Recently I just got into this show and in general, I've heard its basically "Angel 2.0" but as far as I'm concerned...this show is overall the much better show! The idea of a vampire wanting to become human is nothing new, I'll admit to that, but this show takes it in another direction entirely - to give him a job as a cop so he sees both the very best and very worst of humanity. Seriously, this episode is only the 5th episode I've come across that actually has vampires in it outside of Nick and the occasional appearance of Lacroix and Jeanette.
Anyway, the plot involves a woman (who I'll call Norma because...that was her name) who shot a store beautician and was shot herself for stealing some makeup. Nick tries to inform the relatives, being upset because its a sad reality of what humanity has to deal with, to try and 'beautify' themselves. When Natalie does Norma's autopsy, she finds that she's has aged 30 something years in the 2 hours since she was in the morgue. We then see the same sort of violent behavior from two other people that worked at a spa where Norma worked (who I'll call Agnus and Bernice).
While this is all going on Nick has flashbacks to a woman who asked him to turn her into a vampire to stop her own aging, who was turned by Jeanette. Unlike most episodes though, these flashbacks are absolutely, no mistake whatsoever, 100 per cent necessary for the episode.
Anyway, Agnus is arrested for her violent outburst and requests a "Dr Jergen". Meanwhile Nick looks for Bernice who, herself, has aged 20 years in the few hours since he last saw her and it turns out that "Dr Jergen" is the woman from the flashbacks and she's been giving them vampire blood. Her blood. Bernice comes to the realization to just "let age happen" and Agnus is accidentally killed by Schanke and the vampire who did this realizes the collossal mistake she did (although, one flaw with the episode is that we never see her pay for the crime she committed).
Okay, whats good here? Where do I start? Firstly, the episode's subject matter, while rather course, is a very easy one to attack. The idea of women who just want to be beautiful rapidly aging with no control over it whatsoever holds amazing emotional weight considering these people, regardless of what you'd believe, aren't really bad people in any way, they're just desperate. When it comes to body image being portrayed on the small screen, I've never seen it done so well in anything else I've seen. The acting is all superb with the cast regulars (who I'd often say are either hit or miss with a general board of "eh?" as acting) are ALL at the top of their game and the guest stars are all fantastic. They even portray addiction in this episode (which was done before on this show in an episode I'd call complete crap "Feeding The Beast") and the idea of a woman, not even in her 30's, just letting herself age 50 years is probably one of the most perfect, bittersweet endings they could've had. You understand why she eventually gave up, but you also feel incredibly sorry for her and her situation, no matter how happy she seemed at the end of the episode. And I still haven't written every reason why this episode is my favourite.
Whats bad? Not much else besides that. There's a scene where a personal trainer gets one of the women to work out more which accidentally comes off as a rape scene, they make jokes about Schanke being accidentally attracted to a 15 year old girl in a makeup ad (...creepy much?!) and, of course, as I mentioned earlier, we never see the villain of the episode get whats coming to her. Did she kill herself knowing she inflicted upon them what she herself feared? Did she get arrested and watch an early morning sunrise? Did Nick kill her? Any one of these would've been a satisfying end.
So overall, this, to me, is a perfect representation of what this show is. Seeing humanity through the eyes of a being that has seen us make the same mistakes over and over. In something like personal beauty, this show couldn't have hoped for a better episode. My overall reaction is definitely check this one out.
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