Monday, October 22, 2018

Van Helsing: Season 3, Episode 2: Super Unknown

Way back in 1906 we catch up with Lily, a Van Helsing ancestor. She has herself committed to an asylum so she can then break out, kill a rapist with dazzling fighting skills and try to take down a vampire…. Which then manages to kill her with weirdness.

More weirdness, yay

So in 2020 we have the Van Helsing sisters and Axel hunting down Susan!Elder’s totem. The elder helpfully tells them repeatedly “you’ll know it when  you see it.” Like porn, apparently (why she couldn’t have said “it’s bracelet!”? I don’t know). They follow the Elder to an asylum - getting a guide along the way who the elder eats because she’s a vampire and it’s what they do

Scarlett and Axel are duly horrified by this while Vanessa is pretty indifferent. Vanessa is also becoming even surlier - which is impressive - with lots of brooding silence and snarling at Axel and her sister. Honestly this personality shift would be more notable if she weren’t already a seething ball of poorly focused rage.

Oh and her eyes keep glowing red which is sorta worrying. And Scarlett just wants to connect with her sister but finds that hard because Rage Ball.

So they explore the creepy asylum at night and Vanessa suggests splitting up because YE GODS THIS WOMAN HAS NEVER SEEN A HORROR MOVIE EVER.  Axel and Scarlett, being much more genre savvy, put a hefty fuck no on that one. They also leave the elder behind because she’s evil and unhelpful

They find a room full of a brand new kind of vampires - these vampires fight by just standing there and glowing blue at their targets. This causes the screen to vibrate and a whole lot of weird noises which seem to represent some kind of mind zapping. There’s also telekinesis. They’re kind of menacing but they kind of just stand there and zap. Scarlett pauses to scream now and then but is otherwise able to cut quite a path through them. Axel is even more debilitated but even he managed to shoot several of them while Vanessa doesn’t seem all that inconvenienced at all

I do like the contrast of Scarlett and Vanessa’s fighting style: Scarlett’s elegant skill and Vanessa’s berserker brutality

The vampires are killed pretty easily. They’re probably better off focusing on biting people. Scarlett bites one of them and lo she can change vampires into humans again. He’s Dr. Karloff and has no idea where the Totem is but he does tell them all about their ancestor. Because he reads historical files for fun? I mean, really?

So pulling out the files they study this and decide that the Elder’s totem is clearly buried with Lily…

...because she’d take it into the asylum with her when she already handed off her elder blood to her husband in case goes wrong. And this same totem would then be buried with her by the asylum and not claimed by her clearly-aware relatives or appropriated by corrupt staff. This makes no sense at all… absolutely none.

They find what Dr Karloff says is the grave while Scarlett and Vanessa talk about why Vanessa is such a terrible monster, how they’re both totally not into Axel, honest and how Scarlett wants to be sisters. Vanessa feels a little guilty and confesses that since her eyes went all red she’s no longer just using blood as a boost - but now she craves it. And she’s generally worried about turning.

Meanwhile Dr Karloff is with Axel and he knocks Axl out for some fun electroshock. It turns out he wasn’t a doctor, he was a patient and he killed the doctors then got changed by the weird vampires and now wants to be evil because this is how the media treats mental illness. Axl escapes and kills him turning it all into basically a nonsense delaying tactic before we’re directed to the actual grave

Also this vampire mentally ill person apparently decided to read through old files so she could actually recognise the Van Helsing name… i mean this already made little sense when he was an actual doctor but now it’s even more dubious.

They go to where the new grave is and run into the real chief mind-frying vampire that killed their ancestor. Vanessa sends Scarlett back with Axel so they don’t get their brain fried while she glares and snarls at him. He tries to fry her brain, fails and throws telekinesis at her every time she gets too close.

Until the elder turns up and squishes the bad vampire effortlessly

They can no grave rob their ancestor - finding her body is shockingly well preserved and looks like she’s still alive. She also has the Totem bracelet which they refuse to give to their pet Elder. And, again, why she couldn’t have said “it’s a bracelet” I don’t know.

Vanessa also finds a shiny sword which the elder begs her not to touch (which Vanessa duly ignores) - the sword has blood stains on it and the elder warns her that it means it’s been in touch with the elder known as The Barr. And Vanessa needs to stay the hell away from it. This may be the one useful element of this episode - the Elder killing the psychic vampire as if it were utterly effortless while Vanessa & co were helpless in the face of it shows just how out of their league they are. They are not ready to take on an elder: so the elder decides to mind control her into hallucinating olde times. Because this will help. Apparently

No-one explains why psychic vampires are a thing. Or why the bracelet was buried with Lily. Or how Karloff knew anything about the Van Helsings. Honestly this whole episode contained so much handwaving