Penny Dreadful 2×07 ‘Little Scorpion’: My god, let him be happy


Penny Dreadful features an awful lot of build up and not much pay off at the end. Last week’s episode escalated into Ethan’s transformation and a bloody ball. We start off the episode with the morning after. We’re starting to see the effect Evelyn Poole has on Sir Malcolm. Sir Malcolm begins to doubt Vanessa, and he’s the only one to do so. The isolation begins. Vanessa decides London is far too dangerous for her and skips off to the moors with Ethan. Lyle and Victor are still figuring out the puzzle. Sir Malcolm is probably in Evelyn’s claws somewhere.

This episode is a heartbreaking one. Vanessa and Ethan discuss Sir Malcolm’s new relationship and how it has changed him. Vanessa mentions how it was their anger that gave them a unique bond, and now that the anger is gone, she fears the bond will disappear. She acknowledges her selfishness and says ‘My god, let him be happy’. But we as the audience know that this happiness is false – as manufactured as the dolls in the witches’ den. And that’s what this episode is about, happiness and its inevitable end.

Source: Showtime

Source: Showtime

The crux of this episode is spent at the Cut-Wife’s cottage with Vanessa and Ethan. It’s peaceful, introspective, idyllic even. Their days are spent gathering food, shooting lessons and dance lessons. There’s even a parallel between Ethan and the Cut-Wife. They are getting along so swimmingly that part of me doesn’t quite want Ethan and Vanessa to get together. It’s hinted by Victor and Lyle that the hound of god (presumably Ethan) can and/or will guard Vanessa from the devil. So far, Vanessa hasn’t had any positive sexual experiences that we know of. If Ethan is the hound of dog, I think that them getting together will put a major damper on the devil’s plans. It’s sort of confirmed when Ethan makes a move on Vanessa and she suddenly rejects him, although she doesn’t seem to be herself.

Their happy times end with Sir Geoffrey and his dogs. Vanessa uses the book that the Cut-Wife left her and controls Sir Geoffrey’s dogs, making them tear him apart. I expect this is some kind of foreshadowing that Vanessa has the power to control Ethan.

Source: Showtime

Source: Showtime

I have to say, the whole Lily situation was a real shocker to me. She has a nice date with Dorian at the wax museum where they see some lovely murder scenes, and somehow ends up banging a random dude and killing him halfway through intercourse. Proteus started getting memories back soon after his resurrection. Perhaps Lily has been recovering her memories this whole time and has been playing everyone else like a fiddle. She now shares John Clare’s homicidal tendencies, so I guess they have something in common now. There’s someone out there for everyone.

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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