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01 July 2012 @ 09:07 pm
"Hearts of Darkness" and "Dark Knight"  
I'm sure this is not a new thought, but I haven't been able to turn up a memory of bumping into it before, and I enjoyed toying with it, so I'm sharing.

Have you ever noticed that "Hearts of Darkness" introduces Urs in a manner paralleling how "Dark Knight" introduces Nick? (Of course Urs first appears in "Black Buddha;" by "introduce," here, I mean a wider view accompanied by the night-I-came-across backstory.) That is, in both DK and HoD, the audience is supposed to suspect the protagonist of a murder — Nick, the guard; Urs, Eckhart — until fairly late in the story. (Steeped in canon, we know better; it's easy to forget to suspect them! But the episode texts pile suspicion on them.) In both, the actual murderer is hidden/off-screen, a character whom the dialogue asserts ought not be present: in DK, Janette says it can't be Lacroix, and in HoD, Natalie says it can't be Ellen.* Both episodes end with remarks about the ones who died being "the lucky ones" (DK2 Nick to Natalie about Lacroix and Alyce; HoD Urs to Nick about Ellen) and with ruminations on the ongoing difficulties of the protagonist's state (DK2 Nick to Natalie; HoD Urs to Vachon). And to take the parallel much too far, just for fun, that twitching toe at the end of HoD could be said to align with Lacroix's reappearance at the end of "Love You to Death" (that is, the murderer is not dead after all).

* Structurally, DK is superior for (among many other things) introducing Lacroix early, in dialogue and flashback, even while denying his present presence. HoD stoops nearly to the evil-twin trope basement by suddenly dropping in a third personality in defiance of all that had been previously known of FK vampires. Mystery audiences deserve fair and sufficient clues to figure out whodunnit (even if they can assemble those clues correctly only in retrospect).

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PJ1228pj1228 on July 2nd, 2012 07:33 pm (UTC)
Interesting observation. I've never noticed the parallels.
Amy R.: Trio Vachon's Crewbrightknightie on July 3rd, 2012 02:44 am (UTC)
I imagine that we naturally often compare "Dark Knight" to "Killer Instinct" and "Black Buddha," as season premieres that all follow a structure of trying (and failing) to dislodge Nick from Toronto (as well as introducing new characters, and other parallels). Similarly, we may also easily see to compare "Hearts of Darkness" to "A Fate Worse Than Death" and "A More Permanent Hell" for their flashbacks to coming across (and "Black Buddha, Part 2," though its information-dump style differs so significantly from the others).

But DK and HoD... so far apart in time and tone! ...do not actively reach out to each other across canon in such a way. I think that may be why the idea was so fun to play with. :-)