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GRAND GUIGNOL (PENNY DREADFUL SEASON 1, EPISODE #8): RECAP & REVIEW

by Omar, June 30, 2014
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Penny Dreadful
Season 1, Episode 08
Episode Title: Grand Guignol
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Omar

The episode starts with Vanessa telling Sir Malcolm that Mina is trying to contact them or trying to be found. In the vision she sees the theater and thinks that maybe that’s the new place where the vampire is hiding. Sir Malcolm vows to try to save Mina and if he cannot he will kill her. Dorian arrives to the house wanting to see Vanessa. He wants to take her to lunch to which she refuses then he asks her to have dinner with him saying that he will be waiting for her in the Botanic garden

Ethan is praying next to Brona who appears to be getting worse. When he goes out, two men are following him. Sir Malcolm goes to buy a new weapon and in the store he finds Madam Kali. She asks about Vanessa but Sir Malcolm replies that he doesn’t know much about her.

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During a rehearsal, the actors get angry when some of the equipment fails and they blame Caliban. The actress that he gave the book to goes to apologize and gives him an orange. When she leaves she kiss his forehead.

Vanessa tells Sir Malcolm that she knows that he hasn’t been honest with her. She sees that the picture of David and Mina is gone. He tells her that he is just using her, that she is the only connection he has with his daughter. If he could, he would sacrifice her and he is hoping to be able to do so. He tells her to handle her guilty herself. To she replies,

“Then you should put the picture back, let it break your heart.”

In the theater, Caliban puts makeup on badly and goes to see the main actress in her dressing room. When she sees him, she giggles, and asks what he has done to his face. He says he wants to give her an orange but she tells him that he shouldn’t be in her room. Caliban replies that Simon, the main actor, is always in her room. When she asks how he knows and he doesn’t reply, she tells him to leave. He tries to kiss her, but she screams and he stops. The theater fires him. When he is leaving, we see that the vampire is sleeping in the highest part of the sealing.

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Vanessa and Dorian meet in the Botanic garden. Vanessa tells him that they cannot see each other anymore, that they have a connection but with him she turns into something that she doesn’t want to be. When he looks shock, she tells him that he must have never experienced that emotion. He replies that he doesn’t know what he is feeling, she tells him that it is rejection and kiss him goodbye. While she leaves a tear falls down his cheek but he whips it away.

Caliban goes to Victor’s apartment because he doesn’t have another place to stay. Caliban asks Victor why he made him that way, why did he have to make him with feelings. Victor is about to shoot him from behind, but hearing that he has feelings, he cannot do it. Ethan knocks on his door asking for his help. Victor tries to help Brona but he tells Ethan that she doesn’t have much time. Brona tells Victor that she hasn’t been a good girl and she is scared for what is to come next. Victor asks Ethan to get him more water and a few things. When he leaves, Victor tells Brona that he believes in a place between Heaven and Hell and there is a price to pay to get in. He then takes a pillow and kills her. When Ethan comes back he tells him that he is sorry and that she has died, he gives him some time with her and lets him know that he will take care of the body for him.

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Ethan is drinking his sorrows away in a bar when the two men (one American Apache) tell him that they were hired to bring him back to America. He fights them and runs.

Ethan meets with Vanessa outside the theater, she expresses her condolences for Brona’s death. Sir Malcolm, Sembene, and Victor arrive. Sir Malcolm tells them that Mina is his responsibility and nobody should harm her, then they go inside. When they find the vampire sleeping, Sir Malcolm is about to shoot him but he opens his eyes and Ethan falls in the trap door in the middle of the stage. The vampire brides start to surround him and he does his best to kill them.

Sembene and Victor go down to help him. Victor looks afraid but helps as much as he can.  Meanwhile, upstairs, Sir Malcolm shoots the vampire but he keeps advancing towards them. The scene from the first episode repeats; the vampire stops in front of Vanessa and Sir Malcolm drives his sword through his chest. The brides are surrounding Ethan and Sembene but when Sir Malcolm stabs the vampire again they all die.

They’re gathered around the vampire when Mina appears from behind and is happy to see them. She hugs Vanessa and greets her father. But Mina is already a vampire, she is about to bite Vanessa when Sir Malcolm shoots her in the shoulder.

She falls back and says, “I’m your daughter.”

“I already have a daughter,” Sir Malcolm replies before killing her.

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Back in the house, Sir Malcolm and Vanessa cry for Mina and decide to have a Christmas tree and invite the boys. In Victor’s lab, Victor and Caliban start to work with Brona’s body – she is to be his new bride. Ethan sits in front of a window at the inn that he is staying in drinking. The two men arrive again, this time armed. They start to taunt him, but then Ethan gets angry and changes into a werewolf. He kills everybody in the inn.

The next day, Vanessa goes to church where a children’s chorus is practicing. She asks a priest if she can speak with him. They talk about her fears and exorcist. The priest tells her that every person that has been through an exorcist dies. The priest wants to ask her one question before they continue their talk,

“If you have been touched by the demon, it’s like being touched by the back hand of God. Makes you sacred in a way, doesn’t it? Makes you unique, with a kind of glory, a glory of suffering even. I ask my question, do you really want to be normal? ”

Vanessa thinks for a moment and when she answers the ending credits start to roll.

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I knew it, I knew it. Ethan is a werewolf. The first season finale of Penny Dreadful is finally here. So now we know that the first killing of episode one was Ethan’s making. Caliban’s scenes were sad in this episode, as if wanting to make the viewer to feel sorry for him. I don’t think that Brona fought when Victor was killing her, but I don’t think that she is going to want to be Caliban’s bride either. Poor Dorian, it is the first time has been rejected, even if he is “The irresistible one”. But that can turn him into an enemy in the future. I like the last scenes; a little bit of everyone and Vanessa. The show has been renewed for a second season, ten episodes, for 2015. Let’s hope it happens. Tell us in the comments what did you think of the first season of Penny Dreadful.

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