Penny Dreadful 1×03 ‘Resurrection’: There is no going back from this moment

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It’s difficult to live up to last week’s episode, ‘Séance’, but I believe ‘Resurrection’ held its own. Our protagonists have formed the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen II to battle a yet unknown creature. Frankenstein’s creature is about to tie the knot (probably) and Ethan Chandler is (possibly) a werewolf. Clearly, the only certainty is how uncertain everything is – and therein lies the core of Penny Dreadful.

Penny Dreadful is a mystery and it is doing a fine job of keeping us in a constant state of wonder. The writers must be commended for incorporating Egyptian mythology as opposed to the more popular Greek or even Roman mythology. The material is fresher. Few questions were answered in this episode, and plenty more were raised.

Source: Showtime

Source: Showtime

Proteus’ sudden demise at the hand of Frankenstein’s ‘first born’ (Caliban) was brutal, spiteful, born of hurt. But we find out that it was tinged with mercy as well. Caliban reasons that it would be better for Proteus to have died without realizing the true horrors of the world. Victor Frankenstein’s character is the most well-developed of the series so far. We learn the reason for his drive to create life, his cowardice when Caliban’s birth was not…as ideal as Victor had thought, and we see his growth after realizing the heartbreak and hurt that he caused through rejecting Caliban. He counsels Malcolm, ‘Whatever happens to the creature downstairs, we are responsible for it’. Ah, character development. How I’ve missed your presence on television!

Ethan Chandler’s character is arguably the weak link of the series. He lacks Vanessa’s intrigue, Malcolm’s moral ambiguity and Victor’s romanticism, although this episode hints at a darker side. I find his character crucial simply because he serves as the audience’s window into the show. He, like us, has no idea what’s going on and his motives (money) are the most relatable.

Source: Showtime

Source: Showtime

The only thing that came to light (haha) regarding Vanessa and Malcolm’s story is that there is most definitely something inside Vanessa and Mina is only a means to the end. There’s more about darkness forever and Amunet/Amun-ra. I’m looking forward to finding more about the lore of this world because from the little that I know of Egyptian mythology, Amun-ra represented the sun and was kind of a ‘good’ guy? I wonder if Fenton is a pre-cursor to Renfield or maybe Renfield re-imagined. I’ve suddenly had a thought. After her possession, Vanessa banged a random stranger. I wonder if that’s the key to the series. If there is some creature residing in her, perhaps the only way for the creature to get out is through birth, which would explain her weird horniness last week. Certainly, the theme of birth and being reborn is one being explored in this series.

Source: Showtime

Source: Showtime

I mentioned that the dialogue in Penny Dreadful is exquisite. Caliban’s threatens to follow Victor ‘into the maelstrom of the blackest tempest of the darkest night’. I mean, why don’t people threaten other people like this anymore? It probably wasn’t supposed to be funny, but I laughed when Caliban revealed his desire for love, and Victor was all ‘I can’t love you’, and Caliban is so horrified and is all ‘no homo’.

The only flaw in this entire episode was the complete waste of Brona Croft’s character. We saw her and Ethan have sex for like a couple of minutes and she’s the motivation for Ethan to go to Malcolm and Vanessa. I do hope she plays a bigger role.

Yeung Wing

is an aspiring TV critic, writer and editor. You can see her past work on her Tumblr!
She lives her life through escapism.

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