From the beginning, it was obvious that Ava had no love for Danika when the Verdulak was brought into Blood Nation. That tension has only increased since Dani has insinuated herself between Ava and Mike. Much as she was in life, Danika’s status as a vampire has done nothing to improve her character. Simply put, she’s bland and shallow, lacking any real depth and only in it for herself, a reality that even Mike points out. It’s a far cry from his sister Mila, whose own tortured arc holds as much potential as any single narrative in V-Wars. Hating her new vampire classification, not only does Mila refuse to feed on humans but she actively protects people by hunting her own kind.
With such a depth of material to work with (and Laura Vandervoot in the role), one would think the show would have focused more on her arduous path towards finding meaning. Instead, Vandervoot’s talents are effectively wasted as Mila remains on the fringes, getting scraps of time that fail to explore her personality and motivations. It’s an occurrence that’s happened too often in V-Wars and, based on series history, it’s something not likely to change.
Luther’s search to find Dez is another example where the potential for a captivating storyline is squandered, clumsily navigating the tension or providing a compelling (or halfway believable) evolution of events. After Jimmy rescues him from internment agents, Luther’s desperation to find his son has him threatening to kill himself instead of being taken in by the agent. It’s a wasted scene with Luther’s action given no discernible meaning though the pair eventually end up at the gates of the internment camp. Ian Somerhalder’s performance here emphasizes the failure of the script, as if the actor couldn’t find the motivation to envision himself in such a preposterous situation. For the character, Luther finds hope when, despite the science and earlier predictions, it doesn’t look as if Dez has turned. What it means in the long run remains to be seen, but Dez could be the answer to combating the prion mutations.
I’ve argued from the beginning that the government’s reaction to this budding epidemic has been extraordinarily lackluster. Once word reached DNS, Seneca would have been quarantined with a primary goal of containment, with the secondary purpose keeping the public as in the dark as long as possible. The internment camp, then, is not surprising. In fact, it’s one of the more believable aspects of the story and is somewhat surprising we’re just now discovering its use. Still, it’s a positive step in making sense of how things are unfolding but with only Jimmy as his backup, I can’t imagine a way Luther will be able to infiltrate the camp and get Dez out without dropping bodies.
When the individual pieces are present for a series succeed, it’s disappointing when those pieces are haphazardly connected, dragging the production down from the higher levels it should easily achieve. Since Episode One, V-Wars has been teetering on that precipice between decent and bad. Thus far, there have been enough good things in it to just barely keep it on the right side of decent. But after the last three installments — including “The Night is Darkening Round Me”— it’s difficult to imagine the series regaining its balance and achieving its potential. The uneven pacing and inability to recapture the commendable horror elements are compounded by the nonsensical direction the series has taken some of its characters — Mila ends up sleeping with Detective Chambers, Luther not warning Rachel that, hey, our son may be a vampire now, or Jimmy taking Luther at gunpoint with seemingly no plan on where to take the doctor — is too much to excuse. The series continues to make the same mistakes and what had started off as a spazzy yet entertaining romp is now morphed into a thoroughly cluttered mess. Personally, I don’t think there’s much they can do to save V-Wars from being lost in the shuffle as another forgettable show that failed to take advantage of its intriguing concept.