Welcome to a new week of Penny Dreadful, Western Style!
Why do I have the feeling that to keep all the boys on set happy, John Logan had to promise that one day they’d get to play Cowboys and Indians for a season? I distinctly remember an interview I saw awhile back that Timothy Dalton was hating the constant cold and rainy weather they filmed in during the first couple seasons.
Well, if that is true then he got a nice reprieve from it this year.
I’m not gonna lie, this was not my favorite episode. I missed Vanessa, yes, but we had an excellent episode last year with no Eva Green and I hardly missed her. So I know its possible. Maybe I just don’t like westerns.
Our main plot this episode continued on with Ethan and Hecate on the run, with the Marshalls, and Malcolm and Kaetenay (it only took me five episodes but I can finally spell that without looking it up! Yay!) chasing after them.
With the Marshall and Scotland Yard gang we got to see Rusk slowly losing his cool demeanor with every extra day and with every time they would just almost catch Ethan. By the end of the episode, with all his English buddies dead, we see Rusk swear off all his honor and swear to hunt Ethan down and shoot him in the back.
This guy is really only holding my interest still because he seems to know something of the supernatural world, and I want to know how he got introduced into that mindset. We also learn that he is a certifiable badass, when he tells the story of how he lost his arm to the Marshall. He just cauterized his own arm, and continued chasing his prey until he was caught, then very casually he drops the line:
“And then I went to the infirmary” LOL that’s awesome and terrifying.
Malcolm and Kaetenay continue chasing both parties, knowing they’ll probably have to do something about these Marshalls if they want to save Ethan. Kaetenay continues to unravel more of his past with Ethan in the most vague and frustrating way possible.
The middle of the episode had all three parties hiding out/having a full on camp party in the dark, about 500 feet within eachothers range.
We see Ethan and Hecate, jealously looking down at the Marshalls big camp fire with not a care in the world, while their horses and themselves were dying of dehydration and freezing to death.
Ethan starts to share this twisted story of the American west as he knows it and at least he doesn’t speak only in metaphors. So apparently Ethan’s father shipped off to the Army, and that’s when he and his commanding officer, who was also his best friend killed an entire Apache tribe. While his friend was scalping people and smiling while he did it, Ethan decided that this was not a cool way to live his life. He didn’t want medals and honor for this. So he shot his best friend in the head. Damn.
After that is when he went to the nearest tribe and begged Kaetenay to kill him. But instead of killing him, he adopted him and made him an Apache.
Hecate also shares her own bit of backstory. After showing that she was completely heartless by sharing the very small amount of water they had left with one of the horses she tells Ethan of how she came to be a witch. Evelyn Poole, evidently sold her to the devil when she was five years old.
Okay, that is definitely rough. She didn’t pick this life and that’s for sure not fair. But girl, you’re still pretty evil. She demonstrates this by thing telling Ethan that they can get rid of the Marshall’s once and for all if he lets her use his special wolf blood and make some sand art.
At this same moment, Malcolm and Kaetenay are planning their own method of getting rid of the Marshalls and it involves a lot more stealth and none of this “Summoning Satan” crap. I’m with the old men here.
In what struck me as a cool parallel of last season, when Ethan and Vanessa were at the Cut-Wife’s cabin and both went after the douche in the mansion, we see Hecate summoning snakes and Kaetenay silently creeping up to slit all their throats in their sleep while Malcolm grabbed some horses.
While the snakes definitely claimed more victims, Kaetenay and Malcolm both did some murdering too, so the fun was spread around pretty equally. However, Kaetenay did get bit by one of the snakes so dude’s future is looking pretty grim.
After that Ethan and Hecate flee to a cave that Ethan had previously inhabited and hid out while things cooled off and they could build a fire at last.
There was some amazing cave paintings on the wall and, according to Ethan, told the story of the first Apache. Ethan also continues the story of “My two dads are both the actual worst”. He and Kaetenay actually had hid out in that cave once upon a time, after fighting the US soldiers. They were out of weapons and food and running low on men.
So Ethan got a plan. It was already made clear that he had no love for his bio dad so he no problem stealing from him. He knew where all the guards on their land would be. Should be no problem sneaking in and clearing out their storage and escaping without notice.
“Not a shot would be fired. That is what my Apache father promised me.”
Hecate started her “join us on the dark side” pitch once again. All episode she’s been dropping these little hints to Ethan, like what kind of God would leave him to suffer the life he’s lived. Why would he/she/it make him this “glorious beast”?
So far Ethan has seemed to hold off on her advances, but maybe its with the retelling of the horror story of his life, he finally gives in.
He decides he’s done being good and he’s going to kill his father and laugh while he does it (question, which father?). So him and Hecate start goin’ at it and breaking a ton of the audiences hearts. She tells him that all he needs to do is pray to Lucifer while he murders his father. No biggie.
Okay so, yeah obviously this is not my favorite storyline. Like, dude she tried to kill your Soulmate Vanessa, REMEMBER?!
BUT! This whole show is about exploring and sometimes even embracing your dark side and perhaps even fighting your way back to where you belong. Every character so far has had or is currently on, a journey like that so why shouldn’t Ethan?
The next morning has Ethan and Hecate basically crawling across the desert, ready to keel over any second. Ya know, I must say, being a servant of Lucifer doesn’t seem to net anyone any useful powers. I mean, it’d be pretty handy if Hecate as able to summon up some water. Just sayin’.
Just as Ethan collapses with a basically on deaths door Hecate, Malcolm rides up with an also basically dead Kaetenay slumped over his horse.
I won’t lie, I legit laughed at Ethans “WTF are you doing here?!” to Malcolm when they see eachother. The older man is super ready to just put a bullet in the witch’s skull right then and there but, oh no Ethan is noble and points his own gun on his third father figure.
We never know how that particular draw would have ended since Talbot men show up at the perfect moment and take them all to Ethan’s fathers house. Oh except for Kaetenay obviously, because if they haven’t made clear yet, these guys are raging racists. So he gets shoved off his horse and left to die. I refuse to believe that’s how this guy goes out.
Now we finally get to the only part of the episode I very much enjoyed. We finally get to meet Jared Talbot, played by Brian Cox.
Now, I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the original Wolfman story, but Senior Talbot has pretty much always been a giant asshole. So that PLUS that fact that he’s played by perpetual villain Brian Cox. Yeah get ready for some major jerk vibes.
We see that he is a very kind host, he sets Ethan and Hecate up in their own rooms and is getting them cared for, while Malcolm gets to dress in a 15 piece suit once again. The two older gentlemen meet in Talbot’s office and it was a marvelous scene.
See here’s the thing. When we first met Malcolm in Season 1, he was also a giant jerk. While he has changed over the seasons, it’s still be a little hard for me not to view him as that still. However the chat between the two men changed that.
Talbot is Malcolm in season 1. He named mountains after himself, he is filled with hatred and vengeance and really doesn’t care about much it seems besides what he’s already lost.
It’s with these two standing across from each other that makes it so clear how much Malcolm has grown as a character. And I think even he saw that himself while they talked, and he was disgusted at what this man represented.
He wanted Ethan to pay for what he had done, and while this puzzle was coming together, it still wasn’t completely clear as to why.
Ethan finally wakes up, and gets the long awaited chat with his father, and we FINALLY get the entire story. It’s not a happy story folks.
Basically, while Ethan had planned and been promised that he and his Apache family would only sneak in to steal supplies, the Apache saw this as also a perfect chance for revenge on the man that had been viciously hunting down their tribes.
Very gruesome story short, the tribe, Kaetenay included broke in to the dining hall where Ethan’s whole family, mother and sister, and brother included, and horribly butchered them in front of Senior Talbot. And he knew it was Ethan’s fault that this had happened. He even kept the dining all completely how it was in a extremely morbid display of cruelty and sentimentality.
No one is the good guy here. This was just a cycle of violence that ended with pretty much everyone dead and no one had the right to do what they did. Talbot was wrong for hunting the Apache and they were wrong for viciously taking revenge.
It’s all fucked up.
So we end this storyline with Jared Talbot aiming a gun at Ethan. Oh man I really hope Ethan just ends this dude. (but maybe don’t pray to the devil while you do it okay Ethan?)
Oh and into the only other storyline that happened, we did visit Frankenstein and Jekyll a couple times.
Victor basically prances around bragging about how he was the one to prefect Henry’s formula, and we can see Jekyll in the background just seething about this and perhaps becoming a bit more unhinged.
They still have their previous subject to test on, poor man. Victor inserts a needle into his brain through the eyeball and I think electrocutes his brain while he has the serum in him?
I don’t know, but it does seem to work. Well, it worked as in it completely erased every memory he ever had, and thus also his mania.
I swear if he actually does this to Lily I’m going to rage.
Okay on to next weeks episode which will obviously be the superior episode. Would you like to know why?
MY MR. LYLE IS BACK! He just makes everything better.
Article Submitted by Jenn Lueck