December 2, 2022

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Penny Dreadful “Good And Evil Braided Be”

Season Three, Episode Three.

I never much liked Dorian Gray on this show.  He spent most of the series as little better than a guy who was hanging out on the sidelines enjoying all the debauchery he could think of.  He had some interactions with Vanessa, Brona, and Ethan…all sexual actually…but he didn’t seem to be adding up to much except me wanting to punch the guy.  By this point in the show, he’s, well, attached to the Frankenstein plot, but he’s still obnoxious.  Plus, if Season Three has a downside, it’s that the different characters seem to be off having different adventures.  I can foresee many of them coming together in the end, but for now, not so much.

So, while watching this episode, it struck me that Caliban, the Creature, also seemed to be unattached to the main plot.  He’s remember his life before he died, how he had a wife, and a son.  He manages to track them down, sees his son is pretty sick, and leaves them whatever he can steal from rich old guys.

Then the episode ends and we learn what he did for a living before he died and Victor brought him back.

Yes, Vanessa is out with Dr. Sweet again (Caliban had spotted the two together earlier on his initial return to London and smiles to see Vanessa happy from the looks of things), but at a date for some kind of carnival, one of Dracula’s anemic minions manages to get close to Vanessa and tells her she has met Dracula before while she was staying in a white room.  That can only mean her time in the mental hospital.  She’s managed to convince Dr. Seward she’s telling the truth from the looks of things, though to be fair, it is hard to deny Vanessa is a witch when she reads your whole history with only a little skin-to-skin contact.  A little hypnosis, and Vanessa remembers the orderly who brought her meals in the padded room.

And it’s a pre-Creature Caliban.

Meanwhile, Dracula gives the minion who came too close some lethal punishment.

And Renfield is eating live flies and writing Vanessa’s name obsessively in his notebook.  What a card!

But out west, everyone is hunting Ethan and new companion Hecate.  Inspector Rusk and the US Marshals are looking for him.  They almost get him.  Sir Malcolm and Kaetenay are also behind them.  Hecate killed a rancher and his wife for no reason, and Sir Malcolm is sure of two things:  1) Ethan didn’t kill those folks, an 2) Kaetenay is hiding something about his connection to Ethan.  As it is, everyone seems to be headed to Ethan’s father’s ranch.

You know who else seems to remember Ethan?  Lily, recalling some of her past as Brona, saying he was the only decent man she ever met.  Meanwhile, she’s raising an army with Dorian and new recruit Justine to overthrow the patriarchy or something.  It’s vague.  I mean, they kill Justine’s longtime pimp and then have a threesome in his blood.  Not very sexy.  But if this is the rate of recruitment, then that army is going to take a while to recruit.

Victor, meanwhile, thinks he can improve Henry’s formula for longer results to make an evil person good.  Combining their science, he says, will do that.

But really, I want to know more about the Creature’s past.  I didn’t mind his seemingly unrelated plot since, well, I like Caliban as a character.  He’s not Dorian Gray.  But now I know a little more and he does connect to the plot in some way.  Did…did Vanessa kill him and that’s how he died?

That will make for an awkward reunion.

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