Van Helsing Review – Lumina Intunecata and the Inquisition of Count Dalibor as We Go Back To The Future!

Van Helsing season five series banner 2021

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Van Helsing season five poster 2021
Images and videos courtesy SYFY, Nomadic Pictures and Dynamic Television

The terrific third episode of season five, “Lumina Intunecata” was wonderfully written by Jonathan Walker in an another episode that was dynamically directed by Jonathan Scarfe that pivoted the story arc “Back To The Future” (pun intended) subsequent to the full rising of Dracula, The Dark One in “Old Friends”!

The third episode of Van Helsing once again delivered outstanding performances by each of the four female leads, Nicole Muñoz as Jack, Tricia Helfer as Dracula, Heather Doerksen as Michaela, and Jesse Stanley as a vampire hunter portraying a “good” version of Bathory.

Importantly, Kim Coates who portrayed Count Dalibor, fought, and ultimately lost to The Dark One when he sacrificed himself realizing that his sweet Olivia was lost forever. In the end Dalibor set his own castle on fire to help allow Jack and her allies to escape.

Van Helsing S5x01 Count Dalibor
Kim Coates as Count Dalibor. Image by: Mayo Hirc, Nomadic Pictures Inc, courtesy SYFY

Kim Coates delivered a great performance as Count Dalibor in Van Helsing! We were sorry to see him sacrifice himself to help, but thankfully was at least was able to save his son Cristof from direct threat from Dracula who was witnessed during the episode breast feeding the little waif.

This breast feeding of the child leaves us to wonder if that tainted milk will have an effect on the baby Cristof later in the series? We shall have to wait and see.

When Michaela (Heather Doerksen), who had her head chopped off during the action, is believed to be dead, we learned that the power of The Dark One, was able to reattach Michaela’s head and call her back to her side, and was ultimately able to overpower Bathory and turn her to evil.  So much for chopping heads off to kill Dracula’s evil minions!

Van Helsing S5x02 Jack believes Bathory
Nicole Muñoz as Jack. Image by Mayo Hirc, Nomadic Pictures Inc, courtesy SYFY

Sadly, Jack (Nicole Muñoz) lost her strongest ally in “Lumina Intunecata”, when in the distant past, Bathory (Jesse Stanley) using magical ancient incantations, held Dracula (Tricia Helfer) temporarily at bay, allowing Jack to drain dark energy from The Dark One and barely escape with her own life.

Therefore, Jack who was sent back to the past on a mission from her mother Vanessa (Kelly Overton) to kill Dracula before she was fully resurrected, was only able to achieve a partial victory as we found at episodes end. The question is; has Jack learned enough, and become powerful enough to free her mother from the tomb to defeat Dracula in future time periods where we know that The Dark One has ascended to nearly unlimited power occupying the body of President of the United States (Jill Teed).

Van Helsing Press Room SDCC 2019
Click to see our interviews with Van Helsing SDCC 2019. Image courtesy Kenn of TeamWHR

With Jack witnessed heading back to the United States on a sailing ship at the end of the episode, it is believed that the fourth episode entitled “State of the Union” will offer an opportunity to rejoin many of our old friends like Vanessa, Violet (Keeya King), Axel (Jonathan Scarfe), Julius (Aleks Paunovic), Doc (Rukiya Bernard), Ivory (Jennifer Cheon) and hopefully many other characters who have made Van Helsing one of the best science fiction fantasy series in the past five years!

For all of these reasons, and more, Team WHR awards a well deserved straight “A” to everyone involved with the series in general, and the season five Van Helsing episodes in specific that have been to aired to date.

Great work by series creator Neil LaBute, season four and five showrunner Jonathan Walker, the entire cast, crews, and creators  who have brought this superb science fiction fantasy series to life on our screens!

 

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Lumina Intunecata:

Van Helsing S5x03 Dracula strikes down the Sisterhood to demonstrate her power to Michaela
Dracula strikes down the Sisterhood to demonstrate her power to Michaela. Image courtesy SYFY

The episode opens with Michaela bragging to Dracula that she had prepared the Sisterhood for centuries to resurrect The Dark One hoping that it will “serve her well”.

Dracula, ever the egotist, in her first act of demonstrating her power upon her return to Earth in a flesh and blood body, sends a massive wave of evil energy that knocks out all of Michaela’s Sisterhood!  

Michaela, humbled, is brought to her knees, and vows to serve her new master!

We find Jack where we left her in “Old Friends”, heading for the castle with Bathory (Jesse Stanley), her trusty friends Roberto (Dan Cade), Florian (Matus Kvietik), Alexandra (Sarah Aratoóvá) and their allies planning an to attempt to kill Dracula.

Van Helsing S5x03 Jack and Bathory plan their assualt on Dracula
Jesse Stanley as Bathory, Nicole Muñoz as Jack, Dan Cade as Roberto. Image by Mayo Hirc of Nomadic Pictures Inc, courtesy of SYFY

Jack is confident that with proper use of Bathory’s mothers ancient scrolls that contain powerful incantations, that they will be able to defeat Dracula.

Bathory cautions Jack that it may not be so easy, reminding Jack that when it was tried in the past, the problem is that “You have to resist the power at the same time you use it.”

As viewers will recall, Bathory was forced to kill her own mother when evil inhabited her soul after reading the incantations from the scrolls. Bathory reluctantly agrees to use every power documented on the scrolls to help defeat The Dark One.

Van Helsing S5x03 Bathory cuts the symbol of evil from Jack's glowing arm
Nicole Muñoz as Jack, Jesse Stanley as Bathory, Dan Cade as Roberto. Image by Mayo Hirc of Nomadic Pictures Inc, courtesy of SYFY

As the band of vampire hunters consider their options before heading to the castle to confront Dracula, Jack doubles over in agonizing pain when the emblem of evil burned into her arm in season four begins to glow from being remotely activated by Michaela!

Jack senses that Michaela and Dracula are using this symbol to track her down.

In a truly horrific scene, Bathory cuts the evil symbol out of Jack’s arm leaving a gaping circular wound!

Thank goodness our fearless Jack has healing powers so that she can fully recover and use her Van Helsing skills to confront and fight The Dark One!

Van Helsing S5x03 Jack, Bathory, Roberto and the vampire hunters head back to the castle
Jesse Stanley as Bathory, Nicole Muñoz as Jack, Dan Cade as Roberto the vampire hunters. Image by Mayo Hirc, Nomadic Pictures Inc., courtesy SYFY

Inside Count Dalibor’s castle, Michaela is worried that Jack will be able to use her considerable powers during the daylight to mount an effective attack on them.

Dracula assures Michaela that she can use her evil powers to bring darkness to the land to make it easy to hunt down any who oppose her.

This occurs just as Jack, Bathory, Roberto and the gallant band of vampire hunters make their way back to the castle. The band of heroes know that their mission will be extremely difficult, but vow to try and defeat Dracula, The Dark One.

The real question is can they ultimately succeed?

Van Helsing S5x03 Count Dalibor moves to save baby Cristof
Count Dalibor moves to save baby Cristof. Image courtesy SYFY

Count Dalibor meets with his loyal knights on the castle grounds knowing that his sweet Olivia is apparently lost forever to the evil power of The Dark One.

Dalibor’s only goal now is to somehow save his beloved son, Cristof, from being abused by Michaela and The Dark One, Dracula.

In the meantime, the Sisterhood, revived by Dracula, enter the castle grounds turning almost everyone they meet into vampires. Dalibor and his loyal cadre are able to trick Michaela into thinking his men have captured Jack.

As Michaela seemingly moves closer to kill Jack, we learn that Jack has used her powers of illusion and disappears. Using some of the helpful incantations from Bathory’s ancient scrolls, Michaela does not react in time, and Dalibor’s loyal cadre cut off her head!

We are hopeful this is the last we will see evil Michaela. However, we know that just as Bathory exists as the Oracle in the future, and Michaela does as well, something must happen to Michaela that bring her back to life here in the past.

Van Helsing S5x03 Dracula breast feeds baby Cristof
Dracula breast feeds baby Cristof. Image courtesy SYFY

As Jack and Bathory make their way to Dracula, Count Dalibor encounters The Dark One and he and his men are turned him into vampires resulting in Dracula capturing the helpless baby Cristof. The Dark One talks to herself about killing the waif, but is unable to do so because it is her own flesh and blood! Instead, Dracula decides to breast feed the helpless waif with her malignant milk of evil!

Jack makes quick work of the vampires and bites Count Dalibor which turns him back to human form but with one major problem, Dalibor is not healing. This means only one thing, that at full strength, those turned by Dracula cannot be fully saved! Dalibor tells them to escape with baby Cristof while he performs one last task, burning his castle from the ground up!

Van Helsing S5x03 Dracula has activated a wormhole portal to escape to the future
Dracula has activated a wormhole portal to escape to the future. Image courtesy SYFY

Jack and Bathory confront Dracula who is scheming to escape. The Dark One has created a foul cauldron of evil to activate a wormhole portal back to to the future where she has taken control of the United States. Jack and Bathory, thinking Michaela has been killed, attack Dracula. They begin their assault with Bathory reading the ancient incantations while Jack attacks Dracula while she is being held almost powerless.

Dracula, not one to give up, uses her evil claws to attack Bathory from a distance, blinding her. Jack encourages Bathory to keep repeating the incantations since she knows the contents of the scroll documents from memory. Jack pounces on the frozen Dracula and bites The Dark One directly on her neck!

Van Helsing S5x03 Jack bites Dracula and sucks evil power into herself
Jack bites Dracula and sucks The Dark Ones evil power into herself. Image courtesy SYFY

In a scene reminiscent of “The Green Mile” when one of the lead characters named John Coffey was able to remove evil from people and cure diseases in a similar manner, a cloud of evil is witnessed coming from Dracula’s neck and is being swallowed by Jack! This leads to a speculation; could Jack, in a future episode, remove all the evil from Dracula to effectively return Olivia to Count Dalibor in the past? We shall see.

We can see that Dracula is stunned by Jack’s audacity while The Dark One plays her last trump card! Michaela appears, somehow with her severed head reattached and resurrected by Dracula, stabs Bathory so that The Dark One can now turn Bathory to the dark side. We are saddened that good Bathory has now become what fate apparently made her for all along, the Oracle!

Van Helsing S5x03 Saying goodbye on the Dock
Saying goodbye on the Dock, Image courtesy SYFY

“Lumina Intunecata” draws to a close with Jack barely escaping with her life as the wounded Dracula and Bathory withdraw to nurse their injuries. Jack transfers Dracula’s evil to the amulet flask carried by Roberto and is observed on a sailing ship dock bidding farewell to Roberto, Alexandra, Florian and the little waif, Cristof. Jack leaves them with an answer to where she will go; “Fate is part of my story. Maybe it always was.”

As the freedom fighters depart each other’s company with Jack heading to North America hundreds of years before the United States is even formed, the three remaining behind decide to rename baby Cristof Dalibor to “Jack Van Helsing” to protect the child and agree to keep him safe from Dracula. However, we are left to wonder if the breast feeding from The Dark One earlier could have any deleterious effects on the young “Jack Van Helsing” in the future?

Van Helsing S5x03 Dracula in the Oval Office
Dracula in the Oval Office. Image courtesy SYFY

The final scene takes us to the White House Oval Office in the present timeline within the United States. Here, we know from season four, that Tricia Helfer has inhabited the body of the President (Jill Teed), with future Bathory the Oracle nearby.

A look of concern appears on Dracula’s face when she touches her neck where a scar has materialized exactly where Jack (Nicole Muñoz) bit her in the past at the castle! Dracula tells future Bathory that something has changed and that her power has been somewhat diminished by her enemy, our hero, the female version of Jack Van Helsing!

As we move forward in the adventure of the fifth and final season of Van Helsing, the following important questions must be considered:

What role, if any, will young Cristof Dalibor, now “Jack Van Helsing” play in all of this?

Will Jack and Vanessa be able to return to the future, and exactly how will it be done?

Was enough evil power drained from Dracula in the past to help free Vanessa from being entombed and allow Jack and her to use the portal wormhole to return to the present to fight The Dark One?

Can evil Bathory in the future be turned back to good Bathory after the fight to defeat Dracula, The Dark One is completed?

To find out the answers to these questions, tune in to watch the entire series on SYFY or watch on Netflix. In the meantime, we also suggest that you tune to SYFY at 10p/9c each week to watch the exciting season five concluding episodes. You will not be disappointed and will hopefully enjoy Van Helsing as much as we do!

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Kenn of TeamWHR

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