builds to its finale, the stakes are rising by the episode. As the first of two in one week, "The Last Temptation of Midnight" starts to delve into the town residents' darkest impulses. As the pull of the veil gets stronger, the folks are having a harder time resisting their urges, and things are getting ugly among the gang. Manfred returns to find everyone out of sorts, thanks to the latest big bad, and a daunting task in front of him.
Per usual, "Last Temptation of Midnight" opens on a new (and more gruesome) villain headed for Midnight to wreak havoc. This villain is obviously an agent of some bigger deity (not God, by the way), and we know this because when we first meet him he's standing in front of a grave chanting, "I will be your faithful servant until you rise."
Even though he doesn't have a face, his voice feels familiar, and it doesn't take long to recognize him as being connected to Fiji's demon-stalker. He identifies himself to the priest that ambles up as coming "from the gates of Hell" and then quickly rips the priest's face off. He positions it on his weird blob of a head and assumes the priest's identity. This spells trouble as he heads for -- where else? -- Midnight.
As the demon gets closer to Midnight (amassing a truckload of dead bodies along the way), everyone in the town starts to derail into their worst impulses. Fiji's sweet client, Janet, is the first to feel the effects. She comes to Fiji to help her with her "dark moods" but steals an athame on the way out and tries to kill herself. She does so at the instruction of a voice she hears -- the same voice, in fact, that's been terrorizing Fiji and is now bringing the faceless demon into town.
Lem begins to feel his self-control slipping every time he gets near Olivia and her nubile young neck. Leeching isn't enough for the vampire these days, and he's having a hard time ignoring the thumping of her heart. He actually takes a little nip, but Olivia sends him a clear message in the form of a warning stab.
Things get worse for the vampire when Creek asks him to leech her pain from her. He's willing, but Olivia protests under the guise of jealousy, but you can tell she's afraid for Creek. Lem uses this slight as a means to pick a fight, and things escalate very quickly. What starts as an argument about Creek turns into a rehashing of an old argument (more on that in The Latest in 'Shipping News section at the bottom of this recap) and then turns into full-on hand-to-hand combat. Lem is out of his mind and means to do Olivia bodily harm and then turn her into a vampire like him.
The demon takes advantage of Creek's sadness and tries to convince her to commit suicide, just like Janet. Because the demon needs a human sacrifice, he's preying on the weak and vulnerable to help complete the ritual it will take to make him rise. Manfred and Fiji arrive just in time to keep her from harming herself, but everyone is on edge and worrying about their neighbors.
Across town, in a far less dangerous position, is the Reverend, who is eating meat again. This seems a lot less worrying than Lem's attempt on Olivia's life and Creek's suicide, but I suppose we can't take anything too lightly. A Confirmation That Manfred is the "One"
The last we saw of Manfred, he was barreling out of town in his RV, with his Granny trying to talk him out of it the whole time. We pick up with Manfred, taking his last pill, and getting lectured further by Xylda. This time, however, she confides that she's been keeping a secret from him and tells him about a vision she had on the day she died. This vision confirms that Manfred is the one who will save the world, starting with Midnight, and she hasn't been able to move on because she hasn't told him about his destiny.
In the meantime, we get a few flashbacks of Manfred as a "sweet, weird kid," and we're meant to understand that Xylda didn't raise him to utilize his gifts. She encouraged him to hide them, in order to keep the jerky other kids from bullying him, and instilled the instinct to run. She regrets that now and wants Manfred to step up and claim his fate.
When the RV breaks down and he runs out of pills, he has to set out walking. The combination of all these things convinces him to go back to Midnight and fight, but of course he lands a ride with the faceless demon and winds up in the back of the truck with a heap of dead bodies.
Rituals, Potions and Sacrifices
Thankfully, Manfred is able to find a cell phone after he's forced to pat down several of the corpses, and he calls to warn Fiji. Fiji, in turn, makes a potion that will get folks' minds' right with just a quick spritz in their mouth.
Creek's suicide attempt is thwarted with the potion, and Lem gets snapped out of his murderous rage with it as well, so it's already doing its job. However, the potion is no match for the faceless demon, who has all his dead bodies piled up in the town square, especially since he doesn't have a mouth or nose for the spray to enter.
Just as he's about to light the funeral pyre up, to complete the ritual with a human sacrifice, Manfred calls the spirits of the dead to drag him "back to Hell." This is a handy trick, but it's not quite in time to keep it from happening. The larger, more in charge demon sets the fire himself, and the sacrifice is complete. His faceless henchman may have not been able to get the job done, but we haven't seen the last of the boss demon.
The Latest in 'Shipping News
Lem and Olivia are having Midnight's version of the "Where is this going?" talk. Lem is hurt and upset by Olivia's refusal to accept immortality. He doesn't want to lose her, but she firmly believes that "life should end." He makes her promise that she'll do more than leave a note when it comes time for her to go, but I don't fully accept that she will.
Of course, after his brutal attempt to force her to turn and the fight that ensues, this could be a moot issue. Olivia doesn't seem like the kind of girl who would forgive that kind of nonsense, even if he was under the influence of an evil demon and the veil's pull.
Bobo and Fiji are still hanging out in this "Will they?/Won't they?" space, and it's boring as hell. How many times can this man save her from certain death before she can forgive his family's dark past? He promises her, once again, that he will protect her from all the evils in the world -- and I, for one, believe him. I wish she could get over her Ellie Mae sensibilities and just be with him already. Sheesh.
Manfred is back, and it seems like Creek is happy about it. He's being super chill for a guy who just saved her life and protected her town from ultimate destruction. He tells her he'll wait for her. She gets all coy about it, and I've never wanted to punch her so badly. After Manfred's poignant display of affection and commitment, all Creek can muster is, "Okay. Welcome home." Not cool.
Joe and Chuy leave town, and I don't love it. Sure, send demon-Chuy away, but let us keep Joe. After the previous episode, "Angel Heart," I got really attached to him as a main player. I don't like the writers whisking him and Chuy away right when we need them most. Episode Highlights
- Creek's obvious conflicted feelings about her dad deeding her the land. Sarah Ramos is killing it as Creek, and she does an excellent job of delivering an emotional performance every week. You can see her agonizing about her dad's decision to give her the house, and I enjoy getting to feel both sorry and fed-up with this character. Well done.
- Lem and Olivia's fight. I always love when a show pits a female bad-ass against a male foe. And Arielle Kebbel, the actress who plays Olivia, really goes all in. Maybe it's the sassy new short hair or her tight leather pants, but it's all working for her (and me).
- '80s Xylda. Even though Granny Xylda looks far more intriguing and cooler as a spirit, I enjoy seeing her in her late '80s/early '90s glory. Even more, I appreciate her as a gin-swilling, no-nonsense, truth-telling, cool grandmother. She could totally have her own spin-off.
What do you think will happen to the Midnight
couples? Who will stay together and who is doomed to break up forever? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.Midnight, Texas
season 1 airs Mondays (and Wednesday, September 13) at 10/9c on NBC. Want more news? Like our Midnight, Texas Facebook page
.(Images courtesy of NBC)