Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Van Helsing: Season 3, Episode 12: Christ Pose

As Van Helsing heads towards its season finale, someone on the writing staff has decided “let’s really annoy Paul with big shallow hot takes on things that need way more analysis”

And lo it’s time for the next episode for this. Now we have Scarlett stranded on an island for some indeterminate amount of time… long enough for her to do a full Tom Hanks - Wilson skit. She also shows herself to be not the smartest person around with her spending a long  time making a raft but not checking the island with a lighthouse for boats

One would expect boats in such a location

Anbyway she arrives on shore and manages to catch up with Axel and… ye gods how much time has passed? What has Vanessa been doing? I mean Axel has travelled from San Francisco to Denver then to wherever he is now and now Scarlet went from San Francisco to this island and now wherever Axel is

In the apocalypse. With apparent hordes of vampires around. In fact, where are these hordes of vampires? How come travelling is this easy? Even Game of Thrones wasn’t as fast and loose with distance.

So there’s much kissing and Axel briefly tries to convince her to move in with him somewhere and have lots of little ninjas but she insists on going to help Vanessa. Though Axel adds a little angst to that by asking if Scarlett will be ready to murder her sister should Vanessa have fallen to the Dark Side of the Force

Road trip time and along the way they find a pack of day walker vampires which use their new found intelligence to pull them into a trap. Which would have worked if they weren’t immortal vampire killers who slaughter them all with ease

Except Axel fires a shotgun and it misfires and badly burns his face and eyes. Wait, wasn’t Axel sort of immortal like everyone else? After coming back from being a vampire? Just like Julius and Phillip? He can be mauled by vampires but this brings him down?

Badly injured, Scarlett drags him to a random guy who happens to be in the area for help

Said random guy does help despite all her snarling because he’s Super Holy Guy. He is a man of deep and abiding faith who firmly believes in god and everything is god’s will and all you need is prayer - and that includes Axel’s fate when he gets an infection (wait, again immortal guy has an infection? Really?). Holy guy insists on prayer, everything happens for a reason etc. He also walks around the apocalypse with no weapons, he’s a dedicated pacifist who relies on faith to keep him safe.

What a lucky lucky man. That’s Scarlett’s point of view. But Holy Man invokes faith, telling his story of miraculously surviving a hurricane. Scarlett is still not a big fan of this idea because they’re living in apocalypse world and all - which Holy Man refers to as “god’s discipline”.

Yeaaaahhhhh so special holy man gets to survive and walk around untouched by vampires, but 90% of the population of Earth is slaughtered for “discipline”? Yeah, that’s really really twisted. And part of the utter problem of divine intervention saving you means there are millions upon millions of other people suffering horrendously who are somehow unworthy of such intervention. Throw in the idea of god’s “discipline” causing genocide and I dearly hope a vampire eats the man.

Instead they go looking for antibiotics (which have a use by date, y’know, so this many years after the apocalypse may be a bit...ineffective). Along the way Scarlet saves Holy man’s life (yes he thinks this is divine intervention, of course he does) and they go to help Axel… except a horde of Walkers appear

Yes, I said Walkers. Because these vampires act exactly like a Walking Dead horde of zombies and not remotely like any of the vampires on this show so far. They all walk around them because Holy man Divine intervention

Uh-huh, Scarlett is actually buying this. Personally I’d be thinking we have another vampire elder here, personally. I mean it makes more sense than random prayer sparing this man and this man only

So they get the pills back to Axel… but they don’t work. What does work is Scarlett capturing a vampire and forcing it to bite Axel… which then cures him

Y’know, the immortal healing stuff has some damn weird rules, it really does.

Axel also tells Scarlett about his sad dead sister. Whether this adds something I don’t know

In fact can we just sum up the whole episode like this? I mean “Axel and Scarlett reunite and we completely screw up the idea of them being immortal” seems like a lot to rest an entire episode upon. It really does

Oh we also have Phil and Jolene on their prison bus heading to the prison camp, except the angry escape attempt by one of their fellow prisoners gets both the guards killed and the bus crashed - and them free.

Of course they then have to decide what to do. Jolene wants to go back to find Sarah who she loves, despite Phillip dropping all kinds of cynicism all over it. He wants to find his wife so he can apologise since suicide isn’t the way

Jolene assures him he needs to forgive himself if he wants to be forgiven. Which means we’ve got more forgiveness being thrown around that is all for the perpetrator but hey, this is where we are. The conflict is between which way to go - Jolene wants to return to Sarah in Denver while Phil wants to go find his wife… and they’re chained together

Except Denver sends in more guards to bring them home. They strangle one unconscious but Phil refuses to allow Jolene to kill him. She does use his gun to separate the chain so they can go their own way

But another guard appears and despite their begging, despite Phil offering to give himself up, the guard follows his orders and shoots them since he’s been told to shoot them on sight. Phil takes the bullets and saves Jolene… before knocking out the guard. As a wanted fugitive, Jolene agrees to go with Phil to save his wife if he will help her back to Denver

Ok… but… why send guards? A bus goes off road in dystopian vampire land I can understand RESCUING everyone. But if you’re not going to rescue them why hunt them down? They’re lone humans wandering around dystopian vampire land? Why risk your people’s lives hunting down people who will likely die anyway?

I feel Van Helsing is rather losing sight of its own world setting this season