On Penny Dreadful Season 1 Episode 3, Caliban told his story, Ethan had a mysterious encounter at the zoo and the group came closer than ever to the monster that stole Sir Malcom’s daughter.
Below, TV Fanatics Douglas Wolfe, Jim Garner, Carissa Pavlica and Michelle Carlbert discuss Caliban’s history, the introduction of “Frankenstein’s bride,” Ethan’s secrets and Fenton’s master...
We learned about Caliban’s (aka Frankenstein’s firstborn) in this episode. Once you found out more about his tragic past, did it change your feelings about him?
Carissa: I wish, but no. If they had shared more of his birth story, maybe. But, sadly, he's not cute like Proteus. He looks evil and he's decided to be evil. Now he is demanding Frankenstein kill to make him happy? No thanks.
Jim: I wanted to, but as Carissa pointed out, he's chosen to be evil and that taints any sympathy I might have for his past.
Doug: His character typifies a kind of entitlement personality that we sometimes see in everyday society. I disliked him when I saw him as an unfeeling dangerous monster. Now that we know he has feelings and destroyed Proteus in a fit of pique, I think he just became boring. We can feel sorry for him because of his origins, but he has learned since then, hasn't he? Plus, he got to experience great kindness and acceptance from a stranger. Apparently he's learned nothing from that.
Michelle: It changed my feelings for him completely. I thought he was nothing but a monster the moment he was introduced, but then I found myself completely sympathizing with him after hearing his terribly sad story.
Do you think Frankenstein will give Caliban his bride and what do you think she will be like?
Carissa: I have no idea. I can only hope she's someone near death who might benefit from a new life, even if it's not real. Does anyone else think bringing in a bride feels just a tad too soon?
Doug: Yes, I think he will. He may try and find a way to kill Caliban first, but the monster is too canny to be fooled by him. I think we can expect that Caliban will have to prove his willingness to destroy someone that Frankenstein loves before he finally gets his bride. What will she be like? I have no idea. Each of Frankenstein's creations have been entirely different from each other so far. I doubt Frankenstein will know or even have a say into what his next one will be like.
Jim: I figure he might. Hell, he seems to have no trouble making new creations, other than them falling to pieces at family reunions. What? To soon?
Michelle: I think he will have no choice, though I don’t know if he wants to try his experiment again. Then again, he might be looking forward to perfecting his technique and building a bride could be the way to do that. I think she might follow some of the previous incarnations of the character and end up being frightened by her betrothed.
What did you think of Ethan’s interactions with the wolves at the zoo? Is he a werewolf?
Carissa: that seems like a logical choice except that the wolves would likely still have wanted to attack even after learning of his true form since they're territorial. It would explain waking up in the streets, but wolves are always fully aware of their other side in our current lore.
Jim: Creepy and strange. If he's not a werewolf, he has the steadiest hands ever.
Doug: It seems that he probably is a werewolf. I have to tell you, I cringed when I saw him put his hand inside the wolf's mouth.
Michelle: I’m rather sorry to drop my Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde theory, but it does seem like they are firmly putting him in the werewolf genre. However, a part of me hopes that it’s all a red herring and his true nature will turn out to be something different.
What sort of creature do you think Fenton’s “master” will be? Do you think he will be a form of human like Fenton or something completely different?
Carissa: Dracula? He's eating animals to get to the blood, and Dracula could be hanging out in the eaves in bat form.
Jim: Betting its Dracula... and he will be a bit of both.
Doug: Given Fenton's description that he is everywhere, I have to think his master might be a vampire or something worse. His prophecy about everything changing and the "hidden ones" coming out was chilling.
Michelle: Though there have been references to Egyptian gods, I am thinking that we are going to see a man. Probably a man with great powers, but a man nonetheless. I fully expect him to walk up in a long coat, carrying a cane. The funny thing is, that will likely frighten me more than a large, horned beast that breathes fire.
What was your favorite scene?
Carissa: I really didn't think this episode stood up to the first. It was slow and focused too much time on Caliban. I don't want them to get ahead of themselves. It feels a bit too X-Men right now... Always introducing but not following through. Can you tell favorite scene questions don't work well for me? :-) The wolf not biting Ethan.
Jim: While the episode moved better than Penny Dreadful Season 1 Episode 2, none of the scenes stood out above the others.
Doug: The scene where Frankenstein and his mother are lamenting over the loss of their dog Bradshaw. As soon Victor said "tis just thee and me now” and she replied with "ourselves alone," I fully expected her to drop dead right there. So I wasn't disappointed when the next thing out of her mouth was blood.
Michelle: Caliban’s birth. His screams of pain and terror are still ringing in my head even though it’s been days since I’ve watched the episode. His was such an awful introduction to this world and I especially felt for him when he saw animals beaten and assumed he must be an animal as well.