So bored. So very, very bored. For the five percent (and I'm being generous with that statistic) of the episode where Dracula remembers that it's lead is a vampire and that supernatural mayhem should be going on, it's actually quite good.
The slow-motion violence is still disjointing to watch--seen with Jayne the Vampire Slayer putting a poor victim out of her misery, and also in the open when Van Helsing awakens Dracula and they duke it out. Seeing the ancient Vlad reawakened made it even more depressing that this show is not letting Drac's foreign ruler free, as the half-Romanian accent is doing JRM more favors than the poor flat American one. But the real moment that rocked this episode, and that proved how terribly misguided Dracula is, was when Jayne the Vampire Slayer using seers to track Drac.
The first moment of greatness? Finding the psychics in an opium den. Yes. So much yes. The use and abuse of opium in Victorian times is one of the more interesting and dark points of the period, and adding that grittiness is exactly the kind of over-the-top usage Dracula should be aiming for. Add that to the two milky-eyed swaying addicts finding Dracula through a gilded mirror, only to have him sense them and break the connection in a whirl of night vision growls and bloodied glass shards? The perfect blend of horror and gore that this series so desperately needs.
If only those brief moments were paramount, instead of the deadly dull plotting of taking down the British Imperial Coolant Company. It's all blah blah trade oil, blah blah technical revolution, blah blah geomagneticism. These are things that could possibly be interesting in a show maybe? But on this show, not so much. And it gets better (and by better, I mean worse) when they abandon corporate intrigue for medical jargon. Be still my beating heart. Dracula trades one boring plot, about Dracula taking down the Order of the Dragon through their finances, for another boring plot about Mina passing her medical exams. Which is another thing that should be a non-issue. Since the apprenticeship she wants is with Van Helsing, all the Mina-obsessed Dracula needs to do is gnash his fangs and force Van Helsing to give her the position. Anyway, the real problem is that Dracula keeps forcing these characters to use four-syllable words with the hope that it will make the writing seem old timey and intelligent, but it really only has a somnambulistic effect on the audience.
The only character feelings this episode prompted was initial sympathy for poor, practically cuckolded Jonathan Harker. Dracula tries to bribe him with a lovely house and a lovely paid position in his company, all in the attempt to get closer to Mina. Jonathan smells a rat, and stews over it the entire episode. It's shown that Johnathan is not walking an easy road. He loves this woman, wants to provide a life for her, and wants to do it honorably. He is constantly having his poverty thrown in his face by Lucy and her ilk. No one will let poor Harker catch a break. When Mina teasingly jokes about kicking him, you can see the desperation in his eyes, because finally. Finally some physical acknowledgement from the object of his affection. So yes, I felt pity for him, until they had to go and ruin that by having Harker spout a bunch of anti-feminist malarky. Having Johnathan's character abruptly turn from poor guy trying his hardest to chauvinist who wants a proper English wife to stay at home might not be the most graceful way to make audiences hate him, but as reluctant as I am to admit it, it is an effective way. He's the worst.
-I'm calling it now: Lucy is in love with Mina. Just look at that death glare she gave Mina and Johnathan as they kissed on the stairs. Plus, it would explain so much. Why she hates Johnathan. Why she over-compensates by being a floozy. Plus, it would give her some reason to be on this show, considering that she's serving no purpose the novel lays out for her.
-Jayne the Vampire Slayer continues to provide the sexy reason for Dracula to be all sexy. Their heaving bosoms and writhing hips give an excuse for Dracula to flex his jaw muscles as his chompily kisses her body and fantasizes about Mina.
-Dracula taking down a partner by finding him at a Victorian gay bar was pretty marvelous. The drag queens were gorgeous, and it was just the pulpy sort of intrigue that would make the financial take down even remotely interesting. You know, if it was anything but a financial take down.