Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Frankenstein Chronicles: Season 2, Episode 5: The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

And lo we learn that not only is everyone really creepy and really evil but quite possibly all working together as well

Except Sir Robert Peel - but he’s desperate to get his admittedly very nice sounding reforms passed so is willing to work with just about anyone to make that happen despite the opposition of the evil dean of Westminster and his evil murdering coroner Renquist. We’ve already seen him willing to work with Dippel and now he introduces his new advisor who will hopefully convince Prince William (heir to the throne, brother to George IV, current king who seems to side with the the Dean but is also not in great health) to support him. Oh Sir Robert, such good intentions, such terrible bed fellows

His whole moment is somewhat disturbed by Nightingale's body washing up, minus heart

Seriously show, I’m not going to forgive Nightingale's wasted death.

We see Queenie, naturally, consumed by grief over this - revealing she loved him and also fears she may have been responsible for his death by telling him about the creepy things in creepy Dipple’s creepy home. She is convinced to go to the police with this but the Inspector isn’t exactly thrilled with the idea that a ranting Nightingale may have gone after one of the richest men in London because he thought a hanged man had committed a murder. He dismisses her

But when Sir Peel comes to him to point out they’re now competing with evil church people so there better be some leed, the Inspector seizes on it as better than nothing

Marlot has gone full angst mode because Sean Bean, that’s why. He’s driving poor Esther off, convinced that everyone around him dies because Nightingale’s death is good for some Manpain. He does ramble about being haunted by the ghosts of murdered people he can’t help. Which sounds bad but it’s not like any of these ghosts even invest in chains or anything. It’s pretty low key haunting

He does get a lead on Lord Hervey though, from Boz, who is more than a little miffed that the church Coroner Renquist feeding him lies has made him look like a fool. Boz recruits Marlot and tells him LORD HERVEY LIVES and is working for the Home Secretary.

This leads to Marlot intimidating Renquist just because he can for some reason but not learning much beyond how evil traders in body parts have lots of ice - so he’s now off to harass Dipple. While Renquist goes to Lord Hervey because it turns out he is Lord Hervey’s protege and has a kind of creepy devotion which may or may not be gay subtext but if it is I’m going to break things because this is nooooot a good look. Lord Hervey reveals his plan to basically throw Dipple to the wolves (because, yes, Hervey knows Dipple. Seriously all the bad guys are working together here) if the king dies and they don’t have a powerful patron. Renquist is smart enough to realise Hervey may do the same to him but too devoted to actually follow through with that

We spoke about Dippel - so time for The Creepiest Man (and this is a show that has MULTIPLE body mutilators so that prize is hard fought) to have a moment. He invites Esther around who is just not doing well with small children dolls because of her dead son. He kisses her and says lots of creepy romantic things and he wants her to come with him when he goes away… but she is wise and asks what as - his mistress or seamstress? He insists wife but she’s definitely not having that - she accuses him of playing with her feelings from the cruel vantage point of his huge wealth. So Dippel decides to try a different tactic: seeing her, vulnerable and wounded and hurting and says that he sees dead people and her dead son is right there.

Which is a bit of a revelation that he can see ghosts (and yes, he can) but also, y’know, kind of horrifying and traumatising for Esther so she runs off to have a really moving deeply emotional scene that involves smelling clothes (it is still very atmospheric because this Frankenstein’s Chronicles and they’re really really really good at this). Meanwhile Dippel drinks a potion - one of several, each labelled with a year going back a century

Hey, there was actually a man called Johann Dippel about a century before this show is set and he was rumoured to have developed oils of immortality. In case you’re not familiar with this or can’t guess fro the year labelled bottles, Dippel also reads a letter from his dad basically saying “hey immortality is awesome and all yours dear boy.”

Esther returns the next day because how can she not? And He guides her through the process of almost sensing her son. Which devastates her - the cruelty of god allowing Dippel to see her son but not her - but Dippel is all “it’s not god” and the awesome power of life - which he wants to share with her

Bride of Frankenstein, Esther?

At this point he’s distracted by the Inspector following that lead and taking him in for questioning. Which basically involves “I am super fucking rich and above the law. Jog on policeman.”

But that leaves Esther alone to be visited by… lord Hervey (yes all the bad guys know each other) and he follows through with Dippel’s offer of immortality… wait they’re going for the slice and dice Frankenstein method rather than Dippel’s potion? I vote potion!

Marlot has continued his investigating into Dippel and bribes Dippel’s kind of loyal ice delivery man to reveal where his ice is delivered (therefore where his body bits are stored). He reveals the location - but then guards it so when Marlot turns up he gets stabbed. This would be considerably problematic for most people but the sorta undead Marlot is less murdered by this and has a chance to kill his attacker. He is still dramatically wounded (something Sean Bean is very very very experienced in) and staggers down the corridor to have a moment with Nightingale’s ghost. Which is nice because he’s all reunited with Flora in death - but this happy death makes it seem more and more likely Nightingale isn’t coming back.

Merlot staggers on to find… Esther. And Hervey. And Dippel who has just returned from the police and apparently supports hervey getting all Frankenstein on Esther.

Merlot yells at her to stop… but it’s too late, she’s already drank the concoction Hervey has given her. She collapses - and so does Merlot (from his wound I assume)

Ok… Dippel? I am here for this. In fact, this is me having a raving, happy dance about this - because this gives the series longevity and awesome directions. I mean, when Frankenstein has reached the end of its potential, they’ve opened the door to all kinds of legends and myths being possible - and they’ve already shown themselves willing to pull out some really obscure myths as well. More more more more!

I’m not sure that this show is going to get renewed (I rather suspect not) but they have laid the foundations for this to be so much more.