Dorian Gray adds another notch to the bedpost, while the last two episodes are completely forgotten.
This week’s Penny Dreadful is odd in that it largely glosses over the past two episodes. It makes sense that Closer Than Sisters is less immediately relevant because it was a flashback episode, but Demimonde should have had more of an impact. The fight with Brona is only mentioned in passing and the Ethan/Dorian fling is never addressed at all. As the season winds down, there really should be more continuity and consequences.
This week’s is odd in that it largely glosses over the past two episodes. Demimonde should have had more of an impact
Last week’s Closer Than Sisters serves largely to set the stakes for Malcolm and Vanessa’s disagreement that opens the episode. The morning after the encounter with the master in Vanessa’s bedroom, Malcolm wants Vanessa to use her abilities to sense something and she replies that she can’t just summon it. He accuses her of forgetting about Mina and complains that he’s lost his family; she sharply reminds him that she’s lost hers as well and reluctantly agrees to give it a try anyway. She reads her tarot cards and hears the creaking of a ship and anguished cries. After hearing of her reading, Malcolm makes the incredibly shrewd deduction that a ship in the port of London must be significant and will check the manifests.
Brona and Ethan have another conversation in bed, where they’ve spent at least a third of their screen time together. She apologises for her behaviour and tells Ethan he’s a good man, probably making him feel terrible for his tryst with Dorian the night before. Dorian invites Vanessa on an adventure, which is just having her photograph taken and some of their usual verbal foreplay. She invites him to dinner, puts on a fancy dress (even though she only wears fancy dresses) and they manage to flirtatiously discuss philosophies and religion.
Victor performs an autopsy on Fenton and deduces that he was not a vampire, or at least not entirely. He spends much of the day oversharing with Van Helsing: Victor nearly opens up about his creations and Van Helsing admits to slaying his (vampire) wife. Like sociopathic father, like homicidal unnatural son, Victor and Caliban are both total creepers. Victor watches a group of adolescent girls practice ballet and makes a note about a subject, presumably sizing them up as potential mates for Caliban.
Caliban talks to a beautiful actress (so far unnamed, but let’s assume it’s Christine because Caliban is essentially the Phantom of the Grand Guignol) and she’s kind to him because he reminds him of her disfigured brother, Luke (actually, he’s
conveniently inexplicably named Lucifer). He buys her a book about angels, bookmarks Lucifer (see!), leaves it in her dressing room, and waits for her to discover it while spying through a screen. Her boyfriend conveniently appears right after she opens it and mockingly asks if he has a rival. “Hardly,” she replies and ANGST happens.
Dorian and Vanessa finally go to the bone zone, which wouldn’t be complete without cutting off corsets, biting and blood play
After Dorian’s usual moves (talking about art, listening to music), he and Vanessa finally go to the bone zone, which wouldn’t be complete without cutting off corsets, scratching, biting, and some blood play. The passion and/or the blood she licked after cutting Dorian awakens the demon inside her, which is major coitus interruptus. ANGST happened so Caliban snaps Van Helsing’s neck just because he sees him walking with Victor, and Caliban wants a mate ASAP.
Malcom and Ethan go search a “plague ship” based on Vanessa’s vision. They encounter three female vampires (presumably the “sisters”/weird sisters/brides of Dracula) onboard. A gunfight(?) ensues and a lamp is knocked over, starting a fire. The master comes out of hiding with Mina and flees the burning ship. Vanessa returns to the Murray residence and goes 78% Exorcist by levitating and spinning in the air.
– “I was WASP-ish crude” may be the best behavioural description yet.
– Everyone is quick with affection. Ethan tells Brona he loves her with all his heart roughly five days after meeting her. Victor calls Van Helsing “my good friend” the day after meeting him.
– Malcolm tells Ethan that Brona will cease to be who she is as a result of her illness and Ethan insists, “I’ll love what she becomes.” FORESHADOWING. She’ll either become a vampire or a werewolf. Hopefully its a vampire, so we get either Penny Dreadful’s version of Underworld or a bisexual Twilight with Dorian as Bella. Either seems moderately plausible.
Don’t miss: Last week’s recap of Penny Dreadful
All images: Showtime