Penny Dreadful Season 2 Episode 1 Review: Fresh Hell

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There are many horror shows out there, but Penny Dreadful is one of the few that delivers genuinely scary moments.

It's unique in the way it manages to shock us, yet is exquisitely beautiful at the same time. Everything from the poetic dialogue, to the cinematography and music is sensational.

Then there's Eva Green, who deserved an Emmy for her portrayal of Vanessa Ives last year. Penny Dreadful Season 2 Episode 1 quickly reminded us it's all about her.

I've got to say, it's wonderful to be back in the demimonde. It's such a bizarre world John Logan has created, there's really nothing like this series on television. Trust me, I watch a ton of TV.

When we first met Madame Kali/Evelyn Poole last season, I dismissed her as a fraud. I wonder if the plan was always to make her the main antagonist this season. It certainly seems like she appeared briefly for a reason. Anyway, Helen McCrory is fantastic and I think she's going to be a great villain.

That said, the drama focusing on Ms. Ives again felt almost too similar to last season. Sure, locating Mina was the mission, but we were given a nice taste of Vanessa's past and possession. I'm expecting things to go in a different direction, it would be no fun for the show to repeat itself.

Catching up with Ethan after the massacre was great. The series did not skip a beat. Though he planned to leave London, it was clear he wasn't going anywhere. I think Ethan as Vanessa's protector is a brilliant move.

Ethan: Mina's dead, the creature's dead. We lost.
Vanessa: That was only a battle. Do you think the dark forces that converge on our heads can be vanquished so easily? Do you honestly believe you can escape them?
Ethan: And the other ones? The ones inside us?
Vanessa: Inside me you mean?
Ethan: No, that's not what I mean.

That attack by the witches was brutal. For a second, I thought the vampires had returned. Those witches certainly didn't look like any I've ever seen. Is there a reason they look that way? There were a couple of moments that made me jump. The incident was basically to let us know Vanessa can speak the Verbis Diablo... that can't be good.

Meanwhile, Victor worked to bring Brona back from the dead for his creature. I had no doubt he'd be successful, but will she remember he killed her? Will she remember Ethan? If so, things are going to get extremely complicated.

The fact Caliban got a job at a wax museum could not be more perfect. How will the Mariner's Inn Massacre scene come into play?

Caliban's lines are still some of the best of the show.

Victor: If this works. If I do as I have promised you. Give you this thing; living. Will you leave me in peace?
Caliban: You would do better to ask your soul to leave you. We are bound on a wheel of pain, thee and me. I ask you, what is Doctor Frankenstein without his creature?

Victor caressing the dead corpse was creepy, but it might be a sign he's going to fall for Brona. Will he and Caliban fight over her? It wasn't a surprise Brona was brought back. The shocks will come if/when she starts to remember things like Proteus.

When Sir Malcolm finally made it home, it was nice to see Vanessa run into his arms. The little misfit family was all back together and ready to fight the good fight. I found it interesting to learn that the Verbis Diablo is a "corruption of angelical speech." How does Ethan have this knowledge of the occult? Aside from the fact he's a werewolf, we know very little about him. Hopefully, more backstory is coming this season.

Vanessa seemed pretty sure she had to fight this battle on her own, but how was she familiar with the Night Comers?

Evelyn Poole: Darlings, I must confess to a modicum of disappointment about the events of last evening; disillusionment even.
Hecate: I should have gone mother. These three are unequal to our great task.
Evelyn Poole: No Hecate, the fault is mine. I believed us to be more powerful than we are. But the man concerns me, she has a protector.
Hecate: Lupus Dei... and he is powerful.
Evelyn Poole: So our task is made yet more daunting. Meaning we shall have to be yet more ingenious. We shall have to employ stratagems. He shall be your challenge daughter and she mine.

These witches were definitely scarier than other versions we've seen lately. I'm not a fan of witches in general, but I think Penny Dreadful's take is really going to work for me.

Though Vanessa was attempting to counter Evelyn Poole's onslaught, the three witches appeared right behind her. Does this mean they have access to her now? Will they haunt her dreams? Can Ethan protect her?

One of the things I love about this series, is its unpredictable nature. I have no clue what's coming next week, and that's exactly how I like it. We'll just have to tune in to find out... Won't we dreadfuls?

What did you think of "Fresh Hell"? Will the Mariner’s Inn Massacre survivor identify Ethan? Will Brona get her memories back? Is Vanessa in more danger this season? Where's Dorian Gray? You're up, sound off in the comments below. Let's talk Penny Dreadful!

NOTE: Penny Dreadful Season 2 Episode 2 is titled “Verbis Diablo” and airs on Sunday, May 10.

Fresh Hell Review

Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (20 Votes)
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Penny Dreadful Season 2 Episode 1 Quotes

Victor: If this works. If I do as I have promised you. Give you this thing; living. Will you leave me in peace?
Caliban: You would do better to ask your soul to leave you. We are bound on a wheel of pain, thee and me. I ask you, what is Doctor Frankenstein without his creature?

Ethan: Mina's dead, the creature's dead. We lost.
Vanessa: That was only a battle. Do you think the dark forces that converge on our heads can be vanquished so easily? Do you honestly believe you can escape them?
Ethan: And the other ones? The ones inside us?
Vanessa: Inside me you mean?
Ethan: No, that's not what I mean.