It was less carnival of weird and more sympathy for the Creature in this week’s Penny Dreadful.
After last week’s bucketful of crazy, Resurrection was bound to be a more sedate outing. Trying to maintain that intensity would only lead to increasingly ridiculous scenarios (see: The Following, season two). Luckily, there was quite a bit of quality backstory to tell and pieces to move into place for next week. Sadly, there was no Cold Open Murder this week. In its place, a young Victor walks through a field of flowers, copy of Wordsworth’s Poetical Works in hand (of course), until he happens upon the rotting corpse of his dog. His mother comforts him over the loss of his pet until she starts vomiting blood on him. That seems like a fair trade-off.
The Creature somehow taught himself to read using poetry and by observing human behaviour through the upstairs window
Picking up immediately from last week, the Creature questions Victor about his abandonment and tells of his rebirth, which was painful and bloody and drove Victor to become an absentee dad. The Creature somehow taught himself to read using poetry and by observing human behaviour through the upstairs window. He decided to follow Victor to London, where he meets a kind, eccentric actor, Vincent Brand (Alun Armstrong). Believing the Creature to be the victim of an industrial accident, Vincent takes pity on him, buys him dinner, and offers him a job and lodging at his theatre, the Grand Guignol. Vincent also gives the Creature a nom de theatre, Caliban, because Shakespearean names are the only ones that matter, apparently.
Now on their third day of knowing each other, Brona and Ethan are hopelessly romantically entangled. She even allows him a single brief, closed-mouth kiss during sex. She doesn’t cough up blood on him, so it must be love. He’s concerned about her cough, and she can’t afford medicine AND food, so Ethan goes to Malcolm and Vanessa looking for work. He agrees to do anything, no questions asked, which seems rather dumb considering what he already knows about them, but love, etc. Ethan asks Vanessa what happened to Mina: she was working as a governess and got engaged to Jonathan Harker before becoming embroiled with, then enslaved by, another man. They don’t know who he is, but they will look for him at London Zoo, because Vanessa had a vision of Mina accompanied by animal noises.
Caliban tells Victor that he wants Victor to make him a lady companion or else he’ll strike down everyone Victor loves. Victor, ever the emo kid, replies, “you seek to threaten me with death? If you seek to threaten me, threaten me with life.” That’s a pretty bold statement to make after seeing Caliban nearly rip a man in two with his bare hands.
Resurrection is, overall, a respectable entry, due largely to Caliban’s backstory, but it severely lacked pizzaz after last week’s ep
At the zoo, Malcolm asks Ethan to keep a close watch on Vanessa, because her gifts make her vulnerable and desirable. Vanessa senses that something is off, and a pack of wolves approaches; Ethan then does what anyone would do when confronted by a pack of wolves: he kneels, removes a glove, and holds out his hand for one wolf to test bite in a mysterious act of good faith or identification or whatever. They proceed as though that was totally normal and encounter a vampire named Fenton, whom they take captive.
They interrogate Fenton, who knows all about Vanessa, Amunet, Amun-Ra, and the blood curse in the hieroglyphics, but hasn’t heard of Mina. Victor is brought in to study Fenton and he believes he may be able to develop a cure. Ethan is hesitant to torture and experiment on Fenton, but relents. Vanessa suspects Malcolm is hiding something from her, which seems like a painfully obvious observation for someone with her skills. Resurrection is, overall, a respectable entry, due largely to Caliban’s backstory, but it severely lacked pizzaz after last week’s carnival of weird. It also lacked Dorian Gray, which didn’t make any difference at all.
– Ethan’s wounded palms seemed vaguely transformation related, and his interaction with the wolf point to his story being werewolf-related. Still, ZZZZzzzzzzzz.
– “Who doesn’t love a lost cause?” – Vanessa to Ethan, regarding Brona.
– After the séance, it’s disappointing that Vanessa spent most of the episode only glaring at people.
– If Victor makes a lady creature, what Shakespearean name would she get? Cassandra?
Don’t miss: Last week’s Penny Dreadful recap
All images: Showtime