Penny Dreadful - Evil Spirits in Heavenly Places

Penny Dreadful can be so relentlessly dark I thought we might start out with an image of Vanessa Ives in a moment of joy.   There is actually more of this to come as Vanessa and Victor do a little shopping but before we get too far let's pull the shades (and close the window) and start from the beginning.

We pick up nearly as we left off from the last episode where Vanessa had explained her first encounter with the Nightcomers with Mr. Chandler.  Ethan must have prevailed upon Vanessa to share her tale with the rest of the team as they now sit together as Miss Ives ends her sorrowful story.

Things only get worse when Lyle deduces the meaning behind the artifacts and he reveals the story is really the memoirs of the Devil.

Wonderful.  Lucifer has a story to tell.  Are we going to get his side of the story of "the fall" or are the memoirs portentous of worse things to come for Miss Ives?

Was this really a deduction?  Or did Lyle know the story all along and was he abetted by Ms. Kali (Poole) and her Wiccan ilk?

Lyle has proven to be a untrustworthy ally.  As we learned in "The Nightcomers," Lyle is really working at the behest of Madame Kali.  So how much can we trust what comes out of his mouth that is really voiced by Kali?

Lyle did caution Sir Malcolm when he revealed he was seeing Evelyn Poole later on.  He tried to soften this warning by giving it a flirtatious air but the message was received and Sir Malcolm looked twice at Lyle.

 As the meeting broke up Victor bid adieu to Vanessa and asked her if she'd accompany him on an errand.  This gave us that light moment where a rare smile broke upon Vanessa's face.

 I daresay that smile would be short lived if Vanessa knew the "Lions" Sembene was remaining watchful for were just outside her door.  Pity Sembene has a thing for doors and not windows as we learn proves fateful later on.

Out story turns to the investigations of Detective Rusk.  I was happy to see this "real world" or "human" element to our tale.  For all the dark goings on you wonder how the rest of the world is going on with such nefarious deeds occurring daily.

I'm happy we are not getting the "Harry Potter" treatment where the world of magic exists but remains separate from the human eye.  Evil exists in this world and as Rusk exclaims "Magic" must be the reason for these horrific crimes.  Such as the subway murders where motive is as elusive as the perpetrator's means of escape.

I'm not sure Rusk really accepts magic as the reasoning behind the crime.  Does he really believe in magic or is he toying with his assistant?  If he really does believe in magic that would be slightly disappointing.  I don't want everybody to have inside knowledge of the dark arts.  Better Rusk to learn of its existence and come to accept it as part of his job.  (He would therein deserve a promotion and attendant raise.)

I was delighted to see our story return to Putney's waxen house of horrors. Here we find "Mr. Clare" hard at work when he is interrupted by the lovely Lavinia Putney.

Oh dear, someone that sweet, innocent and fragile can't be long for the Penny Dreadful world.  Lavinia is not naive and proved to be quite playful with the creature but "Caliban" is not of her world and he attracts the wrong type of attention.

Caliban is however duly impressed with Lavinia.  She's courageous and insightful and I think Caliban has a soft spot for her.  (Remember the underworld conversation The Creature had with Miss Ives wherein he confessed his hope for the world.  Lavinia fits right in with this optimistic outlook.)

This, of course, stirs the crackpot theorist inside me.

Crackpot Theory

I can see Caliban falling in love with Lavinia.  Yes, he did request a mate of Dr. Frankenstein wherein "Lily" (formerly Brona) was created. But, we all know where that is going, with Victor falling for Brona, er, Lily, and Ethan Chandler subsequently learning of his ex-lover's fate.   

God, what a love triangle that will be.  

So, when Caliban learns of Victor's "betrayal" his lonely eyes will turn to Lavinia if they haven't already.  How will she react to this measure of affection?

Is love truly blind?

The irony of the blind Lavinia having to pick out the right eyeballs for the Gladstone bust  shouldn't have been lost on anyone.  How sad this little tableau was but it did bring Caliban and Lavinia closer together.

 As fate would have it, Ethan Chandler is lingering just outside Putney's where he learns the massacre, born of his hands, is being made light of in waxen form.  This unnerves Ethan but his reverie is shortened when "fate' takes another turn.

The earthly form of Hecate Poole meets Ethan thanks to some equine malfeasance.  Fortunately, Chandler sees right through Hecate's little ruse.  When she mentioned she went to Northwestern in Indiana my college football radar went off but Ethan was quicker to the punch and unmasked her as the fraud she was.

This is the face you make when you've been outed by a cowboy.  Take that Hecate and your ill fitting shoes!  Too bad Ethan didn't realize how deep her perfidy ran.  As it was, he mistook her for an operative of his father's.  Close enough.  It's a good thing Ethan's own radar went off alerting him of danger.  (I'd like to sit in a bar and watch some College Football with Mr. Chandler as long as he doesn't tear the place apart if his team loses.  Go Wolfpack!)

Can we lighten the mood a little?

Here we switch to Victor's quest for suitable woman's clothing.  He looks absolutely wretched and Vanessa looks quite bemused.

This comic turn only gets better when Miss Ives' agrees to help "My non husband" and Victor looks like he is ready to faint.

I laughed out loud when Vanessa decided to twist the dagger in Victor's embarrassed soul.


Thank God Penny Dreadful knows when to take the foot off the horse drawn accelerator. We need a break now and then.  (Not to mention to gaze upon Eva Green's luminescent smile.)

Okay, light mood over.

Lily appears before Victor in her new dress.  You knew she was going to be beautiful when she exited the screen she was changing behind.  (I even said it aloud before she stepped forth.  An angel as she wished to be.)

Speaking of smiles, the look above shows, while Lily has no memory of Brona, she still knows what men like.  And while the the corset proves too much for her, the uncomfortable shoes can stay.

Oh Victor what have you done?

A quick aside to that other romance.

Dorian and Angelique's romance isn't going anywhere but it surely has to.  Where?  I don't know, Angelique is outed and subsequently murdered and Dorian comes out of his own immortal closet to exact his revenge?  Why not?  Enough Victorian Air Hockey or whatever they called ping pong back then, get in the game!

Thankfully, our saga returns to the Malcolm manse where Sir Malcolm himself completes the sentence, "and raised over his head. Thence..."

"Casts Lucifer into Hell!" I shouted to myself.

Not quite.

More like cast out of Heaven but close enough.  The true meaning of the monk scrawled runes is revealed and in no uncertain terms Vanessa refuses to believe she is the "object of some eternal Satanic quest."

Don't be so sure Miss Ives.  But it does beg the question, what does Satan want with Vanessa?  To share some ungodly throne?  To sire a child?

Hmm, a child of the Devil to reign over Earth much like the son of God does now?  Will this son of Lucifer lure the Creator into battle over the fate of mankind?

Crackpot Theory

Lucifer's endgame is indeed to engage God in battle but only as a feint.  The true stratagem is to trick The Almighty wherein Lucifer takes advantage of the diverted gaze and returns to his rightful place in Heaven.


That's why they call him, "The Devil."

(Of course God has a plan too but you have to leave a comment to this blog asking "what?" to learn it.)

So, The shaken Vanessa returns to her room.  She, as does Ethan, senses something is wrong.

Something is very wrong.  The Nightcomers have invaded the manse.  See Sembene, watch the windows not just the doors.

They've come for a totem of Miss Ives to empower Madame Kali's ghastly voodoo doll of Vanessa.  (Voodoo, something Lavinia alluded to during her conversation with Mr. Clare.  Nice.  She also spoke of eye color and we get a good look at the gruesome green eyes of the Nightcomer in Vanessa's room.  Double nice.)

"No sensible shoes now Mr. Chandler."


Hecate takes the time to twist her own dagger into Ethan.  

So evil wins the day but the battle is not over.  Vanessa will have to come to accept she is indeed the object of ungodly desire.  Then, perhaps, she will learn what is truly "Above the Vaulted Sky."

Bonus content 

Reader "e jerry" suggested I take another look at the Seance scene from season one to help explain my theory.  So, why don't we all take a look at it together.

I'm not sure what this really adds to clarify my Lucifer theory but I will give it a few more views to see what I can get out of it.

Bonus content 2

Another crackpot theory!

As part of my theory and Lucifer's long term plan, I suggested Vanessa may have a child by the Devil.  Of course that's a bit outlandish but not out of the realm of possibility for this show.  But I completely forgot about another theory concerning children.

After seeing Miss Ives and Victor do some shopping together I thought to myself, "I wonder who would make a nice match for Vanessa and would they ever have a child together?"

Why not Ethan Chandler?  The two will be spending more time together as he her protector or "Lupus dei."  Naturally, she would produce a "Werebaby."  But what if things got worse?  What if Satan possess Ethan as his surrogate.  Then what would happen?  A baby Lucifer with "Werebaby" leanings?

Sure, why not?


  1. Re: your theory:

    Keep parsing everything that Possessed Vanessa said during the seance. We haven't seen quite all of it explained yet, just the parts about Peter and Sir Malcolm's dalliance with Vanessa's mother. We know that Vanessa's demon predates the Bible and such.

  2. e jerry, I can remember the seance visually but can't remember exactly what she said. I 'll have to track that episode down and revisit it. Do you remember the episode title?


Post a Comment

Popular Posts