Penny Dreadful Review: Voices of the Dead

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The shocks came fast and furiously on Penny Dreadful Season 1 Episode 2.

I remember calling the premiere episode of this series frightening and sorrowful. Well, now I can add shocking as well.

Madame Kali

There were so many unbelievably outrageous moments in this episode that it’s almost hard to know where to begin or even how to decide which was more scandalous than the last. Perhaps I’ll just start with the ending and go from there.

In order to talk about the ending, though, I must discuss what came before. Once again, I found myself entranced with Frankenstein and Porteus. I felt drawn into Porteus’ eyes and the innocence behind them.

Victor, what am I?


In other depictions of the story, Frankenstein’s creation is always portrayed as a monster, but I couldn’t get over how sweet Porteus was. Surely, they were going with a completely different portrayal in this series.

Or, maybe not.

In the last minute, poor Porteus was ripped literally in half by another monster. A monster that called himself Frankenstein’s “firstborn.” With that, it appeared we had met the real Frankenstein’s monster of this series.

Another shock (or rather, a bunch of shocks) came from the seance. Vanessa was skeptical about the whole thing, but something tells me she wasn’t after it was all over. Voices came out of her that I hope do not visit my dreams tonight or I fear I will never sleep again.

Galsworthy: They're not for the faint hearted.
Sir Malcolm: My heart has never fainted.

I thought her speaking as Sir Malcolm’s dead son was bad enough, but then a Greek goddess has her way with Vanessa and suddenly the show is introducing a pretty heavy duty myth arc. It involves powerful gods and a spell that will bring a beast and the end of the world.

So much for a simple, if frightening, show depicting characters from classic horror stories in a new light. Now there’s an apocalypse brewing and that always makes for a good show.

You see, you're hunting for a man. You need to start hunting for a beast.

Sir Malcolm

More shocking moments came from the introduction of a couple of new characters, including Dorian Gray and the hooker with a heart of gold known as Brona. When you’ve got a series on Showtime, you know you’re going to see some serious sex scenes, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one involving a guy who got turned on by doing it up against a wall with a woman specifically because she was dying of a horrible disease.

This second episode definitely brought the series to an entirely new place for me. While I was interested after the premiere, I am starting to feel an obsession coming on for this show.

Ethan: Brona?
Brona: It's Gaelic.
Ethan: What does it mean?
Brona: Sadness

Considering the frightening theme of this series, I have decided to list out the episode’s freakiest bits in lieu of my favorite bits. Feel free to share you favorite or freakiest bits in the comments below. I love hearing from you guys!

Freakiest bits:

  • The metal clanging that came down the darkened street.
  • The lamp-lighter’s fire falling in the fog.
  • The dark figure coming out of the fog.
  • The arm and the apple. That is all.
  • Dorian licking the blood off of Brona’s lips. Creepy.
  • Dorian remarking that he’d never screwed a dying creature before. Just, wow.
  • Brona spitting blood all over Dorian.
  • Madame Kali’s voice whispering, then snarling, then speaking in tongues.
  • The voices that came out of Vanessa during the seance. Especially the song. Oh my god, that song.
  • Vanessa hissing like a snake and everything she (it??) said after that.
  • The hands coming out of Proteus and tearing him in half!?!?!

What scene did you find the most shocking in this episode?

Seance Review

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Penny Dreadful Season 1 Episode 2 Quotes

Ethan: Brona?
Brona: It's Gaelic.
Ethan: What does it mean?
Brona: Sadness

  • Permalink: Sadness
  • Added:

My mother taught me many things. Among the most useful is that one must always have Shakespeare at hand.