I choose to lead a fairly “spoiler free” life. While watching movies or television, I prefer to let the experience wash over me and judge it as it happens. However, if I had applied even the smallest amount of research into Penny Dreadful, I could have avoided the disappointment I felt at the end of Episode Two, “Séance”. Such is the price of ignorance. Spoilers ahead. Reader, beware. The Creature dies in the end. Ripped right in half by Victor’s previous Monster. That torqued me off for a good couple of days. But, it’s only Episode Two and this was a memorable entrance by Rory Kinnear. They raised the stakes considerably in a very short length of time. In fact, this episode may be a condensed version of the entire season. I wouldn’t get too attached to anyone at this point. Ethan Chandler got down to the serious business of drinking. Josh Hartnett plants himself inside a fishing saloon, which is beautifully appointed with hanging ropes and rigging, and tries to drink away the previous night’s bender. In this episode, we’re only given a few clues to Chandler’s past; a father who wants him home, a US Marshall whose silence has been bought. I’ll take my info a bit at a time. No problem. Hartnett is mostly a window character for Billie Piper. She plays Bronna Croft, an escort for a very privileged client. Dorian Gray, played by Reeve Carney. Carney’s Gray is a rake and obsessed with death and photography. Gray is the main character in Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. Most people get that title wrong by calling it Portraitof Dorian Gray. Penny Dreadful is aware of this common mistake and surrounds Dorian with famous old Masters portraits in his home but when he gets his erotic on, he captures it in photography. In pictures. While Gray is photographing Croft, she coughs up blood. It’s consumption and Gray’s own blood is riled. Those in the know realize that Gray is immortal, remaining young while a picture of him grows old in the attic. It turns out that death turns him on. Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton) makes a visit to the police in that way only Victorian era British aristocracy can get away with. We’re reminded of the grisly murder of a young girl in the first episode. Murray suspects vampires but honestly, what vampire would leave so much blood on the floor. I suspect we’re looking for something different. As the title of the episode suggests, the museum curator that Murray has engaged in translating the hieroglyphics is hosting a séance and Vanessa Ives becomes the unintentional star of the show. After a brief moment between Ives and Dorian Gray, the séance begins as a very stereotypical medium connects with the dead. Eva Green absolutely astounded me with the deftness of her craft as she shifted from persona to persona. Mystery and secrets abound, as she became possessed by the spirit of Malcolm’s dead son, Peter who died of dysentery in what I suspect is Africa. During the possession, Malcolm watches as Vanessa relives his child’s death. A powerful performance by Green as she breaths the child’s last breath, staring into Malcolm’s eyes. The child isn’t the only spirit speaking through Ives as Mina and the Vampire both take a turn. The host of the séance, Ferdinand Lyle, played charmingly by Simon Russell Beale, reveals to Malcolm the meaning of the hieroglyphics found on the Vampire. They speak of two eternal beings, Amonet and Amon-Ra. Two beings that cannot exist together. If they do, it’s the end of the world. I suspect that our Ms. Ives may be Amonet but we shall see. I thought this was the crescendo of the episode but I had forgotten about the Creature. Victor (Harry Treadaway) and his creation have an entire lifetime together in the span of a few hours. Victor feeds his creature some bread much like a Eucharist and I should have suspected the truth then and there. The Creature needs a name and the name is Proteus, chosen at random from a book of Shakespeare by the creature himself. It looks as if part of Proteus must have been a sailor as he recognizes a whale from the book Moby Dick. An adventure walking outside is planned. I want to talk about how brilliant Alex Price is as he grows from an infant to an adult in the span of a day. His walk through London is charming and revelatory as Victor reintroduces him to the world. He wonders at the “fairy lights” (gas lamps) and wonders about his own identity. Yes, he was a sailor but now, doesn’t know himself. Too bad we’ll never get the answers. I want to give this episode a low score because it pissed me off by taking a brave and brilliant choice of Creature and turning him into a device to introduce a monster. But I can’t. Price was amazing for 2 episodes and I applaud him. Don’t let me down, Penny Dreadful. Keep giving me the unexpected. Penny Dreadful 1.02 “Séance”4.5Overall ScoreShare this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.