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Alex O'Loughlin's Guide to Moonlight, Part 3: Episodes 9-12

In the third of four parts, actor Alex O'Loughlin reflects on each episode of the short-lived vampire drama Moonlight, looking at episodes 9-12.
Episode 9
“Fleur de Lis”
Written by Gabrielle Stanton and Harry Werksman
Directed by James Whitmore, Jr.

Mick ends up working with Morgan, the photographer who looks like Coraline, on a case, and as the two are drawn closer together he discovers that she is indeed his former love, somehow rendered human – a point made when, Beth, having discovered the truth on her own, shows up at Mick’s place and stakes her – unaware that the woman is no longer a vampire.
O’Loughlin admits that when he initially read the script he was a little skeptical over the fact that Mick apparently was accepting the fact that Morgan wasn’t Coraline. “I tried to find as many moments in the script where we can see he still believes she’s Coraline; that something wasn’t right,” he says. “I liked that tension that was all the way through the story. I like that it’s hardcore.
“And Beth staking Coraline! Incredible. There’s also a moment when Mick is looking at Coraline, and you can tell he’s feeling big love. He hates to admit it, but he wants her back so bad and, ding-dong, Beth is at the door and, oh my God, what a shit fight! She sticks that chair leg straight into that kid’s chest. It’s a pretty radical ending. The last 10 minutes of this episode are incredible, and where we leave it – Coraline in Mick’s arms and him screaming to Beth, ‘You idiot, she’s not a vampire!’”

Episode 10
“Sleeping Beauty”
Written by Trevor Munson & Ron Koslow
Directed by John Kretchmer

Josef is nearly the victim of an assassination attempt, which is tied to a human woman in a coma, the love of Josef’s life who went into that state when he tried to turn her into a vampire.
“An important episode for Mick,” observes O’Loughlin. “There’s the shot when Beth is in the cab and he just walks away, which pulls back to a wide shot. That isolation, in a sense, is the way he feels through a lot of this episode. Also, Josef has kept all of this from him. He’s supposed to be his best friend and his only real ally in life, and he’s been keeping this huge secret. Beth has gone back to Josh, because she’s gotten a sense of what her future could hold, and I think Mick is feeling more isolated than ever. Very strong episode.”

Episode 11
“Love Lasts Forever”
Written by Josh Pate
Directed by Paul Holahan

Josh asks Mick to protect Beth as he wages legal war against a powerful gang, which goes disastrously wrong as Josh is shot, dying in Beth’s arms and Mick refuses to save him by turning him into a vampire, fully aware that there are some things worse than death.
“This is a tough episode,” states the actor. “Wherever it comes from, he has affection for Joss. Mick sees death all the time. In fact, Mick participates in death often, but this death, when it’s as wrong as this is, does something to him. I mean, it’s the whole build up to everything that’s going on, when he’s had his hands in the stomach of this guy, trying to keep him alive. The aroma of blood, the need to feed breathing down on him, this wrongful death and loss of innocence. At the end of the episode, he weeps for the loss of innocence in this room, and essentially what he’s crying for is the loss of his own innocence, because he truly is a victim of circumstance. He doesn’t have a victim mentality, but he is a victim. I think it’s a metaphorical episode and the fact that we lost one of our leads was hard-hitting.”

Episode 12
“The Mortal Cure”
Written by Chip Johannessen
Directed by Eric Laneuville

Beth discovers that Josh was getting ready to propose to her. Meanwhile, Mick learns that Coraline is still alive but is a vampire again. She tells him about a cure and, in fact, administers it to Mick before she is whisked away by a powerful vampire, leaving a very human Mick behind.
Notes O’Loughlin, “Mick has been obsessed with a cure; the fact that there’s a way out. You know, there’s an important moment in episode seven when Josef says to Mick, ‘You’ve got to stop hating what you are. Accept it.’ And Mick doesn’t. Well, he does, but he lives in this controlled denial. He’s not a stereotypical vampire. He’s a reluctant vampire. In this episode he’s cured and he remembers how painful it is to be human. And there’s a gap between Mick and Beth, Coraline’s gone and we don’t know what’s going to happen to Mick. It was a pretty exciting place to leave us when the Writer’s Guild strike happened.”
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