Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Van Helsing, Season 3, Episode 9: Loud Love

We’re going to the other half of the split storyline again - so it’s back to Denver.

Julius is officially done with feeling that guilty over Phil and his big dramatic attempts to commit suicide. He sneaks into the morgue to free him and cover up that Phil keeps dying and then reads Phil the riot act. He can keep trying to kill himself but Julius is done covering it up and will allow the people of Denver to discover he’s a quasi-immortal and then he can see if vivisection will be the thing to finally kill him. Phil takes this into consideration and decides to find his wife

Julius is super happy about this and on cloud nine tries to flirt with Frankie his boss - and we see some consequences of Julius being a vampire for so long: he has no knowledge of modern slang. Frankie brushes over this so she can get to climbing that tall, hot bunch of muscles. Make the most of it Frankie, the fridge is calling.

Phil goes to the record office to find his wife and is told it will take several days. To which Phil responds with a deeply menacing death threat. This is a foreboding warning of things to come… he learns his wife has beens shipped to Loveland. A prison camp where people never ever come back. And Phil can’t go there unless he commits a heinous crime

Yeah… that was probably not the best advice to give. He promptly shoots the guard giving him this advice and then gives himself up so he can be taken to the prison camp.

As an aside we also learn that Denver keeps track of your “debt” and you’re not allowed to leave until you’ve paid up. Including the “debt” you accrue while eating while in quarantine

Another person facing imprisonment is Jolene. Jolene has been handing out pamphlets warning people that the vampire repellent they all are injected with causes psychotic breaks. Jolene has no regrets, she will continue to inform her patients of the risk. This isn’t really a crime but no-one cares and she’s locked up - so Caitlyn can control Sarah and her brilliance.

Caitlyn openly says this to Sarah’s face and Sarah begins her Done Era. She demands a captured vampire and a gene sequence - barking angry orders at Caitlyn in a nice little power play. She gets her sequencer - with ominous words from Caitlyn about their power and reach. Sarah doesn’t care much, she gets the elder blood gene sequenced, does some weird experiments with the angry vampire - which she then uses to murder Caitlyn

Including letting the vampire bite Caitlyn, killing the vampire, watching her feel the pain of turning… and then kills her. Do not piss her off - she does not take prisoners.

She then tries to rescue Jolene - but she’s being shipped to Loveland in the evacuation.


Well -first let’s catch up with Axel and the survivors who are derailed in their trip to Denver by Kit going into labour. There are complications in pregnancy… and when their uneducated attempts to turn the baby fail they resort to caesarian section. Which is, of course, a commonly used and success medical procedure in 21st century hospitals… and pretty much guarantees the death of the mother when performed by non-medical personnel, in non-medical settings without medical tools, drugs or even herbs.

And Kitt dies

And while it is very sad and emotionally powerful it is surprisingly rare to see dystopians acknowledge things like how dangerous childbirth is when you don’t have 21st century technology and resources.

Of course it also means that Kitt has existed entirely to be a baby dispensary. Baby has now been dispensed so she can shuffle off. They continue to Denver where Axel drops them off and goes his merry way. The rest of them go into Denver and notice that all their defences are very good against vampires who die under ultraviolet light and pretty much useless against day walkers.

They try to inform them of this and Denver continues to be bizarrely resistant to warnings. I honestly don’t even begin to understand why this entire city is so dedicated to not hearing warnings? Why? Why would anyone do this?

Well the plot says it’s necessary so they continue to be hostile to any warnings and drag off Marybeth who isn’t willing to just stand and be silent.

Which is when Ivory leads the sisterhood to Denver. Scab wants to just attack and Ivory smacks him. The humans of Denver are intelligent and have survived. They need a cunning plan instead.

That plan means just walking in and attacking the guards, turning a lot of them. Soo… sooo this is the cunning plan? Exactly the same tactic as always. Of course the guards of Denver fail terribly in the face of vampires which are immune to sunlight and almost completely immune to bullets.

Many people are killed, the strong turned and, apparently, the young kept for food so at least someone is remembering that they’re genociding their food supply. This prompts an evacuation - which has Sarah helplessly watching the bus with Jolene in it drive away.

Barry and Dre manage to hide with the baby so don’t get eaten like most of the quarantined people.

While Julius tries to rescue Frankie leading her through all the vampire hunting. He gets bitten which isn’t an issue because he’s immortal. But Scab also sees him and since Julius is the one who turned him, he has a beef. He chases Julius down and we get a really convoluted scene where guards decide to drag Julius to safety so he is helpless to stop Scab biting Frankie.

So Frankie is fridged - which is annoying in an episode that already had Kitt die and Marybeth be taken away and feels really thrown away. I mean, what do we know about Frankie, what was the point of Frankie? Even having her have sex with Julius seems designed only so he can have a oh-my-woman angst to match Phil. There are other motivations, folks! Also it’s weird that the clearly not remotely compassionate authorities of Denver had two guards willing to risk their lives to bodily drag the very big and strong Julius to safety while he struggled against them. I mean, even relatively nice people would probably let him run into danger in these circumstances - but nope, these people are going to throw all their safety away to save the big lug?

It makes for a more dramatic scene. Also more hilarious is how Julius pretends to struggle but clearly isn’t because the two guards probably aren’t actually strong enough to physically drag Aleks Paunovic away if he really struggled

This seems to be the end of the sanctuary of Denver - which had already just sort of managed to pull several plot lines together. I think it was very necessary to bring them together but I do kind of wonder if we’ve just united them in time to scatter them again - are Julius, Flesh and Sarah really going to stick together after this?

It also feels vaguely anticlimactic. I mean we set up Denver as a sanctuary then began to more than hint that it was a little sinister - and then vampires pretty much wipe it out? It feels like this storyline was just starting before they nuked it...