Well, that was interesting. Lots of stuff I liked here, and a few things I didn't. A little out of order.
Oh, Annie. Sending Mitchell to prison? If it were just vampires, I'd say Annie (and Nina) were right. Mitchell needs to be stopped and deserves to be punished, and humans should be scared of what's out there and should have the right to protect themselves. I suspect making vampires public in that world would result in either vampires going extinct or vampires taking over the way Herrick once planned, but I think humans deserve a fighting chance. However, it's not just vampires--it's werewolves as well. It's Nina and George and Tom and a bunch of other innocent people, and I don't see the public finding out about them ending well for them. I suppose one could argue it's a reasonable trade-off: their lives for the lives of the humans who won't die at the ends of vampires and werewolves anymore. But I don't believe killing or locking up or experimenting on innocent people is ever a reasonable trade-off. Regardless, it seems a little unfair for Annie to make that choice on behalf of George and Nina, who are supposed to be her friends, without talking to them or even considering other possible ways of dealing with Mitchell. (Who I do agree should not be allowed loose on the public.) Killing him, for example, might be a good option? Although maybe not palatable to her at that point. But there's also locking him up. Burying him. Whatever.
Of course, we-the-audience know he's not going to stay in prison, because if he did, they would figure it out. Humans are capable of great rationalizations, yes, but with the ongoing evidence right in front of them? Word would have gotten out. Scientists would have been sent in. They would have figured out something was going on. And there's no way the show would let that happen. I didn't predict Herrick being the one to let him out, though!
So Mitchell claims he was fighting to stay alive solely because of Annie, and not because he's afraid of death? I don't believe him. All that panic, all that struggle to find out Herrick's secret...that wasn't about his fear of losing Annie. (I think most vampires become vampires either out of a desire for power or a fear of death. Mitchell, of course, is supposed to have become a vampire to save the lives of his men rather than out of fear of death or lust for power, but I think the fear of death is still present. I wonder if he too said that he'd rather die than become a monster? He might have--and meant it. One of his fleeting moments of strength. But I don't think he can sustain that.)
And Annie is manipulated so that she can't intervene in Mitchell's fate, and so that he has to suffer without her. I understand why they want him dead, but making Annie watch--after she worked so hard to get him locked up--seems unspeakably cruel. Lia definitely has brutality down. I love the conversation between Lia and Annie. Annie is so awesome here, pointing out Lia's hypocrisy--devastating, but still gentler than I'd want to be. I still don't get this show's portrayal of the afterlife, though. How does Lia have the power to trap Sally? Twice, if one considers Sally's first experience on that side. How does she have the power to explore Mitchell's past? How does she never seem to interact with anyone else there? Is she being aided by others? But if so, why doesn't she know anyone there? Is it all her or is there a higher power involved? It's really not clear, and maybe it's not meant to be.
Where are the police in this show? They just seem, well, awful. How do they not send someone out to investigate immediately when they can't raise the officers (multiple officers!) left behind at Mitchell's house? How are they not looking into the roommates who came with him from Bristol to Wales? What exactly are they doing?
We finally have some sign of vampire organization! It was hinted at earlier in the season, of course, but this is the most explicit look we've had. Apparently there is a higher level of vampire organization, but they don't bother with the young ones. They let them run free and do what they like, and lead separate lives. Except now they've apparently decided on a vampire domination approach as well. I was kind of enjoying the tribal, semi-organized, rather scattered vampire society. But I suppose it does explain why we never see truly old vampires--they live in a different realm altogether, and presumably recruit the ones who prove themselves.
I wasn't sure about Herrick coming back, but I really love his scenes with Mitchell in this episode. So much insight and honesty from Mitchell about who he is and what he'll do to survive. It's about time that he admitted these things. Wonderful work there. I'm interested, though, in the idea that Mitchell considers himself to be a vulnerability of Herrick's. I'm not sure if that's supposed to suggest that Herrick actually has some sort of genuine (well hidden) affection for Mitchell, or if Mitchell is misreading Herrick entirely (just as he always has?). I'm kind of leaning toward the latter.
Mitchell has been on a downward spiral since the massacre, so his death seems like the right ending. Inevitable. I liked that he chose to die in the end; that he acknowledged that he was incapable of not killing and decided that it wasn't something he wanted to do anymore. I didn't really care for the whole "soul corruption" idea, however. He's right that George chose willful blindness so that he could choose love over what was right, but I'm not sure George killing his best friend was the way to balance that out. However, the way it actually happens in the moment worked for me. Mitchell probably would have gone with the Old Ones because he clings to certainty and people who offer it, and his moments of strength are invariably fleeting, and he would have wanted to protect George and Nina and Annie as best he could. George saved him from that. George let him be a hero and have a hero's death. Truly an act of love.
Oh, and knowing what I do about the cast challenges, I'm shocked that Nina survived this episode. I really thought Herrick had killed her. So that was interesting. I'd say I'm glad because she deserves better--and she does!--but I have my suspicions that she won't get the better ending that she deserves.
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