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Penny Dreadful recap: Glorious Horrors

Never invite witches to a fancy party.

Posted on

Jonathan Hession/SHOWTIME

Penny Dreadful

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
Eva Green, Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton
Showtime Networks Inc.
Suspense, Thriller, Drama

There are benefits to living out in the open. Vanessa learned as much last week, when her friends pulled together to defend her against the Nightcomers. She’d still be fighting them alone if Ethan hadn’t gotten involved. Now, Dorian is determined to be the Ethan to Angelique’s Vanessa, pulling her into the spotlight whether she’s ready or not. He wants to throw her a ball—a proper coming out. But is that really his decision to make?

Despite assuring Angelique that he cares for her, not what she wears, Dorian still loves the thrill of the forbidden. “Let them gape at our uniqueness,” he says, forgetting that a spectacle isn’t always a show of support. Vanessa had her friends’ support last week, and she survived. This week, she’s exposed at a fancy ball, and she passes out after it rains blood—because the flip side of living in the open is that it puts everyone’s secrets in danger. The more these people cross paths, the more they expose each other’s uniqueness.

Victor already had reason to keep Lily indoors: The more she sees of the world, the more likely it is that someone will recognize her. But his possessiveness is also that of a jealous boyfriend, especially now that they’ve slept together. Does Lily really care for him, or is he just one of the only men she knows? The ball gives Victor a chance to confront all of those insecurities at once—Dorian and Lily are immediately taken with one another, maybe because they’ve met before. Lily sees something familiar in the house and her host, making this the first time she’s shown even a spark of memory of her past life. And Dorian really should pay more attention to the women he sleeps with, because Lily may be blond, but with that curly updo, she bears more than a passing resemblance to Brona.

Dorian ignores Angelique to dote on Lily, who soaks it in. The excitement makes her bold—she defies Victor once when he asks her to dance and again when he says that she doesn’t drink. Lily may be beholden to her “cousin” for teaching her about the world, but she stands up for herself. If Victor doesn’t get on board with her independence, he can expect to lose her affection in the same way he lost it from the Creature—who may not be at the ball, but whose secret is at risk anyway. Lavinia feels his hand and knows in a second that it’s colder than it should be. She tells her parents that “it’s like he’s not really alive.” The chances that Putney will imprison the Creature in the basement just went up.

Ethan stops by Putney’s museum to check out the recreation of the Mariner’s Inn Massacre. Rusk confronts him and asks about his experience with wolves; as if that weren’t obvious enough, he then comes right out and says that he knows Ethan was involved. “I always find things,” Rusk says. “When they cut off my arm, I was anesthetized. When I awoke, I went and found it in a pile of discarded limbs.” What? This is the most I’ve ever been interested in Rusk—not only because that’s a messed up thing to do, but because it has absolutely no bearing on his abilities as a detective.

NEXT: Boys becoming men, men becoming wolves