Penny Dreadful S02 E06: Glorious Horrors

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On last week’s episode of “Penny Dreadful,” we had a betrayal, a love fest, and a death. Blame it on the Voodoo, if you want, but Madame Kali is only guilty of the death. Ethan and Vanessa are sexy and they know it, but both are in danger and their allies may not be able to help them. It’s time to attend a ball.

Complications

The innards of a clock are called complications and it is also the theme for this week’s episode. Tick, tick, tick, like a fine timepiece, Madame Kali aka Evelyn Poole places each step of her plan into action. She’s taking down all who protect Vanessa; one by one.

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Vanessa and the others are startled by Malcolm’s lack of mourning for Gladys’ untimely death. When he is told that his wife killed herself, his only concern is for the carpet. Malcolm’s friends might be more startled if they knew he’s  been bewitched by Evelyn, who is using his blood and hair to make another voodoo doll. Evelyn needs blood to stay young and alive. We get a hint at her real age when she tells Lyle about the popular practice of using belladonna as a beauty aid during the Renaissance era. Women would put a few drops in their pupil to make the eyes sensual. It was a beauty fad to a slow death back then, but today, in spite of its toxicity, belladonna AKA deadly nightshade has some medicinal benefits.

This week’s episode was also about young love, fairytale love: Lily and Victor; Dorian and Angelique; Malcolm and Evelyn.  Would Lily be so eager to fix breakfast for the man who, unbeknownst to her, smothered her and then re-animated her against her wishes? Would Malcolm be so concerned with his beard if he knew that Evelyn was the reason his wife was dead?  Would Angelique have allowed Dorian to throw a ball in his honor if he knew that Dorian is addicted to forbidden love and, has a short attention span?

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Yes, our dear Victor is quite in love, but he has to be very careful to keep his affair with Lily secret from her true intended. While Victor is practically glowing in his new found love, Caliban is having his own problems. I love Caliban, but my favorite little monster is never allowed any happiness. Rory Kinnear’s portrayal of the Frankenstein monster is so well played that he has us viewers concentrating only on the beauty inside the monster and not the monster’s appearance. When Caliban speaks poetry, his face lights up and he is beautiful to look at, but he is still a re-animated man. Lavinia is blind, but that only makes her see what others overlook. Caliban has cold hands; dead man’s hands.

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Ethan has found a home and a place where although he is a monster, he is welcomed. He has friends who deal with vampires and witches, and for now, they don’t know his secret. This is soon to change because of Mr. Roper’s visit. Ethan might be a beast who rips and shreds his victims during a full moon, but Roper is the real monster here. Roper threatens to scalp all of Ethan’s friends.

We were treated to another discussion between Inspector Rusk and Ethan. Rusk is a smart man and he is correct in his suspicion that Ethan killed the people at the inn. Rusk goes by the book, follows the trail, and then solves the crime. If we didn’t love Ethan so much, we would definitely be cheering for Inspector Rusk.

Conclusion

I really enjoyed tonight’s show. It was just like a fairytale with its ballroom dancing and pretty gowns. In Victorian times, balls were not only held frequently, but sometimes lasted for days. Lily made a beautiful Pygmalion, although one with cold hands. Angelique made a stunning Cinderella at her first ‘coming out’ ball, but not all was glorious. Angelique and Victor felt the pangs of jealousy as Dorian doted on Lily.

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Vanessa’s and Evelyn’s ‘line in the sand’ confrontation was worth waiting for and it hints at the horrors that are in store for our heroine. While Vanessa experiences a vision that looked like a scene from Stephen King’s Carrie, Sembene is busy with a full moon and a werewolf. Yep! Just like a fairytale.

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3 Replies to “Penny Dreadful S02 E06: Glorious Horrors”

  1. Not counting Patti Lupone’s Emmy caliber tour de force in “The Nightcomers,” I thought this was the best episode so far this season. I loved the dance between Spider-Man and Rose Tyler, James Bond trying to look younger, and Vanessa, with so many suitors, having no date to the dance. Mesmerizing score this episode too. Excellent recap, Marie.

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