Things fall apart. Things fall apart even faster if you're a hot-headed scientist bent on vengeance, a leader of an evil cult whose children have been kidnapped, a man who's fiancé is in love with your boss, a lesbian in the 19th century, or even just a centuries-old vampire with dreams of revenge and/or free electricity.

Dracula has taken its time to make sure by "Four Roses", the second-to-last episode of the first series? First season? that all its plates are spinning, erratically and as fast as they can. As such, it's tough to recap with any kind of coherence, but let's give it a shot:

Dracula is ready to just fucking kill everybody. His resonator's been shut down by the government, he's flooded London with vampire minions, he thinks the Order attacked Mina, and he's ready to say fuck the plan and just fill the streets with blood. Which he'll then drink.


Van Helsing has given up on the plan AND Dracula, and considers their agreement void. He's also kidnapped Browning's children, of course, but he can't smash their little heads in with Maxwell's Silver Hammer, as much as he wants to hurt Browning.

Browning is ready to fucking kill Grayson, whom he suspects of having taken his kids. He has the police search Carfax Manor with a mostly illegal warrant, although Grayson allows it, having nothing to hide… in his house… at the moment. But Browning does get his self-control back, and starts putting the Order's needs above his own again, which means stopping Dracula.

Renfield is stressed because his master has gone crazy, Van Helsing has left, and no one's listening to the very sensible things he's saying about Grayson not having kidnapped Browning's kids, or that the Order had no reason to attack Mina.


Harker, disgusted with himself for having sex with Lucy and also Mina for loving Grayson, joins the Order whole-heartedly; his first mission is to steal the blueprints for the free electricity "resonator," which he does.

Mina wakes up and discovers Grayson has been leaving her roses, but Harker hasn't been by to see her. Then Lucy stops by to basically announce she's been having sex with her fiancé but she feels really bad about it; Mina is not consoled.

That's a start. But things quickly kick into high gear when Grayson/Dracula stops by the local chapter of the Order of the Dragon with some of his rowdy vampire friends, and basically announces lunch time. It's awesome, and, as Lady Jane announces when she later shows Browning the carnage, "I believe this is what they call a declaration of war."


In retaliation, Browning has the health department return the resonator to Grayson, which in turn will allow Grayson to hold his demonstration again. It's a clever ruse on Browning's part; now that they have the blueprints, they can mess up the machine so badly that no one will even try to invent one again. As Browning so wonderfully puts it, he doesn't want to destroy the machine, he wants a goddamn catastrophe. This "fortuitous" event is enough to get Grayson and Van Helsing back on the team together, and the new demonstration is scheduled for next week's episode — the season (series?) finale.

Oh, one more thing: The episode ends with Dracula visiting Mina one more time in the hospital. They talk, they chat, they laugh; Dracula confesses his love for her, and tells her about Ilona; Mina says she's dreamed of Ilona since she was little. But then Grayson he can't be with her, not until he enacts his revenge for… well, her, at least the past version of her. Besides, she's engaged to Harker. Mina bitterly tells Grayson that's off, and explains about Mina.

Dracula does not take this particular well. Unless you count sneaking into Lucy's bathroom, ripping open part of her throat and drinking her blood, tearing into his own hand and forcing her to drink his blood, thus ensuring she becomes a cursed vampire like him… "well." I don't, but it was awesome.


Assorted Musings:

• The parallels between Dracula and Browning are obvious in this episode, but still wonderful. Both let their personal vendettas get in the way of their broader plans, both refuse to see the truth, instead imagining their personal enemies are responsible for everything. Fun stuff.


• Poor, dumb Lucy. Next time, try not to get all your advice about contemporary sexual mores from random strangers, okay?

• After failing to kill them, Van Helsing sends Browning a ransom note for his children. I have no idea how this will come to play next week, if at all.

• I considered titled this recap "Dracula opens an all-you-can-drink blood-fet", but it turns out even I have just enough dignity to keep myself from sinking to those depths. It was close, though.


• The scene where Browning starts rambling about Grayson being Dracula, and Lady Jane has to stop him to tell him he's being insane is one of my favorite's of the series. Because sure, the streets are flooded with vampires and an American business magnate has invented free electricity, but the idea of a vampire that can go out in the sun is just fucking ludicrous.

  • "Lucy." "What?" "You're sitting on my hand." Oh, Dracula. Never change.