MIDNIGHT, TEXAS Review: “Riders on the Storm”


midnight texas banner

Fiji remembers her early days in MIDNIGHT, TEXAS and the revelations that followed in “Riders on the Storm.” This whole episode is built around secrets Fiji has kept since her arrival in Midnight ten years ago. Colcannar, the talky demon that’s been menacing Fiji and Manfred for weeks, returns with a nasty attack.

The demon voiceover sends a masked apparition to push Fiji over the edge. Joe Strong returns from hiding and explains the reason Fiji’s protective house spell hasn’t kept Colcannar out. The demon is real, not some spirit form. On the other hand, Fiji is the only one who can hear or see this masked stalker. A huge sandstorm speeds towards Midnight which would make it difficult to protect each other. Fiji thinks it’s all part of the demon’s plan, to hide its movements.

Manfred convinces Creek to evacuate the café, send everyone to safe places to ride out the storm. Creek tries driving to safety but has a slight accident on her way out of town. Manfred gathers Rev. Emilio, Joe Strong, Olivia, Lem and Bobo in the abandoned vampire tour-van so they can all drive out together. Manfred stays to help Fiji evacuate her house too, but she loses sight of Mr. Snuggly. Manfred sends Fiji to the van, she’s a powerful witch and they’ll need her skills and spells to survive.

MIDNIGHT, TEXAS -- "Riders on the Storm" Episode 109 -- Pictured: Wraith -- (Photo by: John Golden Britt/NBC)

Manfred heads back to find Mr. Snuggly, but loses his way in the sandy streets on his way back to the van. Creek gets her car running and returns in time to save Manfred and Mr. Snuggly from a posse of demons slow-walking the town. They chase after the big van in her little broken car, which gives them a moment to catch up. Mr. Snuggly speaks up as their conversation dances around their weighty relationship repression. Their surprise is fun and almost allowable but doesn’t pass the test for dramatic irony. We’ve all seen and heard Mr. Snuggly talk in several episodes. This reveal is cute but pointless. The van can only move so fast but it should be making distance from the sandstorm, instead, the storm is gaining on them. Fiji suggests the storm isn’t after them so much as after her, a personal stalker storm. This is when her back story pays off.

Fiji moved to Midnight ten years ago to live with her aunt Mildred, the cool aunt, the witch aunt. Fiji’s witchy DNA was a secret to her but weird trouble has been torching her life. Trouble at school, a fire breaks out. Trouble at the hospital, her padded cell catches fire. Her doctors tell her she passes out from rage fits but aunt Mildred knows she’s struggling with powers she doesn’t understand. Mildred mentors young Fiji and shows her the connection between her feelings and her powers.

MIDNIGHT TEXAS -- "Riders on the Storm" Episode 109 -- Pictured: Parisa Fitz Henley as Fiji -- (Photo by: Karen Kuehn/NBC)

Fiji conjures feelings and emotions to give nature a push in the direction she desires. It works but she doesn’t have any control at first, her spells produce such big results, they end up destroying. Fiji can command a seed to flower, but she can’t stop it from becoming a full-on tree and smashing the roof of Mildred’s greenhouse. The Midnight crowd knows Mildred is a witch and they accept Fiji quickly. She feels safe, at home. No one wants to lock her up like in the outside world. Fiji dates Jeremy, a young local, who grows to love her for the woman she is. Of course, this is when things go Castle Rock.

Bobo leads the team to an abandoned bar, just before the sandstorm blows the van off the road. Fiji can’t keep her secrets any longer, but she struggles to expose them all at once. Colcannar wants her because she is a virgin witch, a fact that ups her power. Add to that, she’s a full adult, fully skilled, virgin witch. Fiji is humiliated by this confession, but it still hides a dark edge. One night when Fiji and Jeremy were together, they decided to go the full excitement. It started off full of loving, awkward anticipation until Jeremy started to twitch, writhe, and finally scream in pain. Fiji’s emotions were lighting Jeremy on fire from the inside out. When she realized what she was doing to him, she stopped and tried to feel cooler emotions, but it was too late. Jeremy died, fried by love.

MIDNIGHT TEXAS -- "Riders on the Storm" Episode 109 -- Pictured: (l-r) Parisa Fitz-Henley as Fiji, Francois Arnaud as Manfred -- (Photo by: Karen Kuehn/NBC)

This explains Fiji’s cool distance on the love front. Manfred suggests they team up, use a little of her witchcraft mixed with some Bernardo family dark magic to conjure the spirit of the shaman that placed the protective veil between Midnight and evil in the first place. They need a live sacrifice for the spell to have any chance of working at all. Rev. Emilio and Lem both volunteer but Mr. Snuggly makes the strongest case. He’s old, doesn’t like Fiji much, and has missed Mildred for the last seven years. He’s a brave and selfless kitty. However, the spell doesn’t work as planned.

Manfred’s heart stops and he travels to the spirit world to question the helpful shaman in person. Olivia immediately tries to revive Manfred, but his body turns cold quick. The shaman gives Manfred the answer he seeks then kicks him back to the living world. He looks for Fiji, he still needs her help, but she snuck out while everyone was watching him die. Fiji confronts the masked messenger who reveals his identity, it’s Jeremy. Colcannar chose him because he knew Fiji would listen to and follow him. Jeremy leads Fiji into the sandstorm and Sunday’s season finale.

Season 1, Episode 09 (S01E09)
Midnight, Texas airs Mondays at 10PM on NBC

Read all of our reviews of Midnight, Texas here.
Read our reviews of more of your favorite shows here.

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.
Follow Eric on Twitter: @Etom2012
Keep up with all of Eric’s reviews here.

 | Contributor

Leave A Reply