December 8, 2022

Gabbing Geek

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Penny Dreadful “The Day Tennyson Died”

Season Three, Episode One.

Season Three opens with our heroes more or less scattered to the four winds.  I mean, sure, Vanessa and Victor are still in London, but they’re in no condition to help each other.

And, quite frankly, leaving Vanessa alone was probably the worst thing anyone could have done.

Yes, Vanessa is in a dark place, and not just the dingy hallways of Sir Malcolm’s mansion when  there’s no one there to dust or open a curtain.  The only friend she has is Ferdinand Lyle, who comes by with information about a new alienist (AKA a psychiatrist) that did wonders for him.  Vanessa will go see this Dr. Seward, who seems to be American.  Oh, and definitely a woman.  She looks a lot like the Cut-Wife, and there’s even some dialogue to suggest the two women are distant cousins.  Oh, and they’re also both played by actress Patti LuPone, who got her name into the opening credits this season.

That Dr. Seward is a sharp one.  Though she doesn’t seem to know about the supernatural stuff, she has Vanessa pegged from the start on everything else and suggests that Vanessa come by the following day after doing something she’s never done before.  That seems to be a trip to the Natural History Museum, but not before avoiding a couple freaks with what may be anemia.  And she meets a nice taxidermist/zoologist named Dr. Sweet, and if that guy isn’t someone much more menacing, this show is losing its touch.

But where are the men?  Well, the Creature is stuck in the Arctic ice when his ship isn’t going anywhere.  The youngest surviving member of the crew isn’t long for the world, and while the captain and another sailor argue over cannibalism, Caliban just does a quick neck snap to limit the child’s suffering…but not before flashing to his life as a father to a sick boy before his own death and rebirth.  Only one thing to do then, and he does it:  he’s going to walk home.

His creator, Victor, called for help in the form of a brilliant chemist and classmate named Henry Jekyll.  Dr. Jekyll might be able to cure Lily of her evil, especially after Victor comes clean to Henry about, oh, everything he did.  Victor wanted to destroy Lily, but Henry thinks that may not be necessary.  He has some formulas at his own lab to try out…

Ethan is on a train with Inspector Rusk and some U.S. Marshall’s headed to trial in New Mexico, when armed gunmen come in, shoot everybody in the last two cars except for one lone woman, knock Ethan out, and go off to return the young man to his father.  Rusk was in the refreshment car getting tea with his sidekick, so those guys are OK.  And that lone woman was…dammit, Hecate.

As for Sir Malcolm, he almost gets killed by thieves in Zanzibar after burying Sembene in the mountains, but he’s saved by an Apache named Kaetenay. That guy, whose name I’d rather not try to type again–my autocorrect hates me enough as it is–says Ethan needs help and Sir Malcolm should be fighting evil until he dies.

Point is, the Penny Dreadful A-Team is split, and that’s bad.  Because Seward’s secretary is snatched by an invisible force tied to the same anemic freaks outside the Natural History Museum.  The force wants the secretary to find out whatever he can about Vanessa.  The secretary’s name?  Renfield.  The unseen force?  Dracula.

It’s about damn time.

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