Sunday, December 4, 2016

Van Helsing, Season 1, Episode 12: He's Coming

Vanessa and Mohammed decided last week that the best way to deal with a lethal serial killer would be to leave them to be turned into a vampire so they can be even better at hunting and killing

It is possible this wasn’t the best decision ever

So now we have an episode with Vanessa and Mohammed running being hunted and chased by Vampire Sam. I’m always vaguely put off by plot lines that only happen because of bemusingly awful decisions on the part of the characters

Oh and Sam can hear now because Vampire and because television just can’t seem to manage with a disabled character without magically undisabling them.

Mohammed and Vanessa have a few duels with Sam who ends up injured and blinded – and in the hands of one of Julius’s lieutenants who promptly heals him and then demands lots of information. She ends up dead – Sam’s serial killing is continuing post vampiredom

Hey, world building note – ferals may be created by vampires only having animal blood when they turn.

In between dodging the various Sam attacks, Mohammed and Vanessa bond a bit more, we learn Mohammed was a boy scout and he pokes at Vanessa’s race-based assumptions. We learn a little of Mohammed’s history with Sam; and they discuss their plan. See Mohammed has remembered his motivation to rescue his sister from the local vampire camp which may or may not have Dylan, Vanessa’s daughter, there as well. This is basically based on “Dylan could be anywhere so why not there.” She openly admits to having no plan

Despite that she still tells Mohammed that she’s still decided her gut doesn’t want to rescue Sheema. Because she’s willing to strike out to Denver because Random rather than actually rescue Mohammed’s sister. Vanessa, you are a terrible person.

Unfortunately she isn’t as terrible as the writers of this show. Because when they raid the camp (after ambushing some collaborators) they find it isn’t a work camp – it’s a camp where dying, sick, elderly and otherwise not labour-useful humans are turned into food. Sheema isn’t there, no-one they want to rescue is there (and the idea that these people are worth rescuing doesn’t seem to occur to anyone) and we’ve just had reality completely validate our protagonist’s awfulness because MARY SUEDOM. This is classic Sue-ishness, when the characters decisions and whims, even when based, by her own admission, on her damn gut turn out to be objectively true. Vanessa knew nothing about this area, how the vampires operate or any other relevant information – she decided Sheema wasn’t in this camp long before they raided it; but now she’s been proven right. Doesn’t make her not an arsehole though

But let’s double down – because Vanessa was captured by Dmitri. Because Mohammed betrayed her. Yes, that’s all of them! Every POC on this show is either dead or demonised. Sheema’s a collaborator. Doc a cowardly traitor. Mohammed sold Vanessa out. Brandon imprisoned and tried to kill them all. That’s almost impressive how universal the demonising is – this is not what inclusion looks like

The bad guys, Dmitri and Julius, are being bad. Not evil, I mean just bad. I’m having a hard time not seeing these as a comedy duo. Anyway Dmitri apparently wants to resurrect some elders which he hasn’t mentioned before now and he has Julius on side because he is just Scarier. Despite the acting. And the awful accent. And having the general demeanour of a bored museum director.

The people of Eden, including Flesh, have abandoned their camp because without baby tribute the vampires will kill them. And Flesh runs into Brandon – who is still alive and working for Taka’s resistance. The resistance, along with everyone else, wants Vanessa.

You've got one more episode to try and redeem this garbage fire, Van Helsing. I don't think you're going to do it.