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Penny Dreadful “Verbis Diablo” 

Photo Credit: Jonathan Hession/SHOWTIME
Photo Credit: Jonathan Hession/SHOWTIME

Ferdinand Lyle has always been a funny little man, but he’s wealthy and a wealth of information, so his strangeness is tolerated. His job at the British Museum, as well as his connections through marriage, make him valuable. Society seems to put up with his eccentricities because he’s harmless, but it’s these proclivities make him an easy target for Evelyn Poole’s blackmail. She’s got photos, so he will remain in the witch’s debt until Evelyn gets what she wants: Vanessa Ives.

But what does Evelyn want from Sir Malcolm? Whatever words she whispers into his ear as she’s searching for a new scent seems to draw him ever closer. He’s a good man to keep tabs on because of his close relationship with Vanessa. Evelyn can do a lot of damage there which, of course, is her purpose. I just hope someone discovers her real identity sooner rather than later. In the meantime, I think she’s having fun with him.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Hession/SHOWTIME
Photo Credit: Jonathan Hession/SHOWTIME

While Lyle is harmless enough — he says he can misdirect the group when it comes to the Verbis Diablo — that’s not what Evelyn seems to want. She’s certainly not scared of Vanessa or her entourage discovering her identity. And why would she be if she serves and receives protection from Lucifer? Evelyn already knows Vanessa will be a challenge because she’s proven herself against the nightcomers when they attacked her. I have to say all this just makes me more curious about Ms. Poole.

In last week’s “Fresh Hell,” we saw Evelyn bathing in a tub filled with blood. This week she has a chat with Mr. Lyle in a room decorated with an intense amount of skulls. But perhaps the creepiest place we’ve been her so far is in that room of dolls. And it’s scary to think that all those dolls represent people she’s worked her dark magic on.

Hecate brought her a baby and from it Evelyn extracted the materials (the baby’s heart, but also some of its entrails?) she needs to make some sort of connection between Vanessa and her doll. She’s clearly been at this a long time if the number of dolls in that room is anything to go by. But how will this help her achieve her task? Will she be able to control Vanessa now? Or will she use this connection for some other purpose?

Photo Credit: Jonathan Hession/SHOWTIME
Photo Credit: Jonathan Hession/SHOWTIME

The Creature Has Beautiful Eyes

Despite — or maybe because of — the way he’s treated, The Creature looks at the world with wonder. He admits to Vanessa that The Bible is lacking when compared to the poetry of Wordsworth. He sees beauty everywhere and would prefer that people act in line with their true natures, instead of being kind of their fellow man only because of the promise of Heaven or the threat of Hellfire.

It’s interesting to see The Creature’s interactions with everyone who is not his creator. His relationship with Victor is fraught and complicated and I love that; without one, we cannot have the other. But with Vanessa and maybe even with Levenia we see a very different person. He’s so surprised when people aren’t driven away by his appearance. We get to see how much he enjoys being alive, despite how he’s treated by most of society. We see what he enjoys about what he finds around him.

Frankly, I think The Creature has a better chance with Vanessa or Levenia than he does with Lily. She’s much more drawn to Victor — but that’s because she believes they’re cousins and that they grew up together. Of course Victor can’t tell her the truth and as of now, she has no memories of herself as Brona. Victor’s changed her appearance and now that she’s got a British accent, there’s less chance that Ethan or someone from her former life with recognize her. I do want The Creature to have a companion, but I want it to be someone who get to know him and then choses him, not someone who is chosen for him.

Thoughts and Questions

Photo Credit: Jonathan Hession/SHOWTIME
Photo Credit: Jonathan Hession/SHOWTIME

Were we supposed to be surprised when Angelique opened her robe? I was not and I don’t think there is much that surprises Dorian Gray. He’s clearly still heartbroken by Vanessa’s rejection, so I guess he’s seek comfort in the arms of Angelique for now. We’ll see where that goes.

I wonder what Rusk thinks he’s going to be out of Mr. Roper, the lone survivor from the Mariner’s Inn massacre. The doctor isn’t sure he’ll ever speak again because his face was so damaged from the attack. But I like that the inspector is so dogged. He’s going to be trouble for Ethan.

Victor clearly had a childhood companion he was close to because it seems like he’s pulling from his memories — instead of making it up as he goes — when he talks to Lily about how they grew up together. Is the reason he’s been experimenting with bringing the dead back to life because he lost someone dear to him? And if so, who was it?

Penny Dreadful airs Sundays at 10/9c on Showtime.

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