Sunday, October 14, 2018

Van Helsing, Season 3, Episode 1: Fresh Tendrils

Last season brought us… nonsense. So much nonsense. And everyone not having a damn brain in their heads. But Vanessa did release this super old powerful vampire and he bit her.

So let’s rejoin the randomness starting with a flashback to 1986 where we learn that one of the Van Helsing children, Scarlett, was dumped on the Harkers while Vanessa was taken away, there was a car crash and she entered the foster system - but not before some shadowy veiled figure took her hand all ominous like

I think this is supposed to be why Vanessa is a lone wolf made of rage?

Anyway in the present she wakes up on a hospital bed and, lo, the Elder is there. Being Vanessa she attacks him and he fights back by changing his appearance to look at various people she cares about. Honestly it’s pretty useless as it’s pretty clear what the vampire is doing.

Until eventually he turns into Susan - her dead friend and neighbour - and that gives him chance to create a woowoo connection between her and Scarlett. This allows Scarlett to infodump the whole last episode to Vanessa because the writers realised that, oops, Vanessa needs to know a lot of shit and she doesn’t. So, along with a dying mother, Abbie, which everyone’s supposed to be sad about though she’s only just appeared, no-one really has spent enough time with her to care about her and honestly meh to her dying. Vanessa is also angry. Because she’s kind of always angry? Anyway Vanessa learns that the Elder is pledged to their family so has to obey them. The Dark One, first vampire, is super super bad and should never escape (he is so going to escape) and they must never ever face him (they’re so going to face him) and to stop it they need to collect the magical shiny things each elder has. Because who doesn’t like a nice collection quest? We drop in family angst about them being infected by the First Vampire’s blood which is why they are the most Special of Specialness. Oh and there’s the family book which has some mysterious clue. Ancient tomes, super special protagonists with Destiny and special blood and a collection quest? Someone’s gone all out for storytelling staples

Abbie dies because tragedy. And Vanessa is returned to her body with Elder!Susan (she will be continuing like this from now on to spare the make up department the effort of making up the Elder every time). Vanessa also believes this vision and the obedience of the Edler… despite the fact we already have proof that the Elder is really really good at messing with people’s heads. But we need her to know all this so run with it.

Vanessa does a wander through the lab and kills some wounded guards so she can feed on blood. She’s pretty savage on it - Vanessa is definitely embracing her full dark side. She runs into the woman who pretended to be her mother and Is Not Pleased. She calls her out and evil lady decides to reveal she was the one who deliberately taint the blood of two small children out of sheer curiosity (what? What kind of supervillain nonsense is this? It’s not even “for science!” it’s for shits and giggles!). She also shoots Vanessa which does nothing because super powers - and gets brutally, slowly and agonisingly stabbed by Vanessa. Vanessa is sprinting towards the darkness. She also gets her family book back

She is all kinds of suspicious of the Elder, not believing her when she says that she doesn’t have her totem as it was taken off her when she was captured.  And she claims not to understand the book at all. So helpful elder, I guess

Meanwhile the rest of the gang is still in their sanctuary with Dr Harrison’s helicopters buzzing over them (the guy who was experimenting on vampires and giving himself magical longevity). We have ex-vampire soldier love interest Axel, ex-vampire punching bag Doc who has a name but no-one uses it, ex-vampire nice-guy Julius, that kid who is shockingly not dead yet and a couple of extras I honestly expected to be dead by now so never learned their names. I resent trying now because they’re totally not making it to the Dark One’s release.

While Axl is duly suspicious about the black helicopters that gassed them and kidnapped Vanessa, Extra #1 (Jesse? She’s Jesse now) declares she wants to flag them down to talk because they only drugged and kidnapped not murdered so that’s totally a good sign, right?

This woman somehow survive the apocalypse

Axl nixes this on account of it being really really really fecking stupid. But they do it anyway because they’re really really fecking stupid. Shock, horror, Dr. Harrison arrives and is really unpleasant and his goons point guns at everyone and he’s TRYING to be menacing but Flesh has the bad manners to crawl out of his grave

See last season Flesh and Lucky both died and it was Very Sad. Now Flesh is back and he’s kind of incoherent and angry and sad about Lucky being dead and he sort of blames Axel but he isn’t making a lot of sense. He’s mainly here to totally derrail Dr. Harrison’s menacing moment because like everyone just forgets him and his goons because RAISING FROM THE DEAD AND STILL HUMAN. Poor Dr. Harrison

He manages to get things in control, tying people up and torturing them demanding to know where Scarlet is and also why Julius has super Wolverine healing…

Scarlet is collected by Axl, she’s been following Scarface vampire, a vampire released from Harrison’s lab because it’s apparent he’s a brand new kind of vampire, able to walk during the day. Axl drags her away because they have to deal with Harrison who, on her return, brags about how he created this vampire. Because he can

Ye gods above and below what is with the scientists on this show?! “I created the ebolabubonicflu, BECAUSE I CAN!”

Any Scarlet comes back and is completely unimpressed and in glorious anticlimax, cuts off Dr. Harrison’s head. Welp that was easy. The minions get into a fire fight with team good guy but since Axl, Julius and Scarlett (and Doc? I forget) are pretty much immune to bullets that doesn’t exactly go anywhere - Scarlett even coughing up a bullet when she’s shot in the throat. The don’t last long and this plot line is officially put to bed.

Flesh is still giving everyone the evils.

They grab Dr. Harrison’s helicopter and reunite with Vanessa who greets them all like her least favourite deadbeat cousin come to borrow money. She manages to squeeze out a few angry tears over Abbie with Scarlet before announcing that the group has to go to Denver. It’s a safe zone, has been getting possible vampire-curing-drugs from the lab and is generally a good place to be while she and Scarlett go lone wolfing. Oh and Axl because we need to keep this love triangle alive damn it. Scalett gives Doc some Dark One blood in case the worst happens

Which will. Oh you know it will. I’m calling the season finale now - the dark one breaks free. Yes yes he does. He so does.

And in side plot land, Scab and Ivory are roaming around pretending to be relevant.

And almost as irrelevant we have Sam with his new protege Mohammed, newly turned and ready to be taught the art of serial killing vampire torturer… except while Sam loves slowly killing and torturing his victims, Mohammed, animalistic after turning, seems pretty disinterested. He just wants to feed. Alive, dead, in pain or not - it’s the blood her cares about not unnecessarily prolonged stabbing