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Showtime (ended 2016)
And we reach the mid-way point with "Demimonde," which doesn't seem to have much to do with the title. Yes, supernatural stuff happens, but no more than any other episode. And there's no real explanation or exploration of that other world. They might as well have called it "Dorian flirts with Vanessa and Ethan." Or "Victor and Malcolm bond." Or "Sembene kills a cat." Or just "Shit Happens."

So what happens this episode? It's kind of a dog's breakfast of an episode. First, we get the prerequisite Showtime nudity out of the way at the beginning.

As far as (what appears to be) the main storylines, the Master comes to get Fenton. Or Vanessa. Or both. It doesn't seem like much of a plan, really. "I'll have my minion locked up in the basement so he can't tell if the woman I want is in her room, and then I'll come in and he'll bite through his wrist so he can escape, and I'll be thwarted by a crucifix and the fact that Vanessa isn't there, and leap through a window." The end.



I hate it when a half-assed plan doesn't come together.

We get veteran actor David Warner as Abraham Van Helsing. Who seems to know more about the Master/Dracula/whoever then he's letting on. But at the halfway point, do we need another character? And will his "intimate" knowledge of the Master prove in any way relevant? It's always good to see David Warner, but if they don't do more with Van Helsing in season 1, it seems like a waste of a good actor on a throwaway part.



Show me... show me, non-coagulating blood. I must know everything.

Caliban makes a brief appearance to demand a bride again and tell Victor that he's creating a race of being that will make slaves of humanity. So, um... not a good idea to make a bride, right? Victor taunts his creation, which I suppose he can do because what is Caliban going to do? Kill him and his only chance of getting a mate? Still, it seems odd that Victor is drawing closer to Sir Malcolm as a daddy-figure, since he said last episode that he doesn't love anyone. You think our young scientist would realize that he's creating a hostage to Caliban.

We also get Caliban at home in the theater, cheerfully going about his work and having a generally good time. His mentor and caretaker Vincent isn't dead, obviously, which blows my theory that the actor's death off-screen might have driven Caliban to his current homicidal state. Other than dealing with one irritated actor, Caliban seems to have a pretty good life. He's not that horrible to look at and he even gets to insert tubes up actresses' legs.



Cripes, I wish my job gave me this much pleasure and companionship.

And we finally get confirmation that Ethan is the Ripper killer. Assuming that his distaste about hearing Victor reading about the murders, and his having flashback to bodies he didn't actually see on-screen, can be considered confirmation. No revelation about why he's a werewolf, though.

But all of that is actually a fairly small percentage of the episode. Mostly it's relationships and flirting. Dorian flirts with Vanessa over flowers. Dorian flirts with Ethan over dogfighting (ratkilling?). Ethan and Brona flirt until she decides he's having pity on her and runs off.

Have I mentioned I still don't like Brona? Maybe it's Billie Piper, who hams it up horribly in some scenes. She's more of a ham than Vincent, who is supposed to be a hammy actor. And unless Ethan makes her a werewolf to save her life, or the Master makes her a vampire to give him a woman on the inside, I'm still not seeing Brona as playing a big part in the proceedings.



Billie with a side of ham

Victor and Malcolm bond when Victor has a hissy fit because Malcolm wants to take Ethan on an expedition instead of Victor. And Malcolm makes some snide remarks about Mina and saying that he wishes Vanessa was the daughter he deserves, which makes you wonder why he's so determined to "murder the world" to get Mina back.

And as for Sembene, he really gets nothing to do. Except serve as the focus for the most deadpan black humor in the episode. I love the look Victor and Malcolm give him afterwards.



Clearly not a cat person.

This is primarily a Dorian episode, although he doesn't do anything significant to the plot. He has a hidden portrait which is presumably the legendary Portrait of Dorian Gray. Writer/creator John Logan tells us a couple of more times that Dorian is bored with everything because he has a long life. Now if Mr. Logan could move on to telling us why Dorian is here before we get bored.

Overall, it's an entertaining episode. Beyond the characterization, nothing really happens except Fenton gets killed and Dorian and Ethan end up together. It's mostly confirmation of things we already know. The Master wants Vanessa and is using Mina as bait: got that from last episode. Ethan is a wolf guy, got that from last episode. It seems odd to have an episode recapping/confirming the plot points from last episode, particularly in an eight-episode season, but there you go.

But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong. What do you think?
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Yes it was boring and didn't do much for the series but interesting none the less. I have to give points for pulling off boring and making me eager for the next episode at the same time. Gee old fogie naive me I thought heartache, flashbacks, and the mythical power of absinthe. Would make Ethan go wolfie and kill Dorian. Only for him to rise again of course thanks to the painting and leave us with two monsters revealed. However this is 2014 and that it would appear would've been too easy...
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Enjoying this show more and more, a few thoughts:

-I wonder if Scarlett Johannsson got hot from watching homo-erotic love scenes from her former BF Josh Hartnett. Maybe she'll take him back and guest star
-The American actors (Josh and Reeve Carney as Dorian) are holding their own against the B-level British acting power houses
-I don't care how authentic Billie Piper's accent is, it's horrible and detracts so much. I hope as the Bride, she'll get a brain reset and start speaking the proper Queen's English from which ever brain she gets (hopefully Proteus's resurrected one)
-I hope there's no stupid witches introduced to the show
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I forgot to say that I could stomach Billie Piper better in this ep...
I do not know if she toned down her accent or if I can understand her better now.

Josh Hartnett feels better too! At the beginning I felt he had been miscast, but now he seems to have understood his character better.

Let me tell you that the casting is amazingly good, so regular actors/actress, that are not necessarily bad, look like the odd ones because the others are simply exquisite.

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Demi-monde is a French expression but I think when it was adopted in English the sense was slightly altered... as usual when a country/culture/language adopts a concept that comes from another culture and in another language.

Demi-monde is the title of a French comédie that Alexandre Dumas (the son not the father, how do you say that? Jr not Sr? LOL) published in 1855. At the time it was understood that the demi-monde was like a bad copy of the "real world" the demi-monde was hiding all that was corrupt, false, vile... etc. In the real world you could see respectable people but in the demi-monde you could see those "respectable people" hypocrisies so to speak. There's also that demi-mondaine was applied more to women than men...

I think that demi-monde in English just refers to all those who live hedonistic lifestyles without caring if other people see them act that way or not (demi-monde in French has a hidden component that the English meaning hasn't got I think...)

So the title is more about the original concept: that world that resembles the real world but is actually full of scandalous secrets that are hidden from most people... We see the orgy at Dorian's and the underground rat-betting-house, LOL, where dandies come to feel the thrill, a change from their respectful, civilized, well mannered lives...

My two cents!
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well said!
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Yup, I understand the origins of the world. However, on the show they gave it a specific other meaning (albeit one that that also refers to a hidden world), which didn't seem relevant here.
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Mmm maybe I am missing something here... when you say:

And we reach the mid-way point with "Demimonde," which doesn't seem to have much to do with the title. Yes, supernatural stuff happens, but no more than any other episode. And there's no real explanation or exploration of that other world. They might as well have called it "Dorian flirts with Vanessa and Ethan." Or "Victor and Malcolm bond." Or "Sembene kills a cat." Or just "Shit Happens."

It might be that the writer wanted to show us the regular demi-monde (rat-betting-shop) vs the other darker demi-monde...
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My point was that if the writers are going to use a major "series mythology" term in the show as a title, one that means "Everything big and dark and supernatural and Other-Sidey"...

...then your episode should have to do with everything big and dark and supernatural and Other-Sidey. At least when you're dealing with a relatively obscure term that most people don't know.
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Oh I see what you mean now, well... I certainly do not want to sound too snob but the term is not "unknown" for Europeans. The show, although bought by Showtime, is mostly made by Europeans...
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Really? You don't see Brona as Caliban's corpse bride? I can see that one a mile away.
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Not really. Not so much because she couldn't be, but because... so what? So she's a former factory-worker turned prostitute turned corpse bride.

At the halfway point in the series, Brona the character is basically a storytelling cog. So far she's mostly been there to tell us more about Dorian (he's fascinated with death and dying) and Ethan (Look! He's a good guy who takes pity on a dying woman and gets to have sex with Billie Piper at the same time!).

With four episodes to go, what looks like a heavy Vanessa backstory next episode, and a couple of other major plot elements spinning, I don't hold out much hope that Brona is going to become as well-rounded as Vanessa, or Malcolm, or Victor, or Ethan, or Dorian.
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"So far she's mostly been there to tell us more about Dorian and Ethan"

You say this as if it's a bad thing. :) Sometimes that is just simply the role of a supporting character. However I do think that there is a bit more to Brona than a women who sleeps with two hot men in order to tell us about them, and a possible bride for a mad man/monster.

Brona represents the everyday person in London at the time. She is a fairly normal person with absolutely no idea how close she is to the monsters that lurk all around her. Her life represents the tragedies that regular people who know nothing of vampires and magical pictures have to face. While Ethan, Vanessa, Malcolm, and Frankenstein feel sorry for themselves because they have been "ravaged by brutality" we (the viewer) are asked to compare their "suffering" to that of a somewhat cheerful prostitute with consumption, that has little self worth, real joy or hope in her life.


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Was I the only one to wonder if Frankenstein could ressurrect Proteus? After all, he'd given him life once, why couldn't he do so again?
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Brona is going to be the Creature's mate (or the bride of Frankenstein, if you will :) )
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Whew what an ep. That ending completely blindsided me*. It's funny I was watching it really late, like at 2:00 am, and when I woke up the next morning, I wondered if I had dreamt that Ethan and Dorian were making out, or if that really happened. So I put it on, fast forwarded to the end... and nope I wasn't dreaming. Of course I guess I should have known considering it was Ethan making out with Dorian instead of me but any hoooo. :)

Few things.

So Brona was a lot more likeable this episode. Her excitement at the theatre was adorable, and her embarrassment at being in the company of proper men and women was heart breaking. Here's hoping she get's to make up with Ethan before getting turned into Caliban's bride.

"Ay-than, I'm sooo sarrey, but I slept wit Mr. Gray, he be the one taken them risk-ay pictures of me a while back."

"Don't worry darlin, I slept with him too. No pictures though, thank God. I'm in the papers enough..."

Poor Sembene. Could he be the Jorah to Vanessa's Khaleesi? Or is just a coincedence that he ended up at the theatre? While I hope this show gets more than one season, it would be nice to know something about Sir Malcolm's man before the season runs out.

I was one of the people who at first thought Ethan was a werewolf and then last episode decided that maybe he wasn't. I still don't think he is. I mean I think it's pretty clear that he is the murderer (or at least thinks he is). But I think this may be a Jekyl/Hyde thing. If the murders had been committed by an animal there would have been signs, bloody paw prints, teeth marks wouldn't there?

If there is a werewolf on the show though, my guess is it's Sembene, the man is clearly carrying a weight on his shoulders and I'm very curious to find out what it is.

And last but not least. I don't believe that the vampire we saw in Vanessa's room was Dracula, I'm not even sure it was the "master" Fenton was speaking to/of. It looked just like the first vampire we saw which makes me think it is one of many.

I was very happy to see Van Helsing, now we just need Jonathan, Dracula and a love interest for Frankenstein (Brona or otherwise) and we're set.



*Though as soon as they brought out the absinth, I did start wonder where this was going to end up.





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I like your idea of Ethan being Jekyl/Hyde but still that scene at the zoo when Ethan calmed down the wolves...

Sambene as a werewolf? Could be? But I do not get any vibes that way... He just looked like Vanessa's body guard... or he has a bad crush on her? Or he's making his mind up about killing her or not...
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Something is definitely up with Sembene, but you're probably right, he's not a werewolf.

Ethan calming the wolves was puzzling. But it could be explained in other ways. Perhaps he just really understands animals, on some one with nature, dances with wolves tip.

I feel like if he was a werewolf, he might have had a different reaction at the theatre, to the wolf ripping out the ladies throat. But I guess only time will tell.
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Brona - the body for Caliban? At last useful? Or is it way too spooky?
I'm sorry, I didn't like this episode.
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Yeah I was already wondering that. But then where would that leave Josh Hartnett's character, as he's so clearly keen on her (though Lord knows why)? I'm wondering if not Caliban's GF then perhaps a vamp?
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Well, his character could stay with Dorian. They started such a beautiful relationship in the last 15 minutes of the episode. He didn't mind her at all. As a gentleman he should have at least walk her home - but he chose not to.
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Correct me if I'm wrong .As I recall Dorian Gray is a man that remains young and never ages instead his self-portrait ages but if he looks to his portrait the spell will be broken and he ages rapidly and die .So how come he is looking at that hidden picture and nothing happens? It's probably a portrait of someone else close to him maybe a dead lover or relative
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You might be thinking of the movie...
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Sorry to sound a bit nerdy but you are wrong. Dorian Gray looks at his portrait a lot in the original story and he can see the portrait recording the ravages of time and his depravity while he remains young and beautiful. The spell reverses when he stabs the portrait and he dies.
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And Victor Frankenstein was German, too.

They are changing some stuff around...
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As far as I know, the spell got broken when Dorian took a knife to destroy his portrait. His servants found him then stabbed to death, his face dreadfully aged, but the painting still radiantly beautiful and young.
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yeap, you're right.. in Oscar Wilde's book, he could look at the picture, but he stubbed it :))
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I think there is a fundamental misunderstanding what this show is supposed to be about and/or in which way the story should be told.

Yes, there is the supernatural aspect, the gore, the gloomy vampire and werewolf stuff, I won't deny it. But in my humble opinion, good old Penny is mostly about darkness on the inside. These characters are not heroes - they are broken and on the edge. Like Vanessa said: "We all have suffered loss", and it is about this loss and what it makes out of our merry band of protagonists, where it leads them and what they are willing to do to be able to feel again, to fill the emotional void inside, to belong.

I certainly enjoy the artful display and use of bodies in this show, but let me be clear: This show is not about sex, or being gay or bi-or otherwise multi-sexual. Sex is merely a vehicle of distraction, the same applies for violence, theatre, drugs. These people are driven by fear of rejection, by hate out of love, loneliness and desperation. Penny is a textbook of the manic-depressive and full of lost souls...

There is a glimpse of hope, though, every once in a while and short lived: Proteus was loveable, innocent. Brona watching the play, breaking into a laugh. Dorian and Ethan, so unlike each other, musing over music, art - there was a level of understanding beyond the bonding of guys. That scene in Dorian's black marble-tiled bathroom was both hilarious and touching. Ethan: "You like your cologne. How do you choose?" Dorian: "Depends on how I feel ... each produces a different sensation, a different you. - I got carried away!" Ethan: "Good for you." (okay, well, that dialogue was somehow very gay, loved it!). All was coming down to this final scene, filled with intensity, breathlessly, fearfully, daringly losing control.

I don't mind one or two or three episodes solely based on character development. Maybe that's the trick with a show like this: When starting to watch Penny Dreadful, I did not expect anything specific about it. In the end I got everything. Clearly I got carried away. Good for me.
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Brilliantly said. I believe that we're all damaged - either by death, betrayal or other events we suffer throughout our lives. How damaged we are depends on what we've suffered, but we are all damaged. I think Penny puts that across so well - the main characters embrace all that they are (perhaps with the exception of Hartnett's) and use their dark sides to try to attain their goal(s).

The only character I am unsure of is Caliban - he seems to give the air of always been just plainly evil; hence the reason he was 'born' screaming, crying and in great pain (compared to the gentler and loving Proteus). My daughter (16), who has been studying (ironically) 'The Tempest' as part of GCSE English told me much of Caliban's nature and looks.......I certainly understand why the old thespian gave the creature that name.
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Well said, sir.
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My guess is that Brona will be Calibans bride. And we get to see her get her memories back like Proteus and remember the before ... At least I would like that. We knew her before she died and it will be interesting to watch her "come back" from the dead. She was dying in that alley, right?
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Looking at my dvr I'm just realizing that this was episode 4. I was thinking this was episode 3. Damn. if it hasn't hooked me by now...
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I am incredibly confused about how the reviews and comments are working for this show. :(
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Also, they work the same way as the reviews and comments for every other show at TV.com that has reviews and comments.

Is there something different about this show you're not seeing on the others?
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What's your question...?

Basically, I or whoever post a review. Depending on your settings (I think) you see the most recent comments at the top, and they then descend/go backwards-timewise from there. Sub-comments are also in most-recent-first order, unless you can set it otherwise.
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I meant there seems to be 3 or so different threads depending on the review or non-review on the intro page for the episode. I haven't seen that with any other show and I follow a few.
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Great review.

I am not sure if it was boring. I would say that the increased amount of characters which now includes Van Helsing and the Master is kind of making the show crowded. Which may effect the quality that they are able to produce. Because everybody in this episode seemed to jump in the pool. I wouldn't have minded some of the things that seemed boring if they were more drawn out. Did we see some of this before? Yes. Now focus on the why? You can only keep a character's mystery as long as the viewers want to keep the mystery. Drawing out Ethan seems arbitrary. If the whole thing is about Vanessa, they why not focus on her. They are likely going to get another season, so why not allow more characters come later.

Now this episode focuses on Dorian, which is all right. But I always have issue with how he is portrayed. It always seems like an amalgam of Lord Byron, Cassanova, and several other real people and literary characters. This Dorian really is no different. I like him and all, but it has just been done before.

But the focus needs to be on Vanessa since this is what it is all about. It is what the Master wants, likely it was why Mina was kidnapped and turned. We need a Vanessa centered episode, we need to see the past and her connection with Mina, how she betrayed her and how this all came about so that we can go forward with the plot.
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I thought changing the title to "Nights" would make it clear that I was referring to Dorian's nights. Not my night watching. :)

The title is also a Easter egg of sort to Babylon 5 fans. The caption on the David Warner picture is an Easter egg to a movie...
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Ah, fair enough.

I have never seen Babylon 5.
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Oh and who the hell is Vanessa supposed to be. I missed it I guess,is she just a character like Malcom? Or is she supposed to be some supernatural something or other??????

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Good lord,Im glad everyone is all excited and happy about having more Dorian. As for me, I wish he wasnt even a character on the show. You got werewolf,vampire,Frankenstein,stop right there.......there is no need at all to cro-bar Dorian "lame ass" Gray into the story.I guess each character is struggling with immortality so hence they stuck Dorian in there but he really isnt necessary. I also didnt know werewolves were immortal. They really need to pick it up,after all we are only getting eight whopping episodes then its another 10 months till the show returns.....if it returns.
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Dorian can do shit. He only has money, good looks and Absinth.
A character-driven episode, entertaining, I still wonder about the ending though: don't know what to think of it, since the show dwell from the propaganda leading to the absurd ban of the ingenious schnaps known as Absinth. Also they got the proper preparation of drinking Absinth right, but failed to show what happens to the drink afterwards - it's quite spectacular, they should have shown that at least.
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It wasn't boring at all.. and the ending was shocking. somehow I understand Ethan. he's lost and he's angry, and he just needs to do something, what'll be uncomfortable for him, I guess.. maybe he loves Brona, but he joined Malcolm's Team because of Vanessa, and he's definitely interested in her. do you remember the tarot card, from first episode? there must be something else, between them I think. and his reaction to Dorian's toast about Vanessa.. there are a lot of questions.
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The title is in reference to Dorian having a long boring night (or two).
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uhum.. sorry then :)) but I've read some comments and they're not so satisfied with the story.
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Brone had the best line of the night:

"From now on, you fuck me like anyone else. After you've paid."

I know she didn't mean to, but she burned herself so bad!
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As for the prerequisite Showtime nudity, Penny Dreadful sure features an unnecessary amount of it. There was the blink-and-you'll-miss-it sex scene with Ethan and Brona last week, and this week Dorian Gray had an orgy. I don't mind when series' have nudity or sex scenes but at make them serve a purpose and have some meaning. At this stage I can't see how any of the nudity has been necessary to the story in a significant way.
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(had to repost for my atrocious spelling) :)

I always find it interesting when people feel that nudity is unnecessary in an adult themed show that features a lot of violence. But instead of going off on some rant, I'll keep my comments to this show in particular.

All of the nudity on this show serves a purpose. Logan has not vulgarly dropped sexuality, colourful language and nudity into the show just for the sake of it, but has been careful to insert it only when it is necessary for the story.

This is not radio, it's a visual medium. Just as it is important to show us the horror of the violence the pseudo ripper is inflicting. It is important to understand Dorian's mindset (orgy) and to contrast his encounter with Brona with the one she had with Ethan. We've seen her act as a prostitute, and then as a women who seemed to have real affection for the man she was sleeping with. Didn't that make the scene where she turned on Ethan in her embarrassment and pushed him away all the more heart breaking? I know it did for me. (And I'm not really a fan of Brona)

Much like traditional Penny Dreadful's this show is interested in creating raw and visceral reactions and emotions. It is not going to pretend that an eviscerated body is anything but horrifying and that people who like each other don't sometimes have sex.

Unlike a lot of shows on television (I'm looking at you almost every show on the CW)
I think the attitude towards sex on this show is realistic, complex and honest.
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well said!
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I also found the orgy and nudity at the beginning rather unexciting and I believe it was intentional to transmit Dorian's boredom and lack of scintillation in the variation and perversities of flesh and the love sports. What I find interesting is that although repetition and predictability must be painful to him he seems to retain his curiosity.
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Could someone give me an example of a TV show where nudity was necessary to the story in a significant way? :)

Then I could tell you how it's significant to Penny Dreadful.
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I'm sure it can be argued that the nudity is significant in the two scenes you describe:

1) The orgy scene is necessary to show that Dorian is bored by "typical" sex (even relatively extreme sex) as well as violence. Thus his interest in Vanessa indicates something different, or that she's something special. If he's bored by sex but attracted to Vanessa, that means his interest isn't merely sexual.

2) The sex scene between Ethan and Brona shows that they are romantically and/or sexually involved. And that Brona the prostitute is having sex with Ethan and does it because she's interested in him, not just because he's another client or she thinks she can get him to pay.

Everything else falls under the purview of "People having sex involves nudity." Which is presumably more "realistic" than them wearing their undergarments and covering themselves with blankets during the sexual act.

Was the nudity "necessary" to convey these story points? Well, TV and cable networks have been getting by without it for years to show the same things. So probably not. But by that standard... what nudity is necessary? What does "necessary" mean in this context?
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I think that it's important that I say that I don't mind when sex occurs in television/ film because I get the sense I'm being perceived as a prude. I'm perfectly fine for there to be sex scenes, and nudity within them.

@Gislf, I can understand how the orgy could be significant to Dorian's character if the reason behind it is as you suggest (who really knows the writers intention without directly asking them?), but my point is, as you said yourself in the review, for cable networks nudity has become a prerequisite, a common staple for series that can get away with it. Honestly, I think the overuse of sex in recent television and film makes it boring. The fact of the matter is, like you said, 'TV and cable networks have been getting by without it for years' and the are still able to convey a message to audiences successfully without it. There are a hundred other creative ways the series could have demonstrated how Dorian is 'bored by sex but attracted to Vanessa' or that Brona is interested in Ethan without needing to include a sex scene. It seems sex has become a very simple storytelling device writers go to nowadays to convey something because they think it's one of the only ways to keep audiences attention (well that and violence), but at this stage, it's making me tune out to what they are trying to say altogether because it's used so often.
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The revelation that Ethan's a werewolf (and most likely the Ripper) wasn't all that exciting for me, since many of you are much smarter than I and figured as much two episodes in.

Anyway, I'm not too sure this development will help me like his character more. It seems like the series is adamant in making him the moral compass of the show, a true and honest American protagonist, and that's just not something I'm interested in. I'm really not interested in scenes in which he fights with the other characters about what's is right and what's not, it's unnecessary for a series that will obviously thrive on its darker content.

I suppose the discovery that he's a werewolf is suppose to add a complicated layer to upstanding personality, and make him conflicted resulting in compelling viewing, but at this stage, werewolf or not, Ethan is not really a character I'm interested in.
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Can someone please explain to me Malcolm and Vanessa's relationship? I'm willing to wait for majority of the other questions to unfold over the natural progression of the series, but I'm having a lot of difficulty understanding what I'm meant to be taking from scenes featuring the pair when I don't know the context of their relationship. Anyone have any ideas?
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She is/was the best friend of his daughter and friend to Peter as well. Both Vanessa and Mina's families were close. I suspect (and this is just me) that after Sir Malcolm's wife died (or maybe even before) he may have had an affair with Vanessa's mother. I may be completely off on that, but that could be the woman that Vanessa "saw him f*cking".

Clearly whatever happened to Mina, Vanessa feels responsible for. It's possible that she met Dracula before Mina did, maybe she introduced them. I have a feeling that Vanessa is a sort of stand in for Lucy (from Dracula). There seems to have been some sort of falling out between Mina and Vanessa, and I think they will show us the reason for it next episode. At some point Vanessa was hospitalized, I'm not sure if this is before Mina was taken or after (I suspect after), and I would guess that on her release she became a "ward" of Sir Malcolm, ready to help him rescue Mina.

I understand what your feeling though. There is definitely a sexual tension between them which is strange and unsettling. Sir Malcolm said that her "demons" make her desirable. But if he slept with her mother (again, just my speculation) it could be that too.
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I was kinda confused when the dead son talked through her during that seance and told the father Mina watched him have sex with someone. At first I thought it was Vanessa but the things the ghost said later changed that Impression. so now i am not sure ... if they had sex and Mina saw it and was upset and rushed away to fall into the Hands of Dracula it would kinda make sense in a pretty lame way. I hope Penny Dreadful surprises us in that regard ... I think Vanessa was in that house some time before all that happened to Mina, maybe a friend like Lucy. I am still waiting for Jekyll and Hyde:-) Maybe Hyde is the Ripper and Chandler only thinks his wolf was the killer.
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Not sure. But she might just be someone Sir Malcom hired to help him find Mina. Maybe the first hire, who then helped him find Sembene, Ethan, and Victor.
Or perhaps she is a friend of Mina's.
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Good question, I hope they address it more or at least more clearly in the coming episodes. So far I also wonder about that relationship...
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I'm also wondering what they're going to do with Brona since her health is deteriorating so quickly. I doubt they'd have cast Billie Piper if her character was going to be killed off so quickly, so yes, it seems likely that either Ethan will turn her into a werewolf or that she'll be turned in a vampire, there's also the possibility she could become the bribe of Frankenstein's monster.
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Although this episode is non-eventful, for me it shells out the depth of each characters, center stage is Dorian. Although Dorian's preferences are already known, but the effect of his personality is not explored at all. I think, aside from his physical attributes and persona, there is a captivating effect almost a a hypnotism happening whenever he becomes interested with another person. The sexuality and sensuality he creates influenced other character to what? make sex with him? nice powers I suppose.

The episode suggests what Dorian can do and his role moving forward. He might not be in line with the other character. He is a complication rather than another hand in the trigger Ethan. And that's what i love about character driven plots. Brona and Dorian are the game changer in the plot. For me it would be boring if all the character will just work for Mr. Murray. Sembene has the same case. He may be irrelevant for now but I can see that he also plays a tricky role.

As of now I can see that Vannesa is the central character, all revolves in her. She is more important than Mina as far as the plot goes. Mina is the bait and Vannesa is really the target.

As far as the Master goes, this is the part I'm still processing. why the hell send Fenton and not be sure that Vannesa is around? I think the logical reason is the Master wants to assess the opposition. He can experience this without the exposure by sending Fenton. So why go to Vannesa's room and disappear again? oh well no need for explanation I guess. The answers might as well be littered thru out the past episode and we didn't just see it.

See, I think Demimonde is a litter of info that will sustain some plotholes in the future episodes. I hope this is the case because it would be great to fish events and moments from the past episode to explain things in the future episodes.

All in all, it was a cinematic episode especialy the garden scene and the first and last scenes. hahaha... Mr Hartnett must really like his character. I didn't expect him to be as open to the possibilities as far as art is concerned. Anyway if he is a werewolf it'll explain the attraction to lust.

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Yep...was rehashing a lot of things but did not find it boring at all. The Dorian story is interesting...I have always been intrigued by the Dorian Gray story. He was so full of boredom and debauchery..evil with a pretty mask. The Caliban story was kind of blah though this week...
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"He was so full of boredom and debauchery"

Hence the title of the review.
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"This isn't gonna have a happy ending."

Boring? You're kidding, right?

Those who were complaining about the lack of Dorian, last week. I hope you are quite satisfied. That was quite a showing he made last night. Practically pushed the vampire to second chair.
He might not do much to advance the main plot, but his scenes are phenomenal. A beautiful portrayal of bored hedonism.

I want to be a hedonist, but I can't afford it.

I did not see that finsh comming, however. But, I suppose, they are both just seeking new experience.

Van Helsing isn't really a new character, just one that hadn't been introduced yet. We definately need him.

I don't think Victor realizes very much. He may be a genius but he isn't very self-aware.

Ethan thinks he might be the 'Ripper' but nothing is confirmed. Nor is it, as far as I can see confirmed that he is a werewolf.
A werewolf, or gun-man, who gets squeamish around blood, speaks of self- loathing. Which can stem from nothing more sinister than pointless life.

I agree about Brona. Billie Piper or nor she need to either be used for something relevant or killed off. Right now she's just an annoying distraction.
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A werewolf, or gun-man, who gets squeamish around blood, speaks of self- loathing. Which can stem from nothing more sinister than pointless life.
Point made! Hard to argue with that.
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"A beautiful portrayal of bored hedonism."

Hence the title of the review. It wasn't my boredom, it was Dorian's boredom.
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Ah, I see. My apologies.
There are few greater tragedies than being bored with the best things in life.
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It appears that I wasn't the only one who was confused by your title. Perhaps you were being too subtle: We are, after all, just a TV audience ;-)
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I liked this episode due to it being all about my new love the sexy sexy Dorian Grey. Otherwise nothing really significant happend in this episode. The ending come from know where I was thrown by that I expected it from Dorian but Ethan I don't know. Why isn't anyone asking Ethan any questions first it was the wolfs at the zoo, and now he refused the blood transfusion "that would be a bad idea" really when someone says that you ask the question. I'm really hoping for more Dorian and Vanessa I love the connection they share.
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Sir Malcom isn't asking because he already knows. That's why he hired him.
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I must have missed something thanks.
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No, you didn't miss anything. It's just my theory.
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Well, they all have dark secrets. So I imagine that if one person started answering questions about their pasts, they all would.
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I think Brona is on her way to become Caliban's bride :D You called it Ethan = Werewolf; but I agree most of this episode's plot points could have been done in 20 minutes leaving the rest of the episode for moving on. Still it is a beautifully filmed show, has its scary moments and a spectacular cast. I am sticking around to see what happens.
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Actually, I think it was a couple of other people who called Ethan = Werewolf prior to last week, when it was pretty clear from the zoo incident.

Now whether he's the killer werewolf is another question. It could still be Brona, I suppose.
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Oh OK... its a fair cop - I called him a werewolf... but I am still undecided if he is the Ripper.
There was a comment in an earlier episode from his brother that 'problems' had been resolved and it was safe to come home now... but what those issues were are unclear - being a Ripper wouldn't exactly be something that could easily be forgiven... but being a lycanthrope (but unproven mayhap suspected) is something which bought silence could cover up...
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"It could still be Brona, I suppose."

What if it was both of them like from Almost Human (the British version) :) ?
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Yeah I meant Being Human...I miss Almost Human already lol.
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For some reason I don't think it is Brona but I do think it is someone Ethan knows and yes I think he is blaming himself because he knows he is the wolf. He is a tortured soul...just like the werewolf story. The man was tortured for what the wolf did...anyway Ethan is my favorite person on here. He has a lot of sadness.
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Not familiar with wither version of AH. But that's what I meant. There's a killer werewolf, and there's the Ethan werewolf. And Ethan is blaming himself for the other werewolf's murders because he thinks that he's the one responsible.
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The British "Being Human" on which the american version was based ("Almost Human" is something completely different)
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I really liked this show at first but nothing is coming together and we're almost half way through the season. Eva Green has been amazing but that's not enough to make me stick around for the entire 8 weeks.

Why does Sir Malcolm and Vanessa think Vanessa was a horrible friend to Mina? What makes Brona so desirable to Ethan? Has Vanessa been a clairvoyant her entire life? Is Ethan a werewolf or not? Why does Caliban think he and his new bride are the beginning of a better species when they would still need Victor to make all these people? Who's picture was Dorian staring at? Was it his and he's sitting there looking at it covered up, scared to look upon it (like in the book)? I. Need. Answers.

Dreadful is interesting but predictable. Bored at a raging orgy...only Mr. Gray. Vanessa going to end up at the theater so she could casually bump into Gray. Victor, the intellectual, bumping heads with Ethan, the muscle. Brona feeling out of place in the company of Miss Ives.

The season is too short for things to be moving this slow. I hate all the time being spent on Caliban. Brona seems to be the logical way to go for his bride but since I don't really like her character or storyline either ...they both coul disappear. Also if they continue to make things pop up out of nowhere, like Ethan and Dorian, I'm done.
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Don't worry so much about where it is going. You'll miss out on the journey.
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But if you don't at least see a path to where you're going you could possibly end up on a journey to nowhere.
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Or you could trust your guide to show you a worthwhile journey.
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1) It looks like we're going to see what happened with Mina and Vanessa next week, judging by the previews.

2) Like Vanessa said, "Everyone loves a lost cause."

3) More about Vanessa next week, apparently.

4) I'd say it's pretty definite that Ethan is a werewolf, although possibly not the Ripper werewolf.

5) We don't know that Caliban is unable to recreate. Presumably he can if he thinks he can create a race of similar beings. But he needs at least one female member of his "species" to do it.

6) Dorian removed the cloth from the portrait, so he's clearly not afraid to look at it.



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I will accept all of those as reasons to watch the next episode. Four episode test then I'll make up my mind. Like I said I enjoyed this show but it's not really moving forward.
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I thought the ending just came out of nowhere
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Kinda sorta. It feels more like "here's more of the mystery of Ethan Chandler" than anything. He's obviously some sort of werewolf, possibly lived close to the Indian reservation he was talking about, has a thing with creatures being tied up/abused, and has a problem controlling his primal instincts when it comes to romance.
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Me too. He's all in love with Brona then wham he's bi-sexual? Where did that come from?
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I think the Scene was more to Show the effect Dorian can have on others ..hence the Spider in the opening credits right before he appears:-)
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Yes! I think Dorian is supposed to embody seduction, he is painted as the epitome of hedonism as well... so his only pleasure is trying "to see one extraordinary thing everyday" as he says.
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I'm referring to Ethan. I already know Dorian's sexuality is ...fluid.
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And the new recap is up.

For anyone wondering, my first priority is to get the cast up. And then watch the episode and do a first draft of the recap, and get all the quotes. Then the review, since timeliness is pretty important there. And then finally the second draft of the recap and posting it here.
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And no, I don't know why Price isn't reviewing the episodes anymore. Or if he has stopped. Second episode in a row he hasn't had anything up in 24 hours. Maybe that makes my reviews the "official" ones? :)
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The guys as CBS are pretty smart, business wise, at least. Why pay Price for a review when they can get yours for free?
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Well, you could say that about all the reviews that staff writers\\s. There's almost certainly someone who would step in to review those for free as well. Heck, most of the time I don't bother writing reviews for shows I watch because staff does them.

Besides, there's plenty of stuff that people around here would volunteer their time for, but CBS would rather pay staff to do instead. So I don't think that's the reason...
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tv.com seems to be doing less official reviews. I just see lots of "news" articles.

Thank you for stepping up and reviewing this show!

**I see a sudden influx of "new" official writers but they aren't doing reviews. I wonder if it has to do with the "merge" with tvguide or something. Not impressed with the lack of official reviews but I am enjoying the reviews by the community members;-) Thanks!
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@Gislef
"there's less to review"~~so they should have plenty of time and manpower to review shows like Penny Dreadful, Salem, Turn, Veep, OItNB, etc….

At least they are reviewing Fargo, Orphan Black and GoT (I'd include 24 but I skipped reading them since it spent more time bashing old seasons then actually reviewing the episode).

I'm just glad that community members are stepping up and doing tv.com's job for them
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Well, there's less to review in late May/early June, too. It's arguably the slowest time of the year for American TV.
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Probably not. It's just my cynicism showing.
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Your "realism" is showing;-)
cynicism has a positive correlation with realistic
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For instance, if I was a cunning master vampire, here'd be my plan to capture Vanessa.

1) Get human familiars who can walk around in daylight (the guys from episode 1)

2) Send them to get Vanessa while she's touring Catholic churches in the daylight.

3) Capture Vanessa. Bring her to my lair.

4) Come sunset, do whatever with her.

Problem solved. I'd make a great TV villain.
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But you'd never make it to season 2 if you resolve the plot so efficiently.
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But I'd also efficiently prevent the villain from doing those things. :)

Like... not have Vanessa walk around on her own in the daylight. Or not establish that the Master has familiars and then ignore them for the next three episodes.
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I'm thinking Brona is destined to be the Bride of Frankenstein's Creature.

Not sure about the confirmation that Ethan is the ripper killer. I thought he was only feeling uncomfortable and thinking it could be him, not that it was.
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I was thinking Brona is going to be the bride also. She'll die from tb then Victor won't have to actually kill anyone.
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We don't know if Victor killed anyone before. He didn't in the novel either, did he? Just scavenged corpses.

If he does, hopefully he'll do something about those teeth. God, they bug me.


She reminds me of the Joker...

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Jim Parsons as the Joker and Billie as Harley Quinn.
That would be epic.
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I only say he'll kill someone because of the pressure from Caliban. I never read the book.
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But why would he think he was the werewolf killer if he wasn't a werewolf?
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He could still be a werewolf or the Wolfman, but might not be the beast that is mauling everyone.
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