“Dracula” recap (1.08): Revenge isn’t sweet

Previously on Dracula, Lady Jayne proved that the devil is a woman, Mina was blissfully unaware of everyone around her being in love with her—until she wasn’t—and Lucy decided that the best way to get back at Mina for breaking her heart was to seduce Jonathan (thanks a lot, Lady Jayne).

This week, we begin with Renfield telling Dracula what I’ve been telling him since the second episode—either make your move on Mina, or forget about her and move on. Dracula declares that the first option will put Mina in danger and the second will be the end of him, and while in most people that would be hyperbolic, in this case, it’s possible he’s speaking literally. Either way, the pining is getting excessive.

Mina goes snooping in her professor’s office, because she’s awesome and doesn’t take what she’s told by men at face value. She’s almost busted by her father, who at first makes me nervous because he confronts her about Grayson, but then proves that Mina inherited the awesome gene from him by saying that above all else, she should follow her heart.

On the other side of town, Lady Jayne is vampire hunting. She finds a vampire in some kind of vampire prostitution den and demands to know who has been calling vampires to town. This scene reminded me of the way I feel about Bellatrix Lestrange. Not that they’re necessarily similar to each other, but I regard them similarly. Lady Jayne is irredeemably, deliciously evil. Positively ruthless, yet somehow magnetic. I was cursing her name last week when she was teasing poor Lucy, but when she had the lady vamp pinned with one arm, and beheaded an approaching vamp without so much as blinking, hell if I didn’t cheer a little.

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Before the prostivamp’s head gets blown off, Lady Jayne learns that Dracula, aka Vlad, is the reason the vampire population has been multiplying exponentially in the past few days.

Lady Jayne goes to tell the rest of the Order of the Dragon that Drac is back but they don’t believe her, they say Dracula is a myth used to scare children, like the Bogeyman or Santa Claus. Lady Jayne explains that Dracula is very real, and that he was once a member of the Order of Draco, like them, but was punished to a fate worse than death: being a vampire, the very thing they hunted. Frankly, I don’t care what he is — vampire, human, dragon, whatever—all I know is that he has FAR too many names.

Lady Jayne tells Greyson that she knows he loves Mina, and has known it since the engagement party, and isn’t having any of it anymore. Afterwards, since she was specifically told to stay away from him, Mina marches right up to Greyson and tells him off for being ruthless, and contageously so, considering how much her fiance has changed over the past few weeks. Greyson swears Harker was just as bad as him without his influence.

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This sends Greyson into a fierce temper tantrum.

Meanwhile, Lucy lures Harker into a room under the guise of needing his thoughts on swatches for the wedding. She employs all of Lady Jayne’s tricks and tells him that she can’t stop thinking about him. When he tells her that he can’t betray Mina, she asks for one last kiss to remember him by. He concedes, but panics partway through. Lucy tells him she understands, and knows they must be happy together because of how often Mina visits him at work (knowing full well it would shed light on how often she goes to see Greyson).

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Mina snoops around a little more in Van Helsing’s office, and suddenly she gets attacked. She’s tied to a board and almost gets her beautiful face eaten by acid, but just before the bottle is tipped, the attacker’s arm is ripped clean off, thanks to Sir Dracula himself.

After Mina is rescued and the doctor tells Harker that she’ll make a full recovery, Mina mumbles that she saw a man with a stain on his face. Harker remembers this man and, as per Greyson’s suggestion, in lieu of going to the police, goes to Davenport to confront him. Davenport tries to reason with him, tries to get him to see how manipulative Greyson is being, but Harker loses his cool and kills him dead. Before he leaves, he sees Greyson’s painting of “Mina,” and knows that Davenport wasn’t kidding when he said Greyson’s obsession with Mina ran deep.

His emotions wracked to his very core, Harker leaves the man he killed and ends up at Lucy’s house. He kisses her fiercely, and she looks rather startled by it. He eventually takes her to bed, where he makes the affair official, taking away her virginity, and any chance she had of making up with Mina.

Dracula 108-4Not an “O” face, an “O-no-what-have-I-done” face.

Now, this scene was highly controversial. When it aired in the UK, it was apparently longer, and it was directed/edited in a way that made the audience interpret the scene as though Lucy was enjoying the interaction, despite being a lesbian (labeled by people directly involved with the show, not just fans) and despite sleeping with someone she despises, if for no other reason than being the person Mina loves over her.

This was apparently not the intention of the show’s creator, and he spoke out about it on Twitter:

Luckily, by the time it aired in the US, some cuts were made, so it seemed pretty clear (to me, at least) that Lucy was not exactly having the time of her life. I interpreted her expression to be pained, and the sharp breaths she took in to be a mild panic.

Based on some conversations I had on Twitter, I was not alone in this theory, but I would love to hear your thoughts. For those of you who have seen both the UK and the US version, I would also love to hear what you thought of the way they changed it.

I, personally, have only seen the US version, and I thought Lucy looked pretty in over her head. However, it will be the way they handle the aftermath of this sexual encounter that will determine how I feel about this storyline. I completely understand why Lucy slept with Jonathan. The one mentor she had, Lady Jayne, not only convinced her that sleeping with Jonathan would be the ultimate payback for the way Mina made her feel, but she also convinced Lucy that all women feel these sexual attractions to other women, and that her being a virgin was somehow relative to the feelings she was having. Sleeping with Jonathan was, in Lucy’s now-manipulated mind,a win-win scenario. She would get to see what is was like to be with a man (and hopefully enjoy it), plus she would break Mina’s heart the way Mina broke hers. What I’m HOPING will happen in the next episode is that Lucy will realize that sleeping with a man didn’t make her any more attracted to men, and breaking Mina’s heart didn’t actually heal her own heartache.

Only time will tell. I’m glad Cole Haddon is not shying away from this issue. He seems to understand, and if you look at his twitter feed from the night the episode aired in the UK, he apologized a few times and assured fans that he had not intended for Lucy to look like she was enjoying the experience. I look forward to the statement he said he will issue now that the episode has aired in the US..

What did you think of “Come to Die”?

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