Well, this Malcolm-centric installment's probably my least favorite of the season.
That said, it did deliver a standout moment we've all been waiting for since Penny Dreadful Season 1. That's right, we finally got a glimpse at Dorian's mysterious portrait, and it was wicked as all Hell.
Unfortunately, I predicted early on that things would not end well with Angelique and Penny Dreadful Season 2 Episode 8 proved me right. Damn, I hate it when I'm right.
The cold open showing Lily snuggling with that man's corpse was unsettling. Isn't it interesting how much we liked her up to this point? Now that this twisted part of her personality has been revealed; not so much. I'm afraid her days are numbered. Sure, she and Caliban are closer than ever, but they're a lethal combination. One will die, and my money's on Lily.
Speaking of Caliban, boy did he ever take his anger out on Victor. Though he threatened to electrocute him, I never thought for a moment he'd kill his creator. There's also a slim chance Caliban and Lily run off together. However, I seriously doubt that will happen until she and Ethan have been reunited. Will that be the moment that pushes her over the edge?
Timothy Dalton is a great actor, I've just never connected with his character on this show. I've grown as bored with him as Evelyn with Mr. Lyle. That reminds me, was that kiss between those two the most awkward thing ever? I like Mr. Lyle, but I fear he's not long for this world; unless Hecate attempts a coup saving Mr. Lyle in the process. That would be an interesting turn of events, don't you think?
Anyway, back to Sir Malcolm. I did like the Season 1 callback of Rusk asking Malcolm about visiting his predecessor at Scotland Yard.
Inspector Rusk: What did you talk about?
Sir Malcolm: I barely remember.
Inspector Rusk: I spoke to him an hour ago. You asked him about the Spitalfields murders. You were quite insistent that he stop hunting for a man, and start hunting for a beast. Why would you say that?
Sir Malcolm: I don't recall.
Inspector Rusk is clearly onto Ethan, but how has he made the connection between Mr. Chandler and "the beast"? Is anyone else hoping Ethan rips the damn inspector to pieces?
Elsewhere, Lily and Victor argued over where she had been. I question every move Lily makes now. She was unstable before, but now she's just plain volatile. Caliban had his reasons for being a monster, but Lily seemed much more together.
Lily and Caliban's confrontation was interesting, as well. How cruelly she spoke to him, taking years of abuse by men out on poor Mr. Clare. I'm assuming her memories have returned, which is why she wants to kill Victor. Will Caliban allow that? Will he be forced to choose between his maker and his bride? Shout out to Billie Piper, who absolutely nailed that scene.
Mr. Lyle finally completed his translation of the Verbis Diablo and we learned that two demonic brothers exist. I assumed the vampire and Lucifer were one and the same, but now we know different.
And now the rest of the tale. So we were cleaved apart; two brothers cast out to two realms. One brother to Earth and the other brother to Hell. And thus will be set in eternal enmity, my brother on Earth to feed on the blood of the living by night and myself in Hell to feed on the souls of the dead. Both in an eternal quest for the mother of evil.Mr. Lyle
Supposedly, Vanessa will help one of them conquer Heaven and topple God... but how, exactly? I'm not quite understanding what makes Ms. Ives so incredibly powerful. I realize Mr. Lyle tried to explain it to Sembene. She's the "chosen one." It all just seems a bit much, doesn't it? Whatever, let's just go with it. Sembene made the "Hound of God" connection, which was great, though he kept it to himself.
There was another thing that bugged me a bit. Evelyn had such control over Sir Malcolm, yet he snapped out of it so quickly. I get it, memories, love and all that good stuff. Anyway, the ghostly waltz scene was extremely well done. Watching Sir Malcolm with his children's ghosts was definitely touching. I think that's the first time I felt something for him.
Ultimately, Malcolm made his way to Evelyn's house. Though it's not clear how he put two and two together, he realized she was a Nightcomer and went hunting.
Evelyn: Memory, such a potent force in our lives. All of these Memento Mori for one sobering message; remember that you will die.
Sir Malcolm: What do you want of me?
Evelyn: You see darling, I understand hunting as well. Though I've never been to your beloved Africa, sometimes you tie a lamb to lure a lion don't you? So all I require of you is that you... Baaaa.
Sir Malcolm: Why Ms. Ives?
Evelyn: Because the master desires her.
Do you think Evelyn was being honest when she asked him to love her? While she appeared to be speaking the truth, the witch turned on Malcolm rather painlessly, didn't she?
Poor Angelique had a right to be irritated with Dorian for taking Lily out again. How quickly he grew bored of Angelique after throwing a ball in her honor. The minute she discovered his hidden room, I knew she had sealed her fate. Would he strangle her with his scarf? Alas, no, poisoning her was far less messy.
The sad thing is, I believe Angelique could have loved Dorian, regardless of his secret. The image in the portrait was monstrous, but I'm thrilled they finally revealed it to us. Now, we need to learn the story behind it. Who painted it, and did he sell his soul to one of the two brothers? For the first time, I feel like Dorian's story may connect with the bigger picture. Did he make a pact with Lucifer?
Wasn't this the first episode without Eva Green? All I know for sure is, I missed both Vanessa and Ethan this week.
What did you think of "Memento Mori"? Did you miss Vanessa and Ethan? Was Dorian's portrait what you were expecting? Who's next to go; Lily or Caliban? You're up Dreadfuls, sound off in the comments below.
NOTE: Penny Dreadful Season 2 Episode 9 is titled “And Hell Itself My Only Foe” and airs on Sunday, June 28.