TV Review: Penny Dreadful: Season 2, Episode 7

Season 2, Episode 7: Little Scorpion

SUMMARY:  Following her experience at Dorian Gray's ball, Vanessa (Eva Green) and Ethan (Josh Hartnett) flee London for the isolation of the Cut Wife's cottage.

REVIEW:  Following up on last week's epic episode, this week's installment of Penny Dreadful takes a more intimate approach. Ninety percent of the hour is devoted to Ethan and Vanessa's experiences at the Cut Wife's cottage, spending some necessary time fleshing out the ongoing flirtation that's been happening between the two since the start of the season.


Before we get there, it's worth noting how calmly Sembene (Danny Sapani) seems to take Ethan's werewolf-ishness. I get that things are crazy around Sir Malcolm's estate, but are things that crazy? He barely raises an eyebrow and actually seems quite keen on it, thinking it'll come in handy considering the otherworldly beings they tend to get mixed up with. Well, he's got a point.

Meanwhile, Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton) is still “bad” meaning that he's under Mrs. Poole's spell and is still shaving. Outside of one scene, Sir Malcolm mostly sits this episode out. If the season has one failing (and I'd wager it's the only one) it's that Dalton's taking a back seat too much.

Otherwise, this is a solid episode. It's nice for us to finally see Ethan and Vanessa grow closer, and the first half is probably as light as the show is likely to get, with the two sharing a smoke and some laughs while Ethan teaches her to shoot (not that she needs instruction). The two almost consummate their attraction, but after a passionate kiss Vanessa calls it off, with her seemingly overcome by the darker side of her power, which seems to be dragging her more towards a life as the Cut-Wife's successor than anything else.

Significantly, Vanessa gets her revenge on the landowner who branded her after killing the Cut-Wife, although Ethan himself was willing to kill the man to keep her from tainting herself with someone's death. Hartnett and Green actually have very good chemistry and the two make for a more convincing pair than Ethan and Bruona did last season, but on Billie Piper's end I'm loving her relationship with Victor (Harry Treadaway) although Caliban (Rory Kinnear) is overdue for a return to his laboratory.

Again, this was another excellent episode and Penny Dreadful's second season is shaping up to be superb. I'd absolutely loving it and while this isn't a top tier episode like last week's, it's still very good.



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