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Penny Dreadful S01E08: "Grand Guignol"

There's just something about Penny Dreadful that makes me want to elevate my language into the more poetic, elegant English of Victorian literature: Aye, gorblimey guvnuh that Eva Green is a right brilliant totty, cheers jolly good. Just kidding, I don't know what any of that means, I can barely speak American let alone anything approaching the frequently next-level vocabulary of Penny Dreadful. Regardless, no discussion about this instant classic series can start anywhere other than how amazing Eva Green is. Eva Green is perfect basically. Her intense, frightening, eerily cool, tour-de-force performance was the centerpiece of Penny Dreadful and is what held together an otherwise unwieldy monster like the tightest of stitches. I'm not saying we should give Eva Green all of the awards for her work here, but if she doesn't win them then awards are MEANINGLESS.

Because Eva Green is a national treasure. For what nation, you ask? The nation of TV. In which I am currently a political prisoner, long story.

Penny Dreadful wrapped up its eight-episode introduction with "Grand Guignol" and I do mean "introduction" rather than season in that it was about as audaciously open-ended as viewers can be reasonably expected to put up with. It didn't even bother explaining the killings that opened the first two episodes! The entirely too brief season felt at best like a particularly riveting prologue to the madness that will surely follow, and I don't mean that as a bad thing, necessarily. The slow-burn pleasures of Penny Dreadful meant it was less a cheap-o, rip-roarin' yarn like the title suggests and more a macabre tone poem. To be fair, at least one major plotline was tied up in the finale—Mina's fate—but for the most part this season was more about revealing the dark corners of the characters' backstories. Where I assumed Penny Dreadful's disparate elements would congeal into something approaching a league of monster-hunters, it ended up more an examination of a found family. Well, a particularly dysfunctional one, at least. But family for sure.

When it comes to expectations, it could be argued that "Grand Guignol"'s lack of surprise was one of its biggest surprises. For example, did anybody not see Ethan's wolfman twist coming from a mile away? Ever since he communed with wolves at the London zoo it was telegraphed so explicitly that he had lupine abilities that you'd be forgiven for discounting it out of hand for being TOO obvious. Same with Brona's consumption happening to coincide with The Creature's demand for a female counterpart. There was absolutely nothing surprising about seeing her corpse lying prone on Frankenstein's table, but the circumstances of his decision to murder her certainly were. And while Mina's eventual death was also telegraphed by frequent discussions about whether she was beyond redemption or not (and then Vanessa's epistolary promise to her that she loved her enough to murder her), it was Sir Malcolm's cold-blooded decision to murder Mina in order to save Vanessa that packed a punch. A classic The Good Son ending! I certainly wish that stand-off had seemed more epic, but in another sense I'm just glad that Vanessa and Sir Malcolm have cemented their dysfunctional father-daughter bond. Plus, when he intones that "I already have a daughter," it had the nice double-meaning in that she might literally be his daughter. (Sir Malcolm loved to get busy in the hedge maze with Vanessa's mom.) But yeah, it's all mere suggestion at this point; a talking point for a future season, as are most of Penny Dreadful's plotlines.

It's a comfort to know that Penny Dreadful has already been renewed for a second season, if only due to the sheer number of loose ends and storylines still to be explored. Like I mentioned, who exactly was the ripper-killer from the opening episodes? Is Vanessa really a reincarnation of an Egyptian goddess? Is the demon within her dormant, and is IT what's responsible for her clairvoyance? (The priest in the final scene heavily implied that she's better off keeping the demon inside her lest she become too basic.) Why is Ethan fluent in Latin? What does his full wolfman getup look like? Will Dracula look even scarier than his scary vampire henchmen and their scary vampire wraiths that look like Sheri Moon Zombie? Will we ever see Dorian Grey's painting? Will Dorian Grey finish seducing all the rest of the characters? What's Sembene's deal? Did he accidentally fall asleep on a waffle iron? And why the sudden reintroduction of the psychic woman from the earlier séance scene? Why was she buying a pistol? Will we ever see Proteus again? And most importantly, will Undead Brona still talk like that? Guys, I got questions!

But, you know, maybe Penny Dreadful isn't really about answers. From its set design and production and elegiac music, this thing isn't like anything else on TV. It's, more than anything, an escape. It's an exercise in mood and emotion, no matter how confusing. I'm constantly complaining about TV shows spoon-feeding us exposition, but Penny Dreadful's lack of information bordered on impenetrable at times. It's saying something when we didn't even fully know Vanessa's relationship to Sir Malcolm until Episode 6's hourlong flashback episode. But that's why Penny Dreadful was such a success: It engaged our brains and haunted our hearts and kept us wondering—or nightmarin'!—all along. And, you know, Eva Green. Because OMG Eva Green.

Seriously, Eva Green.

Great first season. More of an appetizer than a meal, but what an appetizer. I truly miss it already.

What question(s) do YOU most want answered in Season 2?

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 6/19/2016

Season 3 : Episode 9

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Proteus is dead. Just a really late FYI.

The finalé to me was great and it really opened up a bunch of questions, doors if you will. I'm happy to say I will eagerly anticipate season 2 even though season 1 had it's ups and downs. One thing no one can take from this is the fact that the acting was tremendous.

On the question of the Ripper killings, I was under the assumption that that might've been the work of Ethan's wolfy persona but I would prefer to see Jack the Ripper make a debut in season 2.
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It's pretty clear that we are meant to believe that Ethan as the werewolf committed the murders in the first two episodes. There is a lot of evidence that he did, not the least being that during his absinthe-fueled flashback he sees scenes from the murders that, presumably, only the killer could have seen. However, I still think there is a slight possibility that the killer (or at least one of the killers) is Mr. Hyde. I note here that the inspector said the murderer took various body parts from the victims. Admittedly, the werewolf may simply have eaten these, but it is possible that the killer had uses for those parts. If so, then's it probably not the werewolf. Right now, though, the weight of the evidence is that Ethan committed the murders.
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Ok. here's the deal. I like Penny Dreadful but I'm not sure why. I'm all for a show taking it's time and building up the characters but for me PD took it a bit too far. I think it's too much to ask for character development and some build up but also to have some action and a pay off of some kind at the end of the season - True Detective spent roughly 2 thirds of the season in flashback and it only had a six episode run. But I still felt satisfied at the end. Fargo is another great example. Maybe it's a bit unfair to compare these shows to Pd as they have a finite 1 season arc whereas Pd is in it for the long haul. someone other people below have commented on how unsatisfying the action sequences were and I find myself agreeing as the villains went down too easily and it never feels like the heroes are in any real peril. I love the cast but it does feel like most of them are underused, and Eva does save the show. I'm surprised to find myself writing this because as I say I really do like the show - I've been eagerly waiting for it ever since the concept was first mentioned on this site before it went into production. but I feel a bit let down. Let's hope that, now all the backstory is out of the way and the characters established, that we get a bit more 'bang for our buck.' For starters they really need to sort out a decent villain, someone really menacing, and put the characters into more peril.
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Either these writers are really cocky or they got Vanessa to do a reading for the future of the show - Billie Piper has been in full monster garb in a the promo shots for the show but she doesn't die until the last episode of the season?

I'm torn with regards to Ethan's character. On one hand he is kind and loving but on the other hand from what I can see he has made no attempt whatsoever to restrain himself during the full moon. He's let his inner wolf run wild ripping apart families and now a pub full of innocent bystanders. What a douche.
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My question is "When are the vampires on the show going to at least harm one of the members of the group when they attack them?" Seems like whenever they get attacked by vampires everyone escapes without even a scratch, nevermind a bite.
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I thought it was pretty obvious that Ethan, who the finale confirmed is a werewolf, is probably the one responsible for killing the mother and daughter in the opening scenes of the first episode.

I hope they do more with Dorian Gray's character next season. He's been horribly misused/underused so far. He's pretty much amounted to nothing more than a booty call for our "main" characters. It's such a waste since the character has huge potential and the actor is fantastic.

I think Victor's "murder" of Brona was a mercy killing. He knew she didn't have long to live anyway so he saw fit to end her suffering. On the other hand, he obviously intended to use her as a "subject". Maybe another reason was that he didn't want the disease to cause further damage to her body. I don't know. I think Victor is one of the most complex and, therefore, unpredictable characters on the show. He's definitely one of my favorites.

I don't know if Sir Malcolm was redeemed in my eyes even after the big emotional climax where he finally decided to let go of Mina and accept Vanessa as a daughter. He's been such a douche. It's so hard to like him. They've taken the character past a certain point and there might be no turning back now. Maybe the writers/producers thought that Timothy Dalton's charisma could carry Sir Malcolm through but, sadly, I don't think it's working out.
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I really liked the finale! Dorian getting dumped by Vanessa was sad, and she really should've explained the issue more thoroughly. And seeing Ethan wolf out on the Pinkerton guys was classic. I felt that this episode really tightened the entire season. My main critique is Mina. I feel she was the weakest part of the entire story, and wish they had done more with that plot line.
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* This show's 'found family' is like the Scoobies in Buffy the Vampire Slayer if all the characters were terrible people who are mostly together because of how terrible they are. And if say Giles was paying the other members a lot more than they would otherwise get doing something else.

* Dracula being alive still is a good thing for the show; without that, it seems the world would be better off with all these people dead.

* Just how tough if Caliban supposed to be? Victor Frankenstein knows what this group was dealing with. If they can kill vampires, if Vanessa Ives is that scary that even vampires are intimidated by her, surely they can kill Caliban. Riddle Caliban with bullets and then decapitate him. There's no indication he's tougher than a vampire.

* Vanessa's attracted to a soulless immortal and she's attracted to a werewolf. She's essentially the mistress of the Devil and she's The One for Dorian Gray and for Ethan Hunt. Yea for romance!

* It's interesting to think of this entire season as an introductory season. Kinda like an extra long Battlestar Galatica miniseries.

* There are still problems in what we don't know about these people.

We don't know Sir Malcolm Murray's background. He is only rich because he's an explorer? Why were the Ives' rich? This is set in Victorian London and class was a HUGE issue. Mina Murry was going to marry some officer and she was excited about going to live in India.

Sir Malcolm, Vanessa, and Dorian are portrayed as being the top of society. But it's possible none are even members of The Ton (the top ten thousand people in the United Kingdom). They simply have money.

We still don't know much about Ethan.
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I always assumed Sir Malcolm was Allan Quatermain but given a different name so as not to seem like the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
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Pretty sure that the killings that happened in the first two episodes are due to Ethan (Josh Hartnett). Outside the house the opening killing occurred at, the woman seemed to recognise him and he shied away. I was sure he would be a werewolf (so many signs!), but the revelation in the final the final piece in the puzzle that locked the opening deaths into place (for me at least!)
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All I want to know is…where is Mr. Hyde???
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Kinda hoping next season focuses on the Egyptian angle and waves of mummys like the scenes from "The Mummy" trilogy. All we got this season were multiple dark close-quarter skirmishes with crazy women who were apparently somewhat harmless unless they came in bunches of a dozen or more.
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"Kinda hoping next season focuses on the Egyptian angle and waves of mummys like the scenes from "The Mummy" trilogy."

Oh dear god I hope not.
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P.S. I really liked the scene with the priest at the end and the show's choice to end on it, especially the closing line.
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While there was definitely some stumbling along the way--such as a lot of the Creature's arc--it all coalesced nicely at the end. The finale hit a series of predictable beats, yes, but most of them with panache. We knew that Frankenstein would eventually end up making his Creature a bride, but the way in which he came to the decision (and ended Brona's life) was interesting. Likewise, Sir Malcolm FINALLY getting over himself and accepting Vanessa as his true daughter was an important moment. We even got to see a bit of Ethan warging out after it was set up all season... I was beginning to worry that they'd delay it until next season.

Lest I be remiss in not mentioning it, Eva Green's performance was (of course) fantastic. She really was the glue that held the first season together through some inconsistent moments. If her and Aden Young (of Rectify) don't win SOME kind of award this year, then TV awards are completely meaningless.

Overall, I am pleased with the first season and where it went, despite it taking its sweet time to get there. Now that the characters have been firmly established, I look forward to seeing where things go in season two!
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Can't believe that you did this whole thing w/out mentioning how awesome it is that Ethan is a Teen Wolf werewolf and not a dog.
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You thought Ethan was a dog? Seriouly?
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This is ancient, sorry! But, no, I never thought that he was an actual dog. Price, in his recaps of shows like True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals and the great Teen Wolf has mentioned how much he hates it when shows use real wolves for werewolves who "wolf out" instead of putting the actors in make-up. Ethan having a Teen Wolf-style transformation instead of a True Blood-style one was something I'd thought he would comment on.
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Glad thats over, now I can focus on TYRANT.
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Boom! I called Ethan as the "American Werewolf in London" quite a while ago. Knew it!!
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of course, because the werewolf was the only classic monster missing from the collage, but I'll think of you as a genius from no on, if you like.
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So what's up with the sleeping vampires?

They don't go out during the day. The two times the LEGOs find them at night, they're sleeping in their lairs.

It's hard to be scared of bad guys who can't get out of bed.
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One more flaw amongst the many. PD looked fantastic early on. Ray Donovan mustve gone over budget. Something definitely went wrong .
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I have enjoyed this opening season, but I have to say the last few episodes felt flat IMO.
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Is there an echo in here?
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I thought it was an OK finale to a show that initially promised more that it ended up delivering and I think part of this is the musical chairs of directors (4 directors involved at a rate of 2 episodes each). There was good stuff:
  • Good closing on the Mina plot - Sir Malcolm somewhat redeemed by 'adopting' (or indeed acknowledging?) Vanessa rather than pursue the crazy dream of getting Mina back. Mina is lost and for good.
  • That still leaves the issue of the Master still skulking around looking for his bride presumably Vanessa who I hope won't get an exorcism... Episode 7 was enough of that...
  • Finally Ethan comes out as the werewolf. I still don't think he killed the woman and his daughter. He is a wild animal perhaps on a full moon but I hope not a random killer
  • Brona died so we don't have to listen to that terrible accent or see that terrible character / actress (a TV abomination). Unfortunately she is not staying dead (that is part of the not so good stuff)
Not so good stuff
  • Brona is going to be Caliban's bride. Ugh. So we are not rid of her then? Apart from personal dislike of the actress & character, surely the doctor could have picked someone else? Didn't he have access to any other female corpse? How does it make sense that he picks Ethan's girlfriend? Won't Ethan have a problem with the doc's plans to make her an immortal and marry her to Caliban? Sounds like the makings of a soap opera that I don't want to see...
  • Dorian cried... that was cruel of Vanessa to spell out what he was feeling... As a character Dorian was a bit underused (but he did provide the element of nudity and sex that seems to now be required in any supernatural show on cable) but perhaps there is hope for next season? His veiled allusion to immortality (15 years a blink of the eye) is perhaps a teaser...
  • Talking of teaser, why don't we know more about Sembene? I don't want a full episode on his back story if it is going to be like that awful Mina-Vanessa episode but perhaps the guy could be a little more talkative or someone could give us a bio?
  • The whole theatre soapy drama with Caliban and the 'ingenue' was beyond cliche though hopefully we'll never see them again.
Overall still one of my favourite new shows - not without flaws for sure but I am definitely watching season 2. And yeah, Eva Green was amazing in Penny Dreadful just like she was in the under-rated Dark Shadows where she is a very naughty witch. The whole cast was pretty good minus Brona I'd say.
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I'm pretty sure that Ethan Chandler was responsible for the mutilations/killings
An amazing season, though I agree it was more introductory than anything. I'm so happy that that vampire Malcolm killed wasn't Dracula, that would have been way too anticlimactic.
My biggest problem, and I've seen others agree, was Dorian's lack of involvement with the plot. He was essentially a plot device to trigger the demon, beyond that, he's not really involved with anything
Here's hoping for Jekyll/Hyde for season 2!
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I have nothing to add to your questions, you asked what I want to know and even more! I will also join you worshipping Eva Green because she was a total scene stealer in every episode.

I loved the show and the season finale was so good. I'm so happy that it was renewed. Even though we still have tons of questions, I really don't care, I don't think I'm hooked to this show because I was hoping for exciting answers, I'm hooked because it's a beautiful show all around. Acting, dialogues, characters, sets, everything was top notch. And yes, we were all guessing what Ethan was and what would happen to Brona, and I too think they're probably father/daughter.

I have to say, I thought the least interesting character was Caliban, but I feel like Brona will make him more interesting next season. I just can't wait for new episodes!!!
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Here's hoping when Brona rises as Caliban's bride that she doesn't have that horrible accent anymore.
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PHEW!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Penny Dreadful journey finally comes to an end....The Finale was an okay one they finally show us that indeed Ethan is bad ass he can shoot real good and he's a wolf too how sexy! so Mr Gray has never been rejected hmmm sorry dude yo ass just got dumped...Finally the highlight of the Night MINA dies finally was so tired of Mina this, Mina that...Truth be told i loved this season so now my heart is jumping with joy waiting for The Strain
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First, the real horror is the lack of captioned recaps. I had to check 3 times to be sure this was Price.

Second, it is not a coincidence that Price went from reviewing the 1st two episodes to the last... because very little happens in between. Actually, to be fair the 1st four episodes or so move things along, albeit slowly, but last half of the "season" (I still have some difficulty considering 10 episodes a season) has essentially no momentum. In fact, I distinctly recall thinking, when watching episode 5, that the dedicating an episode to a flashback was a really bad idea and completely killed the momentum of the show. The show basically never recovered.

I found the back half of the season was all atmosphere and no content. Not just no action (although there was a remarkable lack of action for a horror show - think The Walking Dead, hanging out at the farm episodes) but no real development. We learned a bit more about a few of the characters but nothing that couldn't have been covered off in 1 episode.

Part of the problem though is the 10 episode format, particularly when combined with at least 5 main monster story lines. If this were a 22 episode series and this were the mid season break it would be pretty good (although I would probably still be a bit unhappy with the number of "filler" episodes). But when you only have 10 episodes you really can't afford any filler and from my perspective at least 3-4 episodes felt like filler.

That is particularly disappointing combined with having 5 main monsters, most of which did not get any substantive time. There was just so much they could have done and didn't.

While the show certainly had its strengths, overall the pacing was fatal for my purposes.

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Not even a 10 episode season lol only 8 episodes.... I'm afraid I have to disagree with your assessment of the season, I thoroughly enjoyed the flashback episode, it was the most engaging episode for me up to that point. Before then I was having a hard time really getting into the show. Despite spinning their wheels a lil here and there over the season, they had a strong finish I'd say. They should have had at least 2 more episodes though, 8 episodes is a bit ridiculous...
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Those two additional episodes wouldve stretched a thin plot even thinner. Didnt you see Low Winter Sun? PD shouldve had six solid eps. There wasnt enough writing to support 8. Thats why progression stalled after ep 4..
Thats how I see it anyways. Copper was better!
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I can absolutely see where you're coming from, and in some threads the plot was stretched very thin... I think they should have advanced some of the stories considerably further then they did. They spent A LOT of time dallying.. The Mina plot was always blah for me, so the first few eps were not great in my opinion..they did move the plot along, but I just enjoyed the back 4 eps much more. Apparently I'm a minority on that front.. Learning Vanessa's back story was the point where everything became relevant for me, Eva Green is just fantastic.

I haven't seen Copper, but I've heard its worth a watch and I'll have to check it out.
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Copper is worth watching, which perfectly explains why it was cancelled. (Go figure...).

Anyway the first and 2nd halves (of PD) were almost like parts of two different stories. Thats why it seemed to some people like a bait and switch. I didnt expect Vanessa/Mina backstory to go more than one episode because it broke continuity with eps 1-4. Eps 5-7 almost disregarded them as far as momentum and subject matter, practically turning into an Exorcist type possession story.

I thought eps 5-6 would foreshadow the unleashing of a dark power in Vanessa, which would then be used to purge the vagrant bloodsuckers of the underworld. They shouldve let the hammers fly as Vanessa unleashed hell for the last 3 episodes. That wouldve been epic, but expensive.

The transition seemed seamless to some people, but to me it was like putting a wooden cube in a circular hole.
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Outstanding!
Rolamb asked what I do after watching an episode of my favourite show. Sit an stare at the screen trying to fathom what I had just seen, I answered. That's what happened here.

So this season was about Mina after all. The rest were just teasers for the comming seasons.

I wonder when they knew they were getting renewed.

I thought the vampires, especially the master, were disappointingly easy to kill. They seemed to die just like people.

Was Malcolm hinting that Vanessa really was his daughter?

Caliban wasn't trying to rape Maude. He really though that what how you did it. He stopped as soon as he realized that she was truly scared.
Poor guy, he went through all that trouble with the make-up and the orange, and she just laughed at him.

Mr. Kidd. Is that supposed to be a Bond reference?

It was very surprising to hear a priest tell Vanessa that she might be better off staying possesed. I'm afraid he might very well be excommunicated if any of his superiors heard about that attitude.

As for all the questions. If you are the kind of viewer who needs answers to everything, this probably isn't the show for you. It's about the journey, not the destination.
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Poor sweat sexy Dorian he seemed genually surprised by the tear that suttally dropped from his eyes. Eva green is pure brilliance and the scenes she shares with Dorian are always my favourite I hope they find a way to have them back together again. We finally saw halted wolfed out Ethan so yippy. I know caliban is esentional to Frankensteins story but he is just a useless character and has no purpose but to die, he really needs to die soon. I can't wait for next season and see what other characters they can explore.
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"It didn't even bother explaining the killings that opened the first two episodes!" - Actually it explained the killings with Josh Hartnett's last scene.^^
Otherwise I agree with you: the first season was just an introduction. I hope they elevate the pace a little next season, avoid such things like why did Ethan wait for weeks and let Vanessa suffer before he "cures"/exorcises her, and hopefully the twists are not that obvious like in season 1.
But I'm definetely interested in season 2. ^^
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I enjoyed the relatively slow pace of this series as it allowed the superb actors to convey the intensity and range of their work convincingly. The cinematography was luxuriant and the elocution fascinating (except for Brona's accent, I did find that one a tad harsh).
The fact that some of the plot was kinda obvious I didn't have a problem with - things don't always have to be tricky and there are enough open-ended matters and curiosities as things stand... (blub blub for Dorian ;-( )
Great that Josh got riled and turned at the end... but I don't think he is the Ripper...
Looking forward to an extended Season 2 ;-)
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When Sir Malcolm said that he 'already had a daughter' I understand it was meant to be an emotional moment but it honestly just cemented him in my mind as the most asshole, negligent of fathers. He was redeemed ever so slightly when he didn't kick Vanessa to the curb but suggested they buy a Christmas tree and her suggestion of inviting the boys around to decorate was so sweet and moving that I could easily watch a few episodes of Sir Malcolm returning to the outwardly affectionate man he was in the flashback.
Poor Dorian though, he sleeps with two of the group who bail and show no interest afterwards, he seemed so lonely in this episode.
And I guess we all called it on Ethan being a werewolf- his father loses points for sending two humans after him with no warning, either he doesn't know his son is a werewolf or is murderously negligent himself.
A brilliant season and I can't wait for season two.
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I love this show and I have to say for me the most shocking thing about this show is that Josh Harnett can play such a fascinating character and do it well, every movie he has been in he was so dry and emotionless he was basically the male Kristen Stewart (she is awful how is she still in movies) but I almost did not give this show a chance because of him and now I am glad that I decided to watch it anyway because the show and the cast are amazing.

I realize I am probably going to piss some people off but I can almost guarantee that the people complaining about this show being too vague and leaving loose ends would complain if it was the other way around or even if it just reached a middle ground of sorts.
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Ethan is a werewolf? I'm shocked! Not. That's very cool though, I was gonna be mad if they left a Wolfman out of this strange menagerie of characters. I don't find Eva Green as enchanting as everyone else seems to. Her character is the center piece of the show, yet I really don't care much about her or Sir Malcolm. I'm much more interested in Ethan and Brona and Dorian. There is no way to predict what Brona's new character will be like after the Doc is done with her. I really liked her character and hate to think of her stuck with the annoyingly needy monster forever. Overall, Penny Dreadful is a beautifully made show. The writers are really gonna have to speed things up next season, there is nothing wrong with a slow burn as long as it all pays off. I'm looking forward to see what this show can do in Season 2.
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I'd like to know how he's become a wolf - born, cursed, bitten, had a deal with the Native Americans he admired several episodes ago (their art and culture or history???). BTW I'm happy I invented use for Brona the useless as a body for the Monster. Wonder, will her accent change?
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I want to find out more about everyone~especially Vanessa and her possessor/dweller/demon/god (or whatever).
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Terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible.

Just an aweful ending, all that build up and that? You've got to be bloody kidding me.
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theyre deadly serious. You see a lot of this kind of ripoff writing these days. lots of buildup with no payoff. the literary c*cktease. you hit the nail on the head!
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Couldn't agree more about Eva Green, all they have to do come awards season is show the flashback episode of her descent to and ascent from madness, and everything will be hers. I've seen her in various things, including the truly awful Camelot and she always commits beyond what could reasonably expected. Given her beauty, it would be easy for to play the arm candy roles as she did in Casino Royale, but her choice of roles and her complete owning of them deserve much more praise than she gets


Having said that, I also agree with other commenters about Dalton and Kinnear, superb performances all round, cannot wait for season 2.
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I love this review. But I'd like to add this to the mix: lack of surprises there may have been but I don't think surprising the audience is really an objective as much as revealing the inner conflict and primal drives within each and every character. All the stories that each character has been derived from has been told and retold hundreds of times. So surprise is a moot point. But the pathos, the depth of despair that they all are carrying has been revealed with such artistry. Each full frame shot of the actors faces is a study in humanity and all that experience brings.
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As we say here in Scotland, Rory Kinnear handed everyone else their arse in terms of acting. Stole every scene he was in.
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Probably the worst season one ever to use such noteworthy actors. filler and red herrings galore. total bait and switch. disappointed. eps 1 thru 4 were solid.
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Favourite scene of the season: Ethan screaming Latin. Great moment.

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Ethan is THE RIPPER. He visited one of the crime scenes. Right?
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I think there is more than one killer. The crime scene he visited after he woke up outside was probably his kill during the last full moon. But, it just got thrown in with the other Ripper killings, he's not The Ripper.
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I got a little bit of chills when Josh Hartnett turned into a werewolf.. because an American werewolf in London! Frankenstein's monster was also kind of the phantom of the opera too, that was kind of neat, but I still can't stand that character. and isn't the bride of Frankenstein supposed for be for Frank, not his monster?
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No, the bride was for the monster in the original classic movie.
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Well Van Helsing was "supposed" to be alive, when confronting Dracula. I like the twists, what few there are.
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I just wish van Helsing had lasted longer--more like the original book where he was a central character.
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I'm pretty sure, this takes place after the events of Dracula the novel.
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seems to be an amalgamation of things anyway, and is supposed to be an origins type show and is inspired by things, clearly, but not taking place in the original source material
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OMG! There had better be a season 2 or else I'm going on a friggin killing spree also I want to see more Josh Hartnett aka wolf boy he is so darn sexy when hes mad this show has taken over my life I need a season 2 please
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I loved that he was a Werewolf, because why not. This show takes itself more serious but it can be lumped into a WTF horror genre much like Sleepy Hollow. Hopefully they just go all out and try to make it just as ridiculous as possible.
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Great season finale, although it came all too soon. Oh well, good to know the show's been renewed, looking forward to next season. I have already praised Eva Green's performance high and wide earlier, so I think Timothy Dalton deserves a tip of my hat for this episode. The stoic character of Sir Malcolm doesn't usually lend itself to any great shows of feeling, so it was nice to see him finally accept Mina's fate and express his sorrow.
Men everywhere, take note: That's one of the rare moments when and how it is acceptable for a man to cry: Having been forced to shoot your vampire daughter, solemnly sobbing on Eva Green's shoulder. Having a beard helps, though.

No, but seriously. Great acting, great finale and just a great series.
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Outside of Hannibal, at such a close distance, that I did not think was possible, Penny Dreadful was the best of TV this year. It's art, as is Hannibal. Eva and Josh ladies an gents. I just bow.
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I like this show a lot more than I expected to. I love Eva Green!
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Come on... THE question: "Do you really want to be normal?"
Please say no... Please say no... Please say no... Please say no...
Great show... I saw the first season all this weekend... and I want more!!
At the beginning it's was like a lot of flashes with nonsense, all the characters and stories presented together on the firtst episode... but then this show got me... The stories are amazing and creepy, totally real (ok I know it's sci-fi) and the actors are too good. Eva Green is... is... is... spectacular, amazing, atonish... simply perfect for Vanessa Ives (I can understand how Dorian Gray is feeling... aixs...)
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You are right, I totally forgot the murders in episode 1! Also Sir Malcolm seeing the seance lady no coincidence, but she knew he was lying about Vanessa.
I didn't realize Ethan's wolfiness but when it happened I thought back & said Aha! Also I thought he exorcised Vanessa & yes & werewolf knowing Latin hmm. Yes Eva Green is amazing, but I think all the cast is doing a great job.

Every time they show Dorian's house I am "Yay we see the painting" (Portrait of Dorian Gray one of my fave books) but I guess it's for Season 2. Have a lot of things for the next season as you mentioned & also how is Ethan a werewolf, will he see Brona as the Bride of the monster? What is Vanessa's answer? Where is the Master? And dis Sembene save sir Malcom or the other way around?

Season 2, we await you


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I loved the first two to three episodes, but it lost me afterwards when it didn't really go anywhere. There were some nice revelations, but I felt there was also a lot of time wasting. I'm not sure if I will be back for season 2. Sucks because this was looking to be one my favorite shows of 2014, but now it's one of my disappointments.
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I'm afraid I totally agree.
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Hopefully season two will move at a brisker pace, it got off to a quick start with characters being introduce and things happening regularly but in it's second half it hit the breaks and not much happened. Also the action scenes weren't very well done, they were one of the weakest points in the show, first of all shoot outs aren't that exciting to begin with but when the other side doesn't even have a gun it's just a shooting gallery, the vampires just ran at them and they shot them. The African guy was the only one that used edge weapons which are more enjoyable to watch but we couldn't really see where he was cutting them or what effect it was having, it was edited too choppily which too many quick cuts.
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+100%
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I enjoyed the first season but it had some serious pacing issues. I also didn't care for the way Van Helsing's story was handled. He was the only person who knew what was going on and they got rid of him to keep the rest of the characters in the dark. It was refreshing to see The Creature handled so well, usually he is portrayed as a simpleton instead of the intelligent and tortured man he is.
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