The Byron Chronicles 2×06 : Dracula, Part 1

WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS EPIC SPOILERS. PROCEED WITH CAUTION. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

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I am finding it very, very difficult to type a coherent review of this episode, but as usual, I’m going to do my best.

While listening to shows such as The Leviathan Chronicles, Once Upon a Time in Vegas, The Section 31 Files, and The Byron Chronicles, I sometimes find it necessary to pause the podcast, stand up, and run around in circles. This is a natural self-defense mechanism developed by my brain, and used only as a last resort to keep itself from exploding. As I was listening to The Byron Chronicles 2×06 : Dracula, Part 1, the aforementioned defense mechanism kicked in many, many times.

The episode  is set in the summer of 1916, towards the end of the First World War. After saving the world from the forces of evil yet again, Byron (who isn’t calling himself ‘Byron’ quite yet) goes to the town of Bar Harbor, Maine to rest and heal. However, since the universe obviously hates  him, it isn’t long before his vacation is interrupted…

In typical Byron Chronicles fashion, this episode answered some questions but just ended up making the listener ask even more. For instance: The truth about what Byron and his siblings actually are is partially revealed. (I figured it out back in May after a finding out while doing a crossword puzzle that ‘Aestival’ means ‘ ‘involving summer’.) Still, even though it now seems pretty clear that the four siblings represent the four seasons, it turns out that this wasn’t always the case; they were chosen for these roles. But… chosen by whom? And what were they before?

Another interesting thing this episode turned up: Elves. Yes, that’s right. Elves. Byron’s history involves elves, and a strange name that I wish I could spell so I could include it here. (Note: If anyone knows how to spell the name the elves called Byron, I’d really appreciate it…) I remember this name turning up as far back as Season 1, Episode 1: The Taint. It was in the Watch’s records, as quoted by Agent Katherine. Personally, I’m glad to finally find out what that was about.  Elves. Wow. Just when I thought I’d seen it all, I get another shock to the brain. I should be used to it by now… but no.

Slate, Byron’s older brother, turns up again.While Byron shows a colder, more impersonal attitude in this episode, Slate seems a little more talkative, both about their pasts and their futures. Byron’s refusal to follow the rules of the universe seems to be what continuously gets him into trouble, and gets the people around him killed. He also refuses to believe that the future is set in stone, hence his attempts to change things. Slate also mentions the mysterious coming conflict (presumably involving Leviathan?) that we’ve been hearing about for so long. Apparently, not even God knows what the outcome will be. It could end with the destruction of all creation…including Byron and his siblings. From Slate’s point of view, this wouldn’t be such a bad thing, because it would mean the end of their ‘punishment’.

Hold on a second.

Their punishment?

We found out in ‘Nicholas’ that Byron was being punished for something that he’d done in his past… but it isn’t just him. It’s Slate, too, and possibly his other siblings as well. I’d really like to find out more about that one.

Another interesting revelation: Byron is continuously changing his name. Slate is always Slate, and he’s annoyed by Byron’s refusal to use his real name. I’d kind of like to know what his actual name is, but I know I’ll always refer to him as ‘Byron’, because it’s fitting.*

Speaking of changes… (another brilliant segue. I’m good at these!) One of my favorite things about having marathons of The Byron Chronicles is noticing how the title character changes over the course of the series. In ‘The Taint’, he’s cold and completely self-serving, but by ‘A Code of Conduct’ and especially ‘A Time of Returning’, he’s started to show genuine concern for others. Well, for Chris, at any rate. In this episode, which takes place long before the rest of the series, Byron is still acting like a complete jerk, for lack of a better word. While Slate seems ‘nicer’ (if Slate can be called ‘nice’), Byron is anything but.

And NOW: I’ve saved the best for last, because it completely blew my mind. I like to talk. I talk a lot. In fact, it can be argued that I very rarely shut up. I want you to know this so that you can truly  appreciate it when I say that the end of this episode rendered me speechless.

What’s the standard, accepted image of Dracula? Well, Bela Lugosi’s version, complete with protruding fangs, slicked-back hair, cape, etc., including the whole “I vant to suck your blood” accent. Most of all, the traditionally accepted image of Dracula involves the Count being…well, a Count. Not a Countess. That was why the end of this episode came as such a shock to me. I saw it in the cast list : Melissa D. Johnson as Mina Harker. I heard it in the episode. Mina Harker. Then…then she had to go and say, “but my followers call me Dracula”. I sat in my seat for about five minutes with  my mouth opening and closing while I made shocked noises and waved my hands around. Mina Harker. Dracula. Apart from continuing to reference one of my favorite books, DP has put a new spin on the classic vampire. Brilliant.

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: I love this show. I am continuously surprised, amused, frightened, and entertained by The Byron Chronicles. This was true two years ago, and this most recent episode proves that the same holds true today. Each episode of Season 2 has been better than the one before… and that’s why I’m more excited than usual for the next month’s installment.

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Download The Byron Chronicles 2×06: Dracula, Part 1 HERE . Or, get it from iTunes. You know the drill.

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* I’m not sure how the character Byron got his name, but when THIS was discussed in English class last year, I had to wonder…

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Next: Reviews of Lost Frontier and Gaia are still coming, I promise! Look for them sometime this week!

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