TV Show Review

TV Review: PENNY DREADFUL: Season 1, Episode 6: What Death Can Join Together

 Josh Hartnett Billie Piper Penny Dreadful What Death Can Join Together

Showtime’s Penny Dreadful What Death Can Join Together Together TV Show ReviewPenny Dreadful: Season 1, Episode 6: What Death Can Join Together was an episode where Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton) came to two realizations, both of which came from outside sources.

The most notable of these realizations was also the most powerful, made more potent because it was delivered by a friend and rendered significant because Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) had come to a similar conclusion at the end of Closer Than Sisters.

The Creature’s loneliness was made palpable and his rage almost understandable in What Death Can Join Together. It was strange seeing “a man” as powerful as The Creature crying. What The Creature did with that anger was completely unconstructive and eliminated a great source of potential narrative and backstory to the sorrow characters in Penny Dreadful are currently enduring. It also opened up another narrative that is inevitable: spite and avoiding the mistakes of the past. I have read Shelly’s book and seen four on-screen incarnations of the Victor Frankenstein storyline. The truest to the source material all end the same way. It seems as though there will be no deviation on Penny Dreadful but the journey getting there will be far more eventful and traumatic for both of its combatants.

Digression Begin – Here is a bone of contention with The Creature: if it is so intelligent, if it can learn at an accelerated rate and apply that knowledge as is evidenced by the way it speaks, why does it not study medicine like its creator? Why didn’t it study all the medical books and notes Frankenstein left behind when he originally absconded and learned for himself the secret that lies between life and death? Once gained, The Creature could create a mate of his own. Frankenstein took meticulous notes. Didn’t The Creature read them and walk through in his mind all of Frankenstein’s trials and errors? How is it that this has never occurred to The Creature? He reads literature all the time but not medical books? He is preoccupied with love and a mate yet avoids the tools to create one with his own two hands. It might take him years to acquire Frankenstein’s medical knowledge and expertise but The Creature is immortal. The one thing it has is time and unlike Dr. Frankenstein, The Creature knows that it is possible from the outset. – Digression End.

Love was a large theme in What Death Can Join Together: The Creature wanted someone who loved him unconditionally, Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) loved Brona Croft (Billie Piper) unconditionally, and  Professor Abraham Van Helsing (David Warner) spoke of his lost love in more detail to a colleague than he probably had to any other living person. All three were tragic yet only one had a ray of hope, something for its involved parties to look forward to in the future.

The short segment on Lucifer was enlightening (no pun intended), especially when thought of along the lines how the actions of a person can change how people perceive a name. Case and point: most people associate the name Frankenstein with The Creature, not with the doctor that created him. As a child, I did as well.

The dinner table conversation between Dorian Grey (Reeve Carney) and Vanessa Ives spoke volumes about Grey’s plight while saying almost nothing about it. What was gleaned was that Grey recognized that Vanessa was an oddity, unique, and singular like himself and that he had studied a multitude of ways in which the world, life, and death can be perceived. I am unfamiliar with Dorian Grey’s story and abilities but one was finally displayed after a sensual tryst, a trait that may make him akin to Dr. Frankenstein’s first-born.

The investigation and the major battle in What Death Can Join Together had its moments, of note being its build-up and the description of a dock quarantine, yet its conclusion yielded the biggest and best surprise. Consider Sir Murray’s fire considerably stoked regarding his search for his daughter. Does Mina’s abductor have different forms like in Bram Stoker‘s novel or is that one static visage it? Mina’s captor must be metamorphic in some way. How else would Mina become entangled with it? Most people don’t approach a rabid dog with fangs bared.

The second realization of Sir Murray came at the end of what could have been a triumph if it had not been for the absence of Vanessa Ives. Everyone on the Mina Rescue Team has their own agenda, their own reason for being there, and almost everyone has a secret they are keeping from everyone else. By not telling Mina everything when he had the chance, by not trusting her completely, what Sir Murray withheld from her might have caught up to the both of them.

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About the author

Rollo Tomasi

A Political Science and MBA grad who started FilmBook during an eCommerce B-School course in 2008. Cinema and TV addict. Former writer at Empire Movies, Blogcritics, and Alternative Film Guide. In addition to writing for FilmBook, he also edits the copy published on the website, manages its writing staff, manages the back-end operations, site finances, its social network accounts, and works with publicists, actors, and companies on press coverage and promotions. He has also created and Trending

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