V-Wars Episode 8 Red Rain

The second Luther reached the internment camp and saw Dez within its confines, the impulsive need to protect his son would override Luther’s ability to think logically, inevitably leading to him doing something foolish. He does just that, sneaking into the camp — much like the DNS site, the internment camp lacks even a semblance of functional security — and quickly finds his son. The exit plan becomes a bit dicier when a vampire, desperate to escape, interrupts father and son, invariably drawing a crowd of soldiers and the over-the-top commanding officer (it’s like this guy is playing out his soldiering fantasies without the vaguest sense on doing so with any level of authenticity).

In perhaps the most expedient example of gaining jurisdictional authority, Jimmy’s connections with Senator Giroux (Laura de Carteret, Riftworld Chronicles, Seed, Chloe) pays off and he gains custody of the Swanns, now able to take them to the Senator’s residence. Ignoring another mind-numbing display when the federal caravan stops off for “a bite to eat” (it’s only a two-hour ride, Jimmy) that ends in a gunfight when vampires storm the diner, Luther and Dez are introduced to Senator Giroux.

Though she had a brief appearance in “It’s Not Enough to Have Lived”, Giroux plays a pivotal role in “Red Rain”. She seems to genuinely care for others and is not about making power grabs or stroking her own ego. She wants a solution for the burgeoning epidemic that will help both humans and their vampire counterparts. This includes the possibility of using synthetic blood (in development before all this began) that could, if not end, at least curb the vampires’ hunger. It also means making rogue actors like the DNS pay for their unlawful internment of citizens.

And herein lies a shameful divot in the V-Wars narrative.

Like some of the mistakes made with certain character arcs, the political battle ready to unfold over how to attack the vampire problem could have been a primary aspect of the narrative. Instead, it’s hastily thrown into the mix and has no chance of being fully developed. And despite her seeming benevolence, there’s a chance Giroux has secrets of her own; secrets hidden away in the basement of her home.

V-Wars : Red Rain (Season 1, Episode 8)
Kaylee shows a surprising amount of restraint for Ava who, only a few hours before, had her tied up for a bit of blood sampling. (Photo: Netflix)

Expanding on the idea of squandered opportunities, Mila’s arc further exposes the disarray in what characters to focus on through the narrative. Her struggle with vampirism, even in the limited time she’s been on screen, has been fascinating to watch. Vandervoort creates that internal battle so well, not to mention her character is far more interesting than the dull Danika. The lame love story angle with Detective Chambers distracts from the real story; namely, Mila reconciling her new reality and the overt disdain she carries towards her primarily useless sister.

With that said, I must admit that in the last two episodes, Dani is starting to make herself something other than a waste of space. She continues to insert herself into Mike’s inner circle, though her ideas of how the first vampire should market himself have surprisingly effective. She knows how to sell, and her advice continues to pique Mike’s (and even a distrustful Ava’s) interest.

As for Mike, he continues to be the highlight of the series. Adrian Holmes’ controlled charisma perfectly encapsulates what it would mean to lead an entirely new species. Despite not gaining the footage of the internment camps to show the world (Ava and her vampire partner Brock suffer an epic fail on that particular mission), his address to the world on Kaylee’s live stream is exceptional. He posits the question to those who are so quick to hate vampires, what happens if they wake up and have become the thing they hate?  It’s a bit melodramatic but is cogent advice. If people were able to truly empathize for those they disliked, experiencing those prejudices they dole out on a more human level, maybe there would be a little hate in hate world. Of course, this is not just about skin color, sex, religion, or other flashpoints of prejudice; though no one, as Mike points out, asked to become a vampire, they are killing people. Even Blood Nation, who live by a stricter code, enforce sanctioned hunts where humans are inevitably slaughtered. Thus, it’s impossible for humans and vampires to co-exist without a significant amount of tension and the fear of being on the newly evolved apex predator’s menu is completely understandable. Perhaps the final two episodes will focus around this obvious disconnect but, again, it’s difficult to imagine these real concerns will be effectively addressed.

In the falling debris of poorly organized plot structures and character actions, V-Wars soldiers on and, despite the disappointment of the last few episodes, “Red Rain” gives viewers a glimpse of the eventual finish line. There are still gobs of the ridiculous but with the convening of the Senate hearings, Mike’s interview to the world, and potential on arresting the momentous spread of vampirism and humanity’s fears, the sliver of possibility remains that the series can tie things up in a manner that is, if not satisfactory, at least slants towards coherency.