Episode 2: "The Box"
by Dan Tomasik
The coffin reaches its destination, Abraham and Mr. Blinks Wrong have a sitdown, the survivors struggle to reintegrate, Eph struggles to keep a handle on the situation, his family, and his sobriety.
Summary (Warning: Spoilers Ahead):
The first episode made its main impression in the areas of shock, gore, a creative take on a famous monster, and the promise of an intriguing history between the Stoneheart Group, the Beast, and pawn broker Abraham Setrakian (David “Argus Filch from Harry Potter” Bradley). Sadly, main character Eph never really jumped out the way a main character should. His motivations and backstory are given plenty of attention, but just never quite reach the level one hopes to see in a TV series. He has a few quirks and undeniable insights into this situation that is unfolding; and his developing issues are becoming more interesting. Revealing him to be a recovering alcoholic definitely adds an extra dimension to a previously dull character. However, it only takes 10 seconds to become infinitely more interested in Abraham Setrakian.
Every second David Bradley is on screen is the best part of an episode. Every time he appears, he’s in the middle of something fascinating. Threatening to bleed out petty thieves, disassembling guns without looking, keeping a laboratory under his shop, beating/feeding hearts in tanks, walking around near ground zero in a trench coat and hat, sneaking into areas no one is allowed in. Oh, and the sword. Can’t forget the sword. His staredown with Señor Blinky this episode was an exquisite game of cat & mouse, predator & prey. The only question is, who is the predator, and who the prey?
Introduced this week is Vasiliy Fet, who is going to become very useful once vampires start roaming the streets. A Ukrainian exterminator with a loft akin to that of The Punisher, this guy has clearly been awaiting the apocalypse for some time. Not only is he good at exterminating things, it’s where he gets all the joy in his life. Someone give this man a rifle, put him in a room with the Beast, and grab some popcorn.
New revelations regarding our vampires include a microscopic look at those nasty little worms from the ads. They look even more monstrous up close. These are definitely the last little buggers you want to have wriggling in your arms and veins. Our survivors have also begun displaying new symptoms, such as blood in their food and drink. Furthermore, the first bridge from human to vampire occurs when the Maggot Death musician tastes a bit too much of a callgirl. Last and most unfortunately, the adorable little child from the end of last episode finally bridges the gap as well. It was inevitable, but one couldn’t help but pray it held off for a little longer. Such was the extent of her father’s joy to have her back.
Another look at the poor soul whose head got smashed in by the Beast last week, the magnified body worms snap at the camera a bit, a little blood here & there, and one little girl biting her poor father. Some discussion of horrible deeds done in past times.
Mostly just referenced in discussion, little scare this episode besides the very end.
Adorable little girl drains her father in the bathtub. Upsetting and unexpected even though it shouldn’t be, a hard blow to optimists everywhere.
WIBTOVE (Why It’s Better Than Other Vampire Entertainment):
Whatever history Abraham and Blinker have, both have taken things that are irreplaceable to the other. Blinker lost a master to Abraham’s sword, Abraham lost his very identity to this monster who humorously refers to him as either “the Jew” or his concentration camp number, as well as his mother to the monstrous affliction. Theirs is a personal battle that is sure to draw in viewers of all sorts.
Overall Score: 7.9/10