Pilot is the first episode of the first season of Midnight, Texas, the NBC television series adaptation of Charlaine Harris' trilogy book series (Midnight Crossroad, Day Shift, and Night Shift). It is also the series premiere and the first episode of the series overall.
SERIES PREMIERE — THE TOWN OF MIDNIGHT, TEXAS IS A SAFE HAVEN FOR SUPERNATURALS AND SITS ON THE VEIL BETWEEN THE LIVING AND HELL — Manfred Bernardo, a powerful psychic on the run, decides to hide out in the small, sleepy town of Midnight, Texas. But when he's haunted by the ghost of a recently murdered Midnighter, Manfred discovers this sleepy community is a mysterious safe haven for outsiders with secrets - both supernatural and human - including Lemuel, an energy-leeching vampire; Olivia, a beautiful assassin; Fiji, a witch with a cranky cat; Creek, a spunky writer with big dreams; Bobo, a pawnshop owner with a hidden past; the Rev, who has an obsession for animals; and Joe, an angelic tattoo artist. In addition to the colorful residents, Manfred learns the town itself sits on a veil between the living and dead. He pledges to join the Midnighters in the fight to protect their home from suspicious cops and other outside forces.
As Manfred Bernardo brushed his teeth that morning to the beautiful view of the Dallas, Texas skyline, he heard knocking on the door of his suite. On the other side of the door was Rachel, a returning client of his. He comments that she gets younger every time he sees her. She complements the room just before he announces that his fee has gone up. However, he was worth every penny, Rachel claimed.
In the back room, he conducts a séance in an effort to make contact with Rachel's deceased husband, Harold. Manfred spoke for Harold, telling Rachel that he though her new hair cut was hot, which she thought to be especially funny since after thirty-two years of marriage, he liked her hair now that he was dead. Harold admits to being stupid, mostly because he hated change. Not a day went by that Rachel didn't miss him, but Harold didn't wish to see her grieve forever, eventually she need to move on, which led Rachel to admit that she was seeing someone. Then the flames on the candle suddenly blew, signaling that Harold was listening.
Rachel was taking it slow but she was happy, however, much to Harold's dismay, the man she was seeing was his former business partner and friend, Kevin. He was angered by this discovery, causing the flames on the candles to go out completely, the room to freeze over, and the mirror in the back of the room to shatter. Harold then appeared before Manfred in his ghostly form, pale skin, milky white eyes, and a massive hole in his chest where his heart should be. Manfred demanded that he stay back, but he took possession of Manfred's body anyways. Harold was furious at Rachel, throwing his wedding ring at her, and asking how long the two of them had been together. Rachel insisted that it wasn't what he thought, which is that she and Kevin were together prior to his death. Harold grabs a shard of glass, and attempts to kill Rachel, ensuring that the two of them would reunite in death, but Manfred managed to regain control of his body, and expel him from his body. Manfred then opens the curtains, and sarcastically comments that Harold must still hate change.
After sending Rachel off, Manfred got online to visit the official website for his services. It was then that he received a call from a man named Hightower, who told him that he can't run forever. On that note, Manfred hit the road, headed to a small town named Midnight, on his grandma Xylda's advice. She then appears in the RV alongside him, immediately noticing that he looked terrible, "don't tell me, another hijacking?", she asked. Manfred explained that it only lasted for a moment, and that he took some pills for the headache. She believed that Midnight would be good for him, as he needed to both settle down and disappear. He'd be safe in Midnight, though that would mean a lot more coming from someone who wasn't dead, he remarked.
Manfred arrived to town shortly thereafter, exchanging stares with several of the locals (Rev. Sheehan, Madonna Reed, Fiji Cavanaugh, and Joe Strong) as he passed by. As he pulled up to the local pawn shop, he was nearly ran over by a woman wearing a red wig. Upon entering the shop, Manfred began hearing strange voices of the dead, it seemed as if the further he went into the shop, the louder the voices got. It began to overwhelm him until Bobo Winthrop, his new land lord, entered the shop to show Manfred his new property. Bobo confesses to looking Manfred up before renting him the house, leading him to ask if Manfred could help him locate his fiancé, Aubrey Hamilton. If so, he was willing to offer Manfred a month free without rent. Unfortunately for Bobo, it was all fake, he told people what they wanted to hearing after reading them. Once Bobo leaves, Manfred notices cookies on his counter top, a welcoming gift from Fiji.
That night, Manfred stopped by Home Cookin' to place an order to go. He noticed the Rev eating alone, and Madonna scolding a couple of customers. At the counter, he meets Creek Lovell, and after a little back and forth between the two over his RV, they introduce themselves. Creek lived behind the Gas N Go with her father and little brother. She escorts Manfred to the Midnighter's room, which is where the Midnighters ate. The rest of the people in the restaurant were from Davy, and they were only in town for the annual fall picnic. He joined Olivia, the red hair woman from earlier, and Lemuel Bridger, who had strange, uncharacteristically blue eyes, and lived under the pawn shop while working the night shifts. As creek exited the room, Lemuel informed Manfred to proceed with caution where Creek was concerned. Her father was nothing to play with. As Manfred sat down, Olivia got up to leave. It would appear she was avoiding Manfred.
Creek and Madonna discussed Manfred's sudden arrival to Midnight, and his lack of friends and family, which suggested that he was running from something. As she waited the tables, Creek was being harassed by a couple members of the biker gang, Sons of Lucifer, which Lemuel thought to be worrisome, so much so that he needed to leech Manfred's energy, in order for him to be in fighting condition, should one arise. Lemuel was a vampire, and while he opted out of draining Manfred of his blood, it was still an option. Manfred chuckled since usually he was the freak in the room. Creek then returned with his meal, and offered to pick him up on her way to the picnic, but Manfred wasn't sure. However, Midnight was much different in daylight, and after some encouragement from Lemuel, who'd have to miss the event, Manfred agreed.
The next day, the entire town gathered together for the annual fall picnic. As Bobo, Madonna, and Chuy Strong worked the grill, Olivia confronted Fiji over her hidden feelings and longing stares at Bobo. Olivia couldn't help but question why Creek would invite Manfred to the picnic. Creek was lonely, furthermore, Manfred was no threat to any of them. Fiji made him sand tart cookies, which react poisonously when consumed by an individual with poisonous intentions. Rasta's incessant barking eventually gains Fiji and Olivia's attention, so they follow the dog to see the cause of it's barking. The ladies discover Aubrey Hamilton's body down by the river's edge, bloated and decomposing. Fiji screams in horror, thus alerting the other Midnighters of her discovery. Joe and Bobo climbed down to get a closer look, Bobo fell to his knees and cried, as Connor called the Roca Fria County police.
Deputies would be coming by everyone's home to take statements, so Sheriff Livingston announced that no one was allowed to leave town without permission from the department. Officer Tina Gomez picks Manfred out the crowd, having noticed that he was new town. She lived in Davy and worked with the Roca Fria County, Midnight just happened to be their jurisdiction. She wondered why Manfred chose Midnight, to which he explained that it was quiet and cheap, but there was a reason for that. Officer Gomez was actually surprised that what she assumed to be an occult murder hadn't happened sooner. The kids in Davy dare each other to walk Witch Light Road on full moons because of it's creepy and ritualistic feel. She then accused Fiji of either being a witch or a lesbian. Manfred joked that she could be both. Gomez also noted the possibility of finding a skin suit in Bobo Winthrop's pawn shop.
Sheriff Livingston inquired about Aubrey's next of kin, and why Bobo neglected to report her disappearance after two weeks of not hearing from her. Bobo assumed that she walked out due to an earlier fight between the two of them, that resulted in him putting her out. Poor thing, Fiji said in reference to Bobo's current dilemma. Olivia demanded that he keep his mouth shut before he said something that he couldn't take back. Even in death, Aubrey was trouble.
Later that night, as Manfred slept, his room became increasingly cold and infested with flies. He turns over to discover Aubrey laying in bed next to him. Manfred jumps up to a floor covered in water. Aubrey didn't belong there, he insisted that she go away, but Aubrey refused to obey his command. Initially, he assumed that Aubrey sought to possess him, but he soon learned that she required his assistance after she wrote out the word "help", in the condensation on the window. Manfred agreed to help but it would be done his way, with precautions in place.
Bobo sat in the back of the pawn shop, watching the video of his proposal to Aubrey. He was joined by Fiji, who brought him breakfast, and offered to keep him company. Manfred headed to the Chapel to fill his flask with holy water. However, he is caught red-handed by the Rev, who doesn't question Manfred's need for holy water, but fills it up for him, and then informs him that Sunday service began at 8:00. Back at the pawn shop, Bobo tells Fiji abut how Aubrey wanted four kids, and with him being the compromising man that he is, he jokingly suggested that they get a dog. They are interrupted by the Sheriff, who informed Bobo of Aubrey's cause of death, which was a gun shot followed by drowning, and that her real name was Aubrey Hamilton-Lowry. She got married five years prior to a white supremacist and member of the Sons of Lucifer, Peter Lowry. He had just gotten out after a three year sentence, and the police couldn't find him. Usually, the Midnighters take care of problems on their own, but Sheriff Livingston requested that Bobo call him should Peter show up.
Manfred summons Aubrey, while using a Ouija board for proper communication between the two of them. Aubrey begins moving the planchette to spell out the word "Pecados", but he has no idea what this word means. However, before Manfred could gather any further information from Aubrey, the séance was interrupted by several uninvited ghosts. A bright orange light could also be seen under the floorboard as it was being pushed up just beneath Manfred's feet. He rushes out the room just as one of the ghost charge in his direction. He then places some kind of ghost warding object that resembled a hand with an eye in the palm of it, on the doorknob.
Sheriff Livingston and Officer Gomez began taking the Midnighter's statements, starting with Rev, who didn't attend the picnic. The Sheriff wondered how well the Rev knew of Aubrey, but as it turned out, not well. She only came in occasionally to pray to god. The crime scene was ritualistic, animal remains were found, which the Sheriff found to be curious. More so than anything else, Rev thought it was wicked and sad. Gomez questioned Fiji on her relation with witchcraft and Wicca, in which a lot of animal sacrificing was known to take place. However, as Fiji explained, some of the world's most infamous serial killers started with killing animals, like Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Son of Sam, yet none of them were Wiccan.
Sheriff Livingston made his way over to Strong Angel Tattoo to take Joe and Chuy's statements. From them he learned that Aubrey would always come in with a Pinterest board, stripper trendy was her aesthetic. However, there was never much conversation to be had between them because Aubrey didn't approve of Chuy and Joe's lifestyle. She also didn't like the fact that Chuy was Mexican. Just as Manfred was dealing with his the haunting, Officer Gomez arrived at the house for his statement. She also wanted to take a look around his place because of his suspicious behavior, and the fact that he lied to people for a living, which was a reference to his profession as a psychic. Manfred claimed that he was the real deal, and could prove it. He does so by asking Gomez if Pecados meant anything to her, which it did. Pecados was a water bank in Midnight.
While Sheriff Livingston had heard of departments consulting psychics, he was never much of a believer. Manfred's grandmother did it all the time. However, Gomez and Livingston were more interested in getting a good laugh out of the situation, that is until the diving team found a gun in the water bank. Olivia watches from her apartment window as Officer Gomez drops Manfred off. In his RV, he blames Xylda for leading him to Midnight when she claimed it would be safe. In her defense, she didn't expect him to conjure up a bunch of angry ghosts. Midnight wasn't the same as most places. Surprisingly, Manfred was visited by Olivia, who he assumed was avoiding him, which she admitted that she was, up until that point where she punched Manfred in the face with brass knuckles, and knocked him out.
After stripping Manfred down to check for wires, Olivia's interrogation is interrupted by Fiji. Upon noticing that she had Manfred hostage. Then Lemuel awakens just in time to join them for the questioning. Olivia asks him a series of questions, such as if he worked for a government agency or if her father sent Manfred. With Lmeuel getting bored and hungry, Fiji insisted that he tell them what they wanted to know. Manfred confesses that his grandma Xylda, who happened to be an old friend of Lemuel, led him to Midnight. However, Lemuel wasn't aware that she had died from throat cancer a year earlier. After a run-in with someone that tried to kill him, Xylda told him to hide in midnight. They actually wanted Xylda dead, possibly after all her years of misdeeds, but it was too late for that, so they targeted Manfred. As for his relationship with law enforcement, Manfred explained that he gave up Aubrey's secret in order to keep his. With that being said, Lemuel requested that he be untied because Manfred was one of them.
Midnight had been a safe haven for supernatural creatures for centuries. Some, like Xylda, leave, while others, like them, making it a home. Most of them were supernatural but Olivia and Bobo were just open minded human, friends. As Fiji brought Manfred an icepack for his face, she tells him that Xylda was right about Midnight being safe. They were tolerated by the humans so long as they were quiet, but Aubrey dying was the furthest thing from quiet. With digging being done by the police and media, torches wouldn't be far behind. Manfred then asks what makes Midnight so special, to which Fiji says that it sits on powerful, mystical energy, thus the veil between the living and the dead was incredibly thin. As Manfred prepares to leave, Lemuel apologizes for the misunderstanding.
Afterward, two members of the Sons of Lucifer came barging into the shop, knocking over merchandise, and looking to cause trouble, however, Bobo was expecting them. They accused him of killing Aubrey after learning the truth about her. Bobo told them that they were not welcome, though they remained in the shop to threaten Bobo over the whereabouts of the weapons and money that he supposedly stashed. They had misjudged the situation since Bobo seemingly didn't care if he lived or died, but as one of the bikers neared him with a large knife, Olivia shot him in the shoulder with an arrow, and Lemuel snapped the other biker's neck as he began shooting. Bobo didn't ask for their help, but Aubrey wasn't worth dying for. As Olivia disposes of the body, Lemuel questions the wounded biker, asking who sent him, but when he refuses to answer, Lemuel feeds on him.
The next day, Manfred came into the Gas N Go to purchase a few items. Creek wonders what happened to his face. He claimed that a box fell off a high shelf and hit him in the face. They hadn't seen each other since the picnic, so Manfred asked how she was doing but Creek couldn't stop thinking about incident with Aubrey. Then noticing her father entering the shop, Creek hastily asked Manfred if that would be all for him before being told to take a break. Shawn takes over to ask what Manfred was talking to her about, and Manfred says that he was simply being neighborly. On his way home, Manfred notices a large animal in the back of Rev's truck, heavily bleeding as a large pool of blood collected just beneath. Just like before, he shared a look with Rev, and continued on his way.
Shortly after returning to his trailer, Manfred received another call form Hightower, who knew he was in Texas. Creek then knocked at the door of the RV to apologize for the cold shoulder she gave Manfred at the Gas N Go. Her dad's weird, so she wanted to avoid a confrontation. Since she had came all that way, Manfred invited her in for a beer. While Midnight was weird, it made for great stories. Creek wrote but she wasn't a writer. Once Connor was out of the house, she was going back to school. Her father would be real tough to deal with alone. After her mom died, her dad changed, which is exactly why they moved to Midnight, to avoid any memories of her. Going to high school in Davy sucked because she was known as the girl that lived with freaks, even though that's not too far off from her current living environment, but the Midnighters were her family.
Some Midnighters she had figured out, like Lemuel and Fiji, but others were still riddled with secrets and mystery, such as Rev, Joe, Bobo, and Olivia. That evening, Bobo went into the woods, spread his wings, and took flight, all the while risking exposure. Bobo headed out to an abandoned field, where he checked on a locked, unground cellar. The large animal previously seen in the back of Rev's truck, was dragged out and disposed of. Notably, Rev handled the dead weight relatively easily. Fiji sat on her porch, preparing a spell. She opens a jar labeled Aubrey, and lights the hair on fire. As she does this, Mr. Snuggly berates her, resulting in his dismissal. Above everyone else, Olivia had the most secrets. That night, she was forced to turn down a well paying hit due to being prohibited from leaving town without permission from the police. Lemuel noticed the anger in Olivia's tone and behavior, so he offers to take some of it away. Olivia agrees as she sits in Lemuel's arms while he leeches from her.
Midnight was Creek's home. However, Manfred never stayed in one place for too long, yet Creek thought that he fit in to Midnight pretty well, especially after finding out that he's a psychic. It was a family business, he came from a long line of Gypsy fortune tellers. Some times his work is real but a lot of the time it's theater, he explained. Creek asked if he could give her a reading. Manfred takes her hand, and tells Creek that her life line was long. She would go on to see the world, and meet her soulmate, if she already hasn't. It'll be someone who sees how special she really is. Creek assumed this was the theater part of his work. Creek tells Manfred that if he was going to kiss her then that moment would be the right time. As Manfred goes in for the kiss, Sheriff Livingston and Officer Gomez pull up to arrest Bobo for Aubrey's murder.
They handcuff Bobo and place him in the back of the police vehicle as the Midnighters surround them from all sides. Fiji insisted that he would never kill Aubrey, he loved her more than she deserved. However, Sheriff Livingston claimed that the gun they recovered at Pecados was registered in Bobo's name. They had already decided that Bobo was guilty, and because of this, Lemuel didn't trust the police. They didn't trust him either, but a war is the last thing they wanted. Manfred then joined the Midnighters, nodding to Joe, and glancing over to Creek.
Arguably, more angry than anyone else over the incident, Fiji took matters into her own hands by telekinetically levitating and crushing the cruiser in a fit of rage as her eyes glowed red. Thankfully, Rev. Sheehan and Olivia managed to calm her down, resulting in Fiji releasing them as Manfred agreed to help in any way that he could. Manfred then returned home to discover that the entire house was lighting up from within, and ghostly figures could be seen through the windows.
- Fiji mentions three infamous serial killers: Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer and Son of Sam. She explained that they started with killing animals before people and yet none of them were Wiccans, as Officer Gomez implied she could be behind Aubrey's murder for simply being a "witch".
- The Pilot episode marked NBC's highest rated summer drama series premiere of 2017.
- The scene "Fiji attempts to stop the cops" was featured on SpoilerTV's "Scene of the Week".