VAN HELSING – Season 3 Episode 8 – SPOILERS
Vanessa was named after her great-great-great grandmother (two greats before Lillian). So says Jacob Van Helsing (Michael Eklund), brother of Abraham, who (it turns out) is the third Elder, and has been incarcerated for more than a century on an island off the coast. Jacob tells Scarlett and Vanessa how his brother met his fate: “Abraham and I,” he says, “chased the son of the jackal across Europe to England and then finally here to the new world. I was wounded during the final battle with that wretched soul outside the labyrinth, while it and Abraham tumbled through the portal and beyond. which I’m sure they still remain in to this day.”
What happened to Abraham and The Dark One (to call him Dracula is apparently bad mojo) is reminiscent of what happened to Holmes and Moriarty at Reichenbach Falls.
Jacob seems to think that Vanessa and Scarlett are doomed to suffer the same fate as himself and Abraham. “Only one of you will make it to the end.” he tells them. He also says that both the labyrinth and the portal into which Abraham fell are located “below the madness” (probably Renfield House), and are protected by the “consumers of light”. (this might refer to the vampires with phosphorescent blood from Episode 3.2). Now we know what Lillian was looking for when she checked into Renfield House in 1906.
Jacob is a strange sort of Elder. He does not have the distinctive facial features of Elders One and Two. Instead he appears to be quite human. He is able to bask in the sun without ill effects, at least for a while. When he is awakened by the arrival of Vanessa and Scarlett, the torches in his prison light automatically.
Jacob’s totem is the necklace with the vial of The Dark One‘s blood. His prison was locked by the same sort of mechanism that was used to secure the First Elder. (Elders are numbered in the order that Vanessa encounters them, and not, apparently, in any hierarchical way.) To open the prison door, a Van Helsing must fit his or her hands into hand prints in the stone door. The doors must be made of a concrete-like substance with electrically conductive ingredients, because static electricity appears to jump between the stone of the door and Scarlett’s hands before contact is made. Fingerprints are not inherited, so it seems likely that all Van Helsings inherit a distinctive pattern of galvanic skin response.
Vanessa feeds Jacob some of her blood, and he does not revert to being human. She gives him an opportunity to escape, but he does not steal the boat (as one might expect him to) and leave the island. Instead, in what is certainly the best scene of the episode, he bites Vanessa, and whispers in her ear “rule with us”. Vanessa seems to genuinely enjoy being bitten by her ancestor. (This is a rarity. Vanessa seems to enjoy very little since she acquired her powers.) Then she rips his throat out with her teeth, and seems to enjoy that too.
Next, Vanessa feigns illness, and tricks Scarlett into retrieving the captured totems from the lighthouse where she hid them. Once Scarlett leaves, Vanessa, who already has the totems, rows away in the only available boat, leaving a frustrated Scarlett marooned. (That Scarlett did not see this coming indicates that she is an amazingly trusting person.)
Vanessa returns the boat to the guy she stole it from originally, then kills him (or at least it is implied that she does. We don’t actually see her do that.) A very pleased looking Oracle (Jesse Stanley) observes from a distance.
THE CURRENT SITUATION: Vanessa is somewhere in the Pacific Northwest alone, hunting the fourth Elder. Sam and Mohamed are also in that area, hunting one another at the behest of The Oracle. Scarlett is marooned on an island. (She may have to build a raft.) The Sisterhood, led by Ivory, is on the road to Denver, as is the band of refugees led by Axel. Doc is in Denver experimenting on what is by now a very stale sample of The Dark One‘s blood. (Blood specimens are stable for about 72 hours if refrigerated, and 24 hours at room temperature. Presumably Van Helsing’s vial was hermetically sealed which might have prevented decomposition, but the seal had to be broken to get Doc’s sample.)
Peaches seem to be the go-to fruit of TV writers. Scarlett eats some in this episode. In VAN HELSING‘s first season, Vanessa and Mohamed (who was not then a vampire) shared a can of peaches. On KILLJOYS, Sabine asked D’Avin to get her some Leithian Vale Peaches (her father grew them); Khlyen gave young Dutch a peach when they first met; and a peach was one of the first things Aneela brought out of the green. On SIREN, a peach was the first non-oceanic food that Ryn attempted to eat. In Abaddon’s Gate, the third of THE EXPANSE novels, the nickname Amos gives to Clarissa Mao is Peaches. (This has not yet happened in the TV series.)
Van Helsing Writers tweeted to Michael Eklund on 24 November: “…you are a superb collaborator and a brilliant actor and gone too soon–hmmmmm, i wonder who will play ‘abraham van helsing’ if he ever finds his way into our little apocalypse? here’s hoping he and ‘jacob’ were twins!” It is interesting that they put the name Jacob in quotes. Having Eklund return as Abraham is a good idea. Guest stars do not usually stick around for very long on VAN HELSING. The second Elder (Jennifer Spence) was killed off all too quickly. Tom Cavanagh only lasted for one episode in Season One as cult leader Micah.