Thursday, May 26, 2016

Recap/Review: Penny Dreadful's 3x04: A Blade Of Grass

It's that again where nearly every other character takes an episode off and we get an extended look into Vanessa Ives and once again, it's certainly something to behold.

Written by John Logan
Directed by Toa Fraser

Day Or Night: Last week we learned that Caliban was an orderly at the same asylum that Vanessa had been committed to during flashbacks in the first season and with the exception of Seward from time to time, this was an episode purely for both Eva Green and Rory Kinnear as the two played off each other so well. We never learn the name of Kinnear's orderly or how he even died in the first place but everything else that happens between him and Vanessa in this episode is pure gold.

A Little Makeover: The orderly's relationship with Vanessa seems to be one out of genuine concern for her. He's never cruel as such, even when he had to force feed her and remove a blanket and there's a rather interesting scene where he removes her gag in order to put some makeup on Vanessa and brush her hair. In other shows, that would've been creepy but here there was a point in trying to make it an act of kindness as the orderly tries to appeal to Vanessa to either get better, fake it or end up becoming lobotomised. There's also some brilliant discussions into the others respective lives as they develop a bond between each other and then this moment happened ....

Leaving The Job: Towards the end of this episode, we then learned that the orderly decided to leave his job. He told Vanessa a story involving his son and a boat to Scotland but a part of me did wonder given that he went from following to deliberately breaking the rules (he shared a kiss with Vanessa at one point in this episode) if maybe he had gotten the sack instead but chose not to tell Vanessa that in case it set her back. The connection between the pair in this episode was beautifully done and it's really going to be interesting to see how it plays out when Caliban also remembers his past with Vanessa too.

Battle Of The Brothers: Rory Kinnear gave one of his best performances in this episode but he was also on triple duty as well. Not only did we see him shine fantastically as the unnamed orderly, but Kinnear also got to sink his teeth into playing both Lucifer and Dracula and did so with relish as both brothers clamoured for Vanessa's body and soul during her incarceration. What neither of them banked on though was that Vanessa's own darkness was enough to scare the crap out of the both of them and that was pretty satisfying to watch.

Bringing Her Back: Ah, Patti LuPone. The only other actor in this episode aside from Green and Kinnear and though as great as the both of them, Seward's role was mainly to get Vanessa to remember and then later to get out of her state, both of which Seward accomplished. We did see a softer side to the character when she got Vanessa to open up about Joan Clayton and Seward did seem to believe her about Dracula now as well, which should be interesting as the season progresses.

Next week, we're delving into Ethan's history as Malcolm gets closer to finding him.

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