Kirk 'Sticky Fingaz' Jones
OTHER VAMPIRE SHOWS
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
OTHER SUPERHERO SHOWS
Birds of Prey
BLADE is not your typical Marvel superhero. For one thing, he is only inches from being one of the bad guys. A half-vampire, or daywalker, he has all the thirst for blood of the villains, but controls it through the use of drugs and spends the rest of his time killing vampires and messing up anyone else who gets in his way.
A vampire who kills with all manner of weapons modern and ancient ranged against the might of the houses of the vampires? Now that's a set up for an action-packed series if ever there was one and yet it barely managed a season. How come? The simple answer is the leading man. On the movie screen, Wesley Snipes had the sheer charisma to make the character work without too many lines. Kirk 'Sticky' Jones has none of that star wattage and none of the acting ability and that's a big vaccuum to leave at the centre of a show.
The writers work hard to get around that, coming up with a plot about 'turned' vampires conspiring against 'pureblood' vampires and using humans and vampires alike to achieve their aims. The introduction of a female informant inside the organisation allows for a little more scope in the story and could have led to an interesting dynamic, but as there is no heat between her and Blade at all that just doesn't happen. Her story is more interesting than Blade's, but then again everybody's story is more interesting than Blade's.
The early introductory episodes are strong, but the show then starts to drift and efforts to introduce Blade's background fail to make him more interesting. The last few episodes come together nicely in terms of plot and show what might have been.Top
Pilot - Part One
Krista comes back from war to find that her beloved brother Zach has not only fallen in amongst bad people and potentially become a drug dealer, but is now dead at the hands of some very bad people. She starts to investigate and learns of a new drug on the streets called Ash. She also learns that one of the worst of the people involved in all this is a man known only as Blade. Then she learns that her brother was working with Blade investigating another shadowy figure known as Marcus.
There are some interesting ideas in this new take on the Marvel Comics vampire hero, not the least of which is his being almost a bystander in his own show. This opening episode is all about Krista, but when he finally emerges from the shadows, the stage is set for some more serious action. The problem with this opening episode is Blade. Anyone whose middle name is 'Sticky' (and from choice) is going to have a hard time making the monosyllabic and goal focussed daywalking vampire killer believable. From these early stages, it doesn't look like he's going to be able to pull it off. On the other hand, Jill Wagner as Krista pulls of the role of the returning war veteran pretty well.
The plot, mixing up drugs made from the ashes of dead vampires, a serum to create all powerful vampires, a copy who wants to be a vampire and lots of vampires in plastic bags is pretty garbled, but that's OK, it just means that there's more here than meets the eye and we might get to unravel it in later episodes.Top
Pilot - Part Two
Things haven't quite gone to plan for Krista. For one thing, she gets herself captured by the vampires that Blade has been hunting, then she gets herself bitten and turned into one herself. The serum is tried out on one of the bad guy's henchmen and turns him into a killing machine. If Krista feeds in the next 24 hours then she will be lost forever.
It takes some balls to take one of the two major characters and immediately have her fail so spectacularly that she is turned into one of the very things that she has been trying to destroy. That's pretty impressive and it does suggest that the show might be taking us places that we weren't expecting to go, which is all to the good. Sadly, it's pretty much all that's working on the show. Kirk 'Sticky Fingaz' Jones really can't pull off the character and doesn't come across as angry and scary any more than he does suffering from a severe bowel disorder. AS the central character that is a pretty big handicap to overcome for the show. The comedy sidekick doesn't help matters either.
The plot, at least, is clearing itself up a bit as the pieces finally fall into place, Krista is set as a mole within the vampire group and the truth about the new supervampire serum is known. The fight scenes are also done well enough to pass muster, though your mind will remain resolutely unblown.Top
Death Goes On
Krista is coming to terms with the fact that she is now a vampire and living off the same serum that Blade uses in order not to have to feed on human flesh. It's clear that Marcus has a thing for her and that his other girlfriend doesn't go much on that. The main problem is Fritz, the newly-created supervampire who is keen to take Blade on in a rematch, but who is being shipped off to Europe to safeguard the research that has created him. Blade can't allow that to happen, but he'll need Krista's help to defeat him and she needs to keep her allegiance secret.
The pace continues to be fairly high and the show reveals a taste for the nasty in this episode with young, drugged up mothers being nailed to chairs and the like. The final fight between Blade and Fritz doesn't live up to its billing, but it does end with Krista impaled on a huge piece of wood.Top
Krista's wound heals slowly. It would heal faster if she drank the blood that she's given, but she refuses. In confusion, she visits her mother to say goodbye. Blade, meanwhile, is trying to track the experiments that Marcus was up to in order to find out what Aurora is. He wants Krista to get a sample of the vaccine, but security is too tight. The trail leads him to a walled up warehouse, but the horrors inside are far from dead.
The focus of the show is starting to shift a little more away from Krista and her problems adjusting to her new state and more to Blade's investigations. This allows for a bit more action, but means that we get more of Kirk 'Sticky' Johnston which is not an improvement. There is also the introduction of a new strand with a detective who is on the trail of an ex-cop vampire and seems to have an agenda all his own. It's more complex than we might have hoped for, but the void that is the leading character continues to undermine the show and even the copious shots of Jill Wagner in her underwear aren't going to solve that.Top
Blade closes in on the doctor responsible for the experiments that led to Aurora, but is then taken by four figures from his past, four figures bent on using him as their ticket to acceptance into one of the great vampire houses. Shen has to try and track down their hideout and get Blade back onto his feet before he regains his thirst. Krista, meanwhile, needs to track down Boone, the cop she turned who is now killing people all over. For that, she will have to undergo a ritual that will link her to him, and which will require an awful lot of blood.
Blade spends the entirety of this episode chained up as attention shifts right back to Krista and her place amongst the vampires. In fact, nothing much happens for the entire hour. Blades old friends reminisce about their childhoods and their killing and that's about it. Shen thinks about blowing everything up and running away. Krista thinks that she might be in trouble. There's a bit of fighting at the end, but it's nothing to get excited about.Top
The Evil Within
With his best lead dead, Blade focusses on one of the Doctor's pregnant patients. Unfortunately, she's shifted off to a safe house in Berlin. That doesn't stop Blade, of course. Krista, meanwhile, fails to kill Boone, the vampire cop, and then fails to get hold of the Aurora virus. Charlotte, a pureblood vampire, turns up and decides that both Marcus and the house of Cthon need a bit of investigating.
Maybe they should have renamed the show 'KRISTA-THE SERIES' as the badass vampire is in severe danger of disappearing from his own show altogether. Much more time is spent on Krista as she first chases after Boone and then the vaccine. All he gets to do is waltz through a safe house, waste a few (and I do mean few - this house was not so safe) vampires and say nothing at all. Things are not shaping up well at all, although the plotting is getting a little better, a little denser and a little more interesting.Top
Having saved the pregnant woman from Marcus's hordes, Blade takes her to a doctor friend in Paris. A couple of abortive assassination attempts along the way force Marcus into sending Krista and a crack team of killers to kill Blade and get what the girl is carrying.
It has been obvious for a while that the plotting of the show is far better than the show itself. We're slowly being allowed to see Marcus's plan come into focus and the larger canvas of vampire politics is coming to the fore as child vampire leader Charlotte is forced to plot to save that which Marcus has put into jeopardy. This is all that much more interesting than watching Blade kick a few butts, though he also needs saving at one point by a pregnant woman(!) It seems like the script has been shorn of all Blade's lines, to the point that his interrogation technique is to remain silent until someone is forced into confessing all by embarrassment. This is not good when he is not only the show's central character, but it's whole raison d'etre (Hey we're in Paris after all).Top
Someone is killing off the people who tried to help Blade when he was called Eric and was a child who had been turned. It's up to Blade to stop them before they get to the father that he thought was dead.
Family eh, they're always trouble. In this case, they're providing rather unintriguing flashbacks to the days when Eric was a young boy locked up by a father who tried to help keep him from the fate that he didn't understand. If we were invested in the character then this might have been affecting, but the fact is that we couldn't give a monkey's and so it's all a bit pointless.
Krista's mother has gone from normal to dying in the space of a couple of episodes and so she is faced with the dilemma of watching her die in pain or turning her into a vampire for an eternity of painful serum injections.Top
Turn of the Screw
Marcus gets involved in a tug of love and money over Chase with a pureborn vampire. The truth about Aurora is finally revealed and the scope of Marcus's plan shown. Meanwhile, Blade and Krista have to track down her mother, now a vampiric killing machine.
It's quite clear that the interest of the writers of the show is really not the title character, but in the powerplays that are going on amongst the vampire clans and the coming war between the purebloods and the turned ones. That's been the interesting strand for the last few episodes whilst Blade is left chasing a few single bad guys, or in this case one bad mum.Top
Angels and Demons
Following the death of her mother, Krista hits the bottle and then hits Marcus. Far from being angry, he shows her how his wife was killed by one of the pureblood vampires and how he was turned. Shortly thereafter, he takes his revenge on the pureblood and takes Krista to bed. The purebloods, though, have their own plans and Chase is taken prisoner.
Marcus may be a bad guy, but it's not really his fault. That's the tack taken by this episode. The genesis of his villainy isn't of that much interest and certainly isn't that original and it drags the pace down to standstill as well as distracting from the slowly twisting machinations of vampire politics. Quite frankly, we aren't left giving a damn as to why Marcus is a bad man, but Krista is drawn deeper into his web and certainly into his bed. Blade meanwhile (remember him, the one the show is named after?) is left to watch all of this on television (no really). The focus of the show has kiltered so far away from its hero that it's questionable as to whether it will ever be able to shift it back.Top
With Krista in Marcus's bed and probably power, Blade kidnaps her and locks her in a cell pumped full of serum. If she isn't able to straighten herself out, then she's a legitimate target. In the meantime, he and Shen go after an ancient vampire that's been torturing girls down at a local nightclub.
This episode is much more what the series ought to have been from the start. Blade tracks down and takes on a seriously warped vampire. There's a level of nastiness about the whole thing that works too. The fight scene at the end is a bit lame, but that might explain why there haven't been more of them throughout the series as this is about the most extensive to date.Top
Marcus's plans move ahead as he crashes Charlotte's plane and completes construction on the building that is to hold the conclave of the purebloods of the house of Cthon. Blade and the dogged cop Collins who has finally caught up with him track Charlotte to a small town school where pretty much everyone has been turned into a vampire.
The penultimate episode and the series is finally starting to show some effort. The plans of Marcus have taken shape and are in place whilst Blade gets to take centre stage and kill a bunch of vampires in style. That's what he does best and whilst he's fighting he can't be talking.Top
Marcus springs his trap on the purebloods of Cthon, but they are one step ahead of him. Fortunately, Blade is one step behind everyone, which is close enough to unleash the vampire virus and take on Marcus in a one to one duel.
Oh so close. BLADE goes out in style with a plot that comes together well and involves some serious action. First Blade's pal gets tortured by Krista, then she takes on Chase in a wicked bitchfight whilst Marcus and Blade face off in a pretty good swordfight.
Thing is, if Blade wanted Marcus to kill the purebloods and move up in the vampire hierarchy why didn't he just let his scheme succeed in the first place. And the fact that both Chase and Marcus survive the events undercuts the finale. Baddies can be replaced, so some of them can be killed off successfully.
The last few episodes showed what BLADE could have been capable of, but it was much too late to save it.Top
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