It is clear that writer John Logan has found a clear angle and direction for storytelling this season of Penny Dreadful, while still keeping the viewers entertained and guessing. So far, this season of Penny Dreadful has proven to be the series’ strongest and Evil Spirits in Heavenly Places continues the same thrill that makes the show stand out from any other on television. There was slight romance, wit, and a chilling build-up that led to one of the series’ strongest closers/cliff-hangers.
Picking up right where Penny Dreadful’s last episode left off, the heroes find themselves sitting around the fire to listen to the re-telling of Vanessa Ives’ journey as a witch’s apprentice. A nice needed and closure moment for the heroes to further understand what they were standing up against. Although her reminiscent, yet somber tale, was helpful to the viewers to peel away the dimensions that made Ms. Ives even more captivating, it did little for the Victorian Age Scooby Gang to fully understand how to defeat the hound witches with an interesting perm.
Majority of the episode took a lighter turn as it focused more on dates and humor. Considering that the last episode (and entire Penny Dreadful season) focused heavily on Vanessa, it was only natural that writer Logan turned the attention onto other characters. Though the group was still aware of that impending danger, life must go on. The daytime was safe and only Vanessa was in real danger. The following day, each member went about their way.
Penny Dreadful viewers got a slightly romantic scene with Caliban and the owner’s blind daughter. It is becoming more clear that his growing affection is slowly becoming love. A beautiful, yet predictable, scene that further showed the Creature’s growth and trust in humanity.
Next, the show moved onto the American werewolf in London character Ethan Chandler. Mr. Chandler was walking the streets of London and noticed the wax museums re-creation of his wolf-out in the parlor in the previous season. Never a dull moment for Penny Dreadful’s hero, it seemed Kali’s daughter Hecate was already tracking Chandler and came up with a simple scheme to get him to save her life and buy her a cup of tea. During their day-date, Hecate pretended to be an American woman whom was seeking adventure abroad. The only problem with her rouse was the misinformation she was confidently spewing like a GOP candidate in a primary election. Fortunately for Mr. Chandler, and the viewers, he saw right through this lackluster effort and immediately called her out. He even went as far to insult her shoes. This Penny Dreadful scene of Ethan being competent enough to realize an imposter was definitely a highlight of the episode.
The scene that followed further built on this witty momentum. The same night Vanessa confessed her witch tale, Frankenstein nervously asked her to accompany him as a favor. Turns out the favor was not as provocative as viewers guessed, but actually dress shopping for his newly resurrected ‘cousin’. Arguably one of the funnier scenes throughout the gothic series, the rapport between the two while shopping was as cute as it was refreshing to watch.
Frankenstein returned to the resurrected Brona/Lily for another interesting moment of sexual tensioned-infused dialogue. It seemed all it took was a death and revival for Brona to become a philosopher and enlightened character. There was a scene where she gave some profound words about how women of that era, and even some today, wear or do things to cause them harm for the pleasure of a man’s ego. Her words were right and showed that Lily really had no connection to her past life as a male-pleasing working girl.
In direct contrast, the ever confident and promiscuous Dorian Grey had no problem taking his latest interest for a date night. This scene was cute, but a little unnecessary, as the two only exchanged witty banter and played ping-pong. It seems that Mr. Grey is slightly falling for his transgendered hooker Francesca, but time will tell where this leads. It appears that Francesca has a certain curiosity about Grey, but if Logan stays true to the source material, the curiosity into the reason Grey remains so young may be Francesca’s undoing.
Once the episode caught viewers up on what was going in each character’s lives, it was time for the main course and action. Night time had fallen and the heroes remained indoors, deciphering the puzzle of Luficer’s journal. It was a relief to see the Ferdinand still had a conscious as he subtly warned Sir Malcolm of his developing crush for Madame Kali, the wicked witch of the east. Later, Sir Malcolm and Ferdinand made the inference that the audience made episodes ago that Vanessa may, in fact, be possessed by the Devil himself. News that Vanessa did not want to hear or admit. She stormed off and prepared for bed. Unknown to the rest of the group, they were not alone.
In an eerie and effective build-up, it appeared that the night comers were already in the house and stalking each member. Vanessa was the first to spot one hiding in her room, which led to the three making themselves known and attacking the team. Subduing each man easily, the three witches made haste after pulling some of Vanessa’s hair out and running off once Vanessa spat some words in the Devil’s tongue. The build-up seemed to have lasted the whole episode and was just what viewers needed to make Evil Spirits in Heavenly Places a satisfying watch.
What Penny Dreadful seems to do with each character this season is build up a glimmer of hope and happiness to only remind them that evil is still an increasing threat.
Opinion and Review By Tyler Cole
TV.com: Penny Dreadful “Evil Spirits In Heavenly Places” Review: Scandal at the Ping-Pong Club (PHOTO RECAP)