Penny Dreadful : Above the vaulted Sky

This episode, while less spectacular than the previous, has just as much drama, while ratcheting up the tension between all of our characters and the various secrets they’re all holding, especially Victor.

We’re entering the midpoint of the season and so far we’ve been absent many sex scenes, but this episode more than made up for the lack by featuring some hot, sweaty, monkey-love, between people we never expected to be seeing naked on TV. Namely Timothy Dalton.

I do recall stating, earlier,  that I had no wish to see Timothy Dalton’s naked bottom and, thankfully,  the creators of this series kept my request in their thoughts while filming.  Actually, it was very tastefully done, if conventionally shot. I could also have done without all the bloodletting but then I’m pretty sure Sir Malcolm could’ve done without it as well, as he had not signed up for that, when he began flirting with M. Kali.

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After the house was invaded by naked, chameleon, witches who stole Vanessa’s hair, the group decides to batten down the hatches and adopt a siege mentality. I know this because Ethan gives a speech about the last siege/ambush event he’d been involved in, and because we get to watch a montage of Sembene and Ethan, battening down the hatches. Sir Malcolm arms himself, Sembene lies in wait on the stairs, while Ethan fogs up the house with some Sage, and Lyle, the traitor’s traitor, etches some magical symbols around the house. The witches are just going to have to ninja their way into the house some other way, the next time they come trawling for hair samples.

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Vanessa tells the group, that the Nightcomers can only approach or attack during…guess what? The hours of night. To protect herself, she has decided she needs to sleep in Ethan’s bed, but without Ethan in it, so far, although you can tell, the two of them are giving it some serious thought. She claims everyone should be safe from  witchery during the day, but that’s besides the point because there are all new dangers they face during the day, as they all run out to their separate errands.

Vanessa goes to visit the homeless shelter again, where she encounters Frankenstein’s monster and they have a poetry recital. I’m always baffled by people who remember huge chunks of poetry, until I remember that’s no different than my having thoroughly memorized old TV show jingles, from the 70’s, only more pretentiously high-brow. She gives John a  dancing lesson, not realizing that the person John wishes to woo, is the revivified corpse of Brona/Lilly, with whom she just  had lunch and totally didn’t recognize. What will she think to know that John is yet another revived body that Victor pieced together? She didn’t seem to recognize Brona/Lilly from their meeting last season, at the theater, but since she was with Dorian, who is very distracting, I will forgive her this inattentiveness. She can tell that Victor is very obviously in love with his “cousin”.

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Sir Malcolm runs off to flirt with Ms. Poole some more. He’s very smitten with her and I’m not sure if it’s genuine or a spell she put on him. I’m still not used to seeing him smiling so much after the gloomy Gus he was first season. After Kali finds out that he cannot divorce his wife, she takes steps to rectify that situation by making a doll of his wife and spelling it. Malcolm’s wife goes insane and committs suicide. That distraction aside, Kali can now devote all of her energies to tormenting her doll of Vanessa and seducing Malcolm.

Ethan and Rusk finally meet face to face. Its a lot of fun watching their verbal parrying. Ethan is so much smarter than most of the people in the show give him credit for. He dances nimbly around Rusk’s questions about the massacre at the Inn and, even more nimbly, eludes the man that Rusk hires to shadow him, when Ethan is less than forthcoming about who he is, or how he survived.The greatest revelation may be that Ethan Chandler may not be his real name.

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Later that evening. Dorian and Angelique visit a table top tennis parlour. I had no idea this was a thing in Victorian England, but okay. He and Angelique flirt shamelessly and it’s really cute, until Angelique is recognized by a former client, who spits and throws things on her. So much for the proper, English gentlemen myth. You’ve got Malcolm cheating on his wife, Victor reviving dead friends of friends, without their permission, and stealing his monster’s girlfriend and these yahoos, spitting on people in public.

Keep it classy, fellas!

Dorian takes her to his home where she makes love to him as a very comely man. What’s notable here is that the creators show this scene, at all, and film it just like any other sex scene, making no attempt to turn it into an Afterschool Special or veil it in false chastity. They juxtapose it with Sir Malcolm’s sex scene and Victor’s, which doesn’t make me feel too good about what secrets Angelique could be withholding. Since I’m experiencing so much tension with  the other two relationships,  it’s no trouble for me, at all, to transfer some to Dorian’s relationship. I’m waiting for Angie’s shoe to drop on his head.

Next week, we get more spectacle, as Dorian comes back into the fold, Throwing a ball for everyone at his home. Ethan and the bounty hunter who was the catalyst for Ethan’s change into a werewolf, when they last met, meet and annoy each other again. And Ethan shares his secret with Sembene. If we’re lucky! we might get one of them to open their mouth and say something…anything, about their past and we’ll get a little more backstory on each of these men.

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I hope to see some major revelations next week, involving Victors secrets since both he and Lilly are attending Dorian’s ball. If Ethan attends, there may be unannounced fireworks.