By the time we’re done watching episode 7, “Resting Witch Face”, the sleepy little town of Midnight, Texas has been turned upside down. Its darkest secrets have been exposed, friends and enemies have switched places, and another character has been lost. With only two episodes left following this one, the show is preparing its stage for a huge season finale.
As the episode begins, Joe is still out looking for Chuy, who is out of control and in his demon form. Walker has followed them. Fiji is hiding just how much her new affiliation with dark magic has affected her. Patience and Kai are supposedly dealing with the aftermath of the hotel being used as the epicenter of the town’s troubles in the previous episode.
And Manfred is still standing on his front porch, in tears, after watching Creek’s ghost disappear in flames. After a moment, he snaps into action and goes looking for Kai, who’s more than ready for a fight. They meet out in the street, shouting threats at each other. Kai tries to take Manfred’s powers from him, against his will. Only Patience is surprised. Lem stops Kai, then Patience takes him back to the hotel. Manfred tells everyone else that he saw Creek’s ghost.
The town has a funeral for Creek in the Rev’s church, where Lem gives the eulogy. He mentions that she was the only child in Midnight when she moved there. Has he forgotten about her younger brother, Connor? He says that she was the best of Midnight and she brought out the best in them.
After the funeral, Manfred looks at her photo. He tells her, “I’m sorry. I failed you. But I’ll make it right. I’ll always love you, Creek.”
The gang shifts to Home Cookin’ and makes a toast to Creek. After that, Fiji decides to go home, by herself. Bobo has been looking for Creek’s car, but it’s not within 20 miles of town. There’s no body, either, but they already knew that.
Manfred describes how Kai must have disposed of Creek’s body using goat’s blood, fire and the spell Fiji used on Carolyn and Bruce’s bones, to make sure that she couldn’t talk to him. Bobo thought you’d have to be a witch to perform a spell like that, but Olivia says that anyone can perform magic, with enough motivation. Manfred reminds them that Patince and Kai were in the room with him and Fiji when she performed the spell.
That’s not strictly true. Kai was downstairs dealing with Dawnette and the vampire crisis for most of the spellwork. It was just Patience and Manfred who were with Fiji while she burned the bones.
Bobo reminds them that Kai isn’t just anyone. He has a cursed demon head and his monster juju, which makes him very dangerous. Olivia asks how they can stop him. Manfred says that first they have to figure out his evil plan. They can begin by translating the Syriac writng tattooed onto the demon’s head.
Joe tracks Chuy to a gas station, where people are dead and even torn limb from limb. An old man lies on the ground, dying. He’s unable to speak, so Joe uses his angel light to find out what happened. The vision shows Chuy attacking. Joe stays with the man while he dies.
Patience visits Manfred at home to cry and apologize over Kai trying to take Manfred’s power. Manfred is still crying real tears over Creek, while Patience cries crocodile tears and focuses on her own feelings. She never thought her husband could do these things. He’s fooled her for years. What must Manfred think of her?
It takes some effort, but she gets Manfred to focus on her instead of his grief, and admit that he’s worried about her. She seizes on that opening and pulls out a leather-bound necklace/charm/amulet. She tells him she got it from a Lakota woman and she wants him to wear it, to keep him safe. Manfred says that since he’s a gypsy, he knows that protection amulets don’t work. Patience asks him to wear it anyway, for her peace of mind.
She’s wearing the Virgin White Simple Sundress of Sacrificial Purity in this episode, a style that means a blood sacrifice is coming. Usually, the woman wearing the dress is the virgin sacrifice, but Patience is wearing the dress as a costume. Watching this scene closely shows that to me definitively.
Manfred is practically rude to her in the beginning and can’t focus on anything because of his grief. The caring woman Patience is pretending to be would have brought food to him, as one does after a funeral, and let him know she’s there for him, then left it up to him to decide whether he wanted her to stay so they could talk or go so he could be alone.
Patience doesn’t change her artificial mannerisms and become real in the face of a crisis. She continues with the agenda she’s been working all along. She gets him to wear the amulet and to maintain their connection, while letting him continue to think Kai is the monster. She’s set up Kai as her fall guy. Creek’s death has distracted the whole town from whatever she has planned and stirred up a lot of negative energy. It could be that the ambient energy will also be useful.
Bobo has noticed the changes in Fiji, but she blames her distraction from him and their relationship on Creek’s death. When he tries to get romantic, she magically puts him to sleep, because she has other plans for the night. She goes straight to the Cartoon Saloon for a private party, and we see a Fiji we’ve never been shown before.
This Fiji is sexy, confident, adventurous and naughty. The old Fiji was those things, too, but she’s comfortable with herself and doesn’t need to prove herself to anyone. NewFiji is the type of bad girl who wants everyone to notice her and how sexy and bad she is. She wants them to want her and to be devastated when they can’t have her. Her bad girl sexiness is a performance, like Patience’s good girl act.
But who does the performance benefit?
Manfred, Olivia and Lem spend hours searching the pawn shop archives for Joe’s book on translating Syriac. When they find it, Manfred makes the translation. Syriac is related to Aramaic. It apparently has a one to one correspondence with the letters in our alphabet, based on the ridiculous way Manfred translates it. In other words, what he really needed was a decoder ring.
The writing is the tattooing on the demon’s forehead, which I hadn’t even noticed before.
Patience goes back to the hotel, which is in bad shape. That poor reflecting pool will never be the same. Kai appears and accuses Patience of fraternizing with the enemy. She tells him that someone had to clean up the mess he made by trying to take Manfred’s powers. They descend into a gloriously narcissistic argument over whose needs are more important and which one of them has given everything to the other while asking for nothing.
Patience still needs Kai for something, so she guilt trips him, but lets him win. He doesn’t buy her crocodile tears. He’s probably seen them way too many times. As he walks out, he tells her that she needs to pick a side, either his side and their marriage or the town’s side and Manfred. Based on the look she gives him as he walks away, when she’s done using him, which will be very soon, she plans for him to be dead. And her only side is her own.
Joe tracks Chuy through the desert, into the night. Walker follows, in the loudest, most obvious way possible, while still thinking he’s being stealth. Joe gets tired of it and grabs him, telling him to get lost. Walker insists that he’s part of this hunt. Joe replies that this is between him and his husband. “The man I love. Not some big game trophy to put on your wall.”
Walker says that he doesn’t have to do what Joe says, because an angel isn’t going to hurt a human. Walker doesn’t know as much about angels, or anything, as he thinks he does. Joe says something similar, but he sort of grunts it in anger. Walker dares Joe to kill him, before Walker kills Chuy.
Poor Chuy. Joe threw him away for this sick f–k, who sees killing as a game.
This conversation is had with them standing still and right in each others’ faces, only a few inches apart, as if they’re about to kiss. The camera is as close in on their faces as it can get. Are we supposed to be feeling sexual tension here???
Joe is hot, I’ll give you that. But Walker is a child who’s throwing a tantrum. There’s nothing attractive about that.
When Manfred is finished with the translation, none of the words make sense. Lem remembers that Aramaic is read right to left, the opposite direction from English. He takes the message and writes all of the letters in the reverse order. Now they make sense.
The tattoos read: “An army of seventy times seven beasts to free thee.”
They figure out that the curse refers to how much monster power Kai needs to free the demon head. That would be the power from 490 monsters. But they don’t know what will happen when the head is freed, or how much more monster power Kai needs.
Kai sits in front of his juke box storage unit and coughs up more blue smoke. He looks at the last two empty vials in the chamber and says, “Not long now.”
Olivia and Lem use google to research the curse on the demon head. Olivia searches on “head in cage with Syriac curse tattooed on forehead”. Her search term is definitely too narrow, and she can’t find anything useful. Lem can only find strange recipes, so his search terms definitely aren’t working.
Manfred brings them an eyeball in a jar, which is, I guess, the gypsy version of google. It was the eye of a drabarni, or gypsy shaman, named Kiva Goldwater. Xylda won the eyeball in a bet. Kiva was an expert in curses.
Let’s not think about how Xylda actually took possession of the eyeball.
Kiva holds a grudge against Xylda for always being the lucky one who did everything first. Manfred promises to help out Kiva’s ghost, if she’ll help them figure out the curse. Manfred meant he’d help Kiva cross over. Kiva may be dead and have only one eye, but she’s still got some life in her. She notices what a specimen Lem is, and wants some foot massage action from him as part of the bargain, so she enters Manfred’s body.
Olivia eventually kicks Kiva out when she gets tired of watching her husband give Manfred a foot massage. Kiva says the curse is famous and known as the “Curse of the Seventy Times Seven”. As far as she knows, it was only used once, on the powerful witch who was the founder of dark magic.
Manfred shows her the photo of Kai’s demon head in a cage. Kiva doesn’t know if that’s him, but she does know that he and his twin were the original witches. Dark magic came from their connection. “The curse separated the twins, neutering their strength. Should the curse be broken, they will regain their full power…[and then] darkness falls.”
Manfred asks if the twin’s name is Kai. Kiva doesn’t know. There are rumors that he had his name scrubbed from history to protect his identity. But she knows that the cursed twin was named Theophilus, the Father of Darkness.
The saloon is hopping, with a rockabilly band and a full house. A demon approaches Fiji, who’s bartending, and asks if it’s true that monsters drink free. She sees two female vampires behind him, and loses interest in him. She moves in on the vampires.
All 3 dance together for a while and are about to go somewhere else when Bobo gets to the bar. He’s there because he got a noise complaint from the neighbors. It was a surprise, because the bar is supposed to be closed. He’s a bit angry. Fiji tells him that she’s taking off for a threesome with the vamps and asks if he wants to watch.
Bobo: “This isn’t you, alright? It’s dark magic.”
Fiji: “Good. Because it’s everything I ever wanted, but was too afraid to admit before. I’m free now. When I took that butterfly out, I took all my cares and worries out, including you. That’s why the curse is broken, dumbass. I don’t love you anymore. Oh. Did you think that I was gonna settle down with some Nazi-born hick-town barkeep? Please. I’m gonna go play kitty in the middle and then I’m gonna go find me a Michael B Jordan, so back off.”
Bobo: “You’re not going anywhere with them.”
Fiji moves the vamps to a safe place, then magically raises Bobo several feet in the air. He keeps rising as she’s talking, then she lets him drop when she finishes. She and her girls walk out.
Fiji: “Honey, I kept up the good girl act to keep your fragile straight white male ego in check. But honey, the last thing I need is saving. I’ve evolved, Bobo. You should, too.”
Wouldn’t it be nice if Fiji was telling the truth? But this cathartic speech is the show trying to have it both ways. They show Fiji saying what women want to say, but then make her pay for it later. The two events are separated by enough time that consciously, you get the happy pay-off from the speech. But subconsciously, you understand that you’ll be punished if you act like Fiji, because she’s bad and made Daddy angry. She’s even losing her mind, as we’ll eventually see implied. This is a common technique used by misogynist media.
Fiji, like Patience, is all dressed up in her white dress and ready for her bad-girl-virgin-blood sacrifice. It’s like bleeding a sick person to heal them. They think that if they just keep removing enough substance from her, whether it’s the blood or the brain, surely the woman will eventually return to that sweet virginal state they think they remember, where she followed orders and laid back and took it. And eventually, if the surgery fails, she’s wearing the perfect outfit to be burnt at the stake.
Sometimes I never want to see another woman in a simple white dress on TV or in a movie again. It always means the same thing. Someone is using that image of helplessness and purity to send a message, and the message isn’t female positive. It’s the message that women are meant to be a blank slate for the dominant forces of society to write on.
Then there is the issue that Fiji just told Bobo that she’s bisexual, but has always been afraid to admit it, and he refused to even consider that there might be some truth in that statement. Instead he tried to convince her that it was the dark magic talking. Midnight, Texas just equated a multiracial woman’s bisexuality with evil. I guess that’s why Fiji reminded us all that Bobo is actually from a Nazi family. Will he be sending her to conversion camp next week?
No, he going to spike her to a table first. Oh wait. Olivia will actually drive in the spikes, so it’s supposedly feminist torture. But we won’t get to the reenactment of the Spanish Inquisition for a few minutes. Right now, let’s get back to the town judges.
Bobo tells Manfred, Lem and Olivia that Fiji has become a dark witch. Olivia doesn’t believe that someone as nice as Fiji could ever go dark. Overtly bad girls like to believe they’ve cornered the market on being bad. Supposed good girls like Fiji (and Patience) get away with a lot that way.
Bobo explains what happened. When he mentions Delilah and Theophilus, they realize his story is true. Once Bobo and Lem figure out that the supervillain who’s hurt Fiji is living right across the street, they’re ready to storm the castle, right that minute.
No one asks how Fiji is, where she is, if she’s safe, if she’s happy, or how they might help her overcome the darkness. The emotions and attention are centered on Fiji as their possession. Something of theirs has been taken by another male, and they need to punish him until he gives it back. Fiji has no say in the matter. She’s the football.
Olivia stops them and forces them to plan and wait until they’ve done some recon before they go after Kai and Theophilus. She doesn’t stick up for her fellow woman, Fiji, as an actual human being.
Olivia’s childhood taught her that she’s nothing more than an object to be bought and sold, and despite her recent progress, she still believes it of herself and all women. Lem’s past doesn’t help. He freed himself, but still falls into the trap of thinking about other people this way. Bobo was raised as a conservative Christian and white supremacist, and no matter how much he hates it now, in this episode he’s falling back into those habits. A woman who doesn’t act according to his expectations is a woman who’s lost her mind and gone over to the dark side.
Manfred would usually do better, since Xylda taught him right. That’s why Patience murdered Creek. She needed him to be too distracted to think clearly. Joe would also do better. Which is why Walker had to be encouraged by Basil the Trickster Demigod to destroy Joe’s life, so he wouldn’t interfere with Patience’s plans. By the end of this episode, Joe will be all but incapable of helping anyone, thanks to Walker. The town’s other moral compass, the Rev, was stripped of his power and driven out weeks ago. (It looked like he left voluntarily, but why did everything come to a head in his mind at this particular point in time?)
Joe is leading Walker by a leash, which, let’s face it, Walker probably loves. Joe’s following Walker’s demon compass so that he can find Chuy a little faster. It points them to an old junkyard.
Really? The Angel couldn’t stash the stupid human someplace without his homemade weapons while he used his own gifts to find his husband? Has Joe forgotten he has wings and that locks exist?
Walker is still on his tired argument about demons being mean to him and killing his mama so he has to kill all of them. And Joe will never understand his human man pain. But he knows Joe can’t bring himself to kill Chuy, like has to happen, so Joe should let him go, and he’ll do Joe the favor of killing his husband.
Joe says that Walker will never know what it’s like to love someone and be loved for 1,000 years. Chuy is Joe’s family, and he’ll do “whatever it takes to save him.”
Bobo, Manfred, Lem and Olivia search for Fiji at her house. Lem discovers Creek’s car keys and phone buried in the garden. The other three discover that she’s created a shrine to Theophilus. Inside she has a bit of biological matter from each of her friends.
They flip out over the collection. Fiji has always done that, though, so that she could do whatever spell was necessary on a moment’s notice, even if she didn’t have immediate access to the person. We saw her use it in season 1, in helpful ways.
Rejecting this habit is rejecting her as a witch and as a person. It’s symbolic of being an intuitive person who understands people without having to be told much about them. Often a caring and intuitive person can provide help without having to be asked. But some people like to think they are special and guarded, so that no one can see inside them.
When Lem shows the others Creek’s belongings, they assume she’s the murderer.
Fiji brings the vamps back to a room in the hotel, where they have a little fun, until Fiji presses a cross to their foreheads to subdue them. Kai comes in and takes their powers from them. Now he has the last two vials of monster energy needed to free Theophilus.
Bobo texts Fiji a photo of her shrine burning in the middle of the street. She runs out to try to stop it. She follows Bobo into the pawn shop, which is actually a trap so that Lem can leach her and they can hold her hostage.
They lay her out on the large wooden table at Home Cookin’ that’s usually used for the gang’s communal meals. No symbolism there. She’s held down by iron railroad spikes placed across her hands, because iron is poison to witches.
Olivia is violent and threatening with Fiji. Fiji does a lot of loud, evil cackling and taunting. She tells them that she didn’t kill Creek, but she did cover up the murder. She goes along with the idea that Kai is the murderer and implies that Patience is in trouble.
Joe finds Chuy, who’s still in full on angry demon mode. He might have had some luck with talking Chuy down, if he hadn’t brought Walker with him. Instead, when Chuy sees that Joe is still with Walker, he understandably tries to kill Walker. Walker goes to kill Chuy with his glove, but stops at the last second. He says he can’t kill the man Joe loves, because he loves Joe.
That is the most bulls–t, lame, soap opera thing anyone has ever said on this show. I’ll bet he practiced it in the mirror for hours.
Hearing that Joe didn’t just sleep with Walker, he’s involved in an ongoing love affair, Chuy goes insane and tries to kill Walker for real. Seeing Chuy, a demon, about to kill Walker, a human, Joe jumps between them out of instinct and stabs Chuy in the heart. He holds Chuy while he dies.
Walker stands and watches.
This whole story has been so contrived that Chuy’s death feels hollow. There were so many ways Joe could have gotten rid of Walker, starting with Lem and a room with a good lock, and ending with fighting Walker instead of Chuy. Walker’s death in that situation wouldn’t be a crime against God or man. He’s going to die young from his own recklessness anyway. And it’s justifiable homicide to kill someone if you’re protecting someone else, such as your husband.
I don’t know how to reconcile the murders Chuy commited. That’s not who Chuy was. The writers used those murders as character assassination to justify killing him and writing him out.
But I also think that while immortals may live among us in this universe, they will judge themselves using a different standard of justice. Like Dawnette, Chuy killed a few people in a high stress situation. Also like her, it was way, way less than the number of people Lem, or even Joe, has killed. Joe has said that at least once in the past it took a few years to bring Chuy back from a demon flare up. If Walker hadn’t kept making things worse, this could have been a brief separation, then Joe could have tried again once Chuy had time to calm down a little.
It makes no sense to me that Joe would kill Chuy. Not when Lem could leach him and they could lock him up until he calmed down.
Are we supposed to believe that purposely killing Walker during a fight to save Chuy would be too terrible of an outcome for them to show? That Walker is innocent in a way that Chuy isn’t? Because Chuy was a wonderful person who loved his friends and husband and took care of them. Walker is a selfish jerk who doesn’t care who he hurts. I know who I’d pick to die.
Joe buries Chuy in an unmarked grave, under some rocks in the woods. Walker is still watching. When Joe is done, Walker tries to hug him, or something. Joe tells him not to touch him and that Walker as just as responsible for Chuy’s death as Joe is. Joe never wants to see Walker again. He forces Walker to leave.
Joe lets his wings out, then cuts them off.
He couldn’t fly Chuy’s body back home and give him a proper burial and funeral, then cut off his wings? The best he could do for his husband was an unmarked grave? As a demon, Chuy couldn’t be buried in the churchyard, but Joe could have found a nice spot in town that Chuy’s friends could visit.
If Walker not only lives, but sticks around town, I might be done with this show. If he continues to be Joe’s love interest, I definitely am. It’s not okay to write out the character played by an actor of color, who’s the same age as Joe, in order to bring in a white actor who must be 20 years younger. Especially after they killed Creek, played by a mixed race actress, and brought in a white actress as Manfred’s new love interest, and wrote out the Rev, the only other character played by a Hispanic actor. Midnight has been getting younger and whiter all season longer.
In small town, desert Texas, Hispanic people should make up a sizable number of the residents. I live in Albuquerque, where this show is filmed, and our population is 50+% Hispanic. Midnight’s would be roughly the same. The actors are here to use. Presumably the monster demographic in the Midnight area would match the regional demographic, drawing overall from North and South America. That would still lead to a significant Latino population. The whitewashing of this show is disturbing at a time when racial prejudice is growing in this country.
Manfred and Lem go to the hotel to rescue Patience and gather more information. I’m not really clear why they’re rescuing her now. I guess it’s so that Theophilus can’t sacrifice her, because they think they have the plan all figured out. Before they separate, Manfred tells Lem to be careful, because he can’t lose anyone else. Lol. I guess he’s noticed the trend, too. I think Lem is safe, though, as one of the main regulars, and as the flagship person of color on the show. The black male best friend is a staple.
Manfred peaks into Kai’s office and finds him sitting at his desk. Kai asks if he should just give Manfred a key, since Manfred comes and goes as if he owns the place already. Manfred tells Kai that he has Kai’s evil plan all figured out, and they get into a fist fight over who deserves custody of Patience.
Seriously, what? How is a fistfight helping either of them right now? This why I think Patience is doing somethng magical to both of them. She’s treats them both like s–t, and they both can’t get enough of it.
Lem finds Patience and leeches her unconscious without telling her the plan. Wouldn’t want to give her the chance to agree or disagree with their genius plan. Better to force her against her will. Then we’ll call her anger “evil”. That was an abduction from her home, not a rescue.
Manfred rants at Kai while they fight, which causes Kai to reveal that Theophilus and Patience are actually the twins. At the same time, Patience wakes up on a chair, right next to Fiji, who has spikes through her hands. Since the others are ignoring both women, Patience sets Fiji free.
Manfred and Kai have an honest talk, and we get Kai’s side of the story.
Kai: “I knew she was a witch. But a Good one. She and her brother, they were persecuted, more than 800 years ago. They were cursed by a Dark witch, Delilah. She was jealous. She felt that the twins, they were too strong together, so she cut Theo’s head off to separate them, to take their powers away. [Fiji] wanted to help. Patience said she was a good witch, too, so we let her help…I wanted to give Patience her brother back. And it was slow going at first. It was maybe a dozen monsters a year. And then we learned of Midnight, and the energy that this place drew. There was no harm being done, none. I was healing monsters. And, I thought, healing the woman I love, because a piece of her was missing without her brother.”
Manfred jumps up and shouts that Kai doesn’t understand. He’s helping Patience release pure evil into the world. And it’ll be all Kai’s fault for helping her. Uh huh.
Kai asks why Manfred is wearing the necklace from Patience. Manfred says it was to protect him from Kai. Kai explains that the necklace belonged to Theo, and was going to be used to bind his head to a new host body. Patience assured Kai that they’d use a cadaver as a host, so no one would get hurt. If she put it on Manfred, that means there’s been a change of plans. Suddenly the necklace tightens around Manfred’s neck and he can’t remove it.
It’s a complement, really. She took Manfred’s body for a spin and wanted to keep it. But it does make you wonder just how close she and her twin were.
While Kai and Manfred are talking, Fiji and patience hold hands and walk to the center of the room together. Fiji slams all of the doors shut and locks them all in together. Patience gives the camera an evil, off-kilter smile.
I know Patience and Fiji are supposed to be the scariest, evilest thing evah, two powerful, beautiful women who don’t need men or care about what anyone thinks of them, but I can’t help but be on their side, right this minute.
Images courtesy of NBC.