Moonlight on the CW, Ep 9: Fleur de Lis

Moonlight on the CW, Ep 9: Fleur de Lis

Postby allegrita » Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:33 pm

Episode Title: "Fleur de Lis"
Current air date: July 29, 2010

Guardian Angel's Episode 9 discussion thread with screencaps

The basics (from tvguide.com):

Synopsis:
Beth gets jealous when Mick works on a case with a female photographer who bears a striking resemblance to his ex-wife. Beth then researches the woman's past and discovers the mystery lady isn't who she claims to be. As for the case, Mick is hired by a CEO to follow his trophy wife who may be having an affair. During the probe, Mick suspects the husband may be planning to murder his unfaithful spouse.

Written by: Gabrielle Stanton and Harry Werksman
Directed by: James Whitmore Jr.
Original Air Date: Nov 23, 2007

Guest Cast:
Victor Webster: Owen Haggans
Richard Cox: Richard Haggan
Kathleen Munroe: Tina Haggans
Marc Anthony Samuel: Tucker

My own thoughts about this episode:

I tend to be a bit Beth-centric (Oh, really? you all ask, rolling your eyes...), so this episode is really emotional for me. I understand Beth's anguish and fury here, and I think Sophia did a great job of portraying it. But this episode always felt like a disconnect from the end of Episode 8, where Beth was so accepting of Mick, and where she tried so hard to reach through his despair and make him see that she didn't blame him. I always felt that the show did a lousy job of explaining how she went from that, to her attitude in this episode... and additionally, it never explained to my satisfaction why Beth was suddenly sure that Morgan was Coraline. So I want to thank our own Shadow for her amazing "In Between" series, which helped me see how events might have led from that sweet scene on the balcony to Beth's furious conversation with Mick in the car as they watched Morgan, and to all the other events that took place in this tumultuous episode. If you haven't read these stories, I highly recommend them.

This is one of the most controversial episodes, maybe THE most controversial. Shippers tend to gang up at the far ends of the spectrum when discussing this episode, and the insults tend to fly back and forth... which is a real shame, in my opinion. After all, one of the great things about Moonlight is that it didn't present any character as one-dimensional. We've already seen how very fun and interesting Coraline can be in The Ringer, but it becomes even more evident in Fleur de Lis that Coraline is not just a paper-doll femme fatale. She has dimension and depth of character. And lord, the chemistry between her and Mick is amazing! We see the woman he fell in love with, and why he stayed with her for so long. And we also see how very much she loves him. Sure, she's manipulative and sneaky and a whole lot of other things. But she doesn't think like a human. She thinks like a 300-year-old vampire, and she'd say, all's fair in love and war. And let's face it--Beth doesn't come off as a wide-eyed innocent in this episode, either.

And speaking of Beth... in this episode, we finally get real insight into the seriousness of the trauma Beth endured as a result of her childhood kidnapping. We're so used to seeing Beth as a spunky, positive, cheerful person. Yeah, she's pushy, but she does it with a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye. Suddenly, in this episode, all of Beth's light has been put out. She's dark and angry, and she's thrown back to a time when she was very, very afraid. She never loses her courage, but she loses her good judgment, with near-disastrous results.

I believe that in this episode, Mick finally begins to deal with his feelings about Coraline. He's moved past the madness of The Ringer, and now that he truly believes Morgan NOT to be Coraline, he's a little more at ease with her... well, after he gets through that excruciating lunch when he has to apologize to her for his behavior in the cemetery. :blushing: But after that's out of the way, Mick has fun with Morgan. And we see all the things that attracted him to her in the first place. She's smart and funny and capable, and sexy as hell. There's no denying the sparks between them. Man, when he looked at her through the shower door, I think the temperature in my house went up about 10 degrees. But what really struck me in that scene was that, despite the passion, what was uppermost in Mick's mind was the fact that Coraline had found a way to regain her humanity. His feelings about her changed at that moment from "OMG, she is sooo hot" to "Oh. My. GOD. She's got a cure!" And really, to my mind, that's when he first became free of his obsession with Coraline as a person. He transferred the obsession to the cure, and I don't think he ever changed back. From that moment on, his interest in Coraline was focused on finding out how she'd become human, and going back himself. (Maybe that's why they were so much more at ease in TMC--because the sexual tension between them had been removed. They were like old exes there. But that's a thought for a future episode.)

What did Beth mean when she hissed, "How could you?!" to Mick? Well, to me, that's a very complicated question. At one level, it was just exactly what it looked like: jealousy of a rival. But when you think about it, Beth had just come from the house where she was imprisoned by her own personal monster-in-the-closet. And suddenly she realized that her protector, her Guardian Angel, was in league with that monster... maybe even in love with that monster. Beth felt betrayed by Mick in a fundamental way that went all the way back to her earliest memories.

Did Beth stake Coraline on the spur of the moment? I don't think so. She decided on that course of action back in the frilly pink prison, when she broke the chair. So I don't see the staking as the act of a jealous lover lashing out at a rival. I see it as the desperately courageous act of a grown-up child confronting her own personal demon. And yeah, there's a big dose of revenge, too.

Did Beth know that she could kill Morgan by staking her? I don't think so. Mick told her that vamps are only paralyzed when staked, and she saw evidence of that when Mick was staked by Gerald Stovsky. Beth released him from the paralysis herself, and she watched him heal from the injury before her eyes. She knew for a fact that Morgan was Coraline--she had the proof in her hands when she got to Mick's place. And she knew Coraline was a vampire. I think she really believed that the stake would just paralyze Coraline. But did Beth mind the fact that staking hurts like hell? Oh, no, she didn't. She wanted to make Coraline suffer as she had suffered.

I know this is really long, but I just want to point out one more thing. Sophia's portrayal of Beth's reaction after the staking is absolutely brilliant. You see triumph replaced by fury when Mick shoved her away, followed by shock and a dawning horror as she realized what she'd done. Suddenly she went from the good guy, with justice on her side, to maybe a cold-blooded murderer. And worse yet, she might have just denied Mick his heart's desire: the chance at regaining his humanity. What a horrible fall that must have been for Beth.

(Edited to fix typos.)

Links:
http://www.tvguide.com/episode-recaps/M ... -7084.aspx
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1077042/
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Re: Moonlight on the CW, Ep 9: Fleur de Lis

Postby wpgrace » Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:43 pm

OMG! I've been so crazy busy that I forgot it was on tonite!

Thanks for the reminder... this one's one of my favorites... tho that list is longer rather than shorter, I must admit. :hearts:
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Re: Moonlight on the CW, Ep 9: Fleur de Lis

Postby PNWgal » Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:45 pm

Despite being a diehard Mick/Beth'er, The Ringer and Fleur de Lis are both really fabulous episodes and FdL contains some of my favorite ML footage.

From the opening scene, where Mick dances rather well around Beth's pointed questions about his life with Coraline, to the ending where Beth shoves a stake into a wet Coraline, this episode gives us a more in-depth look at Mick's obsession with Coraline, his complete bafflement at Beth's behavior and shows us how very tightly he's shoved between the rock of Coraline and the hard place of Beth.

While Coraline's motivations are well-intended on her part, the way she taunts Mick at the restaurant makes my teeth grind just a little (ordering her favorite wine, offering him food she KNOWS he can't eat). Beth's jealousy at Morgan and Mick working together is palpable throughout the whole episode, but jealousy turns to anger as she digs deeper and realizes Morgan really IS Coraline. The look of determination on her face as she pulls a stake off that little wooden chair just sums up for me everything she's gone through, both in her past as a child and her present at learning monsters and guardian angels really do exist - and sometimes the lines between the two are blurred.

Beth's pushy, but she's also ballsy (pardon the crudity). When Mick doesn't give her the answers she wants and needs, she goes to someone who WILL give her the answers (and could possibly eat her in the process) - Josef. Given how Josef felt about her finding out about vampires in the first place, she's literally taking her life in her hands in going to see him. But, Josef is blunt and honest - if Morgan is Coraline and she's back, she's back for Mick, and that doesn't sit well with our Beth. And honestly, I don't think it's all jealousy over a rival for Mick's affections - given what Josef tells her, I think Beth is concerned about Mick's well-being. What I love in this scene with Josef and Beth is two completely different beings - a ruthless and powerful vampire, and a pushy human female reporter - have one thing in common: they both care for Mick.

Mick's discovery that there really might be a way back (and you'll never convince me that Josef was entirely unaware of that) fills him (and the viewer) with a hope that is almost extinguished when Beth pulls her Van Helsing routine on Coraline. Yes, Beth has a very real boyfriend (a fact glossed over in this ep), but the viewer needs to put themselves in her shoes: she threw herself at Mick and he in essence turned her down, yet here comes Coraline sauntering down the stairs in Mick's shirt, obviously wet from his shower. Any woman scorned would jump to the same conclusion, whether she was justified or not. And, as Alle so wonderfully pointed out, the monster from Beth's nightmares is right in front of her, right THERE in her Guardian Angel's apartment - I think that survival instinct we all carry kicked in.

Yes, there's holes in this ep wide enough to drive a truck through, but all in all, it gives us more depth into all four main characters.
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Re: Moonlight on the CW, Ep 9: Fleur de Lis

Postby jen » Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:15 am

I am so glad I stopped in to read these wonderful comments before watching FdL in less than an hour, actually. What wonderful comments you have left!

I took off from work and watched marathon on SyFy on Monday, and they ran this ep during the marathon, but the insight in these comments just adds so much. Now, I will see things I would have missed.

Thank you so much. I do think that Sophia did some superb acting in this one, and Beth was allowed to show more of her range as an actress. The electricity between Mick and Morgaline was, well electric. As the distant figure in the red dress carrying the sparkler at the party, we could relegate her to the distant past, but as Morgan we saw a vibrant, intelligent, modern woman. Someone Mick could have easily fallen for.

I think this distinction fits for Beth, too. As the evil ex-wife who stole Mick's life on his wedding night, Beth was safe in her role as Mick's almost love, but once she realized that her casual acquaintance/friend Morgan was that woman and she saw Mick's reaction to her, Beth was thrown completely off balance, and that is not even taking into account that this is the 'scarey woman' who kidnapped her when she was four. That adds layers and layers of trauma.


45 minutes and counting...

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Re: Moonlight on the CW, Ep 9: Fleur de Lis

Postby Lilly » Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:30 am

Alle, if I nodded my head any harder, I'd need a neck brace. Your episode summaries continue to absolutely awe me. I don't think there's anything I can add to the insight that you and P-gal have already offered here. Thank you, ladies. :rose:
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Re: Moonlight on the CW, Ep 9: Fleur de Lis

Postby wpgrace » Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:38 am

The Crazy Mick that Cora produces is so fascinating for me... tho y'all said it better. But I just am riveted by that poor poor obsessed, fighting for sanity creature...

And the Crazy Beth that the Mick/Cora combo creates is interesting too... she's different in this ep. And unlike SOME eps, where Beth is different because different writers wrote her different, in this one she is what she is because the vampires have made her a little crazy. All 3 of em have...

And Josef, who CLEARLY knows more than he is letting on... is partially involved here but kinda floating all above it... letting the 3 of em wring themselves out... (totally unawares that crazy old man in NY is about to rain on HIS parade... :biggrin: ).

It's just a balls to the wall ep... I just love it. And the shower scene... if there were nothing else here... well, OMG. THAT is the scene that argues for Alex having a love interest in any project they put him in... Carol Barbee shoulda had her eyeballs taped open and been forced to watch this scene a few dozen times. :slaphead:

Actually if anybody wants to make ME watch that scene a few dozen times... :devil:
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Re: Moonlight on the CW, Ep 9: Fleur de Lis

Postby cassysj » Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:47 am

I've always loved this episode. Josef and Beth's conversation and all that Josef left unsaid. The spark between Mick & Morgan and Beth is fascinating in this episode.
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Re: Moonlight on the CW, Ep 9: Fleur de Lis

Postby nutmegger911 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 3:52 am

Rewatching gave me a new appreciation for this ep. Coraline was in fine form playing both Mick and Beth to the hilt. Josef expertly negotiated the situation without getting his feet wet, and Beth world was truly off its axis.
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Re: Moonlight on the CW, Ep 9: Fleur de Lis

Postby Moonlightsonata » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:15 am

Thanks for all the insights. I liked this better than the Ringer but still not on my favorites list. A few key questions or possible mistakes here - Why was Mick knocked out when he was shot by the son? I assume this wasn't silver buckshot. He certainly has bounced back a lot quicker from a fight than he did here. Why was the party house still the same way it had been more than 20 years ago? How did Beth manage to get in? And I agree that the transitions between The Ringer, 12:04, and Fleur de Lis leave something to be desired. Different writers I guess.
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Re: Moonlight on the CW, Ep 9: Fleur de Lis

Postby allegrita » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:36 am

Hi MLS,

Actually, Mick was shot by Tina, not Haggans Junior. And I figure that his brain was pretty much mangled by the bullet. It takes a while for a vampire to heal from major injuries (like the stake wound), and maybe brain injuries take longer to heal from than other kinds...?

As for how Beth got into the party house, didn't she say that she learned how to pick locks and hold her liquor in college? Remember, she broke into the murdered girl's apartment in NSTAV... but how the party house stayed exactly the same for 20 years is beyond me. Maybe after Coraline "died" the house just stood empty till Morgan started hanging out there...?
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Re: Moonlight on the CW, Ep 9: Fleur de Lis

Postby LoveBite » Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:28 am

Another fabulous episode of our dear Moonlight! Thanks ladies for the recaps - you all have such great insight into these characters, stuff I would never have thought of.

The entire show is magic, but this episode with the shower scene is so good, it's unreal. :hot: ....

You could feel Mick's reaction - realizing there IS a cure and how badly he wants it. He was so happy, the look in his eyes, the tone of his voice while holding Coraline's face in his hands.

And I agree, any producer/director who DOESN'T give Alex a love interest in a film/series needs to watch this scene. Takes your breath away. But on to next week and the mystery of Coraline ....
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Re: Moonlight on the CW, Ep 9: Fleur de Lis

Postby PNWgal » Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:39 am

Great points, LoveBite - you can almost FEEL how desperate Mick is for that cure!

I love the wardrobe choice for Beth when she sees Josef - she's dressed a lot like Mick. Dark clothes, long coat...almost like a vampire. :teeth:
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Re: Moonlight on the CW, Ep 9: Fleur de Lis

Postby jen » Sat Jul 31, 2010 3:42 am

Just saw this over at www.tvbythenumbers.com. The copy feature didn't work as well as I hoped, but the numbers are there.

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Sh Viewers (Millions)
8:00 CBS Big Brother 12 2.2/8 6.44
ABC Wipeout (R) 2.0/7 6.40
FOX Glee (R) 1.3/5 3.84
NBC Community (R) 1.0/4 2.84
CW Vampire Diaries (R) 0.5/2 1.47

8:30 NBC 30 Rock (R) 1.0/3 2.60

9:00 FOX So You Think You Can Dance 1.9/6 5.77
ABC Rooke Blue 1.8/6 6.78
NBC The Office (R) 1.3/4 3.12
CBS CSI (R) 1.2/4 5.98
CW Moonlight (R) 0.4/1 1.25

9:30 NBC Parks & Recreation (R) 1.1/3 2.63

10:00 CBS The Mentalist (R) 1.4/4 7.42
ABC Boston Med 1.2/4 4.72
NBC Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (R) 0.9/3 3.01

-
Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2010 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.
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Re: Moonlight on the CW, Ep 9: Fleur de Lis

Postby diane31 » Sat Jul 31, 2010 4:47 am

allegrita wrote:Hi MLS,
... but how the party house stayed exactly the same for 20 years is beyond me. Maybe after Coraline "died" the house just stood empty till Morgan started hanging out there...?

Yes I remember wondering about that ever since the first time I watched the ep! Now if I had to take a bet, I'd say Cynthia just happened to have inherited it :whistle:

Thank you so much for the comments Alle! :flowers:

This is definitely an episode I appreciate more and more. I don't know how I lived through it the first time. Or after it for a week... Watching Beth suddenly become the bad guy in Mick's eyes, and having possibly cost him his dream, that was just unbearable. :hankie: Sophia was so brilliant in that scene.
I always loved the scene between Beth and Josef so much. I guess because of the frustration of always seeing Mick refuse to truly open to her, and of his self-loathing, I had dreamt of a scene like that ever since Beth met Josef. For one thing they have such great chemistry too, and it is such a relief to see Beth free from depending on Mick for what she wants to know, for once. And seeing that they are comparing notes behind his back for his own good, that's a guilt-free situation, too. I just love watching them come together for Mick's sake, barely knowing each other but united by the fact that he is the most important person in both their lives, and how their love for him and their desire to see him happy creates an instant complicity between them.

And I definitely watched the whole episode in a new and brighter light after reading Shadow's story! It really drives home how deeply Beth felt betrayed, watching her Guardian Angel fall for her worst nightmare, and so soon after rejecting her, too.

And the shower scene... I love what you said about his transfer of obsessions Alle! So true! As much of a MickBethshipper as I am, I've always felt a tinge of pity for Coraline there, actually. She's waited all this time to be reunited with him, and when finally she is, sure he's happy, but all his thoughts are on the cure. Yes, of course, she expected it, and she asked for it. But still... No matter what else he is feeling for her, to me that showed the nature of their relationship even more clearly than anything else we had heard or seen before.
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