“Midnight, Texas,” based on the trilogy of novels by Chaplaine Harris, welcomed fans back to town for a second season with a sneak peek at the show’s presentation at Comic-Con on Saturday. Making up the welcoming committee were the cast and crew: Francois Arnaud, Dylan Bruce, Parisa Fitz-Henley, Arielle Kebbel, Jason Lewis, Peter Mensah, producers David Janollari, Eric Charmelo, and new showrunner Nicole Snyder, taking over for Monica Osuwu-Breen, who’s currently busy revamping “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
In its first outing, “Midnight, Texas” introduced viewers to a tiny town that nevertheless is the home to a surprising number of remarkable people: there’s the sweet witch Fiji (Fitz-Henley), assassin Olivia (Kebbel), the vampire Lemuel (Mensah), pawn shop owner with a past Bobo (Bruce), the angelic Joe Strong (Lewis), and the newest resident Manfred the psychic (Arnaud). When last we left the gang, they had just defeated a demon, but a new, seemingly benign element presented itself: A company has bought the town’s old hotel and is going to renovate it to make Midnight a tourist destination. This is similar to the plot of Harris’ second book in the series and thus sets up the show for the second season.
During the panel, the producers debuted a trailer that set up much of the action for the season. Although it’s not available to share yet, here’s a breakdown of some of what went down, in addition to supplemental commentary by the cast and crew.
The New Threat in Town
Crystal Desert is the name of the new hotel/New Age healing center run by two new characters this season: the holistic energy healer named Kai (Nestor Carbonell) and this wife Patience (Jaime Ray Newman). “They come to town and they’re pretty mysterious,” said Snyder. “Everybody’s a little suspicious of them.”Even after witnessing a healing, the gang is still skeptical until the couple actually saves a Midnighter’s life.
Charmelo said that the threat this year will be “amongst our townsfolk” and that the mystery is “who this threat is and what are their objectives?”
Janollari added that Season 2 reinvents the hotel opening that’s seen in the second book and mostly mine from the second and third books in the trilogy.
After becoming temporarily possessed last season, Manfred is still feeling the lingering effects in a surprising way. The Season 2 trailer shows disturbing images of him stalking though the town at night with weapons in hand.
Arnold offered some insight. “Manfred is suffering from horrible nightmares or what he thinks are nightmares… what you can call demon cancer, it’s the worst kind. He sees himself at night hurting the people he loves most, his friends.”
When he wakes, he’s uncertain what that means or if he may act out. Unsurprisingly, this causes trouble with his girlfriend Creek (Sarah Ramos), who doesn’t like to see her guy looming over her with a knife at home. Fortunately, he has a new ally.
“He develops a friendship, a partnership with Patience who’s Kai’s,” he said. “They sort of find themselves fighting evil together and forming a special bond. She’s also his eyes and ears inside the whole [hotel]. Manfred is jealous of Kai who’s supposed to be the new savior.”
The Newlyweds: Olivia and Lem
The Season 2 trailer shows that Olivia and Lem’s marriage is off to a sexy start — because now that she’s shared his blood, there’s a psychic bond between them.
“I think both Olivia and Lem have a lot to learn about being married. It’s a whole new life for the two of them,” said Kebbel. “Things change as there’s a second connection between the two of us. What starts off as really amazing becomes really annoying.”
“It’s really hard being dead and being married to a really live woman,” said Mensah. “But Lem does feel what Olivia feels… Have you ever tried to control Olivia?”
As for the hired killer herself, Olivia will be on a path to healing after suffering past trauma. “Things are coming with Olivia and her father,” said Kebbel, who added that her backstory will be delved into. “We see her pain for the first time and through the pain, healing can happen. What is she willing to let go of to have this thing happen? How do you show your strength through being vulnerable?”
Fiji the Former Virgin
A big deal was made last season about Fiji losing her virginity since that eliminated her ability to carry out a plan that would use that as part of a magical spell. She has no regrets though because her first time was with her longtime crush, Bobo. In the trailer, they new lovebirds have clearly been practicing and have a strange side effect of her magic: when they make love, they float.
Of course, this is “Midnight, Texas,” and that means a new wrinkle from that could arise. “It seems like it has something to do with our connection,” said Fitz-Henley.
Having embraced the fact that she is a witch in truth, Fiji will continue to grow. “Now she’s getting the chance to play with her powers,” said the actress. “We don’t know the half of it.”
Bobo’s New Business
Bobo’s time as a pawn shop owner gave him some confidence, and this season, he’s expanded his holdings.
“Bobo bought the Cartoon Saloon,” Bruce revealed during the panel. “Lem is the bouncer.”
And even though Bobo is the one human without any special powers or skills, Snyder promised, “We will see Bobo bartend this year.”
In the novels, the Cartoon Saloon is the bar that sits between Midnight and Marthasville. It gets its name from the images on the walls, which are decorated with cartoon characters such as Mickey Mouse to Bugs Bunny.
Temptation for Joe Strong
Last season, the angel Joe and his partner Chuy (Bernardo Saracino) were in an illicit relationship — not from the townsfolk but from Joe’s former friends, because he dared to fall in love with the ultimate enemy: Chuy is a demon. This season, Joe meets the demon-hunting gay cowboy Walker (Josh Kelly), who may turn that angel’s head.
“He’s kind of sexy,” Lewis acknowledged. “Joe’s been sitting and hiding… for so long that I think he’s in the safety of a relationship. Being safe for so long, he’s been denying what he is.”
Although the panel was mum on spoilers for Fiji’s mouthy cat, he can be seen in the trailer having a typically feline reaction to walking in on Fiji and Bobo in bed.
New Supes and Offspring
While Midnight has seen all manner of supernatural beings already, Snyder said that a banshee will be hitting town this season who is “quite glamorous and has purple hair.” Also, she added, “We will be seeing some pint-sized Midnighters.”
“Midnight, Texas” Season 2 will premiere on Oct. 26, just in time for Halloween, on NBC.