Penny Dreadful 2×09 ‘And Hell Itself My Only Foe’: True evil is above all things seductive

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I’ve mentioned this a few times, but my biggest issue with Penny Dreadful is its tendency to constantly build up what’s going to happen next, but the payoff is never there. Has ‘next’ even happened yet? Season 1 felt like it was building up to season 2, and now season 2 is already building up to season 3.

Source: Showtime

Source: Showtime

On that note, it’s revealed that Dorian knows exactly who Lily was the whole time. She gives Dorian the same speech and bites her ear off, which is a recurring thing in this episode. She makes Dorian heal his ear, which only goes to show Lily is far more observant than we ever thought. It appears as if she is forming some kind of supervillain group. John Clare was tricked into captivity by sweet Lavinia. There’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll get out of there soon and that this whole plot point only serves to further align him to Lily’s cause. We’ve seen that the core difference between him and Lily is his desire to be good and normal, while Lily is currently revelling in her debauchery. John hasn’t had much range this season, but Rory Kinnear must be praised in this episode. When Lavinia locks John in the cell, it is instantly clear from his face that he blames himself for falling for the trick. He hates himself for his need for even the slightest morsel of kindness, acceptance and love.

Sir Malcolm is still trapped in his memories and the gang foolishly goes to save him. I’m rather annoyed with how this is all being played out. Going at night is clearly a bad idea when that’s when the Nightcomers are strongest. Since Vanessa had already made her mind up about going anyway she should have just gone in the day and not waited so long to sneak out. There’s really no way her going alone could end well. Of course, the gang goes out on a rescue mission for two now. The cherry on top of the icing is that it also happens to be the night of the full moon.

Source: Showtime

Source: Showtime

It’s really frustrating how little communication happens in this group. Sembene already knows/suspects that Ethan is the ‘wolf of god’. If only he actually shared this information with the rest of the gang. I mean, trust and communication are the cornerstones of any successful relationship, right? I can’t fathom how Ethan thinks it’s a good idea to keep all this a secret considering their circumstances.

Source: Showtime

Source: Showtime

They’ve really been ramping up Hecate’s sass these past few episodes. Her effect on the plot has been quite insignificant so far. The only person she seems to be affecting is Evelyn, so I suppose she’ll be the one to take Evelyn out. Her interaction with Ethan was confusing to me. But she certainly knows how to make an exit.

It appears that the finale is going to be quite the episode, what with Victor and Sir Malcolm stuck in their delusions. Vanessa is about to face ‘the master’ and we’ll find out if Sembene survives Ethan’s attack. I expect Vanessa will do her witchy canine-controlling magic on Ethan and sic him on the master and his cronies or something.

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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