Relationships Are Complicated in Penny Dreadful “Predators Far and Near”
Vanessa Ives has sh-t luck with men. We know this. So it seems all well and good when Dr. Seward encourages her to step out of her comfort zone, which sends her off to the local museum,Â and she meets the lovely, awkward, and shy zoologist Dr. Sweet. You had to know, right?
Vanessa met him last week, and they chatted about scorpions and lost things and loving the unlovable, and this week, again at the indirectÂ suggestion of Dr. Seward, she returns to sit it on one of hisÂ lectures.Â He’s happy to see her, even guiding the lecture toward their chat about scorpions. They talkÂ for a moment and thenÂ she heads home. When she spies a notice for a play based on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which he’s already shared with her is one of his favorite tales, she boldly invitesÂ him out.
He joins her for a perfectly nice evening, and seems genuinely enthralled with the play, and Vanessa.Â Afterward, she invites him for coffee and he begs off, which ought to be a huge red flag, because COME ON. She’s puzzled that he declines, but they go their separate ways.
Elsewhere in London, we found out last week that Dracula is back in town, and he’s seduced Renfield to the dark side. Renfield goes to report on what he learned by listening to Dr. Seward’s recordings of Vanessa’s sessions, and the violin onÂ the soundtrackÂ is hilariously revealed to be an actual vampire violinist, which made me laugh out loud.Â Dracula is very pleased and rewards Renfield with a feeding. As the camera pulls up while Renfield drinks from his wrist, we see that Dracula is Dr. Sweet. OF COURSE HE IS.
So, this means that, one more time, everything is going to go horribly, terribly wrong for a Vanessa, who is essentially on her ownÂ AGAIN (except for Lyle), andÂ this sad turn of eventsÂ sprang up out of a misguided attempt to help her get well. I’m not sure how I feel about all that yet, aside from sadÂ that VanessaÂ is going back down this road. I honestly feel like she’s owed a break. The trysts with Mina’s fiancÃ© and Dorian sent her down the path of a possession, and then the honest attempt to convince her could-be boyfriend/definitely werewolf Ethan they could be together ended with him in chains on a ship to America.
I shudder to think what we’re in for when she finds out who Sweet is. But hopefully she’s not alone anymore when it comes time to take that on.
Victor has his own romantic entanglement to sort through when, afterÂ witnessing a demonstration ofÂ what Jekyll would do to Lily to bring her to heel, he goes to see her. He sits outside Dorian’s apartment in the cold, dark, night, and just watches the windows until she appears at one of them brushing her hair. SheÂ sees him and comes outside to talk.
Bear in mind, we’ve already seen what depths of depravity she and Dorian are up to with their bloody acquisition of the young woman who was about to be killed for a select group of paying customers, and that Lily has claimed the girl as her new pet of sorts. When she emerges into the quiet street to talk to Victor, he stands up, eyes brimmingÂ with tearsÂ and just vibrating with grief.Â She’s not wholly unsympathetic as she tells him heÂ mustn’tÂ be there, there’s nothing there for him.
“Where you go, I belong.”
“God help you if you follow my path, Victor. Take your romance, and your memories, which are a most kind fiction,Â and go.”
He says he must save her, that she’s his responsibility because he created her. She says she created him more than he did her, andÂ kisses him.Â She tells him his pain is simply “first love,” and that he’ll recover, that he should not come back,Â because he will not like what she is becoming, and then she goes back inside. He stands there alone,Â shivering from the cold and the loss, eyes stillÂ full with tears.
We’ll have to see whether Lily’s dismissal leadsÂ Victor to put a stop to his project, or propels him forward. I was most intrigued that Lily was kind to him, when her last exchange, with Dorian looking on, was mocking and hateful, which is what sent him on his quest in the first place.
The plot indeed thickens.
Penny DreadfulÂ airs Sundays at 10/9c on Showtime.
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