Sunday, November 13, 2022

REVIEW: 'Let the Right One In' - Mark and Eleanor Team Up to Create a Special Birthday for Isaiah in 'Stargazers'

Showtime's Let the Right One In - Episode 1.06 "Stargazers"

As Mark, Naomi and Ellie work together to make sure Isaiah has the best birthday ever, complicated feelings arise. Claire starts to form a bond with Matthew and continues down a path of no return by taking her research to a whole new level.

"Stargazers" was written by Ren Dara Santiago and directed by Viet Nguyen

Everyone wants to make Isaiah's birthday special. And yet, Naomi fears she will never be able to provide answers to her son about what happened to his father. Of course, Mark knows the truth. He killed Frank to feed Eleanor. He has been making those decisions for over a decade. Now, he's simply running into the consequences of continuing to live in the community where he killed. Speculation runs rampant over Mark's fingerprints potentially being left behind on Frank's sobriety chip. That hasn't been confirmed yet. Instead, it's just a threat that lingers. It's something Naomi knows about. It may be the only lead she has. It's worth pursuing. Mark is already looking over the casework on her computer though. Their fates are destined to clash. And now, they are growing closer. It takes a romantic turn as well. Mark asks Eleanor if Isaiah has become her boyfriend. He hasn't. They are simply best friends. They care about each other. Mark is left in the dark about Eleanor telling Isaiah the truth. Isaiah was going to figure it out at some point due to how much time they were spending together. Eleanor couldn't bear keeping that from him any longer. She is now lying to her father. He trusts her with more details about what he's doing throughout the city. He trusts her. She has always acted older than her age. That's more true today because she's had an entire decade of growth and development after being turned into a vampire. However, she had her entire future mapped out before that pivotal action occurred. In fact, she and Peter were targeted for a specific reason. It seems purely coincidental that they were the only people at the stargazers event without partners. They have a completely innocuous dynamic too. They provide their personal information without second guessing it. That's the precise action that seemingly invites this threat in. They are amazed by the stars. Eleanor sees her future brightly. Peter sees a world without answers that can be solved. He yearns to buck the family expectations. That's what he projects onto the situation. They both talk openly about their struggles and what led them to this moment. It's followed by both of them being unaware that they've suffered the same fate. They wouldn't wish vampirism onto anyone. Isaiah provides Eleanor with so much support. He believes she will be cured one day. He believes it as an eventuality before her next birthday. That's not a guarantee. He sets that as the deadline. He too is willing to sacrifice himself to become this creature. That's not a desirable outcome. Eleanor understands that. She provides so much clarity and support to Isaiah as well. They are two young kids trying to make sense of the world. Their problems are simply more pronounced than the typical preteen struggles. They've been protected to a certain extent. But now, they are pushing the boundaries of what this world can now offer them despite their unique circumstances.

Just like Eleanor and Isaiah, Mark and Naomi are becoming supportive friends. Mark is exploring a life he hasn't allowed himself to have for over a decade. He knows precisely how long it has been since he last confessed his sins. He's been in agony the entire time. He needs to unburden himself now. He feels he must before embracing anything new and exciting. He pushes himself to kiss Naomi. He acts on that attraction. He's interested in her beyond her work as a detective. They are investigating similar worlds in the city. Their paths will cross. She provides valuable information. That doesn't lead Mark to the Logan family though. Claire is the one who created the drug on the streets. She is responsible for gifting more people with powers. It's all temporary. It's not a permanent infection. That can only be transferred through a bite mark. Claire accepts that she sold her soul in order to possibly achieve something good. She has done so not knowing if she can cure her brother. His injuries have now healed from the final attempt their father made. He failed. It's now up to Claire to try. Just like Mark, she has shut out every other aspect of her life. She is devoted to the mission. She can't even allow a day for herself even though others can look after Peter. She sees her own personal responsibility in this matter. She has already identified the mutation that prevents vampires from aging. She's willing to move forward with experiments to manipulate that back to human compliance. Her theory is proven successful with apes. She needs to experiment on humans though. All of this may eventually provide the show with a way to explain why certain actors age even when their characters aren't suppose to. Of course, Peter argues it's the best thing about this whole experience. He doesn't want to be cured of only this aspect. He needs it to be for the totality of his condition. Claire can't make that promise now. She only offers hope. She has to embrace the darkness in order to achieve it. That's what weighs these characters down. They have to become the evil to fight back after their loved ones were taken from them. They refuse to believe this condition is permanent. Choices have to be made to keep their lives sustainable for as long as possible. Mark and Eleanor don't even know what happened that changed their lives in this way. It's simply something they had to accept. Claire did as well. But now, more individuals are becoming part of their lives. Mark wants to unburden himself. And yet, he's overcompensating by trying to make Isaiah's birthday spectacular. He creates a chocolate dessert that incorporates magic. It's so unique. It offers a proud celebration of who Isaiah is. It's still informed by Mark's guilty conscience. He is stepping into the role of father after he killed Isaiah's biological parent. That's depraved and twisted. It's what this narrative has forced into happening. Mark wants to embrace these emotions. Eleanor beams with joy upon seeing her father like this once more. That can't erase the many horrible things he did. Confessing to a priest won't alleviate him of this burden entirely either. It's something he is willing to do even though he's careful in so many other aspects of this world.