I touched on the theory that every fandom has five eternally repeating arguments in my last post and in the interests of full and thorough research I asked a BH group what they thought they were. Almost without a pause one of those hardy perennials sprung up and we ended up discussing who is the love of Mitchell’s life?
It’s the Annie versus Josie debate, of course, prompted by Mitchell’s words in Wolf Shaped Bullet just before being staked on request by his BFF. Through the snot and the tears and the furrowed brow, the puppy dog eyes and the bedraggled fringe he told Annie that she was “the love of my long life”
Was she? Really? Would he even have said that – and let’s whisper this bit – if Peter Jackson hadn’t dangled a pointy hat tantalisingly under Aidan Turner’s nose? Before that episode would we really have voted for Annie over Josie?
Let’s consider the evidence…
First Josie. She knew Mitchell for what he was, really knew him. The first time they met she knew he was a killer, she saw him as a vampire and in case she had any doubts at all she saw Herrick and his darkness and cruelty to counter Mitchell’s attempts at humanity. If he hadn’t killed the night before, subdued the blood lust for a while maybe she wouldn’t have got away with asking so many awkward questions. OK, Mitchell’s conscience was starting to make its presence felt but she was really annoying! He tied her up, gagged her, let his friend threaten her and he terrified her – and she still took him in when he returned. She saw something; something redeemable, something worth fighting for but she had no illusions about what he could do – and what he had done.
We saw nothing of their ongoing relationship – we have no idea if they lived together, if he was clean when he was with her or was he still killing, if he left Bristol and Herrick or if the vampire world still held him. We don’t know how it ended, when or why. All we can do is assume and infer from their last meeting when Josie is dying and Mitchell is still the same “frozen, like a photograph.”
I think we know they parted well, that they were happy. The tenderness they show to each other, the shared laughter and memories and most of all Josie’s final sacrifice are clear enough. She proves how well she knows him even after so long when she convinces him that Herrick’s oh-so-convincing plans are all just smoke and mirrors. When Mitchell listens to her, in a way he rarely did to anyone else, he gets curious and it ends on the pink house’s doorstep with Herrick and a stake. Josie gladly gives him her blood, her life, so he can go on, forever. No conditions, no questions, no price.
And Annie? Mitchell did love her, I doubt anyone would argue with that but he was so vile to her in S3 how could he possibly claim she was the love of his life? As for Annie, she didn’t really know him, happy fluffy denial – that’s our favourite ghost. All that blood was in the past, he’d stopped, hadn’t he? Of course he had. She had evidence coming out of her ghostly ears but no, not her Mitchell, not a killer, not now. He tried to tell her but not very hard, he never trusted her with the real truth, maybe he didn’t dare. They were close, always had been but sorry, not in love. It was a lovely illusion – Annie saw the human Mitchell that never really took, a reformed man while Mitchell saw some kind of salvation. But it was a cop-out – he couldn’t kill Annie she was already dead, she had no blood to tempt him. Trouble was she had no body to test that lack of temptation with!
The great love affair was a delusion for both of them. Mitchell couldn’t give Annie the simple honesty she saw as her due and she couldn’t see the real him. Even at the very end when she asked him to stand up to what he’d done, to take his punishment and give the Box Tunnel victims closure he couldn’t. He went off with Herrick without even a backwards glance to say sorry.
The eternal bromance – Mitchell saved George, Mitchell and George moved in together, George saved Mitchell, George killed for Mitchell, George saved Mitchell (again), George renounced Mitchell, Mitchell chose George, George killed Mitchell. It’s practically Doctor Zhivago (in check shirts…)
I think it’s probably pretty clear where my loyalties lie! Yes Mitchell loved Annie but she wasn’t his grand passion, his real heartfelt love. That was Josie.
And I suspect it always will be.
Oh and by the way, I still don’t have the faintest idea of what those five arguments are – every time the question comes up it sidetracks off into one of them but at least I can get another four posts out of it!
What do you think? Something to ponder…