Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 15: What's Left Behind

Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 15: What's Left Behind

Postby allegrita » Wed May 04, 2011 3:06 am

Episode Title: "What's Left Behind"

The basics (from tvguide.com):

Synopsis: Mick's past comes into sharper focus for Beth when the grandson of his World War II buddy is kidnapped. The disappearance forces Mick to deal with some secrets from his troubled life.

Written by: Jill Blotevogel
Directed by: Chris Fisher
Original Air Date: May 9, 2008

Guest Cast:
Eric Winter: Benjamin Talbot
Daniel Goldman: Jacob Fordham
Robin Thomas: Robert Fordham
Bonnie Burroughs: Julie Fordham
Justice Leak: Ray Fordham
Mercedes Connor: Lilah Fordham
Todd Giebenhain: Leo
Anthony Starke: Ken Verdolino
Erika Ringor: Det. Theresa Novak

My own thoughts about this episode:

This is one of my favorite episodes of Moonlight in some ways, because it gives us amazing insight into Mick long before he became a vampire, and also does a great job of circling back to give us new ways of looking at elements of his past, Beth's past, and even Josef's past. Not surprisingly, it was written by one of the great Moonlight writers, Jill Blotevogel.

Running through this episode like a ribbon is the theme of family, and what that means. Mick and Josef in this episode act so much like brothers, it just makes me hug myself with joy. Robert talks about his son being a miracle baby, just as he had been for his parents, and Mick does the math and realizes that Robert might be his son. Aside from that issue, Mick remembers his best friend, his best friend's wife, and the family that he broke up accidentally by falling in love with what he thought was Ray's widow. And Josef - of all people - expresses a regret (and he doesn't do regrets) that he never fathered children. And finally, at the end of the episode, Beth beautifully ties up the family theme by telling Mick what we Moonlight fans have all come to understand: Family's not just about DNA. :ghug:

Mixed in and around the family theme is the child theme - which isn't necessarily about family at all. We discover that Beth has become something of an expert on child kidnappings... gee, I wonder why? :whistle: Beth understands why Jacob made a line of toys around his bed, because she's been a child under attack, too. We meet Leo, the vamp who *shudder* preys on homeless kids, and Ken Verdolino, who kidnaps children and walls them up in an attempt to fight his own fears of the scary things that lurk in the dark. (And, on a side note, I adore the way Mick's eyes shine in the darkness in that scene in Verdolino's basement.) :melts:

And then there's Medic Mick. :hearts: I loved getting to know that idealistic young man. Watching him heading off to war with his best friend brought a lump to my throat. The scenes of him with his company in Italy rang so true for me, and my heart was broken right along with his when Ray was wounded, and later presumed dead. We all felt Mick's agony when he marched up to Lilah's door on returning home. We fell in love with her strength of character, just as Mick did. We didn't blame him (or her) one bit for what "just happened" between them. If Ray had never come home... :sigh: well, we probably would never have had a show about our angsty vamp. :shrug:

I would have loved to see more about this era of Mick's life, had the series gone on. What's Left Behind is a tantalizing glimpse into Mick's past, but it leaves us with many more questions than it answers. Maybe that's why this episode has inspired so much really wonderful fanfic.

Links:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1212043/
(No TV Guide episode discussion is available for this episode)
(No Wikipedia page is available for this episode)
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 15: What's Left Behind

Postby darkstarrising » Thu May 05, 2011 1:52 am

I saw this last night, alle, but wanted to read it through again before commenting.

You and I are on the same page, honey, about everything this episode brought out in the main characters, even Talbot (who's beginning to get just a little suspicious of Mick in this episode.) The 'boxers or briefs' comment by Beth as the two men are verbally sparring is a stroke of genius on Jill's part, as is the follow on comment about Mick's jealousy making her feeling more desirable.

The best Mick and Beth scene, for me, was in the car and their discussing human vampire relationships and the fact that vamps can't have kids. I still think Alex broke character when Sophia delivered the line about 'It may not be any good.' His facial expression was just priceless. In the corner of the screen you can see her moving her hand like she's saying 'meh' and I think she just exaggerated the teasing her character was supposed to give his.

On the other extreme, the worst Mick Beth scene was when she asked him if he loved Lilah. His response of 'Yeah. Yeah, I think it was' just came across as utterly lame.

Both Mick and Josef allow just a bit of their human past emerge. As you said, Josef stated his regrets about not fathering children, perhaps making him a little jealous that Mick might have, and one that was still alive to appreciate. With the ending of the episode, there are so many possibilities about why the DNA test showed no relationship between Mick and Robert; was it Julie's hair that Mick pulled off that sweater? Hell, it could have been anybody's. Or were the results 'tampered with' or have been compromised during analysis? Or were they what they appeared to be - no match between the two men?

I'm a fan of the theory that the hair wasn't Robert's and that Robert is indeed Mick's son. That would have led to so many possible followup episodes. Does Robert find out that Ray wasn't his father? Does he learn what Mick is? Would there be another flashback episode showing Ray's return? Alas, TPTB killed that avenue.

I think the aspect of this episode that makes it stand out is the rapport between Robert and Mick as they look for clues in Jacob's disappearance. Robin Thomas and Alex just clicked in this episode, and it certainly wasn't a stretch of the imagination to see a resemblance between the two men. Their best scene - when Mick arrives at the realization that even if Robert is his son, there is no way that Mick could be his father. That was a role that Ray filled and Mick could never fill, even now.

How do you tell a man twice your age that you're his father? You don't.


If that doesn't break your heart, you don't have one.

You commented about medic Mick and the idealistic men who went off to war. In a way, I wish they had shown this episode before 'Love Lasts Forever' in terms of seeing the parallels between Mick trying to save Ray, and subsequently taking his wife and trying to save Josh, knowing he already was in love with Beth. Somehow, in the order they were shown, the parallels just weren't as clear.

In total agreement about the various exchanges between Mick and Josef (from the lightheartedness of the opening and praise Lilly, I will never view that scene the same without thinking of her story of their night on the town) to the more somber exchange as Mick goes through his footlocker. Same thing about the scenes between Mick and Verdalino - who is the real monster there?

Sigh. I love this episode, but I wish that the ending had been different and that there had been more opportunity to explore the human Mick.
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 15: What's Left Behind

Postby Lucy » Thu May 05, 2011 6:52 pm

I love this era, Mick is/was my Dad's age....so I see similarities and always wanted to see MORE of Mick's background.
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 15: What's Left Behind

Postby jen » Thu May 05, 2011 8:24 pm

I totally agree!

I have a question about the final four episodes and don't really know where to ask it. I was totally oblivous to Moonlight when it was on network TV in 2007 and 2008 and saw my first ep when it aired on the SciFi Channel 01/23/09 so I missed all the information about the show then.

I understand the writers strike threw a huge monkeywrench into the works and made for long gaps between new episodes.

When the final four were shot and aired, did they know that the cancellation was coming? Were they wrapping things up for the fans?

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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 15: What's Left Behind

Postby HotMicks » Thu May 05, 2011 9:24 pm

No, they didn't know at that point whether they were coming back or not (at least as far as I've ever heard). They had just wrapped filming of the final episode when we saw them at Paley.
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 15: What's Left Behind

Postby librarian_7 » Thu May 05, 2011 9:30 pm

Oh, that's true...plus, there were all the stories (which I have no reason to disbelieve) that the news of the cancellation was a total surprise to the cast, at least, and that was after Sonata aired.

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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 15: What's Left Behind

Postby allegrita » Thu May 05, 2011 10:16 pm

No, I think Sonata aired after the news of cancellation. That's why we all cried so hard. :hankie: :hankie: :hankie: :hankie: :hankie:
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 15: What's Left Behind

Postby Lilly » Thu May 05, 2011 11:14 pm

I was all set to disagree with you, Alle, but I looked it up. Sonata aired on 5/16/2008. The upfronts were on 5/14. :sadface:
I do remember saying at the time that if that was the last episode we ever got, I could live with that ending. Still, we were so hopeful that somehow, someway, there would be more. :sigh:
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 15: What's Left Behind

Postby allegrita » Thu May 05, 2011 11:31 pm

Yeah... :Mickangel:
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 15: What's Left Behind

Postby HotMicks » Thu May 05, 2011 11:52 pm

Yeah, and Paley was April 22, so clearly they finished filming before the announcement, which was my point.

I find it interesting that we are having this discussion in a "what's left behind" thread. How appropriate. :Mickangel:

Back to WLB... I liked the Mick/Beth in this episode, but I must be in the minority because the military stuff didn't really grab me.

Although, I loved your description, Alle. :hearts: The emotional parts were very well written - I just didn't care for the storyline much beyond enjoying "innocent, human Mick."

I think my problem with the military stuff is that some of those scenes just seemed a little too long to me for what they needed to convey... though they did produce pretty pictures, so there's always an upside. :biggrin:

And Beth's "family" line. :happysigh:
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 15: What's Left Behind

Postby librarian_7 » Fri May 06, 2011 12:12 am

Lilly wrote:I was all set to disagree with you, Alle, but I looked it up. Sonata aired on 5/16/2008. The upfronts were on 5/14. :sadface:
I do remember saying at the time that if that was the last episode we ever got, I could live with that ending. Still, we were so hopeful that somehow, someway, there would be more. :sigh:


I'm not about to argue with Lilly's dates...but I'd have sworn that it was the Tues. after Sonata. Either way, it was devastating.

And I also remember saying, well, I guessed I could live with that ending....but of course, I really thought we'd prevail. :Mickangel:

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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 15: What's Left Behind

Postby HotMicks » Fri May 06, 2011 12:34 am

We were so thick into campaigning by then, it was all a blur. I just reread a Hibbard post from April 1, 2008 - April Fool's! - that said, and I quote:

For all the dramatic effort fans are expending to rescue the show, here's the kicker: "Moonlight" isn't in any imminent danger of cancellation. Although modestly rated (7.5 million viewers to date), the show is considered very likely to receive a pickup for the fall. Additionally, "Moonlight" still has four original episodes set to air when it returns April 25, so there's plenty of time for CBS to mull its fate.


:eyeroll:

Anyway, Alex posted his infamous "shock and awe" blog on May 15, so Lilly has it nailed.
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 15: What's Left Behind

Postby jen » Fri May 06, 2011 1:57 am

Thanks for the information everyone.

Of all the really, really stupid decisions made by really, really stupid networks. This has got to be the worse.

Not that I'm prejudiced or anything....

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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 15: What's Left Behind

Postby allegrita » Sat May 07, 2011 3:14 am

Shall we start at 20 past? That's about 5 and a half minutes from now...
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Re: Moonlight Episode Discussion - Ep 15: What's Left Behind

Postby nutmegger911 » Sat May 07, 2011 3:16 am

Works for me.
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