You may have a hard time understanding me since my foot is in my mouth. I must admit that I was wrong in my predictions about the season finale. Penny Dreadful gave us a few surprising turns of character and an ending worthy of praise. Well done, television people!
Yeah, I don’t always get it right. Ask anyone I know, they’ll agree with me.
That doesn’t change how I feel about certain episodes but I can see them differently as parts of an entire season. Overall, I enjoyed this first season and I’ll look forward to the already promised second season. I’ll follow Eva Green and Timothy Dalton anywhere they go, so that’s a lock.
What began as a reinterpretation of Frankenstein and Dracula has become a blend of the classic Universal Monsters ™ That’s what’s happening here. The archetypes are public domain but Universal made them famous. Got no problem, there. I am a big, big, fan of public domain. Penny Dreadful has created some of my favorite interpretations of these characters. Tell me this isn’t your favorite Victor Frankenstein, ever. I don’t think Mina Harker’s father as ever really been explored but our Sir Malcolm Murray wins in any case. We now have the Wolfman in Ethan Chandler. I’m embarrassed to admit that it’s taken me this long to figure out that the Master Vampire could be some version of the Mummy. All the Egyptian stuff was right there from day one! We even have our Bride.
The addition of Dorian Gray fits the Victorian era tone of the series and makes for an interesting cipher with all of these great monsters. In this season finale, we were given no answers or clues about our Mr. Gray. I felt a bit disappointed by that. Gray has been a wonderful mystery but some payoff would have been nice. We’ve been teased with his picture all season but not even a peek was shown. There appears to be something going on with his passion for photography yet no photographs have ever been seen. I suppose they wanted to leave the crowd wanting more. Mission accomplished.
One of two big reveals in the series finale gave us closure with Mina Murray. Sir Malcolm was forced to make a choice between daughters and he chose wisely by putting a bullet into the head of the vampire. Before she was killed, Mina let us know that The Master is still out there. Can’t wait to see who they cast in the role.
Our second biggest reveal was Ethan Chandler’s darker side. He’s a werewolf. Not the biggest of surprises but I thought it was handled nicely. His change takes place during the full moon but it also seems to come on by choice. It will be fascinating to find out how he reconciles the horrible things he’s done as a beast. If he’s the only werewolf running about. I wouldn’t put it past Penny Dreadful to give us another surprise.
Then there’s Emostein.
Although I warmed up to him in this final episode (and how couldn’t I when he showed up wearing that God-awful makeup) I still can’t forgive him for looking moody on street corners and killing all of my favorite characters. Other than some pacing issues, the side-story with Emostein felt like the only misstep of this first season. I would very much like to see his character do more next season.
Which brings us to Bronna Croft.
Lisa Loeb would say she’s been dyin’ since the day she was born. Indeed, her entire purpose this season was to die. Again, I feel like a fool for not seeing it earlier than this episode but her death is the introduction to our Bride. Victor gives her a merciful death (kinda) and is using her corpse to create Emostein’s mate.
I have felt Billie Piper was capable of much more than she was given this season and now we have a chance for her to become a star. She’ll be paired with Emostein so the chances that she’ll last longer than two episodes has dropped dramatically. Let’s hope she makes it.
It’s been an interesting but frustrating ride this inaugural season but I’m hopeful for the future. Most shows don’t really hit their stride until the second season and I believe Penny Dreadful will follow suit. Overall, I’ve enjoyed myself and that means something in this day and age of television.
See you next season.