“Save Yourself” Aired 11/2/2017 ***** stars
Written by Neil LaBute
Directed by Jason Stone
*spoilers contained within*
He is Sam. Sam he is. Van Helsing he does not like.
In last week’s episode of Van Helsing, Vanessa (Kelly Overton) and Julius (Aleks Paunovic) come across a group of armored vampires who skin their prey alive. They are saved by Mike (Phil Burke) and his group known as the Johnsons. Vanessa does not trust the Johnsons and is skeptical of their methods of survival but Julius settles right in with them. Sam (Christopher Heyerdahl) is hunting a group of kids known as the Delinquents and takes a particular interest in Felix (Bzhaun Rhoden) because of his resemblance to Mohammed (Trezzo Mahoro). In this week’s episode, Vanessa vows to end Sam’s rampage once and for all. Doc (Rukiya Bernard) and Axel (Jonathan Scarfe) are still roughing it on their own, despite their constant arguments and Axel’s weakening state from lack of blood.
From the minute the opening scene started, there was no question this would become the episode of the season so far. Christopher Heyerdahl owned this episode. He was great as human Sam in season one but has been even better as vampire Sam. You cannot help but shiver when you hear his voice, especially when his hood is covering his ghastly white face. Tonight’s episode was nothing but tense and heart-stopping as he played a game of cat-and-mouse with Vanessa through dark buildings and wooded areas. One of the Johnson children called him “Grendel,” which goes back to the Beowulf references in last week’s episode. You can see the look of dread and determination on Vanessa’s face as she declares her hunt for Sam personal. Neil LaBute outdid himself writing this episode and Jason Stone knocked out of the park as its director.
I cannot say enough about this week’s episode and Van Helsing in general that has not already been said. This show deserved a second season and most certainly deserves a third season. It is only going to get better. There are more chills, more thrills and of course more blood. The new additions to the class this season are doing great as well and so is Jonathan Scarfe as vampire Axel. It has us asking, “Is it next Thursday yet?”
Van Helsing airs Thursdays at 9pm on Syfy. Check your local listings.
(Joe Grodensky – @JoeGrodensky)