Absinthe hallucinations are the least weird part of this week’s Dracula

Dracula slowed down a lot this week, and when I say slowed down, I mean there was a goddamn 1960s hippie drug party freak-out right in the middle of it. We learn more about the origin of this insane interpretation of Dracula, it's hammer time for Van Helsing, and Grayson gets busted. That's slow for Dracula.

Let's begin with Dracula's origin, much as the episode does. We begin in the 1600s, where Vlad Tepes is chained like a dog to a post and getting the full Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ treatment. Eventually, the Order shows up and 1) makes him drink some blood out of a goat skull and then 2) slits his throat. Dracula wakes up in a cell... because the Order of the Dragon has turned Dracula into a vampire. Apparently he betrayed them and/or renounced their god, and his punishment will be to live forever… and be punished forever. Of course, when Dracula wakes up, he disagrees, breaks out and presumably starts fucking shit up for the Order immediately.

This is echoed back in the present, where Laurent — who was forced to sell Grayson his shares of British Imperial Coolant last episode — gets his punishment from the Order of the Dragon, when Patrick from Coupling shoves a sword very awkwardly in his chest (kind of straight down over the the left breast, which seems like it would hit every single rib on the way down, but whatever). Laurent's young male lover, also a member of the Order, has a sad.

The other big development from last episode was that Mina and Harker broke up after Harker was an asshole who wanted her to abandon her dreams of being a doctor to play housewife for him. Both Mina and Harker have a sad; Harker ignores his by having lunch with important people that Grayson wants him to know, including Laurent's lover's dad — okay, Davenport, we'll all need to remember that name later — while Lucy decides to cheer Mina up by taking her to what is somehow a 1960s dope party but set in the 1880s and also the drug is absinthe. Seriously, the music is exactly the same. The completely bombed Mina runs afoul of an asshole who thinks she's all high and mighty (in addition to just being high, I guess) because she doesn't fall for his shitty lines, but Grayson is there to save the day by toss inghim violently across the room with one arm.

Absinthe hallucinations are the least weird part of this week’s Dracula

Turns out Dracula does not care for this absence of Mina in his unlife, and has decided to play relationship counselor. In the course of his normal stalking of Miss Mina, he tells her happiness is more important than "the Bohemian nightlife," implying she should give Harker another chance. Later, he approaches Harker for much the same reason, effectively telling him "You're a lower middle-class boy that wants to raise above the station that society wants to lock you into — are you really going to be a dick and deny Mina the same thing you want?" Jonathan and Mina do make up and gets engaged, but not before Dracula has a drink with Xaro Xhaon Renfield and announces he's done a nice thing and it feels nice. Ladies and gentlemen, Dracula has given himself a warm fuzzy.

Lest you think NBC's Dracula has completely lost his fangs, don't fret — at the beginning of the episode he's immediately sussed out that Lady Jane is a vampire hunter. As she sleeps after one of their trysts, he discovers her arsenal of many, many samurai swords (hee hee!) and the caged vampire lady that was revealed last week. Dracula is super-goddamn-pissed at seeing his brethren in a cage, but he doesn't free her — yet. Whatever Dracula's plan is, it's clear Lady Jane is in for a world of hurt.

And a world of hurt is exactly what comes to the Seers. Lady Jane goes to Mina's dad, the director of the local anitarium, to get some kind of drug to amplify the Seers' powers. Mina's dad goes to renowned genius Van Helsing for advice. Van Helsing goes to Dracula, and a plan is formed. When the Seers spot Dracula again — while he's macking on Lady Jane, who then starts watching them watch him — the Seers suddenly realize they've been paralyzed, because their potion has been poisoned (in some truly bad acting, it must be said). Van Helsing enters their squalid room, where he announces that the poison leaves a small trace in part of their brains, which would probably cast suspicion on him for some reason or another. the important part is that Van Helsing pulls out his Medical Hammer and beats their fucking skulls in. It's amazing.

And we wrap it all up with Lord Davenport's son, still distraught over the loss of his older lover. He blows his brains out, and his doting dad finds him dead — but he also finds a letter where the son confesses all, including how Grayson blackmailed Laurent, which led directly to Davenport Jr.'s suicide. Lord Davenport knows Grayson is responsible, and as the "Next Episode On" preview shows, soon the whole Order of the Dragon will know it, too.

Yeah, slow episode.

Absinthe hallucinations are the least weird part of this week’s Dracula

Assorted Musings:

• So if the Order turned Vlad into Dracula, and then Dracula escaped, he could at that point torment the Order and create more vampires, which explains why the current Order knows about both. That makes sense. I wonder how Dracula got in that coffin, though.

• Van Helsing has managed a medicine that can allow Dracula in the sunlight for three minutes and 12 seconds. Dracula is not impressed.

• Every scene without Dracula in it, you're waiting for Dracula to come back, but the show does well in keeping the non-Dracula scenes move very fast.

• So I'm 99% sure the Order said Dracula renounced their god, and crosses clearly effect him. But the Order is evil is shit. There's some really weird theology going here, and I really hope Dracula gets into it a little.

• The next morning after their bacchanal, Lucy tenderly strokes Mina across her cheek with real longing in her eyes, but quickly pulls her hand back as Mina wakes. I think we're going to see how much girl-on-girl action NBC is comfortable with airing at 10:00 pm on Friday nights here in the near future.