In this week's episode of Dracula, "A Whiff of Sulfur," Mina has an exam, Grayson has a proposition and Jonathan gets an offer. And not much else happens.
After a flashback scene that depicts Van Helsing explaining why he wants revenge on the Order -- to connect to Dracula, who has a similar reason for wanting vengeance -- Van Helsing is shown drawing Grayson/Dracula's blood in their present-day.
Grayson complains about the time the process takes, but seems to be alluding to the overall reason why Van Helsing is taking his blood. Perhaps Van Helsing is working on a cure for Grayson's vampiric status? Van Helsing tells him to have patience, which Grayson has shown a lack of in his recent dealings with the Order.
The main storyline for Jonathan Harker in this episode revolves around his need to gain status in society so that he may be worthy of Mina's hand in marriage. But he doesn't need to worry because Grayson makes him an offer that will easily eliminate those concerns.
When Clive died in the premiere, his shares in a company were sold to Grayson. And in an attempt to gain a controlling interest in that company, Grayson makes an offer to Lord Laurent to buy his shares. This is all part of his plan to take away the power the Order has in the energy industry, and he's being very clever about it.
Laurent, of course, doesn't want to sell, even when Grayson makes him a generous offer, so Grayson must find a means of convincing him. That's where Jonathan comes back into the picture, although the reason why isn't revealed right away.
Grayson needs a Vice President of Public Affairs, someone to help him navigate London society. He offers Jonathan the job and throws in a house if he takes the deal. But not just any house; it used to belong to Clive, and it is magnificent. I wish someone would offer me a sweet job and a mansion to go with it, although I guess I'd feel a little weird about both those things coming to me courtesy of a vampire.
Jonathan is unsure about taking the offer, as he feels the situation is a bit shady. The man's got good instincts; too bad it's not helping his career prospects.
Mina is Awesome
I tried to think of a wittier title for this section, but that about sums up how I feel about Mina in this episode. Her main concern is about a major examination she is preparing for at the university, one that will secure both direct work with her professor, Van Helsing, and her ability to move forward in the program in general.
While Mina is fretting to Jonathan about this test at one point, he is clearly not listening, so she asks him what's up. He explains about Grayson's offer, and she tells him to take it despite his reservations. She concludes with the statement that she will kick him if he doesn't, then kisses him in public. With children watching. Which is quite scandalous of her. Yea. Mina is awesome.
Mina also goes against societal propriety when she gets in Grayson's carriage as a storm approaches on her way to her exam. He asks about her studies, and she explains that with a physician as a father growing up, people would always ask if she was going to be a nurse one day. She would then reply that, no, she was going to be a doctor herself. Because she is awesome.
Grayson tells her that the only way a dream can fail is if you abandon it, and she reminds herself of this in the middle of her exam. Which she passes with flying colors, at the top of her class, as the first female student to do such a thing, because -- say it with me now -- Mina is awesome.
But apparently, Jonathan does not believe in Mina's awesomeness. When he does decide to take Grayson up on his offer, he celebrates with "the guys," aka mostly a bunch of male background people we haven't been introduced to but who I am guessing we are to believe are his "guys."
While they are celebrating, someone remarks that he is going to be a proper English gentleman, and he agrees, and with a proper English wife to boot!
But how could Jonathan have a proper English wife in Mina, someone asks, when she is going to be a doctor? This isn't the age of "having it all" for women, after all. Jonathan replies -- just as Mina steps into the room, I might add -- that she will surely settle down and want to go after more "womanly pursuits" once they are married.
Mina storms out, and when Jonathan goes after her to apologize, she tells him not to bother. He has never been negative about her endeavors, but he's never been supportive either, and she knows now how he really feels. And Mina is awesome and deserves better, so I really have no sympathy for Jonathan here.
When Jonathan Harker did go and accept Grayson's offer, Grayson got right down to business and asked Harker for information on Lord Laurent. Jonathan tells Grayson that whatever he needs to know about Laurent, he can learn at 10pm one night at a certain club.
Grayson goes to the location and finds Lord Laurent there with none other than Daniel Davenport, Lord Davenport's son. And they're not just there having a drink as fellow members of high society; as Grayson looks on, they kiss, and it's clear that they're in a gay club. And now I wonder if Jonathan Rhys Meyers had any say in the make-up and costumes of the drag queen staff there thanks to his Velvet Goldmine days...
Grayson could care less who Laurent swaps spit with, but society will care, and he threatens to use this information to destroy both men's families and reputations. All so Grayson can take control of the company Laurent has controlling shares in. Tricky? Sure. Effective? Hell yes.
Lady Jayne Takes a Lover
It's worth noting that Lady Jayne and Grayson continue their relationship this episode. This is notable for several reasons, including the fact that she is working with seers and other individuals to take Grayson down.
But mostly, it's noteworthy to me because this development leads to a sex scene between the two characters, and honestly, this show is just not as good as it could be, and it helps to have Rhys Meyers half-naked once in a while to make it worth our time.
Grayson again imagines Mina in the role of Lady Jayne during this encounter, and with Jonathan on her bad side and she and Grayson becoming more friendly, perhaps the likelihood of that ever being the case has increased. It would certainly shake things up a bit on this show.
Oh Right, This is Dracula
Oh, also, Grayson takes another victim towards the end of the episode, and it's all very messy and gory, and Lady Jayne has to come along and cut the girl's head off after Grayson/Dracula runs off. Moving on.
I'm still not totally on board with this show, and I can't really pinpoint why. The acting isn't atrocious, the scenery is lovely and it's got a talented team behind its production. It's not bad, I wouldn't say, but it's not exactly great TV, either.
Maybe I just have to give it a bit more time to hit its stride. It's only got eight more episodes to go, so here's hoping for something about it to change drastically, and soon.
Dracula airs Friday nights at 10pm on NBC.