Most drastically, in the quest to make Dracula a sort of avenging angel rather than destructive demon, the show created the Order Dracul as the nefarious baddie in this incarnation. Which is fine and good. But one of the necessities in creating a new twist is enforcing the need for that change. And that is not happening in this series. There is no explanation for why the Order is so deserving of ruin, other than the fact that they killed Dracula's wife (for apparently no reason) and they killed Van Helsing's family (but apparently, just to teach him a lesson). These things are terrible, but have no context. Other than just being ancient, what does the Order do? What do they reinforce? What are their ideals, their goals? Without these pieces of the puzzle, it's difficult to fully root against them, because there's still the off chance that their actions could be warranted. It as if Dracula has had a trial, but the prosecution just decided not to show up, and yet the defendant is still condemned. It makes no sense.
Along with having misty motives, the Order seems terribly incompetent at their job. They punish Vlad for denying God by turning him into an immortal, all-powerful hell beast? That's just asking for trouble, and seems like the least efficient way to deal with problems. Later, the order proves that it's learned from that mistake, and instead punishes poor gay Stephen for not being utterly devoted to the cause (what cause?) by stabbing him. More effective? Yes, but still as mind-boggling.
This lack of efficiency is a recurring theme. Dracula's own slow scheming is becoming excruciating. He knows Jayne is hunting him, but insists on bedding her instead of beheading her. He knows that there are seers tracking him, but instead of issuing swift, vampiric justice he allows Van Helsing to bash their brains in with a hammer. Even a brief moment where Drac might possibly be using his traditional powers to paralyze the trackers is swiftly explained away with an accreditation to Van Helsing's poison. Serums are always less cool than supernatural gifts. Why go the more boring route?
It's also frustrating that instead of embracing any type of negativity in Dracula's character, the show almost overexplains his magnanimity. In a deliciously creepy scene with a disappointingly mundane payoff, Dracula is drawn to one of his poor, imprisoned fold while he's at Jayne's house. The scene, with him all red-eyed and half-naked, was atmospherically spot on. But the pity in Dracula's face as the tortured Carpathian whispers "kill me" was too tender for any Dark Lord. It's making Dracula an agent of social justice, a crusader for vampire rights, and that's just too soft to handle.
The softness and near ineptitude of Dracula is reinforced with the Mina subplot. Mina, who is now single, and yet Dracula is probably the least active member trying to gain her affections. The most active? Lucy. So called it. Lucy takes advantage of Mina's poor broken heart by getting her all liquored up in a series of parties, leaping at the opportunity granted by Mina's loosened state to nuzzle her neck and tenderly caress her cheek as they lay in bed together. All Drac does is push off an insulting would be suitor (which in some ways is just as insulting as Harker's presumption from last episode, because Mina could handle herself). Dracula then convinces Harker to get back together with Mina, because this show makes no sense whatsoever. It's nice to see Harker's pride wither as Mina proposes to him, but still. All these plot manipulations make no sense. They so needlessly complicate things that it's difficult to care about the payoff.
-The timeline of Dracula's backstory is incredibly contradictory. When Van Helsing reincarnated him, Drac was wearing the same clothes and stylings of his Romanian origins. And yet, when Renfield catches Dracula playing the piano, he claims to have not played for about a century. Was Dracula up and walking about between Romania and 1880's London? Why doesn't his dress reflect that?
-Renfield is one of the best characters in this version, but not for the reasons I'd like. Still, I approve of his steely reserve. He takes Harker down a notch for presuming to defend him. This Renfield needs no help.
-The slow-motion camera on all the fighting continues to drive me batty. While I can respect how slower action can make a sequence look more realistic and viscerally shocking, this version is doing the exact opposite. It all looks silly.
-Having a short establishing shot of Bedlam just makes me depressed for all the Victorian craziness Dracula could highlight, but chooses not to.