TV Show Review

TV Review: PENNY DREADFUL: Season 2, Episode 1: Fresh Hell [Showtime]

Showtime’s Penny Dreadful Fresh Hell TV Show ReviewPenny Dreadful: Season 2, Episode 1: Fresh Hell featured the moment that fans of Season 1 had been waiting to witness. Brona Croft (Billie Piper)’s resurrection was one of the highlights of the episode and was rightly held back until its latter moments. Dr. Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway) and The Creature (Rory Kinnear) working together for a singular, rain-drenched goal must have been surreal for the both of them, upon reflection. During those crucial moments, their animosity towards each other was the farthest thing from their minds.

When ‘The Second Creature’ stood tall, looking down on them, they were naked in front of her, not vice-versa. Their emotions and wonderment were laid bear on their faces as she shivered in perplexment.

The new antagonists, the witches, had a dramatic entrance into the Penny Dreadful universe. Their transformation power was formidable, especially since they, somehow, are fully clothed when transforming back to human beings. Whom their leader turned out to be was the real surprise. Evelyn Poole (Helen McCrory) must have been instantly attracted to Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) after the séance in Episode 2 of Season 1. That power attracted “The Master” and it has certainly attracted Lucifer’s devotees.

The Creature saying that it and Dr. Victor Frankenstein were linked made no sense (“What would Frankenstein be without his creature”), especially since: a.) no one knew of The Creature’s link to Dr. Frankenstein, and b.) no one knew The Creature was a resurrected being. There was no notoriety to their bond and no fame. Dr. Frankenstein never published his work or his discoveries. Because of these facts, The Creature’s pronouncement had no foundation. It was the pronouncement of someone that had read Mary Shelley‘s seminal work and knew how famous that work of literature was (and what it had inspired).

The new elements in the Wolfman storyline, the police detective and the prospect of a survivor of The Wolf’s latest berserker blackout, were welcome additions. The Wolfman plot was thin last season because Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett)’s “condition” was a secret until Episode 8. Now that that secret is out, Penny Dreadful’s writers are free to bolster it in any number of ways. I hope we get background on The Wolf’s early eruptions and possibly Ethan learning to remember the incidents. Controlling The Wolf  à la The Hulk probably won’t happen until Season 3 or Season 4.

Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton)’s wife, Gladys Murray (Noni Stapleton), is no fool but her blame was ill-placed. From what was said between them during their brief scene together, it can be surmised that Sir Murray told her, in full detail, of the final encounter he had with the creature inhabiting his late daughter’s body. Ms. Murray did not seem to care if she got back a vampire daughter, one that had to reside in a steel cage twenty-four hours a day. At least she would have had one remnant of a child felt. Sir Murray took that from her and with it what remained of any amicable feelings between them.

The Lavinia Putney (Tamsin Topolski) storyline is going to bear a gaggle of fruit if handled properly and from its outset, it has been. Lavinia can’t see The Creature, its pale skin, or its head scar (though she touched both). With her, The Creature aka John Claire, has a clean visual slate. There was no initial repulsion or fear to retard their relationship. I see a love triangle brewing: Lavinia growing fond of John Claire and The Creature wanting Brona Croft to grow fond of it. Lavinia will one day die. Brona Croft is immortal. If The Creature thinks with its head and not its emotions, it will choose Brona Croft (if she will have it), if it keeps in mind the saying: “The hard fought victory is better savored.” When it comes to Croft, however, the battle may be an impossible one to win (especially if Croft regains her memory…and remembers her feelings for Ethan Chandler).

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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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