Penny Dreadful - Ebb Tide
With apologies to "Dr. Sweet," we finally have something we can sink our teeth into for the ongoing Lily/Dorian drama. Lily's past as Brona took a melancholy turn as we learned she had a little one of her own.
At first I thought Lily was paying homage to all the women who suffered the ultimate in cruelty with her visit to the local cemetery. I was thinking she had not only extended her vision in protecting the woman of the world but to those who had passed also.
She approached a woman in grief and offered solace as best she could. The woman seemed a bit bewildered by Lily's words. I would imagine in that world sympathy would be hard to come by and words such as Lily's, distinctly foreign, because suffering and loss were so commonplace.
As Lily departed the woman with downcast eyes she offered, "At least she is in good company." I thought she was speaking of all the dead that populated that bleak hillside. Then we got that close up of the simple and crude marker to Sarah Croft.
John Logan excelled here. He's stumbled a few times this season and the last one too. (This season for instance, not learning Ethan's Werewolf origins when he went home.) But here he hit the mark and it was centered in our hearts. This gives Lily's story much more gravity and if we examine her cause for women much more closely, we can infer her own daughter may have died of violence at the hands of a man.
Maybe that explains the grim picture above. Some inebriated "John" may have choked the life out of the squalling baby Sarah.
The Other Family Affairs
Here's a reunion that is most welcome. Two souls joined by their love of poetry.
John Clare seeks out Vanessa because his attempt at rejoining his son went quite badly. To his and our amazement Vanessa councils him to open his heart so, "the lost souls may be found."
I love this look of incredulity that Mr. Clare shot at Vanessa when she told him there was good to be found in humanity.
One too many opium dens Miss Ives?
Unfortunately, we had to take a turn out West. Oddly enough, this part of the story is the weakest link now. I did like what Kaetenay had to say to Ethan. Sorry son, Hell isn't done with you. Poor Ethan, he's always trying to walk away but he never makes it. At least he is an Apache now. Hmm, just like that ancient origin story he told to Hecate. May her soul rest comfortably in Hades.
We also take a quick turn to Dorian's home life. Now that every night is ladies night.
When I first saw this tableau I was much more amused than Dorian looks here. You reap what you sow oh "portaited" one.
Of course, we now know what boredom brings to Dorian.
Finally we return to John Clare and his attempt to reform his family.
Here's another one of those great shots of Victorian London. A powerful stream of smoke billows out from the chimney of industry.
Or you could look at it metaphorically.
The hopes and dreams of the abused working class press skyward while the blackened souls labor on in futility.
Or, as a bit of foreshadowing, a man's dreams of family turned to ash by an unforgiving world.
Forgive my negative tone. I don't have much hope for The Creature's familial bliss. Like the rest, he feels cursed. The weight of the cruel world is upon them and moments of happiness are fleeting at best.
Note to all horror fans, do not bore Dorian Gray.
The injustice. The cruelty. The shock.
I didn't see it coming but I guess I should have. Dorian did tell Victor that he owed him one and he would make good on that debt.
I loved it but poor Lily, a kept thing once again.
The abject denigration to come full circle to her previous life. A plaything to the world of man. A slave.
And the men look on as they do. Their subject a crass experiment. So clinical, so unfeeling.
For Lily, this is the definition of horror.
The ultimate betrayal.
Yet, we are hardly done.
Before we get to the consummation of Vanessa's and Sweet's relationship, I'd like to examine another betrayal. At least what I think is one.
Don't you think it was a little convenient for Catriona to show up on Miss Ives doorstep?
And then she dropped this little gem.
Exactly what Vanessa needed to hear.
How is that for convenient?
I say this because as Vanessa enters the museum and goes to the second floor, there is Dr. Sweet waiting for her.
You could say, "Hey, he is Dracula and Vanessa has been slowly brought under his thrall, so naturally he can sense where she is."
Maybe. But Catriona also mentioned the semi-human "familiars" that work for him in that same conversation. How do we know she is not one of them? Perhaps Dracula sent Miss Hartegen knowing help is on the way and now is the time to strike.
I'm very suspicious of Catriona.
I'm very gratified that Drac professed his love for Vanessa. This is something I've been calling for all season. What, you don't believe him? I do. I really do. Yes, he is Dracula but he is much less slimy than Lucifer. What a creep he is.
As an aside, Christian Camargo has been absolutely splendid in this role. He is now my Dracula. Am I gushing? Hmm, maybe I'm under his thrall. Cool!
What a killer line. You're not convinced? Where's the romantic in you?
When Vanessa identified herself as one of the broken things, a creature of the night, "The Scorpion" that sealed the deal.
If Dracula's plan was to seduce her as a kindred spirit then it was pretty effective.
Here's the one thing I had a problem with.
Vanessa gave herself over to him and offered her neck. What Dracula should have done was taken her by the chin, turn her head to him and kissed her. That would have represented true love. How would Sir Malcolm and the rest fight that if they truly loved each other?
Now, as it is, they can always say, "He's bitten you Vanessa, you don't what you are doing. You're his creature"
If the had kissed Vanessa instead she could have stood before Dracula and defended him. Both creatures of the same world. She could have displayed her virgin neck and plainly tell them this was a decision of her own making and free will.
Now there is a narrative out. You missed a golden opportunity John Logan.
Vanessa sheds a tear as she is taken. She is a bit of a crier. Tears of joy or capitulation?
It all ends Sunday night with a two parter. I feel as though Showtime is rushing things a bit. Hopefully, Logan didn't rush the ending. Please no tying things up in a nice bloody bow.
Oh, here is one last thing I'd love to see. John Clare bringing his son to Victor to help with his TB. Ethan showing up at Victor's apartment also.
The three suitors to Lily's/Brona's affection all in the same room.
Now that would be tying things up in a nice bloody bow.
Get your popcorn ready for the big Vampire v. Werewolf fight!