A Couple of Points -- Sophie, Queen of the Night

It's Miss Ringhoff!

Say what you will about Sophie, I think she's more than just a foil for Chris. But "Sophie, Queen of the Night" is really the only episode where she stretches her wings as a character. Mia Kirshner clearly had fun doing it, and it's a pity they didn't let her stay a vampire.

Sophie is always either over or underdressed. Her costuming is always overboard, but that's the character. Feeling awkward is part and parcel of being a teenager. Where it comes through with Sophie most clearly is in her clothes.

Although it's not mentioned as often, her hair is done a little differently in every episode, too. She's still growing into herself, still finding out where she fits and experimenting with her looks. If she were in college, she would already have established far more fixed patterns.

She wants so badly to be an adult. It's her greatest weakness. Lucard doesn't hesitate to exploit it.

Her "style" looks far more stable while she's under his care. His character is such that he enjoys playing at being her father figure and mentor. I say it's a pity that she didn't stay a vampire because they passed on a great moment: when Sophie realizes she'll never get to finish growing up in the eyes of the people around her.

"He has no intention of including you in his business." "Yes he will. Why shouldn't he?" Because she's going to look like she's 16 to 20 years old (tops) forever. By the end of the episode, we get hints that Lucard may use her behind the scenes, but she'll never get any 'official' capacity at his company.

"Remember, your target this evening must not escape." Loyalty tests aside, it's interesting that he doesn't delegate the responsibility of an assassination to someone with more experience, vampire or no. Even with the cosmetics and gown, Sophie would still look very young. The gown in question always makes me think of a little girl playing dress-up. Does this politician just happen to be a pedophile?

From reviews and fanfiction, it seems like a lot of people watch this episode and determine that there's a romantic and/or sexual relationship between Sophie and Lucard. I don't buy it myself, even though prior to the twentieth century most girls were married with children by the ripe old age of 20. Even given that Lucard likes to fly in the face of conventions and modern morality, I still don't buy it.

"I would never do anything to displease you, Alexander." We never hear Sophie talk to Lucard directly again (except for in Gustav's subconscious) in the series. There are a few scenes where she could have, but the writers passed on them.

What would Lucard have her call him? She addresses him once as "master" in "Bad Blood," but that's to reassure him that she wants to learn from him. Mr. Lucard is far too formal and distant to properly brainwash her into liking him. Lucard is what Gustav calls him now. Dracula... just isn't going to work.

Alexander, however, is perfect. Only his enemies used the disrespectful "Alex" without permission. It's familiar, neither here nor there as to how she knows him. If anyone at the office or complete outsiders start asking, he can always claim that she's his stepdaughter from a failed marriage or other relative of some kind. She's a potential boost to his fake identity and credibility!

But of course, thanks to a plot device she reverts to being a human again. Back to the freaky little family where she doesn't belong. Why was she there in the first place? Affirmative action, that's why.

The writers could never come up with a good reason why she existed. So in lieu of coming up with something off the wall (they never hesitate anywhere else), they didn't give one. But they hint to some pretty good ones.

"She stays here when she goes to school." This is the lie told by Gustav in the pilot. She's there all the time. Eileen never questions him. The boys don't ask. It trips so naturally off of his tongue. Is this a cover story he tells to hide the awful secret of her past?

"She thought Miss Ringhoff hated her. She dreaded going to her class." Gustav remembers this opinion about Sophie's teacher from two years earlier. The opening scene suggests that Sophie is a problem child if she had to be "kicked out" of a class. And it seems Gustav was involved in whatever disciplinary action was taken.

"Gustav will find out you have me." She says this in the pilot, and then later switches to the boys' convention of 'Uncle' Gustav. Does Sophie do this for their sake, so that they won't ask questions? She needn't have worried. The writers don't let them.

Sophie's never given so much as a postcard from her parents during their world cruise. What a simple way that would be to explain her continuing presence. Instead she has no family of any kind.

"Sophie's going to be coming with us." In the finale, Eileen accepts without hesitation custody of Sophie—over the phone, no less. She already knows somehow that this child has nowhere else to go. If Sophie were in college, she would be allowed to stay on in Gustav's house, or go her merry way alone, with no problem.

Instead, she's lost her apparent legal guardian and is going to be forcibly relocated to another continent. It will be the exact opposite of what the boys experienced all summer. What would Sophie be like in America? Will she still be snobby and precocious? Are these her defense mechanisms?

My personal theory is that Sophie's parents were ex-students of Gustav's, and vampire hunters. They were locals to Luxembourg, and through whatever weird circumstances, they got themselves killed and left Sophie with no immediate family. It would explain so much.

Gustav is named Sophie's guardian in their will. He feels it's his fault they died, or some such. He's got a local brother, Wilhelm. Then it all makes perfect sense that he opts for early retirement to take care of her, and moves to Luxembourg.

But she never feels totally comfortable about the situation. Maybe it's because she didn't want to stay there. On the other hand, she seems totally natural and happy at the castle—where she chooses to go.

Lucard accepts her into his home and his flock without pause or regret. He pays attention to her in a way that no one at the Helsing house would. Can you imagine Gustav going clothes shopping with her? Could Max or Chris buy her anything (besides flowers) that she wouldn't find totally idiotic?

Sophie becomes a vampire. She doesn't immediately go after her boyfriend, Vincent. Chris already pointed out his flaws. It doesn't take her long to realize that he really is just posturing. He may be a little older—and a little cuter—than Chris, but the attraction otherwise fizzles.

She can't go "home." At no point does she even want to, from the look of it. What would she go back to, even if they took down the Cross of the Magyars? They're not her real family anyway.

Sophie may not want to specifically hurt Gustav—but then again maybe she does. Does she blame him for something? Is she upset by the fact that he didn't (take enough interest in her life to) protect her from Vincent? Lucard's starting to look pretty attractive for a lot of reasons.

Maybe she does have a crush on Lucard. Look at Vincent: blonde, too much hair gel, way snappier dresser than Chris. She tried the store brand, and will no longer accept any cheap substitutions.

The attraction need not be mutual, with the reasons she thinks, for the plot to work. Who knows? Maybe Lucard bears a resemblance to her absent father.

"All the things you said, even the kiss?" In the end, she's stuck right back where she was to start. Chris rescues her, and she is grateful to him. Some part of her realizes that being a vampire has its drawbacks. Chris's heart is on the line. He's not a bad consolation prize: until Alexa Singleton arrives.

A Couple of Points / Lucard's Home Page / lpetix@dpcc.com