I’m foregoing the normal synopsis/analysis format this week so that I can catch up to the current episode. Although my commentary may appear critical (and it is) I’m still enjoying the show. Onward! Unless things change, I’m going to call Rory Kinnear, “Emostein”. During Episode Three, “Resurrection,” Victor (and we) was forced to listen to Emostein’s self-narrated origin story. Be thankful that I waited to review this scene until after the fourth episode because, frankly, I despised it. See, I read a lot of comics and one of the cardinal rules of storytelling is not to narrate the action presented on the page. Penny Dreadful spent thirty minutes doing just that. Kinnear played a wonderful Creature from his painful “birth” to his self-awareness gained through Victor’s library. The voice-over describing the very events we were viewing was just maddening! Besides the irritation I felt at the narration, there was the language itself. Nobody speaks like that. Nobody! Thank you, Episode Four, “Demimonde” for giving me insight into why it all felt wrong. I believe (and I may be proven wrong) that we are seeing a performance from Emostein. He is playing the part of a monster and a villain to hide his fear and insecurity. He has fallen in with theatre people, specifically an actor named Vincent Brand portrayed by veteran actor Alun Armstrong. Vincent is practically a parody of a stage actor, larger than life, quick to emote and verbose to a fault. That is exactly the character presented to Victor (Harry Treadaway). He is angry with his creator and wants him to perform a service; to create a mate like himself. The only way he feels he will accomplish that is to intimidate Victor and appear threatening and superior. In truth, I believe he is just lonely. A lonely little boy trapped in a monstrous body. During a performance at the Grand Guignol, the theatre where the Creature works backstage, we see him shrink from a performer wearing a wolf costume. This is the action of one who has been bullied. We also see him smiling and enjoying himself with Vincent, not to mention taking great pride as he runs from stage left to stage right opening traps, raising curtains and pumping copious amounts of fake blood through a device attached to the lead actress. There is a bit of the Hunchback in our Creature. He feels at home behind the scenes, operating the theatre from a hidden place but recoils from the general populace out of fear. At first I was disappointed but, after Episode Four, I’m intrigued. Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton), Vanessa (Eva Green), Ethan and Victor continue to track Mina (Olivia Llewellyn) and the Master Vampire (Robert Nairne). A vision leads them to the London Zoo and a strange encounter with a pack of wolves. Ethan offers his hand to the pack leader and the wolves leave them unmolested. This scene, along with Ethan swooning during an arena match between a dog and a hundred rats and his refusal to let Victor use his blood for a transfusion is about all the evidence I need to believe Ethan Chandler is a werewolf. They haven’t come right out and said it yet, but I think it’s coming. Josh Hartnett has impressed me during this series. He took a risky (is it still risky these days?) move and played a very steamy scene with Reeve Carney (Dorian Gray) during last week’s episode. It was slightly shocking for the character but Ethan is nothing if not a slave to his baser instincts. He drinks too much, he screws too much and he probably kills too much as well. More evidence for the werewolf theory. During the scene at the London Zoo, we meet Fenton played by Olly Alexander, who “Renfields” his way through two episodes. His performance has been disturbing and I wish it could have continued but it was not to be. After a confrontation with the Master Vampire in Malcolm’s home, Fenton dies. It seems all of my favorite characters are killed after two episodes. Let’s hope David Warner makes it out alive this week. David Warner? Yes! He’s playing Van Helsing. In this series, Van Helsing is a hematologist working with Victor. We haven’t seen much of him yet but I’ve loved him since Time Bandits so I will expect brilliance. We haven’t been given much from Malcolm and Vanessa during the last two episodes. They have been present, giving each other knowing glances but that is about it other than reacting to the other players. I believe Episode Five will delve further into their relationship. Patience, patience. Billie Piperas Bronna Croft has been coughing up blood and emoting up a storm the past few episodes. She became intimate with Ethan Chandler then dumped him. I am hoping for more out of this character. At this point, she’s destined to be a victim and playing the part of the loveable hooker who refuses to get close because she hates herself. Meh. This leaves us with Dorian Gray. Though we’ve had plenty of him in the series so far, I still want more. He’s revealed himself to be a pure hedonist. I wouldn’t go so far as to say he’s amoral but he’s certainly willing to give “whatever” a try. His picture is life-size but, thus far, we’ve only seen the back of the canvas. I can’t wait to see what Gray’s lifestyle has done to his picture. When we see it, and I believe we will by Episode Eight, I think it will be shocking. Let’s hope so. As I said, overall, I’m enjoying the series and it’s giving me much to think about. I wish the level of brilliance displayed in the first two episodes had remained consistent through the next two in the series but I will settle for entertaining instead. Penny Dreadful 1.03 “Resurrection” & 1.04 “Demimonde”3.0Overall ScoreShare this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.