Thursday, June 26, 2014

Recap/Review: Penny Dreadful's 1x07: Possession

We're into the penultimate episode of this wonderful psychosexual horror series and if you enjoy Vanessa having great prominence in the fifth episode, you might enjoy this one as well.

Written by John Logan
Directed by James Hawes

The Virgin Doctor: The one thing this show proved is that Eva Green can do being possessed quite well and while there are a few moments where she did get a little too hammy, she's mostly on point here though. Possessed Vanessa might have spent her time going all Suarez on a random priest, being taunted by her demon, reminding Malcolm that he failed his family, but she also didn't hold back in taunting both Ethan and Victor over their sexual prowesses as well. What I did like though was no matter how much bile the demon possessing Vanessa spewed at them, both Ethan and Victor seemed more determined than Malcolm to save her for the right reasons. Kudos to them for that.

Killer Moment: During one of the rare moment where we actually got Vanessa being herself, she did actually ask Ethan to kill her if things got too far. The last five minutes of this episode did seem to suggest so and I did for a moment think that Ethan might have actually had to live up to his promise and bump off Vanessa. Then she returned to normal during the last minute with the demon seemingly either being drawn out of her or at least laying dormant. No doubt it'll surface again in time for the finale though.

Less Than Noble Motives: While Ethan and Victor were more concerned for Vanessa's well being in this episode, another thing that struck me was both of them realising that Malcolm's reasons for wanting Vanessa to stay alive were less than selfless ones. I liked both of them challenging Malcolm and I also liked that Malcolm later seemed to be a bit more honest with Victor over a hit of cocaine as well (we also found out that the latter has a morphine dependency) but the fact that the episode ended with Vanessa admitted to knowing where Mina was (Malcolm's ongoing goal) can't end well for next week though.

Gunplay: One of the best things about this episode was the banter between Victor and Ethan. They might not have started the series as the best of friends and I'm sure there will be things they will continue to disagree over down the line but in this episode, they were mainly on the same page. Both were concerned about Vanessa's well being, both challenged Malcolm, both had a conversation that didn't concern the main plot (Ethan telling Victor about what happened to some Native Americans) and both of them clearly had a blast with some shooting bottles in the basement as well. Given the sheer intensity of this episode, we did need that little light moment.

Your Story: While this episode might have been a Brona/Dorian free zone (though possessed Vanessa did mention them) and Caliban was only seen briefly skulking in the snow outside Malcolm's house (I'm okay with Victor killing his firstborn now), this episode at least attempted to give a tiny bit of backstory to Sembene. When he wasn't knocking out Vanessa, he told Ethan cryptically about how him and Malcolm actually met, with Ethan picking up the rest himself and musing that everyone owes someone. It wasn't exactly much but still better than nothing and a lot more than what we previous knew of the character.

Next week, it's the finale and Malcolm's desire to be reunited with Mina could cost Vanessa while Brona's days look numbered.

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