Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 3: Dr. Feelgood

Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 3: Dr. Feelgood

Postby Shadow » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:29 am

I have some extra time tonight, so I hope it's okay for me to go ahead and start on this episode!

I remember that when I first watched it, I thought it was really a mixed bag, and it was one of my least favorites. But I also remember absolutely loving getting the flashbacks of Mick's turning, and loving many of the scenes with Mick and Beth (and the ending, of course).

On the re-watch, I really enjoyed Beth's reaction to Mick's revelations in the first scene, especially how quickly her fear turned to avid curiosity. (And I still wonder if she set up the meeting, if he did, or if she just dropped by. He certainly seemed to be expecting her....) The flashbacks were a little disappointing to me this time, I think because there actually isn't much there. They were a revelation the first time, but this time, I just wanted more information about Mick's early days as a vampire.

Mick's line we're extremely careful leaped out at me this time, and struck me as funny. First because Mick's been doing the same job, in the same city, using the same name, for decades. Second because of Josef's zillions of freshies. And third because of all the confidential stuff in this episode that took place in .... public hallways. The turning conversation in the busy morgue hallway, the staked vamp on the uncovered gurney in the hospital corridor, and Mick's final conversation with Beth in her hallway.

I wasn't particularly interested in the Dr. Pollock story, then or now. Which is odd, because it seems like the doctor's story ought to be a compelling one. For me, though, it fell flat. Maybe it's because we never got to know him, or his wife, before he was turned. I wonder if it would have worked better if we'd gotten to know them first.

The scene in the alley ... I didn't like it much the first time because it was so gory. This time, I was also disturbed by the casual "accidents happen" attitude of everyone present. I suppose they were trying to make the point that except for Mick, vampires are vampires, without morals or scruples, but Mick was awfully casual about it too. Now that I've seen LLF, this seemed really strange to me. If he felt so much guilt about the bad things he'd done after he'd been turned, wouldn't a sight like this be just a little upsetting to him? But he treated it as vampire business as usual, and it bugged me that the whole scene was pretty much treated as a joke. Hm. The first time I watched this I thought Stupid and Sloppy had been hunting, but this time, it sounded more like they'd lost control with a freshie. Which seems even worse, somehow.

Speaking of Stupid and Sloppy, I noticed this time what an awful introduction to the vampire world these characters were! Stupid, Sloppy, and Gerald were not exactly vampdom's finest. And though I quite liked the idea of a vampire who was also a rocket scientist, in practice Gerald was a dreadful caricature of a scientist. (Actually, even the humans were pretty callous in this ep. Like the doctors Pollock met in the hospital corridor.)

Another thing that didn't strike me the first time, but did this time, was the talk about vampire rules. When Mick said We have rules, all I could think was, You do? (All I could come up with was, sires shouldn't abandon fledglings, and if you kill someone, you should dispose of the body discreetly.) But then I started wondering about that, especially about the rules for sires. Is there a certain way fledglings are supposed to be raised? Did Coraline really do it properly, since Mick ended up with horrible memories and raging guilt? When you come down to it, what's the big difference between bringing your fledgling someone to kill, versus letting him go off to hunt in the streets? Should Coraline have been visited by the New-Turn Protective Services?

Well, I've been going on about the negative stuff, but there are lots and lots of truly awesome things in this episode too. Pretty much every scene with Mick and Beth was delightful. There was lots of fun between them, too, especially in the middle of the episode, which helped alleviate the rather grim nature of the ep. I loved Mick's joke about being able to fly (and that whole scene in the car), and Beth's comment about how well staying in the car had worked last time. Beth pulling the stake, and her compassion afterward, was wonderful. (But hey, Beth thought that stakes would kill vampires! Apparently she hasn't been reading the same books as Lee Jay.)

And the ending! As usual, absolutely and totally beautiful, starting with Josef's story about the two monks. Josef's telling of it, and Mick's reaction, were so compelling, and having it be about Coraline made it new. Then the first notes of the Fauxliage song fit so perfectly with the fades to Beth and Josh in bed, overlaid with Mick in his freezer and Mick's poignant voice-over. And then at last that utterly golden scene in Beth's hallway, with Mick opening up and truly putting his trust in Beth.... :cloud9:

Scorecard so far:
Mick saves Beth-- I
Beth saves Mick-- II
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 3: Dr. Feelgood

Postby Shadow » Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:31 am

:bump:
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 3: Dr. Feelgood

Postby allegrita » Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:36 am

Oh, darn it! I watched a few days ago, and then real life intervened, and I totally forgot to post! :slaphead: I'll come back soon and post my thoughts.

ETA: Okay... here goes.

First, thank you for the running tally on who saves whom, Shadow! That's awesome. :highfive:

This episode is by no means my favorite, but it has elements that I absolutely love, even now. As usual, the beginning and ending are wonderfully done. I love that Beth comes to Mick's place at the beginning, and he is so prickly and short with her, even though he is trying hard to explain the vampire thing, and get her to understand that she has to keep the secret. And when she asks him how he became a vampire, he closes down entirely and sends her away. Then at the end, he visits her at her place, and his attitude has changed. He's melted some of the icy restraint he exhibited with her all episode, he tells her about his wedding night--and that he's never told anyone about himself before--and so yeah, trusts her. :melts: And he touches her hand this time, instead of the other way around. I just loved that small gesture. And evidently, so did Beth. She looked pretty smitten as she watched him walk away. (Well, who wouldn't be?)

I also adore the scene between Mick and Guillermo, and the way G. whips the sheet back over the body when Beth peeks in. The relationship between Mick and Guillermo remains one of my favorite parts of the show.

What struck me most on this watching was how very clipped Mick's speech is with Beth, throughout the episode, and the way he shuts her down every time she gets too curious or too involved. He is doing his very best to keep her at arm's length, emotionally speaking. He has himself emotionally walled up, and heaven knows it's understandable--but it's so very different from later episodes that it really struck me, how reined-in he is. Every time she pushes, he retreats. (Till that wonderful ending scene.) The only exception to that is the fun scene as they are riding in Mick's car, but even that scene, with its banter, has Mick feeling wound-up and a little uptight. He jokes with her, but he's not comfortable.

I love the entire scene in Doctor Pollack's house, especially the part where Beth un-stakes Mick. First of all, Sophia was wonderful in portraying Beth's squeamishness and hesitation, and then her strength of will in dragging that stake out of Mick's chest. :gasp: And second, Alex was pretty damned amazing, especially the way he showed Mick's agony and weakness as he began to heal from the injury. And his expression when Beth gently touches the wound in his chest is just... :hearts: I think I fell in love with Beth when she did that. (Maybe Mick did, too.)

Like Shadow, I was frustrated about the paucity of information provided in the flashbacks, although I kinda always was. In fact, I wanted so desperately to know what happened to Mick that I invented his whole wedding day as the second story I ever wrote. I desperately needed to fill in all those blank spaces in the storyline, because they did such an amazing job of giving us the emotional story... but very little actual plot! This time around, I really appreciated Alex's acting throughout the post-turning flashback scenes. His desperation and despair were absolutely believable.

Speaking of "atmosphere," the introduction of Josef's office and the concept of the Cleaner were among my favorite parts of the episode back then, because they did so much to establish the "world" of Moonlight. This time, I still really liked Josef's office (and Jason's fabulous putting!) but I agree with Shadow that the Cleaner scene, much as I loved the Cleaner herself, was way too over the top. The bad prop-body and head, the casual way they left the body lying around and allowed "Mr. Sloppy and Mr. Stupid" to stand around covered in blood in downtown LA? :noway: Vampires are extremely careful?! Uh-huh, suuuuure. :rolling: :rolling: :rolling: I wish they'd done a better job of showing the Cleaner at work.

Last, I wanted to mention a very cool thing that librarian_7 pointed out long ago, and that I always look for when I watch this episode. It was wonderful how they portrayed how vampires see blood as a vivid, almost glowing red. I highly recommend that you look at Page 4 of this episode discussion for her explanation (although, alas, all the Photobucket pictures she and GuardianAngel posted have been lost, more's the pity!). I loved the way they used this effect in this episode, and I wish they'd continued to do it throughout the series. It was subtle, but it was so amazingly effective in portraying how much a vampire's life revolves around blood. I will always be grateful to Lucky for noticing this, and pointing it out to the rest of us. She was such a perceptive lady. :rose:
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 3: Dr. Feelgood

Postby MickLifeCrisis » Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:07 am

Well said, Shadow and Allegrita! :highfive:

Shadow wrote:Mick's line we're extremely careful leaped out at me this time, and struck me as funny. First because Mick's been doing the same job, in the same city, using the same name, for decades. Second because of Josef's zillions of freshies. And third because of all the confidential stuff in this episode that took place in .... public hallways. The turning conversation in the busy morgue hallway, the staked vamp on the uncovered gurney in the hospital corridor, and Mick's final conversation with Beth in her hallway.

:snicker: And not just the vamp on the gurney in the hospital corridor, but Beth yelling at Pollock about vampires in the hospital hallway, and the Cleaners in black leather showing up and escorting Pollack out. They don't quite look like your average hospital security guards. :laugh:

allegrita wrote:I love that Beth comes to Mick's place at the beginning, and he is so prickly and short with her, even though he is trying hard to explain the vampire thing, and get her to understand that she has to keep the secret. And when she asks him how he became a vampire, he closes down entirely and sends her away. Then at the end, he visits her at her place, and his attitude has changed. He's melted some of the icy restraint he exhibited with her all episode, he tells her about his wedding night--and that he's never told anyone about himself before--and so yeah, trusts her. :melts: And he touches her hand this time, instead of the other way around. I just loved that small gesture.


That was very noticeable to me, too. In NSTAV Mick looked so startled in his car at the cemetery when Beth touched his hand and how tentative he was to hug her at the end of it. And now in this episode, without hesitation he reaches out to touch her hand on the door frame and give it a squeeze. Beth noticed that he touched her, and realized something had changed between them, as if proving he meant what he said about being the first human he ever told his story to and that he trusted her now. :happysigh: Happy sigh.

I won't even get into how someone can basically walk in off the street and shove a body into the incinerator. :eyeroll: :slaphead:
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 3: Dr. Feelgood

Postby allegrita » Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:40 am

:rolling: :rolling: :rolling: Carefully!!! EXTREMELY carefully! :winky:
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 3: Dr. Feelgood

Postby Shadow » Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:24 am

So interesting what both Alle and MLC said about the change in Mick in the last scene. I had noticed it, but hadn't really taken note of it before! It happens so naturally too, somewhere during the ending montage of scenes with Mick's voiceover. Looking back on it, it seems that even though Mick couldn't really put Coraline down, he could at least put down the mistrust and barriers that she had left him with. I hadn't thought before what a huge deal it was that Mick reached out to touch Beth's hand, but considering how hesitant he was to touch her before, it really was. (Also, the first thing I noticed while watching Fever was how different Mick and Beth's relationship was, how comfortable they were with each other even when things got awkward. That carries over so nicely from this ending scene.)

That's also very interesting about the vampire vision shots of the blood. I went back to read Lucky's comments and that was fascinating. I also hadn't realized that Trevor had originally planned to have vampire vision be in black and white, except for the color red.

Was there ever any explanation for the title of this episode? I had always guessed that it referred to blood being an addiction for vampires, like heroin is for humans, but wondered if there was some other explanation. (And is it reasonable to consider blood to be a vampire addiction, rather than just sustenance?) :chin:

MickLifeCrisis wrote:I won't even get into how someone can basically walk in off the street and shove a body into the incinerator. :eyeroll: :slaphead:
:rolling: :rolling: :rolling: :rolling: :rolling:
allegrita wrote:Carefully!!! EXTREMELY carefully! :winky:

:rolling: :rolling: :rolling: :rolling: :rolling:

And come to think of it, there would undoubtedly be security cameras in the hallways too.....
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 3: Dr. Feelgood

Postby cassysj » Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:44 am

I'm not really a big fan of this episode but it has Josef's Buddist monk story which I love and that the doctor figured out he was top of the food chain almost instantly. I liked the flashbacks with Coraline it showed her depth of feeling and even Mick realizing that his situation could have been different if his sire hadn't trained him. I have to admit that Beth pulling out the stake is pretty impressive she has to adapt to a new world quickly.
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Re: Dr. Feelgood (Episode Three)

Postby Lucy » Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:03 pm

wpgrace wrote:
Fleur de Lisa wrote:As far as know, that was it. He obviously doesn't have much contact with the Cleaner's, and God knows they are a perceptive lot, I think she was just waiting for him to spit it out.



That's so mundane... I was looking for some vamp thing I wasn't catching...

But I admitted from the start it was not an intelligent question... stoopid but honest...



From the later scenes with other Cleaners who tell Mick....something in the vein of "You don't need a cleanup to call..." I am thinking he is on their radar as one of the available vamps they'd like to spend down time with. I mean, come on, he's Mick!!!
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