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PopWrapped | Television

The Council Catches A "Whiff Of Sulfur" In Dracula's Second Episode

PopWrapped | PopWrapped Author

PopWrapped

Updated 11/2/2013 9:13pm
The Council Catches A
Media Courtesy of atlantablackstar.com

Dani Strehle

Content Editor

We pick up this week with Dracula prowling the streets of London in search of his next meal, before we shoot to a flash back in 1881 Romania. Van Helsing has opened Dracula’s coffin and awoken the beast. But Dracula comes out fighting and attacks Van Helsing straight away. But Van Helsing has a secret Dracula slaying blade and sticks it in his foot and takes him down. We are witnessing the first meeting between Van Helsing and Dracula. Obviously Van Helsing bears quite a bit of knowledge about Dracula and his origins. Van Helsing tells Dracula that it’s only a matter of time before the sun takes him, so if he’s like to survive, it’s probably best that Dracula pays attention to what he has to say. Van Helsing reveals that he too wants to destroy the Order of the Dragon, which immediately piques Drac’s interest. He demands that Van Helsing tell him what he knows and plans for the order. We discover that the Order “slaughtered” Van Helsing’s wife and three children. We then see a vision of Mina (Dracula’s [reincarnated? Still alive and impossibly old?] wife Ilona,) burning at the stake while Drac watches. They are brothers in grief. Van Helsing tries to convince Dracula that, “If you die this day, they will never face justice for these and all the other vile crimes they’ve committed in the Lord’s name.” It is a task that only Van Helsing and Dracula are capable of completing. Dracula tells Van Helsing to get on with it already and remove the blade so Dracula doesn’t fry up extra crispy, and a new friendship is born! Well, after a tasty blood feast, of course. We shoot to the show’s present day (late 1800s) with Van Helsing extracting a bit of Dracula’s blood. Dracula whines like a baby and says that he’d rather live in a metal box for a century that watch Van Helsing revel in his discomfort. But Van Helsing believes that it is the key to allowing Drac to walk in the sunlight. Something people will undoubtedly catch onto eventually, and we see that there might be some ulterior motives urging Van Helsing’s desires. Perhaps he’s not being entirely honest with Dracula. Now we’re at some sort of indoor fencing tournament with Mina and Harker. They seem to be the background story here though, as we see a couple of members of the Order talking in the rafters about their plans. They’re talking about their fallen compadre and who they should replace the guy Dracula killed. The blonde has decided to just take care of things herself and has to go somewhere to do something dangerous with dangerous people. Honestly, it’s all very convoluted. Dracula has invited Mr. Laurent to his office to discuss a business matter. Dracula offers him a seat and Mr. Laurent politely, albeit frostily, declines. Dracula gets right to the point and tells him in his annoyingly nasal dictation that he has “become uncomfortable with our business relationship.” He assures him that it is no reflection on Laurent the man, but that he’s just not big on partnerships as a rule. Laurent states that he assumes he would like to buy his shares back, but Dracula tells him that’s not what he’s interested in. No; in fact, he’d like to just buy Laurent’s entire company outright. Laurent denies his request without a second’s hesitation, and storms out all haughtily. Next we see Renfield and Dracula sitting outside if the Inquisitor. Renfield says that he doesn’t understand why Dracula is going to such extreme lengths of “circumspection” to get Mina back into his life when it would be easier (and entirely within his realm of possibility) to just take her. Dracula says that this he cannot do, as he cannot simply take the woman he loves and turn her into a vampire. That, in Dracula’s opinion, would be an abomination. Renfield still does not quite understand Dracula’s hesitations, and wonders why he is trying to draw her in. Dracula cannot answer this question, but states that “to lose her twice would be more than I could bear.” Clearly the love he has for this woman runs deep. Renfield tracks down Harker and delivers a telegram to him on behalf of Dracula. He follows Renfeld to Dracula where Harker and The King of Vamps have a little business discussion. Apparently we’re checking out real estate now. Dracula tells Harker that he is impressed with his work, particularly his insight into London society. He proposes that Harker be his Vice President of Public Affairs to “assist me in navigating the course through British society, and her business community.” Harker seems to be a bit taken aback by this sudden and unexpected offer. Especially since he also just bought him a house. Dracula tells him to sleep on it and get back to him. Harker and Mina are discussing Mina’s impending exam that could make or break her career. Harker is distracted, something that doesn’t go unnoticed by Mina. He apologizes and tells her about the offer from Dracula. Mina’s response is enthusiastic and encouraging. Now the blonde from the Order is on the hunt. She’s in what looks like an opium den looking for some of her minions that have not answered the summons of the Council. She cracks some skulls and motivates the junkies to get up and get moving before they have to suffer the consequences. Mina and Harker are having some lunch talking about the details of Dracula’s offer. Mina is still in the “yes” camp, telling Harker that Greyson (Dracula’s alter-ego) is a visionary; a brilliant business tactician. Harker isn’t so sure, calling the whole deal “dodgy.” Mina will not be dissuaded, though, and continues to remain in Dracula’s camp. After threats of kicking, Harker gives in and tells Mina that he will take the job. Laurent is talking to the mustachioed man from the Council and tells him about the deal. Mustache tells him to keep this on the down low on pain of death. Now the blonde Council lady and Dracula are having dinner. They are both very flirty, with the blonde begging Dracula to tell her how he lit the light bulbs and to explain his magic. Dracula tells her that he doesn’t do magic, just science. Then he starts kissing on her and distracting her and it’s pretty obvious things are about to get sexy. Oh, and then they do. And for one fleeting moment I see a bit of that sexual prowess that so allured me during Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ stint as King Henry VIII in The Tudors. More of that, please! Mina is heading to class when she walks past Dracula’s carriage, where he offers her a ride; which she accepts. They discuss the offer Dracula made to Harker, and Mina expresses her excitement for the offer. When Mina reveals to Dracula that she is studying to be a doctor, his response puts her on the defensive. We find out that her dad is a big shot doctor and her desire to buck tradition and be a doctor instead of a nurse. Dracula tells her that he in fact thinks it’s wonderful that she’s dreaming big. He gives her some wise words and send her on her merry, test-taking way. Mina goes in and kicks her test’s ass, scoring the top points in the entire class. A first for a woman. Go Mina, go Mina. Oh, and Drac’s watching, because, well of course he is. We go back to the junkies now, watching Dracula in some sort of mirror. We discover that somehow Dracula knows about this mirror and ends up cracking their mirror. The seers relay this message onto the blonde Councilwoman and it is determined that the only vampire that could pull something like this off must be a few centuries old, at least. Harker is hanging out with Greyson, telling him that he has decided to accept his offer. Dracula informs Harker that he never does anything that does not please him, something Renfield confirms. Dracula demands that Harker tell him everything he knows about Lord Laurent, skeletons especially. Harker tells him that he can figure out everything he needs to know by going to a club at a certain time where Laurent will surely be. Dracula’s thinking that he’s all kinds of brilliant for coming up with this plan right now. We see Dracula creeping along in a dark alley before he knocks on an ancient door knocker and bribes his way into the exclusive, private club where Lord Laurent sits in wait. It’s a crowd of well-to-do people watching some sort of show. Dracula witnesses Laurent making out with the fencing champion (i.e. a man), and discovers Laurent’s proverbial skeleton. Dracula is very pleased with himself, convinced that he’s got Laurent good now, and will likely get acquire the business he seeks. Now we shoot to Harker, who is showing off the engagement ring he plans to give to Mina that night. He’s in the middle of the boy’s club that is the newspaper Harker just resigned from, when one of his friend’s asks him about Mina’s intentions to be a doctor. Harker states that he believes once he slips the ring on Mina’s finger, she will forget all her silly desires and dreams and be ready to settle down and be a proper barefoot and pregnant wife, you know. The more “natural and womanly pursuits.” Of course, Mina happens to be there ready to meet him and hears everything he says. Harker tries to gloss it over and tell her that he has never uttered a word of discouragement to her. To which she replies that he’s never been particularly supportive, either. Dracula is scoping out a voluptuous little coat check girl now. Obviously, no good can come from this. He’s putting on the charm in a serious way, and in the next scene, he’s bleeding her dry. His super ears picks up on footsteps coming his way and he flees the scene in a hurry as the blonde Councilwoman is trying to find him. When she finds his victim instead, she promptly beheads her lest she turn into another vampire for her to hunt. And thankfully, blissfully, it’s over. I know that sounds pretty bad, but I am struggling to keep myself interested in this show. JRM seems more smarmy and nerdy than he does fierce and dangerous. Two critical characteristics to be able to portray if you’re playing the world’s most famous vampire. But it really seems to be more focused on his pining for Mina that it does anything else. And, really. Do we need any more sappy romances on TV? I think not. I’m not quite ready to give up on this show yet. I still have hope that it will be able to find its focus and feature the Jonathan Rhys Meyers we all know and lust over. Losing the weird goatee and terrible Southern American accent would be a welcomed step in the right direction. 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