Hello my fellow vampire fans!
That was some season finale, everything I expected and more. I loved every minute of it! I am hoping that the studios will decide to grant us a second season. I for one am very anxious to see what happens with everyone, especially Lucy (Katie McGrath) now that she is a vampire. It is such a well done show, from costumes to the story being parallel (to some degree) with the book. This show is what ALL vampire shows should strive for!
When we last left everyone, Lucy became a vampire at the hands of Grayson (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), Mina (Jessica De Gouw) and Harker (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) are no longer a couple and Browning (Ben Miles) was still looking for his children. Lady Jayne (Victoria Smurfit) and the other huntsman started their quest for Dracula, the undead.
I knew it would be a heavyweight battle and I was right. It was an epic fight, but we will get to that later…
Let There Be Light:
The title of this episode has many meanings. The most obvious one is the phrase used in the bible that all Catholic children learn in school. It means creation of something new, that shining a light in the darkness of a soul, situation or person.
I have often used a quote from one of my favorite Tennessee Williams plays “A Streetcar Named Desire” when Blanche DuBois (in the movie played by Vivien Leigh) says “It was like you suddenly turned a blinding light on something that had always been half in shadow”. Darkness cannot exist without light, certain things come to “light” when exposed to reality. It is a great title because it means so many different things to different characters in this show.
I laughed at the scene with Lucy (Katie McGrath) in her bedroom and her mother (Jemma Redgrave) coming in and opening the curtains. Her reaction to the light is understandable, luckily her mother shut the drapes quickly or Lucy would have surely perished from the direct sunlight.
The line that made me laugh was when Lucy said to her mother that all she needed “was to sleep”…really, you don’t say! You could already tell by the pale skin of Lucy that she had become a full-fledged vampire. It was a funny scene, because we as the viewer knew what she meant, what she REALLY meant by sleep. As her mother left, you heard a strange sound from Lucy, her vampire senses no doubt coming out.
Even though Mina and Jonathan are not together anymore, I do feel that they still love each other. I know that he is definitely still in love with her and it is a matter of time (second season perhaps) before we see Jonathan step up and win Mina back. His actions towards her are always filled with love no matter how distant they may be at the moment.
The cross she tries to give back to him that was his mother’s is what I mean. He says “I could never bear to see it on anyone else” shows exactly what I mean. You can see how broken Jonathan is, it is a sad sight to see, and Jackson-Cohen plays it well. He has very expressive eyes and uses them very well.
I love seeing Lady Jayne (Victoria Smurfit) and all the other huntsman gathered together. Especially when the great seer Loiza Scaverra (Marcello Walton) comes in, he almost looks like a cowboy by the way he is dressed. Revealing the ancient relic Il Sangue di Cristo (the blood of Christ), the other huntsman know that this is the only weapon on the planet that can defeat Dracula.
As I stated in a previous post about relics that are used to thwart vampires, the ONE component that is an absolute is belief. If you don’t have an extremely strong belief in the relic then it’s “power” does no work on the undead and they cannot be defeated. The huntsman receive their instructions from Lady Jayne as to when and where to go once the seer has a fix on the nests of vampires. Victoria is great in this scene, she commands a room full of men with ease and has no qualms about being the leader. It is so great to see a woman having such a great role, it only in the show, but in the society of that era.
I have spoken often in my previous posts about the oppression of woman during that era. It is almost unheard of to be a strong, smart, sexy woman because it was considered taboo. Woman were meant to be silent and compliant to their husbands. I am glad, though, that there were smart women in that era and that they could go toe to toe with men in every aspect and sometimes outshine them.
Of course if that happened they were normally not thought of as feminine but more masculine. I am also glad that there were some men (though not enough) that actually treated women as their equals and knew their capabilities. I applaud them and thank them for seeing females as the strong individuals we are.
The scenes when the huntsman are dispatched to the various places around London is great. One after another the vampires are killed, one by one they get closer to the source of the plague. The flares that are set off (two) are celebrated by the other huntsman left in wait. Soon more flares will be shot off as they draw closer and closer until the final battle wages. And what a battle it was…
Because his minions are being killed, Grayson (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) can feel it. He can feel their deaths as if it were happening to him. “Death is coming” Grayson says and indeed it is not only to the vampires you sired, but to the citizens as well. Again we will see this all unfold later as the episode comes to its crescendo.
Can I just say how happy I am that Browning’s wife (Louise Delamere) FINALLY sees him for the monster he is? The fact that her children are missing because of him has finally sunk in. I am so happy that he gets what’s coming.
Van Helsing’s (Thomas Krestchmann) plan is almost complete, his burning of the notes and blue prints and such is part of his closure. It is just the few final details before the mastery of his elaborate plan finally takes place. The only part I hated about this scene is the fact that Renfield (Nonso Anozie) gets hurt. I have mentioned time and time again how much I really like his character and the way that they chose to portray him.
Plus the way the writer (Cole Haddon) leaves us with a conundrum, does he survive or does he perish (only a second season will tell us that for sure…hint hint studio execs). The music they use in this scene is perfect, I wish I could remember what piece it is. It is in perfect harmony with Van Helsing’s destruction of the lab and his final plan in action.
It must have been fun for Krestchmann to be able to destroy the set, some actors never get that luxury, and it is a great way for them to release that anger in the scene. I have heard my acting teacher say actors doing scenes like that are “in control out of control” meaning that even though it looks like they are losing it, they are still aware of their surroundings and the camera and crew. It would suck if someone got hurt, so being in control is of the utmost importance.
When Jonathan finds out what the REAL plan is with the generator, he immediately regrets his decision about joining the Order. He was duped, used, and manipulated for the whim of the Order and Browning. His immediate reaction was to save Mina, no surprise there, his love for her will never cease. He will risk his life to save hers that is for sure.
Now for probably my first favorite scene in the episode, Browning going to find his children. I must admit that at first the scene is deceiving, but what finally happens is sheer genius. The diabolical (I love that word) plan that finally unfolds is karma at its finest. The way the scene is shot is perfection, the use of light and shadows, or dark and light…I was in heaven! When Van Helsing asks if Browning recognizes him and Browning does not, it just shows the kind of evil that Browning possesses. When Van Helsing tells him “you slaughtered my family” and Browning answers “that hardly narrows it down” I cursed at him and said words that I will not repeat here. Again, it shows the darkest evil that Browning prided (in a sick and twisted way) himself on.
This scene in particular is one of the greatest examples of revenge I have seen. The way that Van Helsing exacted his revenge on Browning was the ultimate screw you (I wanted to use a much more colorful word, but cannot) to him. This is poetic justice at its best, the final blow to Browning’s ego and his maniacal self is the stuff legends are made of. The stories of revenge that have been told throughout time would be proud to add this to its pages.
When the children (Max Jacobs Bownas and Ruth Bownas) smile at each other that is the icing on the cake, the grandest of moments when you as the viewer know something is about to happen…and then the reveal. I forgot how much I love this scene and how much I was cheering when Browning finally got what he deserved. Van Helsing finally got his revenge, his heart can rest and so can the souls of his children and wife, their souls once and for all avenged.
Once the seer tells Jayne were to find Dracula, the game is on! This is what I have been waiting for all season long. The final battle between two smart, cunning and ferocious opponents. Jayne’s admission to herself that Grayson was always the one she was seeking is palpable, she was played in the worst way possible and that Browning was right.
Her shame is evident, written all over her face and Victoria does it beautifully. You can see the disgust at herself and the scorn she feels, well done Lady Jayne, well done! The seer gives her one final gift before she leaves, a dagger bestowed on him by the papal armory. Taking that and her gun, she races to find Grayson. Game on!
Jonathan’s urgency to get to Mina before the resonator explodes is dire. His rushing through the crowd only adds fuel to the fire for the people waiting to see the miracle that Grayson is promising. Thankfully Mina runs to tell Grayson the situation, but alas, it is too late the wheels have been set in motion. Jonathan is regretful about the whole thing, he loses everything at that moment unfortunately that is what happens when you sell your soul to the devil, my friend. Chaos ensues and the mass destruction is massive and wide spread, damage too big to fix and the consequences forever sealed…Kaboom!
The scene of the aftermath is incredible, like a bomb had been dropped and essentially it had been. It reminded me of scenes from war movies, of what cities looked like after bombs had been dropped. It is a scary thought and an image that you wouldn’t want in your head. The accusation of Jonathan by Mina is the final nail in his coffin so to speak.
There is no way that she will ever forgive him, and that is a fate worse than death for Jonathan. He has lost everything, literally and figuratively. Especially to hear the word “murderer” coming out of the mouth of the woman you love is like a thousand knives cutting his hear into little pieces. Also when he sees his friend Szabo (Miklós Bányai) dead it drives Mina’s point home. Once again, Jonathan was the pawn and he has been sacrificed.
And now, ladies and gentlemen (echo) are you ready for the ultimate showdown (crowd goes wild). In this corner, wearing her Vampire killing gear, Lady Jayne Wetherby and in this corner rising from the ashes, Dracula, the undead, nosferatu…let’s get ready to rumble! That is what was going through my head when the final heavyweight bout began between two very worthy opponents.
It was what I had been waiting all season for. So it begins, the weapons come out first, but soon get thrown aside for good old fashioned skin. The fighting goes on and gets more brutal as it continues. It was beautifully done, the dance betwixt the two. When Jayne stabs Grayson with the holy dagger you think she has won, do you really think it is that easy to destroy the evil one? Not even close, check mate Jayne, check mate. Unfortunately her fate is sealed the moment she turns her back on him. Flinging her toward her death she lands on an exposed pipe…ouch! When Grayson says that he has grown immune to all her “toys” again it begs if she really had faith in the dagger or was she just hoping it would harm him.
I had read tweets during the broadcast that fans wanted Grayson to turn Jayne into a vampire, which of course would be the ultimate irony. I admit that I was hoping for it, too, but then again it would have been clichéd so I am glad that they did not end up going that way. Jayne’s last dying words are what really drive the proverbial stake through Grayson’s heart. When she says that he could never be what Mina really needs or wants, that is when Grayson finalizes his destruction. Goodbye Lady Jayne, you will be sorely missed, you were a worthy opponent and a bad ass! I will definitely miss seeing Victoria Smurfit in the second season, she has always been a favorite of mine. Well done, I applaud you for giving women a great role model.
The one thing that I was disappointed with was that there was a lack of Lucy (Katie McGrath) I this episode. I really wanted to see her be a vampire out in the open, watch her prowl the streets of London and take prey. The irony of who her first victim is not lost on this viewer. It is only fitting that the one person she loved and hated be the first one to go. I am hoping that we will get to see Lucy using her fangs more in the second season. What fun will be had? I for one cannot wait! She’s been hiding who she really is for a long time, she’s an expert by now, so this new found life would be easy to conceal.
The ending of the episode is a good one. Among the chaos, death and destruction, love has been found again. As I had mentioned again, that is the driving factor behind Dracula’s quest, finding his lost love again, and exacting revenge on the ones that took that love from him. I fear that what is happening between Grayson and Mina is only a manifestation of what he has longed for and the words that Jayne said to him will soon come true.
As much as Mina is Mina, I have a feeling that Grayson will want Ilona back and that once he realizes that Mina is NOT Ilona, all hell will break lose again. If memory serves the ONLY way that he can be truly happy is if he is once and for all reunited with his beloved in the afterlife. Thus the happy ending, as odd as it may be.
The very last scene of Van Helsing taking out his vampire killing kit is great, especially when he finally reveals to Harker who Grayson really is. Second season plot line? I think so! Well my fellow Dracula fans, I hope you enjoyed this season as much as I did and an anxiously awaiting news of a second season to sink our teeth into. There are so many more questions to be answered…until the next time we all hope for regarding NBC Dracula my friend’s, I bid you adieu!
Thank you for visiting WormholeRiders News Agency. And thanks to Kenn for video embedding and additional images for my review. I will be back over the coming weeks with more on our series review sites for Dracula and next June for Defiance!
Please feel free to leave a comment here or If you prefer, you may also click the social media icons below to share this news article or as many of our readers and visitors often do, visit the WHR on Facebook or me on Twitter by clicking the links or images avatars in this news story. See You on The Other Side“!
Until next time,