TV Show Review

TV Review: PENNY DREADFUL: Season 2, Episode 7: Little Scorpion [Showtime]

Josh Hartnett Eva Green Penny Dreadful Little Scorpion

Showtime’s Penny Dreadful Little Scorpion TV Show ReviewPenny Dreadful: Season 2, Episode 7: Little Scorpion was an episode of ‘killer’ surprises. Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) finally found out what he is. Now he is as tormented as some of his companions. Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) is hunted by monsters and Ethan transforms into one during an uncontrollable state. Vanessa Ives previously referred to The Creature as a kindred spirit. How will she refer to Ethan once she knows what’s inside of him? Will he make the connection between himself and Lupus Dei?

The lightning strike was truly electrifying, setting loose feelings that had been pent up for a very long time. It was a dramatic moment but it quickly became dominated by the past. Vanessa knew what letting her sexual feelings loose could produce because of her sexual encounter with Dorian Grey. Many have been rooting for the ‘ship between Ethan and Vanessa to happen but it doesn’t seem like it is going to anytime soon. There is too much at stake.

I could not believe that Vanessa left The Cut Wife’s book on the shelf after The Cut Wife’s death instead of taking it with her. The Cut Wife told Vanessa that she would be continuously hunted and Vanessa left behind the only weapon she had in her possession? That made no sense. What also made no sense was that The Cut Wife’s house was exactly the way Vanessa left it, even after seven years of neglect. The townspeople were brave enough to kill The Cut Wife, a witch, but weren’t brave enough to loot her house, vandalize it, or burn it down?

When the Cut Wife said that Vanessa would never be the same if she used that book, she was right. Chandler was so eager to protect Vanessa from that fate, he was ready to do what would be deemed “unthinkable” by a civilized person. Ethan’s eventual “killing” speech was a prologue to the world Vanessa had entered by the end of Little Scorpion. One of the very things they had all been fighting to preserve had been lost. Chandler: “You’ll never get your soul back, not ever. Do you understand that?” Ives: “Yes.” Chandler: “Welcome to the night Vanessa.”

The Creature (Rory Kinnear) seeing Lily (Billie Piper) enjoying herself with Dorian Grey (Reeve Carney) highlighted his own social shortcomings, though he was more than aware of them beforehand. Will The Creature rage against Dr. Frankenstein for letting Lily form bonds with others besides himself? Will The Creature despair that Lily is creating a life for herself without him? Will the doctor?

When Lily got out of the cab and entered a bar, an establishment where no other female patrons resided, the viewer knew that something was not right. Why was she there? She most-likely would not be served (women in bars during that time period were socially frowned upon I believe).

Lily’s bar dalliance showed a characterization flaw in Dr. Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway). Dr. Frankenstein has not been testing and studying his third Creature closely enough (or at all after her hair color change and coitus between the two of them transpired). For a scientist that has single-handedly made the greatest scientific breakthrough in human history, he is almost completely incompetent when it comes to: cataloging, note-taking, spot-checking, etc. He is not checking at equal intervals if pieces of Lily’s memory have come back? For that matter, did he ever check to see if the first Creature’s memories had come back to any degree?

Forgive me reader. These questions, these digressions are for another day and another TV series about a doctor that precisely observers and records data from his or her experiments for proper scientific documentation, publication, and replication. That is not Penny Dreadful. That is not what this show is concerned with at the moment. “A Doctor,” “A Scientist” is merely a vestigial title on a show like this, without the back-end work that goes into either profession (like “the scientists” – lol – in The Strain).

What Penny Dreadful is concerned with is the result of Dr. Frankenstein’s latest experiment, his third Creature, Lily. Lily had many customers when she was a prostitute by the name of Brona Croft. With no pimp or madam to protect her, she was most-likely treated roughly by one or more of her customers. She may have beaten numerous times, like the prostitutes in the novel The Crimson Petal and The White, and/or raped. Those traumas most be hard to get over, even if your mind has been nearly or completely wiped of them.

The viewer may have wondered if Dr. Frankenstein had given his third Creature enhanced strength, a means of protection and defense against the harsh world he was resurrecting her into. The viewer may have also wondered if Lily did have that strength, was it a byproduct of the resurrection process (more scientific study that Dr. Frankenstein did not conduct – never mind)?

In any event, no matter how she got it, Lily exhibited it for the first time in Little Scorpion in the most unexpected and exciting way.

Watching Lily get…um…watching Lily let her new ‘friend’ THOROUGHLY enjoy himself was titillating but also intriguing because of the expression on her face. She was watching him intently but had a complete detachment from what was going on. It was like a cut-off switch had been tripped between her body and her mind, a useful trick redeployed from her old occupation.

Lily had probably always wanted revenge against some of her past patrons. That feeling, dragged to the surface (think Charlize Theron in Monster), coupled with her strength were the only way (and the reason why) she could have done what she did to her new ‘friend’ (who, under normal circumstances, would have been twice as strong as her, if not three times as strong). It was a fantastic moment, one with a gaggle of implications for her, Dr. Frankenstein, and The Creature.

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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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