Penny Dreadful S02 E04: Evil Spirits in Heavenly Places


What is to become of our dear Miss Ives? On last week’s episode of “Penny Dreadful,” Vanessa told Ethan the reason she draws the scorpion symbol in blood and about her meeting, Joan, the witch of the moors. Is Vanessa doomed to be the object of an eternal satanic quest? Maybe Lyle can find the answers in the Verbis Diablo. 


Vanessa retells the story of Joan the Cut-Wife to Sir Malcolm, Ethan, Victor and Lyle. The answers to what’s happening to Vanessa are contained in the relics spread upon the table. It’s the story about Lucifer, the fallen angel. The Verbis Diablo is Lucifer’s autobiography as told to a monk.


The secret to helping Vanessa is displayed in many languages and items, but like a puzzle, the pieces must be connected. Did Lyle’s reaction surprise you when Sir Malcolm spoke about Miss Poole/Madame Kali? Didn’t he know about their meeting? Will this make Lyle reconsider his loyalties?


Yes, my little pennies, it is quite easy to turn the heads of men with a pretty face, a dimpled smile, or the glimpse of a dainty ankle. Hecate is out to capture the heart and loyalty of the Lupe. It really isn’t that difficult for one monster to recognize another. The witches know exactly what Ethan is and, because they know how powerful an ally he is to Vanessa, he must be distracted; maybe permanently.


While Caliban/John toils at the wax museum, Victor asks Vanessa for help in a personal matter. It was fun watching Victor and Vanessa shopping for clothing for Lily/Brona. When Vanessa inquires about this unknown, country bumpkin, Cousin Lily, Victor is secretive and gives the minimum of details. Victorian clothing is beautiful, confining, but beautiful and with some good natured teasing from Vanessa, Victor heads home with packages for Lily.

Inspector Rusk

He’s no Sherlock, but Scotland Yard has its best man on the job. Rusk is trying his best to solve the slaughters committed both at the bar and on the train. Were they done by the same hand? Why was the baby taken? Rusk’s attempt to bully the badly damaged Mr. Roper is a failure because Roper is a citizen of America, which Roper is happy to remind the inspector.



Who is this man who calls himself Angelique? Whoever he is, he has captured Dorian’s devoted attention and love. Dorian ignores the stares from the shocked heterosexual observers and takes Angelique to the Gossima Parlour to play a game of table tennis. Dorian is an attentive lover to both his female and male lovers, but we really don’t know what Angelique’s back story is and for all we know, she might be an enemy. I’m kind of disappointed that Dorian isn’t helping out Vanessa, especially because of how intimate they were in season one.


Tonight’s episode was about the men who think they have control over the women they love, but we dear pennies, know differently. Ethan, at first, seems quite smitten by Hecate. His rescue of the fair damsel has earned him her flirtatious gratitude. Hecate played the world traveling American, but she wasn’t smart enough to trick the wolf. He smelled the deceit, but mistakenly assumed she worked for his father.


Lavinia may be blind, but she is still able to create the lifelike models for the museum. Will her blindness be a blessing in disguise for Caliban who desperately wants to be loved? We can only hope that these two gentle souls get together because his creator, Victor, will betray him. Victor has fallen in love with Lily.

Victor may be a doctor, but he is not an honorable man. I find it comical that he tells Vanessa that witches can’t possibly exist in London, knowing that Lily, a new creature recently brought back to life, is at his lab. When Lily complains about wearing the corset, Victor’s explanation is chilling. To Victor, corsets are a representation of the control men have over women. If Victor thinks he will be able to control Lily, he is in for a big surprise. Did you know that wearing a corset could be detrimental to a woman’s health? Corsets push the internal organs out of place and constrict the woman’s breathing, but the corset has become popular again especially with lovers of steampunk and Victorian fashions.

Who is Sembene and, what is his secret? Danny Sapani plays his Sembene as a loyal servant, but he knows more than he’s letting on. We may not know anything about his past, but we do know he wants to protect Vanessa. All the men want to protect her. Sir Malcolm tells Vanessa that the Verbis Diablo is not only Lucifer’s story, but a prophecy about her. Did he think Vanessa would so readily accept this theory? She doesn’t.


Hecate and the other witches hiding unseen in the walls, was the most freaking scary part of tonight’s episode. Since I was a kid, I’ve had nightmares about monsters hiding in the walls. This is one of the reasons I love this show. There is just the right dose of unexpected horror to make you want to sleep with the lights on. I’ll be sleeping with my lights on and, so should you, my little pennies, so should you.

5 Replies to “Penny Dreadful S02 E04: Evil Spirits in Heavenly Places”

  1. Love the review! I am so intrigued by Sembene and his mysterious and cake making ways. I want to know more.

  2. Was anyone else bothered that such a learned man as Ethan, a student of Latin, didn’t know of Hecate, and which goddess she was? It just seems highly unlikely.

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