Let me preface this by saying that Sam absolutely terrifies me. He is the one character that nearly gave me nightmares and I constantly have to watch his scenes through my fingers. In season 1, I knew there was something shady about him, but he was still alright. Everything changed when he became a vampire, though, and since then, I have had a really hard time watching any scene he’s in.
And that’s a testament to Christopher Heyerdahl’s talent. He brings Sam to life with such perfection that he honest to god scares the crap out of me. His expression, his mannerisms, the way he laughs…I just want to run and hide every time he’s on my screen.
So all that is to say that, knowing “Rusty Cage” featured a lot of Sam, I was a little hesitant going in. But to my complete surprise, this wasn’t the most terrifying Sam episode and it actually shed a lot of light on who Sam is and why that juvy prison meant so much to him.
His obsession with collecting souvenirs from his victims started with his father, who called the cops on him when he was a young teen. He ended up going to prison and the last time he saw his father, he bit his finger clean off and kept it. George Klimovich, who plays young Sam, is also a formidable actor and his performance was absolutely incredible.
Eventually, young Sam killed two bullies in prison and made a necklace with their teeth. As we can see, he was seriously disturbed from a very young age and that is completely terrifying now that he is a psychopath vampire.
But the really important thing in this episode was that he has had visions of a figure that calls to him — the same figure who appeared to Vanessa when she was a little kid, the night she and Scarlett were separated. Could this be the Dark One? Why appear to Vanessa AND Sam? Van Helsing‘s showrunner has already mentioned we may have already gotten a glimpse of this Dark One. Could it be this figure?
So Sam tries to train Mohamad, but the kid just wants to feed. They eventually attack the Johnson’s camp and traps Mohamad in the bunker. Then he attacks Felix — the kid he had tormented back in the prison and whose tongue is in Sam’s creepy as all hell souvenir necklace. That necklace creeps me out so much and it’s so disgusting.
Felix turns out to be the one that the figure called worthy and he and Sam go on their merry way, until the figure appears to him again and tells him it’s time. FOR WHAT? WHAT IS THIS THING?
Elsewhere, Scab and Ivory are attacked and turned into the daywalkers. They return to the sisterhood, only to find it has been destroyed. Ivory vows to turn the few survivors of her clan into daywalkers as well so she can rule. This was a small part of the episode, but it will explode in the next few installments. We’re about to embark on a really bumpy ride, guys.
All in all, “Rusty Cage” was a very introspective episode. It felt almost too slow at times, which probably wasn’t the greatest idea, considering the show’s ratings have not been the best.
I am super pumped to discuss next week’s episode with you guys, though. Vanessa, Axel and Scarlett are back and shit. goes. down. I absolutely can’t wait for you all to see it!
Van Helsing airs on Fridays at 10/9C on SYFY.