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Van Helsing recap: 'Graveyard Smash' gives us a miraculous case of déjà vu
Things are escalating in Van Helsingland, and they show no sign of slowing down as we close in on the series finale. Our heroes, despite being separated, are making their way to The Dark One and overcoming impossible odds along the way.
After almost five full seasons, we've come to learn the hard way that the show's writers giveth, and they also taketh away. This most recent episode is no exception. In fact, Van Helsing Season 5, Episode 7, "Graveyard Smash," giveth and taketh in almost equal — albeit bittersweet — proportion.
So, whose character makes an incredible reprise and whose takes their final bow? Let's find out.
**SPOILER WARNING! Spoilers ahead for Van Helsing Season 5, Episode 7, "Graveyard Smash."**
Ivory (Jennifer Cheon Garcia) and Violet (Keeya King) have been following the coordinates Jack (Nicole Muñoz) embedded in The History of Vampires, which directed them to a location in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The coordinates ultimately take them to an obscure cemetery where there's a gravesite with a headstone dedicated to the Liberty Bell. Violet recognizes the clue from her childhood with Jack (an American history buff), and she intuits that Jack is trying to communicate to her their next destination: the catacombs of a storied church.
The two aren't at said church long before Julius (Aleks Paunovic) and Axel (Jonathan Scarfe), brought there by the magic compass, arrive to greet them. Together, they make their way to the catacombs to inspect the tombs when a shotgun-toting Pastor Gerome Diaz aims at Julius' back. He pledged an oath to the Van Helsings that he'd protect that hallowed church from graverobbers and defilement, and he thinks this crew is perpetrating both. However, when Violet flashes her amulet, the pastor recognizes it as a sign, and gives them the floor.
Among the catacombs, Violet spots a tomb marked with the name of Jack's favorite anime character — an anachronism just too perfect to be pure coincidence. So the gang busts open the tomb, disinters the coffin, and lo and behold finds a perfectly preserved, 18th-century Jack sleeping peacefully and grasping Bathory's mother's scrolls in her hands.
If this whole scene is giving you some serious Van Helsing series premiere vibes, you're not alone: Axel gets hit with a heavy dose of déjà vu as well, of when he was tasked with guarding Vanessa's hibernating corpse. He remembers that when Vanessa was bitten by vampire Flesh (Vincent Gale) she woke up. Violet, who carries some of The Dark One inside her, tries to do the very same to Jack... and succeeds. The result is a much-needed (two-thirds of a) Van Helsing reunion.
Festivities are momentarily set aside as Jack explains her idea: If they can reach the Oracle, she could turn her back into the vampire-hunting Bathory she knew in Transylvania, in which case Bathory could then finish reading the very same spells she tried to in Dalibor's castle and put an end to The Dark One once and for all. If they can pull it off, it'll be a throwback three-and-a-half centuries in the making.
Just then, the church is beset by a vampire horde sent by the Oracle to abduct Violet and bring her, alive, to The Dark One. Our heroes open fire with Doc's magic bullets, but a cloud of the poisonous orange dust sweeps in, supercharging the vampires. With the chances of survival dwindling, the pastor spirits everyone out through a secret passage in the basement of the church.
Axel and Jack make it to safety, but Julius falls behind — he's taken fire. Violet doubles back to help him just as the wrought-iron gate malfunctions and comes crashing down, kills the padre, and traps Julius and Violet inside. It's looking like the Van Helsing sisters have been driven apart once again.
While Axel, Jack, and Ivory hoof to D.C., Violet tends to Julius, whose only option is to take an overdose of what he calls "me spinach" — Doc's magic formula. When he does, he surpasses Popeye's might, and goes full-on Hulk, full of the rage needed to take on a very mean-looking, orange-ated vampire that's entered the church to kidnap Violet.
Angry Julius and Orange Surprise go blow-for-blow in the middle of the pews. Julius gets a crucifix in the chest (one of the least healthy places to get one), but it's the Orange Surprise whose heart ends up on the outside of his body after Julius uses his fist to perform some ad hoc surgery. The act of valor is not enough to sustain Julius, though, and, having protected Violet one last time, he can die having lived a life of purpose.
Axel, Jack, and Ivory have put some distance between themselves and the church when they're met by Violet. Having managed to escape the church, she must now impart the bad news of Julius' valiant death. It's a hard truth for the group to swallow, but one that gives them all yet another reason to find Dracula... and finish her.