.
Dawnette the stripper was clever enough to outsmart Lem and make herself a vampire, then turn her two best friends. But, she and her two female friends couldn’t control their lust for revenge well enough to avoid making themselves obvious. Her friends’ punishment was death at Olivia’s hands. Dawnette chose to have her powers removed by Kai. As you’ll see over and over in this list, on this show, women can’t handle power and magic in themselves and others. Lyric and Fiji can be added to this list. Dawnette was also one of the few Asian characters we’ve ever seen in Midnight, and they made her a misogynist stereotype.
Yet Lem was given his powers back, after he learned to appreciate them, even though he and his creator murdered people wantonly and sadistically for decades before Lem felt even a shred of guilt. He’s not morally superior to her just because they showed her killing a few people in episode 2. No such lesson was offered to Dawnette. Her two friends were simply murdered. The show took the trouble to show us their oppression, even put it in the title of the episode, and then dismissed it. They told the woman that she didn’t deserve the power that could help her overcome the misogyny she faced, after having Xylda, another woman, help Lem overcome his bloodlust but retain his vampire strength.
Couldn’t Xylda pass that gypsy spell down to Manfred, so that he could help out other vampires? The show couldn’t make the rule that his vampire children would inherit his energy leeching power? It probably only passes through the male line.
Mary the weretiger’s mother, Sheila, wasn’t given the dignity of seeking out a safe way to give birth, and simply having the baby, then abandoning her at the church. Even though she was in a relationship with the father of her baby, he apparently didn’t warn her to go to a hospital when it was time or to go to the Were refuge in Nevada. Yet he’s presented as a great guy, and no one, NO ONE, mourns the loss of Mary’s mother.
After years of hating and avoiding her father, Olivia was quickly sucked into his magic spell and trapped there because she wanted to speak with her mother’s ghost. But the story was more about her father trying to cheat death and Lem feeling helpless without his powers. Olivia’s out of character behavior was a plot device in her own life.
Now Olivia wants to have children, because Lem does, but is happy to adopt, because Lem can’t naturally father the child. What happened to the independent assassin who thought for herself? Is she becoming Lem’s thrall?
Jean Charity dissolved in her husband’s arms without a proper goodbye, having been used by him, even as a ghost. Same with ghost Little Olivia. Madonna was dismissed as if she was a one episode character, when she runs the most important business in town. She was close friends with several people in town, yet no one seems to have even noticed she’s missing.
Creek was nearly killed by her boyfriend in S2 episode 1, after being nearly killed by her brother in season 1, while her father kept silent about her brother’s potential for murder. She was presented as overreacting when she left town, after Manfred tried to bury her alive during his bout with demon cancer. We were given much more of his side of the story, the poor, hurt guy who was heroic and left mentally ill because of it. As it is in real life, there was pressure for Manfred’s woman to be okay with his domestic violence, because he deserves love as a reward for his heroism. Her safety and mental health don’t matter.
Creek came back to Midnight, because Manfred is involved with trouble yet again. She thought he needed her and she was used as a pawn yet again. She ended up dead at the end of the episode, so that Manfred could cry and look for the killer next week. The murderer will be a big, shocking reveal. Classic fridging.
Sequoia and Lyric were presented as Kai’s assistants and possible mistresses. Lyric went a little crazy and killed Sequoia, which she claimed was to protect Kai. Manfred killed Lyric during his investigation into Sequoia’s murder. There’s a strong implication that both women were involved in a cult-like situation, possibly with magical mind control involved.
We found out that Aunt Mildred is in Witch H–l because she used dark magic to try to break the family curse and save the man she loves. She told Fiji that the dark magic killed her. Fiji doesn’t seem to remember this. It was up to Bobo to warn her against dark magic. Of course she doesn’t listen.
Fiji’s mind and magic have been hijacked by dark magic. She listened to the advice of a woman who broke into her house after stalking her on the internet, and did a ritual she knew nothing about, which involved dedicating herself to a god-like figure who looked suspiciously like the devil. He took her over and forced her to mutilate herself. He probably owns her soul now.
Fiji’s magic has only been intermittently helpful, since her storyline involves the need for more power. As such, the writers have written her as ignoring obvious methods of investigation into breaking the curse. In other words, they made her stupid to fit the plot.
There’s also been a racist angle running through the storylines about supernatural power this season. Joe, the white man, never loses control, while Chuy, the Hispanic man, does. The Rev and Lem, two men of color, are the ones who ask Kai to remove their abilities. Fiji and Mildred, women of color, are magical disasters. Dawnette lies, schemes, murders and has to be given the choice to die or give up her powers. Madonna is a liar who must be driven out of town.
Meanwhile, Bobo, Manfred and Joe are the wise men who are pure of heart and can always be trusted. Patience and Kai are always in control of themselves, whatever their motivations are. Celeste was in full control during her scenes with Fiji. Olivia had a momentary plot device lapse that allowed her character to grow, but otherwise, no one gets the jump on her. Walker is meant to be seen as sympathetic and intelligent, having created his own demon killing device.
Manfred trusts Patience because of the spell Fiji performed. When it’s revealed that Patience is a villain, all of Manfred’s mistakes will be traced back to Fiji.
The men haven’t died.** They’ve perpetrated the violence and been cured, forgiven, or allowed to move on. Bobo, the subject of multiple attempts on his life because of a killer curse, still lives. Fiji’s remorse for her own actions while possessed by dark magic will be enough woman pain for a satisfying story. Man pain is only believable if a woman has died for it. So, Creek had to die, Xylda had to move on, Lyric and Sequoia had to die…
Check out my next post related to this episode: Midnight Texas: Who Killed Creek? Could It Be Fiji?
*I wrote this, and two days later, they announced that Papa Winchester is returning to Supernatural, for the first time since 2008, to participate in the 300th episode. He has to bring Walker with him! If Constantine can crossover from NBC to The CW, so can Walker!
** Clarification: In this paragraph, by “men” I mean the regular and recurring characters and the significant guest stars. Overall, in this piece, I’m using specific examples to illustrate a trend, not doing a rigorous scientific study. I counted someone as a character if they were named or had lines, which is pretty standard. Otherwise, they are background actors, which is another subject. We can discuss it in the comments, if anyone wants to count every demon, stripper and holistic acolyte.
More on my perspective on Misogyny in Media.
Promo for episode 7, Resting Witch Face:
Images courtesy of NBC.
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