Penny Dreadful S02 E05: Above the Vaulted Sky


Something evil this way comes, and on last week’s episode of “Penny Dreadful” we saw just how easily evil spirits can enter a home. How will Vanessa and her friends keep the witches from attacking again when the magic of voodoo is used against them? All we do know, my little pennies, is that Inspector Rusk won’t give up until he finds the person responsible for the bloody massacres.


Vanessa and her friends know what they’re fighting, but they might not realize how devious Madame Kali is. The hair that Hecate has stolen from Vanessa is now added to a doll, a doll that resembles Vanessa. Kali will use her magic to bring a sickness of the mind to Malcolm’s wife. Kali has many dolls, but they all contain body parts: brains and hearts that’s she’s snipped or plucked from the living to add to her collection of fetishes. What do we really know about Voodoo? Most of the stuff we’ve associated with the religion is wrong, but fear of Voodoo still makes for a good horror movie.


Vanessa is the focus point around which everything else revolves. Even though her friends have taken precautions to keep the Nightcomers from entering the home with the use of heavy metal doors, charms, scorpions drawn in blood, smudging and weapons, Vanessa is afraid and she seeks safety in Ethan’s bedroom. Ethan, always the gentleman, sleeps on the sofa while Vanessa falls asleep in the bed.


We all know Ethan’s dark secret. We’ve known from the first season when the wolves did not attack him. He is a shape shifter, a werewolf with a need to protect. With Brona assumed dead, Ethan has turned his devotion to his friend, Vanessa, but it’s more than just devotion that we see pass between these two people. Ethan will do all in his power to protect Vanessa, but what if he isn’t there to help her?

Inspector Rusk

Some men can’t abide a mystery and Rusk is one of these men. He’s from Scotland Yard and he’s used to getting answers from suspects, but Ethan is just as good at playing the cat and mouse game as this policeman. I really enjoyed the banter between Douglas Hodge‘s Rusk and Josh Hartnett’s Ethan.


It was a civilized interrogation and not what I normally see on American cop shows. Both men remained civil, skirting hard questions with vague replies, with neither ever losing their patience with the game. Rusk, after all, is only doing his job. He is a man trying to keep his district safe. Ethan is allowed to leave, but he has been followed home.

Victor’s Monster

While Caliban/John waits hopefully for Lily to accept him as her mate, he is unaware of Victor’s subtle betrayal. Victor slowly wins over Lily’s favor with fancy clothes and his good looks. Caliban’s face is scarred, but not his heart. He wants Lily to love him, but although his speech is beautiful; Caliban’s face turns off Lily and she suggests that they just be friends for now. The monster is and always has been Victor.


Vanessa meets Victor and Lily for lunch. I was surprised that she didn’t pick up that Lily was Brona. I thought they had met before, but she does pick up on the vibes between Victor and Lily. The best part of any episode is whenever Vanessa and Caliban/John get to chat. I love listening to them recite poetry. I love the classic poems and at the Catholic school I attended, Fridays were always art and poetry day where in the morning we learned about the great works of art, the artists that drew them and the time period the art was created. In the afternoon, we read classic poems from Poe’s “The Raven” to Edward Lear’s “The Table and the Chair.” I’ve included Lear’s poem here for those of you with little ones. They’ll love it.

Vanessa also teaches Caliban/John to dance. It’s a gentle moment between friends and reprieve for both of them; Vanessa isn’t afraid and Caliban feels handsome.


We learned a bit more about the mysterious Ethan. He was a soldier and he was part of a military unit that massacred an Apache tribe while they slept. It was a despicable thing to do to a proud and honorable people and the act haunts Ethan. He tells Malcolm they must not allow that to happen at the mansion. They must not be infiltrated.


Ethan was expecting the witches to come through the doors or windows, but they have found another way to enter. Kali uses her magic mesmerize Malcolm and make him her lover, while at the same time his wife is driven mad and she kills herself.


I’m not sure where the relationship between Angelique and Dorian is going. It’s hard being a transgender no matter what time period you live in. People have such closed minds. While Dorian and Angelique make love to each other, across town, Lily has climbed into Victor’s bed. Caliban’s chance at true love; crushed. And while Mr. Roper waits outside for the chance to capture Ethan, the most sensual scene in tonight’s episode was the long, drawn out, glance between Ethan and Vanessa.

I love this show. See you next week, my little pennies, and, if you have time, read some poetry.

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