Previously on Van Helsing, “Nothing Matters”
Last week, my co-reviewer for Van Helsing, James, noted that by the end of “Nothing Matters,” everything seemed to be where it was (for the most part) when the series began. He went on to say that unless the show made a decision soon it might become stagnant. I completely agreed with that assessment. The hospital felt claustrophobic and like another post-apocalyptic show that just returned for its seventh season, the action seems to be better when the hunted are out on the road. Well, this week, Van Helsing hits the road.
Dmitri calls in one of Rebecca’s minions, a doctor who has been working on her secret experiments. He puts the terrified man somewhat at ease by allowing him to eat a steak and drink wine. The doctor reveals Rebecca’s experiments on vampire children, and even tells Dmitri about Rebecca’s “pet,” Sheema. The big news, though, is delivered by a vampire who says Julius lost Vanessa and plans to hunt her down, but not for Dmitri; for himself. Dmitri pops the vampire’s head like a pimple, and forces the doctor to finish his steak, now with a new topping: vampire head matter.
We know that the skies are still clouded by the volcanic ash, but it’s been dissipating enough to have the vampires force humans to work in plants to increase the cloud cover. This lends to an eerie and terrifying scene in which Mohamed watches from under a pier as Julius’ men attack Catherine – one of Brendan’s group. Their kill is interrupted by Dmitri’s men, who warn they are going after Vanessa themselves. They kill Catherine and all Mohamed can do is remain as quiet as possible and let her blood seep through the wooden planks and land on his head. Once they’ve gone, he comforts Catherine as she dies and learns Vanessa has returned to the hospital.
Since the hospital is steadily breaking down, the group wonders if it might not be time to find another shelter. Axel refuses to even entertain the thought, but he doesn’t have much choice when Julius’ gang arrives.
They make a valiant effort at keeping them at bay, even as Doc tries to figure out why Vanessa’s bite isn’t healing. With an assist from John (I know, right?), Doc finds a vampire tooth inside the wound, causing an infection. Once it’s removed, Vanessa’s skin immediately heals itself.
Flesh and Susan prove to be valuable members of the group as they know the vampire hierarchy, who has beef, and how they operate when launching such attacks. Of course, Doc adds much value to the team as she’s the only medical professional, but she hasn’t felt happy to be human again – at least not as much as Flesh and Susan, who were both out killing people. Doc seems to view her experience of being caged and willingly fed as just as traumatic. At least, that’s the way it looked on the surface. This week, however, she looks particularly guilty when Axel promises to protect her at all costs. He feels indebted to her since she was bitten trying save Smitey and while closing the door so vampires couldn’t get in. Ah-ha! We know that’s not how she was bitten at all. She wasn’t trying to help Smitey; she was refusing to let him in. It’s fair to wonder if the way Axel feels about her will change when he finds out.
And as if they didn’t have enough trouble, after managing to keep Julius and his men at bay, Dmitri’s Death Squad shows up. They scare off Julius, but they still want in that hospital. Inside, handing Vanessa over becomes a topic of confrontation, as is leaving the hospital before the Death Squad gets in. Axel, again, shuts down both plans, but privately has to give himself a pep talk to face what comes next. There was an idea tossed out by Vanessa that got pushed aside, but I hope they revisit it later in the series: the possibility of using Vanessa’s blood as chemical warfare.
Events finally come to a head when the Death Squad breach the hospital. The only thing stopping them from going any further is a string of UV lights along the sole hallway leading to were our group is barricaded behind a glass door. Unfortunately, one of the Death Squad is a human, and used to be a vampire but turned when he killed Vanessa. As he smashes out the lights one-by-one, everyone retreats.
Remember those bobby traps that caused much (added) contention between Axel and Brendan’s group? Well, those same booby traps allow the group to make their way to a fully-loaded ambulance Axel had as a backup plan. The Death Squad inside the hospital dies when the trap explodes, just as the ambulance takes off into the night.
There’s only one problem: They don’t have Mohamed.
Van Helsing S1E7 = 9.2/10