What saving [Beth] signifies to him was so enormous and now that she’s come of age and he’s starting to find himself attracted to her… oh man… he wants her to call him Dad and he wants her to call him Baby… it’s all messed up.
— Alex O’Loughlin, Sydney Morning Herald, December 2007.
This article is a response to a request from the following conversation in the comments on our blog:
Okay, I know this isn’t a MickBeth spam, and there’s nary a MickBeth gif in sight on this particular post, but I’ve been wanting to ask this for ages (FOYeur, perhaps fodder for another one of your ‘indepth reports’?).
For those of you who ‘ship’ MickBeth, why? See, to me, the whole ‘I ship Josef/Mick aspect aside’, I find the pairing actually, seriously creeps me out. You’re talking about a chronologically 85-90 year old man, who has been sneaking around in the shadows watching this little girl as she’s grown up, taken photographs of her, which he keeps secreted away in a folder of information he’s kept on her, stored in a reasonably out of the way filing cabinet – and then he suddenly turns up when she’s an adult, and all of a sudden it’s the greatest romance in the history of ever? Maybe it’s the fact that I know victims of child sexual exploitation who were followed and photographed in this manner, before they were groomed for things to be taken further (including once they had reached adulthood, which to me didn’t make it any less wrong) that leads me to have such a visceral ‘hairs on the back of my neck standing up, get it away from me’ type response, but I’d like to hear from MickBeth shippers themselves. How do you get past that aspect of their history and their relationship? I’m genuinely interested to know.EmeraldThanks for the response. It’s definitely not like that aspect stopped me watching the show *waves* Hello, huge Moonlight fan here *LOL* I must admit I was kinda sorta into MickBeth, kind of. Like Josef/Mick was my OTP from the first scene, first episode, but Mick & Beth was more like ‘Meh, they’re kinda cute, I guess, and it’s sweet he rescued her as a child’. But the more relationship developed (and the more insane some of the shippers got) the more I started going ‘wait a minute, hold up’. I guess I sort of expected them to remain this cutesy couple that were more like that one best friend you find and you imagine the possibilities, but know it’ll never happen. Beth had Josh and Mick had his epic sulking (and Josef, of course) & that was okay for me, creep factor aside. But when they started going more in the direction of ‘They’re in lurve, they just can’t admit it’ and Beth found those photos and she’s all ‘I found my guardian angel’ (okay not exactly what my response would have been, but I don’t purport to understand Beth’s character) and they still went with the romance angle even after that. I think, just personally, it was due to a change of writing staff, because if you think about it, up until around episode 11 it was like ‘friends, friends, maybe something more, coyness, more coyness, hey um I think I kinda like you, wanna play pretend boyfriend and girlfriend and be all cute together’. And then it’s ‘Okay Josh’s is dead, Mick and Beth are making attempts at dating, there’s the whole ‘I am in love with her’ confession, and it all ends with them falling into each other’s arms and kissing like there’s no tomorrow (at which point my brain goes – and they had sex, it was an unmitigated disaster, Mick finally came to his senses, and went off to be with Josef instead. My brain is an interesting place to live in sometimes *grin&)
The question that has been asked – Was Mick a “dirty old man” going after the girl he rescued? Was their relationship perverted by the fact that he saved her as a child and saw her grow up? Was Beth just a girl in love with her saviour?
My observations are coming from somebody that did not really ship anybody in the story. I just watched it in total awe of the magic that Alex bring to the small screen. The romantic girl in me loved Mick/Beth, the passionate hot-blooded woman in me loved Mick/Coraline and I could even see and feel the Mick /Josef connection…….
We as viewers enter the story of Mick and Beth at a very profound moment in time. It was the day Beth changed in Mick’s eyes from being the little girl he saved and protected a long ago, to being a women that stirred something inside him and made him her little lap dog! 😀
She kind of surprised him by being this girl/woman who would do anything to get the story – even walking barefoot through a fountain in the early hours of the morning.
- Very significantly for me, Mick never makes the first moves of any advances towards her:
Beth walked up to him and started a conversation with him, she suggested that they work together on the case, she touched his hand the first time when he was sitting in his car at the funeral. She hugged him first. (All of this already happened in Episode 1 – No Such thing as Vampires)
She kissed him for the first time.
She tried to seduce him first when she was high on Blue Crystal – and he was a gentleman who refused her advances.
Maybe she knew in her subconscious who he was, but she also fell in love with him before her conscious mind found the truth.
We can then ask, was their relationship perverted because she was in love with her “Guardian Angel”? Her conversation with the girl in Episode 8 – 12:04 am, never gave me the idea that she had an unrealistic obsession with her rescuer or that she even considered Mick as that person. She was just relieved to find her “angel” and before she even knew that Mick was him, Mick as a man changed the world for her…..
Then everything changed when Josh died and Mick became human. The obvious barriers between them vanished. She was no longer attached and he got his wish of being human again. But even then when she declared her affection towards him first and admitted that she would have rejected Josh’s proposal because of her feelings for him, he did not pounce on her. She told him to get his act together quickly.
Mick admits his love for Beth towards Josef, but he is still reluctant to “seal the deal”. Then a very significant moment – “My Beth” – Mick being prepared to give up the most valuable thing for him – his humanity – all to save Beth (again).
For Mick there was no greater sacrifice than to give up his humanity again. That sounds a lot like love to me – caring for that person more than anything else of value to yourself…….
Summary of my own thoughts and feelings on their relationship:
- I never got the feeling that Mick ever stalked Beth. He only took and kept a few photos of her over 22 years since he rescued her – her case file was rather thin to suggest any form of creepiness. Hardly stalker like and it seems as if he only looked into her whereabouts every once in a while just to keep track. He never had reason to fear that Coraline might come back for her and therefore there was no need for constant protection.
- Physically they looked good together – if he never turned her, things might have started to look out-of-place with her aging and him not. But it was LA and in a world of Demi Moore’s and Ashton Kutcher’s, that might not have been that weird at all. 🙂
- Another debate would also be the emotional aging of the vampires. In Episode 5 with our teenage vampire stuck in his puberty, the suggestion would be that for all intents and purposes, vampires remain the emotional age they were turned at. So even if Mick had the experiences of a 90-year-old life – he will never be an old man mentally or emotionally.
- Mick did not suddenly pounce on her as she became of age. If he was perverted, but wanted to be legal, he would have revealed himself sooner than he did. He would have shown jealousy of her having any relationship and you never got that feeling from his encounters with Josh. He in fact always respected Josh and Beth’s relationship. He even ignored Beth after the feeding in Episode 4. He was trying really hard to ignore her and he felt that she would be safer away from him.
- Even after Josh died and Beth declared her affection to him, he did not jump right into bed with her. And once again after being back as vampire he asked Beth to give him time to work things out, hardly a lovesick old man stalking his prey.
My final question would be, does one ever get the feeling that Emma and Mr Knightly from Jane Austen’s “Emma” was a perverted relationship in the end? They where neighbours, with a 16 year age difference and he talks about watching her grown up.
Maybe it is similar, maybe it is not…………?
I have heard other people can’t watch the show for that reason… and while I don’t feel as strongly about Mick & Beth as a lot of other people do, I can only say for myself it is just something I had to set aside and not worry about. The fact that in “Click” Beth teases Mick about how weird it is helps, too, strangely. They don’t try to put a mask on it like “This is Totally Normal!” They acknowledge it is not. That honesty in the storytelling makes it easier for me to accept that “fate” (a concept I don’t believe in in real life but is very present in the Moonlight Universe) has brought Mick & Beth together, awkward creepy past & all.