Penny Dreadful S02 E09: And Hell Itself My Only Foe

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Madame Kali is holding all the aces in her deck of cards. She need only wait for the little scorpion to arrive. On last week’s episode of “Penny Dreadful,” Sir Malcolm was captured by the witches, and now, Vanessa must save him, but can she?

Roper

We never find out why Ethan’s father would hire such a despicable little man like Roper to hunt down and drag his son back to America. We know Ethan’s monster. We know all about the werewolf, but Roper shows us a different type of monster. Roper brags about scalping people. He takes pride in this barbaric act. He scalps people while they still live. It makes us question who the true monster is. Scalping has been blamed entirely on Native Americans during the Revolutionary War, but one historian disagrees.

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When Roper threatens to rape and scalp Vanessa, the wolf and the scorpion fight back. Later, while they bury Roper’s body, a coach arrives bearing Victor and the news about Malcolm. Vanessa returns to London, sealing her fate.

Ethan

Tonight’s episode centered on the wolf. Ethan is sworn to protect Vanessa, partly because he has fallen in love with her, but more so because he is the wolf who has been told that he is also God’s hound. We don’t really know too much about Ethan’s home life, but we do suspect his father to be a brutal man because of the men he sends to bring Ethan home. Why doesn’t the father come for Ethan? This would be what a loving father would do? When did Ethan become a wolf? Ethan talked about his massacring an Indian tribe while they slept. He also mentioned he was attacked while visiting a sacred burial ground. If Ethan was a cruel man as a soldier, he is no longer.

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Inspector Rusk is the London version of “Monk” and, he is like a pit bull in that he will not release his hold of a suspect. He knows everything about Ethan. Rusk tells Ethan than he is waiting for his military records to arrive. As much as I don’t want Rusk to arrest Ethan, I do love to hear their sharp-witted banter back and forth. Ethan has one true friend in the town of London, besides Vanessa. He has Sembene. I love how Josh Hartnett has portrayed the Ethan character as a man who walks two paths and as two distinct creatures; man and beast. I also think Hartnett’s Ethan is the only man strong enough to woo Vanessa.

I didn’t realize that other fans of the show loved the character of Sembene as much as I did, but the comments on the site show that there are many. Sembene tells us that he was a slave trader. That was a shock, but something turned his life around. Sembene probably knows more than anyone else how to fight the witches’ evil plans because he, at one time, walked on the dark path. Sembene promises Ethan that he will keep the wolf from harming his friends. They all must go to Kali’s mansion to save Vanessa and Malcolm and the moon is out.

Lily

I don’t like what Lily’s become. She has become the hunter. Killing men while making love to them; she’s become cold hearted. Well, she is a re-animated corpse after all, but while she swears her loyalty to Caliban last episode, this episode, she is playing the dominatrix with Dorian. He knows that she is Brona and, she knows that he is immortal. Two peas in a pod. She bites off his ear, then tells Dorian to heal himself.

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Caliban

Yeah, I know that he’s calling himself John this season, but I like his original name. Caliban, like Ethan, is a monster through no fault of his own. He did not ask to be re-animated. I have grown to love the patchwork monster because his poetry erases the scars and, he is beautiful. Caliban thought he had made friends with Mr. Putney and his family, but they were only waiting for him to lay down his guard.

Conclusion

There is only one more episode left for this season of “Penny Dreadful.” There are so many plots within plots, I don’t think we’ll have final closure and will probably have to wait for season three to see everything play out. Our friends are in distress and they are outnumbered by their past deeds.

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Sir Malcolm is on the brink on madness because he has to face what he’s done or not done for his family. He’s locked in the room with the ghosts of the people he should have loved more than he did. He’s not alone in this hell. The first thing Kali and Hecate do when Ethan, Lyle, Sembene and Victor arrive is to separate them. Divide and conquer. I’m not too sure of Lyle’s fate, but Victor is locked inside a room where he meets all three of his children: Proteus, Caliban, and Lily. Sembene and Ethan are locked inside a trap with no way out and the full moon is rising.

Kali greets Vanessa, while Hecate taunts her, telling Vanessa that she visited Ethan earlier in the day. Hecate stepped out of the mirror to try and convince Ethan to join forces with her. Mirrors can be portals to the other side. Kali shows Vanessa the dolls. One of the dolls looks exactly like Vanessa.

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Our friends are in distress and there is only one episode left. Caliban has been locked inside a cell; betrayed by the blind girl. Mr. Putney has his first freak exhibit ready to go. Malcolm and Victor are prisoners of their past deeds. While Vanessa watches the doll come to life, Sembene is attacked by Ethan. Who will save our friends, my dear little pennies? Who?

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