Penny Dreadful 2×04 ‘Evil Spirits in Heavenly Places’: Memoirs of the devil

Source: Showtime

Juxtaposed with last week’s episode, ‘Evil Spirits in Heavenly Places’ is positively lighthearted, especially by Penny Dreadful standards. It only serves to show that this show can do it all – frightening, heartbreaking and even humorous. A change of pace is more than welcome.

In Penny Dreadful tradition, not much plot development happened. Rather, we saw more development in the relationships between characters. Vanessa and Victor, Ethan and Sembene, Sir Malcolm and Ferdinand. By pairing up characters that we don’t usually see together, we see different sides of the characters.

Source: Showtime

Source: Showtime

Vanessa and Victor go shopping for women’s clothes. There’s a sentence I never thought I’d say. Victor is as awkward as expected, barely dodged the ‘creepy’ label. Vanessa doesn’t miss a beat and immediately pokes at him. We must remember that Vanessa and Victor only see each other on matters regarding business (always unsavory) and Victor is more than sure of himself in these meetings. He’s very quick to ridicule others’ beliefs. It’s good to see him out of his element and Vanessa having fun for a change. This scene and the cholera shelter, they are moments to remind Vanessa that there is still a reason to live. There are still small, everyday delights that can be enjoyed.

And the reason for the shopping trip – Lily. Another great thing about the series is how they manage to include so many facets of Victorian life. Who would’ve thought that feminism would be discussed in Victor’s secret laboratory? Perhaps it is Lily’s past life coming through, reminding her of her former place in life. Victor and Lily are bonding nicely. Ideally (in its own dysfunctional manner), Victor and Lily would live happily ever after while John Clare and Lavinia have their own happy ending. But I for one do not believe that this will happen. Whatever John’s feelings towards Lily and Lavinia may be, he simply doesn’t want Victor to be happy.

Source: Showtime

Source: Showtime

 

Sembene begins to take on a bigger and bigger role in the series, though what that is we still do not know. We do know that he is fiercely protective of Sir Malcolm and Vanessa. It is hinted that he knew the witches were waiting outside the house as he stood guard. We definitely know that he is well-versed in the art of baking.

Source: Showtime

Source: Showtime

The witches attempt to enchant Ethan fails, starting with an orchestrated meet-cute. There’s a pattern here. They use their feminine guiles to bewitch men. Sir Geoffrey, Sir Malcolm and thankfully, not Ethan. More of Ethan’s wolf side is being touched on. He smelled the lie, and he smelled the witches in Sir Malcolm’s mansion. Speaking of, what a wonderfully suspenseful scene. The witches disguised themselves as wallpaper in plain sight, instead of in the darkness as the vampires in Season 1. It shows that their superior boldness and cunning.

What does Dorian and Angelique’s story have to do with any of this? I haven’t the slightest clue. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

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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