Series Issues: Penny Dreadful 2×10 – Finale Thoughts

Spoilers… but you knew that.

(Source: Showtime)

(Source: Showtime)

Penny Dreadful 2×10: And They Were Enemies finally ties it all up in a little poisonous and tragically perfumed little bow. It would be so unlike of this series’ nature to give us a happy ending. Instead, we get a tragedy for each character. Some are darker than others. But before we get to the tragic second act, let’s first address the confrontation at the castle of witchcraft and puppetry.

If there was any doubt that Vanessa Ives is anything but a force to be reckon with, there is none to be had when Evelyn Poole makes her face the Master. The Fallen Angel has taken possession of the eerie doll that bears Miss Ives’ resemblance and speaks with her voice as well. To the table, the Devil brings Vanessa an idyllic vision of a future with Ethan Chandler, complete with children and white linen. Vanessa proves herself stronger than that, spouting verbis diablo back at the figurine. Then she crushes the figurine and scorpions come out and I’m not sleeping a wink tonight, thank you very much. However the scorpions are her image, her own totem and talisman, and you can see that when one of them fuses with her hand.

Back in the stairs to the tower, Ethan has gone full lupus and ripped Sembene’s throat. RIP Sembene, a character with so much unfulfilled potential I almost hope he comes back in ghost form. In the room of broken dreams, Sir Malcolm and Dr. Frankenstein are facing their own demons in the faces of Malcolm’s deceased family and Victor’s reanimated one. They’re slowly succumbing to taking their own lives just as Evelyn’s hold on them wanes and the illusions vanish. The only other character to overcome adversity on his own other than Vanessa is Lyle, who kills one of the Nightcomers with his petite but deadly gun. It’s Lyle who also frees Malcolm and Victor.

Evelyn’s failure a fact, her pact is suddenly severed and her ageless beauty flees her. Hecate picks this moment to release a murderous Ethan in werewolf form so that he can make a beeline for the head witch, who ends with her throat brutally cut before she can make a move. The question of whether Evelyn had any fight left in her is moot. Malcolm kills the third witch and the entire group gathers at Sembene’s body.

It’s scarcely a victory. It feels more like a battle that finally quieted down and the consequences from the entire season are a heavy burden on each of our protagonists.

For Victor, he’s finally owned up to loving Lily – albeit in a twisted way that involves him taking a gun into Dorian Grey’s place and threatening him with it. The tables turned when Lily openly calls him her creator and shatters his idea that she loves him back. A shot rings out as Victor shoots her in the chest but she immediately admonishes him, “you made me better than that.” A mirror effect happens when Dorian steps in and receives a bullet as well. The new power couple in town call themselves the master race, and are willing to let Victor go just in case they need his services. They end it all dancing on a floor soaked with their own blood. Victor, utterly defeated, runs away to drug himself into a stupor.

I guess it’s time for the original monster to make his mark. John Grace, as it turns out, has been biding his time. The Putneys come calling with an offer to share some of the fee they intend to charge for making him their head attraction. They even mention some other possible companions for him (whether these will become part of Penny Dreadful’s universe is a bit of a long shot). But as the creature seems to calm down and listen in, he slowly approaches the bars and rest his hands on the door. Then he takes the door of its hinges and kills Ma and Pa Putney. It was the inevitable outcome, but as Lavitnia comes in speaking ill of who she thinks remains captive in the cell, the creature decides to just leave her to her fate. You can hear her screams as she discovers the bodies while Caliban leaves the museum for good.

For Ethan, things end much worse. Although Vanessa asks him to go with her after Malcolm leaves, the curious Mr. Chandler is of another mind. He’s decided to face the music and the noose and turns himself to Inspector Bartholomew Rusk. But his fate is even worse than fathomed, as Rusk reveals he’s got extradition papers to bring him back to America in a steel cage.

Vanessa Ives ends up alone after turning down one last minute invitation from John Clare to accompany him. She calls him the most human man she’s ever known. Is that true? Something tells me that the creature and his maker are not yet rid of each other. Perhaps Victor and Caliban should make an alliance against Dorian and Lily. Perhaps Dorian and Lily will be the villains next season.

Sir Malcolm ends up in a boat, destined for Africa with the body of Sembene. It’s too sad that we never let Sembene achieve his potential. Ethan ends up in a boat too, jailed inside a cage and constantly watched by Rusk and his men. Caliban also ends up atop a boat headed to the North Pole. Victor ends up a complete junkie. Vanessa ends up alone.

Highs/Lows

  • Yes, it was too much to expect for a happy or a mildly subdued ending. Instead, things end up quite depressing for most, terrible for others.
  • Sembene. Rest in peace. I somehow wished the character came back in ghost form to counsel Ethan in his darker times. Too Obi-Wan for Penny Dreadful? Perhaps.
  • You gotta bring Ferdinand Lyle back.
  • Ethan. I can’t believe he would resigned to his fate. Or are we going to have a third season where we see him in America? I’d rather not separate the storyline between continents.
  • John Grace / Caliban might be gone, but I completely expect him to return. Perhaps an alliance with Victor.
  • Dorian and Lily being a power couple. Would they turn into the villains of the third season? It’s time to out Dr. Frankenstein as Mr. Reanimator and explore what will come out of that with the rest.
  • Victor Frankenstein, junkie. I’d hate to see the character self-destruct into oblivion but who knows. To quote Lily, he might still have his uses or he would’ve been killed by Mr. and Mrs. Immortal.
  • Vanessa is alone in that house, her faith broken and now completely alone. Not a good thing if the Devil is still after you.
  • Hecate could be the only character that got what she really wanted. She burns down the castle and takes the tools from her mother with her. I don’t expect her to come back next season as the big bad, but she could be an asset. To which side, we’re not sure. Or we’ll never see her again.
  • Sadness all around but this isn’t Penny Cheerful, I guess. Still, a little more epicness in the second act would’ve helped me get psyched for the next season.

That will do for now.

(Source: Showtime)

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