Penny Dreadful: And They Were Enemies- John Clare and Lavinia

Posted: September 26, 2015 in gothic, horror, television
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… and I fell behind.  Much behind.  While I continued watching, and thoroughly enjoying the sophmore season of Penny Dreadful, I’ve been so caught up in a manuscript, that I didn’t have enough of a desire to write posts on our show of glorious horrors.   So forgive me for skipping to the end, because I do want to take a moment to discuss the season finale.

I won’t do a plot summary as there doesn’t seem to be a point in doing so after all this time.

But there are some key moments that are on my mind:

John Clare and Lavinia.  Anyone who has read my posts know I loathe Frankenstein’s monster.  Whatever name he takes on, however many Wordsworth poems he recites in that knowing and tender voice, he is always, always only concerned with self.  Everything is how it relates to him.  Some hurt him so now the world will pay, and  any woman who doesn’t swoon at his poetic yearnings will find herself at the wrong end of his  hands.  But Rory Kinnear has played him with perfection, always leaving me wanting to find the beauty within the monster.

In Lavinia, we discovered the monster inside the beauty.  As she mocked him, there was a sense that she was really seething, “You thought I must be pure and good because I am beautiful and blind.”

Many have wondered why he let her live.  A moment of kindness?  Or cruelty- knowing her life would become a hell?  I think it was because in that instance he saw himself in her.

We will probably not see either of them again.  Her fate on the cold streets of London can be imagined, as can his in that cold, dark sea.


next post: an ode to Sembene

  1. I like how the season have end. It was truly a sad one of what I was not expecting to happen which was good.With these two character I felt a bit sad for him. He was learning to trust and sort of gain happiness again in being around people who he thought accepted him for him which was slightly the case withing their own interest. I am glad the monster allowed her to live. Now she is alone which is death in it own way.

  2. Hey Lora,

    You are kinder than I am. I understand him, and do sympathize. But when he uses his personal pain as an excuse for violent outbursts, and thinks he has the right to own women, well. . .I just want to hit him over the head with a frying pan.

    I agree it was better that he let her live. More fitting. And sad. I found the two of them interesting as surprising reflections of each other.

    • LOL, I total agree with you about hitting him over with a pan because he do use his personal pain as an excuse. But this chapter was different. This time he have his demand and it screw him over and others. At the same time he thought he found peace which end up screwing him over too. I think he see more so his reflection in the female monster. She is truly him with a vengen to fear.

  3. You have me wondering what might have been if the owners of the shop hadn’t ended up being crooked as they were. There’s self-made tragedy all around there.

    And thanks for sharing. I always love hearing your thoughts on the show.

  4. sputnitsa says:

    Rory Kinnear’s a good actor. I saw him in a production I loathed (and will therefore refrain from naming) but I marveled at how he lived his character. Just gorgeous work…

    And this review’s kinda making me want to fall into this series… 🙂

    • sputnitsa says:

      Can’t BELIEVE I’m actually planning to watch an episode. Please don’t describe fabulous acting again. You know it’s my Achilles heel.


      • Sputsie!

        haha! It is a really good show. I haven’t fallen in love with it. There’s an emotional distance that keeps me from doing so. But it is really well done, and I like it a lot.

  5. sputnitsa says:

    One of us didn’t tell the other one of us that it was horror. So one of us wasn’t expecting what went down. Ahem. 🙂 🙂 Will check out another episode but definitely in the daytime.

  6. Well, isn’t it obvious?? Hahahahhahahahhaaaaa!! You crack me up, girl. 🙂

    • sputnitsa says:

      I’m very curious about the emotional distance and whether they deliberately went for that, or whether camera worked against it. Or what made it so. Do you have any theories?

      And NO. It was NOT obvious… 🙂

  7. I think they’re going for a cool elegance (which, I think they succeeded).

  8. And you’re right. My apologies. The name of my blog, “Harlow’s Museum of Horrors and Delights” as well as the fact that the show is called, Penny DREADFUL, does not indicate at all that a show I am reviewing might be horror.

    What can I ever do to make this up to you? 🙂

  9. *wonders how long Sputsie will wait for those lemon bars.* 🙂

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