Dracula Episode 1.09 Review: “Four Roses”

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NBC’s Dracula finally gives us something for our teeth to sink into! It is time to choose a side because a war is coming.  In a build up to next week’s season finale, Dracula has spent weeks manipulating and sabotaging the plans of the Order of the Dragon, the cult that had turned him into the monster he is. We have seen Dracula, under the guise of Alexander Grayson, trick, manipulate and con those around him but at last, this episode provides us what the audience has been waiting for:  you know, the stuff vampires do.  A lot happened in this episode, so let us begin.

The Order of the Dragon has some tricks up their sleeve. It is hardly surprising that Harker has accepted to be a part of it. Grayson has betrayed him and used him. If he hopes for change, unfortunately for him he is still the same puppet only for the other side.

That is not the only mistake he made in the episode. Did he really have to sleep with Lucy? It was unnecessary, and uncomfortable. He clearly wants to be able to make his own decisions but when they’re as foolish as this. Not to mention he was set up in the first place. Will Harker ever be able to make decisions of his own?

This made way for the Mina and Grayson love affair to step up a gear, but with an episode packed with deceit it is overshadowed. Grayson’s loyalty to his deceased Iloyna is admirable, particularly when it is juxtaposed with Harker’s recklessness. It almost makes the audience almost think Grayson has redeeming qualities — then we remember he is a scheming vampire.

As Grayson plans to kill everyone in the Order, good news arrives. The Board of Health are releasing the resonator back to Grayson. How convenient that Harker just happened to steal the blueprints for the Order earlier that day. Harker’s obliviousness is infuriating. The Order’s plan is to make sure the resonator showing ends in catastrophe, as Browning puts it.

Renfield seems to be the only relatively sane character in the show and sadly, the most underappreciated. Going behind Grayson’s back, he tries to fix things between Van Helsing and Dracula. Van Helsing gets impatient and has begun to scheme on his own. Both of them argue that the other has gone against their plan as they come up with reckless ideas to get the revenge they are looking for. The irony. Van Helsing kidnapped Browning’s children and intended to kill them, but realizes that he would be just as bad as Browning. This is disappointing, it would have been brilliant to see Van Helsing finally do something badass but instead he remains weak and cowardly.

A few things were overlooked or forgotten about by the characters this episode, which is frustrating. In the hospital, when Dracula speaks of Ilyona, Mina merely smiles and casually informs him that she has dreamed of Ilyona since she was a little girl. Perhaps she is too drugged up to react, but the revelation should have had more of a reaction. Secondly, Browning expresses his suspicion that Grayson still may be a vampire and perhaps found a way to walk in the sunlight, something that a vampire revealed to Lady Jayne in last week’s episode. Just like Mina however, she did not react. In fact, she did not even mention it, as if it never happened. It is not something one would likely forget.

The end of the episode was a surprise. Dracula turns Lucy into the monster that she is after she really is. Indeed she is a pain, but why is it her who is to be punished? She is not the only character to manipulate and scheme for their gain. The entire series is built upon it yet she must pay the price, the moral is that the others are just better at it. It is a shame but with any luck vampire Lucy will be more bearable. If the original novel is something to go by however, it is all downhill from here.

The stage is set for next week’s finale, both sides have planned their moves and now they need to see it through, let us hope it is as explosive as promised. What side would you choose?

Photo courtesy of NBC

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