Midnight, Texas Recap: 1.1 "Pilot"

Our love of Charlaine Harris is well-documented, so it should come as no surprise that we sat ourselves down last night at 10 p.m. (which is technically past our bedtime), to watch the latest iteration of Charlaine’s fiction, Midnight, Texas. The mystery series, which started with Midnight Crossing, is chock full of paranormal creatures and had us dreaming of Halloween. Join us, won’t you, for the recap? 

All right, I am staying up past my bedtime for this visit to Midnight, so let’s GO!

A knock, then a man opens the door to his friend Rachel. He tells her his fee has gone up. There’s heavy breathing, but really the man is reading Rachel’s wedding ring so she can talk to her dead husband Harold. Rachel confesses that she’s been seeing someone new – Kevin. The candles go out, and we see Harold, in all his chest open, recently deceased glory, seething. Our hero tries to keep him back but he charges in a plume of smoke and our hero swallows him. The ghost tries to kill Rachel but our hero manages to exorcise him in time.

With Rachel gone, our hero is free to surf his own website and handily let us know that his name is Manfred while he pops pills and guzzles booze. A menacing call lets him know he’s still in debt.

Manfred’s on the move in his RV with his dead, hooka-smoking grandma in the passenger seat. She tells him to head to Midnight.

Mandred arrives in Midnight

Town is mostly deserted when he arrives. We see Jason Lewis with a mustache heading out for a run. WWSJD? (I know all you SATC fans will get that, right?) A woman in a red wig cuts Manfred off before running inside to let us all know she’s blonde.

Manfred heads into a pawn shop and all the objects are talking to him like in that Buffy episode that made me rethink my pick for superhero power, changing it from mind reading to invisibility. You know, just in case. Manfred meets his landlord, Bobo, who wants our guy’s help in finding his MIA fiancée.  Manfred lies and says it’s all an act.

Manfred heads out to a restaurant that’s full of people who were not present earlier in the day. He places an order with Hattie from Parenthood, which is a show I really miss a lot. Her name is Creek now. She takes him to the Midnighters room, where the locals eat. He meets Olivia, the blonde from before, and Lemuel, who has crazy kinda glowing eyes … and I’m sorry this is a lot of exposition and names but what can ya do. It’s the pilot! 

Lemuel is a vampire and he sucks Manfred’s energy – but then he apologizes. Polite! Seems he needed energy because some local gang members looked like they were getting fresh with Creek, but all calms down so Manfred can eat his pot roast in peace.

Creek brings Manfred to the fall picnic. But it’s not long before a dog starts suspiciously barking … and you know what that means on these shows, right? DEAD BODY alert! Looks like Bobo has located his fiancée.

The police arrive and the deputy is skeptical of Manfred’s choice of relocation. Bobo is telling the sheriff how he and Aubrey fought.

Manfred is trying to sleep when he wakes up next to a gurgling, bloated, dead Aubrey. NO THANK YOU. Manfred heads to a chapel to get some holy water, as one does. He preps his room and takes out a super cool Ouija board I would have loved when I was 12 (and also now). Aubrey returns. She manages to spell out a name, Pecados, before he’s beset by ghosts.

Ghosts, ghosts everywhere

Bobo is watching his proposal video, where we see Aubrey as a lovely, young, alive woman (I feel like I have to be specific with this show. This never happened when I was recapping Younger). The sheriff comes by to tell him how Aubrey died (gunshot followed by drowning), but also that Aubrey had been married to a man in the aforementioned local gang for five years – and guess who just got out of prison. (The husband. The husband just got out of prison.)

Manfred’s trying to keep his ghosts contained while the sheriff looks for answers. We meet and see some of the locals until the deputy arrives at Manfred’s and he asks her what the word Pecados means. They head to a dock by the same name and find the gun.

Manfred talks to his grandma about how he should leave town. His neighbor Olivia doesn’t like that he’s working with the cops. Olivia shows up and punches him out. Succinct! I like that at the end of an episode!

Fiji, who is a townie I have not yet told you about, comes to see what Olivia is up to, and soon Lemuel arrives, all to see Manfred tied to a chair in his undies. Manfred comes clean about his grandma’s tip, and we learn two delightful facts: 1. Manfred’s grandma is/was, pick your tense, name/d Gypsy Zelda, and Lemuel knew her. Apparently Zelda was the one in debt thanks to her scam artist ways, but now that she’s dead, Manfred’s got to pay up. Lemuel decides that Manfred is one of them, and can stay. Turns out the veil between the living and the dead is thin in Midnight, which explains the many ghosts.

Gang members show up to smash Bobo’s pawn shop and also potentially Bobo. They want the money and the drugs. Lemuel and a scantily clad Olivia show up to take care of business.

Creek stops by to have a beer with Manfred and I have to remind myself that she’s legal now and that Parenthood really is over. She says she and her family moved to Midnight after her mom died, that she’s a writer and will go to school once her little brother is out of the house, dad doesn’t have a real soft touch. She also gives us the skinny on the other Midnight residents, like Jason Lewis, who everyone is insisting on calling Joe. He’s an angel. We see him painfully sprout wings and fly off. Bobo stands over a locked cellar while the reverend buries a dead cow. Fiji does a spell for Aubrey and also TALKS TO HER CAT. No one told me this was a show with a talking cat, I would have been 100 percent in from the start. Sabrina the Teenaged Witch is one of my all-time favorites shows EVER. 

TALKING CAT ALERT

Last, we see part of Olivia’s reveal. She’s an assassin, apparently. And mad about being stuck in Midnight thanks to the investigation. Lemuel makes her feel better –if you know what I mean.

Creek is still flirting away. She asks Manfred for a reading. They almost kiss when the police arrive. All the residents come out to see Bobo arrested for Aubrey’s death. Fiji crushes and levitates the car. They talk her down as the lines become drawn in the war between the regular world and that of Midnight, Texas.

Well that was a pretty good pilot! I look forward to next week! 

You’ll find a recap of each Midnight, Texas, episode here every Tuesday during the first season run. And if you’d like to read more recaps at your desk while you wait (we’ll never tell), we’ve got ya covered.

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