V Wars season 1 premiere recap: Down with the Sickness

Photo: V Wars Season 1 - Image Courtesy Netflix
Photo: V Wars Season 1 - Image Courtesy Netflix /

In the season 1 premiere of Netflix series V Wars, things escalate quickly when a vampire virus starts to spread. Can it be contained?

V Wars begins with Dr. Vercernis (Mackenzie Gray) at an arctic research station. Before we get to know him very well, Vercernis shoots himself, apparently to avoid a transformation. His body is left outside in the cold and snow. The scene abruptly shifts to a speech by Dr. Luther Swann (Ian Somerhalder) on the topic of climate change causing glacial deterioration. As a dead giveaway to the prior scene, he specifically mentions how the ice melt may reinvigorate long-dormant viruses and that humans should prepare for their re-emergence. He sums up his philosophy as: “Science has no border or agendas, only truth.”

After the speech, Swann is met by Dr. Emil Lansing (Nigel Bennett), who informs him that they’ve lost contact with Dr. Vercernis at the arctic research station. Swann promptly calls Michael Fayne (Adrian Holmes) about transporting him there. V Wars largely skips the trip and shows their arrival. Much to their surprise, the door is open at the facility.

Ava and Sven don’t answer, but they find the body of Vercernis. Also, Swann comes to realize they’ve been exposed to something in the air. They end up in quarantine in Washington, D.C. where Dr, Swann is visited by his wife, Jess (Jessica Harmon), and son, Desmond (Kyle Breitkopf). While there’s a little bit of uncertainty, Dr. Lansing eventually clears both Luther Swann and Michael Fayne.

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Are the worries over? Of course not!

V Wars obviously doesn’t end there. There are killings reported in the news, and we learn that Police Chief MacErlane (Brian Paul) is in charge of those investigations. Meanwhile, Michael Fayne fantasizes about biting Teresa Tangorra (Samantha Cole) in the neck. It also becomes clear that Fayne has super hearing.

Later, over dinner, Fayne tells Swann that his teeth are in pain and also mentions his extrasensory abilities. We are also quickly introduced to Jergen Weber (Teddy Moynihan), who relays inside information on the killings to independent journalist Kaylee Vo (Jacky Lai). Kaylee learns about the victims missing blood and having wounds on their necks (which is, of course, why they’re considered vampire slayings).

Later, Mike alerts Dr. Swann about an unconventional emergency: There’s a murdered woman in his apartment and he doesn’t know what happened! Although Fayne insists he didn’t kill her, there are immediate reasons to doubt him, especially when he also asks Luther to help clean the apartment. After they do that, a stressed Michael Fayne cracks his bathroom sink. We also see that his super senses include locating blood in other’s veins. Yep, you guessed it: Fayne is a dang vampire (to help deduce that, Fayne almost even sounds like Fang)!

In custody…but not for long

Luther goes to the police, but it turns out he probably didn’t need to. Fayne is shot and arrested while targeting another woman (Kelly Lamb) in a tunnel system. Chief MacErlane also tells Luther that, because he helped clean Fayne’s crime scene, he is all but guaranteed to serve 5 years for obstruction of justice (don’t try any of this at home!). It turns out Mike survived being shot and will only speak to his pal Luther.

As a bit of side info, we learn that Mike’s dentist (who he’d apparently seen about his aching chompers) committed suicide, presumably before he could become a fully formed vampire himself. Things take another turn for Luther when Mike says he knows he ratted on. Fayne breaks his cuffs, fights the cops and gets put under heavy restraints.

Soon after this, Kaylee Vo gets into the medical building with a fake ID, intending to meet Michael Fayne. We see his bullet wounds have healed, and also that he ingested the victim’s blood. Then, in rapid succession, he breaks free of his restraints, bites a guard to death, then uses his dangling body as a shield (he also uses it to soften the landing when he jumps over a railing!).

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As an extenuating circumstance, Chief MacErlane actually grants Luther Swann permission to get to his family to protect them from Fayne. By the time Luther gets to his home, Desmond has locked himself inside. However, much to both of their surprise, Jess is actually the vampire who lashes out at them both. Luther seemingly kills her with a fire poker by the time the police arrive, leaving him as a possible additional suspect in the vampire murders.

What are your thoughts on V Wars? Let us know in the comments!