Penny Dreadful S:1 E:7 Possession



Last Week on Penny Dreadful: Vanessa hooks up with Dorian but leaves him with a terrible case of blue balls. She stumbles home only to do her best Wynona Ryder Beetlejuice floating impression. Elsewhere, Caliban killed Van Helsing and Brona and Ethan made nicey nice. Read all about it HERE.

This Week on Penny Dreadful: Post floating, Vanessa sleeps on the couch in a nice little pajama pants suit. Sir Malcolm keeps a watchful eye over her. When she awakes she's not regular Vanessa, but still possessed Vanessa - get used to it. She's here a lot. She takes Sir Malcolm through a vile, profanity laced, version of 'This is Your Life.' She informs us that Sir Malcolm is not a fan of fat girls, not a chubby chaser as they say. She knows about him banging Vanessas mother. She also drops the n-word. That's where this went. She get's all worked up and Carrie crazy. Shit starts flying around the room. Stuff breaks. The big black guy says enough of this crap and knocks Vanessa out with a swift, hearty, punch to the face.

Up in her room Vanessa is being examined by Victor. Funny, I never thought - Victor Frankenstein, family physician, but I guess that's all they've got. She feigns acting normal but that doesn't last too long before she she starts licking Victors fingers and questioning his virginity. She quotes the same line from Shelly that we heard quoted the week before. Victor shoots her up with morphine. Sir Malcolm summons Ethan like he's fucking Batman - sadly there is no Ethan signal.

When Ethan arrives his grand entrance is interrupted by a Vanessa scream. Sir Malcolm, Victor, Ethan and the Big Black guy run upstairs like the Scooby squad. Vanessa starts in on Ethan. Sir Malcolm and Victor back off - they've seen this kind of crazy before. She goes into the whole Dorian/Ethan/Brona thing, taking great demonic pleasure in doing so. We learn that it was indeed Dorian who fucked Ethan, so in case you were wondering which guy put his thing in the other guys other thing (and I know you were) there's your answer. Sir Malcolm surmises she is possessed by the evil Egyptian goddess we heard so much about in episodes one and three but nothing of since then. Ethan says she was asking him to kill her in Arabic. Victor has nothing of value to contribute to the conversation, except maybe the knowledge that he has a growing morphine addiction.

Vanessa wakes up, presumably a week later, with Ethan at her side. She confesses that it's getting hard to hold whatever is inside of her back. She wants Ethan to kill her should she get so bad again. He questions heaven and espouses his love for hell before revealing himself as a demon. Apparently he's the same demon that fucked her as Sir Malcolm all those years ago. He wants her to be the "mother of evil" which I guess trumps "mother of dragons" so score one for Showtime. They make out. Should we count that as complicity?

Back downstairs the real Ethan (apparently) and Sir Malcolm have a moment about Africa (this again). We saw this exact same thing happen a couple episodes ago - read that review. This pissing match is followed by a story about how Sir Malcolm is such a dick that he didn't even name a mountain range after his dead son. He named it after himself. Not to be out done, Ethan goes all Annie Oakley "anything you can do I can do better." and tries to trump Sir Malcolms melancholy story with one of his own involving Indians captured and sent back east to become "normal" folks. Not sure what the point was, other than to remind us that Americans can do some shitty things sometimes.

Eventually, they are convinced to call a priest by none other than the big black guy. The priest is brought over under rather false pretenses. He thinks he is there to administer last rights. Everyone else (except maybe Sir Malcolm) want him to perform and exorcism. When confronted by Father Mathew, the demon recounts some other encounters it's had with some other famous Mathew's - namely New Testament Mathew. Sadly, there is no recounting his meeting Mathew Nelson and helping him write 'After The Rain.' Vanessa goes all Carrie again and starts throwing shit round the room, including the priest. Ethan finally has had enough and pulls a gun on her. He can't bring himself to shoot her, but he can bring himself to force her against a wall, press that St. Judes medallion Brona gave him last episode into her forehead and starts speaking in tongues. Eventually Vanessa succumbs to him, collapsing on the floor. Ethan walks out like a genuine Han Solo pimp into the snowy London winter.

Later Sir Malcolm is starting to doubt his own motivations when a fully refreshed Vanessa walks into the parlor declaring she knows where Mina is. End episode.

 Elsewhere: Caliban is still stalking Victor, although he seems more content to wait then he did last week for some reason. But the threat of more of his murdering has apparently driven Victor straight into the arms of Sister Morphine....Victor took some time to take some shooting lessons from Ethan. He was, lets put this bluntly, not good. Ethan on the other hand...

Reaction: The overall theme this week had to do with Sir Malcolm and the genuineness of his motivations. Is he doing whats best for Vanessa? Or is he just using her as an end to find Mina as some sort of retribution for what Vanessa did with Tom, er, sorry, Colonel Branson all those years ago. I think it's pretty obvious that he is using Vanessa without any real care for her welfare, other than trying to keep her alive long enough for her to find Mina. He fights the decision to bring in the priest because he knows that exorcizing whatever it is that helps her communicate with "the other side" will end any chance he has to of finding Mina. There was a little hope at the end of the episode that his attitude may be changing towards her, especially after Ethans "she's your daughter" speech. But the jury is still out heading into the season finale, regarding just whose side Sir Malcolm is really on.

The mystery of Ethan Chandler also got a bit deeper this week. Nothing he did this week changed my mind about whether Ethan is a werewolf or not. He even made a very lupine-esque comment about ripping Sir Malcolms throat out. But he also is a demon fighting werewolf now. Who knew?

Overall, pretty good stuff this week. Eva Green continues to impress. As do the shows writers, producers, and directors, with finding new shit to do to her. Every week you think "damn, girl can't look any worse." Then next week...Bam! There you go. So kudos to Ms. Green for putting up with so much shit.

I am having some issues with the way they are handling the Victor/Caliban thing. Especially when it comes to the fact that last week Caliban was certainly the man of action. He killed Van Helsing and threatened Victor that any delay would result in future killings. This week he's content to just sit back, freeze his undead ass off, and watch Victor through a window. I would think that cold blooded murder would move you past the "watch through a window" phase. It just seems as though we are stuck in neutral with this part of the story line. Which is a shame because halfway through the season this was by far the better narrative. It's a shame it's been almost completely abandoned at this point.

That's it for this week. Next week is the season finale, then maybe...maybe a season wrap up column, but that is undecided as of now. Thanks for reading and as always...."enjoy every sandwich."

Read about the season finale HERE

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