Previously on Penny Dreadful: Ethan and Vanessa left London so she could look for clues on how to defeat the witches at the Cut Wife’s cottage. They bonded, but then she magically killed that asshole lord, so Ethan’s mad at her. Back in London, Lily, too, explored her murderous side by strangling a hookup.
‘So comes the apocalypse.’
‘You children. Know your master.’
‘So, you’ve discovered my secret.’
Lily’s all curled up in bed, caressing her now-dead conquest, calling him a silly boy and saying that men should always remain boys at heart. She finds it sad that boys have to grow up, but at least he never will. Except he was at least in his 40’s already, so I think you’re a bit late on that, hun. She kisses him, dresses, and grabs a card from the bottom of the house of cards on her way out.
Cal arrives at Frankenstein’s to find Victor passed out post drug binge. He wakes him with a bucket of cold water and demands to know where Lily is. Victor vomits, tries to pull himself together, and expresses confusion that she isn’t there. Cal is in a rage, throwing things and screaming at Victor for letting her go out with a man. Victor stutters that she was meant to come home. Cal reminds him that Lily is his, not Victor’s or Dorian’s, and he will take her. And once he gets her safely away to a place where they can be alone together, he’ll come back for Frankenstein. Yeah, whatever. I feel like Cal’s threatened Victor’s life so many times now it’s kind of lost its force.
One of Rusk’s underlings shows him an appointment book that shows Malcolm visited Inspector Galsworthy the previous year. Rusk seems pleased.
Kali’s getting a rubdown from her girls while Lyle bemoans the loss of his youth and the many hot young men around. She chuckles at him, sends the girls away, and asks if he’s actually started caring for the Scooby crew. He tells her he’s given up caring for anyone, and she declares that very sensible. She asks where Vanessa and Ethan are and he honestly says he doesn’t know. She asks if Vanessa and Ethan are in love and he doesn’t know that either. She threatens him with her slashing ring if he’s not truthful, but she’s really just messing with him and knows he’s not lying. She muses that she’ll have to lure Vanessa back. She calls him over to kiss her before he leaves. He goes to kiss her hand, but she wants one right on the lips. He’s unsurprisingly uncomfortable with that, for a number of reasons, and she laughs that he tastes like a fat little man. Unsure how to respond to that, he leaves.
On his way out, he’s pulled aside by Hecate, who asks what her mother said. He won’t answer. She tells him that whatever any of the witches promise him is a lie, but if he throws in with Hecate, he’ll probably live longer. She then demands info on Ethan.
Malcolm looks sadly at pictures of his family as Rusk is shown into his study. Rusk comments on the martial décor and then asks why Malcolm visited Scotland Yard the previous September. Malcolm said it was a whimsy and he doesn’t remember what they talked about. Rusk knows: Malcolm asked about the Spitalfields murders and was quite insistent the police look for a beast, not a man. Yes, I imagine someone would have taken note of a prominent person like Sir Malcolm saying something that bizarre to a police inspector. Rusk wants to know what made Malcolm say that and he says he can’t remember, it was just some caprice. Rusk doesn’t think he seems like the capricious type. He notes that it’s a bit odd that Malcolm lives in a house with a steel front door and hardly any servants or company. He then brings up Mina, asking why Malcolm suddenly stopped his regular visits to the Yard six weeks after he filed the missing persons report. Also, there’s a burial record for her, but no death certificate. Malcolm says that her death was embarrassing and he used his influence to illegally get around the death certificate, happy?
Rusk then holds up a small poster from Ethan’s show and asks if Malcolm knows him. Malcolm tells him, numerous times, that he does not. Rusk tells him to swing by Scotland Yard if he thinks of anything that could help their investigation.
Lily finally returns home, apologizing to Victor, all chipper. He demands to know where she’s been and she lightly says she had a lovely evening with Dorian, and then took a walk and then fell asleep on a bench in Hyde Park.
She finds a bouquet of roses that have come from Dorian, reads the card, and says he’s charming but perhaps a little too sophisticated for her. Victor suggests that the two of them go away somewhere, but she’s having a lot of fun in London and doesn’t want to go. Besides, she still has so much to learn! She distracts him with an offer of poached eggs for breakfast and goes to make them, but he gathers himself and says he has to go out. She calls after him to pick up some butter and eggs.
Victor goes to see Malcolm and admits that he’s an addict and he doesn’t really know what he’s doing, relationship-wise. Malcolm says that nobody really knows what to do in relationships. That’s why there is an entire segment of the publishing industry dedicated to helping people try to understand it. Victor says he’s spent his whole life puzzling things out, but this puzzle is defeating him. Malcolm says there’s nothing to do but try and figure it out.
He then gets introspective, saying that he led a selfish life, wanting glory for himself, and he was a lousy husband and father and he regrets all that now. He says that he seems happy now, but that’s not really who he is. Love makes us distance ourselves from our true selves, but eventually you have to get it together and look in the mirror again. He recalls that, the day of his wife’s funeral, he was attending a ball. How messed up is that?
Kali strokes the Malcolm doll and murmurs in its ear.
At his home, Malcolm almost seems to be having a minor heart attack. So minor that Lyle, Sembene, and Victor don’t notice that he seems unwell. Spells do take it out of you. Lyle is reading out what they’ve deciphered from the relics so far. Aside from what we’ve already heard, it goes on that two brothers were cleaved apart, one cast into hell and the other sent to earth. The one on earth would feed on the blood of the living by night, and the brother in hell would feed on the souls of the dead. They want to take over heaven and earth and topple God from his throne. Well, at least they’ve already gotten one of the brothers down. Halfway there, guys!
Sembene wonders why Vanessa has been chosen by Lucifer and Lyle says that there are numerous women throughout history who have been singled out for this particular dishonor.
Kali takes the beating heart of the doll in her hands, still chanting.
Lyle turns the conversation to the Hound of God, which he thinks is a threat to the daemon’s plans. Malcolm looks at the text and says that the word isn’t ‘hound’, it’s ‘wolf.’
Kali continues her spell, and the table with the relics on it begins to shake. It stops after a moment, and then Malcolm’s eyes go completely black and he tells them to meet their master. He flips the table violently, and Sembene throws himself forward, taking Malcolm and wrestling him into another room, roaring for him to know who he is. Malcolm seems to shake it off a bit, and then the ghostly figures of his family appear, along with other people, in a ball scene from years ago. He dances briefly with his wife, and then with Mina, who hugs him tightly, and then Peter comes over, greeting his dad and stealing Mina for a dance. Malcolm looks like he might cry.
In reality, Sembene, Lyle, and Victor watch him wander around the room, lost in his fantasy world.
The spell breaks, despite Kali’s desperate attempts to maintain it. She shrieks in frustration and tells Hecate that he released himself from the enchantment. Hecate, a little gleefully, tells her mother she may not be as desirable as she thought. Hecate offers to have a go with him. Kali tells Hecate they don’t need to do anything just now. Malcolm will be angry, so she’ll strike back, and then he’ll come to then. Hecate demands to know the whole plan, but Kali tells her she grows impertinent. ‘You grow old,’ Hecate snarls. Kali magically throws her across the room and warns her not to forget who rules here.
Malcolm loads up a pistol on the table still spread with family photos.
Angelique fires up Dido’s Lament from Dido and Aeneas, which is fitting on a number of levels. First off, it’s a song sung by a woman being abandoned by the man she loves. These are the lyrics we hear:
When I am laid, am laid in earth, May my wrongs create
No trouble, no trouble in thy breast;
Remember me, remember me, but ah! forget my fate.
Remember me, but ah! forget my fate.
Just keep those in mind.
Dorian’s on his way out to see Lily again. Angelique doesn’t seem too delighted by that, but as she herself says, it’s not like she’s in a position to object.
Lily dresses herself and puts some perfume on her neck before heading out.
Sembene spreads a blanket over Victor, who’s asleep on a sofa at Malcolm’s, Lyle reading beside him. Unnoticed by anyone, Malcolm sneaks out.
Cal watches, in pain, as Dorian buys Lily a necklace.
Angelique, sitting in the picture room, sees some candles suddenly blow out and finds the secret door to Dorian’s hideaway.
Malcolm sneaks up to Kali’s mansion, pulls out his pistol, and slips inside, creeping down corridors. One of the witches hops down from the ceiling behind him, but disappears before he can spot her.
Sembene goes upstairs to check on Malcolm and finds him gone. He immediately raises the alarm and Lyle says they need to locate Ethan and Vanessa.
Dorian returns home and finds the door to his secret lair open. He very slowly pulls off his scarf, clenching it in his fist.
Malcolm makes his way up the stairs, but then hears Kali laughing and starts firing randomly. The witches start coming out of the walls and attack him.
Dorian takes two glasses of champagne into the lair, where Angelique is thoughtfully looking up at the portrait. He hands her one of the glasses and says his sins are made manifest here. He smiles a bit creepily at the picture and says he sometimes convinces himself that he’s better than this, but this is who he truly is. He asks her if she can accept him as he is and love him and she honestly says she can. He clinks glasses and she drinks, and then swiftly dies. ‘I don’t think you can,’ he coolly says. And then we finally get to see the portrait and it’s…disappointing, actually, It looks like a crouching mummy chained arm and leg. Its head shifts slightly and Dorian jumps. After all that build up I was expecting something much more horrifying.
Lily returns home, where Cal is waiting, hiding and spying on her as she starts to undress. He makes a noise and she jumps, spotting him and then saying she’s not sure it’s proper he should be here without Victor present. She then wonders why he’s so quiet, since he’s usually so wordy. He approaches her and she shrinks away. He growls at her not to pretend to be afraid, and then asks who she is. She pushes him away and says she doesn’t remember, still playing the little innocent, but he’s got her number. He asks if she enjoyed her evening with the young man and tells her that there is no Victor or young man, ‘there is only thee and me,’ he says.
She drops the pretense and coldly calls him a pathetic creature who actually thinks she could ever care for him. Does his face belong aside hers? He goes after her and she roughly pushes him away, taking an early stand for women’s lib and telling him that women make themselves dolls for men’s amusement and their reward is a slap and a face turned to the pillow. She then really goes to town, resurrecting her Irish accent as she rages about sexual abuse and exploitation and throwing him to the floor. At this point, he’s looking pretty terrified. She pants that she’ll never kneel to any man again. Now, they shall kneel to her, as he does now.
And now I guess the bi-polarity really kicks in, because she immediately starts calling him her beautiful corpse and kneeling over him, musing that their creator has brought forth not angels, but daemons. ‘What shall we do with this power?’ she asks. ‘Why do we exist? Why have we been chosen?’he shakes his head and says he doesn’t know. She wonders if it’s to suffer and he agrees, because he’s cursed to want what he cannot have. ‘Women?’ she sniffs. ‘I’ll bring you a dozen, we’ll f*ck ‘em together.’ Is she turning into Dorian’s dream girl or what? She crawls towards him and sighs that she wants him, because he’s a man unlike all other men. ‘My brother, my equal. I’ll take you by this beautiful, white, dead hand and lead you to my bed right now. I’ll love you,’ she offers. And then when Victor comes home, they can kill him together. ‘We were created to rule. And the blood of mankind will water our garden,’ she says. Wow. What…what happened with her? Was she always playing the part of the sweet innocent little thing or did some switch just flip all of a sudden? She kisses him and tells him that no being will ever love him as she does. That’s probably true.
Before we move on, let’s all just take a moment to give Billy Piper a standing ovation, because that was quite the tour de force. Bravo.
Kali’s. Malcolm has been brought to her memento mori room for a little chat with his girlfriend. She informs him that he’s been brought there to act as bait for Vanessa. She admits that he did make her feel a touch of elation and passion and made her feel a little less alone. She offers to take his hand and start a new life together. He’s only willing to do that if she lets Vanessa live, and honestly, he’d much rather yank Kali’s head right off her neck. Kali says that’s the one thing she can’t offer.
She gets a wicked look on her face and suggests he may have a thing for Vanessa. She opens her palm, revealing a scorpion, and says it’s good we care for our daughters. She puts the scorpion on his leg and tells him to be careful, because she stings. ‘I leave you with a few memories,’ she says. ‘They sting too.’
After she goes, he brushes the scorpion off his leg and goes to leave the room, but when he reaches the door the candles all suddenly blow out and a coffin appears in front of the fire. He goes over and opens it and, weeping, finds Peter’s body inside. He cradles the corpse, and then seems to sense someone else in the room, He turns and sees two more coffins. The bodies inside hiss, and up rise his wife, with her slashed throat, and Mina, with her head wound. And then Peter starts to resurrect as well. Family reunion!
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