Skip to Content

Dracula, Ep. 1.09, “Four Roses”: Declaration of War

Dracula, Ep. 1.09, “Four Roses”: Declaration of War

Dracula - Season 1

Dracula, Season 1, Episode 9, “Four Roses”
Written by Daniel Knauf story by Jesse Peyronel
Directed by Tim Fywell
Airs Fridays 10pm (ET) on NBC

In its last few episodes Dracula has done what seemed impossible, especially after its meandering and somewhat disappointing first half season. The last three episodes have actually exceeded expectations, showing that things really aren’t as bad as they seemed. With its penultimate episode, “Four Roses”, Dracula has righted many of its early wrongs, starting with Grayson (the awesome Jonathan Rhys Meyers) declaring war on the Order.

Last week’s episode, “Come to Die”, was probably one of the freshman series’ best. Tightly wound and full of excellent plot twists that pushed the story forward, it was a great lead in to the even better “Four Roses”. Dracula has its problems, it has many of them in fact, but one of its great gifts is that it has never hidden what it really is. It’s an unabashedly romantic, campy little reimagining of a classic story. Once the writers tossed out the tedious (albeit necessary) business plot and focused on the relationship between Grayson and Mina (Jessica De Gouw), Grayson’s revenge and desire to protect his love, and a few other subplots, things have gotten much better. Even Harker (Oliver Jackson- Cohen) has been given a more interesting direction, joining the Order.

This reviewer has said all season that if Dracula could fix its substantial issues, there would be something really good here. The series has always had a lot of potential, it’s just had trouble living up to it. With  “Servant to Two Masters”, “Come to Die”, and now “Four Roses”, it seems Dracula might have finally found its footing.

Dracula - Season 1

There are many great scenes in “Four Roses”, such as Grayson’s pool hall attack, his brutal transformation of Lucy. “If you insist on acting like a monster, I will turn you into one” he warns her. Perhaps the best moment, though is the scene between Grayson and Mina in the hospital. Their confessional is both lovely and frustrating. They continue to grow closer, yet they still struggle to find a more honest place, one they might never actually get to. One question remains- what is Grayson’s “terrible debt” to his wife?

Even the storyline involving Lucy has gotten better. Her affair with Harker still falls somewhere between an interesting twist and kind of unnecessary. On one hand it was needed to push the story forward and it gave the painfully underused McGrath a chance to shine (just check out her scenes this week with her mother and Mina), yet it veers towards soap opera territory at times, particularly in the scene when Mina confronts Harker about his affair.

Dracula has struggled all season, mostly with unnecessary plot lines, overacting, and no real direction. In its final episodes though, it’s gotten to a good place and if it has a second season, there are interesting places for it to go. Certain things still need to happen for the show to really take off, however. The writers need to continue giving the Order more interesting things to do, as they do here, and the Grayson/Mina relationship needs to happen soon. “Four Roses” continues Dracula’s upward swing, leading into the season finale next week; things are finally starting to work for this struggling show.

Tressa Eckermann