(Photo: Jonathan Hession/Showtime)
(Photo: Jonathan Hession/Showtime)

Spoilers will lurk about.

There was a welcome levity about in Penny Dreadful 2×4: Evil Spirits in Heavenly Places this week. It was almost a spring episode to make us put aside the recent horrors. Well, until the Nightcomers decide to make their move. Which to the moment it doesn’t seem clear what it is. The puzzle is starting to take shape.

Lyle is still helping out deciphering the puzzle, because as Evelyn told him, let them follow the breadcrumbs to her. He has a hard time keeping a straight face when he hears that Sir Malcolm has been courting Evelyn. He even dares to advise caution. Is he conflicted because he just got a hint at Evelyn’s other plot? Because it does feel she’s got a second one running… It does appear she hasn’t told her daughters about courting Sir Malcolm at all.

But let’s partake in a little bit of fun, shall we? Vanessa Ives is up for helping Dr. Frankenstein in the most horrendous of tasks. The purchase of women’s clothing. The fact that Victor is over the top awkwardly embarrassed just encourages Vanessa to poke more than a little fun at his expense. It was almost close to sitcom hilarity. The fact that Victor knows the measurements from his “cousin from the country” to a clinical degree would’ve been creepy except it’s Victor and Vanessa is not the judging type. The lightness was welcomed.

We’re also getting some romance from Dorian Grey’s date with Angelique. Angelique does get disapproving looks once in a while from the more conservative types in London, but that just seems to entice Dorian further. The couple visit a ping pong parlour where Dorian gets his ass kicked at the game. We really ought to integrate Dorian with the rest of the cast, but I’m worried about what circumstance would bring them together again. Let’s not kill Angelique or make her evil.

Caliban / John Clare continues with his infatuation with Lavinia, the daughter of the Putneys that own the wax museum. I can’t avoid thinking this is going to end up real bad, specially for her. Regardless of how tender they want to portray Caliban, the women who find themselves the object of his obsession end up dead and that’s why it’s really hard for me to believe there’s anything but tragedy awaiting this supposed courtship. Not to mention that the Putneys are planning to exploit Caliban’s appearance with their show.

Ethan Chandler has his own semi-romantic situation going when Hecate, Evelyn’s lead assassin daughter sets up an accident just so he can save her and she can thank him. However, Mr. Chandler (you can call him Lupus Dei as Evelyn’s Coven does) is quick to deduce she’s not what she seems. Although he does mistakenly take her for a Pinkerton, at least he’s smart enough to see through her accent and -gasp- the fact that her shoes are not sensible. Ultimate burn.

Victor has one of those strange scenes with Lily where it seems that he’s guiding her toward his ideal of a woman and it turns out that Lily has already figured out what society and men are mostly about. At this point, I’m calling her Lily as Brona has really assumed another character. Victor definitely has feelings for her, and it seems Lily might reciprocate. However, her intuition is growing and it always seems like the character knows more than she’s supposed to know. Very intriguing. It’s also going to feel more intriguing when Victor introduces her to Vanessa as her cousin. Didn’t Vanessa run into her before? Has Victor forgotten Brona was romantically involved with Ethan?

We get some small scenes with Sembene and Ethan talking about seemingly nothing. Sembene might be the group’s own secret weapon, but I really wish we’d get an episode devoted to him or even better yet, open him up to participate more than just as Sir Malcolm’s servant. He’s supposedly more than that and I really don’t want a life-debt story here. Make up something good.

And finally, almost as an afterthought we get the attack on Sir Malcolm’s house. Everyone seems out of their depth when it comes to the Nightcomers. Surprisingly (or not) Sembene is able to get one of them off Ethan. They’ve managed to tear a piece of hair off Vanessa, but she manages to send them away using Verbis Diablo again. As they take off ripping the front door away, Hecate even has a parting shot for Ethan.

A good middle-ground episode with some very welcomed light fare, but we know it’s temporary. The scary stuff is coming up.


  • No puppets on this one! Still, I think I know what Evelyn is going to do with that lock of hair from Vanessa Ives.
  • Lily/Victor dynamic is changing. She’s learning more than he’s teaching her, and soon enough he will learn there’s more to Lily. Although I don’t see Brona coming back, I do see Lily remembering Victor murdering her former self. How will she take to that, I can’t say. Meanwhile, Lilly figures out the role of women and gives her first steps towards independent thought without even being alive for a week.
  • Victor’s embarrassing experience with Vanessa buying women’s clothes made my week.
  • Lyle very much wants to tell Sir Malcolm about Evelyn, but obviously he doesn’t want to get killed. Still, I see his loyalties fluctuate to Malcolm’s side.
  • Inspector Rusk convinced that it’s all about magic seems like a ruse. I fully expect him to come back to a logical explanation, perhaps chasing down occult practitioners.

That will do for now.

(Source: Showtime)