Review: Penny Dreadful ep 7- Posession

Posted: November 6, 2014 in gothic, horror, television, victorian
Tags: , , , , ,

This week’s ep begins shortly after the final events of “What Death Can Join Together”. And just as that episode ended with Miss Ives levitating toward the ceiling- this is indeed a Vanessa-cenric episode.

She lies resting upon Sir Malcom’s sofa. “To be beautiful is to be almost dead.” She muses of how women are portrayed- pale and ethereal in the throes of death. “Men circulate such pictures and pleasure themselves.”

Sir Malcolm, understandably uncomfortable with such subject matter, interupts to ask if she remembers anything. She doesn’t, but is more concerned about who dressed her. It was he, Sir Malcolm admits. “Just like when I was a little girl.” She beams and for one moment a childlike joy sweeps over her face; but just as quickly it is painted over by a new darkness. “But you didn’t dress me as a little girl. So silly of me. You weren’t there to dress me. You were away on some trek.”

vanessa and sir malcolm

“Mina?” He leans forward.

She sits up. “Somewhat.” And as she sips the tea at her side, she berates him on  how he treated her mother. “You could have at least attended her funeral for decency’s sake.” And then as he listens in horror, she spits out how he was too busy going from village to village taking women and convincing himself that they wanted him. If this is true, and there’s no reason to believe it is not as all her demonic outbursts have hit bulls-eye, then this reveals a much, much uglier truth about the African explorer.

As “Mina” continues to hurl revelations toward him, the room becomes an inferno of flying papers, utenils, dishes, furniture… which is only stopped when Sembene rushes in and slaps her unconscious.

Locked in her room she is visited by Dr. Frankenstein who wishes to examine her. “May I listen to your heart?”

“Such as it is.”

“Your hands are trembling. Are you afraid?”

“Yes, but not of you.”

“Do you know a greater demon?” She teases. “Tell me about him. Or should I tell you?”

vanessa and frankenstein

Another man perturbed that she can see through him like glass, the Doctor rushes downstairs where he informs Sir Malcolm that he believes her troubles stem from sexual guilt. Before he can discuss possible treatments, he jumps back as bugs crawl all over the tarot deck she had left on the table. They stream across the shiny surface onto the floor- hundreds, countless numbers of them. . Chandler, who’d been invited over, arrives just then, and as Miss Ives lets out a blood curdling scream, the men rush upstairs to find her sitting on the floor, rocking back and forth, her wet hair lying lank against her gray cheeks.

#

Vanessa awakens and is told by Chandler that she has been asleep for almost a week. She asks him for a sip of water, and as they are alone, promises that she will not hurt him.

“It gets pretty rough at itmes.” He admits the doctor wanted to restrain her.

“He would.” She sinks onto her pillow while sighing that he can’t understand what it’s like to have that thing inside of you. “…like an animal…scratching to get out.”

Oh, Vanessa…I think he can…

After admitting she might have been able to fall in love with him, she makes him promise to kill her if such a time should come. “I want you to look into my eyes and pull the trigger.”

The lady is just as philosophical about facing her own death as she is in Mina’s.  Just as she loves her old friend enough to kill her, she would want someone to set her free as well.

“So you can go to heaven.”

“If you beleive in it.”

“I do. But I believe in the other place more. Cause I know that place pretty well. You might say it was where I was fllung when your fucking cunt of a God kicked me out.” Now it is Vanessa’s turn to recoil in shock. And may I confess the writers got me here too.

“You don’t recognize your old friend, Vanessa?”

Penny-Dreadful-recap-1x07

She declares the day will never come that she will surrender to him. But ah, he has ways to convince her. After all, there’s a bunch of people downstairs to kill if she continues to rebuke his advances.

“What do you want from me?”

“I want you to be the mother fo all evil. I want you to rule the darkness with me.” Now this line could have been very cheesy, but delivered in quiet tones and a tender manner, Josh Hartnett elevates it to something much higher, and I’m becoming more and more impressed with his acting.

“And we will conquer God and throw him from his bloody throne.” He promises as they kiss.

#

While Frankenstein is haunted by Caliban lurking outside, Chandler and Sir Malcolm argue over how to care for Vanessa. Ultimately a priest is called in, but it is Chandler who ends up saving Vanessa who awakens to reveal she knows exactly where to find Mina.

Bring on the finale!

final thoghts- As stated previously, I haven’t looked forward to what I feel will be an inevitable romantic pairing of Chandler and Vanessa as I’m utterly sick of this idea that main characters *must* end up together for no other reason than they are the leads. But in this ep, Josh and Eva showcased not only great acting together in their scenes, but that vital chemistry.

Even though it was The Devil disguised as Chandler, I’m still pretty certain that the mention of “scratching” and “animals” was another hint about the American gunslinger’s secret.

After Chandler reappears downstairs- is that truly him or still the Devil? It was difficult at times to tell as he conversed with the other players, confronting them on their pasts.  At whatever point he did become our Chandler again, wouldn’t he have realized he lost time?

How did Chandler learn to expunge the Devil from within a person? If he is a werewolf, did he learn the rite in hopes that it might cure him?

While he was always solid, I did feel Hartnett was the weak link in the cast at first.  Am very happy to see him proving me wrong.

Eva Green continues to amaze.

And the biggest question of the night:  Did Vanessa and the Devil have sex?

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Comments
  1. That episode was really really good. I think the best one out of many. It kept me on the edge of my seating just waiting to see more.

  2. Hey Lora!

    I thnk my fave thus far is What Death Can Bring Together, but this would be a very close second. Am excited to watch the season finale!

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