PENNY DREADFUL (2014): S1E6 – “What Death Can Join Together” Review
After last week’s flashback origins episode, we’re back in the present this week in the wonderful world of PENNY DREADFUL. Ethan and his whore girlfriend, Brona, make up. I guess they just chalked up her violent reaction to her sickness, and in all honesty, it’s hard to follow through on a break up when the other person is literally dying. Speaking of, I have a prediction to make regarding the state of Brona. The show thus far focuses a lot on Vampires. This episode further drives that home during the subplot with Professor Van Helsing. (more on that later) So given that Ethan Chandler and Sir Malcolm are hunting Vampires, while Frankenstein is doing research into the Vampire creatures that has Malcolm’s daughter Mina captive, it all seems to be pointing somewhere. I have an eerie feeling that Brona’s life will be saved, by turning her a vampire herself. A sick main character with a badass boyfriend who just has been introduced ingot he world of the supernatural, willing to do anything to save her… only seems natural.
Dr. Frankenstein on the other hand spends more time with Van Helsing. There seems to be a lot more of the famous literary vampire hunter this episode, as he blatantly reveals to Frankenstein the existence of these creatures that Helsing is so knowledgeable about. However, he warns Frankenstein not to mention anything of Vampires to Malcolm. The vampire angle of PENNY DREADFUL seems clear, but it’s hard to determine where the Egyptian Amun-Ra legend falls into play. Is Amun-Ra the Master that has Mina, or is he an entirely different entity who’s after Vanessa? After his chat with Van Helsing, who urges Frankenstein to live, as he has much more to offer the world, his creature shows up and kills Van Helsing to as a sign of his power to threaten Frankenstein into making him his mate. It’s an abrupt scene, but effective in its shock, as the good Doctor lay there sobbing. Earlier on, The Creature was faced with the fact again that no mortal woman would ever love him. Hence his reason for taking it out on the Doctor.
Vanessa herself has an interesting episode after the fucked up shit from last week. She goes on a date with Dorian Gray. It’s a rare time when we see Vanessa a little softer and warmer than her usual self. Almost giddy like a schoolgirl going out with a boy she likes. The evening goes well, with great double meaning conversations between Gray & Vanessa. He makes references to his immortality, while she speaks of her connection to the devil; it’s a rousingly good time. The night culminates with the two enjoying some painful sex…, which in turn seems to release something within Vanessa. A voice comes on in her head, saying how he’s been waiting for her. She immediately leaves Gray and runs off frantically. From last episode’s origin story, which at one point saw Vanessa literally being fucked by some sort of entity, I wonder if having sex again strengthened the same connection once more.
In the meantime, Chandler, Malcolm and his manservant investigate a ship in the port of London, where they come across many vampire women, failing to find Mina. However, there is a head Vampire on the ship and after an amazing gun and knife fight between the three and a group of Vampire women, the Vampire reveals himself on the other side of the ship which is now coming down in flames after the fight. Mina appears in the vampires clutches, but Malcolm is unable to save her. After a lecture from Chandler, Malcolm realizes that he has to tell Vanessa the truth about Amun-Ra and how she may be his target. When Vanessa walks in, Malcolm is about to tell her, when she suddenly seems to be taken over by something or someone… levitates to the ground and starts twirling in mid-air.
Another amazing episode from this amazing show. PENNY DREADFUL comes off like a cross between an amazingly well written play and a literary beautiful films that goes on weekly. The careful context of each line of dialogue, the metaphor and imagery, and calculated interactions between the lead characters are all measured so finely that every scene leaves one stunned at its perfection. Add to this the concept of building a literary connected universe where all the fantasy, fiction, horror and other genres of the same time come together in a world to tell a gruesomely shocking story… it’s just genius! A big theme of this episode, and the ending of last week’s episode if how to deal with Mina once she was found. Malcolm was faced with the possibility that she may be beyond saving, and that her life may need to be ended in order to truly save her.
Where do you think the story of this show is headed thus far?