It’s come down to this.
The human/Blood truce negotiated by Luther and Mike is presented to the public. Senator Giroux and Luther have a press conference where they lay out the treaty in all its devilish details, emphasizing the need for vampires to register in order to get free rations of Bloodsub (Marketing couldn’t have come up with a better name?), the synthetic blood vital to maintaining the peace. It’s inevitable that some vamps will balk at the idea but Mike, despite his weakening state, presses Blood Nation to accept the terms and, when Reconciliation is announced, they flock to the event in droves.
And then it all hits the fan.
My earlier theory about Ava poisoning Mike was definitively off base; her actions were far more nefarious. Taking place behind closed doors (and off-screen) she and the other Bloods form an alliance with the now vamped up Calix Niklos and somehow poisons nearly half the Bloodsub supply — once again, security at its finest — killing nearly 20,000 vampires and igniting a series of events that pushes the country further over the edge. She doesn’t just poison her own people, but betrays Mike in the process, sending him on a long drive that’s to end in his death (though curiously, that’s never shown) and accepting Niklos as the new leader of Blood Nation.
“Bloody” tries desperately to make Niklos seem like a formidable antagonist; he’s fooled everyone, even going so far as to kidnap Dez as his leverage, not only against an attack on him but also to use the boy as a lab rat to discover and combat any possible advances towards a cure. But what should come off as Machiavellian instead plays out like an old SyFy movie; yeah, the legendarily bad ones with convoluted plots, dialogue that would have been better written by a fifth grader and visual effects that…yeah, let’s not talk about those. Peter Outerbridge is a fine actor, but his power-grabbing speech is spectacularly bad, an eye-rolling spectacle of dreadful writing and uninspired acting.
In fact, one of the bigger issues with V-Wars has been the inability to establish a credible and captivating villain. From Niklos to General May to Senator Smythe, none of these guys exhibit any semblance of the charisma necessary to make for a villain you love to hate. All they inspire is apathy and I want nothing more than for them to be erased from the V-Wars universe (thankfully the General is no longer a part of the series, killed by Smythe in a predictable double-cross).
Niklos and Smythe’s machinations lead to the DNS receiving emergency powers, executing martial law and even having Senator Giroux arrested for…hell, what they get her for doesn’t even make sense, even in a show with some very loose plot strands. Still, with these two working either side of the equation — Niklos for the vamps and Smythe for his little government cabal — it doesn’t look good at all for Luther and our white hats.
The only positive in all this, if you will, is that, after being absent from the previous episode, Mila returns. Unfortunately for Mila, she vamps out in front of Elysse (Detective Chambers), driving her girlfriend away from her. Their relationship is a microcosm of what’s been wrong with V-Wars. As mentioned before, Vandervoot is criminally underused, not just because of her talent but also the compelling character the writers created in Mila. The series would have been much stronger if she would have had a larger role; maybe then her relationship with the detective would have had substance and not have felt like a last second addition tossed in to add some artificial drama. Mila’s arc comes to a close for the season when she confronts Danika at gunpoint, casting judgment on what the selfish Dani made her. Whether or not she delivered the killing shot remains to be seen but, four months after Niklos announces that its time for the vampires to rule the world, Mila tracks down an all-business, hardcore Luther with the news that she’s found Dez. The scene is supposed to be serious and filled with gravitas but comes off as a B-level joke, a shame considering the two actors involved.
As one might guess from that, I was not a fan of this finale. It’s disappointing too, since “The Junkie Run” did a decent enough job regaining the lost momentum to the point that “Bloody” could have been a passable sendoff. Instead, like all too many episodes this season, the narrative holes are massive, often defying logic. Whether it be from the inexplicable gaps in time to insane character decisions — and that’s not even counting the writers focusing on the wrong avenues of exploration — “Bloody”, while not a failure, is a dismal end to a show that began with so much promise. Instead, it fizzles out – a sordid mess of lost potential and poor execution. My anticipation for a Season Two, while not totally gone, is decidedly less pronounced.
Though cautious, when I caught the first V-Wars trailer, I was mildly excited. It had three actors that have been great in some of my favorite genre shows: Ian Somerhalder (Lost, The Vampire Diaries), Adrian Holmes (Arrow), and Laura Vandervoot (Smallville, Bitten). It shouldn’t come as a surprise that this trio was far and away the best thing about V-Wars and had they been the focal point, the series could have lived up to its strong potential. Instead, it was a convoluted mess of a narrative, hampered by the inability to gain a solid idea of time. This hurt it just as much as the bad acting of several key players in the supporting cast and the inane plot elements. To wrap it all up, here are some of the things that worked, some things that didn’t.
• The three principal actors. They had the best arcs and provided the emotional punch almost every other character lacked.
• Luther’s relationships with both Mike and Dez. Again, the emotion here, even if Somerhalder didn’t always hit the right notes, felt genuine.
• Mila’s arc of a vampire struggling with her new identity.
What didn’t work
• The entire government plot. This is haphazardly thrown together and it’s mirrored by the terrible conveyance of time.
• Too many examples of unnecessary characters or plot lines. From Kaylee and Reveleaks, Jimmy Saint, the motorcycle club drama, Detective Chambers and her relationship to Mila, and Rachel’s role in the story; even a halfway decent job of editing would have excised these from the story and V-Wars would have been so much better had that happened.
• The antagonists. Dull, boring, fill-in-the-blanks with any word that captures their inability to add captivating drama to the story.
V-Wars Season One: