Penny Dreadful Recap S01E07: Possession

Vanessa awakens in Malcolm's study. She speaks about the death, and how in some places the dead are prettied up and photographed for men’s spank banks. As she almost purrs about it, Malcolm asks if she remembers her episode the previous night. She’s been asleep since. She asks who dressed her, if he did like he did when she was a child. But he never dressed her, he was always away. It’s Mina inside her, as she talks about her mother weeping over him, missing him as he whored around the continent. She wants to hear about those women, but not Mrs. Ives, she knows all about him. He tells her to stop, but she continues talking about his screwing the natives, making his son screw them along side him even though he didn’t want to, but Peter did anything to please his father. Things start flying about the room, as Vanessa gets out of control, and Sembene is forced to come in and pimp slap her. He carts her off as Malcolm looks over the damage.

Vanessa awakes again. She stares at herself in the mirror, apologizing to Dr. Frankenstein that he has come all this way for no reason. Vanessa claims to be well, but Frankenstein isn’t buying. He checks her vitals, asking about her lip. Sembene’s sedation is a little rough. Everything looks good, as Frankenstein presses her for more information as to what happened downstairs. She doesn’t know what happened, there is usually violence when she goes away. Neither favor an asylum, thankfully. Eva hungers, and notices Frankenstein’s clean hands. She wonders if that is why she’s a virgin, and she tries to pull Frankenstein into her trap. He is scared, and pulls away. She asks if he knows a greater demon. His examination is far from over he tells her as he leaves.

Malcolm has called a meeting. It’s happened before, but he isn’t sure why they happen. Frankenstein asks if she experienced sexual trauma, if she’s intact. Malcolm has no clue. Vanessa has a deep seated psychosexual projection that is manifesting in shame. Malcolm only knows that she was out with a man that evening. Frankenstein reasons that Vanessa’s episodes are caused by guilt over some sexual act. As he touches one of her tarot cards a spider crawls over his hand. He drops the card and the table is swarming with spiders. Malcolm and Frankenstein look at it in horror as the spiders pour onto the floor. Vanessa’s screams pierce the air.

She continues to scream as Ethan arrives. Malcolm meets hi9m at the door, and Ethan is armed. They find Vanessa on the floor, stripped down to her undergarments, grunting. She asks for forgiveness, that she’s not herself. Vanessa is fighting the thing inside for control. She asks him if he fucked Dorian, or if Dorian fucked him. She concludes that Dorian fucked him, and asks if he enjoyed it. She tells him that they’ll Brona, that she already knows the boy. He screwed her too as she bled, tells him to have her show the pictures. Malcolm calls for the sedatives.  It takes three of them to sedate her as Ethan looks on in shock.

Ethan asks what’s wrong with Vanessa. Malcolm tells him that she’s possessed by the Devil, or a devil. Her problem is outside of Frankenstein’s normal scope of practices. Based on the Egyptologist, Malcolm thinks that she’s fighting an incarnation of Amon-Et, and if she gains control it will be disastrous unleashing untold horrors. Ethan wants to get a priest to exercise her, but Frankenstein says that it would do them as much good to get the a witch doctor, or an old gypsy woman. They cannot bring anyone else in. For now they have to keep her alive and let her fight this thing. She told him once that in the end they only have the people the trust, and she trusts them. Malcolm asks Ethan to stay, and he will. He asks if Malcolm understood what Vanessa said to him at the end in a whisper, she said let me die.

Vanessa fights the thin g inside of her, and the men try to keep her sedated. They bathe and care for her, and nights pass. Only her screams of anguish pierce the night. She rocks, and fights, and it takes a toll on all of them as they struggle to help her. Frankenstein finds solstice in drugs he injects into himself. Ethan sits by her bedside. Vanessa awakens, normal sounding. She’s been sleeping for the most part of a week. He tells her that she did wake up and got feisty on occasion, which does not surprise her. He hesitates at handing her a glass of water, and she promises not to hurt him. Frankenstein had suggested restraints, and she smiles at that. Vanessa confides in him that it feels like an animal scratching at her insides trying to get out. She doesn’t remember everything, but she knows that he’s been kind. Everyone has been, but not like him. Vanessa admits that she might have fallen in love with him, and he tells her that she still might. She tells him that when the moment comes, to pull the trigger, the other won’t be able to. He will send her to heaven, but admits that he believes in the other place more, a place where he was flung when her cunt of a God cast him out. Ethan turns dark before her eyes. It’s not Ethan, but her old friend. She doesn’t like this game, she doesn’t want to give him a name again, forever hiding his face in another. He draws close, telling her his biggest fear is greatness never achieved. Vanessa will not surrender. He threatens to kill her, and she’s ready for death. He’s sure she can’t resist him forever, but she’s willing to try. He threatens to kill everyone downstairs, and she will not submit, because her soul would still be her own. The darkness wants her to be his demon bride, the mother of his children, ruler of his world where there is no more pain because there are no more hearts to eat. Together they could conquer god and rule over his throne. Vanessa falls into his kiss, listens to his heart’s sweet music as Sembene sits outside her door.

Ethan isn’t in the room at all, he’s in Malcolm’s study, twirling Brona’s necklace. Malcolm asks again about his proposition to go to Africa, and Ethan wonders if he’s trying to relive his glory days. Malcolm isn’t running from his past, like Ethan is though, and he isn’t ashamed of it. Ethan delivers a low blow, pointing out Peter’s death was his fault. Malcolm asks if Ethan knows why he must go to Africa, but Ethan has a case of cabin fever and doesn’t care. He tells Ethan how he found his son nearly eaten away by insects, and placed the body for safe keeping but had to continue his quest. He tells himself that he’s going back to bring his body home, but not even he believes it.

Vanessa’s shrieks interrupt, as she scratches the walls until her fingers bled. She goes into another trance, contorting. Her flesh is ripped into, and she tries to scratch off her own skin. Malcolm asks that she be restrained before she kills herself, and they sedate her once more.

Frankenstein sedates himself with morphine. He tells Malcolm its an addiction. Malcolm leaves him, but Frankenstein is not alone. Proteus lurks outside. Ethan reports that Vanessa is asleep, it’s the best thing for her. Frankenstein admits that for all their efforts they may still have to let her go. He asks Ethan his beliefs, he himself believes in everything but God. Ethan doesn’t think that Malcolm is being completely honest with them. He knows that Malcolm wants her to live, but not why. Frankenstein reasons that she’s like his daughter, but Ethan knows that’s not the true at all. He tells him that the saddest thing he ever saw was the Indian wars, how they white washed the Indians, took their identities from them. The worse was when one of these children would make it back to their tribes, they forgot their stories, their language and were outcast. These children did not fit into either world, like Ms. Ives. Frankenstein asks what they did, and Ethan tells him that they roam and they die. Frankenstein goes to look out at his creature again, and notices that its snowing. He asks Ethan for a favor.

Ethan teaches Frankenstein how to shoot a gun. He’s a very good teacher, or Frankenstein is a natural. Frankenstein hits all of his marks. He tells Ethan to play too, and Ethan fires with flare. Sembene breaks up the fun, since Malcolm is inquiring about the noise.

Another bout of hysterics on Vanessa’s part leave her restrained. It further brings down the hopes of the men. Ethan cooks a mighty fine meal, bringing a plate to Sembene who sits on sentry duty. He picked up the skill on the road. Ethan asks for his story, but Sembene claims to have none. He thinks that Malcolm saved his life and he owes him, or Sembene says that he saved his and now he’s responsible for him. Ethan believes it’s the same thing, and they’re all responsible in the end, even for Vanessa. Sembene thinks that they should call a Priest. He believes in everything.

Vanessa stays chained. Malcolm sits by her bed. He goes to her, trying to reach her. He knows she’s somewhere inside. He asks if she can hear her, and she answers him. He knows that she’s in a special place, somewhere between life and death, just like Mina is. He asks her to reach out to Mina, it may be their only chance. She sees that he allowed this to happen, just for this chance. She breaks down into tears over Malcolms cruelty, as he coos for her to find her. Ethan puts an end to it, and get Malcolm away from her. Ethan wants it all to end now, and to get Vanessa a priest. Frankenstein knows that the battle is over, that she is dying, and they need to accept that. They should give her what she wants. Then they should get a catholic priest to deliver last rites and exorcise her so she can lead them to Mina, Malcolm reasons. Frankenstein cannot believe his callousness. Ethan only sees that he has a girl dying inside, telling Malcolm that if he wants a daughter, she’s in that room. Malcolm orders the priest. Ethan swears that if Vanessa is right, if he allowed all of that to happen to manipulate her that he will rip his throat out.

Malcolm asks Frankenstein to give him something to stay awake. Frankenstein gives him a cocaine durative, but it makes an increase for narcotics. There is so much he doesn’t remember because of drugs, his son died because of him. Peter asked once for him to name a mountain after him, and after he died, Malcolm didn’t give him a second thought when he named mountains. He has no shed of decency left.

The priest has arrived. Malcolm tries to give Father Matthews the low down on Vanessa’s condition, but he doesn’t need to hear any of the whys he’s there, only that she was baptized and in good standing with her church. Malcolm admits that he wanted him to do more, that she may be possessed, but Father Matthews tells them that exorcisms are strictly forbidden without permission, and none will be granted. He can do little. Frankenstein is outraged, he tells the father to deliver the last rites and get out. He heads upstairs to do his duty and nothing more. Malcolm leads the way.

Vanessa is in the same grunting trance state she has been in, and Father Matthews is shocked to see it. Malcolm urges him to do what he came to do, and Ethan gets him a chair up close to Vanessa. Father Matthews prepares as Vanessa watches him warily. She is a faithful catholic, and when he asks for her confession she talks about other Matthews she knew and lured in. Vanessa springs forward biting a chunk from the Father’s cheek, and throwing off her shackles. She jumps to the ground on all four, stalking towards them. She leaps onto the wall above, and towards Malcolm. Ethan restrains her, telling the others to leave as the windows break. They scurry out. Ethan draws his gun on her, but he can’t do it. He begs her to come back, and she begs him to do it, to kill her. He places the gun against her chest, and he gives her exercises the demon himself with the help of Brona’s medallion. The deom fights to keep possession, but Ethan prevails. Vanessa falls to the ground.

Ethan walks out of the room, down the stairs and out of the house.

Malcolm finds Vanessa sleeping peacefully in the bed.

Vanessa hears voices, she sees sites of Mina. Plays and blood. Vanessa awakens. She goes down to Malcolm in the sunlight. He tells her that she should be in bed. She knows where Mina is.


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