Van Helsing Season 5, Episode 4: "State of the Union"
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Van Helsing Season 5, Episode 4: "State of the Union." Credit: SYFY

Recap: In Van Helsing 504, the future isn't what it used to be as Dracula and her enemies struggle with new normals

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May 18, 2021, 3:23 PM EDT (Updated)

Hey, remember that time in Van Helsing Season 5 when we dipped into a time portal, got rocketed centuries into the past to a vampire-infested town in the middle of Transylvania, saw Dracula become Dracula (Tricia Helfer), the Oracle become the Oracle (Jesse Stanley), and Jack (Nicole Muñoz) literally suck some darkness from the neck of The Dark One and bottle it up into an amulet?

OK, good, so it wasn't a fever dream. Jack really did meddle with the past, and the future she will hopefully someday return to really did get irrevocably altered.

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Just how altered are we talking here?

For one, it's got President Dracula working overtime in crisis control mode.

**SPOILER WARNING! Spoilers ahead for Van Helsing Season 5, Episode 4, "State of the Union."**

We find ourselves at the Fort Collins black site army base, where Violet (Keeya King) and Ivory (Jennifer Cheon Garcia) have been detained for their roles in the assassination attempt on President Archer's (Jennifer Cheon Garcia) life. While being interrogated, Violet finds that her motive — President Archer is really Dracula — is a hard sell, and one that cuts no ice with the army corporal tasked with supervising Violet and Ivory until further notice.

That further notice arrives when President Dracula issues the prisoners' executions and decapitations. Dracula knows she's not batting 1000 these days, ever since Jack sapped some of her strength and bottled it up in the amulet; so rather than trying her luck, Dracula decides it's probably wiser to nip any confrontation with the vampire hunters in the bud.

Violet's ears must have been itching, because back at Fort Collins she's in the middle of faking her own suicide in order to lure a gullible guard into her improvised cell and take him hostage. The commanding corporal and some of her men arrive at the scene and call Violet's bluff. When Violet relents, the corporal tells her and Ivory that they've been marked for execution. When the soldiers leave, Violet reveals to Ivory that the bit of theater she pulled earlier was just a way for her to swipe the guard's keycard, which will give them access to the entire base.

Van Helsing Season 5, Episode 4: "State of the Union." Credit: SYFY

Once out of confinement, Violet and Ivory make for the server room, where they get their hands on backup security footage. They pull up some exculpatory evidence of President Dracula feasting on a human victim and show it to the corporal. It has the desired effect, and the corporal defies orders, fakes the executions of the "traitors," and returns their stuff. Among that stuff is the all-important amulet containing the blood of The Dark One, which is plus a few grams of darkness, as we viewers know.

Unfortunately, Violet does not. She notices that the blood inside the amulet has changed, and opens it up to peer inside, releasing some of that extra darkness when she does. That darkness escapes through the Fort Collins HVAC system and gets lost in the ether.

Feeling her oats, President Dracula goes on live TV to broadcast an ad hoc State of the Union Address. Exploiting a made-up story of a new breed of human-passing vampires, Dracula suspends all civil rights and imposes martial law across the nation. No doubt Dracula can sense her past, present, and future slipping out of her grip, and this latest gambit is her way of reasserting control.

But depriving the body politic of its rights is no substitute for depriving a human body of its blood, and for a post-address snack President Dracula and Bathory feast on flesh of several of the presidential aides in the Oval Office. Only the feast isn't as invigorating as Dracula had hoped it would be, and doesn't sit well with Bathory at all: The Oracle is seized by a vision in which she's dead, rolling on the floor. Could it be indigestion? Sure. But it's likely something that a Pepto can't clear up.

The bad portent has Bathory nervous, and she whips out her trusty tarot set to calm her anxiety. However, it's stacked against her: Not only does she throw Death and The Fool, but cards that read Jack, Vanessa (Kelly Overton), and Violet have somehow crept into her deck as well. Either this is a serious manufacturing defect, or the tarot is responding to the winds of change set in motion all those centuries ago...

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Just then, that errant wisp of darkness that escaped the amulet finds its way through an Oval Office window, and right into Dracula's body, replenishing some (but not all) of her power. Will it be enough for her to take on all the entire Van Helsing brood, as prophesied in the Oracle's cards?