Saturday, October 21, 2017

Van Helsing, Season 2, Episode 3: Love Bites

All of our characters are split up at the moment, so it’s time to breeze through them all before getting to Vanessa - and hoping at some point everyone gets together

Axel and Doc are still looking for Vanessa despite having no idea where she is nor any blood to actually eat. Doc thinks he needs to feed on her so he can hunt animals she can eat which is all very practical; especially since he used to feed her when she was a vampire. He says no and gives her sharp things instead. Well that was riveting.

To Mohammed, Flesh and Lucky - they drag Mohammed to a resistance camp where his wound is infected and they have no medicine but will do their best to help him fight it off. It’s the same Resistance camp that Doc was part of because seriously everyone just trips over each other on this show. The camp has a blood shortage now so donating is mandatory (hey do they have blood testing equipment? Because if they can’t test for blood type this is going to be awkward) if you want to eat. Flesh is duly worried about this because his ex-vampire blood may be a problem? Apparently?

Mohammed, sensibly, points out that confessing all is probably a bad idea and he knows better than to trust anyone (the subtext here is he knows this because he himself is a terribly untrustworthy terrible person of terribleness). He encourages Flesh to give blood and just make sure they don’t give it to Mohammed because he’s still kind of terrible. Flesh, being the most naive person ever, tells Lucky

And she tells Jolene and he gets locked up while giving Lucky lots of betrayed looks. Seriously man? Lucky has known you for a hot minute and you decide to tell her you’re an ex-vampire and to just trust her safety and everyone else around her on that being ok? Really?

But apparently she is the worst so feels ALL THE GUILT and decides to rescue him and punch Jolene out. They also decide to “rescue” Mohammed. Why? I don’t know. I mean no-one had anything against him and they were treating his injuries to the best of their ability. Do you know what someone with a severe infected leg injury doesn’t need? A trek through the woods!

I’m rapidly becoming Team!No-One on this show.

Time to catch up with another group of humans, apparently teenagers or young adults, who have their own very very stupid way of doing things. One of their members, Felix, failed to kill a feral vampire so they decide to punish him with 10 lashes - that is brutally lash his arms 10 times with what looks like barbed wire. Not only is this brutally sadistic, it’s also ridiculously stupid. Especially since apparently this isn’t the first time he’s been lashed nor is he the only one who has been lashed by these barbs that draw blood from the first lash.

This is a post-medicine world. Brutally flaying people open like this with no ability to give treatment afterwards is going to have infections everywhere. Oh and tetanus for everyone!  And lashing someone’s arms? Are they trying to disable members of their gang? Hey you want to include brutal corporal punishment to show how terrible people are? Sure, human societies have been doing that forever - but at least try to come up with something that doesn’t involve everyone dying from suppurating septicemia.

Remember that ninja vampire who saved Mohammed? Well it turns out it’s Sam our serial killing vampire Mohammed and Vanessa let go last season because why not? Facing a whole school full of teenagers/young adults he has to move in and be all creepy because there are GENRE RULES DAMN IT. It’s virtually a summer camp, of course serial killers have to stop.

He moves through the crowded corridors slaughtering people on account of their bullets not apparently doing anything (he was shot how many times? Harsh language would do more damage) herding them all into a small, locked room except Felix. Who he promptly becomes super creepy with, drawing smiley faces in blood on his shirt, commiserating over his injuries and giving creepy creepy hugs. It looks like Sam is after a replacement Mohammed. He plans to teach him how to fight with a stick as Mohammed could and it’s all so very very creepy

Sam releases one of his snacks from the prison room, the leader of the former gang and after poking him for blood hands the spear to Felix. The gang leader hopes Felix will use this to stab Sam, instead he repeatedly stabs the old leader. Sam declares them to be friends now.

Hey, remember how I said last episode that Van Helsing had set up all their Black characters to be terribad evil so they would then face constant abuse and guilt and be forced into service? Well we just introduced a new Black character and turned him into the sidekick of a vampire serial killer. My pattern recognition is buzzy

And now to Vanessa. Last episode she cured Julius so we get a completely unwanted flashback to Julius’s human life. He owed a lot of money to some nuns who were caring for his mother, to save her from the heartless nuns he got involved in some underground illegal boxing and was promptly beaten to a pulp and then didn’t even get paid - he got stabbed instead. Dmitri found him all stabbed and decided he was so very very very impressed by Julius’s ability to be beaten into a bruised mess that he simply had to recruit him

Dmitri has… odd criteria for new vampires

Julius then turned his mother and they both ate fresh nuns.


Ok moving on as no-one cares, now human Julius follows Vanessa around determined to atone by helping her. And pointing out that Dylan is starving to death as new vampires need lots of blood. Since she can’t eat Vanessa, Julius offers his own, assuring Vanessa that vampires she’s turned can’t be turned back into vampires again. They try - but ex-vampire blood is completely unpalatable to vampires and Dylan can’t feed on him (and really at some point someone is going to clue in on how dangerous Vanessa is to vampire kind since she can turn them human, make them unturnable and stop them being a source of nourishment).

Vanessa has a choice now:
  1. Turn Dylan and maybe kill her according to Dr. Sholoshenko
  2. Kidnap random humans for Dylan to eat and suffer through endless lectures from Julius about how she doesn’t want to become a monster like him
  3. Watch Dylan die

Now I went with option 1 because they have no way to believe Dr. Sholoshenko has a damn clue about what he’s talking about.

I find it hard to take him seriously...
Vanessa went with option 2 and kidnaps Daniel, assures him everything’s ok but he’s totally going to bleed for her vampire daughter. Daniel would rather not if it’s all the same and shoots Dylan instead - so Vanessa cuts his throat. Dylan gets a meal and Julius commences on moralising… and then they found Daniel had kids

It wouldn’t be a vampire show without lots of guilt and angst

Also Dylan is injured and needs even more blood. Julius takes Daniel’s kids to some convenient passing refugees and leaves Vanessa to return to option 1: turn Dylan

Which she does and it’s full of tears and fear and then… it works. It works and she and Julius and Dylan have a whole family moment playing in the snow and everything’s wonderful

Until the sun comes out. And Dylan burns. And Vanessa decides to hold her in her arms rather than, I dunno, cover her? I mean Julius’s jacket could block quite a lot of sun.

Dylan burns to ash. I have to say I didn’t expect this - I thought we were going to drag out the mother daughter storyline for a long long time. Instead it looks like Vanessa’s heading down a very different path - which I’m hopeful for. Just about the only thing I am hopeful for on this show to be honest

She screams in anguish - loud and tormented and with vampire echo-reverb. And she’s heard by every ex-vampire she’s turned no matter where they are. And something old and creepy looking as well