At first, And the Eternal Question feels like a straightforward attempt at a fresh twist on vampirical themes through a naturalised religious setting, and indeed does, but embeds a beautiful examination of the psychological battle of a brain tumour sufferer. Krisha McCoy’s (2009) Brain Tumour: Boarding an Emotional Rollercoaster article analyses the emotions felt by Cassandra and why they are so varied.
The audience is introduced to a case of self-combustion which instantly questions the force behind the eventuality of supernatural pressures dictating the death of specific individuals. As Cassandra glances at the obscene innocence of her tumour, her instant refusal to fight cleverly justifies her personal investigation into a resort run by vampires, where the combustion victims are used a test subjects.
This is a personal story, bravely inquiring into the resort’s treatment of terminally ill residents and questioning the mental cruelty of hope being a false claim, a realistic exploration of a real dilemma far more fascinating to witness when Cassandra meets vampire bio-engineer- Estrella, who has an eclectic understanding of her situation.
The acceptance of her death is a difficult notion to understand because I wandered why she had given up so easily, the simple reasoning behind her decision was she was terrified. Her emotional journey reflects isolation being at the cause of her denial, but her capability to continue her investigation and use her intelligence to solve the case is a wonderful expression of human resilience.
Throughout the episode, she veers towards denial then bargaining with Estrella over whether immortality would be an unconventional path that may be the eternal question that the writers' wanted to ask.
Lindy Booth’s naturalistic and raw performance seamlessly splits between Cassandra’s excitable and childlike enthusiasm to a grieving woman who has accepted her impending death. The exchange between the two facades is an impressive skill and ultimately reveals how her intentions change; from denying her true feelings with false excitement to achieving justice for the dead residents.
While the episode’s focus is, dark and moving, the other librarians- Jacob and Ezekiel balance the story’s themes with team quarrels and unavoidable capture. Their pre-conceived notions of vampires juxtapose Cassandra’s open-minded view. Dr Belisa Vranich’s (2010) Why we love vampires: The Psychology behind the obsession reveals psychological justification for why vampirical themes are commonly used.
The compelling factors assimilate from who to believe as the owner of the resort, Estrella’s mother, explains the land’s gift motivated her and her children to live freely with their abilities without the need to stretch their vampirical instincts. The mystery of the orchestrator’s identity is brilliantly and subtly revealed by Cassandra, who observes Estrella’s brother-Tomas overwhelming curiosity into the real source of their freedom.
The relationship formed between Cassandra and Estrella lays the foundations for a diverse and unique relationship which is an alluring reflection of what a peaceful society would look like when people are accepted for who they are. Aaron Anson’s Huffington Post (2011) Coping with our judgmental society article provides detail into why society’s judgmental attitudes create non-productivity and prejudice.
Writer’s Katie Rodrick and Nicole Ranadive have showcased spectacular qualities storytelling, using supernatural themes to guide a character’s acceptance of their diagnosis, where they remind us that you can still be scared and survive. The episode is a remarkable adoption of bravery, intrinsically complex emotions and a romantic acceptance of immortality.