Penny Dreadful Recap S1E3: Resurrection

The Intro to Penny Dreadful seems longer this week, and it’s still a thing of absolute horror and beauty, the two perfectly entwined.

A young boy looks at daffodils, he looks like a young Dr. Frankenstein as he walks through them, thinking about all that he has seen and cannot unsee. It is young Victor, he’s found his dog already dead and being eaten by maggots. He ponders death, and if it is truly the ending of things. His mother thinks perhaps it is the beginning of something else as she tucks him into his bed. They will both miss his dog they lament, and she coughs blood all over his poor little frightened face. Consumption sucks. The maids rush about to help her, and Victor wonders if his mother will die. Death is not serene he notes as she struggles in its throes. Soon after she’s buried, and so Victor’s love affair with death and understanding it begins.

Now, Victor’s first born has returned. His first monster has found him, and he would find him no matter where he ran. The monster orders him to stand and face him, to comment on the face that he made. Victor cannot utter a word as he cries.

The monster woke in pain, his birth was difficult. He was born in sheer terrified agony, thrashing about. He wasn’t the golden child like Proteus, he was an abomination. He wailed, and beat against his father, drove Frankenstein from the room in fear. His first human interaction was one of rejection, and so he has loathed humans. He waited, and his creator never returned. Eventually he pulled himself together; he stopped screaming, and looked at the world from the upstairs window. That window became his everything, his tutor. He saw the way people interacted with eachother, how animals were treated, and thought himself an animal as well. He waxes on eloquently, about learning words through the books that Frankenstein left behind. He learned that his creator valued poetry and beautiful things, but he was neither. Fraankenstein’s monster could not be the idealistic thing that he knew his father wanted to create, he was too hard for that, the world is too hard. The monster asks who is the child, as he strangles his father. He tells him that he ran from him once, but never again. They will be inseparable. Victor barely manages to squeak out a how could you. The monster did it as a mercy. Aborting the creation before he could experience the pain life would bring.

Vanessa’s spidey senses feel a presence. She begins to hear the noises of the jungle before she sees Mina. Mina asks for her help, she tells her that the things around her are hungry, and asks that Vanessa save her before she disappears. Oh, Vanessa, don’t mess with one of Dracula’s brides.

The Monster asks if Frankenstein wants to hear the rest of their story. He knew he would find Frankenstein again engaged in cutting flesh, so he came to London. The city did not welcome the Monster with open arms. In a single night he learned humanities cruelty and kindness. He was beaten, and when he took refuge, and was discovered a man offered him a drink, mistakening him for a man injured in a factory. The man declares that he will buy the prospectless monster dinner. Over dinner the man yammers about his own downfall, not an industrial accident, but Shakespeare becoming less in demand. The man offers him a job, in the theatre. The theatre has fallen from its once prominent position with so many interested in Ibson, and the man takes him through the stage entrance. The theatre is presenting the Penny Dreadful: Sweeney Todd. The Monster will be the new stage rat, and he may even live in the theater. He accepts the offer. The man asks the Monster his name, but he gives no answer. The man takes pity on him, and names him Caliban from shakespeare’s the Tempest, though he tells him in their version Caliban eats Prospero. The man showed the Monster what kindness was, and he found hope. Night after night the players died gruesomely, and came back for the next show. He found that the theatre was the perfect home. The actors. they were creatures of perpetualness, like he was. He was strong, and fast, the perfect worker. His job gave him the freedom at night to find Frankenstein, and he did find him with his younger brother. He asks if the Dr felt him near, and the Dr asks what he wants from him. Frankenstein knows the monster wanted him to suffer, and he has. He’s even sorry for abandoning him, for inflicting such cruelty upon him, but he cannot unmake the past. The monster is not concerned about the past, only the future. He asks his creator to rise and walk with him, and that he will show him what he wants.

Ethan found a way to get Brona in his bed. He turns the sex into a slow love making affair, but it still leaves her coughing up a lung. He asks her if she has medicine for her lungs, but she doesn’t want to waste her money on that.

Malcolm and Vanessa pour over maps when Sembene announces Ethan’s arrival. Ethan is in need of money, and he will work for it. He’s willing to do whatever, which is perfect as Vanessa is looking to go on an expedition. She asks if the money is to go home. It isn’t. There’s nothing for him back in the States, only legal problems. Ethan asks if they’ve found Malcolm’s daughter, and Vanessa admits that she came to her, that she’s sensitive to things beyond their world, and notes that Ethan doesn’t question that. Ethan knows there is much to question, but not her abilities. Vanessa tries to explain what she’s planning, but Ethan wants to know about Mina first. Vanessa tells him that Mina was working as a governess, and was engaged to Jonathan when she became involved with a man who was not a man and enslaved her. Vanessa doesn’t know the man, but she thinks she knows where Mina is.

Caliban and Frankenstein walk the streets together. Caliban has learned a lot since he was created. He knows that his sibling was sweeter in temperament and learned quicker than he did, but he points out that he had a teacher. Frankenstein tells Caliban that he had a name, one he gave himself, Proteus. Frankenstein again asks Caliban what he wants from him. Caliban still wants his creator to look at him, and he does asking again. Caliban tells him that he knows what he wants. There are needs in life, food, shelter, even poetry, but he wants something bigger. He wants love. Frankenstein tells him that he cannot love him, but Caliban does not want his love. The monster tells him to look around to take his pick. He wishes to have an immortal bride, one like him everlasting. And if Caliban cannot have what he wants he will become Frankenstein’s worst nightmare. Frankenstein thinks he is only threatening him with death, but he is threatening him with a more tormented life. He warns Frankenstein that he has not known horror until he has shown it to him.

Malcolm, Vanessa, Sembene and Ethan head out to find Mina with only Vanessa’s interpretation of Mina’s signs. Malcolm warns that Vanessa’s gifts make her an asset, and desirable. Ethan asks to whom, but Malcolm refuses to answer. They carry on. Malcolm feels “his” presence. It lurks close, and Vanessa knows that there is something wrong. She asks what hasn’t she been told. Growling from a large wolf, maybe a werewolf, is close by. Ethan draws his pistols first. Sembene and Malcolm have their weapons drawn, but Ethan cautions them not to fire, not move, for Vanessa not to turn her head. The wolf walks past, and joins a group of three others. He uncocks his hammer, and removes his glove, offering his hand to the beast. The growling wolf approaches, takes his offered hand into his mouth and leaves. The foursome are free to proceed ahead. A monkey chitters ahead, and there's dead carcasses inside of one cage. A man is eating the animals within. When he draws up to attach Vanessa, Ethan knocks him out. Malcolm stops Ethan from shooting him. Some chains are in order.

Sembene sits watch outside. Malcolm question the wolf, Fenton, downstairs. He knows Vanessa, and when he’s asked how he knows that he wolfs out a bit, growling at them. Malcolm continues his questioning asking where his master is. Fenton tells him that his master is behind him. He’s all around and soon all light will end, and the world will be plunged into darkness and the hidden ones will rule. Vanessa asks if he knows the name Mina. He knows the name Vanessa, tells her that mother will punish her, calls her cocksucking whore. Malcolm again asks for his master, but Fenton only wants to eat poor creatures. Malcolm strikes him , asking the same question over and over as he strikes him, but Fenton gives him nothing. Frankenstein joins the torture party.

Malcolm reasons that it’s the first real connection to Mina, but Ethan isn’t so sure torture is going to get the answers that he seeks. Frankenstein asks if killing redskins is better, and Ethan asks how he knew that. He didn’t. Malcolm turns them back to the matter at hand. Frankenstein asks about the subject he was promised, if they sought a cure. Vanessa asks a cure for what. He needs to make a proper examination, but he suspects the ailment is psychological, the physiological symptoms brought one by the mind. He will try a transfusion to get rid of the toxins. Ethan suddenly cannot stomach the ideal of experimenting on the kid when they aren’t torturing him. Vanessa suggests that he leave. They’ve been brutalized in life, which has made them brutal in return. She tells him that there is no going back from this point. Malcolm tells them that they proceed as one from here on out, that they all pledge to go as far as their souls allow. Malcolm again gives Ethan an out, but he’s in with Vanessa, and she’s in with him as well. Since they’re compacted, she has a question. She asks Malcolm, about the zoo, if he knew that Mina was not there. He felt it, as he felt that the creature did not want Mina, but Vanessa instead. Vanessa asks what happens now, but he isn’t sure. Vanessa isn’t pleased to hear that she was bait.

Ethan tells Vanessa where he’s staying, and she asks why there of all places, but she knows its because of a girl. Ethan tells her about Brona, that her name means sadness in Gaelic. She asks if she lives up to the name, but he can’t tell. He admits that she has consumption, and Vanessa knows that she will, that everyone she’s a lost cause.

Malcolm tells Frankenstein that he spoke with a hematologist about silver. Frankenstein plans to come with supplies for a transfusion. He warns that once a life is transformed, that they become responsible for it, that every change they make brings them closer to it. How very Fox in his reasoning. Frankenstein only hopes that he can survive his dreams.

Fenton feels his master’s presence close, and he takes comfort in it.


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