Van Helsing: Stay Away – Banished (Review)


 Van Helsing - Season 1

Van Helsing this week took a very dark turn. “Stay Away” moved on from the last episode’s events and Doc ends up being banished from Eden. More importantly, is turns out that those “turned” by Vanessa, stay turned.  As both Doc and Magdelene find out at the end of the episode.

Axel did not turn up in this segment so he may still be trapped in the quarantine zone in the bunker.  Mohamad, however, is at last reunited with his best buddy Sam.

The episode starts with Van Helsing and her little band of survivors being attacked by vampires. As they fight the attackers help comes in the form of a tall bowman and another archer from Eden.

Vanessa and her group follow the tall archer, Theo, back to a compound being run by Micah. The places feels like a religious colony and there are a number of very pregnant young women roaming the grounds.

Moments after Van Helsing arrives a vampire called Magdalene shows up, seconds before she arrives, bells ring out a warning and the mystery of the bells is solved. Micah and his followers provide Magdalene with blood as part of a “deal.”

Vanessa distrusts the place despite Micah and Theo’s assurances that everything is fine. Van Helsing takes a shine to the tall bowman and they bond over a katana training match.  Susan is less enamored of Theo and called him Zorro.

Sam spies a familiar bit of clothing on the washing line. It looks like Mohamad’s Nirvana t-shirt. He follows the man hanging up the washing and is locked into a room.

Susan has real misgivings about Eden. She asks Vanessa if she finds it odd that for all the pregnant women around the place, there are no children. Doc reluctantly delivers a baby via C-section. Van Helsing holds the baby.

She asks Micah about the lack of children in the commune and he explains how Eden works. It is not, he says, a cult. Susan still looks very skeptical and Micah says his motives are pure.

Van Helsing asks Doc about Axel. She reveals that she left him to die behind the quarantine doors. Vanessa realizes that Doc shut Axel in with Gorman and deserted the man who kept Doc alive for months.

Vanessa banishes Doc from the group.

Flesh goes to see Micah for counseling.  Van Helsing and Theo have their training match and play “getting to know you. Vanessa proves just how capable she really is.

Sam explores the room he is trapped in and discovers pictures of Micah and other people at Eden. Flesh comes out of his meeting with Eden’s leader a changed man. Micah offers to do the same for Doc and she refuses his offer of help.

Micah also reveals that he knows about everyone in the group, including why Vanessa is wanted by Julius. Sam escapes from his cell.  Vanessa and Theo share a meaningful moment and she actually bites him on the shoulder during their make out session.

She explains to Theo that she is similar to the vampires in that she has “abilities.” Van Helsing tells him about being able to kill Feeders or turn Vampires.

The two compare notes and Theo tells Vanessa  that Micah takes the babies and the mother’s to the resistance in Seattle. The human resistance group, says Theo, have taken back the city. Vanessa knows that this is not true.

Sam finds Mohamad and attacks the man who took him captive. The two men struggle as Mohamad urges his friend to let the man go. Sam kills the man.

The newborn baby and her mother are taken into the woods, via the road.  Micah’s second in command stops the wagon and helps the new mother and baby off the vehicle. She tells the mother that she is watering the horse.

(This is possibly a nod to the 1965 John Wayne, Dean Martin western titled “The Sons of Katie Elder.” In that film, the horse drawn wagon of captured  Elders are stopped over a stream. When the deputy in charge asks what they are doing the driver responds, “Watering the horses.” Cue one ambush where the Elders are meant to die.)

As the driver disappears into the woods with a bucket, Magdalene turns up for the baby and its mother. Van Helsing and Theo arrive in the knick of time and stop the vampire from taking the offering from Micah.  Theo had no idea that Micah was doing this.

Vanessa learns of the pact as Sam and Mohamad are caught trying to leave  Eden. Micah asks Flesh what they should do with the group and he suggests banishment. Handing a knife to Flesh he tells the man to think as they do.

Mohamad explains what Sam found. Van Helsing arrives and reveals that Micah has been giving the newborns and their mothers to Magdalene.  Flesh is furious and he killed Micah by putting the knife through the leader’s throat.

Flesh decides to stay and help the commune now that Micah is gone. Theo tells Vanessa that they will destroy Magdalene. He then tells her he will join her later. He gives her a katana sword to take with her.

Mohamad stops the group to ask where Doc is.

Doc has hunted down Magdalene to warn her about Theo. Doc then reveals that she was turned by Vanessa but she wants to turn back.  Doc offers to help the vampire escape if she turns her into a vampire again.

Magdalene agrees by biting Doc’s forearm. Nothing happens and Magdalene dislikes the taste of Doc’s flesh and blood. The vampire pushes Doc to the ground and tells her to stay away.

The doctor is not well and truly banished as she is not welcome in either camp.

Van Helsing this week was very dark.  The pact with Micah’s group and the local vampires was disturbing. (Although not too surprising as Tom Cavanagh usually plays rotters of some sort.)

More upsetting was the reveal that Doc was nothing as she appeared. So stricken by fear that she preferred being a vampire. Suddenly all her issues with Alex made perfect sense. He “saved” her, via Van Helsing’s bite, and the woman was happier as a vampire.

No wonder she left the Marine to die.

This will not be the last we see of Doc however. Like Jonathan Scarfe, who plays Axel, Rukiya Bernard is listed for all 13 episodes on IMDb.

We can reasonably expect both to turn back up. The big reveal though is not Doc’s preference to drink blood. It is that the vampires cured by Vanessa cannot be turned back. This is, in essence, “a game changer.”

Van Helsing airs Fridays on SyFy. Tune in and see how this series continues to evolve.

Cast:

Guest starring Tom Cavanagh as Micah, Christopher Russell as Theo and Gwynyth Walsh as Magdelene.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, http://MikesFilmTalk.com Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

6 thoughts on “Van Helsing: Stay Away – Banished (Review)”

  1. Didn’t Micah say that Flesh fantasize about killing his family before becoming a vampire and killing them. I’m confused? Is Sam the serial killer or Flesh?

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  2. They said the serial killer was going to be revealed, but it really wasnt. I thought it was Sam because it seemed like he was smiling as he killed the man. But then I thought maybe it was doc since she still likes the taste of blood and wants to turn back. So which one is it? It wasn’t very clear.

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    1. It was a bit ambiguous. As someone else commented it looks like Sam but…Doc clearly liked being a vampire but she probably lacked the courage to kill anyone outright. It was her crippling fear that made her yearn to be a vampire again. Seems like it could well be Sam…Which is a massive bummer.

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  3. I am so happy that Vanessa learned the truth about what Doc did to Axel and exiled her for it. It is even better that she can’t turn back into a vampire and she has to live with what she has done. I am hoping that we will get to see Axel rip her head off later on down the road. All this time, I felt that Axel had a crush on Doc; if that is true then it will make her betrayal even that much worse.
    It seems that the show is trying to make Sam out to be the serial killer. That would be a bummer because his character is very interesting and he is a great fighter and losing him would be a sad blow to the group and the show in general. I love his character and his friendship that he has with Mohamad.
    It was a pretty good episode and Vanessa’s skills are getting better everyday. She can do a lot of damage with that katana. Thanks for the review.

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    1. I think Axel had what he thought was a special connection with Doc. Interesting take on Sam, looking at certain scenes it could well be that if Sam is not the killer, he has something to hide. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts on the show! Cheers!

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