Unrequieted lady love on NBC’s “Dracula”

Since I was in Boston for Thanksgiving two weeks ago, I will admit I fell a little behind on my Dracula viewing. This weekend I watched the two episodes I missed and holy heartache were they doozies.

Previously in the season, Lucy (Katie McGrath) had been quietly pining over her best friend, lamenting that now that Mina (Jessica De Gouw) was getting married, everything would change. Mina took this admission to mean their friendship would change, since she might not have as much time for sleepovers anymore once she has a full-time hubby. Lucy didn’t bother to correct her, and threw herself into planning the best engagement party ever to distract herself.

However, the party doesn’t quite go off without a hitch. Harker, Mina’s husband-to-be, offers Alexander Grayson the first dance with Mina, as a thank you for hosting the party in his mansion. However, as Grayson and Mina dance, their intense connection becomes apparent to three important people: Harker, who immediately regrets his decision; Lady Jayne Weatherby (Victoria Smurfit), who wants Grayson all to herself; and Lucy, who realizes that there is yet another person coming between her and Mina. After suffering yet another blow, Lucy is no longer able to keep it together. She retreats to the stairs and finally releases the anguish she had been holding on to.

Dracula 1 Lucy, let me love you! 

However, before the fateful dance, Lady Jayne had seen Lucy tuck a strand of hair behind Mina’s hair, saw the look of longing on her face. When Lucy, Mina, and Harker are dining the next day, Lady Jayne gets Lucy away from the other two and calls her out on her feelings for Mina, saying that she could come over for tea so they can discuss it. Lucy panics and departs, but eventually decides to take her up on the offer.

Then Lady Jayne does the cruelest thing that has happened to date on this show, and I’m including all the vicious, bloody murders: She gives Lucy false hope. She seductively tells Lucy that her urges are natural, and that she herself has had many female lovers.

Dracula 2I bet that drink is a mixture of the blood and tears of her enemies. 

Lady Jayne encourages Lucy to tell Mina her true feelings, that she probably shares them. When Lucy protests that Mina has never said so, Lady Jayne points out that she hasn’t either. Lucy, having kept all of this inside for so long, is positively alight with excitement that someone is speaking these words out loud, and her tiny mustard seed of hope grows into a tree.

Dracula 3Enjoy this high, Lucy. Enjoy it while you can.

Later, when Lucy and Mina are alone, Mina starts to express some concern about her professor, Van Helsing, and whether he’s being completely honest with her. Lucy climbs into bed with Mina, listening to her concerns about her fiancé. Lady Jayne’s advice still resounding in her ears, Lucy interprets this as an opening to finally admit her feelings. Her decision solidified by Mina reaching out to lovingly touch her face, Lucy goes in for a kiss.

Dracula 4

When Mina giggles and pulls back, confused, and Lucy tells Mina she loves her. Mina responds with of course, they’re like sisters, they’re such dear friends. Lucy tells Mina that they could be so much more than friends. Mina, realizing Lucy is being serious, sits up with a start. She asks if she had been lying to her all this time, if Lucy’s contempt for Harker, their whole friendship, had been nothing but a plot. Lucy rushes to try to tell her that it wasn’t like that, but Mina is confused and feels betrayed, and asks her to leave.

I think it’s important to note here that never once did Mina imply that she was disgusted by the thought of a woman being in love with her. She had just been talking about being worried that Van Helsing, a man she greatly admires, was being deceptive. Now her best friend was implying the same. Mina is smart, independent, ahead of her time. I truly believe, given time and some assurance that the love came after the friendship, she could accept Lucy for who she is, even if she doesn’t return the feelings. Assuming she gives Lucy the chance to explain.

My question is for Lady Jayne. What on earth did she have to gain from shattering Lucy’s heart?! She knew damn well Mina wasn’t harboring secret romantic feelings for Mina. I don’t know what her motivation was, but I don’t trust her or her ample bosom. If she wasn’t so obsessed with Grayson, I would say she was trying to drive Lucy into her own arms.

Also, I have to say, Katie McGrath is absolutely nailing the subtle nuances of unrequited love. Her facial expressions say volumes. Sad, heartbreaking volumes.

What did you think of last week’s episode of Dracula? What do you think Lady Jayne is up to?

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