Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Penny Dreadful 2x03 Review: “Good and Evil Braided Be” (Making Connections) [Contributor: Rae Nudson]

“Good and Evil Braided Be”
Original Airdate: May 15, 2016

Nightmares are made up of our imaginations running wild and finding the fears hidden deep in the brain. A gust of wind can become a ghost, and a shadow a burglar. But what happens when what you fear is real? And what if no one believes you?

The Scooby Gang is grappling with various threats this week as the season starts to take shape, and they are very real. Vanessa is chatting up vampires, Ethan is running away from the law, and Victor and Jekyll are playing God, just to name a few.

Dr. Seward may not believe in the nightmares Vanessa is living through, but Vanessa assures her they are real — real enough to be named, seen, and fought. Vanessa has spared no details in telling her life story to Dr. Seward, including her history with Dr. Seward’s lookalike, the cut wife. Vanessa is opening up and trying to make sense of things, and by doing so she has opened herself up to life experiences again. She went on another date with Dr. Sweet/Dracula and has actually been enjoying herself quite a bit. Unfortunately for Vanessa, rejuvenating her life also means rejuvenating the evil that constantly threatens to overtake it.

One of Dracula’s minions speaks with Vanessa while they are on their date, and it tips Vanessa off enough to know that traipsing around town may not be the best idea. She runs away from Dr. Sweet, telling him that it’s too dangerous for him to have her in his life. Little does she know, she’s got it backwards: apparently, Dr. Sweet is romancing Vanessa as part of a long con to get her defenses down, and then he will strike and make her his bride so they can rule the underworld together. (Or something.)

The vampire gives Vanessa a clue that she has met Dracula many years before, but Vanessa can’t remember it. He tells her that it was in the white room with no day or night, which Vanessa knows means the psychiatric clinic she was kept in. Vanessa demands that Dr. Seward hypnotize her so she can uncover the suppressed memory of her time in that cell. While she is being hypnotized, Vanessa travels in her mind back to that cell and relives it while her body remains is in Dr. Seward’s office, connecting her past to her present. Each season has had one episode that focused on Vanessa — I’m hoping that episode comes next week while Vanessa explores this part of her mind. It looks fantastically creepy, and in just the few seconds so far of Vanessa in the white room, Eva Green was spectacular.

Vanessa isn’t the only one making connections, though. After Hecate helped Ethan during his werewolf transformation, the two are getting close — even though Ethan doesn’t like it. Hecate believes that Ethan is the wolf of the world, which was a theory that the show brought up last season. And I must say, with Kaetenay gathering his forces to save Ethan, it looks like she might be right. Hecate “helps” Ethan get horses so they can head to his father’s land. I know that Ethan might need a friend, but I don’t trust Hecate as far as I can throw her. Although Ethan is forced to work with her right now, hopefully he doesn’t fall under her spell. She is not as innocent as she looks. Thankfully, it looks like Ethan has not forgotten about Vanessa, and when he growled at Hecate to not speak her name, it hurt my heart a little bit.

Lily has made an especially deep connection as she convinces her new protégé to pledge herself to Lily and Dorian’s murdering army. Justine has had it with the patriarchy, and she gladly and willingly murders the man who bought her when she was just 12 years old. To celebrate, the trio had a threesome where they were all covered in the blood of the man Justine just killed. As one does. It will be interesting to see how Lily and Dorian’s army of murderesses ties into the rest of the group. Especially as Jekyll and Victor try to domesticate Lily – which is exactly the kind of behavior Lily is fighting against.

Jekyll and Victor are still joining forces — like the evil and good that make up man, the two work better as a team. Victor thinks he can help Jekyll’s calming serum last longer, to hopefully bring relief to the insane at the hospital — just kidding! He’s only thinking about its effects on Lily.

John Clare is the only one of the Scooby Gang who remains all alone, but he is desperately trying to connect to his family. He found a rented room that made him flashback to memories of his family while he was alive, and he found them again. Right now he’s only spying on them, not yet making contact. But hopefully watching them brings him comfort and lets John Clare know he hasn’t always been alone.

Post script:
  • “Liberty is a bitch that must be bedded on a mattress of corpses.” Lily said this while she was covered in blood after her threesome. It was peak Penny Dreadful and a touch too cheesy even for me. 
  • Everyone looks so dreary in Victorian England I don’t know how they can tell vampires apart from people. 
  • The creepy way the vampires move is so, so great.


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