Penny Dreadful

Season 1 Episode 5

Closer Than Sisters

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Jun 08, 2014 on Showtime
out of 10
User Rating
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Episode Summary


Vanessa recalls her past and the events that led to Mina's disappearance.

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  • One of the best

    In the top three of this season. In the top ten about everything that is brilliant on TV. All characters are most interesting, but Eva Green gives life to hers in the most visceral way.
  • Tough one

    This episode was.. brilliantly written, masterfully shot yet something was severely lacking.

    The thing that brought the episode down was the fact that it was simply the wrong time. They had gotten the ball rolling on the main plot, all the characters had an intriguing situation ahead of them and then we got an origin story that occupied a whole episode. Don't get me wrong, Vanessa is a very interesting character but it simply felt out of place. The only thing we really learned from the episode as well was more about who Peter was and what Vanessa's end goal is. The rest could've been deduced.

    The really difficult thing about having a 8-episode season is that even though you have so much to tell, you don't have the time. Had this been 12 episodes, even 10, I would've welcomed this edition.moreless
  • Wow...

    Eve Green... The story... The darkness. Simply amazing. Watch it.

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Vanessa: I don't remember clouds when we were young. Were there any, my dearest Mina? Just beyond the horizon, perhaps. Or was it all seashore and sand castles? Such a thought is naive, I know, but aren't memories always that?

    • Vanessa: I've always felt you have to name a thing before it comes alive. Like a witch's spell. His name is Ariel. The most challenging bit is the eyes. They're glass, of course. As by nature they're dead and dull. But that wouldn't do for my great predator. So I put mirrors behind the glass eyes so they would spark. You see?
      Branson: It's like they're alive.
      Vanessa: They are. I would put mirrors behind the entire world if I could.

    • Peter: Van. Oh, Van. Will she die?
      Claire: If there is a God.

    • The Demon: You could have shut the door at any time. You still can. Right now. Will you?
      Vanessa: Yes.
      The Demon: And give up everything we could have together? The true knowledge of man's virtue as well as his sin? The power? The sight beyond this world?
      Vanessa: I want nothing beyond this world.
      The Demon: Don't lie to me. You've always been drawn to the deep ocean. To the dark whisper. The mirror behind the glass eyes. To life with its fullest. Will you close that door now?

    • Vanessa: I know you do not credit it.
      Malcolm: You know nothing of me. Do you know how many men I've killed? In Africa we walked in blood every step. There was a time I would have gladly killed you. And there may come a time when I gladly shall. But for now I can make use of you.
      Vanessa: And no more?
      Malcolm: What else? Forgiveness? Go to your Roman Church for that, you'll find none here.
      Vanessa: Have you imagined for one moment what this has been for me? An unforgivable transgression that has marked me for life. You think you've suffered? You think you know blood? You think you've walked on corpses? Spread them from here to the horizon, and I have walked further. You weak, foul, lustful, vainglorious man. How dare you speak to me of death?

  • NOTES (2)


    • Young Vanessa: This is Ariel, from Shakespeare.
      Referencing the magical creature from Shakespeare's The Tempest. Ariel is a winged spirit imprisoned and then freed by Prospero. In return for its freedom, Ariel serves Prospero and is granted its freedom at the end of the play.