Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 12: The Mortal Cure

Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 12: The Mortal Cure

Postby allegrita » Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:01 pm

Episode Title: "The Mortal Cure"
Current air date: August 19, 2010

The basics (from tvguide.com):

Synopsis: Mick discovers Coraline's secret to becoming fully human again, but he also learns that it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Beth receives some heartbreaking news and deals with it alone, since she is angry with Mick.

Written by: Chip Johannessen
Directed by: Eric Laneuville
Original Air Date: Jan 18, 2008

Guest Cast:
Meredith Monroe: Cynthia
Bitsie Tulloch: Celeste
David Blue: Logan
Jason Butler Harner: Lance
John Everlove: Paramedic
Jill Latiano: The Cleaner
Jeremy Forte: Scientist
Charley Rossman: Security Guard
Christopher Stapleton: Officer
Marques Johnson: Minister

My own thoughts about this episode:
When TMC aired, nobody knew whether there would be any more episodes of Moonlight, and I'm trying to recapture that feeling as I write this intro. Because I think it's really important to consider the episode in the context of that uncertainty.

In general terms, I think Chip Johannessen did a wonderful job of finding a decent stopping place, maybe even an ending place (because for all we knew, it wouldn't ever be back), while still making us salivate for more. So much new information was presented to us, and so many questions were left unanswered--but still, we felt satisfied in a way at the end of that episode, prepared (if not at all reconciled) to wait out the strike and see what happened. So kudos to Chip for that amazing feat.

The story of how the cure works, and why it was created, fascinated me. This backstory isn't perfect, by any means: the plot holes in the vampire genocide alternate-history are gigantic, and it's full of contradictions, not to mention impossible to reconcile with actual history. Also, we don't know how much of it is true--we only have Coraline's word for it, and Mick's extrapolation of what she said. We know that she had been lying to him all along (most recently about there being seven brothers in the Duvall family), so she could have made it all up. But I choose to believe that she was telling the truth--at least mostly. I'm a sucker for alternate-history stories anyway, so I happily suspended disbelief here. So the cure exists, but it's not really a cure, and there's a finite amount of it. Coraline's been using it for who knows how long (at least several months), staying human as Morgan and also using bits of it in her attempts to make more. And Lance, her uber-rich and powerful older brother (of whom even Josef is wary), is looking for her. Yikes.

Beth is lost in grief and confusion, still pushing Mick away, still trying to deal with the enormity of Josh's death. And she's faced with the daunting prospect that Josh might not have been as true to her as she thought. (Ooh, can you say, Karma? Doesn't feel too good to be on the receiving end, does it, Beth?) Of course, that turns out to be the opposite of what's really going on, and Beth is instead confronted with another huge emotional bombshell: Josh was going to propose. And she doesn't know what she would have answered. (We do, though.)

Mick goes to see Cynthia (that wonderful scene of her napping in the huge, round tub, and then exchanging falsely cordial little barbs with Mick, is one of my favorites) and then to Coraline's lab, where he gets his ass kicked and finds out that Lance can regenerate after being burned. (Hmm... so that's how Coraline survived the fire!) :chin:

When Mick goes home, Beth's waiting for him in the hall (I love all the MickBeth hall scenes) :happysigh: and they finally talk, beginning to find their way back to each other... but their conversation is interrupted when Coraline comes in. I find it very interesting that Beth cedes the field to Coraline here. It's as if she's acknowledging that she really has no right to feel possessive of Mick. After the events of the past few days, I can certainly see how she feels... and yet you can just feel the yearning between them, the wish to recapture their former closeness. The chasm between them has never felt so vast, and the irony of it is that Coraline is about to offer Mick a bridge back across.

The scene between Mick and Coraline is bittersweet. Coraline still adores Mick, but Mick... well, let's just say that the fever has broken. I think he still loves her, but he's no longer mad for her. And she knows it. I think that when she gives him the cure, she does it selflessly, knowing that he's not going with her. And when Lance catches up with them and poor Human Mick really gets his ass kicked by Lance, Coraline makes the ultimate sacrifice for Mick.

And let me say that (a) Coraline has never looked more beautiful than when she lets Lance stake her, and (b) I'll never forgive the Moonlight PTB for cutting her out of the series as if she didn't matter anymore.

The final scenes, with Mick experiencing the joys and agonies of being human, and then going to Josh's funeral, are my favorite parts of the episode, and this is where I think Chip J. did the best work of bringing the series to a good pausing point. I love the brief clips of Mick chowing down, looking into the freezer and turning away, and sleeping on the couch under the brown afghan. And oh... I always get a lump in my throat when Mick squints up at the sun through his bloodied eyes, and when he and Beth stare at each other, listening to the words of the minister:

"Part of what makes life so invigorating is its finite nature. We're all mortal. Our time is limited. It's part of what allows us to love, and hurt. And in the end, it inspires us... to make the most of the time we are given."

"The Mortal Cure" made the most of the time it was given to bring the series to a believable pause. And we were all left with the feeling that it just HAD to come back.

Links:
http://www.tvguide.com/episode-recaps/M ... -7086.aspx
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1077034/
(No Wikipedia page is available for this episode)
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 12: The Mortal Cure

Postby wpgrace » Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:12 pm

Sigh. Lovely, Alle. And just... sigh.
This is one of my all time favorite episodes... for all the reasons you delineate... one more... sigh.
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 12: The Mortal Cure

Postby jen » Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:55 pm

Alle

This is a wonderful description. What I read here each week always makes me view the familiar episodes with new insight into them and this is no exception. I didn't know that the fans thought that this could be the end of the series. It does come to a type of stopping point, yet makes us want more.

Another wonderful bit if irony in the ministers words aout all being mortal, that it true of vampires, too. Forever really sin't forever--just a long time.

Thanks, Alle

Jenna

:hearts: :hearts: :hearts: :hearts: :hearts: :hearts: .
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 12: The Mortal Cure

Postby Luxe de Luxe » Fri Aug 20, 2010 12:07 am

Alle, again, what a beautiful, insightful summary of one of my own favourite episodes.

there is so much to comment on here: thanks for placing this episode in the context of the circumstances surrounding its production. I'd never thought before that they must have at least considered that this might be a final episode. Looking at it this way, I suppose that they felt Lance taking off with Coraline must have tied that end up... and the final voice over of Mick's would have been a perfect way to end the beloved, short lived series, with us all experiencing a bittersweet satisfaction, knowing our Mick was human again, but knowing that one day he would revert back to his vampiricism.

I also LOVED the back-story to the cure and thought the whole 'vampire-genocide' idea was simply ingenious. I didn't put it together at the time, but of course Coraline must have regenerated from the fire because of her previous use of the cure. (So another little end tied up - thanks Chip.)

I began to like Coraline in 'The Ringer' (what's not to love about her wisecracks over brunch?) but here I really began to feel something much warmer for her.
Allegrita wrote:I think that when she gives him the cure, she does it selflessly, knowing that he's not going with her. And when Lance catches up with them and poor Human Mick really gets his ass kicked by Lance, Coraline makes the ultimate sacrifice for Mick.

I couldn't agree more. To me this felt like a really selfless gesture from someone who loved him, and in her own way I think, who felt that their passion had simmered down to a more comfortable place where maybe they could begin to like each other as people. I also loved Coraline's wisecrack about Beth liking her - "She didn't stab me this time." What a crack up. I had to admire her spirit.
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 12: The Mortal Cure

Postby NocturneInCMoll » Fri Aug 20, 2010 2:27 am

Why doesn't Coraline run out of the warehouse at vamp speed while her brother--who is trying to kill her--is distracted by Mick and being on fire?
Seriously.


And who meets their jewellers at restaurants, anyway?
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 12: The Mortal Cure

Postby wpgrace » Fri Aug 20, 2010 2:27 am

Ohhhhhh... Alex is so ON in this one! :melts: :melts: :melts:

And God I love Lance... I even made poor Phee write a fic about him. :biggrin:
Also just LOOOOOOVE Cynthia... just saw the scene with herself and Mick in the hotel... for a quickie guest role, she surely left her mark. There was chemistry between she and Mick. :chin:
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 12: The Mortal Cure

Postby GuardianAngel » Fri Aug 20, 2010 2:45 am

Lilly wrote:I think that when she gives him the cure, she does it selflessly, knowing that he's not going with her. And when Lance catches up with them and poor Human Mick really gets his ass kicked by Lance, Coraline makes the ultimate sacrifice for Mick.
I don't know if I totally buy the selfless part. I WANT to, I thought she was played it well. And I think I almost do believe but there is this little nagging in the back of my mind that warns me not to trust anything Coraline says.

Lilly wrote:And let me say that (a) Coraline has never looked more beautiful than when she lets Lance stake her, and (b) I'll never forgive the Moonlight PTB for cutting her out of the series as if she didn't matter anymore.
On this, I'm with you 100%. Shannyn was breathtaking and her absense in the final four was a monstrous waste of such a fantastic character.
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 12: The Mortal Cure

Postby wpgrace » Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:04 am

Sigh. Love that ep. Totally enjoyed the watch tonite. :happysigh: :happysigh: :happysigh:

I believe Cora gave him the cure selflessly... but I DON"T think she believed Lance was gonna catch up with her, so I don't think she'd given up on trying to get Mick back (and I do not blame her, btw... :devil: ) and I think she figured she'd lure him off somewhere, somehow, after he'd enjoyed a bit of humanity on her. And that lovely lovely scene between the two of em... just :happysigh: :happysigh: :happysigh: :happysigh: .

I DO think she was spinning QUITE the tale about the French Revolution tho. I believe there's a grain of truth in her Vampire Terror story... a grain. The cure resulting from that grain. The rest of it would be the way history really was. But she had to get Mick invested in her at that moment, right? Willing to help her escape from Lance. And make herself seem so vulnerable. Well played, Cora. But bro showed up and ruined it all.

And I swear I love Lance's final quote to Mick... "welcome to the family." How very eerie. Mick's family now. Surprise!
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 12: The Mortal Cure

Postby darkstarrising » Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:18 am

Yeah, the 'welcome to the family' line seemed like a teaser for the second season. Had there been one, finding out what happened to Coraline might have been a part of it.
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 12: The Mortal Cure

Postby GuardianAngel » Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:25 am

Lance gave me the shivers. It wasn't just his appearance, it was his voice and how well the actor protrayed him.

To think that there was someone back home WORSE than him!
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 12: The Mortal Cure

Postby wpgrace » Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:32 am

GuardianAngel wrote:Lance gave me the shivers. It wasn't just his appearance, it was his voice and how well the actor protrayed him.

To think that there was someone back home WORSE than him!



I KNOW, right? NOW we're really getting vampy. Then they dropped the whole thing... but for a couple minutes there, I just loved the direction we were going in...

Did Chip get fired right after this? And why? Cos I recall seeing that this ep had one of the highest ratings of em all...
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 12: The Mortal Cure

Postby HotMicks » Fri Aug 20, 2010 5:02 am

I thought they did a good job in terms of making this opening scene feel surreal, and oh, that music :hankie: .

ETA: and I really, really wanted to see more of Lance... that whole storyline is so full of possibilities and the guy who played him was sooooo good at... disdainful? Smug? Imperious? :laugh:
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 12: The Mortal Cure

Postby allegrita » Fri Aug 20, 2010 5:18 am

Beth sitting in her apartment with Josh's stuff is just so... :bmoon:
And yet she can't just sit and mourn. She has to dig and find out what was going on with Celeste.

And then Mick and Cynthia... she just drips vitriol, doesn't she?!
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 12: The Mortal Cure

Postby LoveBite » Fri Aug 20, 2010 5:34 am

Ah, 1.18.08 remember it well ...
Settled in on the living room couch, turned the tv volume WAY up so I could catch every soft-spoken word, told the hubby not to bother me for the next hour, and just relished in what I thought could very well be the last episode of Moonlight. With Hollywood turned upside-down because of the writer's strike, no one knew what the future would hold for any show, new or old. Kudos to Chip who wrote the episode and had the foresight to give us a plausible ending. (Chip, btw, went on to showrunning 24).

At that point 2 yrs 7 mos ago, I hadn't really invested my life into this "little show of ours". And then, over the next several weeks, which turned into three months of anxious waiting, I had become a forever Moonlight fan. It's so odd looking back, trying to remember what life was like before Moonlight. I've never felt this way about a tv show, movie, book, etc. before or since. And of course Alex as Mick was just delightful to behold, especially the scene with Coraline giving him the "cure".

Even though there are still 4 episodes remaining, here's to the mighty, mighty Moonlight :redwine:
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 12: The Mortal Cure

Postby allegrita » Fri Aug 20, 2010 6:00 am

Whoa-- Mr. Allegrita just pointed out something really cool to me. When Mick settles down on the couch to sleep, the camera pans across the apartment. We see a photograph of a downtown LA nightscape on the half-wall near the couch. Then, the light changes, and it's morning. And that picture is now a daytime picture of Los Angeles, with fluffy clouds!

I have an observant husband. :teeth:
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