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Dracula, Ep. 1.10, “Let There Be Light”: Death is coming

Dracula, Ep. 1.10, “Let There Be Light”: Death is coming

Dracula - Season 1

Dracula, Season 1, Episode 10, “Let There Be Light”
Written by Cole Haddon
Directed by Tim Fywell
Aired Fridays at 10pm (ET) on NBC

NBC’s Dracula has been a tough show to love, or even like for that matter. One episode is effortless fun, another darkly intriguing, and the next unbearably frustrating. On one hand, lead Jonathan Rhys Meyers is delightfully fun and dark as Dracula/Grayson and supporting actors like Katie McGrath have been marvelous even when their plotlines are not. On the other hand, Dracula has never felt quite right. It’s just never really found its footing. At least that was the case until a few episodes ago, when it seemed to settle into a steady and entertaining pattern.

“Let There Be Light” centers itself on Grayson’s (Johnathan Rhys Meyers) final act of revenge, Mina’s (Jessica De Gouw) indecision and ultimate choice, and Lady Jayne Weatherby’s (Victoria Smurfit) attack and discovering of Grayson’s true identity. As a season finale, “Let There Be Light” works very well. It takes all the loose ends that have plagued the show and works through them. It also gives us some truly amazing set pieces, like the chaos leading up to the explosion at Grayson’s factory, Mina and Grayson’s coupling in the show’s final moments, and his final faceoff with Lady Jayne

One of Dracula’s biggest issues has been how it used the Order, Grayson’s biggest enemy. The first few episodes showed how great the two going up against each other could be, especially when led by Lady Jayne. But after a few episodes the whole plotline went off the rails and dragged the show down. Though it was a necessary element to the series, this storyline became slow and that was truly unfortunate.

Dracula - Season 1

“Let There Be Light” only stumbles once. During the course of the first season Van Helsing (Thomas Kretschmann) has gone through some of the reimagining’s biggest changes. While the changes have mostly worked, due to Kretschmann, the moment he kidnapped the children his story started to fall apart. Even though there was a substantial reason for his actions and the twist did lead to one of the shows best, albeit most gruesome, moments, it seemed gratuitous- especially when he presumably killed Renfield (Nonso Anozie). The final moments of “Let There Be Light” are when the episode becomes exceptional. In a fantastic callback to its source material, Van Helsing’s terrible choices suddenly make sense and Harker’s (Oliver Jackson- Cohen) guilt drives him to answers, and a partnership with the doctor, with Lucy’s (McGrath) transformation as another great reminder of Bram Stokers novel.

Dracula has been difficult to like. It hasn’t always found an easy balance between camp, romance and violence. There were moments that were enjoyable, but more than anything Dracula has proven to be frustrating and underwhelming. The last five episodes, however, did prove that if given a second season, there is potential for the show to grow and right all of its wrongs. If it doesn’t get the opportunity to do so, the first season will stand as an ambitious, but disappointing experiment.

Tressa Eckermann

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