This week’s episode of Penny Dreadful was leaps and bounds lighter than even the other episodes of Season Two have been so far. I am really enjoying this lilt because it truly feels like the calm before the inevitable storm. After everyone got lucky last week, we got to see some of the fallout from those choices.
The character with the most marked change over this season is Victor. He is definitely falling in love with Lily. Victor smiles now. And he wears a flower. That companionship that he has been yearning for pretty much since his mother died has come to him in the form of Lily, if he had to create her to fill the void. Their relationship is sweet, but stumbled a bit toward the end of the episode at the ball. The death glare that he was sending Dorian while he was sharing a dance with Lily was almost comical, but absolutely so in-character for him. He has a lot of growing to do in the relationship department to catch up with his peers.
Speaking of the ball, what a beautiful set! So often in period dramas, balls tend to be so lavish that they become surreal, but the set designers were able to pull off a very realistic-feeling ball while still being visually stunning. The fact that the ball ended up being a debut for Angelique could have become very over-the-top very quickly (since the whole idea was Dorian’s celebration of the unusual), but it was really quite lovely. And all of the characters looked incredible. It was a treat to watch.
After last week’s intimate moments between Sir Malcolm and Evelyn, I was interested to learn what exactly would happen. Vanessa and Ethan break the news to Sir Malcolm about his wife’s death, and his only response is that he will have to replace the carpet. Clearly Evelyn did something to Sir Malcolm to make him have such a numb response. But what he does not know is that Evelyn took a bit of his hair and blood and now has his own doll in the collection.
Ethan is a little preoccupied and declines Vanessa’s invitation to accompany her to Dorian’s ball. While everyone is off dancing the night away, Ethan asks Sembene for some assistance with a personal matter. Under the light of the full moon, Ethan transforms into his wolf self. Now we know for sure his secret, and so does a member of the night crew. I am so excited for this confirmation and am looking forward to how his storyline with play out with the other characters. Along with this revelation, we also got a little taste of his backstory when then survivor of the wolf attack shows up to talk to Ethan. It turns out that he was a Texas Ranger and sent by Ethan’s father to take him home. Although I like learning bits and pieces about Ethan, it has been over a season and half, and I would really appreciate some forward movement in his story.
Of course, we cannot talk about Penny Dreadful and leave out Vanessa. Let me just say that Vanessa has become one of my favorite characters on the show, and that is really saying something because I was not a huge fan in Season One. I think the thing I like the most is Eva Green’s character growth. I think that she may have overacted a bit last season, but she is really getting into a great rhythm for Vanessa this season. Since the character has such turmoil in her life, I am really liking the lightness that we have seen in Vanessa lately, particularly the last two episodes. I want to see this continue because it makes her a much more complex character, and also gives her a lot of hope. The last thing I want is to stop rooting for Vanessa; she deserves peace.
I love that we continued with the lightness in “Glorious Horrors” because it feels like we will be going into some very dark places for the remainder of the season.
Erin has reviewed many shows over the years including Orphan Black, iZombie, Penny Dreadful, and Killing Eve. She has a keen eye for on-screen chemistry, and loves to tackle the subject of casting. She is also our horror aficionado. She live tweets shows, and loves to share her feelings. Erin has a BA in History, and likes to analyze the lore behind historical fiction. She attends San Diego Comic Con every year and has also attended C2E2 and WonderCon.
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