Marie Gilbert Reviews Penny Dreadful S03 E07: “Ebb Tide”



On last week’s episode of Penny Dreadful Ethan escaped the clutches of Rusk, Hecate and his father thanks to Sir Malcolm and Kaetenay. Vanessa has a new ally in her battle with Dracula and, Lily is building a wicked army. Does Catriona know the truth about vampires? Will John Clare be accepted by his family? Will Vanessa outsmart the Dragon?


Penny Dreadful has been from the very beginning a testament to the power and the eternal endurance of women, but what pain drives Lily’s mission to destroy men? In tonight’s episode, we watch as Lily carries flowers to the cemetery. She sees a woman mourning the death of her little girl as the coffin is lowered into the ground.


Billie Piper is mesmerizing as she plays the part of a Victorian Suffragette on this episode and we, dear pennies, finally understand where her anger and pain comes from. How could we not sympathize with Lily when we see her at the grave of her own infant daughter, Sarah Croft? Billie Piper character has been allowed to flourish as the scientific experiment that goes against her creator or any man that dares to control her and this rebellion has brought a much needed passion to this season’s storyline. Victor had foolishly thought that Lily would be obedient to his wishes after he killed her and then reanimated her for Caliban. He was wrong. Lily has come back from the neither world known as Death. She will not submit willingly.

Lily wants her army of prostitutes to be angry. “Rise up,” she commands after telling the ladies gathered around her about the old Irish custom of “keening” where women would sing for the dead to help them to the other side. Funerary music either with violin or vocals was a beautiful tradition that was stopped by the Church because they thought it took away from their rules and ordinances. In truth, it was a patriarchy of old men who feared strong women.


While Lily tells her army to cut off the right hand of any bad men they come across, Dorian broods at the table. This is not the Lily he’d invited to share his home. Later when his table is covered with severed hands, Dorian realizes that he is the outsider of this new rebellion. His pleas to Lily to go back to the lovely dances they shared fall on deaf ears. Lily has outgrown the waltz and desires revolution instead. After Justine threatens him, Dorian seeks the aid of a friend.


Our scorpion sleeps the slumber of a woman fulfilled, but while Vanessa sleeps, Reinfeld dares to slink close to her. But, she is not for him and Dracula casts him aside. Samuel Barnett plays his Reinfeld as the perfect creepy companion to the king of vampires, but our little fly eater is losing more of his humanity each day and he may have unwittingly alerted Dr. Seward of his intentions. What Dr. Seward seduces from the conversation with her secretary remains to be seen.

Episode 307

Christian Camargo has played his Dracula as a gentleman of science. His good looks and poetic speech make it hard for us to hate him even though we know he is evil, but this is why Vanessa is so easily tricked. After spending the night with Dr. Sweet, Vanessa arrives home and is surprised by a visit from John Clare.


From the very beginning of this series, there was a close bond between Vanessa and John Clare. We learned the reason why they were so comfortable in eachother’s company this season, but I felt bad that John Clare had no memory of his time at the Banning Clinic or that he was the only person who showed Vanessa any mercy or human kindness. It doesn’t matter because Vanessa remembers and, she encourages John Clare to go to his family. She wants him to be happy and tells him that she may have found someone, too.


I have this feeling that Miss Catriona Hartdegen is a female version of Indiana Jones. She doesn’t dress in frilly clothing and she’s not afraid of death. As a thanatologist, Catriona knows a lot about the creatures like Dracula. Catriona has done her homework. The books have it wrong and Dracula is not bound by myths. He can be killed in human form. But something that Catriona mentions warns Vanessa that she’s already given herself to the monster.


Our wolf takes to the seas with Sir Malcolm and Kaetenay after a vision the old Apache has of Vanessa. The joy of seeing Vanessa in Ethan’s arms is short-lived because in Kaetenay’s vision, the lovers are threatened by the creatures of the night. I was disappointed to see that the long awaited reunion between Vanessa and Ethan was only part of a vision.


Kaetenay actually speaks to Vanessa while having an out of body experience and tells her that Ethan is coming to save her. With his father dead, Ethan has made Vanessa and Sir Malcolm his new tribe. Will Ethan reach London in time to save Vanessa from Dracula?


The powerful gravitational forces exerted by the moon and the sun cause the rise and fall of sea levels. When sea levels fall during a tidal phase, it’s called ebb tide. Vanessa and Lily have found themselves in low water. But, Marjorie has managed to stay the course. When John Clare made himself known to her, she could have run away, but she didn’t. Marjorie is not a woman who frightens easily, not after working long hours in that life sucking factory. John Clare returned from the dead and she took him home to their son.


Lily was a woman fighting to be heard. She wanted to be treated as an equal, but weak men fear strong women. Dorian became bored with her plans to build an army. He’s lived too long and seen it all before. He called Victor on that favor and Lily found herself a prisoner in Bedlam. What exactly does Victor want from Lily? He wants her to behave like a proper woman. He wants her to be subservient to him.


Vanessa understands that Dr. Sweet is the monster who has been tracking her for most of her life. Up to now, she has only given her body to him, but after speaking with Catriona, she wants him dead… or so I thought. I had expected Vanessa to put a bullet in Dr. Sweet, but Vanessa did the opposite. I wasn’t expecting this outcome, especially because she knows that Ethan is coming to save her. Vanessa knew that giving her soul to Dracula would bring on the apocalypse, and yet, she bares her neck and allows the monster to drink her blood. The Dragon made an offer the scorpion could not refuse. Next week is the two-hour season finale and I fear what will happen to our wolf and scorpion.






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