Dracula - NBC

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Taylirious, Oct 27, 2013.

  1. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    That wasn't a murderous impulse. The impulse ended in murder, but it's genesis was "Not now, I'm busy."
     
  2. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    For some reason I was having a lot of trouble understanding the dialouge in last night's episode. I haven't had that problem before and it's not the accents since I watch a ton of British shows.
    As for the episode itself, I thought it was OK.
     
  3. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Last night's episode was all about "move, countermove, guile, and deceit." There are so many plots going on, I'm not sure who's playing whom.

    Take Harker. Davenport is playing him, and now it turns out that Dracula is playing him, too. Davenport's endgame, as we learned last week, is to recruit Harker into the Order, presumably as a spy on Grayson's interests, but what's Dracula's endgame with Harker?

    Then there's Lady Jayne's games with Lucy. Is she trying to seduce Lucy? If she wanted to drive a wedge between Lucy and Mina she certainly succeeded? But I can't help but think this is part of her game with Dracula.

    And, of course, Dracula pulls off his biggest game yet -- walking in daylight. If that doesn't alleviate Browning's suspicions for a few weeks I'll be surprised.

    There's only four episodes left at this point, and the pieces are being positioned for the endgame. Only I have no idea what that endgame is.
     
  4. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, other than mischief, I'm unsure what Lady Jayne expected to accomplish by manipulating Lucy that way. Revenge on Mina for attracting Grayson's attention? Distracting Mina from Grayson?

    She certainly wasn't trying to seduce Lucy (which would have been easy enough), and she can't really have expected that Mina would welcome Lucy's advances. Lady Jayne is obsessed with Grayson, not Mina or Lucy, so we have to assume that she was trying to disrupt the Grayson/Mina thing somehow . . . or perhaps trying to turn Lucy against Jonathan and Mina for some reason.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Greg, you may be on to something there. Maybe alienating/isolating Lucy is the first step in employing her as a pawn. I guess maybe she sees Mina as competition for Grayson and wants to turn Lucy against Mina and get her to hurt her somehow, maybe.

    As for what DracuGray's up to with Harker, I assume he wanted to maneuver him into a position where he'd be discredited and humiliated, thus ruining him as a marriage prospect and leaving Mina bereft and vulnerable, whereupon "Grayson" can swoop in and comfort her, and she won't suspect him because he was so clearly in Harker's court all along. Maybe he even plans to stage Harker's suicide and is disgracing him to provide a motive.

    I'm wondering if that vampire rat is going to show up again...
     
  6. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think that whole business with General Shaw was about discrediting Harker. It was about disgracing Shaw--thereby rendering him "useless" to the Order--while keeping Grayson's own hands clean. Remember, Harker didn't break that "scoop" himself; he just passed it onto a friend of a friend, so Harker's reputation remains secure. Dracula just tricked Harker into planting a false scandal while maintaining several layers of plausible deniability.

    As for Mina: My impression is that Dracula is genuinely conflicted on the subject. He can't stay away from her, but I think part of him is trying to . . . for her sake.

    And, yeah, my best guess is that Jayne is trying to "turn" Lucy, to use spy-movie lingo, so she can be used a pawn against Mina . . ..

    And vampire-rat will surely return!
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Ooh, will it have a little cape?
     
  8. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

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    Only in the crossover with a new steampunk "Bunnicula" series. :)

    (Heck, not even Dracula wears a cape on this show, although I did like the way his upturned collars in the boardroom scene kind of echoed a traditional Halloween "Dracula" cape.)
     
  9. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, that all sounds pretty plausible to me.
    I kept expecting the vampire rat to pop back up once Van Helsing found Mina.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    When I saw the ray of light coming in through the crack in the closet door, my thought was that the vampire rat would burn in the sunlight, and then there would be questions about how a fire started in Van Helsing's dead-rat cupboard.
     
  11. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Early on in last night's episode, I had the thought -- this is the episode where Dracula doesn't win. Generally, each episode has put a challenge in front of Dracula -- becoming a majority shareholder, walking in sunlight, etc. -- and somehow he triumphs over it. But this week, everything Dracula wanted he lost.

    He wanted to control his bloodthirst. He failed.

    He wanted to possess the Dresden Triptych. He failed.

    He wanted to demonstrate his machine. He failed.

    Each of these failures came about because of his own actions. (Even the Dresden Triptych. True, he couldn't have known that agents of the Order had intercepted his communications and thus known that he wanted it, but because of his communications earlier in the series he jeopardized his possession of it.) And he's coming ever so closer to crossing the line entirely with Mina.

    He didn't win, and that's the point. Last night felt very much like the close of the second act with Dracula beginning his fall. From here, the final three episodes are likely to see Dracula's descent into evil and his final destruction. Yet, I'm still rooting for him -- to recover the Triptych, to find love with Mina, to destroy the Order, even if he has to take them down on his way down. Even at the worst we saw of him last night, he's still the most compelling, most sympathetic character in the series.

    Lady Jayne's game was interesting. I realized when she began to seduce Lucy that her questions to Dracula about how to destroy her husband had nothing at all to do with her husband; her story was just a convenient cover so that she could use Grayson's own tactics against the people in his life.

    The attempt by the Order at recruiting Harker was, I thought, rather brazen and laughable. "Hello! We're a secret society you know nothing about, and your boss is an terrible person!" :) What I found especially amusing was the self-delusion on Browning's part; if he listened to the argument he posed to Harker about controlling energy and being at the mercy of the Turks, he should have realized that Grayson was offering the world an escape from the Turkish threat he feared.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    This is actually the first time I've been able to see Grayson/Drac as a protagonist, since it's the first time he's shown a desire to transcend his murderous ways, to become a better man rather than just get revenge or gain power or possess a woman. And his gesture with the orchestra at the Bedlam dance was downright touching. Okay, he was just doing it to romance Mina, but at least he recognized that the thing that would impress her most was being kind to other people.

    I'm not entirely clear on Lady Jane's motivations. I assume she's recognized the attraction between Grayson and Mina, is jealous of Mina, and is trying to hurt her by having Lucy seduce Jonathan. But that's just absurdly overcomplicated. And if she breaks up Mina and Jonathan, wouldn't that just drive Mina further into Grayson's arms? Isn't Jane shooting herself in the foot?

    As for Browning, he wasn't self-deluded at all. The Ottoman threat is just his excuse, his spiel to convince Jonathan to help. He and the Order are more concerned about losing the power that comes from their own control of oil. Of course, they are blinded in that they fail to realize that they'd be better off investing in Grayson's tech than quashing it; but there are plenty of precedents in real life, unfortunately, for entrenched business interests suppressing "competing" technologies that could've made the world better for everyone.
     
  13. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I've entertained the thought that this is part of the Order's recruitment of Harker -- Lucy would be easier to control than Mina, and thus pose less threat to the Order -- but I don't believe that Lady Jayne is aware of Browning and Davenport's scheme to recruit Harker.

    I've instead come around to the idea that Lady Jayne is manipulating Lucy into murdering Mina, thus eliminating her romantic rival for Grayson's affections. When Jonathan spurns Lucy's advances, and with the seeds of distrust already planted by Lady Jayne, Lucy will take out her anger on Mina. That's still a rather overly complicated scheme, but I don't see another endgame that makes sense.
     
  14. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

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    Honestly, I'm not sure Lady Jayne really has a long-term plan, beyond maybe getting back at Mina for attracting Grayson's attentions. I think she enjoys manipulating people for her own amusement--and if if hurts Mina, so much the better.

    It could be just spite and mischief, not a calculated strategy.
     
  15. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I had strangely mixed feelings about last night's episode. There were points where I was terribly disengaged by it, and parts where I was all, "Whoa." It was very schizophrenic in that regard.

    Part of what left me disengaged was Grayson losing -- shunned by Harker, spurned by Mina, manipulated by Van Helsing, tossed out by Lady Jayne. (Yet, the look on Dracula's face when Mina told him off was priceless; JRM conveys so much in the way his face falls.) Much of it, especially the scene with Lady Jayne, felt arbitrary and devoid of feeling.

    The discovery of Dracula's name, of course, is important. (I wondered how the fledgling vampires would have known that Dracula could walk in the sunlight, though.) Browning's story about how Dracula was created was interesting, and we finally have an explanation for why Dracula is fighting an organization with whom he shares a name. I expect next week's cliffhanger will be Lady Jayne's realization that Alexander Grayson is Dracula.

    Renfield continues to prove himself as the most important person in Dracula's life. From laying it out for Dracula on the subject of Mina to actually resorting to physical violence to keep Dracula from doing something rash, he's the glue that holds Dracula's operation together.

    I'm assuming that it was Van Helsing that moved against Browning. I have to admit it was disconcerting to see Browning share a quiet and joyous familial moment. This is a man who has no difficulty murdering people, and here we see him singing with his children.

    In the last few weeks I've begun to entertain the idea that Van Helsing actually has a cure for Dracula's vampirism (ever since it came up, actually), and I think it's in the bottle that Mina stole last night. I know it's unlikely, but I can see a conclusion where the Order is destroyed, Van Helsing gets his revenge, Dracula gets cured, and he and Mina live a long and happy life.

    Speaking of Mina, I didn't know quite how to take her conversation with her father, where he gives her permission to pursue Grayson. "Wait, am I actually hearing this?" I said to myself.

    And, in light of Harker's behavior this episode, Dracula, for all of his faults, starts to look good by comparison.

    I spent the episode going, "No, Harker. Oh, please no, Harker. No, Harker!" Every decision Harker made was a really bad decision. I even thought Dracula was trying to talk Harker out of doing something rash in the wake of Mina's attack, and I was gobsmacked when it turned out that Dracula had been manipulating him into eliminating Davenport. (But what does that mean for the Dresden Triptych? Harker obviously left it behind, but does anyone else know that it's there?) And then he runs right to Lucy.

    (Speaking of Lucy, Katie McGrath looked incredibly like Keira Knightly in the sex scene.)

    Next week has a lot of noose-tightening to do on Dracula's interests, and his identity will need to be blown, setting the stage for the apocalyptic final episode, which I imagine will not take place among the Carpathians. :)
     
  16. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

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    Speaking of the sex scene, when Jonathan showed up on Lucy's doorstep for a spontaneous booty call, I found myself wondering--and not for the first time--about these people's living arrangements.

    I mean, where was Lucy's family or servants? Would a respectable, unmarried woman in Victorian London have her own place where she could entertain gentlemen callers without a chaperone? And the same goes for Mina. Does she live with father or does she have her own bachelorette pad as well? Nobody seems to mind or notice when she goes out clubbing till dawn with Lucy or spends the night at Jonathan's place.

    Granted, nobody really expects an excess of period authenticity from a steampunk Dracula show, but if often seems as though Lucy and Mina are being written as twenty-something singles in modern Manhattan rather than proper middle-class ingenues with undamaged reputations.

    (Lady Jayne doesn't count since she's a decadent aristocrat . . . and hardy typical of Victorian womanhood!)
     
  17. Yminale

    Yminale Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm not sure why this bothers you since Dracula is pure fantasy made in modern times. I've read Stoker's Dracula and that version certainly wasn't some bizzaro combination of Nikola Tesla, Bruce Wayne and Wolverine (and his BFF wasn't Van Helsing).
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yeah, it's weird that Van Helsing is, in many ways, the most malevolent character on the show.
     
  19. Yminale

    Yminale Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I would argue that Renfield is the most malevolent. He seems to encourage Dracula's darker nature. Maybe he's a statement about how lawyers bring out the worse in us. Van Helsing is just too passive/aggressive.
     
  20. StarTrek1701

    StarTrek1701 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Does anyone else feel they are jus rehashing every episode with a different shine? I dont feel like this show is actually forwarding its storyline but just regurgitating same thing over and over.