Midnight, Texas Recap: 1.3 "Lemuel, Unchained"

Welcome to your third Midnight, Texas, recap! This episode is vampire-filled, so Buffy fans prepare yourselves. Off we go!

Looks like things went well with Manfred and Creek as she’s getting dressed and he’s in his undies. Manfred wants to take her out to dinner, normal like. Creek blows him off, she’s worried about her dad finding out. (She also can’t find her other earring, which feels like it’s going to be a problem later, since I have seen a TV show before.)

Manfred tries to talk her home but she insists one protective man in her life is enough. Except while she’s walking the few blocks to work, she’s interrupted by a busload of vampires. THIS TOWN. I can’t decide, would real estate values be high, or low? Think of the tourism potential! I would 100 percent run Ye Olde Haunted Book Shoppe. I would get paranormal authors like JR Ward and Nalini Singh to do signings. The writer in residence could teach whatever subgenere they happen to be.

Okay, I’m off track. This recap is going to be 4000 words long. Apologies. Hope you don’t have anything to do at work today. This is my job, so I’m cool.

BACK TO THE ACTION! The vampire tries to bite Creek, but Lem rushes in just in time.

Get ready for Lem's origin story, y'all!

They hiss at each other. “Zachariah?” Lem asks. Turns out them know each other. Zach kinda apologizes for almost eating Creek. Lem says that everyone in Midnight is his friend, so Zach and his gang need to back off. Zach says they were just driving through and decided to stop and say hey. Sure, sure. Too bad there are still like 39 minutes left in this episode.

Lem and Zach head into the pawn shop and meet Olivia. Zach assures them that his crew is legit now, traveling with bags of blood and avoiding feeding on humans. Except for like five minutes ago when he tried to attack Hattie. Lem says he owes Zach — Zach saved his life.

Flashback: we see a very upsetting scene of Lem as a slave, being whipped. He decides to escape, and comes upon Len squatting by a fire in a field at night. Len asks Zach to free him. Zach obliges by turning him into a vampire.

The Midnight crew are recapping — which is my job. They do reveal some tidbits we need to know: Lem is an energy-sucking vampire who can kill other vampires, which is why they usually stay away. And the only way to kill a vampire is via sunlight or stake, all the rest is rumor. Thanks, bros. See ya at the next recapper retreat!

The vampires are at the restaurant. Olivia arrives with Lem but then rolls, because it is so true, it’s the worst meeting your boyfriend’s old friends. All those old stories you have no idea about, all the girls casting curious/possessive glances your way. NOT INTERESTED. Manfred catches up with Olivia. He suspects the vampires are up to not good and wants to sneak onto their bus to see if any ghosts are along for the ride. Olivia comes along as lookout because Manfred is not dumb, I’ll give him that. In the way back of the bus, they discover the vamps’ donor blood is not coming from a clinic, it’s coming from, you know, a person. A groupie, in fact. She hitched a ride from Tulsa and is having a blast.

Lem defends Zach to Olivia.

Flashback! We see Lem’s friend hanging from a tree. Lem and Zach crash the slave owner’s dinner party and feast. It’s very Spike and Dru reminiscent, thanks to the swinging soundtrack in particular.

Fiji’s flipping through her spell book and Bobo arrives with crossbows. Her house in inhospitable to the dead, so they’re safe (it’s also why she never invites Lem for dinner), but they decide to cook up some fancier weapons anyway. Seems all the Midnighters are in prep mode, Creek is at home sharpening some stakes when her brother comes in, asking what’s up. She tells him to help with the stakes.

Jason Lewis is in church. He tells the Rev he’s a fallen angel. He’s also here to move the series plot arc along. They discuss the thinning veil, and the Midnighter’s upcoming choice: to leave or to fight.

Manfred’s stocking up at the hardware store when the lights go out. He slips in a puddle of blood that once belonged to the shopkeeper. A vamp attacks him, but Manfred manages to dust him with a pencil. Now I’m really going to through Buffy withdrawal. Maybe I should bust out my action figures to help me recap? 

Manfred calls Creek to try and warn her about the vamps, but her dad sees the call coming in and declines.

Lem, Zach, Olivia and Zach’s woman are getting along now. Zach tells Lem he and his clan want to stay in Midnight.

Another flashback feeding party. This time we’re in the ’50s. The doo-wop/massacre combo is, once again, very Dru. Zach brings Lem a young girl to feed on, he’s been sulking. He spares the girl. She offers to help him put the curse behind her. And — guess what her name is, you guys? ZELDA! Whaaat. Lem emerges with Manfred’s young grandma, his signature glowing eyes now in place. 

In the present day, Lem tells Zach he can’t stay. Zach is like, okay, sure, and who believes he’s giving up that easily? Zach pulls out some blood for them to take a goodbye shot. Lem smiles and takes the glass. DON’T DO IT, LEM. Zach doesn’t take the drink. Lem collapses. LEM, I TOLD YOU! The blood was laced with silver.

Olivia is mad. Zach’s girlfriend attacks Olivia, but Olivia handily dusts her, which makes Zach pretty mad. He tells his vamps to kill everyone in town.

Creek and her brother hear a pounding at the door. It’s Manfred. He wants to take them to the church. Creek’s dad comes at Manfred, but Manfred punches him out so they can go. They’re loaded up in the RV trying to make it to the church, but the vamps have access blocked. So they make it to Manfred’s, which Fiji also made inhospitable to the dead.

Fiji and Bobo manage to make a sunlight flashlight. Just go with me. They also almost kiss! But Olivia shows up and interrupt. They make a plan.

Let there be (artificially created!) sunlight!

Flashback! We’re still in the ’50s with a newly glowing Lem and a young Zelda. Lem offers Zach a chance to also be an energy vampire, but Zach likes the blood and the killing. So Lem tells them they have to leave Midnight.

Present day Olivia is collecting lights to make the sun lamp brighter. The vamps keep attacking her, not realizing she isn’t human. She dusts the vamp with the sunlamp, but hurts her leg in the process. Everyone is stuck in their safe places and can’t go help Lem. But they’re going to go for it anyway.

Manfred heads out save the day, waving a box in the air and telling the vamps he’s Zelda’s grandson — he can make them powerful like Lem. Manfred’s surrounded. He’s trying to strike the deal, aka waste some time so they can get the light to him. Here comes Jason, flying into the church tower. Manfred hands Zach a box. It’s empty. Jason shoots the light from the clock tower and all the vamps burn up. Poof! Olivia runs to get Lem, trying to break the chains. They’re too strong, but he’s too weak. She breaks the window, cuts her arm with the glass and lets him drink her blood. He breaks the chains.

At daybreak, the Midnighters hug. Jason thanks Manfred, while Manfred tries to figure out if Jason can fly.

So you … fly, right?

Fiji’s talking cat, whom is not featured prominently enough in this show in my opinion, tells her Bobo is on his way. Bobo gives Fiji the friend hug, when Fiji clearly wants the relationship kiss. They whack each other on the arm. It’s awkward.net.

Creek’s dad warns her to stay away from Manfred. She lies and says they’re not sleeping together. What is this dude’s story, honestly?

Last scene, we see a woman hitchhiker a mile outside of Midnight. A truck pulls her over, then the driver attacks her. Seems like the vampires haven’t been cleared out altogether, after all.

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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