The second episode of Penny Dreadful season 3 shows us what Lily and Dorian Gray have been up to, and they’ve been having fun
Penny Dreadful season 3 started last week, but we didn’t see Lily Frankenstein (Billie Piper) or Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney) at all. However, not to fear, since that’s something this week’s episode makes up for.
But first Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) is back for another session with Dr. Seward (Patti Lupone). Dr. Seward records everything, so she can focus on Vanessa and not taking notes, and when Vanessa says she’s never heard her own voice before, the good doctor deadpans “You won’t like it. Nobody does” which, of course, is true, but how wonderful this blunt honesty is, in this old posh world, where everyone is polite and nobody say what they really mean.
Clearly, Vanessa also enjoys this and ends up telling Dr. Seward everything. As in everything. Even for this tough-as-nails professional, it seems a bit much and she gives Vanessa a new assignment: Do something that makes you happy. Whatever it is, just do it and come back to talk about it in the next session. As Vanessa leaves, Dr. Seward falls apart and despite her best efforts, the tears cannot be held back. Very powerful coming from this strong woman, who tries her best to help others.
Of course, the thing that makes Vanessa happy is Dr. Sweet (Christian Camargo), so she’s off to the Museum of zoology. After a wonderful afternoon talk with Dr. Sweet, Vanessa ends up sending him a written invitation to a date. He agrees and meets her at a theater, which has an animated (in an old-fashioned way) show of Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, which Dr. Sweet had told Vanessa he absolutely loved.
They have a wonderful evening and he promises never to forget her name again – something he has excelled at every time they’ve met. As they part ways, Vanessa senses something behind her but tries to ignore it.
At Dr. Seward’s office, the secretary who was forced to become one of Dracula’s minions in the season premiere is listening to the recordings of Vanessa’s latest session and then goes to Dracula’s lair to tell him everything. This is where Dracula is revealed and – as many had already feared – it’s the person we’ve already come to know as Dr. Alexander Sweet.
Poor Vanessa… she really can’t have anything good or nice. Then again, Dracula originally does everything out of despair over losing his great love – I’m oversimplifying, I know – so you never know how all this will turn out. Still, he certainly is working Miss Ives right now… and things rarely turn out well for her.
Meanwhile, Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton) is on his way to the Americas with Kaetenay (Wes Studi) and he really isn’t enjoying the high seas. Kaetenay has some amazing abilities and manages to go into a trance, where he reaches Ethan Chandler/Ethan Talbot (Josh Hartnett) in a dream. Ethan attacks him and there’s clearly bad blood there, but still, Ethan also tells Kaetenay where he is and where he’s going, so they’ll be able to find him.
Later on, Ethan is at a tavern of some sort and a Native American woman recognizes him since she is also one of Kaetenay’s people. This is very fortunate since Ethan has enough time to get her to safety just as the moon becomes full and he turns into a werewolf. He kills everyone in the room – which is mostly the people holding him captive – and when one of them is about to get the upper hand, Hecate (Sarah Greene), steps out from the shadows – or actually, the wallpaper, which we know from last season they can become one with – and saves him.
Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway) is eating breakfast with Henry Jekyll (Shazad Latif), who is being a good friend and seems intent on getting Victor back to his old self. Victor wants to see what Dr. Jekyll has achieved with his trials so far and they go to Bedlam Psychiatric Hospital, which is a name you should recognize since it’s one of the most notorious asylums in history. He manages to show an amazing case of a man, who’s completely rapid but turns into a regular gentleman after getting Dr. Jekyll’s potion.
Victor isn’t crazy about having to bring Lily to such an awful place, but the proof is in the pudding and if this works, he could get his Lily back. Of course, the Lily he’s thinking of, never really existed, but you can’t reason with a fool in love.
If you’ve forgotten Lily’s story and her relationship with Victor Frankenstein and Dorian Gray, then you can check out the recap for last week, where I covered this.
I’ve loved Billie Piper’s impressive development on Penny Dreadful since the very beginning, and her transition into this powerful Lily character is simply astounding – I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating; Between her, Eva Green and Patti LuPone, this show has some of the most amazing female actors and characters on TV right now. They’re powerful in their own right and seem to become increasingly aware of this fact, as it is especially obvious with Lily, who is taking complete charge of her life.
When Lily sees Victor sitting outside her and Dorian’s home, she goes to talk to him and warns him to stay away. She’s kind and tells him that he’ll get over this “first love” of his – and also lets him know that most of his memories are fiction he created for himself. However, it’s also clear that she probably won’t be as kind if he continues to pursue her.
Of course, that also means little Victor Frankenstein (yeah, he is a very small man in this story) needs to try and remind her that he is in fact her master. Oh sure, he believes he loves her, and he did make her, but he also wants to change her. A story we all know – men and women – but this one is still quite different.
There’s also another part of this episode, which I’ve saved for last; Lily and Dorian get a new family member. At the beginning of this episode, they go to some sort of underground club, where someone will get butchered. This is the warning at the door since they seem surprised to see a lady, but Lily simply replies that she knows and that it’s what they’re paying for.
A man dressed as an executioner drags a girl (Jessica Barden) into the room. The girl spits in her executioner’s face and Lily exchanges a knowing glance with Dorian. This sets off a killing spree, where Dorian shoots and Lily stabs all of the other participants at the event. The girl is unharmed and they take her home.
She wakes up clean and dressed in a bed, and walks around the mansion until she comes across Lily and Dorian dancing. They stop and Lily goes over to talk to the girl. It becomes evident that she sees herself in the girl – someone who’s had to fend for herself on the street, selling her body, but keeping her dignity and spunk – and invites her to join them. When Lily asks the girl if she forgives the men, who have hurt her, and the girl asks what Lily wants her to do, she states that the girl will have her revenge. Ah yes, this should be very interesting indeed.
For the record, this is the official episode plot:
Lily and Dorian, rescue a young woman. Sir Malcolm continues on his journey with the enigmatic Kaetenay. Meanwhile, Ethan gets some unexpected help from Hecate. Dr. Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll hatch a plan. Vanessa’s relationship with Dr. Sweet grows but, unbeknownst to her, evil forces are tracking her every move.
We’ll be back next time with a recap for Penny Dreadful episode 3, which you can watch the promo for right here:
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