Dracula 1×03: “Goblin Merchant Men” is a Fan of Sex, Drugs, and Excessive Symbolism

We begin this episode with some slow motion beat down in Ye Olden Times during which Dracula the human is made into a vampire. During the process he sees a vision of Mina, and then some monks gleefully inform him he is a vampire now by pushing him into sunlight. Basically, the show would like to remind you Dracula and sunlight do not get along.

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This happy, friendly sun is Dracula’s worst nightmare and would receive a punch in the face from him.

Then we are back in 1898 London as Dracula forlornly plunks away on a piano and rambles while Renfield listens and suppresses what we can only assume are copious eye rolls. Renfield also informs Dracula that he is the majority stockholder of “British Imperial Coolant,” which has been his aim for a while. So, vampire 1, old white guys 0. It also looks like the score is about to go up even more as Renfield and Jonathan Harker double team another old white dude. Renfield is pretty badass in this scene, so we approve.


Meanwhile, Harker, Lucy, and Mina are working on the whole breakup thing while Lady Jane takes a tour through a mental institution and Van Helsing mixes it up and talks to a middle-aged white guy. There is some scheming in this scene, and the final outcome is that Dracula continues to try and outsmart both the Order of the Dragon and the hunters.

Realizing they are under threat, the old white guys yell at one another for a while about oaths, but nothing much comes of this and we immediately to go Dracula and Lady Jane post-sex. Evidently Dracula’s favored post-sex activity is wandering around his mansion half naked while staring at paintings and some vampires he keeps caged in his basement. So, that’s normal and not at all weird.


Next up is some more old white guy action with a bit of Mina on the side. Old white guys try to wine and dine Harker while Mina gets dressed up and rambles about Harker. It’s boring, but eventually there is a dinner with flaming food. The food on fire unfortunately is not a long event, as we must have some sturm and drang with the gay couple Dracula threatened last episode juxtaposed with Dracula stalking Mina and sending her roses. That’s totally normal and not at all over the top, just like having Mina wearing the color of sunlight isn’t at all obvious.

Evidently Mina in yellow has sparked some anger in our resident vampire as he shakes Van Helsing a bit about his special vampire no sunburn serum. I am so tired of the heavy handed sunlight metaphors at this point; the show even comes back after commercial break with a close up on some candles in the Order of the Dragon HQ. Speaking of heavy symbolism, one of the gay Order members is punished via really bloody and gruesome death. So far we’ve got blood and light as reoccurring symbols; care to add more show?


This is less obvious than the blood and light symbolism being thrown about here.

We  jump right from this to Lucy and Mina partying while high. It’s pretty clear here that Lucy is a lesbian, or at least bisexual, and has a marked interest in Mina. Nothing comes of this though since Dracula shows up and  beats up a stoner for Mina.

Naturally Mina is totally unfazed by the Dracula pop up. She is all “Heyyyyyyy Mr. Grayson…let me tell you about my troubles with Harker.” He tries to impart some wisdom to her, but she’s high. So that goes well. Dracula is all to happy to meddle in his employee’s private lives though, because he immediately goes back home and tries to get all the dirt from Harker. Harker tells all because he can’t keep his mouth shut ever, and Dracula informs Harker he is stupid and should stop it with trying to make Mina a housewife. There is some really unnecessarily tense music playing in this scene; I’m unsure how relationship advice is tense in any way.


The music choice is suspicious.

Continuing with the drug use theme, it’s back to the high seers who are still trying to see Dracula. They see him, but Dracula paralyzes them with an assist from Van Helsing, who treats the audience to a flashback of his family’s death and some speechifying. Then he kills them with a hefty mallet, and he seems to REALLY enjoy the mallet-ing.


He was pretty thrilled, though admittedly did not laugh.

But never fear, we near the end with the boring reconciliation between Mina and Harker; we are kind of disappointed with this development considering the former passion with which he opposed her career. We are not sure how this is an Epic Romance, but the show is sure as shit pitching it that way. Dracula and Renfield must discuss this reemergence of the couple, which was evidently just a way to ensure Mina was always close to Dracula. There is also some self-searching by Dracula who reveals he killed the priest who vampirized him.

Final scene: partner of gay man in the Order of the Old White Guys killed commits suicide. This is legitimately sad; I wish Dracula would’ve used him as a spy inside the Order instead. But no, he mentions Grayson in his suicide note; we end with his father gasping “GRAYSON!”

Stay tuned next week for more sex, drugs, and obvious metaphors. Unfortunately no rock and roll is likely to be involved.


You know what would improve Dracula? Some T.N.T. or High Voltage.


One thought on “Dracula 1×03: “Goblin Merchant Men” is a Fan of Sex, Drugs, and Excessive Symbolism

  1. Pingback: Dracula – Goblin merchant men (S1E03) | TV And Comics

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