There are many benefits to having lived for centuries. If you’re Dracula, you get to know women. In last week’s episode, “From Darkness to Light,” Alexander Grayson (aka Drac) has his finger on the pulse of one such vixen. Lady Jayne, an esteemed member of the Order of the Dragon, is a hardened woman and used to exerting her dominance over men. But in a calculated twist, Grayson has her right where he wants her. Lady Jayne is the key vampire hunter for the Order and, through their lust for each other, has secured her heart. But as most of us know, love and lust are two different things. And Grayson has both, only his love goes to someone else. Mina Murray, the spitting image of his previous love burned at the stake Ilona, is who Drac really wants to sink his fangs into. But oddly this vampire has some selfless parts to him; at least that’s how it seems. He has continually looked out for Mina, even to the point where he rekindles her floundering relationship with Jonathan Harker. Watching her with another man shreds Grayson’s heart, but for now, the possibility of losing her again is too much for even the King of the Vampires.
In an odd twist, it is Van Helsing who is helping Grayson get from darkness to light. We all know Van Helsing as the key to Dracula’s demise in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. But the creators have given us an unexpected turn. In return for helping Van Helsing to destroy the Order of the Dragon, Van Helsing will alter Dracula’s blood to be out in sunlight. The process is slow and painful for Grayson, but is an interesting incentive for our favorite vampire. The story-line is to be applauded as it gives an interesting alliance between the two iconic adversaries.
This re-imagining of Dracula is all about power. Power has been sought after by men and women for longer than Dracula has been alive. Grayson wants to destroy the Order of the Dragon, not by killing them one at a time, but by taking from them what they most love: their wealth. That is their power. It is as if killing them would be too easy. He wants them to suffer as he did at the Order’s hands. He wants to watch them lose what they love most. It is an interesting indictment on revenge. It’s not something to be quick and painless. It should be enjoyed, even savored. However, acts of revenge never really work out as we’d hoped. Dracula is worth keeping an eye on if for nothing else to see who falls in revenge’s aftermath.
So, why is Dracula working?
Simple. It’s Dracula. Would I be watching so intently if it were only a period piece? Not on your life. Well, at least I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it. But with Dracula, I am immediately open to try the re-imagining and, so far, I’ve liked what I’ve seen. Also, the sheer quality of the production is exceptional. The sets, costumes, and actors are all top notch; there is not a hole among them. Further, Dracula has fun elements too, reminding me of soap operas (namely Days of Our Lives) I used to watch visiting my grandparents when I was a kid. Deceit, betrayal, wealth, and physical attraction, it’s all there.
And it makes for compelling drama. Dracula in love… and lust. What else can you ask for?