Midnight, Texas S01E07 “Angel Heart” REVIEW

Midnight, Texas S01E07 “Angel Heart” REVIEW

0 comments 📅08 September 2017, 08:56

Airing on SyFy UK, Thursdays at 9pm
Writer: Liz Sagal & Larry Caldwell
Director: Mairzee Almas

Essential Plots Points:

  • The episode opens with a flashback. To a millennium ago. And Joe being tutored at the end of his first battle by a female angel.
  • One who is heading towards town with a demon travelling companion in the present day. Her name’s Bowie and she’s trouble. First for that demon and then for Joe and Chuy…
  • The next morning, in town, Manfred is making breakfast when he hears spectral whispering from his backyard. He goes to the window and… a hand slams against it. He forces himself to stay calm and Creek meets him in the living room. After the events of the last few episodes she is very far from okay but she’s doing what she can.
  • At the bar, the Rev, very kindly, asks how Fiji’s doing. Again, not well. Again, still moving.
  • Chuy comes home, despite Joe’s pleas. He has an idea; come clean. About everything. Joe isn’t interested, but Chuy makes some very good points…
  • Manfred, after talking to Grandma, goes to the bar. Creek snaps at him, but he explains that there are fewer ghosts around people. Fiji and Manfred chat about Joe and how worried he is that ‘they’ will come to town.
  • At the church, Bowie attacks the Rev and gets what she needs. Manfred sees her leave and calls Joe to warn him. Joe panics, recognising her but Chuy has a plan… a plan which involves hiding in Olivia’s panic room/closet. And yes the obvious joke is made.
  • Joe calls the supernatural inhabitants of the town to Olivia’s place. Manfred and the angel, Bowie, cross paths and Manfred has a very bad idea…
  • Bowie finds him in the truck. With shades on. And grandma’s accent… Unable to get anything from ‘Manfred”s mind, she leaves in disgust, Grandma separates again and Manfred makes it to Olivia’s place. With the Rev not picking up, Joe and Chuy can’t wait anymore. They level with the others about everything. Including the fact Chuy is a demon.
  • The others react to it very differently. Lem and Fiji aren’t happy with this being the first they’ve heard of it. They talk options and Joe rules out Chuy letting his demonic side out; it took three years for him to revert last time that happened.
  • Manfred suggests they use the mirrors that Fiji used to exorcise his house to send Bowie to hell. The others start to prep for it and Bobo and Fiji share a surprisingly touching moment. As do Olivia and Lem, who is shocked to see his partner point out she’s mortal and he isn’t. She tells him she doesn’t want to be turned, kisses him and reminds him to enjoy it while it lasts. Lem puts on a brave face but not much more.
  • Manfred shows Joe a relic. It’s the finger of one of his relatives who purportedly pushed a demon back into hell. Joe takes this moment to tell Manfred about the prophecy.
  • At the bar, Creek reluctantly takes a break and goes to the church. She’s about to pray when she hears the Rev start to come round from the beating Bowie gave him. She takes him back to the bar where Bowie has arrived. She holds the entire bar hostage and calls Manfred on Creek’s phone. She gives Manfred 30 minutes to find Joe before she starts killing people.
  • Joe asks what Manfred wants him to do. He responds; ‘I want you to surrender.’
  • Joe comes to the bar to surrender and Bowie walks out to meet him with Creek in a headlock. She doesn’t see Bobo and Olivia waiting nearby. They retrieve Creek as the two angels face off and Fiji triggers the portal.
  • Lem tackles her, shoves her into the portal and Bowie blows the portal up before she gets there.
  • They’re in big trouble.
  • Until Joe, wings out, punches Bowie halfway out of town.
  • Nearby, Chuy starts to hulk out as the two angels fall into the church. Joe tries to reason with his mentor and she KICKS. HIS. *ASS*.
  • She’s about to kill him in front of the entire town when Chuy, full demon, puts Bowie down and rips her throat out.
  • Bowie’s gone. Chuy is still feral with rage and horror. Lem tries to leech him but it’s like kryptonite. Chuy is seconds away from ripping Manfred apart when Joe holds Chuy down and begs him to not make him kill his true love. Slowly, Chuy returns to himself and collapses, sobbing, into Joe’s arms.
  • An extremely battered, bruised and conflicted Midnight reconvene at the bar. After Bowie’s crack about Manfred being a psychic who missed the truth about Creek’s family, she gently, but firmly, pushes him away.
  • Chuy apologises to the room, for everything and leaves arm in arm with Joe.
  • The following day, Joe shows Manfred the painting. He’s convinced he’s no one’s leader but Joe argues that he arrived at the exact right time. Manfred lays it out; he’s here because of Creek. No other reason.
  • Nearby Bobo comes to see Fiji. She flips out, sick and tired of everything happening so fast. Bobo, because Bobo is adorable, volunteers to stay on her porch and come in if she feels a demonic presence to protect her.
  • At Joe’s, a weak and ill Chuy asks to leave. He can’t fight the Veil anymore…
  • At Manfred’s place, Creek apologises for everything that Bowie said on her behalf. Manfred tells her it’s fine and he just wants to help. Creek accepts that help and also drops a bombshell. She needs to work out what she does with her life next.
  • And she has to be alone to do it.
  • She kisses him, and, with their relationship now at arm’s length, they try and adjust.
  • And the next morning, Manfred runs like hell.


Midnight‘s same breakneck speed/relaxed tempo is in effect again this week but the cracks are starting to show. The arrival of Bowie, who was so much fun we’re sorry she didn’t make it out of the episode, really forces the rest of Midnight to look at how they interact with one another. Oh and also to have an Angel Capoeira fight.

There is, as ever, a lot to enjoy here. Francois Arnaud is doing a great job of making Manfred both fundamentally likeable and surprisingly grounded. This is a guy who’s learned to hide his entire life, and suddenly he’s given a heroic destiny. No wonder he freaks out, especially as he buys into it and then immediately ends up in the worst situation possible. We’ve no doubt Manfred is going to rally, but the fact he does is yet another nicely perceptive piece of character work for the show.

There’s a lot of that about this episode and most of it works. Joe and Chuy get some great material and the difference between sweet, kind Chuy and his near rabid demon self is unflinchingly handled. Likewise, Lem and Olivia who maybe get the best scene this week. Olivia’s quiet, definitive refusal to be turned gives their relationship an expiration date, extra focus and extra poignancy. Seeing Lem struggle with that is going to be really interesting and the urbane vampire’s calm is already starting to flicker. We especially liked how grumpy he was being woken up in the middle of the day.

But the most heartwarming scenes this week come from Bobo and Fiji. The moment at the end of the episode where Bobo volunteers to stay on her porch in case she needs him has an ‘AWWWWW!’ factor that’s off the charts. Midnight‘s male characters are at their best when they’re emotionally open and strong. Its female characters are at their best when they’re allowed to communicate with total honesty. That’s Fiji and Bobo this episode, and it’s great.

Unfortunately, it’s not quite Creek and Manfred. Bowie’s revelation about what Creek really thinks about Manfred’s abilities is a nice idea but it sprints by way too fast. Plus, the payoff to it this episode feels incredibly rushed. Adding an extra episode of burn to see them start to grow apart, or to see how far down the self-esteem slope Manfred fell, would have worked better. As it stands, this is the first time the show’s frantic pace works against it.

Don’t get us wrong, this is still a fun episode with a lot to enjoy (ANGEL FIIIIIGHT!) but it’s also rushed rather than fast. Here’s hoping Manfred relaxes next week and the show follows suit.

The Good:

  • Opening with ‘A Millennium Ago’ is pretty much the most audacious thing a show could do.
  • Creek not being okay but not slowing down is quietly brave and really smart writing. Likewise Fiji.
  • It’s immensely refreshing to see a show where every character is both fundamentally pretty nice and actually talks to one another.
  • Joe has the cutest ‘…huh?’ face ever.
  • Bobo’s speech about missing his family, and his super off-hand ‘I love you’ is adorable.
  • Bowie’s line about knowing where the money to buy the bar came from is totally coming back to haunt them…
  • Epic 1980s Bonnie Tyler music video lighting for the win!
  • ‘I’d rather be not safe together than not safe apart.’ – Chuy and Bobo, currently in a dead heat for most adorable character.
  • Did you go through my stuff?’ ‘Not all of it’ – See?!

The Bad:

  • Some of the emotional beats here seem a little sudden. In particular, Creek and Manfred (kind of) breaking up feels pretty forced.
  • The angel effects are lovely but the rest of the episode doesn’t fare so well. Bowie being thrown into the portal suffers particularly.

And The Random:

  • Liz Sagal has written for Charmed, Banshee and Two Guys, A Girl And A Pizza Place which is one of our all time favourite sitcoms. This is Larry Caldwell’s first script credit.
  • Mairzee Almas has directed for Smallville, Being Human, The 100, iZombie and a ton of other shows you watch.
  • Breeda Wool is great fun as Bowie this week. She’s previously appeared in Weeds, Vice Principals and movies like XX and Shadowlands: The Invitation.

Review by Alasdair Stuart

Read all our reviews of Midnight, Texas

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