Van Helsing Season 5, Episode 3: "Lumina Intunecata"
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Van Helsing Season 5, Episode 3: "Lumina Intunecata." Credit: SYFY

Recap: In Van Helsing 503, faith proves to be the only way to change the future, and prevail over evil

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Apr 30, 2021, 11:00 PM EDT (Updated)

The Drac' is back! (Or... has arrived for the first time, depending on your view of history.) Van Helsing's Michaela (Heather Doerksen) succeeded in carrying out her dastardly plot despite the many valiant attempts made by Jack (Nicole Muñoz) and the others, proving that Dracula (Tricia Helfer) is no ordinary adversary, and killing her is going to require more than just the usual amounts of brains and brawn. 

To defeat the ultimate evil, our heroes are going to have to rely on something a little less tangible. They’re going to need faith — in themselves, in each other, and in the cause — even, and especially, when things are at their most hopeless.         

**SPOILER WARNING! Spoilers ahead for Van Helsing Season 5, Episode 3, "Lumina Intunecata."**

Van Helsing Returns April 16

You’d think that after languishing in the Dark Realm for who knows how many years, Dracula would need at least a few hours to get reacquainted with the human body before jumping back into perpetrating unholy acts. Not so. She gets right to work preparing for the vampire hunters’ imminent arrival. 

Out in the forest, those vampire hunters are taking a beat to go over war plans. Jack insists that defeating Dracula is going to require every weapon in their arsenal — including the use of Bathory’s mother’s scrolls. On these scrolls are incantations authored by the first person ever to summon The Dark One, making them the nuclear bomb of human-vampire negotiations.        

But Bathory (Jesse Stanley) is reluctant; although the incantations make The Dark One vulnerable, they also make the reader themselves susceptible to evil. As Bathory explains, “You have to resist the power at the same time you use it.” Bathory’s mother couldn’t resist, and Bathory had to take her out. Jack insists they must stake their trust on the unknown, to take the ultimate risk if it means reaping the ultimate reward, and Bathory ultimately consents.  

Just then, who should arrive at the camp but Count Dalibor (Kim Coates). You know, the guy who laughed in Jack’s face when she mentioned vampires, and who then ordered Jack’s hanging for murdering his wife? Recent events have changed him, and he offers to join forces with the hunters. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and again we see characters with good reasons to hate one another overcoming their differences to vanquish The Dark One.

Van Helsing Season 5, Episode 3: "Lumina Intunecata." Credit: SYFY

The payoff is speedy. After returning to the castle keep, Dalibor lures Michaela into the oubliette, pretending to show her he’s carried out Dracula’s orders by apprehending Jack. Only as Michaela gets a closer look at the prisoner, Jack disappears into thin air — some magic cooked up by Bathory. Michaela realizes she’s fallen prey to an illusion just as Dalibor’s men descend on her and cut off her head. This sacrifice is Dalibor’s final act of valor before Dracula turns him and his entire army into vampires.

Meanwhile, Jack and Bathory sneak into the castle tower where they find Dracula trying to open up a portal to the future. It’s a do or die (or both) moment, and Jack and Bathory rise to the occasion. Bathory reads aloud from the scrolls as Jack attacks an immobilized Dracula — but Dracula returns fire, and uses her powers to blind Bathory, which temporarily stops her from being able to read. 

Again invoking faith, Jack reminds Bathory that she already knows the spells by heart. So as Bathory recites the words from memory, Jack closes in on Dracula and sinks her teeth into her neck. When she does, some of “the darkness” billows out of Dracula’s neck and enters Jack’s mouth, leaving The Dark One just a smidge less invincible. Jack now must stay strong to resist the evil that’s inside her.  

At that moment, Michaela, alive and head intact thanks to Dracula’s sorcery, returns and stabs Bathory, cutting short her incantations. Jack escapes from the tower with her life, but Bathory isn’t so lucky: When Dracula revives her, she has already become… The Oracle. 

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Down below, Jack reunites with the other hunters; when she tells them she’s got the darkness in her, Roberto (Dan Cade) uncaps the vial of The Dark One’s blood he’s been carrying around, and it absorbs that darkness out of Jack.

The vampire hunters (what’s left of them) are about to quit the castle when a dying Dalibor uses his last ounce of strength to entrust his infant son Christoff to Alexandra (Sarah Arató) — what else but an act of the utmost faith? Alexandra promises to take care of him, and with that, she and the survivors make for the nearest port. 

On the docks, Jack must say goodbye to her friends as she prepares to board a ship to America. Though she’s set to arrive in the New World roughly 500-600 years before her time, she’s undeterred. “Fate,” she says, “is part of my story. Maybe it always was.”

Those words reverberate as we leap through time to the White House Oval Office, where President Dracula (Jill Teed) is unsettled by the feeling that some of her power has been sapped. She touches her neck, and it bears the teeth marks of a Van Helsing. Indeed, Jack was destined to return to the past, and change the future forever.

New episodes of Van Helsing premiere every Friday at 10 p.m. ET on SYFY.