And so we reach the end of the first (and only?) season of Blood Drive. Overall, it's a pretty small cast and we focus just on the five main stars plus Karma. And a few tertiary characters.

To recap "Finish Line": Arthur, Grace, and Julian, bust into the Heart Tower in NYC. Karma has wiped out all of the staff, apparently with a virus of some sort. Julian goes around planting explosives, and we discover that Heart has a Cube-esque Escherian architecture. Although nothing really comes of it. The trio loops around on themselves, and they end up back at the beginning and have to start all over. Other than that, they run a lot through first white-painted corridors, and then service tunnels which, according to the closed captioning, make squishy noises when hit.

The trio soon splits up, as Julian insists on blowing up Heart while Grace wants to rescue Karma and Arthur goes with her. Karma shoots Arthur with a big honkin' gun which turns him into blood paste. Then Grace and Karma fight it out, but Grace can't bring herself to kill Karma. So she shoots herself with the big honkin' gun. For some reason, this teleports them both to a white chamber but since Arthur went first, he's already left.

Meanwhile, Julian finds a technician who was cut in half--what did that?--and gets directions to the "Antigua Research Lab". I guess this is where they make androids, and Julian discovers that Karma has killed all of his clones. Including the ones in the cargo container we saw last week? Anyhoo, now if Julian dies, he'll stay dead. He finds his way to the central beam, planting explosive charges along the way.

When he gets to the beam, he plants the charges. But Aki has discovered that Chris has left after getting "all the mods". She severs Julian's spinal cord, and goes to find Chris. Meanwhile, the augmented Chris has found Arthur and is beating him to a pulp. Until Grace finds them and buys Arthur enough time to kill Chris with a rebar through the chest.

Arthur and Grace find Julian, who has the explosives on a timer. Karma seals them in the beam room, but Arthur uses an explosive charge and channels electricity through his body to set it off and blow open the door. It turns out that Julian actually set the timer for five extra minutes to milk the scene for drama. They run for the exit, but Karma stabs Grace and prepares to leave via a blood gate using a remote. Arthur tackles her and grabs the remote, but Grace shoves him through the gate and stays with her sister as the bombs go off.

Aki dies holding Chris in her arms. Julian calls scene. At the end, the FBI declares Arthur a lone terrorist and Heart says that he's where he'll never hurt anyone again. Cue to a naked Arthur on the "Blood Rock Prison for the Criminally Insane". And end the series.

Scattered in with this are a few pointless flashbacks that seems like they should have appeared earlier in the series. Grace steals a car and takes Karma with her while their father is passed out drunk. Chris dumps the drive-through girl he picked up so that he can stay with Arthur when Arthur's date dumps Arthur. And Julian wakes up in a lab along with an Aki unit, and an overly chatty doctor says that Aki will access the humanity code inside of her programming if she has an orgasm.

None of these flashbacks except the last really tells us anything. We already knew that Grace and Karma used to be close. And that Arthur and Chris used to be best buds. The Julian/Aki flashback at least tells us how Aki became human, although we didn't need to know as far as I can tell.

I suppose they could do a season 2, although it would be awfully limited with Arthur running around Blood Rock with criminally insane prisoners. They seem to have killed off the other four main characters. Although there's no reason there couldn't be more Julians and Akis out there. We don't know if we saw the "real" Chris, and Grace could have found a way out. But if they replaced her with another female lead, I wouldn't be upset. Heck, the show established that clones and androids and transferring personalities were a thing. So it's not like they couldn't fall back on any of that to bring everyone back for a season 2.

We never did get answers to the big questions. What was the Scar, and did Julian have a connection to it? At the end of the day, Julian was apparently a wacky android that could have its sentience downloaded from one body to another. Why was Heart able to access interdimensional technologies? What was their plan? Did they have a plan? What was Karma's plan after she killed Grace? Did she have a plan?

At the end of the day, Arthur and Grace really really loved each other. And Grace really loved Karma. And Julian really loved Julian.

Like most 13-episode series, it seems like there were several episodes of padding. Arthur had a vision quest in "The Chopsockey Special", but that didn't really seem to add up to anything. Neither did the demon-eyed Sheriff Leon. He talked about how the Scar knew Arthur, but that didn't have any bearing on the ending. If the Scar or beings therein were sentient, they didn't seem to care. All "A Fistful of Blood" really did was get rid of Darren Kent as The Scholar, which was a shame all things considered.

Blood Drive also cheerfully killed off or got rid of pretty much all of its secondary characters. The Gentleman? Dead. The Scholar? Sheriff of a small town. Cliff and Domi? Dead. Rib Bone? Dead! Blood Drive the race seemed like an excuse to recreate different grindhouse scenarios for our heroes each week. Cannibals? Check. Glowing-eyed night mutants? Check. The patients at an insane asylum taking over the place? Check. A sex plague? Check. Post-apocalyptic Amazons? Check.

To its credit, the show branched out a bit after episode six. Yeah, there were grindhouse elements like a giant killer mutant and (a little bit of) kung fu, and arena fighting and a town of 50s types that aren't what they seemed. But those weren't the basis for whole episodes. Okay, maybe the latter was the basis for "Scar Tissue". But even then, they mixed things up a bit.

Blood Drive also got awfully repetitive in thirteen episodes. How many times did Julian get fired and wormed his way back into control of Blood Drive? Cutting down the episode count could have educed that repetition. And if Julian was "merely" a Heart android, why did Heart have so much trouble with him? Old Man Heart (who turned out to be Karma) acted like they couldn't fire Julian. Which implied he answered to someone else. But... he didn't. And what was the point of the 50s' Swink Family/zombie sitcom, anyway?

There was a lot of stuff that didn't add up in the end. Blood Drive seemed mostly like an excuse to throw taboo and perversion at the Syfy summer audience. And it was entertaining, don't get me wrong. But the plot, such as it was, seemed like a shaky and constantly changing framework to hang all the gloss and perversion and twisted humor and network parodies on. (And how many times could/did they go to the "parody of network execs" well?)

For instance, the early episodes that had Chris basically be a live-action Wile E. Coyote to Aki's torturing and milkenizing and mind games. They seemed to be totally different from the later episodes where Chris and Aki were a thing. I get that Aki was guilty over what she did to Chris and it was part of her humanization. But what was the point of Heart ordering her to do all of that in the first place? Okay, it was because Chris' police lieutenant boss decided that she didn't like Chris. But there was no real motivation for her disliking Chris so much, and her plan got her killed. And why did Heart let her engage in it, anyway? They got nothing beneficial out of it, and it eventually bit them in the ass.

And really, it all added up to giving the bad guys a couple of reinforcements that are people we know in the final episode. Chris does a heel-turn and decides to kill Arthur. He seemed awfully willing to toss away years of friendship just because Arthur's sworn enemy shows him some video of Arthur killing a Chris-bot.

Aki severs Julian's spine, which means... Grace or Arthur could have done the same thing? I guess spine-severing is just an android's weakness. When having their hands rammed clear through with a knife and being set on fire isn't. But being vulnerable to mind-altering gas (like in "Scar Tissue") is?

If nothing else, Blood Drive gave us Colin Cunningham as the endlessly entertaining Julian Swink. I'd rather have watched a series about the adventures of Julian Swink, then Grace and Arthur. Although Arthur made a decent straight man to Julian, at least. Grace went from the woman who would toss a would-be rapist into her blood engine, to the gal who wouldn't let her sister die alone even after Karma made her life a living hell.

Chris and Aki... I'm still not sure why they were in the show. Ultimately to have some nemeses (nemesi?) to toss at Our Heroes at the end. Chris seemed to regress. And while Aki found her humanity, that never seemed to have anything to do with anything else on the show. Julian was an android (I guess), and his having already found his humanity and not being very impressed with it, made a decent bookend to Aki's trip. But at the end of the day, Aki's acts of torture against Chris never made her a particularly likeable character. Which is ironic, because she never outgrew being an unlikeable character torturing a likeable character. Chris, who then became an unlikeable character.

Would I want to see a second season of Blood Drive? Sure, even if it's called Blood Rock. But it's hard to imagine a second season of the show unless they trim it down to six to ten episodes. And I'm not sure if I'd want a second season without Colin Cunningham. Sure, they could bring him back. But there's been no mention of Blood Rock that I recall in season 1. And while they could find a way to bring Julian back, one would hope that his career-ending attempt to destroy Heart would mean that they don't bring him back as the MC of a new show. They've gone to the well one time too many this season.

There's still a lot of question to answer, but maybe it's best that they don't try to answer them. And having Arthur stuck on a prison island doesn't mean that they'd have too many chances to answer them.

But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong. What do you think?
Comments (4)
Sort: Latest | Popular
Sep 07, 2017
Actually it seems there is official word : no season 2. It was cancelled.

And my guess was correct, they did want another season, but couldn't get it.
Sep 07, 2017
Thanks for the info.
Sep 07, 2017
Add to the list of forgotten plot points -
Was Aki the Chinese woman's daughter Or what?
And if Julian was just a Heart Android, why couldn't they deactivate him whenever they wanted? They clearly had remote control over Aki - like they had her throw up that goo when she and Chris wanted to escape.
So Hart (aka Karma) couldn't do that to Julian?

They seemed really surprised when he kept coming back.

All in all? It was a chaotic ride and it's not like I expected much of the plot. But honestly it looks as if they had no idea what they were doing and changing things in the middle where writers weren't even talking to each other.

Yes, Chris and Aki were pointless overall. Yes, the Karma\Hart thing made no sense what so ever. Same for what Julian was, the scar and everything else.

I always assumed there would be no second season, but if they end the show with a long walk of a naked Alan Ritchson they are probably trying to get one.
Follow this Topic