The following contains spoilers for Reginald the Vampire S1E3, “Hypnos” (written by Executive Story Editors Jon Sklaroff & James Jean Parks and Story Editor Isabella Gutierrez, based on the books by Johnny B. Truant and directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik)
Last week on Reginald the Vampire, we watched Reginald (Jacob Batalon) feed for the first time on Todd (Aren Buchholz); Maurice (Mandela Van Peebles) and his partner, Mike (Ryan Jinn), were drugged and seduced into a Vampire orgy by Angela (Savannah Basley); Angela told Maurice she killed Mike and then locked him in a coffin that is slowly rolling into a crematorium; Reginald sensed his maker’s peril and rushed to save the day, in the process glamouring another vampire (previously presumed impossible); as they were about to escape, Angela sensed them—boom, cliffhanger!
This week, we are yet again let down by an underwhelming conclusion to the previous episode! Reginald gets Maurice out of the burning coffin; the vampire Reg compelled, Erich (Andre Tricoteux), is still making him breakfast; Mike is alive; they all make it out of the house through the front door and Angela, upon getting to the foyer, lets them go.
Talk about anti-climactic!
I want to LOVE this show. It has all the right ingredients to be a fun supernatural romp! But it keeps falling short of a real spectacle.
Unlike last week and the week before, “Hypnos” is packed with more story progression and feels less like a drawn-out half-hour plot. This is good; I hope they can keep this up! However, the humour fell flat for me this time. Somehow there was more happening, yet it was less entertaining.
So, let’s recap this week’s Reginald the Vampire.
Along with being able to memorise anything just by flipping through it or briefly looking, Reginald can also glamour other vampires. Maurice declares this gift impossible multiple times in the first two episodes, yet Maurice cannot deny what Reginald did to Erich. This new talent could put a bigger target on Reginald. Therefore, Maurice tells him he can’t do it again or tell anyone about it. Maurice also decides it’s better to keep it from his partner Mike.
With his new power, Reginald has gained a lot of confidence. There’s a bounce in his step; he carries himself better. At the same time, Sarah (Em Haine) is coming out of her brain fog after being glamoured by Maurice, and Ashley (Marguerite Hanna) has put herself on the case to figure out what happened to her.
Angela shows up at Maurice’s door again, except this time with a real truce: she offers peace between herself and Maurice if Reginald passes the “assessment” to be properly recognised by the mid-west society of vampires. Reginald agrees to the truce, signing a document that signs him up for this assessment. If Reginald fails the assessment, one hitch, he’ll be killed, and so will Maurice.
Claire (Thailey Roberge) continues to help Reginald cope with his new life; she also encourages Reginald to pursue Sarah again. The two follow her to a park on a rainy day, and Reginald fakes bumping into her to get a read on how much Sarah remembers. When Sarah tells Ashley she saw Reginald in the park by coincidence, Ashley starts to put two and two together.
Angela tells her goons to spy on Reginald while they wait until the assessment occurs. She’s concocted this plan to have Reginald and Maurice killed because, according to her, there’s no way Reginald will pass; it takes years to train for the assessment. Meanwhile, Reginald continues to feed on Todd and glamour him, so he’s nice and doesn’t remember. Todd’s personality switch continues to make Ashley suspicious; she finally gets a look under his ascot and sees the vampire bite mark.
Sarah goes to Reginald’s place because she’s figured out she may have been there the night her brain went foggy. While with Reg, some of her memories come back, and so do her feelings for him. He asks her out on the spot, and she says yes.
At the restaurant, they’re getting along very well. Sarah confides in him that she thinks her memory loss is due to PTSD from living with an extremely religious family. Then when Reg is about to open up, Angela’s goons arrive at the restaurant and taunt him. Instead of doing as Maurice said, Reg glamours the vampires to humiliate themselves in front of Sarah. Coincidentally, Maurice’s partner Mike is also at the restaurant and catches onto Reg’s new gift.
Reginald the Vampire’s First Real Plot Twist!
Mike is a spy for Angela! They made a deal some time ago, and he’s been feeding Angela information about Maurice. Mike desperately wants out; he trades his knowledge about Reg’s power for freedom. Angela decides to speed up Reginald’s death and brings in a vampiric assassin. Sarah and Reg are in a relationship now. Ashley tries to burn Reginald with holy water, but it doesn’t work, and she tells him and Sarah about her conspiracy theory.
Maurice confronts Reginald about glamouring Angela’s goons and threatens him; Reg isn’t allowed to see Sarah anymore. End of the episode.
What a ride. I’m glad and sad about the story progression in this episode. It was nice getting a glimpse of Batalon and Haine’s chemistry again, but it looks like we’ve gone in a circle; we’re back at the pilot’s end with the forbidden romance trope.
I still like Ashley. She’s a great character, and having her do the digging into vampires is a great way to add extra tension; I hope she also gets to be in the know like Claire. I want Reginald to have a vampire-fighting posse like Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Angela’s foreboding evil isn’t coming across anymore. She appears less cunning the more we see her. I want her to ooze power. I want to see her rip apart her minions when they do something wrong. So far, she’s all words, no show. Hopefully, that’s about to change.
S1E3 added a little more world-building; Maurice and Angela mention some kind of vampire overlord they both respect and fear. We start to understand there’s a larger pecking order than just Angela, Maurice and their vendettas. It will be interesting to see how this new information influences the plot in the next few episodes.
It’s still early in the series, so I’m going to be forgiving that the writers’ room hasn’t found its perfect balance regarding comedy, character, and plot in each episode. I hope this gets better. When the humour is there, and they stay true to character, Reginald the Vampire can be pretty entertaining, but they’ll lack story progression. I still love the concept of the show; I love the style of the show. I want it to succeed.
I also want to shout out that as of Episode 3, A LOT of the original heavy-handed focus on Batalon’s size has decreased. Probably most of that has to do with Todd being dazed out of his mind, but it’s much easier to watch this show when we aren’t constantly told that Batalon is grotesque for being fat. I’m sure this issue will come back up, as it was painted in the pilot as core to the show’s conflict. However, they’ve moved forward so that there is now danger for Reginald exterior to his contradicting image of the vampiric beauty standards. Hopefully, Reginald the Vampire can quickly move on from this narrative completely.
As much as this episode wasn’t the best, I’m happy with the prospective trajectory of the rest of the series. I think it’s good that the pace has picked up a bit with the story, but it’s at the expense of their campy humour that made the show appealing in the first place.
Here’s to hoping it’s all up from here.