It’s all Blak Tek and “Black Ops” in this week’s installment of what’s been a thrilling season so far. With confirmation that there will indeed be a third season (thank goodness), we can settle in and enjoy the remaining episodes of this one. And wow! – do we have some treats to look forward to!
We’ve been without our titular heroine for a couple of weeks now, so it’s high time we caught up with Vanessa, last seen whisked away in a helicopter by some shady military type dudes. So while we’re left in the dark about whether or not Julius survived Dimitri’s assault last time around, it’s important we find out what’s been happening with our fearless vampire hunter.
After a brief prologue where we see a nameless character following a map of red balloons to the mountain citadel in Colorado – and then he’s very quickly vampire food – we rejoin Vanessa as she wakes up at Blak Tek, a military installation run by Dr Bruce Harrison, who says he was employed by the government some years back to find a cure for vampirism. We meet Abigail, too, who takes a shine to Vanessa and urges her to use her powers to save mankind. All very philanthropic, until we think long and hard about the surroundings and the people in charge.
Vanessa has a couple of brief but violent run-ins with Abigail and Dr Harrison, and is plagued by bad dreams and a voice from the room next door telling her not to trust anyone there. Handily swiping a key card, Vanessa makes a number of discoveries that change the way she sees her situation. Yes, there seems to be some sort of a plan to rid the world of vampirism, but there’s a family connection in play here. Finding a book, Historia Vampyres, in Harrison’s office, she also sees he has a file on Dimitri. Not only that, but the woman who gave Harrison the book is none other than Abigail, a Van Helsing herself – Vanessa’s mother. It’s no wonder the older lady took a shine to her, and she’s delighted to know her other daughter, Scarlett, is still alive, having survived the fire her “dad”, Mr Harker, set by means of distracting others to her continued existence. Though when she learns of Dylan’s death, Abigail says there will be time to mourn later. Blak Tek has a plan and they need Vanessa to implement it.
She’s introduced to Martin, a man who volunteered to take an anti-vampire serum that didn’t do what it said on the tin – it turned him into a vampire instead. Harrison needs Vanessa to turn him back and check the guy’s vitals while the change occurs. Vanessa agrees once she gets assurances that a team will be sent out to look for Axel and the others. It all goes kind of okay, but Vanessa starts smelling rats. For one, there are plenty of vampires locked up in the building; for another, she recognizes Harrison as the man who initially experimented on herself and Scarlett when they were just little girls. He hasn’t aged one bit over the years, because he has isolated the longevity gene that vampires carry in their DNA. Both he and Abigail are adamant that Vanessa find the Elder so they can harvest his DNA for further research. It comes to light that Harrison needs constant injections of the serum otherwise he’ll die.
Vanessa hatches a plan to escape and wants Abigail to come with her. Together with Scarlett, Axel, and the others they would confront the Elder and defeat him (or it) once and for all. Abigail seems up for it, until at the very end she’s revealed as being very much Team Harrison and not Vanessa’s mother after all. Abigail decides she has no further use for Vanessa and will instead get Scarlett to take her place. She then puts three bullets into the beleaguered Van Helsing. All this is in just over 40 minutes. Phew!
This self-contained episode, in which only one of the main stars makes an appearance, has the distinction in moving the mythology behind Van Helsing up several notches, as well as introducing a couple more adversaries for Vanessa and co to contend with. With Harrison willing to do whatever it takes to prolong his long life, including, it’s alluded, to killing a revived Martin, the stakes are higher than ever. Now that Dimitri has the key to release the Elder, we’re on a collision course with destiny in the remaining three episodes of this season.
Van Helsing S2E10 Review Score
Van Helsing – S2E10 | Starring: Kelly Overton, Jonathan Scarfe, Trezzo Mahoro, Vincent Gale, Rukiya Bernard, Aleks Paunovic, Paul Johansson