Dracula, Season 1, Episode 6, “Of Monsters and Men”
Written by Katie Lovejoy
Directed by Nick Murphy
Airs Fridays at 10pm (ET) on NBC
Dracula has to be the most up and down show on TV. One episode is good, one is bad, and one simply inspires indifference. That’s a shame too because the things that Dracula does do well, it does really well.
The show was never going to be groundbreaking but it is simple, sometimes intriguing, and a lot of sexy fun. Except when it’s not; when it’s not focusing on Grayson (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) and Van Helsing’s (Thomas Kretschmann) search for a cure or Grayson and Mina’s (Jessica De Gouw) love, that’s where the problems arise.
Thankfully, “Of Monsters and Men” hones in directly on Grayson’s inability to walk in the light and what the audience gets is great. The episode is everything that Dracula should be and encompasses all of the show’s best qualities. It’s sexy, charming, and pushes the most important storylines forward.
For the first time, the business side of Grayson’s revenge plot doesn’t bog down the story. The first five episodes of Dracula had nearly gotten lost in Grayson’s business dealings. But the writers do something really brilliant with “Of Monsters and Men”. They tie that storyline to one of the shows existing, stronger stories- the cure. It really is a breath of fresh air for Dracula and proves that some of the weaker aspects of the show can be fixed.
Rhys Meyers remains Dracula’s greatest asset. He’s got enough evil zeal and smarm to deliver each line with a simple, sometimes pained ease, alternating between Grayson’s anguish and lust for revenge well. Watching Grayson play stupid at a poker game and later charm with magic tricks are some of the best scenes of the night.
While “Of Monsters and Men” is a good episode, one of the best actually, it does present some issues. The handling of Mina’s medical experiments is a little sloppy. As an audience we know this is important and that she is smart enough to fix Grayson’s daylight problem, but there isn’t enough weight put on the scenes. It just doesn’t seem serious enough. Also there is the issue of Lucy’s (Katie McGrath) unrequited love for Mina. Simply put, it’s boring and doesn’t really have a purpose on the show. That being said, McGrath plays Lucy’s confessional scene beautifully.
“Of Monsters and Men” does a very good job at ratcheting up the tension as Grayson gets closer and closer to his daytime meeting. It’s a great episode with a few bumps, showing the potential that Dracula has; it fosters some of the best storylines and thinks up an interesting way to fix some of the worst. Dracula still has potential but with only four episodes left, let’s hope the show finds its footing soon- otherwise there might not be a reason to come back.