Monday, January 27, 2014

Dracula, Season One, Episode Ten: Let There Be Light

Mina hears a man announcing that Grayson will have a display of clean wireless electricity.  She pauses to look down at her own personal invitation.

Greyson is staring at the criptic when Renfield intrudes to tell him that Van Helsing is there for his shot.  They meet down in the cellar and begin to discuss the drop in the price of  oil when their experiment is proven.  They bicker about the plan and Greyson declares he is the reason the plan is back on track.  Greyson then brings up Brownings children and Van Helsing does not give a direct answer.

Lucy has taken to her bed and when the shutters are opened, she demands that they are closed.  Her mother offers to call a doctor but Lucy begs that no doctor be called.  She is already very pale and clearly in the throes of transition.

Mina heads to Harker's house to return the necklace he gave her.  Harker refuses it saying that he could never bare to see it on anyone else.  Harker brings up Greyson and warns that he made him do things.  Harker begs Mina to swear that she does not love Grayson, but she does not answer.

Greyson and Renfield arrive with all pomp and circumstance at the demonstration.  Greyson asks about Harker and Renfield says that they have not been able to locate him. Greyson demands that when Harker is found, he is to be brought directly to him.

Lady Jane introduces the new seer Loiza Scaverra to her fellow huntsmen.  The huntsmen quickly gather around Scaverra, as he unpacks the blood of Christ - the most sacred weapon in Christendom. Lady Jane announces that Scaverra will use the blood to locate the nests and then the huntsmen will split up and systematically hunt the vampires.  They are to fire one flare to indicate a kill.  Lady Jane does a great job of rallying her fellow huntsmen.

Harker arrives at the demonstration and is confronted by Grayson.  Harker admits to killing Davenport saying he didn't know what came over him.  Grayson orders Harker to pull himself together and tells him to put everything else aside and trust him completely.  Grayson says that Harker must act completely normal.  Harker agrees to follow Grayson's lead.  Grayson tells Harker that if he can get through this day, then he will be fine. Grayson then sends Harker off to work.

Loiza Scaverra is deep in a trance and announces that there are so many vampires.  Lady Jane gets an address and sends off a team of huntsmen to do the deed.  The huntsmen arrive at an older building, kick in the door and quickly kill two vampires.   They fire off two flares as a signal for Lady Jane.

Browning gets a message and announces that he has to leave, just as Lady Jane is informed of the death of two vampires.

Greyson if off to himself deep in thought, when Renfield approaches to ask if something is wrong.  Greyson replies tht death is coming. Harker interrupts with men from the press asking to photograph the resonator. Greyson quickly agrees to their request.  When they leave, Greyson tells Harker that he is not pleased with his behaviour and orders him to pull himself together.  The moment Harker leaves, Greyson demands that Renfield track down Van Helsing because apparently something doesn't feel right.

Browing returns home and is informed by his maid that he has received a package. It seems that  Mrs. Browning opened a ransom letter which came with a finger and a threat to cut off something new each day until the demands are met.  Mrs.Browning screams, blaming her husband and demanding that he find their children.

Van Helsing is at work burning papers.  He quickly  moves from that to trashing his own lab. Renfield walks in and sees the destruction.  Renfield demands to know what is going on and Van Helsing blows him off at first, then stabs Renfield in the stomach. Renfield grabs Van Helsing by the throat and Van Helsing stabs him several times announcing that he has no more need for Grayson now and therefore; like Grayson, Renfield will never walk in the sun again.

While Grayson is busy giving an interview to the press, someone is inside tampering with the equipment.  Kowalski walks around he factory for a final inspection and finds the saboteur. Harker runs interference for them saying that they're photographers.  Harker walks the men out and learns that they have set up the machine to explode.  Harker is shocked because he had expected a simple malfunction.  I don't know why Harker is shocked by this because Browning made his intentions more than clear. Harker realises that this will put Mina in jeopardy and quickly rushes to her home, only to find her gone. Mina is arriving at the factory.

Browning arrives alone with a bag at the cottage where Van Helsing is keeping his children captive. He enters and calls out for his children and is quickly attacked from behind by Van Helsing.  Van Helsing holds a knife to Brownings throat and disarms him.  Van Helsing lights a hurricane lamp and asks Browning if he recognizes him.  It seems that Browning has no memory of him, so Van Helsing introduces himself and reminds Browning of the fact that he slaughtered his entire family. This does not jog Browning's memory as he has apparently been guilty of a lot of slaughter. Van Helsing calls Browning a monster more vile than Dracula. Van Helsing releases a trap door and Browning falls through the floor swearing that Van Helsing will pay for this.  Van Helsing dumps the money down, as Browning calls out for his daughter to join him.  Rose is quickly joined by her brother William who claims, "it itches."  The two children then show Browning their fangs and quickly jump on him to feed.  Van Helsing tells Browning that he fed the children Dracula's blood and then dumps accelerant into the hold.  When Van Helsing heads outside and the cabin is a flame.  Suddenly he hears screaming and so Van Helsing grabs his head and falls to the ground screaming in turn.

Harker is back at the factory and he quickly checks the time.  Inside, Greyson checks the time and mounts the dais, introducing himself to the people who have gathered. His voice carries outside via speaker.  Greyson informs the crowd that they are about to see a demonstration of wireless electricity.

 Loiza Scaverra suddenly comes out of another trance to announce that he has seen Dracula. Lady Jane asks where and Scaverra says that he is by the river standing before a vast crowd of humans. Lady Jane realises that Greyson is indeed Dracula.  Before Lady Jane leaves, Scaverra hands her a dagger from the papal armory.  Lady Jane rushes out of the house.

Harker is making his way through the crowd looking for Mina.  Harker grabs Mina from behind and tells her that they have to leave because the resonnator is set to explode. Mina pushes away from Johnathon, who ends up bumping into another man.  A scuffle starts to happen, as Grayson calls for the beginning of stage two.   The lightbulbs begin to illuminate, as Mina rushes forward yelling that they must stop.  Mina makes her way to the dais and informs Grayson of what Harker said. Grayson orders the machine  shut down but Kowalski cannot get it to power down.  Grayson personally tries to stop it and in desperation, Mina pulls the fire alarm.  Harker once again catches up with Mina and tells her that they need to get out of there but she spurns him again.  Grayson grabs Harker from  behind demanding to know what he has done. Harker admits that the wires in the generator have been reversed and so Grayson orders Mina to leave with Harker.  Grayson continues to work on the machine as the factory empties in a panic.   A massive explosion goes off and Grayson is still in the building.

The factory is now in ruins and strewed with bodies.  Mina and Harker come to consciousness and the first thing that Mina does is call out for Grayson.  Harker tells Mina that Grayson must be dead because he couldn't have survived this.  Mina calls Harker a murderer saying he murdered Grayson and all of these innocent people, as she moves away from Harker.  When Harker turns around, he finds the body of his friend Szabo.

Lady Jane has made her way to the factory and she calls out for Grayson, sure that the explosion did not kill him.  When she finally confronts Grayson, he tells Lady Jane that she has always known who he is and asks her to walk away and live because life is precious.  Lady Jane pulls out a gun, which Greyson quickly knocks away. Lady Jane then pulls out two swords and actually quite impressively exchanges blows with Greyson.  Greyson manages to disarm her again but Lady Jane uses the knife she was given to stab him in the side.  Greyson stumbles and falls to the ground but when Lady Jane approaches to cut off  his head, she learns that Greyson has grown immune to all of The Order's weapons.  Greyson slams Lady Jane to the ground and says that though he lives in the darkness, he wants life.  Lady Jane makes it clear that Grayson can never be what Mina needs because he is undead, then begs him not to turn her.  Grayson leans in and drinks Lady Jane's blood until she dies.

Lucy awakes to find her mother asleep in a chair next to her, so calls out for her mother to kiss her and hold her. The two women embrace and Lucy deftly sinks her fangs into her mother's neck

Mina is at Carfax and she calls out for Alexander.  Mina makes her way into the study and stops before the painting of Ilona in tears.  Grayson appears behind her and they briefly discuss his love for Ilona and his belief that she has come back to him in the body of Mina. The two kiss and end up in bed together.  Am I the only one wondering how he got an erection because his heart does not pump; therefore making it impossible for blood to circulate.

Van Helsing is in a lab and he pulls out the weapons he used to control Dracula while he bargained with him to find a way to end The Order.  Harker arrives saying that he got Van Helsing's message and wants to know everything he can about Greyson.  Van Helsing replies that he can supply the information to destroy Grayson and that his real name is Dracula.

Well, that was probably the series finale, as the cancellation bear suggests that Dracula didn't draw in enough ratings from week to week. I am however a little hopeful as this last episode experienced a ratings surge. This really saddens me because despite its many faults, Dracula is one of the most beautifully filmed and made shows on television to date.

For the Friday discussion this week, we talked about the problems with the GLBT characters and I wish I could say that this is the only failing with the show.  Dracula has a real problem with its female cast.  Mina and Lucy are absolutely vapid and I cannot for the life of me understand what is even remotely captivating about Mina.  Yes, I get that she looks like Ilona but beyond that there is nothing to recommend her.  Then there is misogynist Harker, who actually views Mina more as a possession than an actual person. The fact that Mina kept going back to Harker speaks volumes about her character.  Yes, she wants to be a doctor but quickly took Harker back after the debacle in which he claimed she should settle down and be a proper English wife.   In this last episode, we saw the death of the only competent female character on the show, Lady Jane.  Perhaps, this was always in the cards, but it leaves Dracula with no strong female characters, should it be lucky enough to avoid the big chop by NBC.

It is also worth mentioning that the majority of the people Dracula fed on to assuage his hunger were women.  Week after week, being a woman on Dracula largely meant being either vapid, or a victim of some sort.  Yes, Dracula is supposed to kill to feed but why is it he largely chose innocent women?

I don't know what they plan to do about Renfield but he was the only character of colour on the show, with the exception of some seers who were clearly thrown in for their woo woo earlier in the season.  Though Renfield was technically a servant to Dracula, it was clear that a state of respect existed between the two men because Dracula was unwilling to simply declare him lost when he was kidnapped.  If Dracula were to continue, it's my hope that the writers would see Renfield as necessary and find a way to have him come back from being stabbed.

Many of the purists did not like the fact that Van Helsing and Dracula were working together towards a common goal. The writers have rectified this by having Harker and Van Helsing team up.  I have never been a purist and to find them together at the end irritated me.  Harker is so blind with hatred that he will get into bed with anyone, proving that he learned nothing from The Order making him into a murderer.  If anything, this is going to have me rooting for Dracula.  He is the ultimate anti-hero.