A Whiff of Sulfur

Episode Report Card
Sobell: B | 30 USERS: B+
When a Vampire Is Your Life Coach

We begin with a flashback to Romania, 1861, where Van Helsing is pleased to discover that a) Dracula has flawlessly conditioned and shiny long hair, b) Dracula is averse to sunlight, which is unfortunate in a tomb now flooded with natural light, and c) his "blades of St. Eligius" are both stabby AND a religious icon guaranteed to make the undead recoil.

Unfortunately, Dracula's not too thrilled with these developments. Nor is he into making social niceties with someone who's got him skewered through the foot with the blades of St. Hogwash ("I will tear your heart out, peasant!"). But what does get Dracula's attention is the opportunity to wreak terrible vengeance on the Order of the Dragon. Ol' Van Helsing's got it in for them since they burned alive his wife Adalind. It is unclear whether "the Order Draco" (which sounds like the personal organizing service the young Malfoy heir would launch after the Voldemort unpleasantness dies down at the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) also killed Van Helsing's three children or merely fostered them out to a parent who wouldn't have such weird phrasing and a patently ridiculous accent. The point is, Van Helsing wants the order finished and he wants Dracula's help. If Dracula doesn't want to help … well, enjoy frying in the sun, Vlad the impaled. "Though I possess the means, I lack the power, the presence and the ruthlessness to wield it to any effect. Only you and I, together, can destroy them."

Dracula lunges toward him and signs on with, "Remove this cursed blade before your confederate is rendered to ash!" Let's applaud the beginning of a beautiful friendship and not stop to consider how Van Helsing and Dracula are communicating when one of them is a Dutch man from the 19th century and the other a 15th century Wallachian.

We watch Dracula feed … and then transition to the time period the show is set in. Van Helsing is drawing an awful lot of blood from Alex Grayson – which seems weirdly counterproductive for vampires? Since all their blood was originally in someone else? -- and droning on about how people are going to notice there's a vampire in London if Alex persists in the novel business tactic of ripping out corporate rivals' throats. Van Helsing warns, "Now they will activate their seers, if they haven't already." Grayson shrugs off this bit of universe-building with, "I can deal with them." Van Helsing's all, "If we want to remain STEALTHY, you need to not keep whipping out the COOL FREAKY THINGS YOU CAN DO," which is both sensible and budget-friendly, as it all but guarantees we'll never see Alex turn into a bat. Though it would be the most floridly committed bat in all the kingdom of chiroptera.

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