Previously on Penny Dreadful: Dorian got bored and handed Lily off to Victor to be cured, and Vanessa hooked up with Sweet and brought about the End of Days.
London’s now overrun by a thick fog and rats and frogs and things, which are coming out of the sewers in actual waves. I never really thought of frogs as night creatures—the ones we had in our pond when I was growing up were fairly active during the day.
Seward finds Renfield (looking pretty cadaverous now) listening to Vanessa’s sessions and demands he get lost. He informs her he’s been freelancing for Dracula, rips the guts right out of a frog and eats them, and attacks her. Seward manages to incapacitate him and somehow, despite all the chaos, gets him committed to Bedlam.
Ethan and Co arrive to abandoned docks and a house empty of Vanessa but full of a dead wolf and many vampires, which swarm the men. One of them gets a chunk out of Malcolm’s neck while several more go after Ethan. He’s saved by the timely appearance of Cat. Where the heck was she? Hiding in a closet? Just hanging around the square until someone came home? They all manage to take care of the vampires and then all look at Cat and go, ‘Uh, hi? Who are you?’ before Malcolm decides that, since he’s been bitten, he must commit suicide or become a vampire. Cat tells him to chill and cauterises the wound before making hurried introductions and telling the guys that Malcolm will need a doctor. Ethan goes to fetch Victor but before he goes Cat warns him that this fog is not actually a fog but some sort of pestilence that’s killing people by the thousands. He doesn’t really have much choice but to go out, so off he goes, followed shortly by Kaetenay.
Lily’s still being held at Bedlam while Dorian cools his heels and Victor and Jekyll work. What’s taking them so damn long? And how long has Dorian been hanging around? Cat’s warning to Ethan suggested weeks have passed since the events of the last episode. They were able to tend to the crazy Scotsman much more quickly than this.
Anyway, Dorian gets bored, of course, and leaves to go clear the ladies out of his house. When he tells Justine what he did to Lily, she tries to stab him. When he doesn’t die, the other women flee. Justine, on the other hand, prefers to die right there, on her feet, rather than go back to the horrifying life she lived before. So, Dorian obligingly breaks her neck. So, apparently Lily’s whole feminist uprising and the entire character of Justine were completely pointless. Great. I was really looking forward to the ladies rallying here and doing something awesome.
Back with Lily: she asks for some time alone with Victor, who continues to insist that, once she’s ‘cured’, they’ll be happy together. She informs him that there’s some pain that can’t be taken away, and then gives another one of her amazing speeches where she tells him about her daughter, whom Lily loved on a level she almost can’t describe. But she had to keep going out and turning tricks so they could eat, and she went out one very cold night and got a mean bastard who knocked her unconscious and left her in the street, and by the time she came to in the morning the child was already dead, frozen to death by an equally dead fire. It’s a stunning piece of work from Billie Piper, and so heart-wrenching that Victor decides not to ‘cure’ her after all, but to let her go. Well done, Victor.
And in the middle of all this, we get a slightly odd and jarring interlude with Cal and his family having dinner and talking about moving back to their old home. The boy’s coughing up blood now, and I must commend the show for having a bit of restraint there, for once, and not showing him spraying blood all over the table.
Malcolm comes to and has some banter with Cat that makes me a little sad these two weren’t introduced to each other earlier. She tells him who she is and how she and Vanessa got involved, and then Seward arrives looking for Vanessa. Malcolm and Cat are like, ‘Join the club! We’d get jackets if everyone else in London wasn’t dead.’ Seward takes them to Bedlam so they can extract the information they need from Renfield. Seward’s prepared to use psychology and mind tricks to get him talking, but Cat has no patience for that and tries a more direct route: grabbing him by the throat, Sweet-style, and demanding he tell them what they want to know.
Ethan goes to Victor’s, but of course he’s not home. Some creepy kid who’s obviously a vampire offers to take Ethan to Victor, but instead delivers him to Sweet in Chinatown. Sweet’s all, ‘Oh, you love her. Sucks to be you. Don’t worry, she’s happy.’ Sweet explains that he’s standing gratefully at Vanessa’s side, not keeping her prisoner, as Ethan thinks. He urges Ethan to leave her at peace with her choice, but Ethan’s not ready to abandon her.
Sweet leaves him to the vampires, but fortunately it’s a full moon, so Ethan wolfs out and starts fighting back. And then, along comes Kaetenay, also transforming, so now I guess we know where Ethan got it from. The two werewolves fight off the vampires and then start snarling at each other. And here, we leave them.