Good vs. Evil. The Light vs. the Darkness. The Van Helsings vs. Dracula.
This is the epic showdown between the universe's demiurgic forces we've been waiting for all these years, and in this, the fifth and final season of SYFY's Van Helsing, we're finally going to get it. And judging by the cast's response, we're in for one hell of an (expectedly) unexpected ride, too.
When SYFY WIRE attended a virtual conference with other members of the press in advance of the Season 5 premiere, we got the chance to hear from Nicole Muñoz (Jack), Tricia Helfer (Dracula), and Van Helsing veteran Jonathan Scarfe (Axel). They gave us a taste (pun so very much intended) of what's to come, and it's sounding pretty juicy.
For one, we know that the eponymous Van Helsings — Vanessa (Kelly Overton), Jack, and Violet (Keeya King) — are going to be called upon to "risk everything to finally bring an end to the Dark One once and for all," as we learned in the Van Helsing Season 5 teaser. So the stakes couldn't be higher. Or, should we say, driven any deeper. (We couldn't resist that one.)
This final 13-episode season is going to be as much about answering the audience's burning questions about the Van Helsing mythology as it is about revealing characters' true identities — to themselves, and to each other.
This is especially true for Jack, who by the end of Season 4 couldn't have been any more mystified and bewildered. Not only had Dracula led her to believe that everything Hansen (Neal McDonough) told her about Vanessa being her biological mother was a lie, but she also locked Jack in a coffin in The Dark Realm and left her for dead. Some illumination is very much in order, and "Jack gets some answers — some she likes, some she definitely doesn't," Muñoz says. "It's kind of like the floor coming out under you."
Dracula's another character who experiences some enlightenment, so to speak, in Season 5. For almost the entire series, not to mention several centuries, "Dracula didn't know much about anything going on — she'd been in The Dark Realm," Helfer teases (and you can't get much more in-the-dark than in The Dark Realm). After she's released from her prison and reconnects with Michaela (Heather Doerksen), Bathory (Jesse Stanley), and the rest of the surviving Sisterhood, she has to reacclimate herself. "She starts to question who she can trust," Helfer adds. "She definitely has her confidence shaken a little bit."
When it comes to Season 5, the writers didn't waste any time shaking, stirring, and otherwise disorienting their characters, that's for sure. The first few episodes not only very rapidly set the stage for which discoveries will be made and epiphanies had, but they also happen to be some of Scarfe's favorites of the entire series. "The most excited I've been about the show in ages was when I read those first three scripts of the season," he says, beaming.
Muñoz agrees, adding: "I also think the first few episodes of the season are going to be pretty revealing."
So what can we expect, both from those formative early installments, as well as from the season as a whole? For starters, some explosive — and edifying — origin stories. "The writers did a great job," Scarfe explains. "A couple things you get to understand is not just the origin stories of Dracula — which are totally unique to the show; they completely invented their own version of what that would be — but also the origins of the Van Helsings, where they came from, how they evolved, and how intertwined the two are."
Just how inextricably linked the fates of these sworn enemies are will likely come as a surprise as much to the Van Helsings and Dracula as it will to the audience. Muñoz for one is rather blunt when describing her uncomfortable proximity to The Dark One in Season 5: "We definitely get to know each other more than we would have wanted to." If familiarity breeds content, we can't imagine what it's going to do to two nemeses who already hated each other to begin with.
The same goes for Dracula, who also struggles this season with just how close she gets to Jack and the Van Helsings as a clan. "Through her interactions with the Van Helsings... she comes to realize they're more of a formidable foe than she maybe gave them credit for," Helfer says.
If it sounds like Helfer's alluding to a decisive confrontation between Dracula and the Van Helsings, that's because it's most likely in the offing. Recalling the final episodes of the season, Helfer thrills: "You know something's going to go down."
What goes down and how exactly it does remain to be seen. But the writers have reportedly pulled out all the stops to make Season 5 a work of literary genius, one that honors but also builds off the Van Helsing legacy developed over the course of the preceding seasons, taking it into new and exciting territory.
The finale in particular promises to be must-watch television. Scarfe himself admits, "I had no idea how the writers were going to try to figure out how to bring the thing to a conclusion, and I think they exceeded all expectations." As if we needed any more reason to hang on to the very end (which, let's be honest, we didn't), Helfer, in perfect Dracula fashion, plants this seed in our brains: "There's a nugget at the very end in the finale that.. I think is going to have some fans drop their chins to the floor."
So, fans, if you're ready for a little mandibular rearrangement, if you're ready to see the light, tune in Friday, April 16 at 10 p.m. ET for the premiere of the final season of Van Helsing.