May 08, 1996
Season finale of Fox's vampire series 'Kindred: The Embraced'
By Kinney Littlefield
Orange County Register
Please, just one more bite. As veinsucking vampire shows go, the season
finale of ``Kindred: The Embraced'' is good to the last drop. In fact, it's the
best episode of the sexy Fox series so far.
Called ``Cabin in the Woods,'' this steamy season ender offers plenty of
dangerous romance and cool vampire moves - and enough surprises to keep viewers
craving blood all summer long.
For starters, vampire prince Julian Luna (Mark Frankel) and his paramour,
newspaper editor Caitlin Byrne (Kelly Rutherford) - who will never win a
Pulitzer for investigative reporting since she still hasn't discovered Julian is
non-human - continue their sizzling pas de deux. They get it on in a rustic
getaway in Sonoma, until some of Julian's undead enemies show up in the nearby
graveyard where Julian was supposedly buried long ago.
These bad guys are from the Mafialike Brujah vampire clan, just drooling to
spill Julian's blue-chip Ventrue blood. To survive, Julian is forced to reveal
his vampire nature to Caitlin - well, briefly.
Unfortunately, how Julian maintains his relationship with a newly
knowledgeable Caitlin, while staying true to his vampire vows, is the lone
implausible note here.
You see, Kindred have the power to make humans forget. This power has been
used before on Caitlin, and on Julian's human foe Detective Frank Kohanek (C.
Thomas Howell), by his not-so-human cop partner Sonny (Erik King). So, within
this Kindred world, memory-erasure is valid, but it's also a way too-easy plot
Still, Julian's psychological sway over Caitlin is one of the more intriguing
elements of the show. From the beginning, the way he's played the withholding
male to her yearning, trusting female has been annoying, unsettling, but
``Cabin in the Woods'' also proves why gothic ``Kindred'' is more than
``Melrose Place'' with extra-long fangs. ``Kindred's'' cast members are actors.
Frankel, well trained on the English stage, knows how to speak subtle volumes
without saying a word. As Julian's enforcer Nosferatu Daedalus, Jeff Kober is an
intriguing mix of sensitivity and menace.
And guest star Titus Welliver, as new and corporately creepy Brujah honcho
Cameron, is a fine, intelligent foe for Frankel's Julian.
Now if ``Kindred's'' producers could just make Julian's nemesis Kohanek
sharper and bolder. Right now, he isn't enough of a threat.
Otherwise, ``Kindred's'' season ender is intensely seductive, making this one
midseason series that had darn well better return in the fall - or I'll
personally cast a vampire curse on Fox.
X X X
KINDRED: THE EMBRACED
When: 9 p.m. ET Wednesday
X X X
(c) 1996, Orange County Register. Distributed by Knight-Ridder/Tribune