Caution: This post contains spoilers on the second season premiere of “Penny Dreadful.”
If you haven’t watched “Penny Dreadful” yet, now would be the perfect time to tune in and catch up. The series focuses on the supernatural talents of Vanessa Ives (Eva Green), as she works with others to combat threats in Victorian London. It has a level of action and intrigue that “The League of Extraordinary Gentleman” or “LXG” should have striven for in its 2003 theatrical release.
The Showtime premiere of the second season is available for viewing on Youtube in advance of its scheduled release on the regular channel. The latest installment is quick to draw the battle lines, pitting Vanessa and the team against the machinations of Madame Kali and her Nightcomers (or witches). Ethan (Josh Harnett), originally intent on leaving London, decides to stay and protect Vanessa, after she is attacked by three Nightcomers. Madame Kali (Helen McCrory) is quite creepy and interesting all at once as a main baddie, in everything from her bladed ring to her literal blood baths. Also, Ethan’s trail of destruction has attracted the attention of Inspector Rusk (Douglas Hodge) at the Mariner Inn, which is sure to arise as a problem later in the season.
Meanwhile, Frankenstein’s Creature (Rory Kinnear) is determined to have a bride, a project that the scientist is working on. Sadly, the role will be fulfilled by Brona Croft (Billie Piper), who suffered from consumption and also died at Frankenstein’s (Harry Treadaway) hand. Was anyone else disturbed by Frankenstein’s attraction to her submerged body? The Creature succeeds in obtaining a job at the nearby Waxworks gallery from Mr. Putney (David Haig). However, he may face marital woes soon, as he appears to be falling for Putney’s blind daughter.
Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton) has an ugly discussion with his wife at Mina’s grave, but returns to London soon after. We know from Madame Kali’s plans that he is a major target to draw out Vanessa. However, I wonder if the evil lady has underestimated him as much as she and her witches have misjudged Vanessa. Generally, it’s a terrible idea to assume that it’s easy to take down the old man.
It’s a rather good idea for Showtime to attract viewers ahead of its regularly scheduled premiere. “Penny Dreadful” is a strong series that will undoubtedly bring in new fans. One hopes that the rest of the season will also carry the same pacing and excellent plot development. The other free show available on Youtube today is “HAPPYish,” the new comedy-drama starring Steve Coogan. I will admit that I found “Penny Dreadful” to be much better, since “HAPPYish” fails to deliver (quite painfully) in the laughter department.