Well, I am in recovery today, folks.
No, I didn’t go out and partake in a wild night of drinking, where I did things (like get married, hehe), that I have to piece together the next morning.
And what a ride it was…
I’ve always been kind of curious to see what Quentin Tarantino’s take on a period horror drama would be (seriously, I want to see Quentin Tarantino’s take on pretty much anything, but I digress.)
And I got my wish last night.
In other words, I got my period horror drama (as always.)
But, there was comedy.
There was a gunfight.
And there were ridiculous lines that may have seemed ridiculous, but somehow, they still worked.
In other words, Quentin Tarantino is an un-credited writer for Penny Dreadful. I tell you, it’s the only thing that makes sense, as this was an entirely new turn for a show that has been filled with surprises almost from the get-go.
So, buckle yourselves in, and prepare for the recap and review of No Beast So Fierce. And try not to fall out of your seat, ok?
And, as always:
The episode begins with Renfield meeting with Dracula, begging Dracula to feed him. Renfield discloses the names of some of Vanessa’s friends, including Malcolm and Ethan. Dracula then allows Renfield to feed on a nearly dead corpse, reminding Renfield of who is really in charge.
Vanessa pays a visit to Dr. Lyle and requests his assistance. Lyle tells her that he is leaving for Egypt, and that this time, the visit may be permanent. Vanessa is heartbroken to be losing yet another friend, but Lyle gives her the name of another acquaintance who may be able to help her.
Back in America, the stand-off between Ethan and his father Jared is interrupted by the arrival of Inspector Rusk, who announces that he is arresting Ethan, so that Ethan may stand trial for his crimes.
Caliban has recovered some memories of his past life, and looks in on his sleeping son. The boy is ill and in discomfort, but recognizes his father’s voice. However, once the boy opens his eyes and sees Caliban in his form as the Creature, he begins to scream. Caliban is heartbroken, but vows to obtain medicine so that his son may be cured.
Vanessa attends a fencing match, per the instruction of Dr. Lyle. She finally meets Lyle’s friend, Catriona Hartdegen. Catriona is an accomplished female fencer, despite the accusations against her of cheating. Vanessa tells Catriona her story, and requests help in her fight against Dracula. Catriona agrees, but reminds Vanessa not to isolate herself, as there is strength in numbers.
Vanessa then has a drink with Dr. Seward. Dr. Seward tells Vanessa that she understands what it is like to be alone, as she killed her husband in self-defense and was forced to stand trial for murder. Dr. Seward encourages Vanessa to seek the company of Dr. Sweet, to decrease her risk of isolation.
At Dorian’s mansion, Lily teaches a self-defense workshop of sorts to prostitutes who are forced to endure abuse from men. Lily uses Dorian as a model to demonstrate her techniques. However, Justine cuts Dorian’s throat in the demonstration. This prompts concern from Dorian, who states that Justine has forgotten her place in their lives.
Malcolm, Ethan, Jared and Inspector Rusk sit down to a dinner in Jared’s ranch. Jared forces Ethan to say Grace, and harasses Ethan until he complies. This prompts Malcolm to come to Ethan’s defense, reminding Jared that his son is still a good man, no matter what the accusations against her are. Hecate also tells Ethan that she will unleash her magic, if he will just give her the word.
Victor then visits Lily at Dorian’s mansion. He is held at knife-point by Justine, and tries to convince Lily to allow him to inject the serum into her, telling her that it will make her memories of her troubled past vanish. Lily refuses, and Justine offers to slit Victor’s throat. Dorian says that this act of violence would be senseless, and Lily ultimately agrees. She frees Victor, but states that she may have use for Victor and his services at a later time.
Vanessa visits Dr. Sweet at the natural history museum, and confesses her troubles to him, stating that she is being hunted by a creature called “Dracula.” Dr. Sweet is not frightened, and tells Vanessa that he loves her for what she is. The two then consummate their relationship.
Violence erupts at Jared’s mansion back in America. Jared shoots Ostow, who had accompanied Inspector Rusk in his quest to bring Ethan to justice. Rusk then asks Ethan and Hecate about the snakes that were conjured in the desert. Ethan and Hecate then spring to action, as does Malcolm. Hecate reverts to her nightcrawler form and is shot by Rusk. Rusk is then shot by Ethan. Malcolm is cornered by one of Jared’s bodyguards, but is saved by the sudden appearance of Kaetenay, who has recovered from the snake bites.
Hecate dies in Ethan’s arms. Ethan teams with Malcolm and Kaetenay, and they find Jared in his chapel. Ethan shoots the gun out of his father’s hands, and his father taunts him to pull the trigger. Ethan is unable to pull the trigger, and walks away from his father. Jared then taunts Ethan further, promising him that he will still hunt him down. Malcolm then shoots Jared, killing him instantly.
So. Much. Going. On. In. This. Episode.
Where to start, then?
Well, let me begin with my favorite character of the series, aka Caliban aka The Creature.
It is true that poor Caliban only had but a few lines of dialogue in this episode…
But let me reiterate: poor Caliban!
His son recognized his father’s voice. And started talking about joining the angels (my heart was torn out of my chest.)
And then his poor soon opened his eyes. And (rightfully) screamed his head off.
Then we saw Caliban openly weep, vowing to obtain medicine to cure his son. And not seeming to care to be back in his family’s life, either. All he wants to do is something so that his son no longer has to suffer.
I never thought of him as The Creature. I have called him Caliban because…well…because I just happen to like the name, and I think it suits him.
But now it is especially hard to think of him as The Creature. He has displayed probably more humanity than almost anyone else on the show, and has been responsible for so many Feels. So calling him The Creature is a disservice, and I will hear none of it!
Next, T-Dal. Let’s talk about T-Dal.
Timothy Dalton has been officially upgraded to T-Dal. And he has earned it.
Malcolm Murray is a bad ass. Malcolm Murray can throw down some serious shade. You do not want to meet Malcolm Murray in a dark alley.
Last week, Malcolm Murray referred to Jared Talbot as “vainglorious”, and then complimented his whiskey. In the same breath. I thought that couldn’t be beat.
Oh, how wrong I was. After watching this week’s episode, I need to recant the error of my ways…
Malcolm telling Kaeteney that he was too mean to die. In the midst of a gunfight that would make this guy proud:
Malcolm 1, rest of the world, 0.
Malcolm standing up for Ethan, trying to get him out of saying Grace.
Malcolm 2, rest of the world 0.
Malcolm putting a much deserved bullet into Jared’s skull, after Ethan backed down (see a pattern here?)
Malcolm 3, rest of the world forfeits and concedes to Malcolm.
In other words, the moniker T-Dal is a sign of respect, and to not use it is just sacrilege, dammit!
Also, I need a moment here…
Yes, a moment to mourn the fallen, as there were a few in this episode.
Such as Hecate. Technically, she is a villain, who did some pretty terrible things last season. But her ill-advised hookup with Ethan was such fun to watch, in a car wreck sort of way. So, we can mourn her.
We also have Jared Talbot. Two episodes just were not enough. Is there more Ethan backstory that could be told in flashbacks, so we can get more of you?
Inspector Rusk. Or rather, Bartholomew “I am a stubborn bastard who just cannot fucking die already” Rusk. But finally, you met your end. And went out in a blaze of glory, as you should have. Kudos, buddy. Now let’s reunite the Scoobies in London already.
Ethan was another reason why I loved this episode. I have always loved Ethan’s character (even that crazy wolf half), but this episode was quite important for Ethan.
First of all, some of Ethan’s lines were comedy gold. Well, maybe comedy that is blacker than how my dad takes his coffee, but that’s still comedy.
Ethan saying Grace, but perverting it the way he did has to be the best thing I have seen on television in 2016. Maybe even ever. Or at least it makes my top 10 list. And this is not just for Penny Dreadful. We are talking about television, period.
The (literally) bloody dinner, and the gunfight that followed it, was also some television gold. Again, if Quentin Tarrantino was a secret writer for Penny Dreadful (there can be no other explanation, natch), then this is how it would unfold. Ethan and Hecate casually cutting their meat, while a dead body sits at the table, along with Hecate chomping at the bit to (again, literally) unleash all Hell on Jared and co. Doesn’t get much better than that.
This episode was also important for Ethan’s character, in that he appears to have come back to the side of the good.
Ethan was given the chance to unleash Hecate and her magic on his father. He did not do that, and chose to fight for himself. And he actually mourned Hecate, as opposed to treating her like something to be used. In other words, he behaved like a decent human being.
But more importantly, Ethan had the chance to kill his father. He has only been talking about that all season, after all.
However, Ethan was unable to pull the trigger. Instead, Malcolm stepped in to protect his surrogate son. In other words, Ethan talked a good game, but refused to walk down a dark path from which there was no return.
So, has the apocalypse been averted? On Ethan’s end at least, the answer appears to be yes, as he has returned to the side of the light. Now to just get the band back together and square off against Dracula, the ultimate Big Bad…
So, that’s it for No Beast So Fierce. Tune in next week for the review and dissection of the seventh episode, titled Ebb Tide.
Tune in next week, same bat time, same bat channel!