Dracula 01×02: “A Whiff of Sulfur” Replaces Action with Lots of Staring

If you were looking for more action out of Dracula, you’re going to have to save all your hopes for episode three, because this one is basically exposition and staring. Lots and lots of staring.

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Our episode begins with Dracula going on a hunt, which marks the first instance of staring for a really long time. You’d think people would wonder why the American entrepreneur occasionally stops dead in the middle of the street to stare at women. We’re also waiting for the episode when he gets hit by a carriage.

After some slow motion street action, it’s time for a flashback, where Van Helsing makes his initial offer to Dracula: combine Van Helsing’s resources and Dracula’s ruthlessness to bring down the Order of the Dragon, who killed both of their wives and Van Helsing’s three children. The Order really needs to start just taking out the whole family at once; it would really cut down on the number of people seeking revenge against them.

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Back in the present, Van Helsing is drawing Dracula’s blood to make a potion that will allow Dracula to walk in the sunlight. They have some banter about how much they dislike each other, but it’s mostly boring recap of stuff we already know. Elsewhere in the land of boring, the ladies are wagering on the outcome of fencing matches and Harker is feeling self-conscious about his inability to pay for fancy meals for Mina. Basically, a big yawn-fest.

But in the upper levels of the room, Lady Jane is talking to one of the indistinguishable white guys from the Order of the Dragon about wanting to hunt the vampire that’s in town. She also wants to deploy some people called “The Seers” and White Guy goes so far as to reference the episode title, that’s how unhappy he is about this idea, but is quickly convinced to let her do it anyway.

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Yet we are supposed to believe these two as a committed couple.

In Dracula’s house another White Dude shows up, played by Anthony Howell who played Roger in Wives and Daughters. Roger refuses some offer Dracula makes regarding buying his stocks in or some company or other, all equally boring. Dracula is angry, but we don’t linger on this issue because we have ROMANCE to deal with.

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Hahahaha. No.

Renfield and Dracula are sitting outside the newspaper building waiting to deliver a message to Harker to bring Mina closer to Dracula. The awesome Renfield very wisely asks why Dracula doesn’t just turn Mina into a vampire, even managing to ask it subtly enough that no one would know what they were talking about if they overheard. Dracula replies that turning Mina into a vampire would be an abomination.

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Guess who also didn’t want to turn his romantic interest into a vampire? At least Dracula doesn’t sparkle.

Dracula brings Harker to the house of the guy Dracula killed in the last episode, which Dracula is buying to give to Harker if Harker agrees to be Dracula’s vice president of public affairs. Harker’s hesitant and gets a few days to think about it, but we all know what he’s going to say, especially when Dracula dangles the substantial paycheck in front of him. Harker better be really really talented at spinning murder and an aversion to sunlight into something positive.

The next day, Mina is worrying about her upcoming practical exam and Harker is being vaguely supportive but distracted. Then he tells her about Dracula’s offer, and she is really excited about it, urging him to take it while praising Dracula as a visionary. Harker thinks the job sounds shady.

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Did you get your first hint when he gave you a dead guy’s house?

Meanwhile, Lady Jane meets the Seers, who turn out to be druggies, and she demands that they find the vampire. Then she goes to dine with the vampire she’s seeking. Poor Lady Jane, blinded by lust. We are much more excited for an epic fight between her and Dracula, but we have a feeling we’ll be suffering through a lot more boring sex scenes.

For example, when the dinner ends, Dracula basically looks at Lady Jane and thinks “You’re hot and show most of your boobs. Let’s do it.” And then they do, but just to be clear who Dracula ACTUALLY loves, Lady Jane turns into Mina for a few seconds.

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Boring. R seriously spent the entirety of this scene ranting about the inaccuracy of the Victorian era undergarments which Lady Jane is wearing.

When the scene changes, we see the real Mina walking down the street just as it’s about to start raining. Dracula’s carriage pulls up next to her and Renfield offers Mina a ride while Dracula just silently stares from inside the carriage, which seems to be his go-to move. Renfield does all the actual charming because he’s awesome.

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He’s also a much snappier dresser. Look at that maroon bowler hat coordinating with his coat. Let’s have more of Renfield, please.

Mina accepts the ride and then has a chat with Dracula about Mina’s unconventional career choice. Dracula tells her just to say “so what” to any naysayers, which I’m sure Mina has not figured out yet.

Then the Seers light enough candles to burn down three houses and look for Dracula. They find him, but Dracula breaks their mirror with the power of his screech and blood pours out of the cracks. So, crisis averted for now, but we’re confident there will be plenty more “close calls” about Dracula’s identity.

Back with Mina, she goes to visit Harker after passing her exam at the top of her class to tell him about a celebratory dinner one of her rich friends is hosting for her. Harker has some more insecurity about his lack of money, heightened by Mina’s friend teasing him. So naturally, the next thing we see is Harker accepting Dracula’s offer and the accompanying giant paycheck.

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His first job is to find out the “dirt” on Roger from Wives and Daughters. We didn’t pay much attention in this scene because Renfield was stealing the fucking scene…again.

Back with the rich white people, Dracula enters a secret Victorian gay club (complete with drag show) on Harker’s information. There he finds Roger, then blackmails him by threatening to tell everyone that he’s gay. At the same time, we find out that Dracula is VERY open-minded about homosexuality for a man who is originally from the 1400s.

Meanwhile, Harker is being a HUGE douchebag by bragging about how putting a ring on Mina’s finger will make her forget about all this doctor nonsense and become a housewife for him. Mina hears this and storms out. We assume this ends their relationship, but if it doesn’t we’re going to be very cross.

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Meanwhile, Dracula has left the secret gay club and gone hunting, picking a coat-check girl named Sinead to feed off of. But first he uses his vampire magic to trick her into thinking he’s charming even when he’s speaking in a monotone.

Mid-feed, Lady Jane walks by and sense vampiric activity. She just misses Dracula, but cuts off Sinead’s head before she turns into a vampire because that is the smart thing to do and Lady Jane is more than just a pair of barely-concealed boobs. Dracula stares some more, of course, but this time he has a new angle: from above!

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Next episode: we find out the story of how Dracula became a vampire and Dracula puts some moves on Mina. Maybe he’ll even pull a new trick out of his centuries-old bag to supplement the staring, but there’s no way he’s going to stop so look forward to that.

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