“Voodoo’s nothing but a magical excuse for a party.”
Who doesn’t love a good tale about the undead? In this week’s episode entitled ‘Danse Vaudou’ we get up close and personal with zombies, ghosts and voodoo magic in Louisiana. This episode begins with a drunken police officer witnessing a strange murder in an alleyway he can’t seem to be able to logically explain. Meanwhile back in Atlanta around the same time, Zed has a vision that takes her, John and Chas to New Orleans where they stumble into the aforementioned police officer named Jim Corrigan on the street where the murder took place. Normally we know John avoids working with the police or authority in general for very good reasons which is why I was surprised that the first thing he did was to tell Corrigan the truth; that what he saw wasn’t natural but supernatural and they decide to team up. The tension between John and Zed gets a bit of screen time in this episode when they’re getting keys to their hotel rooms. At first it almost seems as though Zed is flirting with John when they get separate rooms instead of a shared one but the mood instantaneously changes when John begins to question her about her past and what she’s running from.
At this point we see an unusually pale young boy named Phillip hitching a ride into Louisiana with an elderly man. It becomes evident fairly early that Philip is anything but human and ends up causing a car crash in which the driver dies and Philip walks away without a scratch on him. It turns out that just before this incident, back at the hotel; Zed has a vision of it so they call the police to warn them of the accident before it happens and head to the scene. Corrigan arrives at the scene and places John under arrest for murder, believing him to be a suspect and possibly even guilty.
The team splits up, John gets put into custody, Zed goes to talk to Philip’s family and Chas goes back to the original murder scene in the alleyway where he’s attacked by the spirit that committed the first murder Corrigan witnessed. If you remember from the pilot episode Chas at one point dies but is brought back to life almost instantly; this suggests that he has some form of regenerative powers and we get to see this again when he gets severely injured but by the time paramedics arrive at the scene, he’s almost completely restored to normal. This of courses raises a few questions about Chas but because he’s had very little screen time so far, we’ve not had a chance to get any answers. If he has these powers does this mean that he’s some kind of supernatural being or maybe even immortal if he can’t die?
Meanwhile Detective Corrigan realises that John isn’t a suspect and not guilty and begins to accept that there is much more to the world than we can see so they form an alliance. When Zed gets back in touch with John they both find out that the true adversary behind the murders and the spirits on the loose is Papa Midnite. Now you’ll remember Papa Midnite from the Devil’s Vinyl episode and I had a feeling we’d be seeing him again very soon. The voodoo practitioner has been casting spells to allow people talk to their dearly beloved from beyond the grave but we also find out it wasn’t meant literally bring people back from the dead. So reluctantly Midnite and John decide to call a truce and work together until everything is back to normal and the restless spirits are back in the underworld where they belong.
“And you’re the one to lecture me on guilt and responsibility.”
As Corrigan and Zed are waiting for Philip’s ghost to appear, Corrigan tells her that he knows why she’s so familiar to him and why she’s changed her name. Before we’re able to find out more they come across Philip’s ghost and he hitches a ride with them but it doesn’t go according to plan and the ghost disappears just as Midnite and John steals the three bodies from the mortuary to burn them. Unfortunately this doesn’t go according to plan either and despite having burnt the bodies, the spirits are still loose and still wreaking havoc. When it doesn’t work John and Midnite realise that the families of the dead spirits need to be present at the burning because it is their own guilt that made them rise from the beyond the grave and they won’t actually be brought back where they belong until they forgive themselves for what happened. So finally, when they burn a second time the spirits disappear and are finally able to get rest.
When Zed and Corrigan talks he once again brings up where he recognises Zed from and we find out that she’s in fact a missing person which seems to spook Zed and she asks him if the file still exists and Corrigan tells her it doesn’t. It seems to me that Corrigan might be an ally we’re probably going to see more of as the season progresses as it could be an interesting part of the story arc for Zed and probably for the main plot. Meanwhile John gets to talk to Midnite’s dead sister and asks about the rising darkness and how to stop it but the answer is anything but good and leaves John and Midnite (as well as myself) with chills down their spines.
I have very few bad things to say about this episode. Everyone got some personal screen time, even Chas which was a nice surprise. We found out more about Zed and who she actually is and there were new allies gained. It was an eerie episode without being too over the top. New Orleans is a brilliant setting for a ghost story and the undead. Even though Papa Midnite isn’t exactly an ally he isn’t all too much of a bad guy and I think towards the end of it all he’ll probably fight with them to stop the rising darkness rather than against them. The only thing I’m missing here at the moment is more clues as to what the rising darkness actually is – it keeps being brought up and mentioned but we never really see it and there is no clue whatsoever to whom is actually behind it and as a viewer that gets a little bit frustrating as it makes most of these episodes seem like filler episodes and I’m hoping that maybe this will change.
“You are a magpie of magic, a thief of tradition; you steal from other people’s cultures and beliefs to suit your own purposes.”