Penny Dreadful cancelled as the season 3 finale of Penny Dreadful turned out to be the series finale – not that anyone bothered telling the fans before it was all over! *Spoilers all over the place*
Yes, the terribly sad “Penny Dreadful cancelled” headline is correct. Or was it really cancelled? According to creator John Logan, it was the plan all along and it just ran its course. Of course, that leaves the obvious question: Why in the HELL didn’t anyone say so? Usually, you try to work a series finale for all it’s worth. Starting with letting people know that it’s the final season. When you don’t say it up front, then it’s means the show has been cancelled – or someone chose to end it, because they have the power to do so.
However, the claim – and yes, I really want to stand by that wording – is that this was the plan all along for Vanessa. And I can absolutely believe that part. I don’t particular like it, but I do both respect and buy the premise that Vanessa Ives could never actually win in this life.
That simply doesn’t explain why they’ve spent the entire season 3 building up story lines that are not connected to Vanessa Ives. In fact, most of the characters have not interacted with Miss Ives this season. As in, at all. Lily, Dorian, Ethan, Sir Malcolm and Frankenstein have not interacted with her. And Catriona and Dracula/Dr. Sweet were introduced as new characters only involved with her story line, while Dr. Jekyll and Justine had nothing to do with Vanessa Ives at all, and Kaetenay only saw her in a vision and after she died.
I truly loathe being lied to. It’s a pet peeve of mine. I don’t want to be told some PR spin. And while I don’t want to spoil others, I can never keep myself from being spoiled – the time difference of living in Europe makes it pretty hard to not be spoiled anyway.
I just want the creators to give it to me straight (though preferably with a little gay storyline in the mix, as well – sorry, couldn’t help working that pun). Anyway, they could’ve just told us: Was it the ratings? Did you run out of ideas? What was it? Cause this was definitely not it. Not “the plan all along” as far as the entire show goes. I call bullshit and there’s no way you can convince me otherwise, because the proof it right there in the season we just witnessed.
But yes, my beloved Penny Dreadful is indeed over, and we’re left with a whole slew of open-ended story lines. Really rather strange for a series that was always planned to be three seasons, don’t you think?
A quick run-down of some of the characters and where we left them
Who killed the Creature?
Was he even killed or did he really “just” die in some horrible accident?
What is his real name?
We got a bit more information about Brona Croft’s life, but What happens to Lily now? Once again, she’s all alone and doomed to walk this Earth as an immortal and there’s no indication of what she’ll do, but she has no one and nothing. Could she at least have had some sort of revenge over Dorian Gray?
With three years of having this storyline planned, surely you could’ve given us something? Let us see her get on a boat to America or say that she’ll head to Paris. Anything!
Dorian Gray himself is also left alone, but he’s pretty much used to this and acts like it’s business as usual and the little Lily footnote of his life – despite her being the one person he could live with forever – is very easily let go by him.
Having let Lily go, he seems to be getting back to a healthier and happier version of himself.
Ready for new adventures with his true friends, Sir Malcolm and Ethan, but none we’ll see apparently.
Well, wasn’t that a lovely and very brief acquaintance for us all as an audience. I mean, what the Hell was the point of all that? Nothing you couldn’t have solved with the line “A good friend of mine, Dr Jekyll, found a cure that will bring you back to me, Lily. We can be happy again!” There, done. You’re welcome! We saw hints of Mr. Hyde, but nothing ever really came of it, and then it was neatly wrapped up with his father dying and Frankenstein calling him by his new title “Lord Hyde”. Lovely! Not that the story is actually called Dr Jekyll and Lord Hyde, but whatevs… this was totally the plan all along. No way in Hell, we weren’t about to meet MISTER Hyde in Season 4.
Well, he resisted evil and fulfilled his life mission as the Hound of God. And isn’t that lovely for him? Or wait… did he actually do that?! He helped Vanessa, but Dracula is still out there. And the old vampire himself said that this Hound of God had been foretold as the one to end him. Also, Ethan lost the love of his life – even though he hooked up with a demon witch just a few episodes earlier, but he was struggling and well, you know, “They were on a break!”. Basically, everything sucks for the Wolfman, but don’t worry, it was – say it with me now – THE PLAN ALL ALONG.
Sir Malcolm Murray
At least he got a few lines to state that now everyone he’s know throughout the more normal parts of his life are gone, since Vanessa was the last link to his life before all this happened. He now has Ethan as they’ve chosen to be each other’s family, but doesn’t know what to do… or who he is in this world even. Umm, how about going to Egypt and finding Ferdinand Lyle – something many were suspecting was being set up for season 4.
What an amazing character to spring on us more than halfway through a season of a show you were just about to end. That girl was on fire in the season finale – sorry, I mean, the very planned series finale – and seemed like the perfect human being to take over Vanessa’s place in the group. Not that anyone could replace Vanessa, and Catriona is VERY different, but since they’d be heading in a new direction anyway (*cough* Egypt), it made sense.
Farewell videos from creator John Logan
But never you mind my paranoia and refusal to accept this story line, which was obviously the plan all along. And again, I do accept that this was the story of Vanessa Ives, but there were plenty of other characters to continue with – even if Vanessa Ives was a cornerstone character.
I do adore John Logan for his creation, but I really hate the way this has been treated. You really shouldn’t lie to the people, who are making your career. The production companies and TV stations may be paying you, but unless people watch your shows that will soon end. Having said that… I know I’ll still watch his creations in the future, but I won’t expect him to end them well.
Here’s a video of creator John Logan, Josh Hartnett (Ethan) and Eva Green (Vanessa) explaining the final moments for Ethan and Vanessa on Penny Dreadful:
And this is John Logan’s farewell to the fans and a thank you to the cast and crew of Penny Dreadful:
As always, you can follow the Penny Dreadful tag for recaps or anything else related to the show!