TV Review: NBC’s Dracula 1×10 by Bea Harper

“Dracula” (NBC television series)

Dracula NBC

Episode 10: “Let There Be Light” (air-date 24/1/2014)
Director: Tim Fywell
Writer: Cole Haddon
Starring: Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Jessica De Gouw, Thomas Kretschmann, Kathie McGrath, Victoria Smurfit, Alec Newman, Nonso Anozie and Oliver Jackson-Cohen.

Dear October 25th 2013 Bea Harper

Hey there! As you can guess I am writing to you from the future (the 26th of January 2014, the day before Australia Day believe it or not!)

Now, I understand you are about to sit down and watch NBC’s “Dracula”’s debut episode in the name of duty to SuperMarcey.com as you have been charged to review each and every episode. It kinda sucks being known as the “Dracula Expert” sometimes, doesn’t it? You are probably sitting in your chair, your arms crossed, a sulky expression on your face, your mind just begging for the next hour to be a suck fest (no pun intended). I know you really, really wanted to not enjoy this series, but you did say that if it does work for you, you will eat your words.

Well let me tell you something toots, when you are done, I want you to print this article out so you can eat it because “Dracula” has been a mostly solid venture into Gothic vampire melodrama. Before you open your mouth to argue the point of “mostly”, I will admit that not all episodes have been consistent. In fact, the quality of each episode differs week to week due to too much or too little attention being paid to several story arcs. You may still stand firmly by your assessment that Jonathan Rhys-Meyers is no Dracula. And you’re absolutely right. He is not Dracula. He’s still far too pretty to play the Prince of Darkness, too short to be terribly imposing and still too pouty to make a razor-filled smile foreboding. And girl, I really do feel you when you have said time and again that it should have been James Purefoy in the role because in terms of eye-candy, you just aren’t getting enough. Sure Oliver Jackson-Cohen is better than none, but given the boys have Jessica DeGouw, Victoria Smurfit and Katie McGrath, you feel a little badly done by. I get it! Well okay, Thomas Kretschmann I’ll give you. Oh, and the new year break kinda jarred the flow of getting a weekly dose because it was practically a little half-way through the season and it takes a special kind of person to pull that- TV execs, man. It would also be a travesty if I did not admit that the mythology of the series has not been greatly explored, but then again, that’s what subsequent seasons are for.

But honestly, dear girl, your worries will ultimately be overcome because this series really isn’t bad at all, in fact, I would venture to impose it’s more imaginative than it initially appeared to be. After last week’s episode “Four Roses” well and truly hit the absolute stride the series promised, “Let There Be Light” continues that rhythm with a strong, beating pulse with sharp claws and teeth to rip it open. Every piece of groundwork that has been established in previous episodes has become a crucial factor in what has happened, if not has reached full circle. Don’t worry, I won’t go into too much detail… we know that I am not that big of a jerk.

Drac-10-01Unlike this guy.

Grayson decides to unleash the brilliance of the resonator in a full public demonstration after so long with a clear view to expose and destroy the Order… if you believe this is gonna go off without a hitch, you’ve got another thing comin’, to quote Judas Priest. Jayne heads a warrior’s nation of vampire hunters across London to exterminate each and every vampire in their path but their absolute goal is Dracula himself. How do they do this? Oh, just using the Blood of Christ and a super powerful Seer. On the other end of the belfry, Van Helsing does stuff… stuff and things, Lucy copes with her new station in life and Mina fully understands why she and Grayson have been so inescapably drawn to each other since they first met.  Among dirty dealings and ghastly goings on, things go boom… quite literally.

There really was not a dull moment in the season one finale of “Dracula” (if not that then the finale) because everybody involved is on a path. There will be casualties, there will be lies uncovered, there will be BLOOD! DRAAAAAAIIIIIIINAAAAAAGE! Sorry, Plainview’s rant effortlessly applies itself here. For a series that has built somewhat of a reputation of being indecisive in places, to see the writers throw down the gauntlet the way they did was refreshing. At last Grayson is able to face the Order in his ultimate form after concealing it for all this time and at last, we get to see he and Lady Jayne tumble as enemies rather than lovers. The trailers made absolutely no secret that these two would finally lock horns in the combat sense and however brief their battle was, it was suitably intense with a surprising ending. Despite the deception, despite the truism that both are vastly different, and regardless of the fact that Jayne has massacred countless amounts of his vampire fledglings, Grayson manages to honor a request of Jayne’s, one of which he abides by willingly. The Huntress Supreme gets what she pleases even if it is not what she rightly deserves.

Drac-10-02

Though let’s face it, the other major factor that makes “Let There Be Light” shine like a silver stake is the fact Van Helsing finally tips Browning over the edge by enacting a cruel, almost degenerative revenge on the Order’s big daddy. Van Helsing figures than simply slaughtering Browning is not enough so he resorts to something far more elaborate but nonetheless destructive and ruthless.

While I still stand by my opinion than Van Helsing has in a way become less of a character and more of a left of center heel, at least now he is no longer tied to the confines that he shared with Grayson. Now he is a free man, free to do as he pleases to those whom he feels justified going it to. If there is a season two, I can guarantee Van Helsing will be one of the main foils for Grayson to contend with. He, and Jonathan Harker who lays low for the majority of this episode. Not because he has nothing to do, but because that is how the story dictates. Indeed, Harker too has massive potential to become a major player should NBC pick this one up for a second renewal. His character has journeyed a fatal path and now there is no going back. Considering also his final sequence involves him meeting with VH, things are a-happenin’. As for Lucy? Something tells me that the lesson Grayson taught her has well and truly touched her in such a way that will no doubt become a humungous menace. “Let There Be Light” resolved what needed to be resolved and left open what it felt it better to keep close to the vest.

Drac-10-03

As you have no doubt guessed, Grayson and Mina at last do what they have always felt they wanted to do- the S-E-X. Grayson does not take her the way he did Jayne, nope, this is Reincarnated Wife Sex. They embrace slowly and passionately, he is saturated in blood that is not his (which she seems totally okay with) despite the fact their worlds have collapsed around them, at least, their artificial worlds. It is a sure bet now that both of them will now be on the lam when the rest of the Order from around the world will inevitably begin to chase them.

I won’t say any more about this episode because to disclose anything else would possibly impair your enjoyment of perhaps the best episode of the season. In closing, October 25th 2013 Bea, I want you to switch on that Canon, fill it with the clean, pristine A4 paper you are so fond of, select the colour option, print out your first review and eat it. Add some barbeque sauce if you prefer. Hey- a promise is a promise!

With love and confidence,

January 26th 2014 Bea Harper

PS: I will never listen to “In The Hall Of The Mountain King” again thanks to this episode.

Rating:
StarRating-04-5

Review written by Bea Harper

See Bea’s Review for Episode 9 HERE

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