When we first meet Silas University student Laura Hollis, we find out a few things about her very quickly. First and foremost, she likes to document almost everything on her trusty webcam. She is a go-getter, very ambitious and the only person on campus that suspects something strange is going on. Her party-heavy roommate Betty forces her to come out with her one night but the next day Laura finds Betty missing, with only a card left behind saying she is has dropped out of school. Laura immediately knows something is up and goes to investigate. At the same time, she meets her new roommate, the mysterious Carmilla.
I laid that out to everyone reading as, although the name of the show is "Carmilla'', the show is also very much about Laura. Through these first few episodes, we see that Laura is very much determined to get to the bottom of what is going on. Thanks to the help of her friends: LaFontaine, Perry and Danny, she's starts working on figuring out what happened to Betty and what has been happening to other girls at the school.
In this post, I am going to explain why Laura Hollis is one of the best characters out there in pop culture. Like many of us, she has her up and her downs, her victories and her failures and her relationship with a certain broody vampire all of which shows us how human Laura truly is.
1.Her never quit attitude
There is a scene in episode 6 of season 1 that I believe is the best example of this. Carmilla is telling Laura that she should stop her investigation and that she needs to stop playing "Lois Lane". There is a moment where Laura thinks about it as turns to the camera.
Her eyes open and you can see a look of determination in her eyes, as Laura says "No." Then she says this to Carmilla, as I believe she was also saying to herself.
"No. No, I'm not going to just give up. Maybe you're right. Maybe I am a child. A nineteen year old who had never left her city's limits before she got here. Who thought that university was gonna be some big adventure full of books to read and parties to dance at. Who never thought anything bad could happen. Well it turns out the world doesn't work exactly how I thought it going to. Girls going missing and maybe that's just the way it is but that doesn't mean I have to accept it. I deserve better. Betty deserves better. Hell, even you deserve better."
I think this is one of the best examples of Laura's never quit mindset. She can be forceful about it to the point of stubbornness. Her determination to find out what happened to Betty and the other girls in season 1 led to finding out about Carmilla being a vampire and her connection to the Dean. She was willing to risk her life to save others. Hell, she believes in not cheating on a test and that an "A" grade is a sacred trust.
In season 2, Laura has gone through even more pain and suffering than she did in season 1. She has lost fellow classmates, she had her heartbroken (as did Carm but more on that later) and she has seen her friends go through much upheaval and pain. Laura has lost almost everything and yet she continues to try to save her friends and classmates
2.She is human and makes mistakes
One of the things that makes Laura likable, relatable and to some infuriating is that she makes a ton of mistakes. In the first two seasons, more so Season 2 is that Laura has made a ton of errors in her plans and her judgment. Everything she has tried to do has been for the best but ended up backfiring on her. We have all been where Laura is at in season 2, you try to do what you thing is right and good and it all ends up going to hell. (Granted our mistakes didn't involve getting your ex-lover's sister killed. I hope.) Season 1 Laura was more naive and untrusting at times like when she wouldn't wear the bracelet Carmilla made or letting The Dean possess her via necklace. Before that, she and the others tied up Carmilla, as they believed her behind the kidnappings. This one worked thankfully as it helped them find out more and gain an ally in Carm. She was able to overcome those mistakes, however with the help of her friends and Carmilla and defeat The Dean. As if she can fix things here in season 2? Sadly, that is a to-be-determined.
Another thing that makes Laura relatable is that she takes everything so very hard. We see her emotions front and center. Everything she has done she thinks is the right thing but sometimes it ends up the wrong thing. She blames herself for the newspaper staff's deaths when it was not. To Laura though, she feels it is her fault because they left. She does not hide the tears and the hurt she is feeling when her and Carmilla break up. We see her trying to figure out what happened and then we see the aftermath that she is even feeling to this day. It is in episode 31, after Danny kills Mattie, and Carmilla blames Laura for it that Laura understands she screwed up and talks about it.
"I just keep on thinking that there's right, and then there's wrong, and that I'm doing the right thing. I just keep making on all these messes. And this whole time I've been pushing Carmilla to "be better" and "be good" - only I'm the one who betrayed her trust - betrayed something she only told me to keep safe. How is that… good? How is that the right thing to do?"
Laura feels like a hypocrite because she thought Carm and the others should follow along with her in her idea of what is right and wrong. Is she? Yes and No. I know that is such a cheap answer but it is true. Laura tried to do what was right. She trusted Vordenberg to do the right thing but was betrayed by a power-hungry old man. (Editor’s Note: Like most of society! Hey Ho!) After being told about the necklace, Laura told Danny about the necklace because she trusted Danny and did not know if Carmilla would do the right thing. In the back of her mind, she had to have known this wasn't going to end well but to her, she was doing the right thing not just for her but also Danny, Perry, LaF and the rest of her friends. She may have screwed up but that just makes me respect the character of Laura Hollis even more. She is not perfect but she won't stop trying to be good and do what is right.
3. Nerd just like all of us.
This part will be very brief but Laura at heart is a big geek. She loves the things we all do. From her Doctor Who mug that she drinks from all the time to her love of shows like Agent Carter and Orange is the New Black and Scandal on social media, she is us. She loves to be a goof as with her "Boom" reference when she thought she was getting somewhere during the Betty investigation.
Elise does a great job of showing us this because to be honest she a big lovable goof in real life too. She loves geeking out over shows like Rookie Blue and that influences Laura's character I think. Laura is just like us. We freak out over unexplainable things like her. We want to believe that people can be good like Laura. Laura Hollis is us and thanks to Elise's performance, we believe that.
What a long, wonderful, heartbreaking love story that Laura has gone through with the one Countess Carmilla Karnstein. When they first meet each other, Carmilla tells her she is her new roommate as Laura has started the investigation for her missing roommate Betty. Instantly they get on each other nerves (well mostly Carm on Laura's) as Carmilla acts like the roommate from hell as Laura continues her search for the truth. The first sign of Carmilla starting to like Laura happens in the sixth episode of season 1 during Laura's speech about not giving up. You can see on Carmilla's face that she likes that Laura is standing up to the Dean and admires her bravery.
One of the first biggest Hollstein moments is during episode 11 (s1) when Laura gives an ear to Carmilla as they talk about not living up to their expectations from their parents, with Laura cracking a little joke that gets Carm to smile. Then just as they are about to talk more, Danny interrupts and it ends this moment. (Thanks Danny.) It is a wonderful moment as Laura's cheerfulness is able to break through Carm's walls and get her to smile. When Danny shows up, Carmilla starts feeling a little jealous and leaves.
In later episodes as Laura starts to suspect Carmilla is behind the kidnappings and later finding out she is a vampire, Carm starts warming up to "Lois Lane" as she gives her a bracelet charm and agreeing to go see the stars with her. In episode 17, Laura ready to use herself as bait to lure Carmilla. Episode 17 is one of the biggest Hollstein episodes in my opinion. As Laura is about to go to the party, Carmilla shows up with a bottle of champagne and some interesting attire (Laura points it out "I'm not the one wearing a corset." (We see you checking her out, Laura.) As Carmilla slides up to Laura, she starts to heavily flirt with Laura. It’s fun to see how flirty Carm is here compared to how nervous Laura is. I think though she is more nervous about liking Carmilla then being bait. It is interesting to watch this back and see how much Carmilla had fallen for her and Laura trying so hard to hide her feelings. The roles would be reversed soon enough. As Carmilla is just about to make a move, she is interrupted by Danny, Perry and LaF there to "save" Laura and tie up Carmilla.
As we continue the next few episodes, Carmilla and Laura bond through her keeping Carm hostage and the epic retelling of Carmilla's origin though PUPPET THEATER!! That episode is important as Laura learns much more about Carmilla and you can see that she is falling for her. She later tells Danny, that she doesn’t reciprocate her crush anymore in a moment where Laura stands up for herself.
In episode 28 (s1) is another wonderful Hollstein moment. As Laura and Carmilla are talking, the discussion goes to Carm's life in 1698. Carmilla talks about what they did for fun and she mentions that one of the things was waltzing. As she and Laura do a quick waltz, Carm says it was almost like sex. Here is when I think Laura realizes she is completely in love with Carmilla or as she puts it in the end of the episode "WORST CRUSH EVER".
Then, a necklace Laura finds and puts on lets The Dean possess her. The Dean forces Carm to stop her meddling or she will kill Laura. Carmilla agrees because she doesn't want anything to happen to the person she loves. Then Laura watches the webcam and finds out about it. She feels hurt, not because of Carmilla not wanting to go for a sword that could kill her but because she gave up (Remember Laura's no quit attitude). You can feel how hurt Laura is to see Carm didn't even try to fight back, even though you can tell that Carmilla gave up for Laura.
This leads to the next episode where Laura and Perry go to fight the Dean and her minions. Laura leaves a message for her father and then for Carmilla she says "YOU KNOW!" Laura wants to tell her she loves her but can't quite yet. Carmilla sees the message and goes to help with the fight and get the sword. Laura thinks she did it to be a hero but I think she knows that Carm did it for her. It ends up with it looking like Carmilla has been killed. Laura is in mourning until Perry and Danny find Carmilla's body, which is only in need of blood. Once they are able to revive her, it ends up just being Carmilla and Laura in the room.
As Laura starts rambling as she does when she is nervous, Carmilla goes for it and kisses her not once but twice. As a friend of mine Chelsea said, Carmilla has always been worried about whether the person she loves would run away from her. As for Laura, I think she is stunned but then very happy that Carmilla is here for her. After Carm kisses her, Laura goes back for more kisses that makes all the Hollstein fans giddy as fuck. After they break their kiss, they look at each other and Laura cracks a joke as both smile and are happy. Thus ending season 1 and they all lived happily ever after......*
*Sighhhhh I wish.
Season 2 begins with them very much still in the honeymoon stage, especially Carmilla. She can't keep her hands off her. They were even sharing the same Doctor Who mug!! They are both very much in love. However, when the school's newspaper staff is killed, Laura's goes to investigate. Carmilla on the other hand is more focused on Laura and just being lovers but Laura can't do that. It's just not in her nature, that's not Laura Hollis. Even though they have a few more moments of lovey-dovey moments, there starts to be cracks in the relationship. First is when Carmilla feels like Laura is bragging too much about how heroic Carm was in the big battle and she doesn't want to be a hero. She just wants to be Laura's lover but Laura needs her help with this.
The next crack to hit their relationship comes in the form of Carmilla's sister, Mattie. Mattie is Laura's number #1 suspect in the newspaper murders but then Mattie starts mentioning how this is only a schoolgirl crush for Carmilla and that Laura is like so many of Carm's former paramours. Laura at first doesn't let it get to her but it slowly gets to her.
It ends up being a combo of both that breaks them up. When Laura asks Carmilla to spy on Mattie, it ends up making Carm mad as hell. This leads to a moment later when Mattie makes a threat and, in Laura's head, her knight in shining armor Carmilla will make with some heroics and save them all except Carmilla isn't in for that. She loves Laura so much but she is not willing to be a hero. She isn't willing to betray her sister. She just wants to be a lover. In Laura's head, she loves her but wants her to try to be a good person. One who will stay and fight. Carm isn't that and so she breaks up with her.
Laura takes the breakup as we all would, with crying and lots and lots of ice cream. She thinks that love is supposed to change the monster but that is a problem there. Carm's not a monster and it shows when they meet again. Carm is in pain and only knows to show it through her old ways: being a terrible roommate, lots, and lots of sarcasm. Laura deals with it the only way she really knows how, by throwing herself into whatever cause she is going after. This goes on for a while until Vordie becomes the new man in charge and all vampires are being hunted. Laura agrees to hide Mattie and Carmilla. This leads to a few heartfelt moments between Laura and Carmilla where we see it still hurts for both. They love one another but can't get on the right page like many people in love. During one of these conversations is when Carm tells her about the necklace.
Another one of these conversations leads to Laura and Carmilla being more open with each other and admitting they still deeply care about one another. They kiss but then acknowledge they can't be together until this is all over.
A little bit later, we get to a confrontation with Mattie over the possibility of something happening to Perry and then to Danny and Vordie confronting her about the murder of Danny's sisters. It escalates until Mattie attacks Danny and Danny (with the info Laura told her) grabs the necklace and smashes it killing Mattie. This breaks Carmilla as she snaps at Laura and Laura sees everything blow up in front of her. The next episode Laura admits she screwed up and you can tell her heart is broken almost beyond repair.
Is this the end of Hollstein? I'm not sure to be honest. Laura loves Carmilla and deep down I think Carm still loves her. Laura is a very tough person but still has unintentionally and intentionally caused a lot of pain in Carmilla's life but you can say the same for Carm. They love each other very much but since this is about Laura, I will look at it from her POV here. She wants to make it right with Carm and I think Laura is tired of the battle as much as she is but unlike Carm, she is bound by her sense of honor to stick around and save everyone. Personally, I hope Laura can forgive herself and then I hope that somehow Carmilla can begin to forgive her.
So these are some of the reasons I love Laura Hollis. She is a tough, geeky, love-struck hero who makes mistakes and tries to learn from them. What will happen to Laura at the end of this season? I really don't know. I do know however that no matter what happens whether it be Vordie, Fish gods or a brokenhearted ex, Laura will continue to fight for what she believes is right. That's a person to admire and appreciate in my book.