Blood Ties: Season 2
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Blood Ties Season 2 picks up with Vicky Nelson and Henry Fitzroy being drawn into baffling cases involving a terrifying pantheon of occult adversaries. While Henry deals with Christina, the vampire from Henry s past who turned him into a Vampire 480 years ago.
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But that love triangle starts constricting painfully in the second season of "Blood Ties," which finishes the all-too-short horror/mystery series. The plots are solid whodunnits and thrillers that center around strange supernatural beasties and items, and the trio of lead actors are excellent (particularly the striking Kyle Schmid). The one problem is the ending -- it's a big fat "to be continued" that leaves you craving a wrap-up TV movie.
When a wealthy man is brutally killed, Mike (Dylan Neal) knows he has the right suspect, a sneering woman who was at the crime scene. The problem is, the man died from being savaged by a giant cat -- and Mike saw her eyes glow when she was upset. So Vicki (Christina Cox) and Henry (Schmid) start investigating the woman's home and her family -- and uncover an ancient family secret and a tragic loss.
Among the other cases they handle: creepy art and men drowned with oil paint, a mysterious box that sticks Vicki in a time loop, a Goth club being threatened by a strange drug and insect attacks, a gang of truckjackers accidentally let loose an Incan mummy, and a murderer who suddenly changes his story (claiming psychic visions). And Henry unexpectedly seeks Mike's help when another vampire starts killing in his territory... leading to a reunion with the slinky Christina, his ex-lover/vampire-mother, who's got a nasty problem that is more than it seems.
Unfortunately, all this supernatural stuff is slowly crumbling away Mike's professional credibility, and the relationship between the three of them is getting increasingly tense. When an old demonic enemy returns to attack Coreen, Vicki must depend on both men to help -- but it may not be enough.
"Blood Ties Season Two" is in some ways darker and more desperate than the first season, now that Vicki has gotten totally immersed in the world of the supernatural (and Mike is starting to sink in too). But the core of the series is much the same -- it still sticks to the monster/artifact-of-the-week formula ("Talismans don't kill people; people kill people"), and maintains that distinctly dark, grimy feel, with lots of pale light, shadowy urban streets and a very unusual vampire.
And the murky mysteries are nicely speckled with gritty action sequences, monsters both typical (werethingies!) and unique (bug demons!), and some painfully bittersweet moments, such as the tragic fate of an out-of-control, self-loathing vampire. But the writers keep things tongue-in-cheek, and have some wonderfully quirky dialogue ("Don't you have a lucky shirt or socks?" "I have a bonnet that Anne Boleyn gave me right before she tried to poison me. I'm still here, so I guess you could call that lucky").
The biggest problem with "Blood Ties Season Two"? The ending. It's abundantly clear that there was a third season intended that would dealt with the myriad hanging plot threads -- namely the fractured love triangle and the whole Astaroth problem -- but it never happened. So the ending is depressing and unsatisfying. Come on, make us a TV movie!
Kyle Schmid actually steals the limelight in this season -- Henry becomes a more passionate, tragic figure as he deals with some of his past demons, while thankfully maintaining his sexy-trickster attitude (after admitting that he likes Celucci, he adds, "I'm gonna regret having to draw him being eaten by hellhounds"). And he pulls off even potentially-cheesy scenes, such as when Henry describes to the half-blind Vicki how luminous and vibrant the world looks to him.
But Christina Cox and Dylan Neal still hold their own -- Vicki seems more at peace with her new "night life" and the crimes she has to investigate, but her emotional life is even more snarled than it was before. She's getting pulled in two directions, and it now hurts. And Mike is slowly coming to terms with Henry's presence -- and evens seems buddyish once or twice. But the slow destruction of his career and his nice comfortable life is a painful thing to watch.
"Blood Ties Season Two" has an unsatisfactory finale, but it's still a solid fantasy/horror/mystery series that is one of the better vampire shows to make it to TV. Definitely give it a watch.
Henry Fitzroy, the vampire is not just sexy or typical of the vampire genre. He's not evil, nor is he tortured by his "evil nature" like so many vampires. He's "always had a pretty good opinion of himself, and hundreds of years of positive reinforcement."
Michael Celluci, the human detective, and the third person in the love triangle is strong and handsome and very human.
There's a "monster of the week" in every episode, but the show is all about those three and how they deal with each other under difficult circumstances.
The background is simple, ex-cop now Lady investigator still has her male ex-partner inside the department as a "source".
She also has a relative of Henry VIII helping out as a quasi-after dark "new associate".
It's set in Toronto, a superbly metropolitan city.
I enjoy horror movies and scary generes, I prefer them when there's legend, myth or lore mixed in.
That's why the 5 stars, the sets were good, the acting well excecuted, the love triangle boiled and the case files intruging.
Why then was it cancelled?
The episodes build on each other until we discover that ultimately life's choices are our own to make, and any happy ending is our own to devise.
Love triangles don't often end well, surprisingly no one dies in this particular one, but as the season ends no one is exactly left getting their hearts desire, except perhaps the office help who really had a hearts desire.
The season finished in a way that left it open to continue - not because like so many of the genere it had very obviously run out of storylines and ideas. It still came accross as fresh, lively, vibrant.
Perhaps someday someone will resurrect the series, or at least the theme. It should have been a bigger, longer running hit than it apparently was.
Buy it, enjoy it, you'll want more in my subjective opinion.