Penny Dreadful
Season 1, Episode 05
Episode Title: Closer Than Sisters
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Omar

Penny Dreadful contains: Sex & Nudity, Violence & Gore, Profanity, Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking, Frightening/Intense Scenes.


The episode starts with a recap of past episodes, the opening credits role, and then we see Vanessa writing a letter to Mina:

“My Dearest Mina, my darling friend. I began this letter when I recovered from my illness. At first I compose it every month, then weekly and know daily. Soon I will no doubt give up all other occupation and simply write, the ending of one letter becoming the beginning of the next, an endless ribbons of words. I write in hope that one day you will answer me and that everything can again be like it was. Thought I know that can never be.”

She then starts to remember about their childhood; they lived in houses near the beach, and it seemed that both families were close. We see Gladys Murray (Noni Stapleton,) Sir Malcolm’s wife. The girls talk about boys and Mina implies that Vanessa is going to marry Peter in the end. Sir Malcolm arrives from a trip from Africa, we can see that Peter feels left out because Sir Malcolm gives more attention to the girls. After a dinner party, young Vanessa is wandering through a maze looking for Mina and Peter, and sees that her mother, Claire Ives (Anna Chancellor,) and Sir Malcolm are having sex.penny51 penny512


Time passes and they grow up, Mina is engaged. Peter is telling Vanessa that he thinks that his father is disappointed in him because he is weak, but then Vanessa kisses Peter in the maze, but he is shy and runs away. She kisses him in a way to try to stop him from going to Africa where she knows he will die:


“If I could only go back now, I will have run after him, I would say, ‘don’t go, don’t go to Africa, you will never survive, you’re too weak, your beautifully weak Peter. I love you for your weakness.’”

That night she prays to God, but something else answers her. On the day before Mina’s wedding, Vanessa has sex with Mina’s fiancé and she sees them. The next day, Vanessa goes to ask for forgiveness but Sir Malcolm closes the gate of his house on her face.


Vanessa becomes ill, at first they think its epilepsy. Her mother tells her that the Murray’s are not talking to them anymore and that they are taking her to a specialist in London. Vanessa is possessed and starts to scare the doctor by mentioning events that happened to him and in different languages. They then cut her hair and it the scene shows that they practiced a lobotomy on her, and later sent her home.


Peter goes to see Vanessa to tell her that he is finally going to Africa with his father. Vanessa is in a vegetable state like patients were after the procedure. She tells him that he should have kissed her and that he is going to die in Africa. Miss Ives wishes him farewell and good luck on his trip. She asks what Vanessa told him but he says that he didn’t understand.

Sir Malcolm appears in her room, but she realizes that it’s not him. She names him Serpent, Prince of Darkness, and other names. The creature knows too much of her, she tries to resist him but he is more powerful. Miss Ives hears noises in her room, she goes to see Vanessa but she finds her possessed and having sex alone. Her eyes are white. Miss Ives faints and dies.

Later, while walking down the beach, Vanessa finds Mina, she lets her know that she forgives her. Mina tells her about Peter and that if only Vanessa had ran after him he would be alive. Then her eyes change to red and asks for help to save her from her new master and disappears.

Vanessa arrives at London, on a rainy day, to see Sir Malcolm and offers her help to find Mina. Sir Malcolm says that there was a time he would have killed her, but now he needs her. They argue and then a cold Sir Malcolm sends her to her new room.

The episode ends with Vanessa finishing writing the letter. She seals it, address it, and stores it in a chest full of letters. There is a P.S.:

“Post Script, your father loves you very much and will do anything to save you. But I love you in a different way. I love you enough to kill you.”


This episode gives us some answers to questions that we accumulated. For example, what did Vanessa do to betray Mina? Now we know that she had sex with her fiancé. But I think that Vanessa did this things because she didn’t want to be left alone. Maybe she would have been happy with Peter if she had had ran after him. Or who was Amunet talking about when she said that Vanessa saw Sir Malcolm having sex with somebody? Now we know that it was with her mother. I really despise lobotomies, but I think that they did it in the wrong place. Also, I remembered that in England they are not all Catholic, until Vanessa mentioned it. So what did you think of the episode?  Three episodes more to go.