Penny Dreadful: Predators Far and Near

Lily gets ready to serve up some delicious revengePreviously on Penny Dreadful: Vanessa started seeing a psychiatrist, Dr Seward, whose secretary has been recruited by Dracula. She also met a nice zoologist named Dr Sweet. An American Indian named Kaetenay collected Malcolm so they can go to America and rescue Ethan, who’s already been liberated from the federal marshals by men working for his father.

The producers are clearly really hoping to get their money’s worth out of this Chinatown set, because now Dorian and Lily are there, heading into a club where the man in charge confirms they know exactly what they’re in for. Oh, they do. They soooo do. They’re taken into a room where they sit in a circle with a lot of other well-dressed men. Lily is the only woman present. The men are practically licking their lips. There’s also a large man there dressed up like an executioner, standing in front of a rack of very wicked looking instruments.

A very young woman is brought in, naked and blindfolded and all the guys lean forward in anticipation. Gross. The executioner removes the blindfold and forces her to look at him. The girl spits in his face and Dorian and Lily exchange, ‘oh, we like ‘em feisty!’ looks. The executioner slaps the girl hard, then grabs a whip, prepared to start the show. But first, Dorian gets up and shoots him, then half the men in the circle while Lily dispatches the other half with a knife. Ok, I was kind of scared of the two of them getting together, but if this is what they’re doing with their time, I’m totally in favour. Lily bends down in front of the terrified, confused girl and says, ‘Now, you are mine.’

A photographer takes pictures of the dead marshals. Clearly, there weren’t many good photo ops in New Mexico territory. He’s stopped by a lawman, who’s played by an actor I seem to recall from Horatio Hornblower. He played Styles, right?

The lawman, a federal agent known as Ostow, goes into the sheriff’s office, where Rusk’s sitting with the sheriff, and demands to know where his prisoner is. Rusk tells him about the situation on the train, and Ostow tries to dismiss him, but Rusk refuses to go, because he’s got some hunting to do. He’s already got a good idea where Ethan’s heading: towards a town known as Cascabel, which, as a giant map on the wall attests, is right near a huge area of land known as Talbot range. You’ll recall that Ethan’s real last name is Talbot. It seriously didn’t occur to any of these other men to consider that Ethan might be heading there? When it’s literally blown up, in red, on their wall?

Outside, Hecate listens in to the conversation, then hops up and sets off herself.

Vanessa arrives for her first appointment with Seward. Renfield’s a bit twitchy, and at one point he repeats himself in that odd way the vampires sometimes do. Vanessa looks mildly uncomfortable.  Luckily, she’s then shown into the office.

[cryout-pullquote align=”right” textalign=”left” width=”33%”]Seward explains she records all her sessions. Well, that should make things nice and easy for Renfield.[/cryout-pullquote]

Seward loads up a recording device and explains she records all her sessions because it saves her the hassle of taking notes. Well, that should make things nice and easy for Renfield. They get started. Seward starts by asking Vanessa about her sins and Vanessa tells her about sleeping with Mina’s fiancé, which led to catastrophe and, eventually, Mina’s death. The doctor asks Vanessa to share her whole story.

Vanessa: Ok, but strap in and maybe cancel your next three appointments.

Victor and Jekyll get together for breakfast and Jekyll talks a bit gleefully about his father’s death, which has to come someday, right? And once it does, he’ll get money, title and estate and set up in Harley Street. Yeah, I’m willing to bet you’re not going to get the title or the estate, Jekyll. You’d have to prove a valid marriage between your parents, and it doesn’t sound like that was the case. From how he describes it, it sounds like his father took Jekyll’s mother as a mistress while he was in India, and then dropped her to go back to England, while she was shunned by her community and died of leprosy. Man, that sucks. Poor woman. Jekyll thinks his dad is totally evil, but everyone else has a certain duality: both good and evil. Exploring that is now his work.

He urges Victor to eat and Victor does, then asks to be taken to Jekyll’s lab. Jekyll points to nearby Bedlam and says it’s right there.

Off they go. Jekyll explains that his job is to keep the more difficult prisoners sedated until it can be decided what to do with them. He takes Victor to the subterranean areas of the hospital and shows him his lab, which is MASSIVE and also pretty amazing. He’s very well kitted out for someone nobody really cares about. Victor notes the modified barber’s chair in the middle of the room and pouts that he’ll have to bring Lily to this awful place to be fixed. He feels badly about that, after everything he’s put her through. Jekyll says it’s for the best: they can make her more calm, and may be able to tame ‘the beast within’, but he can’t guarantee she’ll love Victor. Victor asks for a demonstration of what Jekyll can do.

Vanessa’s finishing up, crying and talking about how lonely she feels now she’s lost her faith. Seward turns off the recording device and immediately goes and lights a cigarette. Kind of uncool of her not to offer one to Vanessa. She tells Vanessa they will find their way through this, but right now she wants Vanessa to go out right now and find something that will make her happy, even just for a little while. After Vanessa leaves, Seward tries not to burst into tears.

Outside, Vanessa’s followed by the vampire kid.

Malcolm sends Vanessa a cable, explaining he’s heading to the Americas to do some hunting.

He’s on board a ship in stormy seas, complaining about the weather and how much he hates ships. He tells Kaetenay about some of the big game hunting he’s done. Kaetenay is not impressed. They talk about Ethan, who came to Kaetenay covered in the blood of Katenay’s people, begging to be killed. But Kaetenay decided that letting him live would be a greater punishment, so that’s what he did. But eventually his and Ethan’s relationship morphed oddly, moving away from hate to a kind of love, as they stopped trying to hurt one another. Similar to how Malcolm and Vanessa came back together.

Kaetenay lights a pipe and suggests he and Malcolm speak to their son. He begins chanting over some stones and amulets he’s set out before him, and somehow manages to infiltrate Ethan’s dreams.

Ethan finds himself at the top of a hill, Kaetanay with him. Ethan rushes him, pulls a knife, and asks if ‘they looked in Kaetanay’s eyes when he killed them.’ Hmm. He promises to kill Kaetenay if they ever meet for real. Kaetenay tells Ethan he’s either an Apache or he’s nothing, and for some reason that makes Ethan back off and tell him they’re outside Cascabel and the men are taking him to see his father. He warns Kaetenay to stay away from him, but Kaetenay says they’ll meet again soon, because Ethan’s the Apache Kaetenay needs. Did Kaetenay make Ethan a werewolf? Is Kaetenay one himself?

Ethan wakes with a start.

On the ship, Kaetenay tells Malcolm that Ethan knows they’re coming. Well, one would hate to be rude and just show up unannounced.

Vanessa goes to the natural history museum and finds Sweet giving a lecture to some visitors. She takes a seat. He seems pleased to see her and immediately starts talking about scorpions, asking if anyone can tell him about one type. Vanessa can, of course. She’s like Hermione Granger with all the answers. Sweet seems delighted.

Afterwards, he explains that he has to give these lectures, because they pay for the animals and the expeditions. Vanessa asks where he goes and he stammers that he doesn’t, because he’s no adventurer, though he once dreamed of being one, when he was a kid reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Now he’s told her his hero, he asks who hers is. It’s Joan of Arc. I think we all should have guessed that. She admires her passion and determination to die for her beliefs and her God.

He tells her he’s glad she came that day and says he gives the lectures every Wednesday. Next week: the Madagascan lemur! And then he forgets her name again. Heavens, Sweet! You’re the only person who can’t seem to remember her! But maybe that’s part of his charm.

Vanessa returns home and finds something in the newspaper that makes her smile.

The girl Lily and Dorian rescued wakes in a bed in Dorian’s grand house. She goes downstairs and finds the pair waltzing in the ballroom, which I guess is how they fill their days in between rescuing young girls from some of the worst human beings London has to offer. They pause when they see her and Dorian shuts off the music so they can talk. Lily welcomes the girl to her new home, if she wants to stay. The girl reminds them of their murderous rampage and Dorian calmly says they would have killed more. ‘And shall,’ Lily adds. The girl asks why they did it. Do you really need to ask, honey? Lily basically says that they want to take revenge on horrible, horrible men and invites the girl to join them in that particular crusade. She’s all for it, no matter what the cost. ‘We shall have, my dear, a monumental revenge,’ Lily promises.

A particularly violent, raving criminal is strapped into the barber’s chair in Jekyll’s lab. Jekyll says the man tried to assassinate the Queen, and so was thrown into Bedlam, where he became even crazier. He starts turning valves and measuring out an injection. Victor is asked to carry out a preliminary exam and, after running through the man’s vitals, agrees the man is violently deranged. Jekyll delivers his injection and the man goes rigid, then starts jerking around violently for several seconds. Then, he’s still. Jekyll makes sure he’s still alive, then asks the man to greet their guest. The man raises his head, completely calm, and politely asks for a glass of water. And there’s your miracle, folks!

Sweet receives a message from Vanessa, inviting him on an adventure that evening.

He meets her at a music hall that’s showing a lantern show of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Good call, Vanessa. He admits he’s never been asked out by a woman and she tells him that boldness is part of her nature. He seems to like that. They’re enthralled by the show. Amazing to think that in under 20 years these people would actually be seeing moving pictures. That must have really blown their minds.

Renfield listens to the recording of Vanessa’s session. Does the doctor not lock these things up? Does she really trust Renfield that much?

Ethan and his captors stop at some town to resupply. The leader tries to secure some water while the other guys relax at the saloon. Ethan glances at the full moon just outside the window and eyes an Apache woman working there. She notes that he looks sad and then realises she recognises him. She says she was of Kaetenay’s family. Ethan asks where the man is and she says she doesn’t know, but the others are in Oklahoma. She says she’d help Ethan if she could. He whispers to her to leave the room immediately. She does, because she’s no idiot.

The moon appears from behind a cloud and Ethan gives in to the wolf, transforming and killing everyone else in the room. The guy in charge, who clearly didn’t know what he was facing, pulls a gun, but then Hecate materialises from the wall in her witch skin, breaking his arm and killing another man. Ethan dispatches the leader and he and Hecate come face to face. She tells him she’s missed him.

After the show, Vanessa asks Sweet if he’d like to get a cup of coffee. He does the ‘maybe some other time’ thing. Ouch. He thanks her for the date and says he looks forward to seeing her again. She smiles and says she’ll be at the next lecture. Clearly, she’s now putting this relationship on a ‘purely platonic and even professional’ level, at least for the time being. He kisses her hand and promises never to forget her name again. I hope not, Sweet! This was a really brilliant date idea on her part!

He departs and she prepares to walk away, but then she gets the heebie jeebies and turns back around. There’s nothing out of place there, so she continues on her way, as Creepy Vampire Dude comes around the corner and watches her go.

Victor has taken up position on a bench opposite Dorian’s house, because stalking is sexy. He can see Lily through the window, getting ready for bed. She spots him too, and then comes out to gently tell him there’s nothing there for him. He stammers that he needs to save her from all of this, because she’s his responsibility. She tells him she doesn’t need a man to save her. And how. She kisses him tenderly, says he’ll recover from his first love, and warns him not to come back, because he won’t like what she’s become. I don’t know, it seems like she’s becoming some sort of avenging angel for the most horribly abused young women, and that’s pretty awesome. What’s not to like?

Vanessa returns home and writes a letter to Malcolm, asking if he’s heading to the United States and what might he be hunting there? She drops in some of the trivia she’s picked up from Sweet lately, and reassures Malcolm that she’s doing well and is contented, even a little bored. Well, that won’t last.

At the vampire warehouse (this place needs a name: the Meatpacking District? Eh, I’ll think about it), Renfield tells Dracula that he’s heard Vanessa’s story, then begs for blood. Dracula orders him to kneel, then opens a vein in his wrist so Renfield can greedily drink. The camera pulls away to reveal that Dracula is…Sweet.

Of course it is. I knew there was something about that guy, because nobody can just be nice and normal on this show. Poor Vanessa, can she never just find a nice young man? Who’s not also some killer supernatural being?



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.