Marie Gilbert Reviews Penny Dreadful S03 E06: No Beast So Fierce


On last week’s episode of “Penny Dreadful” Victor used electricity to control Jekyll’s experiment on Balfour and now prepares to do the same to Lily. Ethan’s father reveals how Ethan’s family was massacred. This week, Vanessa seeks the help of Ferdinand Lyle in her battle against Dracula. There’s a creature hunting our little scorpion, but can Vanessa’s new ally help her?


Ethan’s father demands repentance from Ethan, while Rusk demands justice under the joint authority of the Queen of England and the President of the United States, Rusk and Marshall Ostow intend to arrest both Jared and Ethan, but because Jared needs to remind the snobbish Brit that the west also obeys the modem of proper manners, the lawmen are offered a meal.


Jared is a hateful man and we surmise that his son was never treated kindly by him. He blames Ethan for his family’s death and continues to bait Ethan into attacking him while the puzzled lawmen look on. Hecate waits for Ethan’s signal to attack, but for every malicious word that leaves Jared’s lips against Ethan, Sir Malcolm swats them away. Having lost his own son because of harsh words, Sir Malcolm defends Ethan’s honor.

Catriona Hartdegen

Vanessa calls on Ferdinand Lyle seeking his expertise, but is shocked to learn that he is leaving, maybe for good, for Cairo. It seems his extravagant lifestyle is more acceptable in the land of Pyramids. But, Ferdinand recommends an ally that will take his place.

Ferdinand & Vanessa

Who is Catriona Hartdegen? We know that she is a woman who will not bend to any man’s will. Catriona (Perdita Weeks) tells Vanessa that she is student of thanatology. Catriona studies death of all sorts and over lunch, she tells Vanessa what she knows about Dracula, which is plenty. When Catriona tells Vanessa, “If Dracula wanted you dead, you would be,” she is shocked to learn that it isn’t Vanessa death that Dracula wants but her submission.


“He is a predator who will seek to isolate his prey,” Catriona warns. “Surround yourself with friends.” But our Vanessa is alone. Who she’ll she go to? Catriona promises to come up with a plan to defeat the vampire.


Foolish Victor tries to sneak into Dorian’s home. He plans to kidnap Lily and use Jekyll’s serum on her, but Lily is busy training her army. To Dorian’s dismay, Lily’s youngest soldier, Justine, is not only eager to kill, but she has her eyes on Dorian as the first sacrificial offering.


When Dorian questions Lily, she tells him that the years of abuse at the hands of brutal men are over. She will never be submissive again. Lily decides to spare Victor’s life after Dorian steps in, but Victor is not one to give up.

John Clare

When will our gentle monster find peace and the love he so deserves? When he hears his child’s wheezing, John Clare goes to the child and cares for him. We can only guess that the mother is working long hours at the factory. The boy thinks John Clare an angel that has come to take his soul, but when the boy opens his eyes, he screams in fear.


Vanessa is alone. Sir Malcolm and Ethan are far away. She goes to Dr. Seward who talks about the death of her brutal husband. Mr. Seward received his forty whacks via hatchet, and yet, somehow the good doctor was able to get herself to England and continue her practice. Dr. Seward, unknowingly, sends Vanessa into the arms of Dracula.


The theme tonight was submission… or the fight against it. Vanessa vows not to submit to Dracula, but she is tricked by Dr. Sweet’s kindness and vow of protection. Vanessa, in the end, submits to a sexual interlude with a monster in friend’s clothing.


Lily and the other ladies of the night have all suffered submission in one horrid form or another from the brutal men who paid for sex. They will no longer be meek. Dorian and Victor must both be careful.

Ethan had always submitted to his father’s cruel ways, but tonight he stood his ground. Jared was a bad man who called his son a monster, but it was always Jared who behaved like a beast. Jared had ordered the massacre of the lawmen on the train, and then he killed the Marshal in cold blood. In the shootout that takes place, Rusk and Hecate are also killed. Their deaths caused by Jared’s desire for total submission of his son.


Sir Malcolm has proven himself a better father to Ethan than Jared ever was. We can only hope that Ethan, Kaetenay and Sir Malcolm return to London in time to save Vanessa. We are left with a bit of mystery about the woman called Catriona Hartdegen? Is she another character from another classical story? Could she be related to Alexander Hartdegen from H.G. Wells’ novel, The Time Machine? We must wait, my little pennies, to find out.


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