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Dracula, Ep. 1.07, “Servant to Two Masters”: A man once more

Dracula, Ep. 1.07, “Servant to Two Masters”: A man once more

Dracula - Season 1

Dracula, Season 1, Episode 7, “Servant to two Masters”
Written by Rebecca Kirsch
Directed by Brian Keller
Airs Fridays at 10pm (ET) on NBC

NBC’s Dracula has been both tedious and intriguing. There are a lot of great elements to the show: it’s gorgeous to look at, Jonathan Rhys Meyers is consistently charming, and Grayson’s quest to walk in the sun for his one true love Mina (Jessica De Gouw) is fascinating, as is Harker’s (Oliver Jackson- Cohen) unraveling of Grayson’s deceitful business dealings. For all of the issues that have been worked out, the show still struggles with pacing, some nonsensical plot threads, and over the top acting.

“Servant to Two Masters”, the show’s seventh episode, is one of its most deft and quick episodes. Each week Dracula has made fast improvements and all of those accomplishments show in this episode. For the first time in a long time, Dracula holds the viewers’ attention from beginning to end. The show has proven that it succeeds when it focuses on Grayson and Mina, his search for a cure, or Lady Jayne Wetherby (Victoria Smurfit). Like the show’s sixth episode, “Of Monster and Men”, this episode weaves all of these stronger elements into some of the show’s weaker threads.

This week’s best moments come when we see the split between Grayson and Dracula becoming more pronounced. In one scene we get a sweet, quiet walk with Grayson and Mina, in the next Dracula is fighting all of his urges not to kill the house maid. That moment in itself is wonderful because it allows us to see his struggle with this crippling, destructive weakness. Towards the end of the episode these two sides crash together during his private dance with Mina. Everything builds to Grayson’s blood-soaked promise to Van Helsing (Thomas Kreschmann), the night’s best scene.

Dracula - Season 1

Another of the night’s finest moments belongs to the ever-evolving Lady Jayne. Watching her manipulate Lucy (Katie McGrath) raises many questions about where her character could go. Just what exactly is she trying to get out of Lucy? She’s endlessly plotting and devious, although we have seen her weaknesses. Lady Jayne is perhaps the perfect foil to Grayson. Mina may be his one true love, and Jayne may be (unwittingly) hunting him, but in so many ways she is expertly matched for him.

Lucy continues to be an issue. McGrath is an incredivbly talented actress, but the character of Lucy points out one of the biggest faults in this show. She simply exists to push other characters towards more meaningful places. While her attempted seduction of Harker could be interesting, now it just feels like a tool to get Harker where we need him for the season’s finale episodes.

“Servant to Two Masters” raises some interesting questions for the show, chief among them, where exactly will Harker go now that he’s being drawn into the Order and disillusioned with Grayson? Will Van Helsing grow to regret his decision to cross Grayson? While Dracula still struggles with some major issues, it’s episodes like this one that remind us how good the show could be.

Tressa Eckermann