Dracula Episode 102
“A Whiff of Sulfur”
Written By: Daniel Knauf
Directed By: Steve Shill
Original Airdate: 1 November 2013
In This Episode...
I feel like, more than having a through-line, this episode consisted of a lot of scenes that offered one or two new details or characters or relationships, but ultimately there was not a good flow. That makes this episode particularly difficult to recap. Luckily for the most part, a correct timeline makes no difference.
Naturally, let’s start with Grayson. (I still feel weird calling him Grayson, but that is the name he has chosen.) He wants to buy out Laurent’s shares in the oil concern; Laurent laughs and refuses to sell at any price. Grayson hires Jonathan to be his “vice president of public affairs,” someone to help him navigate British society and customs. This will have a two-pronged effect for Greyson. First, he wants to use Jonathan to “bring Mina into his orbit.” He doesn’t want to just “take her” and he doesn’t have an end game, but he can’t lose her “twice in one lifetime.” Basically, I think he wants Mina to choose Grayson. Second, Grayson can get the gossip on his business partners. Jonathan is hesitant to take the job: there are people in a better position for the job, and it just seems “too easy.” But between Mina’s insistence and Jonathan’s humiliation at being broke, he takes the job. This comes with a huge salary and a new home - Clyde’s old one, with Grayson just bought.
One of the tidbits Jonathan feeds Grayson involves Laurent’s evening activities. Laurent has been carrying out an affair with Daniel Davenport, the son of a very prominent businessman. Jonathan sends Grayson to an private gentleman’s club which is not much different than our modern-day drag clubs. Laurent is horrified to see Grayson there and have his secret revealed. Grayson tries to calm him by kissing Daniel on the lips; this only disturbs Laurent further. Grayson sits with the men, and calmly explains that he doesn’t care who a man loves, it is none of his business - but he doesn’t think the same holds true for more conservative members of society, like Laurent’s wife and Daniel’s father. He doesn’t come out and say it, but he is blackmailing Laurent for his stock.
With the death of Hunter kruger, Browning is eager to call another up, but Jayne decides she wants to handle it herself. She enlists in the aid of seers, a pair of opium addicts who can track vampires through the use of a magic mirror. Grayson is strong enough to sense the tracking and “attacks,” breaking their mirror and scaring the seers. This means the vampire they are hunting is especially old. Jayne, who is still having a sexual relationship with Grayson, takes to the streets to hunt the vampire the old way. Grayson is feeding on a coat check girl in the alley, but he hears Jayne’s footsteps approaching and disappears before he can be detected.
Mina is nervous about her exams, but when Grayson’s carriage happens to roll up as it is starting to rain, she accepts the ride and he offers her some words of encouragement. Because of those words - and those words alone, apparently - Mina passes her exam, and is first in her class. She goes straight to the newspaper to tell Jonathan. Jonathan, meanwhile, has bought her an engagement ring and plans to propose that very night. He assures his coworkers that once he slips the ring on Mina’s finger, she will forget all about becoming a physician and embrace “proper womanly pursuits.” Mina walks in on this and storms out. Jonathan chases after her, assuring her she misunderstood him. “I have never once offered you a single word of discouragement,” he insists. “But you haven’t offered one of encouragement either,” Mina points out.
Also: Van Helsing is trying to develop a daylight vaccine for Grayson. After nearly 10 years of research, he still hasn’t figured it out. He may want to check with the witches on The Vampire Diaries - they are practically pumping out of that show like a factory.
Dig It or Bury It?
I still want to like it... but I still don’t look forward to it every week. Tonight’s episode, like the pilot, was one I watched a couple months ago, as a crappy digital screener. Having viewed it a second time, on an HD broadcast, made me not hate it - I was able to sit through it again. I usually give shows six episodes, and with Dracula, I think I may need all six to make up my mind.
Van Helsing may have cracked the sunlight problem; Mina and Grayson get closer; and we go back 400 years to “see how it all began.”