Midnight, Texas (S01E03) “Lemuel, Unchained”

This week’s episode focuses mostly on Lem’s backstory, of which there is quite a bit, not surprising for a vampire. We learn how and when he became a vampire, not to mention how he became a vampire who feeds on energy instead of blood. That part comes with a surprising revelation. I kind of like it when shows manage to surprise me. Stay tuned.

Creek’s and Manfred’s relationship seems to be moving right along. They’re keeping it on the DL, due to her father being extremely overprotective, not to say controlling. In her way home, Creek is accosted by what turns out to be a rather nasty vampire called Zachariah, but she’s saved by Lem, who is acquainted with Zach and his little blood-sucking posse. It seems Lem owes Zach his life.

Mandatory vampire flashback: Lem is a slave and is trying to escape. He has heard about Zach, who turns him into a vampire. Zach mentions that there is a price for his help. We don’t yet know what that is. Interestingly, it seems that Lem can kill other vampires, because he’s an energy-leeching vampire, which is why other vampires usually avoid Midnight. Yes, I imagine a vampire-killing vampire would be someone to avoid. Among the other vampires, is a female named Pia, who seems to have a history with Lem. Olivia is none too happy.

Olivia and Manfred do a little investigating, breaking into the vampires’ bus, hoping that there will be some spirits that will talk to Manfred and give them the 411 on what the vamps are up to. No dead people, but there is a live one, a young woman from Tulsa who is a blood donor. Olivia and Manfred confront Lem and his friends about the girl. They refer to her as a groupie, and insist that she’s a willing donor. It’s pretty icky, but OTOH I suppose for her it’s a way out of Tulsa.

Bobo visits Fiji, who is investigating methods of dealing with the out of towners. Bobo is worried about Fiji (aww) and has adapted a crossbow to shoot wooden stakes. As one does.

Creek is surreptitiously sharpening what looks like a broom handle into a handy wooden stake. Her younger brother wants to know what’s going on. He says he knows Lem isn’t exactly like the rest of us. She tells him that a group of vampires has arrived in town.

The Rev finds Joe in church. Joe tells him that he’s a fallen angel, at which revelation (ha!) the Rev doesn’t so much as bat an eyelash. They agree that an evil is growing in Midnight. The veil between the living and the dead is fraying, and it was apparently pretty weak to begin with, in Midnight.

Manfred is in the hardware store, doing a little shopping for some vampire repelling equipment, when he comes across the owner, who is dead, courtesy of one of the visitors, who is still there. Manfred escapes and ends up in the church where he tells Joe and the Rev that the visitors aren’t as benign as they claim. No one is surprised.

MVF to the…Fifties, maybe? Zach and Pia have found a young girl for Lem to snack on. He realizes that he is still a slave, only he’s now a slave to the blood drinking thing. The girl offers him a way to break that curse. The girl’s name? Xylda. She breaks the curse, which turns his eyes that incredible icy blue and gives him the power to kill vampires. Did not see that one coming.

Lem and Zach do a shot of blood, for old times’ sake, but Lem’s shot is poisoned with silver. Pia attacks Olivia, who takes her, Pia, out without much difficulty, much to Zach’s annoyance. He gives orders to his people to kill everyone. Well, that went to crap in record time. Manfred goes to Creek’s house to tell them that the vampires are attacking and they need to get somewhere safe. Creek’s jerk of a father says he doesn’t have to listen to him and that he needs to get out. Manfred punches him and he goes down. Interesting that one of the least likeable non-villain characters in the show is a human. Manfred’s right in that there really isn’t time for arguing, but I suspect he didn’t hate knocking the guy out. Manfred and Creek and her family (apparently their name is Lovell) get into Manny’s RV. They end up at Manny’s house, which, as we know, is inhospitable to the dead, thanks to Fiji. Not that it stops them from trying to get in.

Fiji and Bobo are trying to make a vampire repelling lamp, and it looks like they’re starting to get cozy, with a very warm hug. Olivia shows up.

MVF: Lem tells Zach and Pia that Xylda can make them like him, without a need for killing, but they like the killing part. Lem kills a few vampires (yeah, that kind of killing they aren’t so keen on, go figure) and orders them to leave Midnight.

Olivia is fighting one of the vampires and kills him with Bobo’s and Fiji’s patented Daylight-o-Matic lamp. But she’s injured, so she can’t get the lamp to Manny’s house. Manny’s going to have to fight them the old fashioned way. Creek’s father asks if Manny’s going to apologize. Dude, priorities! Wow, he really is kind of a jackass. He goes outside with a wooden box and says he’s Xylda’s grandson and can make Zach as powerful as Lem and tries to strike a deal. We get a little divine intervention (so to speak) when Joe flies to the top of a building and shines the Daylight-o-Magic over all the vampires, killing them instantly. Olivia finds Lem and gives him her blood to drink, allowing him to heal faster, just as the sun comes up.

Bobo visits Fiji, who is cleaning up the vampire fighting mess, and tells her she’s his closest friend. Oh dear, it looks like Fiji may have been friend-zoned.

A pretty girl is hitch hiking and gets picked up by someone in a truck. Who is a vampire. Maybe not quite all of them were killed?

An interesting episode. I liked the detail about Xylda being the one who made Lem able to dine of energy instead of blood and I really like the part about him being able to kill vampires. OTOH, I found the ending, where the Daylight-o-Matic (by Ronco!) took out all the vampires, was kind of anti-climatic. I was like, wait, that’s it? A light bulb and a rock killed all those vampires? And what’s the deal with Creek’s father? Why is he so unrelentingly obnoxious? There has to be a backstory there.

 

Other Things
– Olivia is wearing a cold shoulder top with a regular bra. Maybe I’m ridiculously old fashioned, but that look just makes me cringe.
– Xylda refers to the new arrivals as a nest of vampires. Is ‘nest’ the official collective noun for a group of vampires? I love collective nouns, and I kind of, well, collect them. Question: what is the collective noun for a group of collective nouns?
– At the end, they pick up truck driver is on the opposite side of the road from the sign that says Midnight 1 mile. Are we supposed to care about a vampire who seems to be driving away from Midnight?

 

Quotes:
“See you in the morning. Oh wait, I won’t.”

“My house is inhospitable to the dead. It’s why I never invite Lem for dinner.”

“I’m taking you to the church where vampires can’t go so shut up, sit down, you’re welcome.”

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