VAN HELSING Reviews: “Fear Her”


VAN HELSING keeps the drama dark with “Fear Her.” This show has a big cast of characters and a few different pockets to explore for story purposes. There is Axel’s group at the hospital and within that core group, we now have Brendan and his people. Sheema runs with a resistance somewhere around Portland. The vampires have Dmitri, Rebecca, and the other tier one elites in one place. Julius, Gustov, and many others are scattered around Seattle. Some of these characters, like Julius and Rebecca, enjoy the rising but none of these characters have a sense of humor. We’re almost half-way through this season and, while the show offers an interesting premise, the steady diet of darkness strains its entertainment value.

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I’ve been wanting to see a little more about the vampire leadership and this week we do get a few more scenes with Rebecca. Sheema returns to Rebecca’s lair to steal plans to the factory. Campbell wants to launch an attack with the rest of the resistance. Sheema pleads with Rebecca when she gets caught, says she can be useful. Rebecca sees Sheema has the same brand on her back as Mohamad. Rebecca tells Sheema she can be merciful and lets her go. Sheema returns to Campbell with the plans, but does not mention getting captured. A human resistance is expected, but we need a little more information about this group’s world and agenda.

We also see Dmitri nibbling on woman he claims is his sister. He says, she only comes out to play and feed. Setting aside how weird it is to see our baddie sucking on his sister’s back, we don’t know much about Dmitri. Rank and facial hair isn’t enough to make him interesting. I’m sure there is something clever or devastating about Dmitri, but we really need to see it soon.

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Back at the hospital, Axel struggles to accept Brendan and his group of followers which seems much bigger than the few people Van saved last week. Doc does her best to help Roger, the wounded guy, but he ends up getting murdered just like Cynthia. John jump at the opportunity to help Brendan launch a successful coup against Axel’s leadership. All of the original group, plus John, end up locked in Doc’s old cage while Brendan figures out what to do with them. This is an interesting little “who dunnit.” They all try and figure out who the killer might be. Brendan threatens to banish them all unless they deliver the killer. Just about everyone with the exception of John confesses, but it’s Mohamad the gets banished first. Brendan sends him outside without weapons. Mohamad is hiding something, I’m not so sure it’s murder.

Axel’s group also keeps Van Helsing’s power secret. Brendan assumes she died to cover his group’s escape. I understand why Axel kept Cynthia’s murder secret, he didn’t want a panic. I can’t quite understand why nobody told Brendan about Van’s special quality.  Axel offers to leave, he’s desperate to find Van and make sure she stays safe.  Brendan must have a good reason for keeping the other alpha around. My prediction is someone from Brendan’s group will be murdered while Axel’s group is still in the cage. They’ll be released on condition of teaming up to search the hospital for the real killer. Nameless redshirts will die in the process and everyone will leave what is essentially a huge feeding dish for an unknown force. Fingers crossed, this murderer has a sense of humor.

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The most important part of “Fear Her” happens at Lair de Julius. Van dares Julius to take a bite of her and see what happens. He doesn’t want to do that, but he does need to know if she’s authentic. He asks for volunteers, because he’s democratic like that, and old neighbor Susan steps up. This makes sense in their vampire world. Susan is the only vampire that knew and had any kind of former relationship with Van. Vampire Susan, driven by envy, steps into the ring, delivers, and takes a pounding. Throughout the fight, she teases Van about torturing and feeding on Dylan. Van bites Susan and returns her humanity, they escape together into the tunnels below Julius’ lair. Julius orders Gustov and the others to find them, but they’re all afraid to go down into the tunnels. Even Julius looks afraid. This is an interesting concept. We don’t get to see what’s down there and nobody says anything about it. Maybe it’s some sort of demon shark…with a sense of humor?

Susan apologizes to Van in the tunnels. She says her vampire side lied about killing Dylan. Susan knows the police picked up Dylan before her father arrived, but doesn’t know what happened after that. I’m glad to see Susan back in the story, she isn’t reliable which makes her a great story character. I want to learn more about all these people, Van Helsing has a lot of strengths, but it needs to lighten up. I’m not suggesting a tonal episodic shift, but there are plenty of characters in this world for at least one of them to have a Loki like sense of humor.

Season 1, Episode 5 (S01E05)
Van Helsing airs Fridays at 10PM on Syfy

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Eric lives in a world where the television is great, the smiles are warm, the pizza is hot, the puppies are playful, and the zombies are slow and meander while he reloads.
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