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Penny Dreadful Round Table: “What Death Can Join Together”

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Sir Malcolm, Ethan and Sambene went on a monster hunt, while Dorian and Vanessa grew closer together in Penny Dreadful Season 1 Episode 6.

Below, TV Fanatics Jim Garner, Henry A. Otero, Doug Wolfe and Michelle Carlbert discuss what happened when Vanessa and Dorian slept together, Caliban’s multiple bride options, what Van Helsing said before his demise and overall thoughts on the episode.

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When Vanessa and Dorian had sex, she became possessed again. Do you think it’s possible she knew that would be the result and did it on purpose after Sir Malcolm had demanded she get back in touch with the Master?

Doug: I suppose it's possible. I don't really think she's ever not possessed though - sex just probably brings out the beast in her.

Jim: Seems like a reasonable hypothesis, though I wonder if she gets possessed any time she has sex. That would make a person become a bit chasten.

Hank: I tend to agree with Doug. After her illness and the events of the flashbacks, I don't think Vanessa is ever not possessed. More like she's somehow got the demon in check. She's learned how to control it. During this particular sex act, she let loose and it slipped out... oops!

Michelle: Her attraction to Dorian seems very genuine, but when she became obsessed, I did wonder if she knew it would happen and planned on it. She did seem pretty upset that she couldn’t summon the Master as Sir Malcolm wanted so that might very well have been her solution.

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Caliban seems to have found the woman he would like as his bride. Is he heartbroken and brutal enough to murder her and present her to Victor?

Doug: Caliban would do anything at all to get what he wants. He is the ultimate self-entitled psychopath. I don't understand why Frankenstein just doesn't find a way to end him. Or even consider it.

Jim: I think she's a red herring. I think we are lead to believe she is the woman to be his bride, but in fact it will be someone else altogether. This is just to throw us off the scent.

Hank: The most predictable outcome is still Brona becoming Caliban's bride. However, like with Ethan being a werewolf the hints seem way too obvious. As Jim says, I think this woman is a red herring. I might be disappointed though if Brona's storyline doesn't turn out as interesting as the other characters.

Michelle: A couple weeks ago, I might have said that Caliban wouldn’t do something like that. I thought that he was just misunderstood and in pain, but now I see that he truly is a monster and I wouldn’t put it past him to do just that to get what he wants. As for whether or not it will happen, I am still hoping that Brona is destined to be his bride.

Why do you think Van Helsing told Victor that they must keep Sir Malcolm in the dark about vampires?

Doug: I'm really not sure. I think the whole topic of vampires is just too grisly and "out there" - and Van Helsing knows that anyone starts talking about it, someone's going to the loony bin for sure. But that's just a guess.

Jim: About vampires as a whole, I don't think Van Helsing realized how much Sir Malcolm already knows.

Hank: It seems Van Helsing didn't completely trust Sir Malcolm. We'll never know now that he's gone. Was anyone else really bummed out that they killed Van Helsing off so quickly and pointlessly? That was this week's shocker for me and not in a good way.

Michelle: I just don’t think Van Helsing knew all that Sir Malcolm had been through. If he had, I’m sure the two of them would have worked together. Too bad Caliban took away that chance.

We’ve talked about the possibility of Brona becoming Caliban’s bride, but could there be another solution for her? What do you think it could be?

Doug: Maybe when she's on her last breath, Ethan will be so heartbroken that he'll turn her. She'll become a werewolf.

Jim: They have medication for TB at this point in time, they've even mentioned it. If they don't end up giving her the meds, I have a sneaky feeling she will be the woman used for Caliban's bride, but we know how that normally turns out right?

Hank: I've also thought Ethan might turn her, but we're not 100% sure he's a werewolf so what exactly would he turn her into? And is turning her even an option? It's pretty clear Ethan is a supernatural creature and I'm ready to learn exactly what he is. I think the bride angle for Brona would make for some interesting drama in Season 2, since Ethan claims to love her.

Michelle: I’ve been thinking about Ethan turning her in the back of my mind, but without confirmation that he’s a werewolf, we just don’t know yet. Another thought that’s been percolating in my mind is the possibility of her becoming a vampire. But that seems far-fetched considering how mindless they appear.

What were your overall thoughts on the episode?

Doug: The story is starting to move forward again, which is great - and what a great place to end it, with Miss Ives twirling around in the air in front of a stunned Sir Malcolm. Looking forward to seeing the next ep!

Jim: The story is starting to settle into a rhythm and pacing that we can follow. I was happy with the overall progress, I'm just not sure how much they are going to wrap up in two episodes.

Hank: After last week's brilliant episode and performance by Eva Green, I had a feeling this one would suffer a bit by comparison. While I love the ending and Vanessa floating in front of a stunned Malcolm, most of the episode felt messy and random to me. Again, that's probably due to the more linear storytelling in last week's installment. Still, I love this series and there's nothing quite like it on television.

Michelle: Like Jim, I can’t help but to worry about how much of this story will be wrapped up in the next two episodes. I realized we need more stories for Season 2, but I’d still like to see some resolution. That’s not to say that I’m not enjoying the slow burn, because I definitely am.

Your turn, TV Fanatics. What did you think of the latest episode of Penny Dreadful?

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Penny Dreadful Season 1 Episode 6 Quotes

Van Helsing: She did not succumb to a disease precisely.
Victor: Of what did she succumb?
Van Helsing: I drove a stake through her heart and cut off her head.

Van Helsing: Of what I am about to tell you, we cannot enlighten him.
Victor: Why not?
Van Helsing: Because the truth is unendurable.