Good afternoon everyone, and welcome to this week’s edition of the fantastic adult sundae bar, otherwise known as Penny Dreadful!
Well, we are now at the end of the line of the sundae, so we can’t make another visit for quite sometime…sniff…boohoo…
And what a trip it was this season. So many flavors and toppings to chose from, and the final product was (almost) too good to eat! But I partook anyway, and I have no regrets about doing so, nor do I even really have a sugar hangover…it really was that good!
With that being said, here is my recap and review of the final episode of Penny Dreadful, season 2!
The episode begins where the prior episode left off. Vanessa is trapped in Evelyn Poole’s room full of dolls, and Malcolm and Victor are trapped in a room and are tormented with apparitions. Malcolm is tormented by apparitions of his dead children and wife, and Victor is tormented by apparitions of Proteus, Caliban and Lily. The doll continues to speak to Vanessa.
The doll tells Vanessa it is the voice of Lucifer and tries to tempt her. It sends her visions of her utmost desire, which happens to be of a future with Ethan. Vanessa and Ethan are shown to have two children and to be wildly in love with each other. The voice in the doll promises Vanessa a normal life, and safety for her friends, if she promises her soul to Lucifer. Vanessa leans in to kiss the doll, but backs away at the last moment. Vanessa then begins to speak to the doll in Latin, and a battle ensues. Vanessa wins and vanquishes the dark spirit from the doll, destroying it. A scorpion crawls from the doll and melds itself to Vanessa. Evelyn then begins to age rapidly.
The enchantment on Victor and Malcolm is then broken, and they are released from the room entrapping them. Ethan is still in his werewolf form but is also released. Ethan then kills Evelyn, beheading her. The werewolf seems to recognize Vanessa when she calls to it, but Ethan runs away, presumably with guilt over killing Sembene.
Vanessa, Victor, Ferdinand and Malcolm escape from the mansion. Vanessa informs the group that Ethan is safe, but does not elaborate. Hecate is the only witch to survive the confrontation, and also leaves the mansion, but sets fire to it before she leaves.
Vanessa returns to the mansion with Malcolm, who is heartbroken over the death of Sembene. Vanessa consoles him, and Malcolm tells Vanessa that he will return to Africa to bury and pay respects to his long-time friend. Malcolm then boards a ship, presumably en-route to Africa.
Victor returns to his mansion and finds Lily gone. He deduces that Lily is with Dorian Gray, and pays a visit to Dorian. Lily then torments Victor with the knowledge that she has always known how she was created, and has been waiting to strike all this time. Dorian also torments Victor. Victor shoots his gun at Lily and Victor, but this does nothing as the two are immortal. Lilly states that they will let Victor live, so that that Victor will have to come to terms with what he has done, and how he has now created a race of super humans. The two continue to dance, in a trail of blood. Victor returns home, and shoots a massive dose of heroin into his body.
Ethan walks into the office of Inspector Rusk, and immediately confesses to the Mariner’s Inn Massacre. Ethan requests a quick hanging, but Rusk tells him that he will be extradited back to America. Ethan and Rusk then board a ship, and Rusk locks Ethan in a cage.
Caliban is locked in a cage, and receives a visit from Mr. Putney and his wife. Putney and his wife offer him money if he will agree to their terms and allow them to display him in their freak show, but Caliban breaks out of the cage and kills Mr. and Mrs. Putney. Caliban then escapes, leaving Lavinia alone with the bodies of her parents.
Vanessa then pays a visit to the soup kitchen and encounters Caliban. Caliban tells Vanessa that he is going away, as he has committed terrible deeds. Caliban then tries to convince Vanessa to come with him, but Vanessa tells him that she cannot, as she is shrouded in darkness and not good for anyone. Both begin to weep, and Vanessa kisses Caliban goodbye, telling him that he is the best man she knows. Caliban then sets sail on a ship, for parts unknown.
The episode ends with Vanessa extinguishing every light in Malcolm’s mansion. Vanessa then finds the cross in her bedroom, and tosses it into the fire, watching it burn.
Ermahgerd, Perney Deardful!
Well, maybe that is a slight exaggeration, but its not too far off from the truth. So much to love about this episode. And so much action. And so many tear…I don’t know where to start, but here goes nothing!
One of the things that struck me about this episode was that the “action” (the rescue of Malcolm and Victor and the defeat of this season’s “big bad”) was over relatively quickly. And the defeat of the “big bad” and the rescue of our heroes had a rushed feel, almost as if it were an after-thought. And I absolutely loved this, because it took the focus back to some pivotal character development, and also allowed for a ton of “feelsie” moments.
Oh, and the feelsie moments…too many of them to count this episode!
As always, my boy Caliban was directly involved in a couple of those feelsie moments. Yeah, real shocker…our resident poetry quoting monster was responsible for some feelsies…you don’t say!
I will admit, I think I lost it when Vanessa kisses Caliban, and tells him that he is the best man she has ever met. And both were weeping. Caliban is actually one character (ironically, given how he has been responsible for so many feelsies this season) that does not show much emotion. But he was allowed to let loose with the waterworks on this episode, and it was one of the most beautiful, cathartic moments moments of the entire season, and perhaps the entire series. My heart was ripped wide open, so good job, guys!
Caliban’s escape and destruction of his enemies (the wanna-be freak show owning folks aka the Putney’s) was also one of the high points of this episode. This was another part where Caliban showed a little more emotion than he normally would: righteous anger. What kind of monster locks up another living being with the intent of making money from making that being unwilling be part of his/her sick freak show?
And for the record, I do not believe for one moment that Caliban was showing mercy to Lavinia by letting her live. In fact, I believe he was showing her the exact opposite: cruelty. And deservedly so, as she helped her parents in their deception of poor Caliban, and led him on like no one’s business. Lavinia (who is blind) being left alone with the bodies of her parents is cruel and unusual punishment. Sheer torture. But not undeserved…bitch!
And the metaphors and symbols. I would be remiss if I didn’t discuss those, since this episode was crammed full of them. For instance, the sailing ships. These were a clear symbol of the new journeys that our favorite characters will now undergo, and the changes that will (probably) take place in the show. I think the Scooby gang has fractured, at least temporarily, and that everyone is one their own for now. So what will happen? Will Ethan have some more adventures and maybe run into some more of his own kind, aka other werewolves, in his native New Mexico? Will Malcolm travel to Africa and run afoul of dark magic (again)? And poor Vanessa…she defeated Lucifer himself, but is she due to encounter someone (or something) even darker that she cannot defeat, especially now that she no longer has the rest of the Scooby gang to back her up? Only time (aka Season 3) will tell, but the speculation is fascinating!
Then there is the matter of Dorian and Lilly. The white clothes they were wearing, along with the blood (such a beautifully done scene) lead me to believe that we have a new potential story line: a race of “super-beings” has now come into existence, and could cause trouble for a few folks, especially Victor Frankenstein. Victor, try as he might, cannot inject his troubles away, at least in this instance. Even “Lily” means re-birth, and I think we have witnessed the full re-birth and transformation. She is Brona no longer. She has become the creature known as Lily, and has teamed with Dorian Gray. In other words, there will be hell to pay!
Last but not least, there is also the matter of Vanessa. While this show focused on all the main characters, Vanessa was still the focal point of the episode. As I have stated before, this show is, and always will be, Vanessa’s show. Last night was no exception. We start off with Vanessa, and we end with Vanessa. The scenes with Vanessa turning off all of the lights in the mansion were simply brilliant. I believe that we witnessed a major turning point in Vanessa’s character. She may have defeated the Devil himself, but at what cost? And who owns her now? After all, a scorpion made its new home underneath her skin, for goodness sakes! And it looks like Vanessa has forsaken her religion, which meant everything to her in the beginning (well, the beginning of the series, at least). But the season concluded with Vanessa throwing the cross, which she always held near and dear, into the fire and watching it burn. Other than her scene with Caliban, this had to be the most heartbreaking scene in the episode. Vanessa did everything she could to hold on to her faith, even when the going got rough. It may have even helped her defeat Lucifer himself. But obviously, something happened in that encounter, and Vanessa has now forsaken her God. Does this mean that she is on a path of darkness? Has she become known in other circles (and probably evil circles, at that)? Was the vision of her and Ethan simply a trick (another beautifully done scene. And probably not coincidentally, everyone in that scene was also wearing white)? Or is this a possible future, if Vanessa continues on the right path (even though the conclusion implied that she is not on that path)? Again, only time (aka Season 3) will tell, and now we only have speculation, and wild fan theories to boot.
So ladies and germs…that is a wrap, my friends! Our trip to the sundae bar is now complete, and we don’t get to back for a little while, so I hoped you enjoyed it as much as I did! But never fear, there is always next season! And in the meantime, who’s to say we can’t torture ourselves with expectation, and run up some wild theories about our favorite gang of literary Avengers, aka the show Penny Dreadful? So see you later folks…I don’t say good-bye, because we will meet again!