"Penny Dreadful" Review: Baby Guts...Need I Say More?
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[5 Skull TV Review] “Penny Dreadful” Ep 2.2, Baby Guts…Need I Say More?



You don’t need to remind me of my sins. Just don’t forget yours. ~Caliban

I think “Verbis Diablo” is my favorite “Penny Dreadful” episode of both seasons so far. The development in this episode was so rich but (as it has happened in the past with many shows) when they try to fit in too much character development, things get muddied. But such is not the case with this one. It was beautifully plotted and paced to perfection. In addition it had my heart vacillating between shock-induced hummingbird beats and melting into a pool of gooey love for (some) of characters.

Speaking of such characters. I’m about to make an incredibly bold statement here, especially since it’s only been one episode, but I think that Caliban (now John Clare) and Brona (now Lily) might be my favorite live action Monster and Bride…ever. All last season, I was wondering what Brona’s arc would be. I knew she wasn’t just a love interest for Ethan because they didn’t spend enough time developing their relationship. And I knew she’d probably stick around because…well…frankly, Showtime made a character poster for her. So there needed to be another reason she was a part of the cast. And this, this is perfect. It’s been one episode of her being Lily and already she has added a grand new element in both the lives of Caliban and Victor.

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But uh oh. I foresee some serious conflict in the future in two ways: Victor’s finally created the perfect creature and now he can’t have her. This has been his life’s work and now that he’s succeeded, he must let go. The second issue I see arising, and I may be reading into it a little too much, is that I’m fairly certain Victor and Lily will develop feelings for each other and that’s not just a problem where Caliban is concerned but Ethan as well. All this to say: Bravo, “Penny Dreadful” for adding such a complicated and unique element to the story of Frankenstein.

I must also thank the writers for the conversation between Ives and Caliban. It was the one time in last night’s episode that I could NOT keep myself from smiling (okay, aside from all the little smiles that Ethan and Lyle’s flirtatious banter brought me). What a beautiful, thoughtful, and stunning introduction for those two characters. The juxtaposition of the scene is stark and striking. Surrounded by the ill and the poor in a dark and dank cavern, yet the two of them seem to be surrounded in light with the lovely and profound words they speak to each other. And their chemistry is exquisite, not in a sexual way, but it’s as if they have an immediate understanding of each other’s true nature. And when Ives closes out their magnificent first meeting with the compliment to his eyes…no words.

Let’s get to the meat (kind of in a literal way…) of the episode. Evelyn Poole. She is quickly becoming my favorite character. Not only does she bathe in blood but she’s also the sassiest, silver-tongued, I-get-what-I-want-so-fuck-off Bitch Witch around. I absolutely adore her. I could watch an entire episode of just her. But it’s not just her character that is wonderful; it’s what her character is adding to the dynamic of the cast and plot. She hasn’t had a chance yet to do too much damage to our crew. But she will. And it’s going to be bad. And I utterly cannot wait. (Yes, I know you all want me to talk about the dolls and the baby heart…give it a minute).

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Okay, minute over. The ending…THAT END! My hand literally involuntarily flew to my slack jaw. Who could have seen that coming? No one. That’s who. The dolls, eh, whatever. Dolls are no longer creepy to me, like clowns…is anyone still afraid of clowns? But when dolls are stuffed with human baby hearts…still not creepy but demented and terribly sad. Now that we know what she does with these dolls (or I guess I’m assuming she does something nefarious to the person the doll looks like ::cough cough:: Ives ::cough cough::) it’s incredible to see how many lives she has most likely ruined because dayummmm…that room had SO many dolls. Not to mention how many babies she has killed.

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GAH! This episode was so good I could go on forever.

Random Reflections:

How adorable are Ethan and Lyle? Ethan is such a charmer and Lyle has no shame.

I can’t help thinking of this misfit, ragtag crew of occult purveyors as Scooby-Doo and Gang.

“Sad old sodomite in too much rouge in a flamboyant wig.” Seriously, that witch cuts like a knife.

I just want to see Ives smile again. Who’s with me on that?

I really appreciated the story Ethan told Lyle in the archives about the wolves. His obvious emotion was more telling than his actual words. They are definitely taking their time developing his character and good for them. Slow burn is wonderful when done correctly.

Did I hear correctly? The name of the one survivor of the Tavern massacre, was his name Mr. Ripper?

Angelique No-Last-Name did not impress me. It could be my issue with incredibly bold people, I find them daunting, but eh. Hopefully something fun comes of that. However, in this episode, just from what I’ve seen so far, Dorian and Angelique bore me. They’re just two beautiful things who enjoy way too much hedonism. Let’s hope our lovely new lady of the night (that was a brothel, right?) adds some dimension to Dorian’s story because he needs some facets.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section! Remember, I have such wonderful swag from Showtime and I’m still looking for profound and thoughtful commenters to share with!