Friday, May 06, 2016

Recap/Review: Penny Dreadful's 3x01: The Day Tennyson Died

I caught this episode a little later than usual on SkyAtlantic and can I say, it's great that the show is back on the air. I had forgotten how much I missed the series until I saw the opening episode.

Written by John Logan
Directed by Damon Thomas

A Bonding Over Scorpions: As part of her attempts of breaking out of a depressing pattern now that she's solely on her own, Vanessa went to an exhibit of sorts and met the rather charming Dr Alexander Sweet (Christian Camargo) and seemed bowled over by his candor as the pair discussed scorpions and other unloved things. Then this episode on an interesting note with a slew of vampires terrorising secretary Renfield into gathering information on Vanessa for their master - the one and only Count Dracula. We don't actually get to see Dracula in the episode but his makes a very vocal appearance and to be perfectly honest, if he doesn't turn out to be Dr Sweet, I'll be genuinely surprised but either way, Vanessa's got some unwanted company coming her way.

Alienism: Following last season's much loved guest appearance from Patti LuPone, I'm not surprised that the show wanted to bring her back for a much larger role this season. Any scene between LuPone and Eva Green is sheer golden and seeing the former as an uncompromising American therapist intrigued by Vanessa's behaviour was certainly a highlight in this episode. I also liked the fact (though it wasn't needed) that the episode decided to add a link to both Dr Seward and the Cut Wife/Joan Clayton though right now it's hard to tell whether or not Seward will be an actual friend or foe to Vanessa. We can also thank Lyle for putting Vanessa and Seward into each other's cross hairs as well.

Old Friends Reunited: Keeping with the new characters this week, we had Shazad Latif join the series, both as Dr Henry Jekyll (with his Hyde side kept in control) and also as a former classmate and friend of Victor Frankenstein. The latter wanted Jekyll's help in killing Lily but the former decided that perhaps domesticating her would be the better solution. The funny thing is that I spent most of the time wondering whether or not Frankenstein and Jekyll were former lovers because some of the dialogue and interactions between the actors did seem a little suggestive at times but either way, Jekyll intrigues me and he seems to be a worthy addition to the show.

Higher Purpose: In case there had been any ambiguity about Sembene, this episode confirmed that he was dead and that Malcolm buried him in Africa. We also then had scenes where Malcolm came under attack, only to be rescued by a mysterious stranger named Kaetenay (Wes Studi), who then told Malcolm that he had a higher purpose and couldn't die and that he needed to also catch up with Ethan. Speaking of whom ....

Once Upon A Time In Mexico: I quite like the fact that this season, we're exploding a little outside of London. First with Malcolm in Africa and also with Ethan in New Mexico. Granted a portion of his scenes were mostly on a train until Hecate and her crew seemed to rescue him (mixed on Hecate still being around to be honest) and then Ethan was also told that he was going to be reuniting with his father pretty soon, which may or may not be interesting. As for Caliban, not really a whole lot happened with him this week, though there was a little flashback moment that piqued some interest but compared to the rest of the characters, he had the least amount of screen time.

Next week, Dorian and Lily are back and they're recruiting.

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