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TV Review: PENNY DREADFUL: Season 1, Episode 7: Possession [Showtime]

Timothy Dalton Eva Green Penny Dreadful Possession

Showtime’s Penny Dreadful Possession TV Show ReviewPenny Dreadful: Season 1, Episode 7: Possession is what many wanna-be exorcist films aspire to be: suspenseful. It’s always when the possessed speaks as another that a scene is elevated, becomes more than what is going on in the scene. When the possessed speaks of things he or she could not possibly know, imitate things, secret things, the viewer leans in, thinking: “this is what I came for. This is what I want to hear and see.”

All of these points were touched upon in Possession.

Possession had elements of both Séance and Closer Than Sisters but delved into even more of the cadre of characters through Vanessa Ives (Eva Green). Dr. Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway), Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett), and Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton) were are made to suffer through Vanessa’s possessed insights and words. It was fascinating to see how easily she took control of a conversation or a situation where she was the one formerly under examination. If she had said: “Does it depress you commissioner to know just how alone you really are?”, it would have been of no surprise.

Montages, up until Possession, had been rarely if ever used, which made their usage during this episode more novel and more effectively. Seeing Vanessa have showcase outbursts was one thing but seeing her go through many smaller ones in between them highlighted the possession’s deleterious progression and how it affected her will to live.

Much of Sir Murray and his inner character was divulged during Possession, facets of which are darker than most of the monsters on the show. Hearing about his “activities” in foreign countries and what he encouraged his son to do permanently changed how the viewer will see ‘The Explorer.”

The Creature (Rory Kinnear) standing outside of Sir Murray’s residence, in the dead of night and in the snow, was a wonderful way of showing the doom that lingers and hangs over Dr. Frankenstein. It was marvelous how Vanessa, in her possessed state, referenced The Creature and his relationship to Dr. Frankenstein by using the word “demon.” The good doctor is never far from his creation’s grasp.

The resolute then reluctant Father Matthews (Oliver Cotton) trying to leave after viewing Vanessa’s state was amusing: a man of God running away from someone obviously in need. It turned out that his initial body instinct was absolutely correct. Whatever was inside of Vanessa imbued her with an unnatural and absurd amount of strength. Vanessa batted her former compatriots around as if they were weightless, though the priest fared the worst out of any of them.

There were two touching moments between Vanessa and Ethan in the episode: one the facsimile of a real conservation and the other the possible end of their association. Because of the first situation, Vanessa now knows Amun-ra’s full design for her. The question is how will she internally and externally deal with this new fact in her life. Will she foil Amun-ra’s plan by killing herself? There doesn’t seem like any other way she can stop him from eventually getting what he wants from her but that ultimate, selfless act.

Regarding the second touching moment between Vanessa and Ethan, where did Nathan learn the prayer he used so effectively? What inspired its usage (besides the obvious, meaning: how did he know it would work?)? That was very clever ‘intuitive improvisation’ between two friends where one of their lives could have ended in the click of a revolver.

Leave your thoughts on this review and this episode of Penny Dreadful below in the comments section. For more Penny Dreadful reviews, photos, videos, and information, visit our Penny Dreadful Page, subscribe to us by Email, “follow” us on TwitterTumblr, or “like” us on Facebook.

 

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 ProMovieBlogger.com and Trending Awards.com.

  • Robert Anderson

    The best scene had to be when Ethan was teaching Victor how to shoot. That scene showed more than any other how the group really was a family more than anything. Ethan and Victor see each other as brothers with Sir Malcolm as a father figure. With Frankenstein’s monster haunting his every step I feared that Ethan would have his neck snapped as soon as he left the house (like everyone else Victor comes to truly care for), luckily Ethan lives at least for 1 more episode.

    Bonus points to Victor for this line of dialogue.

    Vanessa: I fear I’m not looking my best.

    Victor: Nonsense, your visual responses are quite adequate.

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