Penny Dreadful Recap and Review: Season 2, Episode 9

Good afternoon, everyone and welcome to this week’s edition of the adult sundae bar, aka the show Penny Dreadful!

Now, we are getting towards the end of the line of the line on the sundae where we must go to the table and finish the ice cream, but that doesn’t mean the selection still isn’t good, and that there are not interesting concoctions to be had.  Which is actually what season 2, episode 9 was: an interesting concoction that was fun to sample!

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With that being said, here is my review and analysis of Penny Dreadful, season 2, episode 9!

And, as always:

Homer spoiler



The episode begins with Roper paying a visit to Vanessa and Ethan at the cottage in the moores.  Roper shows the damage that Ethan has done to his face to Vanessa, and a scuffle ensues.  Roper is stabbed to death by Ethan.  Ethan and Vanessa then bury him the next morning, with Ethan stating that “it was either him or us.”  Victor Frankenstein, then appears at the cottage, and tells Ethan and Vanessa that they must return to London, as Malcolm is in trouble.

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Malcolm remains in Evelyn Poole’s home, and is driven mad by visions of his late wife and children.

Ethan and Vanessa return to Malcolm’s mansion, where Inspector Rusk is waiting for Ethan.  Inspector Rusk tells Ethan that he knows his real name:  Ethan Lawrence Talbot.  Inspector Rusk also informs Ethan that he will soon have access to his military records, and that he is looking to arrest Ethan as soon as possible.  Inspector Rusk then leaves the mansion, promising that he will return soon.

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Ethan then meets with the others in the mansion.  Ferdinand Lyle is among them, and he has confessed his duplicity to Vanessa and Victor.  Ferdinand states that he will be willing to suffer the consequences of his duplicity, and that he is now willing to fight against Evelyn Poole and help rescue Malcolm.

Vanessa wants to go rescue Malcolm right way, but Sembene and Ethan advise her against taking any action.  Sembene suggests a raid the following day, as the witches are more powerful at night.

Victor confesses his drug addiction to Vanessa.  Vanessa offers him compassion, telling him that he will soon find true love.

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Sembene encourages Ethan to tell Vanessa of his true nature, so that she may try to help him.  Ethan says that he thinks Vanessa knows almost everything anyway, but that he is hesitant to put her in danger.  Sembene tells Ethan that in his past life, he was slave trader, but he has found acceptance among Vanessa, Malcolm and now Ethan.  Sembene then thanks Ethan for his friendship, and reminds Ethan that the moon will be full that night.

Ethan returns to his room, where Hecate is waiting for him.  Hecate tries to draw Ethan to her side, stating that he is meant to use his wolf nature in collaboration with her own powers.  Ethan refuses her offer, and Hecate then kisses him, and disappears from the room via a mirror.

Vanessa decides to rescue Malcolm on her own, and leaves without her friends.  Ethan, Victor and Sembene then follow her to Mrs. Poole’s mansion.  Sembene again reminds Ethan of the full moon, but Ethan states that he will rescue Vanessa anyway, wolf or no wolf.  Ethan tells the group to shoot anyone who they don’t recognize.

Hecate and Evelyn torment Vanessa once she shows up at the mansion.  Evelyn tells Vanessa that Malcolm is going made.  Vanessa demands to be taken to Malcolm, but Evelyn tells her that she must meet her Master first.  Evelyn also reminds Vanessa that this being is Vanessa’s master as well.  Vanessa is brought into the room that contains the doll in her likeness.  The doll speaks, telling Vanessa that she is a murderer.

Caliban is working at the wax museum.  He speaks to Putney’s blind daughter, Lavinia.  Lavinia is curious about the new exhibit that her father is working on, and asks Caliban to take her to it.  Caliban sees only empty cages, and passes this information on to Lavinia.  Caliban then sees a book in one of the cages, and moves forward to pick it up.  Lavinia then traps Caliban in the cage, and begins to taunt him, saying that she was glad to trap him, as she felt that their discussions on poetry and so forth were “tedious.”  Mr. Putney then appears and tells Caliban that Caliban is part of a new display at the museum:  living “monsters”.  He also tells Caliban that he will charge people money that people will be willing to pay to see “monsters” such as Caliban, and that any escape attempts will be useless, as no one will be able to hear Caliban scream.

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Lilly returns with Dorian Gray to Dorian’s mansion.  The two begin to kiss, and Dorian addresses Lilly by her previous name:  Brona.  Lilly then demands to know Dorian’s secrets, and asks him how old he is and if he can die.  Dorian challenges her to find out, and Lilly then bites off a piece of his ear.  Dorian goes to the room that contains his picture, and returns fully healed.  The two then consummate their relationship.

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Victor has become trapped in the same room as Malcolm at Evelyn’s mansion.  Malcolm is tormented by visions of his dead family members, while Victor is tormented by visions of Proteus, Lilly and Caliban.  Sembene becomes trapped by Hecate with Ethan.  Ethan changes into his werewolf form, and attacks and kills Sembene.


My Thoughts

Like I stated before, we are getting to the end of the line of the sundae bar.  And the closer we get to the end of the line, the greater the sugar rush becomes…

And this week’s episode was certainly a sugar rush, even if some of the offerings were bittersweet.

This episode contained plenty of shockers, but there were some “feelsies” as well.  You know, feelsies?  When you feel your eyes get that funny burning sensation?

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Pesky, aren’t they?  Damn feelsies…

The scene before the attack on Sembene is great example of a “feelsie.”  Sembene knows that he will die after becoming trapped with the wolf version of Ethan.  Yet, he is willing and basically forgives Ethan before he gets mauled to death.  You don’t get much more “feelsie” than that.

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And speaking of “feelsies”, there is the matter of my favorite poetry quoting monster.  All along, I was thinking that poor Caliban’s biggest problem was Victor (aka douch incarnate).  But last night’s episode proved me wrong.  I wanted to scream at Caliban to not do it, its a trap.  But obviously, he didn’t hear my screams, and got locked in a cell by Putney and crew (and for the record, Putney is kind of close to PT Barnum.  So there, you heard it here first).  And the look on his face…that other noise you heard was probably my heart breaking wide open for that beautiful monster.

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And speaking of beautiful monsters, Penny Dreadful has been known to use a heavy hand when it comes to foreshadowing.  One example of this is an episode in season one, where Ethan is informed that Brona will change (due to her tuberculosis) and is asked how he will handle it.  He simply responds that he will love her for what she becomes.  And we all know what became of Brona.  And this week’s episode may have had another use of foreshadowing, when Vanessa calls Victor a beautiful monster.  Does this mean that Victor will be joining the ranks of Lilly and the poor unfortunate Caliban?  Will he be part of a “freak show”?  Something interesting is in store for douche incarnate  Victor, and I can’t wait to find out what that is.

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And speaking of the un-creature formerly known as Brona (its Lilly now, lest we forget)…whoa.  Whoa.  WHOA.  WHOA!

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Wow is an apt word too.  I actually can’t think of too many words to describe Lilly’s scene this week (although she did make me think of one of my favorite artists after I saw her stunt with Dorian).  This un-dead chic is pissed, and hell hath no fury like an un-dead chic scorned (well, maybe the original saying is a little different, but you get my drift)!  And Dorian is apparently the one who can figure out that this is Brona with blonde hair (shame on you, Vanessa!), so if we have team Dorilly (another one you heard here first.  Dig it), then there will be hell to pay.  And the payer will probably be Victor (although I think more than a few men have landed on Lilly’s shit list.  Don’t be mean to prostitutes, they may be resurrected from the dead with super human strength.  Remember that, gentlemen).  An un-dead monster with super human strength and a man who doesn’t age and who possesses the ability to heal almost instantaneously certainly do make a formidable team…actually, let’s just cut to the chase and say it:  here comes trouble!

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And trouble was a major theme in this episode, since it seemed everyone was in it, especially Malcolm, and now Vanessa.  And Vanessa was perfectly right to be afraid of dolls and dislike them, since they seem to be responsible for a lot of the trouble she and Malcolm find themselves in.  The show certainly ended on a cliffhanger, as nearly every single character was left in shit creek without a paddle.  The next episode promises to be explosive, to say the least, and my appetite has been whetted…I can’t wait!

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So that’s it for this week’s recap and review of Penny Dreadful, season 2, episode 9!  Join me next week as we journey to the end of the sundae bar, to find out just what treats are store for us at the end of line!

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Penny Dreadful Recap and Review: Season 2, Episode 8

Holy.  Shit.

Now, I know that shit isn’t word we normally associate with sundae bars…now, that doesn’t sound very appetizing, does it?

But if we are talking about Penny Dreadful, I think we can make an exception…

So holy shit.  This week’s trip to the sundae bar was eventful, to say the least.  Many unexpected flavor combinations were available, and the sugar rush was overwhelming…I could barely contain myself!

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So here is my recap and review of Penny Dreadful, season 2 episode 8!



The episode begins with Victor passed out in his home, after a heroin binge.  Victor is awakened by an angry Caliban, who demands that Victor surrender Lilly to him, so that Caliban may leave town with her.  Caliban also tells Victor that he will return one day, and implies that he intends to kill Victor.

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Ferdinand Lyle visits the home of Evelyn Poole.  Ferdinand feels conflicted, but he is reminded that he is under the control of Evelyn and must do her bidding.  Evelyn also torments Ferdinand, who tries to escape.  Ferdinand is then confronted by Hecate, who states that anything her mother promises him is a lie, and that he should serve Hecate instead.

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Malcolm speaks to Inspector Rusk, and Rusk questions him on the death of his daughter.  Rusk wants to know Malcolm suddenly closed the investigation, and Malcolm tells Rusk that the death was embarrassing for his family and a private matter.  Rusk also asks Malcolm if he knows Ethan, and shows Malcolm a picture.  Malcolm denies any knowledge of Ethan, but it is clear that Rusk does not believe him.

Lilly returns home to a furious Victor, who demands to know her whereabouts from the previous night.  Lilly states that she took a walk after her date with Dorian Gray, and feel asleep on a park bench.  She then sees the flowers sent to her by Dorian, and torments Victor with the sight.  Lilly then offers to cook Victor breakfast, but Victor hurriedly exits the house.

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Victor pays a visit to the mansion and confesses his drug addiction to Malcolm, and the two discuss their various life woes.  Ferdinand finishes translating the artifacts, and it is revealed that Lucifer has a demon brother.  This demon brother is actually Dracula, who used Mina Harker to attempt to lure Vanessa so that he could possess Vanessa’s soul (which ultimately failed).

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As Malcolm is discussing the implications with Ferdinand and Victor, Evelyn begins to utter a spell over a voodoo doll version of Malcolm.  Malcolm becomes possessed and starts speaking in a voice not his own.  Sembene throws Malcolm into an unused room in the house, and tells Malcolm that he must know his true self.  Malcolm then sees visions of his dead children and wife, and the spell is broken.

Dorian returns home to Angelique after his date with Lilly.  Angelique has discovered Dorian’s secret room, and the portrait housed in that room.  Dorian hands Angelique a glass wine, and asks her is he can accept who she is.  Angelique says that she can, but the wine contains poison, which kills Angelique almost immediately.  Dorian then looks at the portrait, which is actually the portrait of an old man.  The portrait hisses at Dorian, as if angered by his actions.

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Malcolm deduces that Evelyn is responsible for the coven of witches that has been tormenting Vanessa.  He makes his way to Evelyn’s house with his gun in hand.  Malcolm asks Evelyn to stop the torment, but Evelyn states that her Master needs Vanessa for his purposes, and tries to convince Malcolm to join the coven and become immortal.  Malcolm refuses, and Evelyn unleashes a scorpion, stating that the scorpion is actually Vanessa.  Malcolm attempts to leave Evelyn’s house but is trapped.  Malcolm then sees what he believes to be the bodies of his dead children and wife, and begins to weep.  The corpses then come to life and appear to attack Malcolm.

Brona returns to Victor’s house, and is confronted by Caliban.  Caliban tells Brona that he knows that she lied about her whereabouts the previous night.  Lilly takes Caliban into her arms, and talks about her hatred of man, and her hatred of Victor in particular.  Lilly then tells Caliban that they will collaborate and destroy Victor, and that Caliban must do her bidding.  Lilly and Caliban then consummate their relationship.

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My Thoughts

So.  Many.  Thoughts. Can’t.  Possibly.  Keep.  Them.  To.  One.  Blog.  Post.

But I will try anyway…so here goes nothing!

First of all, the visuals.  Oh, the visuals.  This show has always been a visual one, with everything from the period costumes, to the haunting moores, to the blood.  Lots and lots of blood.  Tons of blood…

But this episode stands out.  The producers somehow managed to keep it from being over-saturated with visuals, while still almost overwhelming us with the beautiful visuals that the episode contained.

And I can’t pick a favorite, there were so many!  I think the scene (and there are many), that stands out in particular for me is the scene where Malcolm is being possessed, attempting to fight the possession and then seeing his dead wife and children and fully fighting the possession is one that stands out.  My favorite part of that scene is the white light that surrounded Mina, Peter and Malcolm.  This gave Malcolm’s family an ethereal effect, making them actually look like ghosts or apparitions that were indeed not of our world.  It also provided some great symbolism.  I took the symbolism to mean that Malcolm’s loved ones were actually part of another plane of existence (hence the white light), or it could also be taken to me that they were apparitions and not “real”, except perhaps in the mind of Malcolm.  Either way, this scene was done beautifully, and I loved it.

Josh Hartnett as Ethan Chandler, Timothy Dalton as Sir Malcolm and Eva Green as Vanessa Ives in Penny Dreadful (season 1, episode 1). - Photo: Jonathan Hession/SHOWTIME - Photo ID:  PennyDreadful_101_3501

I also loved the death scene of Angelique.  Now, I know that I have been singing praises because the show had a good transgender character, but her death was great!  I still love you, Angelique, but your death scene was done beautifully as well.  The look on Angelique’s face, and the shattering of the glass…this may sound a little trite, but somehow it was so well executed that it did not come off as trite at all.  The first showing of Dorian’s portrait (which I had been curious about since the beginning of the series) was also handled quite well, and I loved how the portrait hissed at him…is this some kind of foreshadowing?  I think that it is, although we may not see it until next season…but I still can’t wait!

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This episode is so far the strongest of the season (and perhaps of the entire series).  A major reason for this is the writing:  the writers are finally being to tie things together.  And the tie-ins were extensive:  Dracula, the main antagonist from the first season who appeared to be cast off this season, has finally re-appeared, and we have a little more clarification in regards to his true nature (hint:  I am pretty sure he does not sparkle).  And Dorian Gray has finally become a little more fleshed out, and the writers appear to be developing his story line as well.

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Again, the writing for this show is brilliant, and especially for this episode,  I may be repeating myself, but I can’t over-emphasize this point.  And one of the reasons this episode was so well-written was the inclusion of Malcolm’s story line.  Previously, Malcolm was mainly seen through the eyes of Vanessa.  However, Vanessa and Ethan were on holiday at the moors for this episode, so Malcolm had to step up to the plate.  And he did so brilliantly.  I have stated before that this show is Vanessa’s, and I still stand by that statement.  But Malcolm was the MVP of this episode, and I stand by this statement as well.  We finally begin to see some chinks in his armor (the ending with the re-animated corpses of his family is a great example of this), and Malcolm has become more human and easier to sympathize with.  And this has been done with no Vanessa (or Ethan) in sight…in other words, the writers did not take the easy way out, and instead provide us with some smart, tight writing…bravo!

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Speaking of the writing (imagine that!), it appears that the story line of Lilly, Caliban and perhaps even Ethan is slowly coming to a head.  Lilly is no longer sweet and innocent (if she ever was), and this episode proves it.  Both of Victor’s creations have literally come back to haunt him, and it appears that Lilly is now toying with him, just like a cat would play with a mouse before killing the mouse.  So I think this episode promises a showdown of some sort, and again, I can’t wait!

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So that concludes this week’s trip to the adult sundae bar, aka the show known as Penny Dreadful!  Join me next week, when we continue with more dissection and analysis of everyone’s favorite literary Avengers!

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Penny Dreadful Recap and Review: Season 2, Episode 6

Good morning everyone, and welcome to this week’s trip to the adult sundae bar, aka season 2, episode 6 of Penny Dreadful!

And what a trip it was this week!  Finally, these trips are starting to become eventful, and we now have a lot more flavors to choose from…this is what I’m talking about!

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So, with that being said, here is my recap and review of Penny Dreadful, season 2, episode 6!


The episode begins the morning after Malcolm consummates his relationship with Evelyn.  Evelyn snips a lock of Malcolm’s hair, and whispers to him that he will be in for a long day.  Evelyn is later seen crafting a voodoo doll in the likeness of Malcolm.

Ethan is paid a visit by a man with a mask partially covering his face.  The man seems to know of Ethan’s true nature, and tries to persuade Ethan to come back to America.  Ethan refuses and the man leaves.

Malcolm returns to his mansion, where he receives tragic news:  Vanessa informs him that Gladys is dead by her own hand.  However, Malcolm does not seem bothered by the news, and is more concerned with his appearance.  He also debates on whether or not to shave his beard so that he may look younger.

Caliban continues to assist Lavina Putney and her family at the wax museum.  Lavina touches Caliban’s hand, and is disturbed because Caliban’s hand is unnaturally cold to her.  Lavina brings this up to her family, but no one else seems to think that this is unusual.

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Dorian Gray awakens next to Angelique, and tells her that he wants to show her off to his friends.  Dorian tells Angelique that he will host a ball that week, and invite everyone of importance to her coming out party.

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Ethan visits the wax museum that employs Caliban.  The museum has a display that depicts the Jack the Ripper murders.  The museum also has a display depicting the Mariner’s Inn Massacre that Ethan was responsible for.  Inspector Rusk also happens to visit the museum, and attempts to question Ethan again.  Rusk is clearly suspicious of Ethan and his involvement in the massacre, but tells Ethan he will not attempt to trail him this time.

Dorian Gray visits Malcolm’s mansion and issues invitations to his ball to Malcolm, Vanessa and Victor.  Despite the death of his wife, Malcolm is giddy with anticipation and looks forward to the ball.  Victor also tells Lilly of the ball, and Lilly becomes very excited and begs Victor to allow her to attend the ball.  Victor agrees but tells Lilly she needs to now learn how to dance.  Evelyn also somehow knows about the ball, and it is clear that she is planning to attack Vanessa at the ball.

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Vanessa asks Ethan to attend the ball with her.  Ethan becomes agitated and refuses the invitation.  Vanessa is hurt but decides to attend the ball any way.

Dorian’s ball turns out to be the splendid affair that Dorian promised it would be, and there is no shortage of guests.  Evelyn attends with Malcolm, and Vanessa attends without an escort.  Hecate also attends the ball, as does Ferdinand Lyle.  Lyle seems to know of the planned attack on Vanessa, and attempts to distract Hecate to no avail.  Victor escorts Lilly to the ball, and she is overwhelmed by the elegance.  The ball becomes the coming out party promised to Angelique, and she and Dorian spend time dancing and socializing with their guests.  However, Dorian becomes taken with Lilly, and asks to dance with her, which upsets both Angelique and Victor.  Vanessa attempts to comfort Victor, stating that Dorian is only being courteous to his guests, but Victor is still angry and jealous, as is Angelique.

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Ferdinand Lyle gives up on trying to distract Hecate, and tries to protect Vanessa instead.  He insists on dancing with Vanessa, and demands to escort Vanessa home, warning her that she is not safe on her own.

Vanessa then begins to feel unsettled, and senses the presence of the coven that has been harassing her.  Vanessa then sees a vision of the ballroom, the guests and herself covered in a rain of blood.  This is clearly the work of the coven, and Vanessa is powerless to stop it.  Vanessa then faints in the middle of the ballroom and the night’s festivities come to an abrupt end.

Helen McCrory as Evelyn Poole in Penny Dreadful (season 2, episode 3). - Photo: Jonathan Hession/SHOWTIME - Photo ID: PennyDreadful_203_2785

In the meantime, Ethan remains at the mansion.  He is accompanied to the basement by Sembene, and demands that Sembene shackle him in chains.  He also instructs Sembene to look away and not attempt to fight him.  Ethan then transforms into his wolf self, and tries to attack Sembene, who disregards Ethan’s instructions and begins to battle the werewolf.

My Thoughts

As a certain time-travelling scientist has been known to say:

Oh boy.


That pretty much sums up my feelings on this episode:  Oh boy.  So much to say, but I will try to condense it here (ha).

Up until this point, the show had been meandering a bit. Not that this was a bad thing, but there was relatively little action.  Mostly, it was back story, character building, etc.  I am a junkie for that, but I wanted to see some major action, dammit!

And last night, I got my wish.  In spades, actually…

But before we discuss all of that, I first need to give Penny Dreadful a shout out…

That’s right, I am giving a show set in turn of the century London that also features witches, werewolves and all kinds of supernatural creatures a shout out for being socially conscious and even groundbreaking!

You see, I can’t think of any show that I have ever watched that has featured a transgender person.  Additionally, this is a somewhat regular character who happens to have thoughts and feelings, and her gender identity is not central to the show, nor is it ridiculed. I love the writers of this show for portraying Angelique as strong, noble even, as opposed to pitiful and broken, which would be too easy to do. Angelique is a actually a sympathetic character, and I am rooting for her, at least.  I am not necessarily rooting for Dorian, as I know he will probably end up breaking her heart.  But their relationship is still sweet any way, and I do love Dorian’s acceptance of Angelique for who she is.  After all, isn’t that what we all want?  Someone to love us, warts and all, and someone who will still love us the next day, even after seeing us under morning’s cold light?

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And now, let’s talk about the action in this episode…there was plenty of it, that’s for sure!

And that action included the wolf…the wolf has finally been seen!

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Well, actually it was a werewolf…

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I predicted that Ethan would have his due, and this episode did not let me down.  In fact, this episode was actually fairly Ethan-centric, as opposed to Vanessa-centric (although not to take away anything from Vanessa, we will talk about her later in this post).

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But Ethan got his due in this episode, and then some.  The Inspector Rusk story line has been amped up several notches, so it seems that will be coming to a head pretty soon.  And people looking for Ethan, and trying to “persuade” him to come back to America…I don’t think we will be hearing persuasion in future episodes as much as we will be seeing our favorite wolf-man forcibly dragged back to America…

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And ending this episode with Ethan transforming into the wolf and attacking Sembene…talk about a cliffhanger!  Who else will the wolf attack?  There is now one person who knows of Ethan’s secret, and now he is in mortal danger.  Will Ethan tell anyone else?  And what will happen to people who find out about Ethan’s secret?  All compelling questions, and I figure we will at least get those partially answered pretty soon.

I also loved the ball scene and the period costumes.  The shots of people dancing were also beautiful, I really felt like I was in turn of the century London for a moment, waiting on a gentleman to ask me to dance the night away…

Eva Green as Vanessa Ives and Reeve Carney as Dorian Gray in Penny Dreadful (season 1, episode 2). - Photo: Jonathan Hession/SHOWTIME - Photo ID: PennyDreadful_102_2151

Who am I kidding?  The costumes and the ballroom were beautiful, but it was really all about the witches and the blood!

The moments leading up to the blood were also well executed, as we saw something was clearly wrong with Vanessa, and the witches had her in their clutches.  The suspense was tight, and therefore the payoff was tremendous.

Oh, and the blood itself.  Did I mention the blood?

My mind went here

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And even here


But this scene was one of the best, if not the best scene in the short history of this show.  The execution was marvelous:  the blood looked gory, but no one but Vanessa (and the coven) could see it.  I loved how the blood rained down, but the music continued to play, and the party goers continued to dance.  The look on Vanessa’s face was heartbreaking, as she knew that she had been ambushed (this time), and there was nothing that she could do, and no one to help her, as Malcolm was wrapped up Evelyn (in a literal sense) and Ethan was missing in action.  Definitely one of the best gore moments I have seen in a long time.

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So that’s it for this week’s edition of the adult sundae bar aka literary Avengers aka Penny Dreadful.  Tune in next week, when we find exactly what happens to our heroes, and how they get themselves out of this pickle, as we review and dissect episode 7!

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Penny Dreadful Recap and Review: Season 2, Episode 5

Hello everyone…its time to prepare yourself for another trip to the adult sundae bar, aka another episode of Penny Dreadful!

As always, this trip was not dull, and gave us of lots of different flavors and toppings to chose from…

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Without further ado, here is my review and recap of Penny Dreadful, season 2, episode 5!


The episode begins in Malcolm’s mansion.  Ethan describes how he and some other soldiers slaughtered a group of Apache Indians, effectively annihilating an entire tribe.  Ethan states that the tribe had no idea of its impending death, and begs Malcolm and the others to not meet the same fate in their dealings with the coven.  Everyone gets ready to go to sleep, but also sleeps with weapons by his/her side.  Vanessa thinks that she sees one of the witches in her bedroom, but believes she is losing her grip on reality.  She takes shelter in Ethan’s room.  Vanessa sleeps in Ethan’s bed, and Ethan sleeps on the couch, promising Vanessa that she is safe in his bedroom.

In the meantime, Evelyn and Hecate make use of the lock of Vanessa’s hair that was previously stolen, and start to make a voodoo doll.  However, this is not a voodoo doll of Vanessa, but is a voodoo representing Gladys Murray, Malcolm’s estranged wife.  Once the voodoo doll is constructed, Gladys sits up in her bed, and seems to be aware that something is happening to her.

The next day, Inspector Rusk finally catches up with Ethan, and attempts to question him in regards to the Mariner’s Inn Massacre.  Ethan is evasive, and Rusk becomes even more suspicious of Ethan.  Rusk has one of his officers tail Ethan, but Ethan is able to quickly lose the man.

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Victor attempts to introduce the newly resurrected Brona (“Lilly”) to Caliban, but the meeting does not go well.  The two seem to have no connection, even though Victor has convinced Lilly that Caliban was her fiancee before she was struck with amnesia.

Vanessa meets Victor and “Lilly” for lunch the next day.  Lilly works very hard to show her newly learned social skills, but Vanessa appears to be suspicious of the true nature of Victor and Lilly’s relationship, and wonders if Victor has possibly fallen in love with Lilly.

After her lunch date with Victor, Vanessa again visits the soup kitchen, where she encounters Caliban.  She and Caliban speak of poetry and of sadness.  Vanessa teaches Caliban how to dance.  Vanessa also summarizes her earlier lunch meeting, not realizing that Victor is the creator of Caliban.

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That night, Dorian takes Angelique on a date.  They encounter some homophobic men who harass Angelique, but Dorian treats her tenderly, and Angelique speaks of her miserable childhood as a transgender woman.  Angelique changes into men’s clothing at Dorian’s home, and believes that Dorian will not find her true nature attractive.  Dorian tells her otherwise, and the two consummate their relationship.

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Malcolm and Evelyn also go on a date that night, and become caught in the thunderstorm.  Malcolm is overcome with passion and kisses Evelyn.  The two then spend the night in a hotel room, and consummate their relationship.  Evelyn draws blood from Malcolm as they make love.

Lilly and Victor also consummate their relationship.  Lilly becomes frightened of the storm and climbs into bed with Victor.  She kisses Victor, who initially hesitates, but then gives in to his attraction and the two make love.

Vanessa and Ethan spend the night in the mansion.  Vanessa encounters Ethan in the stairwell. and he touches her face, but that is as far as the intimacy goes.

The episode ends with Gladys Murray writhing in pain, due to the wounds being inflicted on the voodoo doll.  Gladys sees creatures that appear to be apparitions of her dead children, and reaches for a knife.  However, Gladys uses the knife to cut her throat, and the apparitions disappear.  Gladys lies dead, alone in her bedroom.


My Thoughts

Well, more than a few people got lucky on this trip to the sundae bar, I will say that much!

Yes, this episodes was revealing…in more ways than one!

Evelyn and Malcolm 1

Finally, the show is going somewhere with Ethan’s story line, in that Inspector Rusk seems to know be actively pursuing Ethan and is suspicious of him.  So it appears to me that the wolf will indeed get his due, and I am sure that will be spectacular.  Ethan’s talk of his past was also interesting, as it gave more insight into his character:  he does not seem to be fond of killing, and may possibly have some regrets.  Does the slaughter of native tribes in America have something to do with his curse?  It seems to me that it may, and just creates for more fascinating speculation.

Ethan Chandler 5

We have Evelyn Poole.  Evelyn is just deliciously evil, I can’t describe her in any other way.  Not only is she a witch who  can cast terrible spells that can destroy people in her way, she is also a mistress of deception.  And being a mistress of deception does not seem to require any magical powers at all…rather, Evelyn is able to use the oldest trick in the book:  her feminine wiles.  And her feminine wiles work wonderfully on Malcolm, as he is completely besotted and has no clue that he has been infiltrated by the enemy.  Evelyn Poole is possibly the greatest creation of this show, and has me hooked…she is one of the main reasons why this season has been so interesting.

Helen McCrory as Madame Kali in Penny Dreadful (season 1, episode 8). - Photo:  Jonathan Hession/SHOWTIME - Photo ID:  PennyDreadful_108_0908

And let me talk up Caliban, my favorite monster.  Poor guy, he got friend-zoned by his intended…

Jorah 1

Yep, I am sure the guy above can sympathize…getting friend-zoned is never fun!  Poor, poor Caliban…

This episode shifted more focus back to Victor and Caliban, and I loved that.  My favorite Creature quoted even more poetry!  The interaction with Vanessa and Caliban was priceless, and I am rooting even harder for these two…how can I not?

Eva Green as Vanessa Ives and Rory Kinnear as The Creature in Penny Dreadful (season 2, episode 5). - Photo: Jonathan Hession/SHOWTIME - Photo ID: PennyDreadful_205_1509

And the story line in regards to poor “Lilly”…I think that the show will be reaching a major turning point in regards to that. Victor will not be able to hide his deception for much longer (really, Vanessa…can you not see that she’s Brona with her hair dyed blonde?!  How can you not see that?!)  Vanessa even told Caliban that she had lunch with Victor, even though she didn’t specifically name Victor.  But again, this deception will not last.  Even if Vanessa does not recognize Brona with blonde hair, Ethan likely will (at least I hope he is that evolved).  And Ethan will figure out that he was deceived, and things sure will won’t be pretty once all of this comes to light.  In other words, payoff time!

Brona 1

And here is the section where I talk up Vanessa.  Don’t worry, this post will not be missing that particular section!  Can I sympathize more?  Well, probably…you know, next week?  Vanessa is becoming more and more dimensional each week, and this week was no exception.  She also shows her humanity, when she thinks she sees one of the witches, and believes she is going mad and seeks comfort with Ethan.  Vanessa shows compassion towards both Caliban and Lilly (that dance scene with Caliban made me shiver…for real!) and also shows herself to possess an intuitive mind, as she almost immediately senses Victor’s attraction towards Brona.  This show is Vanessa’s show, and we are reminded of that fact yet again in this episode.

Eva Green as Vanessa Ives in Penny Dreadful (season 1, episode 7). - Photo:  Jonathan Hession/SHOWTIME - Photo ID:  PennyDreadful_107_1048

And speaking of Ethan…and Vanessa…

As I said before, lots of people got lucky in this episode.  However, the most intriguing couple has not got lucky, at least so far.  That’s right, I’m on team Ethanessa (yeah, team Ethanessa.  You heard it here first, folks).  These two have undeniable chemistry.  And the way Ethan looked at Vanessa when she sought shelter in his room…gives me chills to think about it!  And we did have a face touch, so that just gives me more hope for team Ethanessa…what could be better than two lost souls (a killer werewolf and a woman possessed by forces she does not understand) who finally find each other?  Love can be such a beautiful thing…

Vanessa and Ethan 2


Well, folks that’s it for this week’s trip to the adult sundae bar, aka Penny Dreadful.  Join me next week, as we delve deeper into the adventures of everyone’s favorite literary Avengers!

Josh Hartnett as Ethan, Eva Green as Vanessa Ives, Danny Sapani as Sembene and Timothy Dalton as Sir Malcolm in Penny Dreadful (Episode 101). - Photo:  Jonathan Hession/SHOWTIME - Photo ID:  PennyDreadful_101_0708.r


Penny Dreadful Recap and Review: Season 2, Episode 2

Good afternoon everyone, and welcome to this week’s trip to the sundae bar, aka my review and recap of Penny Dreadful!

sundae 2

And this week’s trip to the sundae bar was interesting, to say the least.  In fact, the flavors this week were…well…odd to say the least.  In fact, I don’t know if it could even be properly called a sundae, as opposed to a very mixed, confused batch of ingredients randomly thrown into a bowl of vanilla ice cream, and called a sundae.  But the flavors were indeed interesting, even if they didn’t make any sense after being thrown together.

sundae 1

With that being said, here is my recap and review of Penny Dreadful, season 2, episode 2.


The episode begins with Vanessa in a state of shock, presumably after the disturbing visit from the witch’s coven.  She seeks comfort with Malcolm.  Vanessa then accompanies Malcolm to a soup kitchen for cholera victims, and meets Caliban.  Caliban introduces himself as John Clare, and he and Vanessa speak of religion and poetry.

Inspector Rusk finds the sole survivor of the Mariner’s Inn massacre.  The man’s face is mutilated beyond recognition, but Rusk intends to question him anyone to find those responsible for the massacre.

Dorian Gray makes another appearance.  He is propositioned by a woman who turns out to be hiding a big secret:  she is actually a man.  However, this does not seem to bother Dorian at all.

Dorian Gray 1

Ferdinand Lyle makes another appearance in this episode, ostensibly to help Malcolm, Vanessa and Ethan to make sense of the strange words uttered by Vanessa and the witches in the previous episode.  Dr. Lyle tells Vanessa that an 11th century monk wrote these words on whatever materials he had available for writing, until the other monks learned of his possession and burned him at the stake.  These words are Verbis Diablo, or Words of the Devil.  Ethan accompanies Dr. Lyle to retrieve these artifacts from a museum.  Ethan sees artwork depicting wolves, and begins reminiscing about the wolves he encountered during his time in the New Mexico territories, stating that those wolves simply fed and did not protect anything.

Malcolm encounters Evelyn Poole, who is the head of the coven of witches that has been terrorizing Vanessa.  Evelyn and Malcolm go on a date of sorts to the shooting range.  Evelyn impresses Malcolm with her shooting skills.  Malcolm reminds Evelyn that he cannot divorce his wife, but this does not seem to bother Evelyn, as she still attempts to seduce Malcolm with her magic.

Evelyn Poole 1

Victor Frankenstein and Caliban are successful in resurrecting Brona, but begin to argue over Brona’s “upbringing” and re-assimilation into society.  Caliban wants to read poetry to her, but Victor states that she needs to regain her language skills.  Victor works with Brona, and her language skills return quickly.  Victor tells her that she is his cousin and provides her with fictional details of her previous life, telling her that she suffers from amnesia.  Victor also cuts and dyes Brona’s hair, and renames her Lilly (which is also the flower of resurrection).

Brona 1

Evelyn Poole convenes with her coven, and Ferdinand Lyle is included in the meeting.  It turns out that Evelyn is blackmailing Dr. Lyle, and attempting to force him to help her and the coven terrorize Vanessa.

Evelyn Poole 2

Hecate, Evelyn’s daughter, follows a young couple into the London Underground.  Hecate murders the couple and their infant.  Hecate then removes the heart from the infant, and the camera shows doll versions of Malcolm and his friends.  The last doll shown is one that bears a likeness to Vanessa, and the episode ends with the camera panning to Vanessa, who takes a sharp breath.

Vanessa Ivers 2



My Thoughts

Oh, my thoughts.  Aka the jumbled mess that they became after this particular episode…

However, I will try.  I will even give it the old college try.

old college try

And I felt like I needed a doctoral degree to comprehend this episode.  I still enjoyed, but man oh man…just so much stuff crammed into a tiny suitcase!

I think this sums up the expression on my face:

breaking bad

Or maybe I felt more like this:


Well, I’m exaggerating (at least a little).  But boy, did I feel a bit confused at times while watching this episode!

First of all, Dorian Gray made another appearance.  Not that this a bad thing.  Not a bad thing at all, actually.

Eva Green as Vanessa Ives and Reeve Carney as Dorian Gray in Penny Dreadful (season 1, episode 2). - Photo: Jonathan Hession/SHOWTIME - Photo ID: PennyDreadful_102_2151

But sheeeeesssshhh!!!!  Where on earth does he fit in?  And when are we going to get more salacious details?  All we know so far is that he is a tri-sexual (nothing is off limits, in other words) and he is a good looking guy that seems to want to play the field (I know, and I want more salacious details?  Yikes!)  But really nothing on this background, and we haven’t really seen the painting (although he does appear to be obsessed with pictures).  And just where does he fit in on the show?  With Vanessa?  With Ethan?  Maybe with both (that tri sexual thing, after all)?  Or is he just a pretty face thrown in to confuse us?  Come on, writers…little help here!

And then there was Dorian’s love interest on this episode.  Well, maybe hook up would be a better word, but I will be nice.

First, my mind went here

Crying Game 1

And then I remembered:  think horror movies, self!  So naturally, my mind went here:

camp sleepaway

Although Dorian’s new friend did at least seem a little happier than the dude in the pic above.  And yes, I searched Google for this specific image.  You are welcome, my friend!

In all seriousness, I was left scratching my head.  What is going on with Dorian Gray?  Really, just throw me a bone, even if its a small one…give me something I can work with!

Per usual, this episode was a tease about the wolf

Wolf 2

Well, the werewolf that is actually masquerading as the other pretty boy, aka Ethan Chandler.  Again, this episode teased, but still gave us no real information about the werewolf.  Although there has to be an episode coming soon that will do more than tease, as the murder investigation for that horrible slaughter at a certain inn apparently has not been closed (in other words, Ethan’s hulking er wolfing out may come back to haunt him).  And I am all for a slow build up, but this is getting ridiculous…again, throw me a bone (see what I did there).

Ethan Chandler 3

But this episode was not all bad.  Far from it, in fact…

The witches’ coven.  Yes, the very same one that seems intent on torturing Vanessa like a cat would torture a mouse (or a lizard, in the  case of my cats).  This episode did deliver on the witch action.  And dolls…shudder.  Hey, dolls are scary, ummm-kay!

In fact, my mind went here when I saw those dolls:

Chinga 1

Tres creepy, no?  And of course, that particular episode was written by the master himself, so I have to pay homage!

But the dolls in this episode…again, shudder.  And of course, the writers had to incorporate voodoo (I am assuming that’s what they were trying for, due to the likeness of the dolls of Malcolm and his friends).  And voodoo, don’t get me started!  And the end, with Vanessa drawing a sharp breath, and the end credits rolling and leaving a bit of a cliffhanger…that is how its done, friends!

But I have saved the best part for last:

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour
-William Blake
I need this engraved on my tombstone.  Or at least quoted at my funeral.  I love William Blake!
And Caliban quoted William Blake!  I have always been sympathetic to The Monster in Mary Shelley’s work, and thought he got an unfair rap.  And apparently, at least one writer on Penny Dreadful agrees with me, as Caliban (he will never be just The Monster to me) is turning out to be one of the most sympathetic characters on the show.  There will never be enough love for him (at least on my part).  His conversation with Vanessa at the soup kitchen was simply beautiful.  A so-called “monster” telling a woman being hunted down by demons that his focus is what good he can do in this life, as opposed to the “after-life”…just priceless.  And that is the only word that describes it!
Proteus 1
And he quoted my favorite poet of all time.  Way to go, Caliban!  Now no matter what terrible thing you may do (although I am sure it will be justified), I will be forced to root for you!  After all, how can I root against someone who QUOTES WILLIAM BLAKE????!!!!!
Caliban 1

So that’s it for this week’s trip into literary Avengers.  Or the adult version of a sundae bar.  Or Penny Dreadful.  And whatever you want to call it, there was never a dull moment.  Tune in next week for my review of the next episode…same bat time, same bat channel!

adam west