abby82 (abby82) wrote,

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VID: I Will Follow You Into The Dark [Forever Knight]

Title: I Will Follow You Into The Dark
Artist: Death Cab For Cutie
Fandom: Forever Knight
Vidder: abby82
Download: Sendspace (40MB, WMV) or YouTube, blip (streaming)
Notes: May 2008 marks the 12th anniversary of Forever Knight's final episode "Last Knight". Love it or hate it, accept it or disavow it, it's a controversial episode that will instantly get a Forever Knight fan talking. 12 years later the fans that were brought together by this series still discuss and new fans continue to trickle in. This is my way of remembering "Last Knight". May Forever Knight and its cast of characters continue to live on through its fans.


Love of mine some day you will die
But I'll be close behind
I'll follow you into the dark

No blinding light or tunnels to gates of white
Just our hands clasped so tight
Waiting for the hint of a spark
If heaven and hell decide
That they both are satisfied
Illuminate the NOs on their vacancy signs

If there's no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I'll follow you into the dark

In Catholic school as vicious as Roman rule
I got my knuckles bruised by a lady in black
And I held my tongue as she told me
"Son fear is the heart of love"
So I never went back

If heaven and hell decide
That they both are satisfied
Illuminate the NOs on their vacancy signs

If there's no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I'll follow you into the dark

You and me have seen everything to see
From Bangkok to Calgary
And the soles of your shoes are all worn down
The time for sleep is now
It's nothing to cry about
Cause we'll hold each other soon
The blackest of rooms

If heaven and hell decide
That they both are satisfied
Illuminate the NOs on their vacancy signs

If there's no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I'll follow you into the dark
Then I'll follow you into the dark

"Last Knight" is personally a difficult episode to watch. First and foremost there’s the cold reality of the characters' certain and uncertain fates. Then there’s this feeling that the characters’ actions to a certain degree feel almost out of character. However all that is somewhat tempered by knowing that Nick and Natalie’s actions, especially, are based on the characters' belief in faith and redemption—a constant theme throughout the series.


My perception of the episode has certainly changed from the years following its initial airing. For one thing, I was 14 years old in 1996 and I was still rather unsophisticated in my understanding of the politics of television. My little heart was still very tender. Not long before I saw "Last Knight" I had just been devastated by the finale of Quantum Leap. "Last Knight" was also the second episode of Forever Knight that I'd ever seen. I’d stumbled upon it in late night syndication and was intrigued enough by "Ashes to Ashes" (my first full episode) to tune in at the same time the following week. It's safe to say that I didn't know the characters and I probably couldn't even tell you the basic premise of the series that is so succinctly laid out for the viewer during the opening credits. So imagine my surprise as I tuned in (late by the way, during the "Last Act" flashback) to an episode in which the characters' world seemed to falling apart.  Throw in LaCroix's monologue, the dreamy camera shots and the pacing that director Geraint Wyn Davies used and it was one very disorienting episode for me. As the episode progressed the sense of foreboding only increased. In the end, rather than the tears I shed for the Quantum Leap finale, "Last Knight" left me impossibly numb and shocked, which I think was far worse. I may not have been very familiar with Nick, Natalie, Tracy, and LaCroix but I mourned for them and at the time I mourned for myself. I felt denied the opportunity to get to know these characters like I'd gotten to know Sam and Al in Quantum Leap. It felt so cruel.


However upon revisiting the series within the past year with an older perspective I'm able to appreciate what the episode was trying to do. I don't really see it as this defiant gesture from creator Jim Parriott towards a studio and/or network who tinkered with his show and then cancelled it or a slap in the face towards loyal fans. He's long gone on the record as stating that his contribution to the existing premise of a vampire cop was the addition of the need for redemption.


For the characters, the final actions that came to a head in Nick’s loft were due to a huge leap of faith. In their actions Nick and Natalie reaffirmed their belief in one of the show’s themes—immortality—in this case immortality in the afterlife.


There were lines in “I Will Follow You into the Dark” that to me were very reminiscent of the situation Nick and Natalie found themselves in.


No blinding light or tunnels to gates of white/Just our hands clasped so tight/Waiting for the hint of a spark/If Heaven and Hell decide/That they both are satisfied/Illuminate the NOs on their vacancy signs


To me it speaks of the uncertainty in which Nick and Natalie will find themselves if in fact LaCroix does follow through with Nick's request to stake him. It was their faith that there was an existence beyond for them together, a different type of immortality, that was so strong. Of course I would most certainly have preferred that their faith manifest itself in some way other than the way that it did. Existence in the mortal world is far more preferable than existence in the afterlife. Nick’s decision to end his life and by extension Natalie’s and seek immortality in death doesn’t sit right with me. For all his feelings of unworthiness and occasional self-destruction Nick has a great love of life. We are reminded of that by LaCroix in what are certainly my favorite passages from “Last Knight” and one of my favorites of the entire series.


“But are you so enamored that you would overlook your love of life? And you do love it. I’ve seen you smell the sea. Gaze at the stars at night.” Those lines describe Nick so perfectly and it’s fitting that it should come from LaCroix who is perhaps in a better position anyone to see. For Nick to seek death with Natalie rather than bring her across, something she professed wouldn’t scare her if he was with her, illustrates how grief stricken he must have been in those moments. It also speaks of the feeling of failure he must have been feeling, at his inability to protect Natalie from the very thing he fought for so long. Bringing her over in some way would have been an acknowledgment of that. When I view it in that context I’m able to make some sort of peace with those events.


A few additional notes on the vid. This is officially my first fanvid. I've mentioned a Schanke vid that I have in the works and which I began long before this one. However due to the amount of footage I'm using it requires much more careful attention then this vid. With this vid I wanted to remain solely within the episode of "Last Knight" and the 5 episodes it referenced in flashback so it was an easier project clip wise. Of the 5 flashbacked episodes (not including episodes from the rapid fire clips shown when Nick bites Natalie) I used clips from the season 3 opener "Black Buddha", season 3's "The Human Factor" and season 1's "For I Have Sinned". However I admit I did cheat a bit. I included a shot from season 2's "Near Death" and "Close Call". I also threw in a clip of Nick and Schanke from the season 2 opener "Killer Instinct".


To this day it bothers me that Schanke didn't warrant much of a mention in the "Last Knight". Yeah there was a lot going on but I don't think his friendship with Nick should have been ignored. He was more than just the partner he "lost" as Reese put it. Therefore I felt the line, "You and me have seen everything to see," would be a nice way to acknowledge the years he and Nick rode together as partners and friends. This is also the stretch of the song in which I refer to Janette and Nick's history together and the centuries they've traveled together. All of which was made possible by LaCroix, whose own journey began on one fateful evening in Pompeii.


And then there's Tracy. So much of "Last Knight" is embroiled in the circumstances surrounding the suicide of Natalie's friend and the need for Natalie to determine once and for all whether or not she and Nick can realistically be involved with each other. Something like that can't be discussed without bringing in the vampire element of the series. How do you make Tracy relevant in an episode like that? Without the presence of Vachon to link her directly to the vampire community she's left in an odd limbo. She's aware of the existence of vampires but it's a secret she has to keep to herself. Near the end of “Ashes to Ashes” Nick requested that LaCroix alter Tracy’s memories to remove the truth of Vachon’s death.  If LaCroix did in fact follow through then Tracy is undoubtedly feeling very, very alone and abandoned. In some ways she's worse off than Natalie, who at least has Nick. "Last Knight" has Tracy almost going through the motions with no real direction. Knowledge of the vampire community, which once was so interesting and eye opening, is now stifling. When the hostage situation breaks out in the precinct, she pursues the captor without notifying anyone to her whereabouts. Tracy's accidental shooting and the revelation of Nick's vampirism is what unites the two story lines. In some ways I feel that the death of Tracy is perhaps the episode’s most tragic loss. Season three had Nick backsliding and the overall tone of the season almost felt like it was driving towards the conclusion it did. Nick and Natalie’s final actions at least felt semi plausible albeit rather extreme. Yet with Tracy it felt senseless—a senseless accident.

Tags: forever knight, my vids

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