Blade is a Netflix exclusive television series set in the Earth-11584 continuity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Released in January 2016, it is the fourth such collaboration between Marvel Studios and Netflix, though it is the first that does not appear to tie directly into the ongoing story building to 2017's The Defenders. The series stars Trevonte Rhodes as the titular vampire hunter as he seeks to kill an ancient evil plaguing the homeless population of New York. This is the third iteration of the Marvel Comics character, following a trilogy of movies starring Wesley Snipes and a one-season series on Spike TV in 2006.
The darkness is breeding in New York, but not just on the streets of Harlem or the back alleyways of Hell's Kitchen. In the Brooklyn neighborhood of Flatbush and the surrounding areas, an ancient evil has arrived seeking some kind of release. It is into this environment that the vampire hunter Blade, the legendary Daywalker, has arrived to hunt down the creatures of the night. However, Blade harbors a dark secret, and this ancient evil may in fact be the key to curing Blade of his curse and allowing him to live a normal life. One man's desire for basic humanity will clash with his responsibility as the fate of New York hangs in the balance.
Episode 1. The Darkness
We open in a lavish ballroom inside a hotel near downtown Brooklyn. Amidst all the high-society types in the crowd, we see one man stand up and approach the podium amidst the applause. The man has slicked back white hair and wears rose-tinted glasses, despite being indoors. He is identified as British financeer and nobleman Zachariah Ravenscroft, being welcomed for his charitable donation to the new low-cost hospital being built in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn. Ravenscroft says that ever since he was a young child, he has tried to use his wealth and standing to help those who are less fortunate than him. And he hopes that this hospital will be the first in a long line of facilities in New York and throughout the world that will combine cutting edge medical technology with basic medical needs being filled. He also points to Harold Meachum, who sits next to him at the table around the podium, the current CEO of Rand Pharmaceuticals who also contributed to this project, and Dr. Michael Morbius, who will be the chief of research at the Ravenscroft Institute. Ravenscroft continues to speak but trails off for a moment, seemingly losing his place, the heat getting to him. He takes a glass of water and concludes his remarks before departing from the podium and exiting the room.
Outside the lavish hotel in the streets it is a different story, as people are huddled together around a trash barrel. One such individual is a young man, barely in his 20s. He stands alone around a separate fire, away from the rest of the group. In the distance, he sees the well dressed Zachariah Ravenscroft enter the alleyway, his glasses off his face and his head in his hands, appearing to be fighting off some sort of craving. The man asks Ravenscroft if he is alright, or if he needs some help. Ravenscroft replies in a deep growl that he does need help, the only kind the man can provide, before looking up, revealing his blood red eyes and a mouth filled with sharp fangs. With lightning reflexes, Ravenscroft attacks the man and begins ripping at his flesh as the other occupants of the alleyway scatter. Ravenscroft drinks the blood of the still alive but serious wounded man, before he hears the roar of a chopper in the distance. He quickly scurries off, leaving the half-dead corpse there. The motorcycle comes to a stop a few minutes later, and a black man in sunglasses and a leather trench coat gets off, smelling the dirt around the trash barrel. The beaten and bleeding man asks for some help, some relief from the pain. Blade regards the man with a quizzical look and then barely replies above a whisper a sure. He kneels down and grasps the man's shaking hand, still dripping with blood, before quietly pulling a revolver from his trench coat and then shooting the man through the hand, ending his suffering. Without motion Blade gets back on his chopper, phones a man named Whistler that he's coming in with samples to analyze, before taking off without looking back.
The following morning, Captain George Stacy of the NYPD is surveying the crime scene as the mangled body is taken away on a gurney. One of the medical examiners remarks that's the eighth such corpse taken in the last three months, mostly indigents and drifters. Stacy says that's probably the only reason why this hasn't gotten the media's attention, and that if he has his way he'll keep the media away, so as not to cause a panic. Stacy observes the shell that's on the ground, and the other detective there tells him to smell it. He does, picking up a strong scent of garlic in addition to the faint telltale smell of GSR. The detective says this is the first time they've gotten a shell casing in addition to the victim, but what it indicates he doesn't know. Stacy files the information away for later and gets back into his patrol car, heading for a local cafe to grab some breakfast. Cutting to inside the cafe where Stacy is waiting at the counter, he hears a voice from behind and is surprised to see NYPD detective Misty Knight walking in. The two greet each other as old friends, Stacy remarking that he thought she was still in Harlem. Misty says she's "taking a break" for the moment, which Stacy nods his head at, remembering that she was under suspension. He explains that he was temporarily transferred to Brooklyn from Queens, and that he doesn't expect to be here long. Over a cup of coffee the two have a discussion about recent cases, with Stacy admitting that they may have a dangerous killer around here. Knight says she could take a look at it in her spare time, but Stacy shoots her down immediately, saying she's still under suspension and she won't drag him down with her. The two share a laugh before Stacy departs, but Knight glances at his departing car and takes notes in a pad of her own, apparently having already been aware of the case.
Inside a vacant garage in an undisclosed location, Blade parks his chopper next to several odd pieces of equipment, including a crossbow and several swords. Blade is approached by an old man who leans heavily against a cane, before handing him a few test tubes filled with blood and dirt. The man asks if he brought a body and Blade raises an eyebrow, asking him where exactly he was going to carry a body on his motorcycle. The old man shakes his head and heads over to some lab equipment. He comments that this is the eighth attack in the last three months, and the ferocity that the creature is showing is only increasing with each attack. Blade replies they can't just keep hunting at night hoping to find him at random: they need to shake down a lead or two. The man, identified as Whistler, replies that the only vampire they know of near the vicinity of every attack is a man named Miseria Cantare, but that he's hardly the type to be engaged in such ferocity. Blade replies that Whistler of all people should know that a vampire is a vampire. Surreptitiously, we see Blade inject himself with a serum from a vial without Whistler seeming to notice before heading to the back to shower.
Back at the hospital, we see the afore mentioned Michael Morbius getting his lab equipment in order with several other scientists darting this way and that. Zachariah Ravenscroft, newly returned to his previous visage and donning his sunglasses again, enters the large laboratory and introduces himself to Michael. Ravenscroft asks him how soon he'll be able to begin continuing his research into the plague he was looking into, and Morbius admits it'll be a couple of days given the equipment they need to set up. Zachariah asks him to begin as soon as possible, that people are in need of these "lifesaving cures" as soon as possible, and Morbius replies they'll work as quickly as they can. However he also admits that before they moved out here they were no closer to understanding the nature of the virus that Ravenscroft asked them to research. Zachariah dismisses this concern, saying that he has the utmost faith in Morbius. The doctor then introduces a new intern that just started that day, by the name of Rachel Baxendale. She introduces herself to Ravenscroft, who seems oddly attracted to her in terms of her looks. He shakes her hand and kisses it on the knuckles in a charming fashion before she awkwardly walks off to begin emptying boxes. Morbius and Ravenscroft each smile as she passes, seemingly admiring her beauty. Zachariah walks away, still looking back at the oblivious form of Rachel. He mutters to himself that he had found one at last before we cut to black.
Episode 2. The Dawn
We open on the alleyway where the man had been killed before, still covered in police tape even if the cops have vacated the area for the moment. Misty Knight slowly walks into the area, keeping her badge on her hip just in case. She surveys the scene, taking note of the chalk outline where the body was found. Out of the corner of her eye she sees a homeless man approaching, but he quickly runs away when she calls out to him. She jogs after him and catches him down another alleyway, as he desperately tries to throw drugs down a storm drain. Knight says she doesn't care about that, but she wonders if he's seen anything to do with that killing last night. It takes some time, but eventually the man said that some kind of monster did it, with fangs and everything. At first Knight can't believe him, thinking he's just high on PCP, but the more vivid descriptions match notes she had made from previous killings. She asks where she might find more "monsters", and the man says he had seen one come out of a club several blocks away, a rave spot called Coffin Joe's. She hands the homeless man a $20 bill and tells him to go buy something other than drugs with it before leaving the alleyway, her mind still reeling from what she had heard.
In a nearby apartment, we see Dr. Michael Morbius as he struggles to open his door with one hand, as he balances a box full of scientific equipment. His awkward entrance is saved by Rachel Baxendale, who tells Morbius that she didn't know he lived in this building too. Morbius replies, stuttering, that it's all he could afford at the moment, but he's curious how an intern could afford to live here. Baxendale admits her uncle is the one paying the rent, as he is some big shot industrialist back in the United Kingdom. She grew up with her mother here in America though, so she didn't really have access to all that wealth growing up. Michael explains some of his backstory as well as they set up the equipment in his apartment, and Morbius eventually invites Rachel to come over for dinner sometime, which she agrees too.
We cut back to Blade's garage, where he is refilling a quill with crossbow bolts to strap to the side. Whistler hobbles over there and hands him a syringe with a serum, which he quickly takes. Whistler asks if the dosage effects are still adequate, and Blade gruffly replies that they are, just keep making the serum at the current concentration and he'll be fine. Whistler says that they need some more research into ways of improving the serum's effectiveness on him, but Blade dismisses his concerns, sarcastically replying that the science is the only reason he keeps Whistler around, as he's useless in a fight. Whistler laughs, faux boxing with Blade briefly before turning back to his burners and books. He asks Blade if he really thinks that a "dandy" like Cantare is responsible for these attacks, and Blade admits that it's a weak lead, but it's the only one they have at the moment. He knows that Cantare hangs out at the Rave place, Coffin Joe's, and that it'll be a quick in and out job to speak with him. Whistler asks if he'll slay Cantare, and Blade replies that not if he remains useful.
We cut back to a night club in Brooklyn, where a rave style party is going on. A large number of individuals are dressed in gothic attire and dancing to a techno beat, causing Misty Knight to stick out like a sore thumb. She asks one of the waiters where a man named Cantare is, but the waiter ignores her. She flashes her badge and that gets a muffled grunt and a pointing in another direction. Knight heads towards a large African American dressed in foppish attire, looking like he belongs in the 19th century than the 21st. Misty introduces herself as an NYPD detective, and that she would like to ask Cantare about a series of murders that have occurred near his property. Cantare dismisses her, saying that if it occurs outside these walls than he knows nothing about it. Knight tries to intimidate him, but despite his effeminate appearance, Cantare is hardly intimidated. He stands up and stares down at Knight, saying that he is merely a businessman and nothing more. He says for the good detective to either enjoy the party, or produce a warrant, or get out of his establishment. Knight says she'll be back, and Cantare dismissively mutters that no she won't be. Knight starts to leave, but is brusquely pushed aside by Blade in a back hallway. Knight quietly follows him, back to Cantare's VIP box and listens to their conversation.
In contrast to Knight, Cantare bends over backwards to try and accomodate the man he calls "Daywalker." Blade simply asks him if he's heard anything about any new bloodsuckers in the area, and Cantare says that he doesn't keep up with what's going on in the neighborhood, and that he really is trying to stay "vegetarian" these days. Blade says that's the wrong answer and he pulls out a gun, causing the women in Cantare's box to scatter. Cantare says he is highly offended by Blade's actions; he's been nothing but hospitable to him this entire time. Blade quietly replies that hospitality isn't the same thing as usefulness, and he cocks the hammer on the gun. Finally, after some more threats (and with several of the partygoers scattering out of the club), Cantare admits that he knows of a new guy, but doesn't know what his name is or what he does. All he knows is that he just comes, feeds quickly, and then disappears into the night just as quickly. Blade says he'll have to better than that, and Cantare finally fesses up that there's been activity centered around the hospital, the new one they just built. Blade pauses for dramatic effect before disarming the gun and pocketing it. At this point, a man comes from the few remaining partygoers and calls out Blade, saying that he slayed one of his brothers two weeks ago, and its time to pay the piper. Blade simply replies that that won't happen tonight, but the other man refuses, showing his fangs and punching Blade as hard as he can. Blade draws his kitana and proceeds to fight the vampire, Cantare scurrying away as quickly as he can. Misty watches from behind in the hallway, not seeing another vampire sneaking up behind her. Blade easily dispatches the other vampire, cutting off his arm with his kitana and then hitting him with some kind of solar energy grenade, which vaporizes him. Knight appears to try and arrest Blade, when she is attacked from behind by the other vampire. That vampire says that he might as well get an evening meal in, ignoring that Blade seemed to hear Knight's scream. He bites into Knight's neck and starts draining her blood, but Blade stabs him through the heart with his kitana, before blasting him with another UV grenade to finish him off. Knight appears ready to pass out from the shock, and Blade fingers his gun. She calls out to him briefly and then passes out. Blade pulls his gun and prepares to shoot her, but stops himself. He sheaths the gun and drapes Knight over his shoulder as we fade to black.
Episode 3. The Debt
We open on Blade's cycle pulling into his garage hideaway, Misty Knight draped over the front of it and suspended with cables. Whistler limps his way over to the front and helps Blade get her nearly unconscious body off the chopper and set it on a table. Whistler shines a small light on the wound on her neck and says they should still have time, before injecting her with a syringe just below the wound. Misty reacts to this jabbed needle, grimacing in pain before falling silent again. Whistler continues to make preperations for her as she is lain on a makeshift bed on a table, while Blade goes through the few things he found on her person: gun, badge, and a cellphone. Whistler chastises him, saying that can wait, but Blade silences him with a look. He then asks how long before they'll know if the serum worked, and Whistler says it's hard to say, but within the next 24 hours they should be certain. Blade says that Cantare said there's been activity around the new hospital in Brooklyn, but nothing else. Whistler says at least it narrows down their search for whoever's been responsible for these killings. He adds that if the public finds out more about this, panic will set in and it will likely chase their monster back further into the shadows. Whistler says he's never been this close before, and Blade asks him what he's talking about. Whistler quiets down, and tells Blade to get some rest.
Back at the rave club, Captain Stacy is interrogating some of the guests and turns to speak with Cantare, who is incensed by the treatment by the officers (Screaming racial discrimination at the drop of a hat). Stacy tries to calm him down, and to explain exactly what happened in his own words. Cantare says it was just simply a fight nothing more. Stacy isn't buying it, given that there's blood all over the place and reports of a woman having been held hostage. Cantare curses under his breath and then tries to speak in a hypnotic tone for Stacy to forget everything he has seen and heard tonight. Stacy has enough and tells him he's taking him downtown, but Cantare tells him he can't due to medical reasons. He'll be happy to come down and file a report that evening, but he can't go out in sunlight. Eager to just get out of the place (and rightly assuming that Cantare is harmless), Stacy let's him go but tells him to show up that night. As he's leaving, Stacy spots some of the surveillance footage from the fight, and sees Blade in action. That isn't what draws his attention so much as it is the fact that Misty Knight was the woman being held hostage. Stacy files this information away for later.
Some time later Misty awakens inside Blade's garage. She slowly sits up before she notices Whistler in the background, working on a motorcycle. She quickly lays back down as silently as she can, but Whistler cuts her off, saying that he heard her wake up five minutes earlier. She asks him how he could have heard someone waking up, and Whistler slowly limps over to the table, smiling and saying that old ears are still ears, and his happen to work better than most. She starts to sit up again, but Whistler asks her to stay where she is, reaching across her neck and shining an ultraviolet light on the wound there. He smiles when he says there's no sign of necrosis of the flesh, meaning that the serum seems to have worked and she should be in the clear, causing Misty to ask what she was injected with. Whistler contemplates the answer for a moment, saying honestly that she was injected with venom from a creature, and it would have proven fatal had it run its course. Misty presses the matter, asking why that guy bit her then, and Whistler is eventually forced to confess that it was a vampire. Misty at first dismisses this out of hand, but the deadly serious look on Whistler's face causes her to realize he isn't joking. Whistler explains briefly that vampires have existed alongside mankind since the dawn of recorded history; living in a society parallel to their own with its own government, rules, etc. Misty says she briefly saw fangs on Blade, and asks if that means that he is a vampire. Whistler reluctantly answers that he is a dhampir, the child of a human father and a vampire mother. Moreover his mother was turned when Blade was in utero, making him an even rarer specimen: a Daywalker, who has all of the strengths of a vampire with almost none of their weaknesses. He further adds that he and Blade are vampire hunters, they kill those vampires that are out of line and are a threat to humanity, which these days means most vampires they come across. This brings Misty up short, as she asks if she was going to turn into a vampire if that serum they gave her didn't work, which Whistler nods. She then asks if that means they would have killed her, but Whistler changes the subject. Misty moves on, asking exactly how you kill a vampire, with sunlight? Garlic? A stake through the heart. Whistler pauses, saying that there aren't many things that would survive a stake through the heart, before adding that sunlight, or more specifically ultraviolet light of a certain frequency, is the quickest way to kill a vampire. Misty asks if its a vampire that's been behind the recent string of attacks, and Whistler says he thinks it is, before being stopped from saying more by Blade, who enters the room.
Misty says that she's a detective and she's investigating this case, but Blade merely chimes in that her investigation is at an end (also adding that he learned that she's on suspension, so she literally has no jurisdiction here.) Misty bluffs, saying she could call them in for questioning by another cop, and Blade replies that they'd just leave and New York would be at the mercy of whatever that creature is doing out there. Whistler chimes in, saying that Blade has confirmed it is the creature they've been hunting for all these years, and Blade simply says that it looks that way. At Whistler's prompting and Knight's insistence, Blade explains that they are hunting a creature named Bloodscream, an ancient vampire-like entity that has roamed the world for well over 500 years. They think the creature may have ties to the lord of vampires, Dracula (which again causes Misty to laugh, only to be caught off guard by their deadly seriousness), but moreover they think he's more dangerous than a normal vampire, as he might be able to hide in plain sight during the day. As Blade continues to explain this, we cut to Zachariah Ravenscroft inside the hospital as he goes about his business, checking in on the video feed of Dr. Michael Morbius' laboratory. He sees the doctor and his intern, Rachel, working closely together, and he frowns the longer he watches it. We cut back to Blade who says they need to find Bloodscream, before he strikes again, or worse, before he finds a way to escape their clutches once more. Misty says she'll help anyway she can, out of gratitude if nothing else. Blade reluctantly agrees as we cut to black.
Episode 4. The Deep Breath
As Dr. Morbius continues to try and cure the bloodborne disease that Zachariah Ravenscroft is paying him to try and cure, he also continues to get close to Rachel Baxendale in the process, much to his boss's chagrin. However Ravenscroft feels pressure from Madame Gao, the mysterious leader of the Hand, who turns out to be one of the lead benefactors of this new hospital in an attempt to control more of opiate drug traffic through New York with a legitimate front organization. Ravenscroft, facing the need to feed again soon, is forced to suggest Morbius take his new synthesized protein to human trials faster than he would like. When Morbius fights back on this front, Ravenscroft transforms into the vampiric creature Bloodscream and forces the drug into Morbius. Rachel attempts to confront Bloodscream, and is nearly killed for her troubles, only to be saved by Blade, who fights the creature off and barely escapes the incoming NYPD, who are temporarily delayed by Misty Knight, who tries to get George Stacy off the trail of the vampire hunters. Before long, however, both Stacy and Knight are briefly attacked by a new creature, the formerly human Dr. Morbius, who runs off into the night.
Episode 5. The Desire
As George Stacy threatens Misty Knight with an obstruction charge for interfering in his investigation, Blade is left to investigate the mysterious past of Rachel Baxendale, finding out that she is in fact adopted. He tasks Whistler with finding out more information about her as he heads off in search of both Bloodscream and the missing Dr. Michael Morbius. However, the blood borne disease that Morbius was attempting to cure has instead mutated him into a vampire like creature not too disimilar from Bloodscream (though unable to assume his normal human form). This opens a second front on the vampire war front, as Morbius begins attacking victims indiscriminately, but never killing anyone, merely draining enough blood to survive. Meanwhile, Bloodscream confronts Blade, offering him information that could not only lead to Morbius' (and, surprisingly enough, Rachel's) capture, but a cure for both himself, and a way for Blade to achieve the humanity he has always desired.
Episode 6. The Denial
As Morbius continues his reign of terror, Blade wrestles with the decision between Bloodscream's offer and hunting the creature. When he asks Whistler his opinion, Whistler becomes incensed, and we learn that Bloodscream was the man who killed Whistler's wife and child at a time when he was trying to have a more "understanding" approach to vampire hunting. He also reveals that Rachel Baxendale, based on the blood sample that he got from her earlier, is a descendant of the legendary Van Helsing family, and is a key to Bloodscream's ancient curse being lifted (revealing Ravenscroft's past as a cursed knight forced to live on human blood, only to be cured by draining the life of one of the Van Helsing clan). As a result, Whistler takes Rachel into protective custody, trying to explain her heritage to her. Elsewhere, Misty Knight by chance discovers Morbius at his former home while continuing her own private investigation, and is nearly killed in fleeing from the living vampire. This leads to the confrontation between Blade and Morbius, as Blade tries to end the cursed man once and for all.
Episode 7. The Dare
Blade and Morbius fight in the streets of Brooklyn, attracting attention from the NYPD and Ravenscroft as well, as he finally verifies his information of Rachel's origin. Blade is limited in what he can accomplish given the number of innocent civilians in the area (and the fact that his weapons are only partially effective on Morbius). Eventually Blade is able to drive Morbius away, primarily because Morbius realizes what he has become and runs away in terror. Blade is then tazed and taken prisoner by the NYPD under the auspices of Captain George Stacy, who thinks he is the serial killer responsible for all of this. As Blade is taken away, Ravenscroft attacks Whistler at Blade's location and critically injures him, capturing Rachel in the process and taking her away to be used in a ritual killing to rid himself of his curse. Eventually Misty Knight is able to convince Stacy that Blade is innocent, and that Ravenscroft is the real killer. Blade returns to his home and attempts to stabilize Whistler by injecting him with some of his own blood, granting him a vampiric healing factor briefly, but the old man is still mortally wounded and dies. Blade begins to go after Bloodscream, but he is unexpectedly joined by Morbius, who seeks redemption for his actions before, and fights to control the beast within.
Episode 8. The Daywalker
Blade, Morbius and Misty Knight (with Captain Stacy keeping NYPD off their tales) all head to the hospital and confront Ravenscroft, interrupting the ritual he has begun to lift his curse. Incensed, Ravenscroft releases his full potential as the beast Bloodscream, and nearly kills Morbius and Blade in the initial fight, forcing the heroes to withdraw. As they attempt to regroup quickly, Blade is drained from both the transfusion with Whistler and the damage Bloodscream did to him, forcing him to drink Misty Knight's blood in order to survive. This display, however, drives Morbius away into the night, as he continues to struggle with his own Using her own ingenuity, Rachel manages to escape and hide from Bloodscream, who has become so intoxicated with his own power that he has forgotten about his attempts to become human again. Blade confronts Bloodscream again and, newly energized by the infusion of new blood, manages to match him blow for blow before finally cutting off the creature's head. As Bloodscream begins to regenerate, Blade kicks his corpse into a room with tanks of liquid oxygen and breaks one open, freezing Bloodscream in place and causing him to shatter into a million pieces, killing him. In the aftermath, a funeral is held for Whistler as Captain Stacy returns to Queens and Misty Knight is reinstated to the force. Rachel offers to tag along with Blade, who decides to travel to New Orleans to hunt down Morbius and try and offer him the same control Whistler gave him.
- Trevonte Rhodes as Eric Brooks/Blade- A vampire hunter who, being a dhampir himself, has many of the strengths of a vampire without many of their weaknesses.
- Willem DaFoe as Dr. Abraham Whistler- An aged vampire hunter who acts as a surrogate father and aide to Blade in his war on the undead.
- Blu Hunt as Rachel Baxendale/Rachel van Helsing- A descendant of the famed Abraham Van Helsing who is blissfully unaware of her family's connection to the evil of Dracula and other vampires.
- Graham McTavish as Zachariah Ravenscroft/Bloodscream- An apparent British nobleman who has become a highlight of New York society, but who is also an immortal vampire like creature known as Bloodscream.
- Matt Smith as Dr. Michael Morbius- A biochemist working for Rand Pharmaceuticals who is enlisted by Bloodscream to ostensibly find a cure for some kind of disease.
- Simone Massick as Misty Knight- A former NYPD detective who is on temporary leave of absence following the events of Season One of Luke Cage.
- Scott Bakula as Captain George Stacy- A police captain temporarily assigned to a Brooklyn precinct. Also the father of Gwen Stacy in Spectacular Spider-Man.
- David Wenham as Harold Meachum- The current head of Rand Pharmaceuticals and a business partner of Zachariah Ravenscroft.
- Omar Gooding as Miseria Cantare- An overly dramatic vampire "lord" who makes his home in New York, suspected of being behind a series of killings.
In addition, Wai Ching Ho briefly reprises her role as Madame Gao from Daredevil.