TV Review – Penny Dreadful Episode 7 “Possession”

“What’s wrong with her?”

“She has been possessed by The Devil.”

“Oh, f*** me.”

Episode seven of Penny Dreadful titled “Possession” begins where last week’s episode left off. Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) arrived back home to Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton) and displayed a certain levitation trick. The episode opens on the next morning with a conversation between Vanessa and Sir Malcolm in which he realizes that she is still not okay and clearly has a touch of demon in her.

Unlike the past six episodes, this one takes place in only one setting for the entire episode, Sir Malcolm’s house. Other than Sembene (Danny Sapani) and Sir Malcolm, the next recruit to the drama unfolding is the doctor among the group, Dr. Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway) who administers sedatives and also tries to perform a physical examination. After a particularly unnerving conversation between, Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) is called in for reinforcements. Unfortunately, Ethan also has an interesting conversation with Vanessa that alludes to his tryst with Dorian Gray.

Penny Dreadful Season One Episode Seven TV Still 1

Through the series of traumatic and erratic outbursts of demon possession, we come to learn a bit more about Sir Malcolm and Frankenstein. Frankenstein still has The Creature (Rory Kinnear) outside the door, stalking him. He asks Ethan to help him learn to shoot a gun. Is it for self-defense or is he wondering if he can kill his own creation, one that was once dead?  Sir Malcolm continues to push Vanessa about Mina even though she is on the brink of death. Ethan comes to realize that he only wants her around for her connection to Mina and he does not look upon her as a daughter.

It is in this episode that we come to fully understand that this demon is indeed Satan or Lucifer. He wishes Vanessa to become the Mother of Evil. In previous episodes, Vanessa’s possible connection to Lucifer was alluded to in the Egyptian hieroglyphics on the body of the first vampire killed. Vanessa resists Lucifer’s proposal, but he still possesses her body.

Penny Dreadful Season One Episode Seven TV Still 2

After a Catholic priest fails to calm her, all hope of saving Vanessa from Lucifer. Ethan is about to kill her at her behest, but he remembers the medal that Brona Croft gave him. He presses it to her head and starts to recite Latin. This ending gives me pause since we have no knowledge of Ethan being Catholic or knowing Latin. Where did he learn this prayer? Or perhaps he was possessed by something good in order to save Vanessa? With only one episode left in the season, I do not think we will learn much more.

Once recovered, Vanessa has a vision and knows where Mina is. The episode ends on that note.  Eva Green is still the star of this series. In this episode alone, she played calm, serene, Lucifer-possessed, crazy, self-destructing, and downright murderous. Penny Dreadful is not a conventional series, and from one episode to the next, it is hard to predict what will be shown. It is hard to guess what the season finale will bring in a series with so many high points and twists and turns.


Sarah resides in Dallas where she writes about films and trailers in her spare time when she is not taking care of her animals at the zoo.

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