This week’s Van Helsing picks up just a few hours after we left off in “Pretty Noose”. “Like Suicide” felt like a straight up continuation of the events we watched last week, and both episodes could have easily been a two-parter special, instead of leaving us hanging for a week. After all, the last time we saw our heroes, Axel had been taken by the B’ah and Scarlett’s life was hanging by a thread after being poisoned.
So waiting an entire week to find out if my favorites were going to live was not cool. But hey, we did get some pretty amazing scenes out of this — and we will dive into the whole Scarlax of it all in a bit — but first, let’s talk about the intensity that was Denver, starting by our other favorite couple, DoJo.
Doc and Jolene and the shots from hell
How cute are they? That entire first sequence of them leaving the bar all drunk and giggly and all over each other was just absolutely precious. For someone who was terrified of giving into her feelings, Doc has made some serious progress in opening up, letting go of her fears and letting Jolene in. They look entirely smitten with each other and I am so here for this. Doc deserves this — especially after everything she’s been through.
But of course, their happiness is short lived, because this is Van Helsing and there are vampires everywhere, Denver included. When they got attacked, I was already yelling NOOOO at my screen, because that would be totally unfair if they killed Jolene right off the bat like that. But nope, it turns out that the shots actually work and, even though she was attacked by a vampire, she wasn’t turned. The shots really do make people immune and that’s fantastic.
However, everything comes with a price and there are major side effects. In fact, we’ve been getting glimpses of them all through “Pretty Noose” and the beginning of “Like Suicide”, when we saw people screaming and being dragged out of a room. Those shots may save you from vampires, but they can make you just as violent as they are.
The first sign is when creepy Jared flips out at Jolene out of nowhere and literally tries to strangle her. That scene is so intense and I don’t think I breathed until Jolene hit him in the head with that oxygen tank and managed to escape. But then Jolene is the one getting violent on Doc, who immediately puts the pieces together and figures out that those violent outbursts are because of the vaccine.
When she tries to tell the other doctors at the hospital, they laugh at her and tell her that they already know. What matters is that the vaccine works, so the pros definitely outweigh the cons. Doc and Jolene are furious about it, obviously, but the other doctor just shrugs it off and tell her that they shouldn’t tell anyone.
Because, of course, that doctor is from Black Tek. Why did I even think the season premiere would be the last we ever saw of them?
Julius and phil
Vincent Gale gave his best performance to date on Van Helsing. Phil is hurting so, so much and it’s so hard to watch. Lucky’s death really was the last straw for him, and it feels like he’s just a walking ball of pain with absolutely nothing else to live for. His family is gone, he murdered his children when he turned, and when it finally looked like he was going to get a second chance, that was ripped away from him too.
Getting to Denver and having Julius as a roommate is killing him. Of course we know human Julius is this amazing teddy bear who just wants to do what’s right, but vampire Julius was ruthless and was the one who turned Phil in the first place. So sharing a place with the guy who ruined his life, when he already doesn’t have anything else to live for is hell for him.
His whole drunken speech about how he killed his family was absolutely heartbreaking, and when he put the gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger, I swear that was ten years shaved off my life. But he’s an ex-vampire and apparently that makes you kind of invincible, just like Vanessa and Scarlett. Because he literally blew his head off and then got back up, like it was no big deal.
So do I think that him throwing himself off of a building is going to finally do the trick for him? Absolutely not. He’s going to be just fine, much to his dismay.
Vanessa is kind of starting to scare me. I love that her concern for Scarlett was the driving force of her going up against the B’ah, but she is really starting to turn. There’s no other explanation. Her craving for blood is just getting stronger by the minute — as evidenced when Barry tried to help. Speaking of which, Barry is the sweetest unicorn to ever grace this show. What a pure soul. He just wants to help and it’s adorable.
I read a tweet this weekend that mentioned that they thought Vanessa took care of the flippy vampires way too easily in “Like Suicide”, and that that didn’t ring true — not when she and Scarlett had a hard time getting rid of them in “Pretty Noose”. The thing is, Vanessa had some blood in “Like Suicide”, and that does wonders for her. It’s like it transforms her into this whole other person, but the more blood she has, the faster she’s turning.
And mark my words, she’s on her way to becoming an Elder if someone doesn’t stop her. That ribbon she carries around, that belonged to Dylan? That’s going to be her totem, and that scares me beyond belief. She’s already pretty much invincible as a human, she’s going to be impossible to kill if she becomes an Elder.
Also, her plan to resurrect the Dark One herself? What the fuck, Vanessa? What the hell are you thinking? I know Scarlett said she’ll back you up — even though she clearly disagrees and is only doing this because you’re her sister — but this is a terrible idea. Abort mission now.
Scarlett and Axel
You guys, these two. I ship them so hard. As most OTPs, it took them both nearly dying for them to finally admit that they’re crazy about each other. Axel’s desperation was palpable when he realized she had no pulse and, for a moment there, I really thought that was it. Scarlett was gone and that was such a missed opportunity, as this relationship has so much potential.
And while Vanessa was definitely concerned, she managed to keep her cool as they waited for the B’ah’s blood to work and counteract the poison. But Axel was a whole other story. He was desperate and begging her to come back. When he said that she was his badass little ninja, I think my heart just grew three sizes, and I’m just so happy for them to finally have things out in the open.
But of course that happiness was short lived, because Axel decides that he needs to take the San Francisco crew to Denver. Whatever happened between them in the time that Scarlett woke up and that next scene, it was enough to settle whatever feelings they have for each other. Because Scarlett’s reaction of “Axel, you’re not leaving” and then “I need you” was clearly our badass little ninja putting all her cards on the table and her heart on the line.
Even Vanessa knows that what they have is real, and her promise that Scarlett would see him again felt very genuine. I do wonder, though, if Scarlett and Axel was something that TPTB always had in mind. Because up until 2×07, I was sure that, eventually, Vanessa and Axel would happen. Not right away, but at some point down the road. And then Missy Peregrym shows up and they throw her in a scene with Jonathan Scarfe, and BOOM. MAGIC.
So I guess my question is, were they planning to get these two crazy kids together all along? Or was it the fact that, individually, Peregrym and Scarfe can have chemistry with a wall if they want to, but if you throw them together, spontaneous combustion ends up happening and there’s nothing you can do about it? Was that what made them change direction about these characters, if that was the case?
All I know is that they’re my ship, and I just hope against hope that they can make it to the end of the season unscathed. Come on, TPTB. Don’t let me down.
Van Helsing airs on Fridays at 10/9C on SYFY.