Penny Dreadful S01 E08: Grand Guignol


Episode 108

We wait my little pennies, but…for what? Is it a closure to what has happened in episode 7? “Penny Dreadful” will lower its curtain on season one, and all we can do is hope for some resolution to Miss Ives’s torment. Vanessa is a free spirit trapped in an age where men control. What does Sir Malcolm expect from Vanessa? What does Dorian? How do we fight a monster, when it can hide within us? We will walk down a darker corridor tonight, my little pennies. Hold tight to my hand even though it’s as cold as ice.

Monstrosities Unbound

Vanessa may have been saved from her demon, but that doesn’t mean it won’t return. It just has to wait patiently for her to lose control. There is only one man that is capable of lowering Vanessa’s guard and that is the ever beautiful Dorian. The fate of the immortal is a double edged sword. You live forever, but nothing is new. Dorian can truthfully claim, been there and done that. He has men and women alike mesmerized by his beauty, so Vanessa’s quick departure from his bed has him puzzled and confused. He visits Vanessa, tells her he was there to visit, but she was sick. He went to Italy to take his mind off her. Dorian has fallen in love. He asks Vanessa to meet him at the park. Will she go?


Sir Malcolm because of Vanessa’s visions now knows where to find his daughter. But he tells Vanessa that if he can’t save Mina, then he will kill her. Sir Malcolm is a cruel man and blames Vanessa for his daughter’s disappearance going as far as to tell her that he would willingly sacrifice her for Mina. Later while buying a new type of weapon, an automatic pistol with high velocity bullets, he bumps into Madame Kali. She acts suspicious. We need to keep an eye on her.

Caliban is having a bad day with the props which causes the actor, Simon, to make fun of him. Maud brings an orange to Caliban and apologizes for her boyfriend. She likes Caliban, but not as a lover, but our lonely creature misreads her signals and goes to her dressing room. Poor Caliban, he seeks love and beauty and in return is fired from the Grand Guignol. He has nowhere to go except to Victor’s. Caliban leaves the theater never knowing who was hiding up in the rafters.


Victor is not happy with Caliban asking for sanctuary at his lab. While Caliban speaks eloquently on how his ugliness has seeped into his soul, Victor points a gun to his head. But, maybe Caliban’s pain has finally reached the ears and heart of Dr. Frankenstein, who puts the gun away, and goes to care for Brona.

Ethan is at Brona’s bedside. She is dying and there is nothing he can do to save her. Victor tells him that her death is near and sends Ethan for a basin of water. When he returns Brona is dead. He goes to the tavern to drown his sorrow, but grief must wait. There are two detectives waiting to drag him back to the states. He escapes.

Love Unearthed

Poor Caliban used stage makeup to make his face look whole, but Maud did not appreciate the act of love and fights off Caliban’s advances. Caliban was created by Dr. Frankenstein, but he is no monster. It is the good doctor who is the real monster in this show. While Ethan went for the basin of water, Victor smothered Brona. It was not an act of mercy. He has plans to create again.


When Vanessa does keep her appointment with Dorian, he mistakenly takes this as a confirmation of her love, but she tells him this can never be. I think they would be perfect together, but no man is worth a possession. Poor Dorian, this is the first time someone has ever said no to him, and it has left him stunned.


Grand Guignol

Ethan, Vanessa, Victor, Sembene and Sir Malcolm enter the theatre, guns drawn. It isn’t long before they find the vampires and a fight to the death ensues. While the others fight the female vampires who all look like carbon copies of each other, Sir Malcolm kills the master vampire. While the female vampires drop to the floor, dead again, Mina takes Vanessa hostage. It seems the real master vampire is still alive and Mina has orders to take Vanessa to him. Sir Malcolm has to make a choice; Vanessa or Mina.


The good news is that “Penny Dreadful” will be returning for a second season. The bad news is we have to wait. We do love our gothic horror stories, where monsters roam and demons possess. In the Victorian Era, disease was still an everyday threat to the living, while at the same time; advances were being made in technology and science. If Brona lived today, antibiotics would have saved her life.

While poor Caliban yearns to be loved and to love, Victor creates monsters and smothers his friend’s lover. Who is the real monster, I ask you? Brona will be made into a mate for Caliban, but will she retain her memories of Ethan?

Episode 108

Ethan, when attacked a second time by Pinkerton agents Roper and Kidd, finally revealed his dark secret. Is he the one responsible for the deaths in London? Is he the one tearing apart the bodies of unsuspecting Londoners? Is he a slave to the full moon? If you answered yes to all three questions then you know Ethan’s secret identity.

Sir Malcolm made his choice and saved Vanessa. His Mina was no longer his to love; her allegiance was to the master vampire. He has made his peace with his guilt and with Vanessa.

Vanessa is finally able to enter the church. She seeks council from the priest. Can he do an exorcism to cast out demons? Yes, but the results aren’t guaranteed. The priest then asks Vanessa, “Do you want to be normal?” We must wait for her reply in season two.


“Penny Dreadful” sits us down and tells us a story that is dark in nature, but rich in feel, taste and sight and we are its prisoners. I will wait for you, my little pennies, until our next meeting, but do be careful for there are monsters among us.

Leave a Reply