Penny Dreadful Predators Far and Near Review
Showtime’s Penny Dreadful: Season 3, Episode 2: Predators Far and Near featured many heinous acts. Justine (Jessica Barden)’s introduction scene was straight out of 8MM‘s most horrific moment: a snuff performance for a captive audience. Like 8MM, the audience in Predators Far and Near was affluent and had purchased something few had the ability, knowledge of, or inclination to witness. Unlike 8MM, 97% of the audience for Predators Far and Near‘s snuff performance, a sadistic and exclusive pay-per-view event, were licking their chops in anticipation of a neophyte beauty brutalized-to-death in front of them.
This girl, it turned out, was no strange to the horrors of prostitution in that era. Lily (Billie Piper) had previously expounded about those same tragedies but there was something never explained in both cases? Why did both woman continue to subject themselves to those horrors time and time again? The first time Lily prostituted herself, she choose to do it (unlike Sugar in The Crimson Petal and The White). Out of the dozens of jobs available to women in that time period, why choose the most dangerous and degrading one? Why engage in such a job with no safety net or protection of any kind? It defied logic yet they had both, it seemed, made that choice (though that remains to be seen with Justine).
Justine’s abuse and her near death experience had made her strong, jaded, and bitter. Lily saw in Justine a reflection of herself. How Lily will manipulate that reflection remains to be seen.
The viewer was not expecting Dracula to turn out to be whom he turned out to be. It was certainly a surprise. The way Dracula changed his voice was clever, the way Bruce Wayne changes his voice when he’s Batman.
Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) courtship of Dr. Alexander Sweet (Christian Camargo) was unexpected but then Vanessa has always been unconventional. From the moment they met at the museum, Ives and Dr. Sweet both saw a kindred spirit in the other. With Ethan in the back of her mind now, the viewer is anticipating something fruitful and dark between Ives and Dr. Sweet.
Dr. Henry Jekyll (Shazad Latif)’s laboratory was in absolutely the last place that the viewer would think it would be located. Like Dr. Jekyll said though, the location afforded him endless subjects for his experiments, a good pro to the location’s con.
Without a fortune, which Jekyll currently did not have access to (the story surrounding that was the highlight of Dr. Jekyll and Dr. Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway)’s back-and-forth in the coffee shop), his lab and the vast array of equipment that it housed would have been completely outside of his reach.
The effectiveness of Dr. Jekyll’s concoction was a little suspect since after it entered a human body’s circulatory system, it seemed to have an immediate effect. How was that possible? Penny Dreadful is a TV show, with a limited run-time, so some things the viewer just has to go with. The effect the concoction had was profound but it had to be transient. If it were permanent, the ward that Dr. Jekyll worked in would have already been cleared of patients. I am guessing the patients need regular injections to maintain their composure hence the problem with Dr. Jekyll’s cure.
The vision that Kaetenay (Wes Studi) initiated in Predators Far and Near was a spectacle of the ordinary but what was communicated during it made it a worth-while element in the episode e.g. “our son knows we are coming” [a paraphrase].
Marshall Franklin Ostow (Sean Gilder)’s entrance during the dead body photography session was highly effective, telling the viewer that Marshall Ostow was a no-nonsense, dutiful person.
The dialogue between the Old Native American Woman (Tantoo Cardinal) and Ethan had a rich history behind it, a relationship shared by Kaetenay that helped shape Ethan’s outlook on life. That outlook had Ethan make a curious decision during Predators Far and Near: instead of warning everyone in the bar / trading post that he was about to turn, Ethan warned only one person and killed everyone else (though he seems to have no control over his Lupus Dei form). For a reluctant killer that hated what he was and gave himself up to law enforcement over guilt, this was a strange contradiction. The only explanation was that Ethan hated his father’s men, for killing all those innocent people on the train, more than he hated himself.
During the bar carnage, Hecate Poole (Sarah Greene) revealed herself and push attacked her opponent (again). All of the witch demons, before they were killed save Hecate, used that same, lame offensive maneuver. Didn’t she have any other form of attack? Couldn’t she punch, kick, or scratch? Are the only benefits of the witch demon form: increased strength, speed, and invisibility (not a bad list of abilities by the way)? Hopeful the viewer will learn and see more witch demon form abilities as Hecate becomes a larger player in the Penny Dreadful storylines.
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