Thursday, May 07, 2015

Recap/Review: Penny Dreadful's 2x01: Fresh Hell

I can't believe it's been ten months since the first season of this show wrapped up but with the second season now airing on both Showtime and SkyAtlantic, it's time to get reacquainted with Vanessa and company.

Written by John Logan
Directed by James Hawes

Protectors: This episode was not Vanessa's week, was it? It seems that popular strand of the Devil wanting him as her bride will continue to run this season as she spent most of this episode being stalked, attacked and frightened out of her wits with Ethan determined to step in and protect. Of course, Vanessa doesn't play damsel in distress that well so she decided to come up with her own form of protection with a blood ritual as the episode drew to it's close.

Devil Women: Last season we had vampires of sorts as a recurring threat and this season, it seems that Madame Kali/Evelyn Poole, her daughter Hecate (played by Sarah Greene) and a slew of shape changing ladies are this year's threats. Their goal seems to be delivering Vanessa as the bride for their Master and while their attempts weren't successful this week, Kali herself seems more than determined to please good old Lucifer. Helen McCrory in this episode alone did generate some genuine scares (bathing in a bathtub of blood, her prayers to Lucifer himself) when she wasn't delightfully chewing the scenery as well and she certainly has the makings of a great villain here.

The Dead Has Risen: Keeping with the female characters here, while Billie Piper didn't get a word of dialogue this week, there was a generous amount of focus on Brona nonetheless. Sure for the most part, the character was naked, unconscious and in water but the end of this opening saw Brona rise from the dead in a rather glorious moment. While I hate the idea of her being used as a 'bride' for Caliban, I do hope that at some point this season, Brona will serve a bigger purpose to the overall arcs this year given how underused she was in the first season. Plus Victor is going to have some serious explaining to do when Ethan realises that Brona isn't quite as dead as he thought she was.

New Job: When Caliban wasn't obsessing over a new bride or taking cheap shots at the state of his creator's soul, he did however manage to get himself a new job at a failing waxworks place and also seemed to have a brief connection with the owner's blind daughter, Lavinia as well. I have to admit that while Caliban is still my least favourite character out of the regulars, I really don't want to see him in another employment situation where he's cruelly going to be mistreated or jeered at and the owners of his new job don't seem like the most tolerant of people either.

No More Children To Kill: I had actually forgotten about Sir Malcolm's wife until we saw her at Mina's grave in this episode and had her rip her estranged husband a new one as well. Funny thing is that she referred to Peter's grave as empty, so could that possibly mean something for upcoming episodes? As for Malcolm, aside from his scenes with his estranged wife and Vanessa, he didn't really do anything that interesting in this episode. Then again, neither did Sembene come to think of it. I do hope the latter is given more to do this season.

Next week, Dorian is back and Evelyn targets both Malcolm and Vanessa while Victor seems drawn to Brona.

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