Falling Into a Trap with
a Sexy Lure|
giving the baobhan sith credit
The baobhan sith's role in Hellsing, though the time between her introduction and death only spans a single episode, is felt throughout the rest of the series. It is because of her little chomp on Integral's neck that Integral stabs herself; that stab wound continues to haunt the series long after the original chomper becomes a pile of dust.
The most obvious example of this is, of course, Order 10, the surgery-induced flashback. (Pause for moment of aww-at-young-Integral-cuteness!) No wound, no surgery, no excuse to let us see the past which is so important to see. In the manga this is simply a reminiscence in the second chapter; in the anime they get so far into the plot that they can't just put it on hold without a good reason. A stab wound to the throat is a pretty good reason.
Integral recovers quickly; in Order 11 she's making her rounds in a wheelchair, and by Order 12 she's walking with a cane. But when Alucard offers his blood to her in Order 12, she nearly collapses, clutching her throat - validating his earlier assertion that the situation is too much for her right now. Another layer of challenge has been added to what would otherwise be just another (albeit stronger) vampire to fight.
Despite this, when everything starts to fall apart, Integral insists that Walter fly her to the scene (via helicopter). When she falters for a moment - the first and last time this happens in all of Hellsing - it is not out of concern for her safety, but for his. He reassures her, and delivers her safely to the ground, crashing with the helicopter; despite the soft landing, she loses consciousness, feeling that wound again.
And it is thus that Integral ends up axed to the floor by Incognito when she wakes up. But here we reach the final effect of the wound - and this one actually works to her advantage. You see, Incognito drinks Integral's blood, but he never actually bites her. He simply draws the blood up through the cut in her neck, where the stress has torn the bandage. There's no new vampiric contamination, and, since the last one has already been purged, Integral has one less thing to worry about . . . thanks to the baobhan sith.
doing the impossible
With the limited time she's given, Bubbancy manages to waltz through the Hellsing reality and do things that most fans probably thought were impossible. Let's run down the list.
She causes Integral to lose her cool. Given how Integral has handled herself through crisis after crisis - getting mad occasionally, getting sad once, but always remaining strong - she seems like she could just glare any opponent into submission. But with the baobhan sith she runs through every technique in the book, switching from cursing ("You evil b____!") to derogatory mocking ("I wouldn't bother to waste my soldiers' time on a sad she-freak like you") to sarcastic pity ("Do you think you're torturing me?") . . . and none of it works.
She causes Alucard to lose his cool. This in itself is a downright amazing achievement. When Incognito, in a standoff against Alucard, alludes to her activities - "The difference between us is that you don't have a master anymore" - our favorite vampire goes absolutely nuts. His eyes widen; he shouts, "What have you DONE?!" (Mind you, Incognito hasn't done anything to Integral; it's all the baobhan sith.) For a guy who's never even raised his voice before in the series, this is incredible.
She gets past Walter. When the Valentine Brothers brought in an army of ghouls, they got past most of the Hellsing forces, and then get sliced to shreds by the Angel of Death. When Jan calls up a second army of ghouls, composed of the corpses of the Hellsing forces, Walter and Seras take them out as well. Okay, Jan gets past Walter, but he's missing an arm, and Integral, who has advance warning, shoots him as soon as he reaches her. The baobhan sith not only gets past him unscathed, she uses him to keep Seras out of her way.
She gets Integral undressed. Up to this point, we have only seen Integral in that same fitted dark green suit, all buttoned up, with the shirt underneath buttoned, the scarf tied, and the pin clipped on. We've never even seen her with her glasses off. Bubbancy walks in and pulls off the glasses, the pin, the scarf, the suit jacket, and half of the shirt. It's the most fanservice in the whole series, at the expense of the last person you would ever expect to be fanservicey in the first place. If this were the only thing the baobhan sith ever managed to do, she'd still deserve a tip of the hat in my book.