Penny Dreadful

Season 2, Episode 03

Episode Title: The Nightcomers

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Omar

The episode starts with a recap of the previous episodes, then the opening credits roll (if I ever hear that music outside the show, I would run very fast.)

We see Vanessa finding Ethan in her room looking at the scorpion’s drawing. When he asks her about it, she first tells him that it is noting, but later she tells him the story of how she met a woman known as the Cut-Wife of Palatine Moor, a witch (Patti LuPone.)


The story takes place after Mina appears before Vanessa in a vision asking for her help. Vanessa arrives to a house in the moors, where the witch is said to live. At first, she stays outside the fence, waiting to be acknowledged, but when the door opens and she tries to enter the property, something doesn’t let her move any further. She stays there waiting in the rain until the woman lets her in, after searching for her virginity and prove of her powers.

“My totems for protection” “Do they work?” “Yes, but I don’t remember which ones.”

Vanessa asks for help to understand what she is, and to understand the power she has so she can be able to help Mina. The Cut-wife decides to teacher her what she knows. First, she starts with the tarot cards (the ones Vanessa later has,) and later with Verbis Diablo. She tells Vanessa that her power feels like a scorpion, and that she should imagine that when concentrating.


One night, while making dinner, the Cut-Wife feels a presence outside and tells Vanessa to stay inside while she goes out to see. There are three women in the entrance of the property and the leader is Evelyn Poole. Evelyn asks the Cut-Wife to give them Vanessa, as they cannot cross the barrier. It is revealed that the Cut-wife was part of Evelyn’s coven when they were Lightwalkers (witches that practice a lighter magic,) and sisters, but left when they turned into Nightcomers.

“Why people in this world hate what is not them? Why they fear all they don’t know? Why they hate themselves most of all for being weak, for being old, for being everything altogether that is not god like? Which of us can be that, monsters are or we are not.” “Some perhaps more than others” “Is that what you feel?” “Yes.” “Then it will be true, as long as you feel it so.”


Trying to get rid of the Cut-wife, Evelyn poisons the cattle of her husband Sir Geoffrey Hawkes (Ronan Vibert) placing the blame on the woman. The health of the Cut-Wife deteriorates and Vanessa learns that she has been alive for more than two hundred years because in 1644, Mr. Cromwell gave her the property. She shows Vanessa a bound book that has the “Poetry of Death” in which it has the darkest spells, and tells her,

“If ever the day comes, when my little scorpion is crushed and beaten. If her god deserts her completely, only then thought she open it. And on that day, she would not be the same, she would have gone away from god, forever.”

With the influence of Evelyn, Sir Geoffrey gathers an angry mob and sets to capture and burn the Cut-Wife. Just before going out to meet the mob, the Cut-Wife tells Vanessa her name, Joan Clayton. The mob grabs her, they chain her on the tree outside her house, pour oil on her, and then, set fire on her. She dies without screaming, Vanessa is forced to watch. Heating a cross, Sir Geoffrey bands Vanessa on her back and leaves her in the dirt.


Days later, Vanessa prepares to leave the house of Joan, she takes the deck of cards, but IT is not clear if she takes the bound book. Just before leaving, she opens a box that Joan left for her. Inside there is the deed of the property with Vanessa’s name as the owner.

The episode ends with Vanessa outside the house, she draws the scorpion with her blood on one of the stone on the entrance, making it look like she is taking ownership of the house and casting the same barrier Joan had.


I liked this episode. It’s always entertaining to see episodes where we see more of the past of the characters, and this episode of Vanessa doesn’t let us down. I think that when Vanessa saw the eyes of Caliban she remembered the eyes of Joan, as they look alike. Helen McCrory’s acting looks so real in this episode, she scares me to the point where I sometimes think she could be that evil in real life. I don’t think that Hecate is Sir Geoffrey’s daughter, but it’s still too early to know. I think that in this season we see a more supernatural side such as the barrier that had the house of the Cut-Wife (I really liked that barrier), transformation of the nightcomers, and how Evelyn killed the cows. I also liked that Joan taught Vanessa about plants and their meaning, and cautioned her always about the lure of the darkness that is following her. What did you think of this new glimpse of Vanessa’s past this week? Tell us in the comments.penny03

P.S. the promo for next episode and a funny teaser.

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