Penny Dreadful Season 2 Episode 9 Review: And Hell Itself My Only Foe

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Well, I'm bummed out by Penny Dreadful Season 2 Episode 9's ending to say the least.

Let's not kid ourselves, there is little hope Sembene survived that attack. What a shame we lost one of our original players without learning more of his backstory. Just when he and Ethan bonded too, damn.

Unfortunately, I'm afraid we're going to lose a few more of our favorites in the final hour of Penny Dreadful Season 2.

While the ending was a shocker, the installment's intro certainly was not. I think it's safe to say we all expected Mr. Roper's death. They made a point of showing a half moon, which meant Ethan was stuck in human form. From that moment, I had very little doubt Vanessa would do the deed. The only real question was, how would she do it? Using the spell book, a gun or knife?

I'm glad we did not linger too long in the Cut-Wife's cottage. This is the penultimate episode after all, and there are still so many loose ends. With the Pinkerton agent gone, will we ever learn more about Ethan's past? Will his father send someone else after him?

The fight scene was brutal nonetheless, with Vanessa clawing at Roper's damaged face and Ethan biting him. Ouch!

Vanessa: You did that to his face?
Ethan: Yes.
Vanessa: What are you?

Victor appeared in the nick of time and everyone rushed back to London. Of course, Inspector Rusk was there to greet them. This guy's even more persistent than Mr. Roper. Will that cost him his life in the finale? The highlight of their conversation was that we learned Ethan's real name; Ethan Lawrence Talbot. Hey at least he's still an Ethan, right? If he ends up back in the States, it will be Rusk that's responsible.

At Evelyn's castle, Sir Malcolm's psychological torture continued. Personally, I loved seeing Peter and Mina again even as corpses. As I mentioned in last week's Penny Dreadful Season 2 Episode 8 review, I'm not a huge Malcolm fan so more power to the ghosts for the otherworldly guilt trip.

It was just a matter of time before Mr. Lyle's treachery was discovered. I thought it was honorable of him to come clean and finally choose a side.

Mr. Lyle: I don't for a moment deny my complicity with that evil woman, but you must believe me when I say that's done. And I am willing to suffer the consequences of my disloyalty to her, which are ruinous.
Victor: And now we're to trust you?
Mr. Lyle: I hope I've demonstrated my allegiance to the people in this room. My shame is my own to live with and I shall.
Vanessa: No one here is above guilt Mr. Lyle. We need every ally for the night ahead.

Poor Mr. Lyle, I seriously doubt he'll be sticking around for Season 3. I hope I'm wrong. Anyway, it was disappointing that Vanessa went into battle on her own. She put all her friends in danger.

As for Caliban/Mr. Clare, we learned that Putney's goal was to put him on display. How sad that it was Lavinia who lured him into that cage. Of all the Putneys, she seemed to be the kindest. If there's one thing Penny Dreadful has taught us, it's looks can be deceiving. I don't think they'll wrap up his story arc in the finale, but I hope Lily comes for him next season. The Putneys will be put on display, though it's doubtful they'll be breathing.

Speaking of Lily, can you believe she bit Dorian's ear off? Brona/Lily's journey certainly has been an interesting one and Billie Piper's killed it.

Hecate's appearance in Ethan's room was a moment I wasn't expecting. Is the "Wolf of God" truly more important to her than Ms. Ives?

Hecate: You have been given a great power. One day you will use it, and take your foretold place over these mortal animals. You know in your heart I'm speaking the truth, admit it.
Ethan: Yes.
Hecate: You are what you are. And when you're ready, I will serve you best of all.

What the hell was that all about? Is Ethan next season's villain? I'll be honest, I wouldn't mind the focus shifting away from Vanessa for a while. Still, I hate the thought that Ethan will give in to his dark side. This was an interesting little seed John Logan threw our way. Neat trick with the mirror too.

Ultimately, Vanessa faced Evelyn by herself forcing her friends to go in after her. It was a selfish move that cost Sembene, and probably others their lives. The confrontation was quite civil and I was glad to hear Evelyn bring up her sister, Joan Clayton. Obviously we have yet to see the finale, but Penny Dreadful Season 2 Episode 3 is easily one of my favorite episodes this season. I thought Vanessa would be more fearful of her fetish. Hopefully we'll see more of that scene in the finale.

When Ethan begged Sembene not to let him hurt their friends, I knew someone wasn't making it out alive. The moment the two pals found themselves trapped with Ethan facing his transformation, it was clear who that person was. Wasn't it heartbreaking to hear Sembene say his goodbyes? Yeah, I cried but I'm proud of how bravely he faced death. I'm going to miss the guy, and I wish we had a chance to learn more about him.

What did you think of "And Hell Itself My Only Foe"? Any chance Sembene survived? What is Hecate playing at? Is Lily scary now or what? You're up Dreadfuls, share your thoughts in the comments below. Can you believe the season's nearly over?

NOTE: Penny Dreadful Season 2 Episode 10 is titled “And They Were Enemies” and airs on Sunday, July 5.

And Hell Itself My Only Foe Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (19 Votes)
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Penny Dreadful Season 2 Episode 9 Quotes

Mr. Lyle: I don't for a moment deny my complicity with that evil woman, but you must believe me when I say that's done. And I am willing to suffer the consequences of my disloyalty to her, which are ruinous.
Victor: And now we're to trust you?
Mr. Lyle: I hope I've demonstrated my allegiance to the people in this room. My shame is my own to live with and I shall.
Vanessa: No one here is above guilt Mr. Lyle. We need every ally for the night ahead.

Vanessa: You did that to his face?
Ethan: Yes.
Vanessa: What are you?