Penny Dreadful S:1 E:4 Demimonde

Last Week On Penny Dreadful: A trip to the zoo leads to some fun wolf interaction and the abduction of young Mr. Fenton. Torture ensued until Ethan put his foot down. Young Victor got to know his first creation better - much against his will. His creation demands a mate...and she better be hot. Read all about it HERE.

This Week On Penny Dreadful: We start where all good shows start - with an orgy. Dorian is hosting festivities that would make Oberlyn Martel blush. Eh, who am I kidding, nothing would make Oberlyn Martel blush. Dorian on the other hand rather than diving in to the depravity, seems bored and a bit saddened by it all. Anyone who knows 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' knows this is in line with his character, so we are good with staying on message. He pushes the depravity, the nihilism, simply because he's bored. With the orgy over, he looks around his huge empty mansion, gazing at some of the paintings as he moves into a secret chamber. He opens some curtains, which hide something, pulls up a chair and just stares. Presumably, the curtains hide the titular "picture," much like last weeks "master," we the viewer, are deprived of it's sight.

Dorian follows up his orgy with a trip to church the next day dressed as the keyboardist for The Sisters Of Mercy. He runs into Vanessa outside. She has just had a deeply philosophical conversation about death and dying with a young girl who has recently lost her mother. Together they head into the churches greenhouse (which I guess is common place in 1891 England?). He shows her a particular flower and asks her to describe it. She's timid at first, then with some prodding, pretty much describes the flower as the fauna version of a vibrator. Satisfied, Dorian drops a hint that he will be checking out the theater later that night and whisks himself away. Whisks is the wrong word...more like prances. But it's a manly prance at least.

Speaking of manly prances, Victor is busy looking at some blood slides with Dr. Van Helsing (played by the awesome David Warner). They are studying a particular sample of blood that doesn't coagulate. Van Helsing suspects it's most practical use would be for those who would be using the blood as food. Hmmm. Who could that be? We have to wait to find out because Caliban shows up and demands to know where his bride is. Victor tells him to calm the fuck down, and these things take time. Caliban just wants to make sure she's hot. So...priorities.

Ethan and Brona are still a thing. He tells her to put on her best dress because he is taking her to the theater, but first he has to go to work. He meets up with Victor and Sir Malcolm to decide what the hell to do with Fenton. First thought: blood transfusion. Victor volunteers Ethan, who begs off curiously. So Sir Malcolm steps up and volunteers his blood.

Later that night at the theater everything comes together as Ethan and Rose Tyler are having a grand old time of it. Rose Tyler, because Billie Piper plays it like she did during the the first season of Doctor Who - with perfect wide eyed amazement. Up in the balcony Dorian and Vanessa's gazes have met and they eye fuck each other for most for the second half of the first act. During intermission, all four of our main characters meet in the lobby for some snacks (I assume). Dorian and Brona share a prolonged look. He has a shit eating grin on his face. She looks like someone just ate shit off her face. This jolting reminder that she's a whore makes her snap. Ethan tries to calm her. She declares that the only way they will every fuck again is if he pays for it like everyone else. She runs out on him. Out on the street she is overtake by the consumption. She doubles over, coughing up blood, and could be dead.

Dorian and Ethan look at each other with that "Damn that bitch is crazy" look, then agree to skip the second act and head back to Dorians place for a night cap. They share some absinthe and talk about art. Dorian shifts the conversation to music, specifically Wagner. He puts some on...then things get weird. Ethan starts having some flashbacks, which are basically just a summation of all the weird shit that's happened so far. It also pretty much confirms that Ethan is a werewolf - but that is a conversation for another time. Because the climax of the hallucinations/flashbacks is Ethan reaching out and kissing Dorian. Tongue starts to get involved and then some disrobing.

Sir Malcolm and Victor hear a rustling from upstairs. They chase the sound only to find that Fenton has broken loose and is waiting for his "master" in Vanessas room. Sir Malcolm and Victor bust in the room to find a vampire laying in wait for Vanessa. Fenton attacks Sir Malcolm as the vampire jumps out the window. Sir Malcolm impales Fenton on the broken window. Vanessa comes home to the revelation fro Sir Malcolm that the vampire had been laying in wait for her in her room. End Episode.

Elsewhere: There was a curious little scene in the episode where Sir Malcolm invited Ethan to explore Africa with him. Victor gets his dander up because he wasn't asked. After Ethan leaves, Sir Malcolm tells Victor that Ethan means nothing to him so having him die in Africa would be no loss. Vanessa shows up and puts the kibosh on the whole thing becasue Sir Malcolm is completely full of shit about going to Africa.

Reaction: I think it's become painfully obvious what we all suspected last week after the shenanigans with the wolves in the zoo- that Ethan is some sort of mythical creature, probably a werewolf. I wish this show wasn't quite so obvious in the way it telegraphs whats to come. Ethan isn't the only example. Brona is left seeming dead from consumption in the street right outside the Grand Guginal where Caliban works. It's almost painfully obvious that Brona is to become his "bride." I hope I am wrong about this. It certainly makes sense with the way things are headed though.

Overall, not a terrible episode this week. I think it was better than last weeks episode, but still not nearly as good as the shows second episode, which remains the standard bearer for this show. Still it's doing a lot of things well - especially making me feel stupid. I definitely needed to pay more attention in my college classical literature class. This show probably works bet if you are well versed in the mythologies behind Stokers' 'Dracula', Shelley's 'Frankenstein' and Wilde's 'Picture of Dorian Gray'. Still, absence of literature expertise aside, it's a pretty good show, let's hope it can get back to the levels of the tremendous second episode.

As always thanks for reading...and "enjoy every sandwich"

Read all about Episode 5 HERE

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