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TV Brew: Van Helsing – Fresh Tendrils

All the players are on the board…

Before we get started, couple things: Apparently Trezzo Mahoro is not back as a full time cast member this year, which saddens me. Deeply. I know, logically, that this is because his career is blowing up with To All The Boys I Loved Before out (which, if you haven’t seen it, go see it) but there are so few characters of color on this show who are actually integral to the plot, and Mohamad is such a great character, that I feel it would be in the show’s overall best interest to figure out how to keep him in play. Second thing: Susan is back….sort of. As I said while watching the show: this isn’t how I wanted her back. For a time Van Helsing looked like it would be one of the few shows with an LGBTQ lead character but then, for reasons that are still not quite clear, not only did they have Vanessa immediately sleep with some rando after she and Susan finally, finally act on their feelings but then Susan is abruptly killed off to further Vanessa, Mohamad and Sam’s storylines. Frankly bringing her back, and the way it’s done, feels like a lame response to the fan backlash to both of those things. However, due to my genuine enjoyment of the actress and the undeniable chemistry that Hilary Jardine and Kelly Overton have with each other, I’m willing to give this storyline a chance.

Alright, I’m done, on with the review.

The premiere picks up pretty much right where season 2 ended with Vanessa being found by the Elder per Scarlett’s orders. However, as with all things, it’s all about the wording and since Scarlett only told the Elder to find her sister, but didn’t clarify that he was to help her in any way, once Vanessa was found things immediately go pear shaped: biting, mass murder, mind games. Basically? Mayhem ensues.

Meanwhile in the cave of sadness and maternal angst, Abigail is totally dying in Scarlett’s arms and hangs on long enough to share a fever dream with the twins about their family history and how it’s fully intertwined with all of the elder vampires. It’s tragic as hell and genuinely moving, but once again, I wish we’d gotten to spend a bit more time with Abigail before she got knocked off.

In the most depressing (and rapey) storyline we have the newly turned Mohamad on a rampage with Sam. Remember how everything about their relationship became deeply unsettling once Sam’s serial killer tendencies were revealed? Yeah. Take that to eleven. Between knowing that Mohamad literally killed himself to get away from Sam, and seeing Sam actively trying to groom him into the perfect killing partner and mate, this whole thing makes my flesh crawl. What will be interesting going forward is what happens when (not if, because we already see him fighting Sam’s conditioning even in his feral state) Mohamad recovers enough of himself  to realize what’s been going on and how far will he go to finally be free of Sam once and for all.

Bite Size Bits:

  • Child Vanessa was just as violent as adult Vanessa. Her causing the Sewards deaths by being an utter brat totally tracks tbh.
  • Callie’s near invincibility is odd and while she’s useful she also brought Harrison down on everyone’s heads so…
  • Everyone needs to learn to stfu and listen to Axel like 80% of the time. Half the nonsense that they have to put up with would be cut if they just paid attention to what he says.
  • Phil and Julius are breaking my heart and have a lot to make up for, respectively. How these two move forward and make peace with each other I seriously don’t know as Julius is directly responsible for ruining Phil’s life. Twice.
  • Mohamad was bitten by Vanessa before he was bitten by Sam…hmm.

The episode ends with everyone finally meeting up again after dealing with Harrison, who continues to be the absolute worst (and who I guarantee you is not dead) and then immediately splitting up with one team hunting the elders while the others try and make a permanent cure from Vanessa and Scarlett’s blood. Will they succeed? I don’t know but I’m here for the ride.

Four ancient tomes out of Five

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