Saturday, May 24, 2014

Recap/Review: Penny Dreadful's 1x02: Seance

With the show currently airing now on SkyAtlantic, this recap/review is somewhat early so if you haven't seen the second episode of Penny Dreadful, look away now. If you have, then proceed right ahead.

Written by John Logan
Directed by J.A Bayona

A Crack In The Glass Table: This episode introduced three new characters, all of whom made an instant impression and the first one I'm going to talk about is Helen McCrory's psychic, Madame Kali as the main plot point of this episode revolved around a seance at Ferdinand Lyle's house. However the reason why Kali stood out wasn't because she had the ability to unnerve people with her gifts but it was mainly because something had possessed Vanessa and when it wasn't revealing some sordid secrets of Sir Malcolm's, it was making everyone else including Kali quite uncomfortable. I have to admit that at first the scene played out a little farcical before eventually getting a little scary but overall, I get the impression that Kali wasn't all too pleased that someone else stole her psychic thunder though.

It's Gaelic: And the award for the strangest attempt of a Northern Irish accent goes to Billie Piper folks. Brona Croft was presented here as a hard drinking prostitute who flirted with both Ethan Chandler and Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney) but her accent will undoubtedly take some getting used to. It's not quite as bad as I thought it would be but it's certainly distracting in parts though. As for Brona's story - we know that she's got consumption but it didn't stop Dorian from seducing her even if she did spit blood on him at one point. Will Brona make it out of the first season alive? After all she's the only other main female character on the show aside from Vanessa at the moment. Speaking of whom ...

No Gloves: This episode raised a lot more questions about Vanessa in general and her relationship with Sir Malcolm Murray. It also placed her path directly into Dorian Gray, who flirted with her before the seance spoiled the evening's events. I know Vanessa's going to be key to everything but the idea of an Egyptian goddess (Amunet) being inside her wasn't something I expected, though I am thinking there's more to it than we've been told so far. Eva Green as an actress though continues to be thoroughly charismatic in the role and Vanessa in full possession mode was quite the performance alright.

Who Am I?: Probably the most touching in this whole episode was the friendship/connection that Victor Frankenstein had with his newly named creature, Proteus (Alex Price) and it's a shame their interactions came to a violent ending courtesy of Frankenstein's first monster but at the same time, what an entrance for Rory Kinnear though. It's a shame Proteus didn't survive the episode because his delight in discovery things such as gaslights, animals and chestnuts had a wonderful innocent charm to it and his quest for wanting friends revealed a lot about his creator as well. As you can probably tell, I really did enjoy all the scenes with Victor and Proteus the most in this week's episode. It's just a shame we won't get any more now.

Don't Tell Her Anything: This episode really wasn't Sir Malcolm's, was it? He might have gotten Victor on his side but when he wasn't having a possessed Vanessa telling everyone that he was a lousy father to Mina, he was also having Ferdinand telling him to lie to Vanessa as well. I'm not sure if withholding vital information about Egyptian gods and the dangers they pose will be a smart move on Malcolm's part and I'm also not entirely sure if Ferdinand is that much of an ally either. There's something about him that seems a little off though. However, I have to admit that this episode was actually a lot stronger than the first one and two episodes in, Penny Dreadful has certainly become worthwhile to watch.

Next week we see the gang hunting for wolves as Victor faces the wrath of his first creation and Vanessa sees a certain dead girl once again.

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