Manfred puts MIDNIGHT, TEXAS in his rear view as new trouble rolls into town for “Last Temptation of Midnight.” The demon of the week seems a little derivative at first, it’s faceless but uses a special dewclaw to peel faces off victims which it welds to its blank head. Then, he collects the corpses. The dewclaw peel feature is cool, but it’s quick and I would have liked to see more of it. Some might argue, “Hey, this isn’t a story about cool demon features, it’s really about trust and relationships.” Prove it.
“Last Temptation of Midnight” performs much better in scenes the sequences. The dewclaw is cool, but the truck driving, face collecting demon is weak. Manfred runs from town because Creek needs some time. That’s weak too. This is a guy who has made almost every dollar off the pain of other people’s grief. Even if he wasn’t immune to it, he would have an emotional tool kit for navigating troubled waters. Which brings us to a great scene.
Xylda tries to convince Manfred to turn the RV around. She mentions his childhood and how she raised him. Manfred has a flashback to the first few days he lived with Xylda in the RV. As a young boy, he would play ball or tag with the spirits of dead children. Kids that died by the sinister touch of aggressive and unfeeling disease. Manfred as a young boy could spend time giving those kids a little extra play, but he stumbles when Creek needs some space? The kids scene was great but the overall sequence was lazy. Steam blows from the RV’s hood, the old trailer comes to a halt out in the middle of nowhere, no cell reception to call Auto Club. Manfred sasses Xylda and huffs off into the desert. This would have been a great place to add suspense, but it evacuated Midnight with Joe and Chuy.
Back in town, Creek receives the deed to her father’s property. Thank God they wrote this in, I kept screaming at the TV, “What about the deed to the Lovell property?” The supernaturals are all struggling with their primal urges. Rev. Emilio orders a rare steak with almost no veggies. Wait, he’s a vegetarian! Yes, he’s a weretiger but usually he’s strictly greens and bean burgers. Rev. assumes this is part of the evil seeping through the thinning veil but Fiji thinks it’s related to the demon that keeps stalking her at home. Janice, one of Fiji’s regular customers, drops in because she’s been having disturbing thoughts. Fiji is happy to help, it takes her mind off her own issues for a minute. While she’s stirring up a calming potion, Janice grabs a fancy dagger from Fiji’s mantle and rushes outside to kill herself. Bobo and Fiji stop her in time, Janice says a voice compelled her to do it. Fiji suspects the same voice that’s been menacing her and she’s ready to purge it from her life… and get Emilio back on salad.
Lem and Olivia are also having issues. It started when she admitted she’d rather leave Lem and die than let him turn her vampire. Add to this, Lem gets blood horny any time she’s around. His fangs practically bust out when Creek walks over and asks him to leach her pain away. Lem is willing, but Olivia puts the cold hard kibosh on it. This is another great little scene in an otherwise anemic sequence. Lem is hungry, Olivia is hot, cold and distant. Eventually, Lem tries to fang Olivia while they’re kissing, but she burns him with a piece of sacred metal. They fight, it’s an impressive visual sequence; she stabs him in the chest and shoots him, but he keeps coming.
Meanwhile in the desert, Manfred passes out. He was sick to begin with and he’s all out of pills. Xylda wakes him up one last time as a truck approaches. She tells him about a vision she had right before she died: Midnight is on fire but Manfred saves the town. Then, she tells him she’s ready to move on. Xylda is his mentor, his only real friend or parent, and this scene gets very little time. We know who’s driving the truck, I would have liked a little more time with Manfred losing the only person in his life.
The demon can’t hide itself even with the trucker’s face, Manfred sees its real form. The dewclaw demon monologs about how great it’s going to be when he helps bring hell to Earth. They fight for a moment, Manfred rolls out of the truck, then hides in the heap of corpses for the rest of the trip back to Midnight. He calls Fiji to give her a heads up, she’s already working on a potion to break the demon’s hold on people.
Creek is about to cut her throat when Manfred rushes in to stop her, Fiji arrives with a few drops of cure and Creek returns to clarity. Manfred also gets to Lem in time to stop Olivia from really defending herself. Those two put there “talk” on hold while the whole Midnight team gathers to face Fiji’s demon in the street. The demon attacks Fiji but Manfred calls on the angry spirits form the corpse heap to gang up on the demon villain and drag him back to hell. This works to save Fiji and the Midnight for now, but there are only two episodes left, we know there won’t be any peace, but I’m holding out hope for some decent suspense.
Season 1, Episode 08 (S01E08)
Midnight, Texas airs Mondays at 10PM on NBC
Eric lives in a world where the television is great, the smiles are warm, the pizza is hot, the puppies are playful, and the zombies are slow and meander while he reloads.
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Eric Rodriguez | Contributor