Penny Dreadful 2×02 ‘Verbis Diablo’: We have no fear of God, so we are accountable to no one but each other

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This week’s episode of Penny Dreadful has got to be one of its best. Equal parts engaging, terrifying, and intriguing. This show constantly leaves me hungry for more.

The witches/Nightcomers as antagonists do so much more for the show than the vampires. In the first season, the vampires basically popped up whenever they felt like it. Their plans and goals were unknown to us. Their attacks were completely random. They provided more shock as with jump scares than the slow build up of terror that Penny Dreadful excels at. In last week’s episode, the Nightcomer’s appearance was much the same – ambushing the carriage. It didn’t change the tone of the show at all.

Source: Showtime

Source: Showtime

‘Verbis Diablo’ proves otherwise. We get to see the antagonists on their turf, through that, we are invited to view even a little of their souls, such as it is. Last week, Ethan mentioned that despite battling the devil himself, it is only when facing the Nightcomers that Vanessa shows fear. And after that last scene, which made me want to take a very long bath, there’s no question why. There’s some crazy voodoo satanic shit going down.

The highlight of this episode was definitely Vanessa and John’s (previously known as Caliban) exchange in the cholera shelter. What John was doing there, I’ve no idea. Maybe the free soup? What’s truly frightening about John is that he’s so easy to sympathize with. We forget what he really is – a cold-blooded murderer. He warns Victor not to speak of his sins. But is acknowledgement the same as remorse? He doesn’t seem the least bit sorry about killing Proteus and Van Helsing.

Source: Showtime

Source: Showtime

Brona, or now Lily, has been resurrected. Much of the criticism last year was on Brona’s unintelligible Irish accent and this was such an ingenious way to get rid of it. She slipped back into it once which hints that she may be getting her memories back soon. She’s also sporting a blonde bob now. If this whole mad scientist thing doesn’t work out for Victor, I think his Plan B is pretty much set. Victor is growing into one of the most frightening characters of the show. He’s only just realizing how much power he holds, both as Lily’s creator and as a scientist. His insidious manipulation of Lily is terrifying.

Dorian’s back! And while his scenes provide a welcome change of pace and tone in the show, it always seems as if he’s an afterthought. There’s still no indication as to how he ties in with the rest of the story. What do you think is going to happen? Leave a comment below and let me know!

 

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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