Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Penny Dreadful - Predators Far and Near




Drat-cula

Yes, "Drat-cula" as is in, "Drat I wish they hadn't made Dr. Sweet the iconic monster, Dracula."

Well, it's not like I didn't see it coming.  A lot of people did.  In my blog post last week I had openly mused about Sweet being the museum director by day and vampire by night.  I was hoping I was wrong because Sweet would have to have an aversion to daylight.  Plus, why send Renfield after Vanessa if he could just date her and find out all he needed to know.

I had really hoped Sweet would be the ultimate Victorian version of a Star Trek "redshirt" and suffer greatly for Miss Ives and eventually be dispatched by Dracula.  A tragic and vulnerable hero.

Nope, he has to be Dracula himself.

Just look at the picture above.  What a lovely couple.  He's such a nerd boy and she had found a kindred spirit in "all the broken and shunned creatures."  I guess good things can't happen to Miss Ives.

I must say Sweet can really turn on the charm.  His love for all things "Captain Nemo" seemed quite genuine, as was his fascination for bugs.  The lectures he provides for the museum he sees as a dreary bore.  But he still exercises them with great enthusiasm.

He must have a long game.  Why else insinuate himself into Vanessa's life?  Why the shy and bashful subterfuge?  Is he working in concert with Satan?  I gather he must be, because how would he know to be at the museum for Vanessa to walk in to?  Renfield couldn't have told him because he wasn't a minion yet.

Did Satan "activate" Dracula as his agent?  How long has Sweet been in London?  Is originally from Transylvania?  

So many questions.




At least Vanessa's radar went off when she and Sweet departed for the evening.  (He must have had urgent business.  A violin concert?)  She sensed something was amiss.  It was either something about Sweet or perhaps it was Dracula's lead "Familiar" that was hiding in the shadows.

So here's a thought.  If it was easy enough to deduce Sweet was actually Dracula how about if I do something counter-intuitive?


Raising the Stakes



It's clear Sweet/Dracula  is out to seduce Miss Ives.  To what end I am not sure.  To hand her over as a creature for Satan?  That would be the obvious choice.  But what if he wanted her for his own.  Not so far fetched an idea.    Perhaps he wants to rule the dark world with Vanessa by his side and seducing her would be a coup against Satan himself.

So let me ask you this, Can Dracula be seduced himself?

I ask this because he may actually be one of those "broken and shunned creatures."  Maybe he does need a love.  Someone to be by his side.  If Vanessa can truly sense something is afoot who's to say she can't turn the tables on Dracula and seduce him!

Wouldn't that flip the narrative?!!!

I would really like to see the broken and lonely side of Dracula.  He may truly fall for Vanessa.  In turn, she may make him a creature of her own as a powerful ally against the dark forces.  

I'd really like to see Dracula struggle with this and live in torment.  So much so, that he banishes himself from London only to return for season 4 so that he and Vanessa can settle their relationship once and for all.  He did say he's never been asked out by a woman before.  I don't doubt that is true.  Is there a heart beating in there someplace?

Ah, romance.


Meanwhile Across the Pond




Ethan Chandler meets with a "familiar" face of his own but it is Kaetenay reaching out to him through some psychic dream network.  I think Kaetenay wants Ethan to know he is on his way but I don't think he let on Sir Malcolm is coming with him.

Kaetenay has a strange relationship with Ethan.  I think we did indeed learn that Kaetenay's tribe was one of the many that suffered at the hands, or is it paws, of Ethan Chandler.   Ethan even met with a tribal member when his group stopped for a little R & R the next night.  She didn't seem to hate him or anything she was even thankful for the warning for what was about to come.

What was about to come was a repeat of the Mariner's Inn massacre back in London.  I guess Bars and the light of a full moon don't go well together.





I thought it odd that Ethan's captors weren't prepared for the light of a full moon.  If they were sent by Ethan's father wouldn't that be taken for granted?  Maybe dear old dad just wanted to see if Ethan still had the beast within but there seems better ways to ascertain that truth than getting all your men killed.  ( I thought they might have been part of the pack also.)





Hecate, who has been trailing Ethan, literally appears out of the woodwork.  Or is is adobe?  The fight was just about to go against Ethan when she intervened.  As I speculated last week, she has a vested interest in Ethan.  Whether it is to co-opt him towards her own evil ends or just remove him entirely we don't exactly know yet.





She did confess to missing him, so I believe we are going to see something along the lines of what is going to go on with Dracula and Vanessa.  Only different.


Things Are Bedlam Here.





We find Henry and Victor dining out near a familiar London landmark, Bedlam.

It turns out this is where Dr. Jekyll works.  Henry is acutely aware of his place in English society.  It is only somewhat better than the caste system he left behind in India.





But at least he has been furnished with his own laboratory.  

The barber chair made me think of "Sweeny Todd" without the fun of course.  At that earlier breakfast, Jekyll spoke of that "duality" that makes us who we are.

We are about to get an example.





That was quite a transition.  Did the injection give Balfour a bath too?

Jekyll makes a lot of the "beast within."  He claims to be able to calm the beast and proffers to Victor hope in turning Lily around.  There are many in Bedlam that looked quite like Balfour.  Tortured, abused and abandoned.  

The story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is one of letting the beast within escape.  To give it voice and freedom.  In that story Jekyll becomes the beast.

Doesn't it make you wonder if the good doctor is releasing the beast within his patients and the injection he showed to Victor is the one that returns them to normal?  

Theory: The most immediate picture above is the true Balfour.  The "insane" Balfour is what Jekyll did to him!

It also makes me think that once Chandler returns to London (Oh, he will.) He'll insist on getting an injection to calm the beast within?  

Ha, what could go wrong there?


Justine


  



We end where our episode began.  With the rescue of Justine.  

As we didn't see Mr. Clare in this episode, we didn't see Dorian Gray or Lily in the first episode of the new season.  I must confess theirs is my least favorite story line.

To me, John Logan ran out of things to do with Dorian Gray so he brought him Lily.  What really should have happened last season was Ethan learning about Lily's death at the hand of Frankenstein and her subsequent rebirth as a monster.

I guess that would have wrapped things up too quickly.


 
Now, Dorian and Lily have a new plaything.  A daughter of their own.

To what end?

A weapon to strike back at the world of men I feel.  Some of the teasers for this season have an undercurrent of the Suffrage movement.  I think they may release her on the world to test the new found freedom for women.  And when it is denied, as it will be, there will be hell to pay.

What did Lily say about watering their garden with blood last season?  Here is their first flower.


Odds and Ends






Last week I wondered if we'd ever get to see the face of Dracula.  Of course, in the end we did, much to my disappointment.  Disappointment that Dr. Sweet is the monster that is.   Don't get me wrong, I love that Dracula is in the story.  I just wish Vanessa had someone to love.  

If my new theory holds true and they actually manage to fall in love with each other, then all is forgiven.

Aside from that, Drac isn't very ghoulish is he? Just a pair of glowy eyes.  You have to love that voice though.  Take that Darth Vader.  Season one's vampire looked to be a crustacean of sorts didn't it?  I'm not sure which I prefer.  The ancient Egyptian insect god or the cultured European sophisticate.

(Oh please, I'll take the European sophisticate any day.)


  
Dr. Seward made quite the face also.   She looked quite horrified after listening to Vanessa's recordings didn't she?  

Dracula's lead familiar, the "Violin Player" I'm calling him until he gets a proper name, told Dracula he doesn't believe Dr. Seward believes Vanessa's story.  I think she does.  

After all, she's a descendant of the Cut Wife.



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