This season is so great you guys. It’s only the second episode of season two and I’m already calling it. Best.Season.Ever.
Why, you may ask? One reason. One wonderful perfect human being has come back into our lives. FERDINAND LYLE!
I love this man. He makes my heart sing and he needs to be protected at all costs.
I’ll get to how he comes to be inducted into our British Scooby Gang soon, but first, what is everyone else up to?
We start with Vanessa running into Malcolm’s room first thing in the morning, and it’s pretty obvious that she didn’t sleep at all. This seems like a good time to bring up how much I love the relationship between these two.
There is a theory going around, and a fairly plausible one, that Malcolm is Vanessa’s actual father. It’s a legitimate theory, seeing as her mother was having an affair with him for who knows how long. We haven’t gotten any concrete proof yet, if we ever will, but I don’t think that even matters anymore. It’s quite obvious he views her as his daughter. He chose to save Vanessa, instead of Mina in the season 1 finale. Even though Mina was a vampire by then, the fact that Malcolm was pretty obsessive about forsaking all others in lieu of saving her at any cost all season, I thought it was so beautiful that he chose Vanessa anyway.
Season 1 was rife of moments when the audience just couldn’t quite figure out what they meant to one another. One moment they showed affection, they next horrible cruelty. But the finale really solidified their relationship, and this episode only reaffirms that fact. Malcolm has already lost two of his children. He won’t leave Vanessa’s side in this dark period for anything. He decides to take her to a shelter for the homeless and people with Cholera. Shelter is actually putting it nicely. It was an abandoned tunnel system that just had dying people sleeping in corners. On one side, I can appreciate that Sir Malcolm not only donated his money to this place, but also came himself to aid with the soup kitchen. Most men of his stature would stop after writing the check.
However, on the other hand, I just can’t get behind that fact that he only goes there to make himself feel better. To make himself believe he is a better man than he is. I do appreciate that he took Vanessa, she is such a sensitive and empathic soul, that the fact that she would take to something like this is right in line with her character.
Next we stop by to see the Bride of Frankenstein. I am never sure how I feel about The Creature/Mr. Clare. One moment he breaks my heart, because obviously his life hasn’t been great but the next, I really wish I could punch him because he’s just annoying. He’s honestly better when he’s not around Frankenstein. When these two are in the same room they both just turn into the most insufferable type of men.
So Brona has been brought back to life, and right away we see that she has a stronger grasp on speech and movement than poor Proteus did. The Creature starts going on about how she needs poetry in her life, flowers and chocolates. He’s basically already planning their wedding. Its pretty obvious that she’s not feeling it and she seems more dim witted while he is still around versus after he leaves.
The music they play here, the same song played when Frankenstein introduced himself to Proteus, is just so freakin’ beautiful. Victor is still my Very Problematic Fave. I adore him, but also realize he is super gross sometimes. The way he looks a Brona is just so creepy, so possessive. Perhaps he looked at Proteus that same way and I am just seeing it differently now because it’s a woman he’s brought back.
I think one of the biggest things that bother me is that Victor let Proteus pick his own name, more or less. While he himself named Brona, now to be referred to as Lily. He tells her that they are cousins and that he’s there to help her. She is seen as a perfect damsel in distress and the doctor is more than happy to take up the mantle of her knight in shining armour.
Later in the episode, he takes it a step further by completely recreating her. As he’s dying her hair blonde, he even outright says he prefers blondes. The entire undertone of this relationship is very bothersome. This is definitely a subject to be discussed more as the storyline progresses throughout the season.
We then find out where the Creature has been living. I never actually thought about it honestly, but I’m glad the show addressed it. He is living in the same shelter that Vanessa is currently working at! The next scene shows two things.
The Creature is so much more tolerable away from his “father”.
Vanessa makes everyone better by mere association.
I mentioned earlier how Vanessa has a very empathic soul, and that really shines through here.
The Creature, who has probably never met a person who didn’t at least barely flinch at first glance, now meets this woman who has seen so much darkness around her already that the sight of this man doesn’t bother her in the least.
I’m hesitant to say they are kindred spirits, but they absolutely have a connection that I think will be an important stepping stone for coming seasons.
That’s actually a good transition for the next point I wanted to bring up. This show has been really great at setting up subtle clues, stories, and characters that at first glance seem to have no, to very little importance in the overall story.
One of the biggest complaints I’ve seen about this show is the character Dorian Gray, who also makes his comeback this episode. He seems to have no purpose on this show. He’s barely connected to the plot or anyone’s storylines. But the connections have been made, the building blocks put down.
Dorian Gray has always been a controversial character, ever since his introduction in 1890. He’s a good man, and he’s also a very amoral one. Sometimes he is even portrayed as outright evil. My theory for this particular incarnation, is that he is going to end up connected to the dark side more than the Vanessa side.
However, his already built upon connection to Vanessa and Ethan, and even Brona/Lily. They are going to be what tips his scale one way or the other ultimately.
In this episode we see Dorian moping over his portrait of Vanessa, the man really can’t grasp rejection. Without missing a beat, Dorian is pulled away from his sadness by the introduction of Angelique. A new character who definitely seemed to intrigue him.
FINALLY! The best character makes his return to the scene! MR. LYLE. He is a precious gem that must be protected at all times. He and Ethan didn’t get to meet last season, and I didn’t have any preconceived notions of what their meeting would be like.
I definitely wasn’t expecting Lyle to straight up flirt with Ethan and for Ethan in return be straight up delighted by it. I love this show so much you guys.
Malcolm has called the whole gang together to discuss the strange language the witches were using.
‘Lyle informs them that the language spoken was our title of the episode “Verbis Diablo” The Devil’s tongue, and there is one known written account hidden in the British Museum.
He then proceeds to tell a very chilling story about a man named Brother Gregory who became possessed by allegedly the Devil himself. He spoke to the Brother in the Verbis Diablo and he wrote down everything he heard on any object he could get his hands on.
Mr. Lyle, Ethan, and Ethan’s gunbelt then decide to go on an adventure to “borrow” this relics from the museum. This is my new favorite pairing. I wish they could be in every single scene together.
So what have the resident witches been up to this episode?
Well Evelyn Poole has been doing her damndest to charm Malcolm. They even go out on a date at a gun range, where she learns that while he is no longer with his wife, he would never divorce her.
Hecate, Poole’s daughter, had a short lovely scene on a train with a nice looking family. They chatted a bit and exchanged pleasantries. Hecate might have even made a new friend! It was a truly a happy ever after for her and this family..
Oh wait…wrong show. Hecate met a family on a train and murdered them! Ah yup thats more like it. She also killed and stole their baby so yeah. She is super evil.
These witches couldn’t possibly get any worse could they? I mean killing horses last episode and now an infant?! Nope. This is as bad as it’s going to get.
And apparently I am always wrong. For now they have committed the unspeakable. The most wretched and horrifying act of them all. I hope all these witches get what’s coming to them.
Now, you must be wondering, “Jenn, what could possibly be worst than hurting a baby? That’s almost as bad as it gets!”
Oh no my dears, these witches are blackmailing my Mr. Lyle. Poor Ferdinand, he just wants to be gay and live off his wife’s money. Poole has apparently gotten picture evidence that would “ruin him forever” unless he spies on Vanessa and company.
Bitch has gone too far.
But let’s give a big round of applause to the magical unicorn that Lyle proves himself to be. Even with being threaten with the decimation of his whole life, he doesn’t give them up. He truly care about Vanessa and he was there during her first possession last season. He knows that this poor woman is truly being tortured by something horrible. He won’t add to her misery.
I LOVE FERDINAND LYLE!
The episode ends with the reveal of just what the witches wanted with the baby. After Poole takes the body and proceeds down endless hallways and to a creepy locked door, only to be followed by traveling down spiraling steps, I just know whatever is next is going to be completely messed up.
Oh hey look I was right for once! It’s a room full of PORCELAIN DOLLS! Why must you do this to me Penny Dreadful? Not only is it a room full of horrors, but as the camera pans around to the hundreds of dolls hanging about I noticed a couple of things. A lot of those dolls resembled our characters. I noticed Mr. Lyle (that witch!) and I think one of Mina, at the very least. If anyone else noticed more let know because even though I’m terrified, this is fascinating. How long have these witches been watching Vanessa?
The final shot is Poole using the baby’s heart to create a new doll of Vanessa. Shocker.
I’m assuming these work like voodoo dolls, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Article Submitted by Jenn Lueck