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Never Could Understand (The One for Team Coraline)

If there’s one thing some viewers of “Moonlight” struggle with, it’s the relationship between Mick and Coraline (almost as much as certain 21st Century Persons struggle with posting Kipling poems to their blog, the racist, sexist, beautiful pig). What is it about Coraline that keeps Mick obsessed with the memory of her? Long years after their sexual fire should have run its course, she still finds a way into his mind, his heart and his arms (not to mention his shower!).


The Vampire

by Rudyard Kipling

A fool there was and he made his prayer
(Even as you and I!)
To a rag and a bone and a hank of hair
(We called her the woman who did not care),
But the fool he called her his lady fair
(Even as you and I!)

Oh the years we waste and the tears we waste
And the work of our head and hand,
Belong to the woman who did not know
(And now we know that she never could know)
And did not understand.

A fool there was and his goods he spent
(Even as you and I!)
Honor and faith and a sure intent
But a fool must follow his natural bent
(And it wasn’t the least what the lady meant),
(Even as you and I!)


Oh the toil we lost and the spoil we lost
And the excellent things we planned,
Belong to the woman who didn’t know why
(And now we know she never knew why)
And did not understand.


The fool we stripped to his foolish hide
(Even as you and I!)
Which she might have seen when she threw him aside–
(But it isn’t on record the lady tried)
So some of him lived but the most of him died–
(Even as you and I!)


And it isn’t the shame and it isn’t the blame
That stings like a white hot brand.
It’s coming to know that she never knew why
(Seeing at last she could never know why)
And never could understand.


Coraline’s long years as a vampire made her arrogant and forgetful. Mick was a soldier, a medic, a musician and none of that mattered. Underestimating the value of Mick’s humanity, she chose not to reveal her true nature to him until after their marriage. This was the last moment of Mick’s natural life.
She killed him, made him a murderer, and in turn, he killed her back. Worse yet – he moved on with his life and eventually found love elsewhere. I think it’s worth noting that Coraline had possession of the cure in 1793, enabling her to escape the persecution of The Terror during the French Revolution. But she didn’t offer it up to Mick in 1952. She didn’t offer it up until 2007.

We’ll never know if Coraline’s love for Mick would have redeemed her. If her she would have sacrificed herself to provide him with a permanent cure. All we know for sure is that making him a vampire meant she could never truly have him and that returning his humanity meant he could no longer abide with her, regardless of whether she was human or vampire. Mick and Coraline are truly the star-crossed lovers of Moonlight.

It’s an iconic image, the insatiable woman leering over the demoralized and damaged man. She simultaneously holds the power over him while offering him everything; but his eyes are closed, his head dropping down. He feels he is ruined. She sees only her victory, her great achievement.

“The Vampire” by Philip Burne Jones

The painting (shown above) which inspired Kipling’s poem was first exhibited at the new gallery in London in 1897. Now you have had your history, literature and art appreciation lessons for the day. Don’t you feel smarter? You look smarter! So, smarties, please tell me what you think about Mick & Coraline in the comments below.

About SJ2

I am good with: Details, Bad Ideas, Hilarity, Sarcasm and Overthinking! I kid because I care!


16 thoughts on “Never Could Understand (The One for Team Coraline)

  1. Great post SJ. And yes, I do feel smarter–and sad for Mick again.

    I could never figure out if Coraline was really trying to make amends or if she had something up her sleeve. But I think that’s what was so great about the character; it could have gone either way. I honestly think it would have gone bad and Mick would have been even worse off, but I could be wrong. I think it was too late anyway even if she would have done right by him. She’d never get him back. I just don’t see Coraline being selfless enough to give him what he wanted so he could be happy–with Beth.

    As for Mick and Coraline together, I loved the passion and the craziness. Come on, it was all worth it just to see Mick look at her like that in the shower. That said, I still wanted Mick and Beth together, not Mick and Coraline. But I did enjoy the heat between Mick and Coraline. The show wouldn’t have been the same without it.

    Posted by Lorraine Pearl | January 10, 2013, 6:42 pm
    • 1000% agree with this comment. Coraline was such a great character. Obvioulsy the bad girl but yet complex enough, with complicated motives and her own agenda. I think she really did love Mick (as much as she could really love anything or anyone) but it wasn’t a completely selfless “if you love something let it go” sort of love. That is for certain!

      Posted by SJ2 (Junk Kicker) | January 14, 2013, 9:29 am
  2. Coraline. like most of the other vampires, Josef,Lola etc. did not see their lives as a curse like Mick. They enjoyed being vampires. Caroline thought she was giving Mick a present – eternal “life”, but she was wrong.
    Deep down she must have known him, to know he might reject the offer and maybe that is why she never told him before the wedding…..thinking that the eternal love he promise her on the wedding night, will make him except it.
    But she was wrong!!
    She knew the cure was temporary and maybe that is why she never offered it to Mick (in ’52), hoping he would come around. Even trying to start a “family” with Beth (in ’85), to get him to except it…..but it was the final straw that let him loose it and “kill” her…..I do not think she thought he had it in him.
    Then when she saw him falling in love with Beth, she realised what she did wrong and selfishly revealed herself as also human, to see what Mick would do
    He is just glad that he did not kill her – also confused because really the man has denied himself the pleasures of life to long. (I still think, if Beth did not knock on that door, the shower scene would have been to hot for even HBO :grin:)
    And there was so much more that could have been explored in season 2,3 ,4 …etc.
    They had some connection, because they choose each other at a certain stage, that would never die – even when one of them die – the wierd commitment and bond to each other was eternal for me!!

    Thank you Steph for once again, comparing the beauty that is ML, with the beauty of poetry – you have a wonderful talent for it!!

    Posted by FOYeur | January 10, 2013, 11:48 pm
    • I wonder how all of Coraline’s family became vampires all at once. We are led to believe that she was born (human born) in 17th Century France but were all her “brothers?” How does one become a powerful vampire family when vampires can’t reproduce in the traditional way? My point is, it’s probably easier to make the transition to vampire life when (a) you know it’s coming and (b) you have a large support system in place to help you with the change. Coraline didn’t give Mick either of those advantages.

      I really would have liked to have seen the return of Coraline and Lance, and maybe what adventures Mick & Beth would have gotten up to in France, tracking down the cure! So much to wonder about…

      Posted by SJ2 (Junk Kicker) | January 14, 2013, 10:09 am
  3. I don’t think I’ve ever read Coraline summed up so perfectly. Ever. And that comes from a diehard Mick/Beth’er. Bravo, babe!

    Back in the day, the quickest way to start a fight among the ML fandom was to even hint that Mick felt anything but hatred for Coraline. I don’t believe that – I believe Mick loved her as much as he hated her – hatred for Turning him into something he never wanted and love for the woman he married. Add in a healthy dose of lust (as evidenced from The Ringer flashbacks), and Mick was one bundle of confusion when it came to Coraline.

    Mick spent 33 years trying to break away from the woman that was not only his wife but his sire, but Coraline took it too far when she kidnapped a four-year old Beth – which set Mick on a different path, a path of redemption and trying to be a better man. Then Beth grew up and Mick’s confusion took on a whole new facet – a growing love for the woman but wanting to protect the child, all while dealing with the guilt of killing his wife. I agree with FOYeur – Mick finding out that he didn’t kill his wife was a great relief to him as a man.

    Then Coraline revealed herself as Morgan, and Mick’s conflict became even greater. The difference between Coraline and Beth even came down to physical differences – Coraline; cool, dark hair, dark eyes, mysterious. Beth; blonde, blue eyes, vibrant and pushy. Light and dark – both sides of Mick’s personality. Man and Vampire.

    I absolutely LOVE the painting you posted, because it’s such a perfect visual image of Mick’s Turning.

    Was Coraline faultless? Absolutely not. You make a great point about her not taking Mick’s experiences and his humanity into consideration when she Turned him – she wanted and she took. I believe she truly believed she was giving Mick a great gift, but also there was a good deal of justification there as well. I think it was cruel of her to taunt Mick as Morgan, but I think she was very aware of Mick’s feelings for Beth, and used her humanity and the cure as a last-ditch effort to get him back. Josef said it – if Coraline was back, she was back for Mick. I believe Coraline loved Mick, but I also believe that love was so obsessive, she’d do anything to keep him, including Turning him against his will.

    This was beautifully written and done SO well!

    Posted by PNWgal (@PNWgal) | January 11, 2013, 10:16 am
  4. It was fun seeing Alex act someone ‘mad’ with passion in regards to Mick’s relationship with Coraline. They had the passion and how much translated into actual LOVE, i’ll never be convinced of. (FU CBS!!!) Coraline was selfish, she thought she was being giving towards Mick but it was always with a bit of self service.

    Posted by ESS @H50BAMF | January 12, 2013, 8:10 pm
  5. I’ve never been ashamed to say that I’m all about TEAM CORALINE and I stand firm. She clearly had power over men and could have anyone. ANYONE. But she chose Mick. She chose to actually marry Mick and turn him… which IMO is a huge commitment for a vampire, we see in the last episode. I believe that she did love him, but I acknowledge that her idea of love is a bit warped. In her defense, she didn’t exactly have the most nurturing home environment growing up. Yet I know that that is not a good excuse. In the end, I think she did some soul searching after Mick “killed” her and she realized that the only way that she could truly show her love was to give him the cure and let him go forever.

    And I do think that she would have let him go if they had been able to find true and permanent cure as I’m not totally sure that she would have taken a permanent cure herself.

    Posted by spurschick | January 13, 2013, 7:17 am
    • 🙂 I thought about you a lot as I was putting this together! I think you have painted a good picture of Coraline, a flawed person with real desires and the power & ability to put her plans into action! She was more than just “the bad girl” to be certain. I don’t think Mick would be 100% the guy we all like so much with out her influence. She’s complicated & I love that.

      Posted by SJ2 (Junk Kicker) | January 16, 2013, 3:52 pm
  6. I think she’s great I hate beth cora is exciting beth dull

    Posted by deniseolo | January 13, 2013, 10:26 am
  7. I wasn’t a Coraline fan although I could appreciate how her being part of Mick’s story was really important and I could also appreciate the complexities of her character. I understand the passion but I’m with Ess, I’m not sure whether this was love. For Coraline, I just felt it was more about possession than love although we all love in different ways, I suppose, and we see perceive love to mean different things. I think Mick loved her in a passionate way but felt betrayed by being turned because being a vampire was so difficult for him to deal with (as FOYeur said, that Mick felt the curse of being a vampire, unlike the other vampire characters in the show). Mick’s love for Beth was a different kind of love; like PNWgal said, it was his ‘lighter’ side, his human side. It’s just such a shame that we didn’t get at least another series, to see where the writers would take Mick and Beth.

    Posted by Andrea_Briz | January 22, 2013, 5:04 pm
  8. ‘m a caroline fan what she did to be with the man she love look what he did to her to still love him enought to try and give him back what she took

    Posted by deniseolo | January 22, 2013, 5:41 pm
    • That is a very good point…. after Mick rescued Beth and set Coraline on fire she could have washed her hands of him, run off to Europe & never crossed paths with him again…. especially if she knew he hated being a vampire, she could have dedicated her life to keeping the cure *away* from him…. not brought it to him. Interesting perspective!

      Posted by SJ2 (Junk Kicker) | January 22, 2013, 9:05 pm

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