Tonight’s “Penny Dreadful” episode had an enormous challenge almost from the get-go: Trying to top last week’s, which is believed by many longtime fans of the show to be perhaps the greatest thing that the Showtime series has ever put on the air.
We’re not going to say that this hour reached the same heights, but that is by no means an attempt to insult it at all. For one, we had yet another great week of scenes for Lily and Dorian, this time with one another. If you have been waiting for them to have formidable opponents of some variety, this episode is when that really shined through. They can see right into the soul of each other, and that is both brilliant and somewhat terrifying. Also, ear regeneration! What’s not to like here?
As we saw much of this transpire, this episode also brought us death elsewhere. Sembene appears to be gone, Vanessa stabbed Roper to death after he tracked her and Ethan down, and at one point in the midst of the Sir Malcolm rescue plan, Ethan attempted to kill himself to no avail. This story only became more and more complex until at the end of the hour, we saw Vanessa dealing with her own sort of hell: A room with puppets, with one, similar to her in appearance, calling her a murderer. Is this her punishment? She has to think so, but there is so much more at play here.
While this story may not have reached the same heights for us, there is no disputing some things: The performances of Eva Green and Reeve Carney, the immediate danger that almost everyone is in now courtesy of the “rescue mission” gone somewhat awry, and also the proclamations that there may be a dark destiny still awaiting Ethan. Time will tell. Grade: B+.
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