Penny Dreadful: And They Were Enemies (Review/Recap)

Penny DreadfulThe Little Scorpion finally unleashes her stinger in the season finale of Penny Dreadful: And They Were Enemies. What started out as a rather slow-paced season, came to a showdown of chattering and revelations for the characters viewers have grown to love. This season has given fans great special effects, an untimely passing, nude witches, and plenty of macabre moments that make the show that infectious grim fairytale.

Penny DreadfulAnd They Were Enemies started off right where it left off. If there was any question whether Sembene was dead after he resident werewolf ripped out his throat, all doubts were voided once the light showed on his lifeless, glass textured eyes. Penny Dreadful’s resident token and confessed slave trader was dead and gone. Kind of a strange moment, considering that these past few episodes have been the most lines viewers have heard from the character in both seasons. Fans were just starting to get to know him and, now, fans may never get the chance to know more of the mystique that is Sembene.

Penny DreadfulOnto the Penny Dreadful showdown that was ten episodes in the making. While Sir Malcolm and Dr. Frankenstein were getting tortured by figures of their past, Vanessa was squaring off with the porcelain doll of Satan. Like most villains that want to corrupt a hero to their side, the puppet was trying to convince Vanessa that she was nothing more than a murder and needed to give up her soul, as Madame Kali looked onward like the world’s most annoying desperate fan.

As Eva Green pulled off the best ventriloquist act of her career, the doll seemed to have her voice and confirmed that her character is the reincarnation of the Egyptian goddess Amunent. The devil even went as far to tempt Vanessa with a vision of the ‘normal life’ that she wanted in the past. The vision was of her with two children and her true love-Lupus Dei Ethan Chandler. Just as soon as Vanessa began to embrace this life of normalcy, the Devil took it away. The vision was nothing more than just a preview of what the fallen angel was offering her in return for her soul. It seems that Vanessa had to willing give the Devil her soul so that they could begin the endless night and for heaven to fall.

Penny DreadfulAt first, the planned seemed to work, until Vanessa flipped the script on the creepy puppet. Claiming that a normal life is no longer what she sought, Ms. Ives began to chant the Verbis Diablo to send away the ‘father of lies’. What made for a Victorian-scat battle between the puppet and Vanessa, the puppet could not overcome her quick-tongued chattering and its face eventually caved in. The scorpion had struck and gave way to a million little white scorpions, flooding the puppet-master, arts and crafts room.

Ultimately failing, Madame Kali began to age indefinitely. Since she could not deliver Vanessa, the youth her master had promised was no more and Kali began to freak. Before the Kali could take her anger out on Vanessa, her conniving daughter Hecate released the transformed Penny Dreadful’s Wolverine Ethan Chandler and quickly attacked the geriatric witch. Slicing open her throat, Madame Kali was no more. Just as he approached Vanessa, he stopped. It seemed that he recognized her and she him. Before she could touch his face, the hairy Wolverine ran away in shame.

Penny DreadfulOnce Penny Dreadful’s big bad was murdered, her spells quickly dissipated. The two gents came to their senses and took out the other witches, whom we stole do not know their names, with a couple easy shots from their revolvers. The group left the House of Horrors to their respective sanctuary as the sun rose. The only survivor of the night witches was Hecate and she made sure to get her mother’s utensils and burn the home down in her leave. To where she might be heading is still unknown but she may prove to be an ally than a foe in the future season.

Penny DreadfulThe group returned to their respective homes, but in true Penny Dreadful fashion, there was no happy ending to be had. A grieving Sir Malcolm told Vanessa that he was set to travel to Africa to properly bury Sembene’s body. Vanessa returned to her room to find Ethan waiting by the windowsill. It was morning time and he had already reverted back to his human form, but either or, Vanessa let it be known that she did not care. She confessed her love for him in that scene and asked him to stay. Unfortunately the guilt-ridden Ethan needed some time to think, and by think, he went off to confess his acts of wolf murder to the world’s most accusatory-with-little-information London officer.

Penny DreadfulThe rest of the episode was merely a dark set-up for Penny Dreadful‘s next season, while leaving plenty of questions open. The officer ended up pulling out an order of extradition, basically meaning that Ethan was to return to America to his father. A punishment that seemed worse than prison for Chandler. Caliban escaped his cruel prison and exacted revenge on the wax owner and his wife by killing them. He left the blind daughter to discover her murdered parents. Frankenstein confronted Dorian Grey and Lily, only to discover that both were immortal, self-aware, and detached from humanity, and completely homicidal. They let him live so that he could see the havoc that they were about to ensue on the world, and also because he was a main character.

Vanessa was ultimately left alone by Penny Dreadful’s season two closing with only a sombre note from Ethan and a large house to turn out all the lights in. With a surprise moment, Vanessa took down that cross she vehemently prayed to every night and threw it into the lit fireplace. The scorned protagonist had ultimately turned away from God at this point and embraced the darkness within her, only to walk alone. What might this entail for the upcoming Penny Dreadful season, only 365 more days will tell.

In all, this season of Penny Dreadful was definitely its strongest to date. Although there were some moments of redundancy and unnecessary episodes, the season as a whole was entertaining. One of the great aspects were the outstanding performances from its female characters. Lily, Vanessa, and even the villainous Madame Kali gave great monologues that added so much more depth to the characters. Can not wait till next season to see who the next big-bad will be and what the rest of the Penny Dreadful cast has in store. Till next year.


Opinion By Tyler Cole

IGN: And They Were Enemies Review

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