Penny Dreadful Season 1 Report Card: Grade It!

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Some episodes of Penny Dreadful Season 1 were slower than others, but once the show found its footing, the story picked up its pace and delivered many surprises.

Now that the first season is over, it’s time to take a look back and see what the best and worst moments were and which characters were the most intriguing. Read on to find out how your favorites fared.

Best Character: Hands down, the best character of Season 1 was Eva Green (Vanessa Ives). In Penny Dreadful Season 1 Episode 1 she was mostly in the background, overshadowed by Victor and his monster. But soon Eva became the center of the series as more secrets were learned about her and Sir Malcolm’s past and the unusual abilities that she possessed. By the end of the season, she became the character that the entire second season will be based upon, as we all wait to find out if she will go through with the exorcism.

Vanessa's Vision

Worst Character: I’m going to have to go with Caliban on this, though perhaps not for reasons that most may expect. When we were first introduced to Victor’s “son,” he was nothing but a monster that killed Victor’s latest creation. Then we learned more of his story and my heart felt for him, but that would change again as more of his viciousness was revealed. In the end, I didn’t know what to think about Caliban -- should I hate him or love him? That kind of confusion made him my least favorite character.

Most Mysterious Character: While we were learning secrets about every character throughout the first season, it seemed like we barely learned anything about Ethan Chandler. We all had our opinions on whom or what he could be, but we didn’t even find out for sure that he was a werewolf until Penny Dreadful Season 1 Episode 8. But beyond knowing what kind of creature he is, there are still many questions to be answered about him in Season 2.

Most Underused Character: Dorian Gray came into the series with probably the most intriguing story, if you judged by literary background alone. He’s a man who obtains his unending youth by having a painting that carries an image of all the terribly depraved things he does. The moment I read he would be included in the series, I was excited to see his story but sadly he was only used as temptation for both Eva and Ethan. I can only hope they flesh out his character in Season 2.

Best Episode: It’s not easy to pick the best episode as there were so many that I loved, but I will have to go with Penny Dreadful Season 1 Episode 7. When Eva is possessed by The Master for weeks on end, she is taken care of by her new surrogate family. We got to see just how incredibly strong she was, but also how much all of these people now need each other. Part of the appeal of the first season was observing this group of unusual people become a family and I felt that was especially true in this episode.

Slowest Episode: Though it did give us a lot of background about Eva, Sir Malcolm and Mina, Penny Dreadful Season 1 Episode 5 didn’t move the story along much. By the end of it, we were still in the same place we have been when it began. Being nothing but additional backstory for three characters, it definitely moved the slowest of any episode in the first season.

Best Kiss: Okay, so maybe this isn’t the most romantic show and truly there were only a couple kisses in the entire first season. But how can one forget the moment that Ethan could no longer control the attraction he felt toward Dorian and drew him into a fierce embrace. The fact that we had no idea it was coming (at least I didn’t) until moments before it happened made it that much more exciting to watch.

Hopes for Season 2: Though it was nice to have a story slowly enfold in the first season, a little more story momentum in Season 2 would be appreciated. Also, as I said above, I’m hoping that they flesh out Dorian’s character. I also hope that we meet some new characters from horror literature and, finally, I hope that Eva chooses to be exorcised of her demons -- thought I don’t know if I actually want it to work. I think I want to see what happens when she chooses to go through with it, but I also don’t want her to lose her unique abilities.

Overall Grade: A-

YOUR turn, TV Fanatics. How would you grade Penny Dreadful Season 1?

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Penny Dreadful Quotes

Mr. Clare: Join the dance?
Vanessa: We both should. We have been unhappy long enough.
Mr. Clare: No matter the consequences?
Vanessa: Let us dare.
Mr. Clare: And if we're rejected?
Vanessa: Can we be more lonely than we are now?
Mr. Clare: Then let us dare.
Vanessa: And may the lost souls be found.

I already know what's wrong with you. You're unhappy. You're isolated. You think you're the cause of this unhappiness and are unworthy of affection so you've few friends. Recently you lost something you think very important. Your lover, your faith, your family, or all three. You blame yourself for this, so it makes you neurotic, and you don't sleep and don't eat, anything healthy anyway. You used to take care of your appearance, but you've lost interest in that, so you avoid mirrors. Sunlight bothers you, so you avoid that too, about which you're guilty because you think it's unhealthy and even immoral not to like the sun. You're not a woman of convention or you wouldn't be here, but you like to pretend you are so people don't notice you. But you sometimes like that as well and can dress to draw the eye. But then you think the men who look at you are fools, or worse, to be taken in by such an obvious outward show. So instead, you're drawn to dark, complicated, impossible men, assuring your own unhappiness and isolation because, after all, you're happiest alone. But not even then, because you can't stop thinking about what you've lost, again for which you blame yourself. So the cycle goes on, the snake eating its own tail. Or you can just have your teeth fixed.

Dr. Seward