‘Penny Dreadful’ season 2 finale review: Did Vanessa or Ethan give in to dark temptation?

Penny Dreadful -Given that last week’s penultimate episode of “Penny Dreadful” season 2 brought to us the death of Sambene, Vanessa forming a mini-army to take on the witches, and ultimately her coming face to face with some creepy dummy-like version of herself, we knew that the season 2 finale was going to be all sorts of bonkers. Did it still find a way to live up to some of the hype? Based on what we saw tonight, we’re willing to guess that the answer here is “yes.”

What we saw tonight was an episode that had Vanessa and Ethan questioning almost everything when it comes to who they are and what they’ve become, and they were forced to make huge decisions that will alter pretty much everything … or at least the early part of season 3.

The good news for Vanessa is that she was able to resist the temptations around a “perfect life” with Ethan as presented by the devil, ironically using a dummy form of her as a sort of mouthpiece. She recognized what was happening and managed to avoid that. However, she still expended great power to free herself from the witches’ clutches, and she will have to reconcile what she has done heavily in the episodes ahead.

Speaking of guilt, it was Ethan who handed himself over to the authorities after destroying Evelyn Poole in wolf form, not able to handle everything that he has done. Right when it seemed like he and Vanessa could be something, the love story ends before it begins for now.

Elsewhere this was truly an eventful and very entertaining episode, highlighted by John’s murderous actions coupled with a quick decision to head north, Lily’s grand proclamation of a new breed coming in the future, and Victor having to plenty to worry about as a result.

While Sambene appears to be gone, most of the good guys at least made it out of here alive … though Hecate seemingly did, as well. We’re not losing hope for Vanessa and Ethan despite the two going their separate ways for now, and as a whole John Logan has to be pleased with the excitement and the direction presented here. Grade: B+.

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