Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Penny Dreadful, Season 2, Episode 7: Little Scorpion

In the basement of the mansion, Ethan is back to humanity and Sembene says some weird things about consuming animals and becoming a strange melange which is not how digestion works. He’s talking about wereanimals his people know about. He has a lot of questions but few answers – but decides it is a blessing because he knows Ethan. (What because he’s good? That would make it a curse, sureuy?)

Ethan wants to know what Sembene saw, because he never remembers his wolfy moments.

The other drama is addressing that Vanessa fainted at the party and Malcolm has the audacity to suggest female hysteria (Vanessa doesn’t even give him the “I shall flay the skin from your bones with my eyes” look, he’s not worth it) and Vanessa snaps back at the insult of such nonsense. It’s very clear that Malcolm isn’t thinking clearly as he thinks Vanessa was “overstimulated” and doesn’t think Vanessa can sense things – something even Victor has come to believe in.

Vanessa decides it’s time to leave London to be safe – taking Ethan with her. Lyle quickly agrees, adding that she shouldn’t even tell them where they’re going. Malcolm disapproves but Victor can see the wisdom when their enemy is something that can’t see or sense or stop.

She does trust Victor with where she’s going (and no, she’s not running, she’s finding a better weapon) and adds that he needs to watch and look after sir Malcolm. Also she wants to reassure Victor that Lily will totally come back to him.

Vanessa and Ethan go to the Cut Wife’s home – with lots of poignant emotion from Vanessa. She speaks of the Cut Wife, remembering her fondly before seeing the terrible book she left to Vanessa.

When foraging, Vanessa also speaks of his relationship with Sir Malcolm, how they bonded over their mutual rage and pain – and how Malcolm has now lost that and their relationship is damaged because of it. She both misses that closeness and recognises the selfishness of it

That night they both share childhood stories and it’s such fun to see them like that (and fear of Victorian dolls is quite healthy because they are beyond creepy) as they turn serious and reflect on how they’ve been made into what they are now - and the monster/demon inside them. Before Ethan goes out under the moon, telling Vanessa to bolt the door behind her.

He turns into a wolfman under the fullmoon and eats one of the sheep

The next morning he decides to cut down a tree and teach Vanessa how to shoot. She’s a crack shot. Of course she is, she’s Vanessa and he throws in some chilling guilt laden advice about killing as well. For his teaching her how to shoot she teaches shim how to dance

Romantic, fun montage of them spending the next few days cooking, living, dancing, foraging and generally getting closer and happier. Until there’s a terrible storm they revel in – until it sets the house on fire. They battle the flames – and fire fighting and getting all wet and sexy is what is needed to finally push them into each other’s arms. Until she stops him, pushes him away and growls “we are dangerous”

Yup, both of you – it’s why you make such a great couple.

Brought back to bitter reality, Ethan tries to reassure Vanessa but she just wants it to end with the powerful phrase “I can’t live forever violated”, she’s finding life almost impossible to endure. Ethan is determined to keep her alive with more hints to his true nature to her.

And the local land lord turns up, yes Sir Geoffrey. He taunts Vanessa who restrains Ethan. That night Vanessa talks vengeance and Ethan asks if she really wants to step further into the darkness for the sake of a memory – would the Cut Wife want that.

He decides to save her by killing Geoffrey first, sneaking through the night… but while he closes in, Vanessa pulls out the dark book and casts a spell in Verbis Diablo – Geoffrey is ripped apart by his own dogs.

Ethan goes back to Vanessa and is furious that she has become a murderess, he belittles her as a little girl and accuses the Cut-Wife of being a baby killer. And how killing gets easy – and by doing it once she makes it easier; she screams at him to stop and he tells her she will never get her soul back. She understands that.

Back in London Lyle and Victor talk about Egyptian myth and the end of the world when Amunet and Ra come together (something touched on in the first series, with Vanessa being possessed by/embodied by Amunet). The demon is hunting Vanessa as his lost bride and they get all melodramatic about it. Lyle’s investigation also suggests Vanessa will be protected – by the Hound of God which is some nice insight from Lyle.

And Victor is super duper sad and jealous because Lily is going out with Dorian but eventually restrains his urge to tell her to stay. Dorian is all charming as he takes her to a wax museum – yes, John’s wax museum where he comments on about how he almost recognises her and how mysterious he finds her. And he takes her to a display of grave robbers… while John watches from the shadows.

After visiting Dorian she stops the cab he calls to take her home and does her own exploring – finding a bar, an older man and deciding to go home with him and have sex. And then strangle him to death with her bare hands.

Now Lily/Brona’s story is getting interesting and odd – is this sensation seeking? Understanding? Curiosity? Provoked by the vastness of London or by Dorian?

Who appears to have forgotten all about Angelique – ok they don’t live in each other’s pockets but I’m leery of how very fascinating he finds Lily, it feels like a new “oddity” has caught his eye which really doesn’t help with how his relationship with Angelique has been portrayed

I don’t like how Ethan spoke to Vanessa – he could have condemned without belittling – but this whole scene cuts to the core of how Vanessa is constantly struggling against the darkness. How she always suffers and, notably, always has a way of STOPPING that suffering. Vanessa is tested, every second of every day and this episode she failed that test – but is there any chance of her coming back from that?