TV Review – Penny Dreadful Episode 6 “What Death Can Join Together”
Coming off last week’s flashback episode, “What Death Can Join Together” returns to the current storyline, but we now have more frame of reference to what both Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton) and Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) are up to in the search for Mina (Olivia Llewellyn).
If you have forgotten, something happened between Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) and Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney) at the end of “Demimonde” that was anything but innocent. Ethan returns to his love Brona Croft (Billie Piper) who is hacking up a lung and dying from consumption. I saw a little bit of a guilty face on Ethan, but not enough to make me think he is ashamed or shocked by what happened. We know Ethan is a player of sorts when it comes to women. Does this indicate that he is used to taking advantage of both sexes?
Vanessa returns to her infatuation with Dorian. He takes her on an outing to get her portrait done in photograph form, which she has never done before. The whole scene is telling considering that infamous portrait of him hiding away in his house. They speak of photos and portraits capturing one’s soul and they are for eternity. It is quite possible that Vanessa is drawn to Dorian because of that special portrait. They both possess secrets and powers.
Vanessa is no prude as was evidenced in last week’s episode. She wants Dorian and the feeling is mutual. One thing leads to another and they end up in the bedroom for a bit of rough play. In the middle of it, time stands still and Vanessa hears that familiar, evil voice calling to her, “Hello, my child. I’ve been waiting. What games we will have now.” Abruptly, she leaves and goes home to Sir Malcolm where she displays a new power not seen before. If you though the séance scene was troubling, this tops it. Based on her Catholic background, an exorcism might be in the future for Ms. Ives.
Sir Malcolm is hiding recent research into finding Mina from Vanessa. Based on something Vanessa heard, he combs the ship listings until he finds a ship that has been in quarantine for four months. Taking Sebene (Danny Sapani) and Ethan with him, they find another vampire hive, similar to the first episode. If you know the story of Dracula and Mina, the number of white blonde, female vampires lying about is pretty good evidence that they are close. I use the word “hive” to describe this collection of vampires because as soon as the master vampire awakens, all of the vampires wake up as well. The master vampire possesses some sort of mind control over them. At the end of the fight, Sir Malcolm sees Mina with that vampire, but is unable to reach her. Again, is that Dracula?
Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway) begins the episode performing an autopsy on deceased vampire, Fenton. I am still trying to figure out how these vampires can die. They can be stabbed and shot and die. This is very unlike vampire lore, so I surely can’t be the only one expecting Fenton to wake up as soon as the scalpel was taken to him.
Frankenstein ends the episode with Van Helsing (David Warner). He imparts some knowledge to Frankenstein on the subject of killing his wife by staking and cutting off her head and his insistence that those Penny Dreadful stories about vampires have some truth to them.
The writers for Penny Dreadful are not willing to keep a character around just because it is a recognizable name. Van Helsing meets his demise by The Creature (Rory Kinnear) who is not pleased with Frankenstein’s progress on finding (or creating) a mate for him. Just when Frankenstein becomes interested in something else, The Creature brings him back to his horrible reality.
There are only two episodes of Penny Dreadful left. What kind of curveball can they throw the audience to keep them hanging and anxiously awaiting the Season 2 premiere? No one is safe and nothing is off-limits.