Penny Dreadful gets me. Sure, there are always going to be storylines and characters that I am not fond of, but pretty much everything hits a chord with me. We had some beautiful and some hideous moments in “Predators Far and Near” which is exactly what you want in a horror television series.
I know that I say this during every episode review, but I love Vanessa. Her story is tragic to be sure, but I find Eva Green’s portrayal to be the most interesting part of the character. I hang on every single word she says, and her style is electric. On a shallow note, how fabulous was her outfit during her night out at the cinema with Dr. Sweet? I know, I know, I should get back to the story. Although I must say that the costumes, the music, the sets, and the art direction are really some of the best parts of the show. And Eva Green.
Seriously, though, Vanessa is the best part of this show. I love the dichotomy that we get with her between her natural light and struggle with the dark. In one scene she is pouring her heart out to Dr. Seward, and in the next, she is gushing over poisonous scorpions during a public lecture at the museum. She is the epitome of layered, and I would like to think that she is a beacon for those of us who suffer from mental illness. We all have light and dark in us and that struggle is one that is usually private. She is naturally so nurturing and thoughtful, but has to daily pull herself out of bed and fight against the dark. I think that is why I find her so completely intriguing. And can we talk about the sweet scenes with Dr. Sweet? These two have palpable chemistry, and it is no wonder that we had that huge reveal at the end: Dr. Sweet is really Dracula, and he is out for Miss Ives.
It was not a giant shock to me that Dr. Sweet ended up being Dracula, after all, I could tell from the second that Christian Camargo emerged on my screen that he was overtly charismatic. For those who are familiar with Dracula (you know, the actual book by Bram Stoker), the ultimate vampire was incredibly sensual and easily overtook his victims. In this regard, I am pleased at the reveal, but I was a little surprised at how early the reveal took place. I also completely agree with almost everything posted by fellow Geekiary writer Farid in his news article about the reveal. And I want the same questions answered! Frankly, I wanted to see them play a little more cat and mouse, but I suppose they can do that even if we are privy to his identity.
Now that we are past the parts I loved, let’s move onto the stories that could use some improvement. First, Dorian and Lily. Okay, I generally like Lily because she is a badass feminist in her resurrected state, but Dorian is a wet blanket. The actor, unfortunately, has no chemistry with anyone in the cast which is a real shame because Dorian Gray should be just as charismatic, if not moreso, than Dracula. No wonder the writers decided to pair them up, because adding Lily was the only way to perk up Dorian’s story. I am interested, however, to see what their plans are for Justine, the girl that they rescued from the–well, I am not sure what it was. Clearly this is all a long con for Lily and her vengeance against men in general.
I did enjoy Lily’s short scene with Victor, however. Victor’s story is one that I am neither excited by nor hate, so I guess I can add it to the positive side. But really, Lily was much more sweet to Victor than I anticipated when they met outside Dorian’s house. She owed him honesty, and that is what she gave him, but I am pretty sure he is not going to take her advice to move on from her, particularly not after the seeming success of Dr. Jekyll’s attitude adjustment serum. That stuff is pretty incredible. As much as I feel for Victor, I would like for him to wake up and run off into the sunset with Dr. Jekyll and they can do science together for eternity. I would watch that.
That brings me to the worst storyline of the week (as if you thought it couldn’t get any worse than Dorian): Ethan. First of all, the story is boring. Second, I have no idea what is happening. I feel like the writers are trying to be otherworldly with the Native American mythology, but in reality, it is failing miserably. They are just taking every stereotype and throwing it against the wall to see what will stick. I normally have much more faith in the writers, but I don’t see any redemption in this. The one bright, yet random, spot in Ethan’s storyline is Hecate. She followed Ethan all the way to New Mexico, but it isn’t really clear why. I like her, though, so I will keep my intrigue going. I love Ethan, but please, writers, give me more information or something to keep me interested! I am just so confused.
This was another successful episode of one of my favorite shows. Seriously, I love this show. Unfortunately we did not get any John Clare in “Predators Far and Near” but hopefully next week we will get to see him again. I cannot wait for his reunion with Vanessa! They are the best pair on this show.
How do you think all of the stories connect? Were you surprised at the big Dracula reveal? Let us know in the comments!
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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