01 April 2011

Moonlight S1 E16 "Sonata" Series Finale

Spoilers Ahead

Just when things were getting good CBS had to go and cancel Moonlight. Such is the sad story of TV and we, the fans, can only hope to not be left hanging. Luckily we get something of a satisfying ending for Moonlight, although we also have to contend with the beginning of an intriguing new storyline that will never go anywhere. Sometimes I have to wonder if TV execs are all closet sadists.

In any case, "Sonata" starts off with Joseph being honoured by Hearst College for his generous donation of an entire arena (he also founded the school, he admits to Beth, after losing a bet to William Randolph Hearst). The evening is going well enough and Beth and Mick are enjoying their fourth official date--until the school's star basketball player is found dead in a hot tub.

As they investigate the murder (among the suspects are Joseph's freshie--human blood donor--and a vampire) Beth has a chance to find out more about vampire culture than she really cares to. She ends up jealous of Mick's desire to feed off other humans and confused about how she feels about being turned--or not--someday.

When Mick manages to catch up to the killer, Emma--one of the dead player's vampire managers, as well as his lover--D.A. Talbot and the police are already there. Emma is freaking, refusing to go to jail, and emphasizing her point by flinging the humans around the room. But Mick calms her down and convinces her to cooperate. You get a good look at Mick's gorgeous fangs in this shot. It's nice to see the vampires acting like vampires throughout this episode, actually, and their 'otherness' is featured prominently in "Sonata."

Once in jail, Emma gets melodramatic, insisting that if Mick doesn't get her out again she'll tell the police what she is and then hand over the names of all the vampires in LA. She then warns him he's got 24 hours. Um, okay. Not only does this seem like it's straight out of some cheesy "suspense" movie but leads to a trite scene straight out of a heist movie as Mick gathers up the gang (which consists of Joseph, Guillermo, Logan, and the Cleaner) to break Emma out. The "heist" itself is actually not bad. Of course it goes wrong, leaving the vamps scrambling for a last-minute Plan B. After all the trouble they go to getting Emma (not to mention feeding her blood) they have a quickie trial in which she's convicted of treason against vamp-kind and sentenced to death by flamethrower.

As the LA vampires are breathing a collective sigh of relief, somebody slips D.A. Talbot a list of all their names (a few are crossed out, including Emma's). Mick and Joseph's names are last on the list. Talbot then gets a mysterious phone call telling him the list is for his eyes only. This is the new intriguing storyline we're never going to get to see played out. Talbot has seen enough strange things in the last few episodes to start putting facts together, so I'm pretty sure he would eventually figure out the vampires' existence. But then what would happen? Would he be understanding or turn hunter? How would the vampires respond? And who is his informant? Damn, it would have been nice to have another season.

The episode (and series) appropriately leaves off with Mick and Beth. He goes to see her after the Emma situation has been dealt with. Beth is upset with all things vampire and she's decided she doesn't think the two of them can ever work out. Mick is speechless as he turns and walks out (nicely acted, Alex O'Loughlin). Beth closes the door behind him and dissolves into sobs. Out in the hall, Mick suddenly turns and goes back to her apartment. When she doesn't respond to his knocks he just walks in (gotta love a man of action). He gives a rousing little speech about "us" and their feelings for each other. Then he tells her he loves her and they kiss. From just outside the apartment we see Beth gently close the door again, as the two of the continue to kiss inside. Well at least we get something of a happy conclusion with those two, although again it really would have been nice to see how their relationship would have played out.

Overall Moonlight was a good show, one any vampire fan should make a point of checking out. There were definitely a few weak episodes but the vampires were cool, the acting was good, the makeup/effects were pretty awesome, and the relationships were compelling. Although we're left wondering what could have been, at least it was fun while it lasted.

Fang Files

Appearance: Pale human until the vampire emerges then ghostly white eyes and long, elegant fangs (these are probably the best fangs I've seen on any vampires).

Strengths: Super speed, strength. Ability to tell blood types apart by taste. Enhanced sense of hearing--vamps can tell from the sound of a person's heartbeat that they're lying. Can speak below audible human levels so that humans can't overhear them (although other vampires can still hear them). Enhanced sense of smell. Resistant to injury.

Weaknesses: Silver, fire, boredom, love.

Mythology: It's a common practice among vampires to have arrangements with humans who provide them with blood; these humans are called "Freshies." Vampires have their own laws and justice; above all they must keep their existence a secret.

Sound Bites

Beth: This is great--I feel like I'm back at my high school prom.
Joseph: You know prom wasn't really big back in the 1700s. High school either. The plague--the plague was big.

Simone: We should go.
Joseph: But this is so awkward. I love awkward.

Beth: You okay?
Mick: Yeah, well, I got hit in the face with the sacred ass paddle.
Beth: [shrugs] Karma.

Moonlight, Season 1 Episode 16 "Sonata" (series finale). Written by Ethan Erwin and Kira Snyder. Directed by Fred Toye. From CBS.

Read my previous reviews:

Episode 1 "No Such Thing as Vampires"
Episode 2 "Out of the Past"
Episode 3 "Dr. Feelgood"
Episode 4 "Fever"
Episode 5 "Arrested Development"
Episode 6 "B.C."
Episode 7 "The Ringer"
Episode 8 "12:04 AM"
Episode 9 "Fleur de Lys"
Episode 10 "Sleeping Beauty"
Episode 11 "Love Lasts Forever"
Episode 12 "The Mortal Cure"
Episode 13 "Fated to Pretend"
Episode 14 "Click"
Episode 15 "What's Left Behind"

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