Penny Dreadful Good and Evil Braided Be Review
Showtime’s Penny Dreadful: Season 3, Episode 3: Good and Evil Braided Be was about character building. The cafe conversation between Lily (Billie Piper) and Justine (Jessica Barden), to veterans (and victims) of whoring that understood each other instantly, was not only an outstanding character moment for Justine but it may have housed the best line delivery of the episode (“I’ve never known a man who didn’t want to f*ck me or beat me. Can you say different?”). Barden was able to deliver the intensity that her character demanded, wearing an iron mask that hide all emotion expect for the complete lack of innocence and naivete. Justine is the polar opposite of Outlander‘s Mary Hawkins. During the cafe scene, Justine flashed no emotion beneath a countenance of ice one moment, the next a young girl shone through that wanted to hear about the one guy in Lily’s life that was “different.”
This indicated that an echo of the girl that Justine could have been was still there, occasionally peaking out from behind steel, reinforced shutters.
I was surprised and impressed that Lily and Dorian were able to track down the man that first bought Justine when she was twelve years old. Justine’s past whore-life (the fact that Justine was sane after enduring so much degradation said a lot) had been much harder than Lily’s, some of which nearly brought Lily to tears, were precursors to the rage explosion that was bound to happen. How that rage was stoked by whispers to her face – Dorian (“Murderess”) and in her ear – Lily (“Whore”) were theatrical and effective on Justine and the scene. The blood orgy that followed was average, dis-serviced by montage footage. Justine’s monologue about her past whore-life was far more entertaining (well-written and acted dialogue does wonders for a scene) than her subsequent blood / sex baptism.
Dr. Henry Jekyll (Shazad Latif)’s serum problem was obvious. Dr. Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway)’s solution to that problem is going to have many implications. Before those implications come into existence, how does Dr. Frankenstein propose to get Lily into that hospital and into that chair? He knows she can’t die but he does not know that she is extremely strong (since he never tested her reflexes, motor functions, etc. like a real scientist would have). If Frankenstein tries to man-handle Lily, he will be in for the surprise of his life.
Hecate Poole (Sarah Greene)’s reason for being in America and for helping Ethan was darker than imagined, a twisted courtship in-line with others (past and present) on this TV series. Hecate could certainly paint a picture with her words and had no qualms about killing innocent people, unlike Ethan. Those in pursuit of Ethan, both friend and foe, may find a morally compromised Ethan when they catch up to him. Prolonged exposure to Hecate and her way of thinking will not have a positive effect on him, though in Good and Evil Braided Be he seemed more at peace with what he was and his possible destiny.
Dracula’s ignoramus of a Lead Familiar (Jack Greenlees) lit the spark that led Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) back to The White Room at The Banning Clinic. Vanessa’s ‘trip’ would never have been possible if Vanessa had not greased that path by confronting Dr. Seward (Patti LuPone) about Joan “The Cut-Wife” Clayton and the validity of Vanessa’s tale. Seeing a glimpse of the power that Vanessa really possessed nudged the doctor’s decision-making in Vanessa’s favor in the third act of Good and Evil Braided Be. The viewer could not believe the person that walked into The White Room to serve Vanessa food as the episode ended. It was a good, well-placed shock.
The viewer could not have been happier for a character, their past, or scenery in Penny Dreadful than they were for The Creature (Rory Kinnear), his family, and seeing the residue (more like the billowing chimneys) of the industrial age. Not since Lily has The Creature had hope for the future. As it turned out, The Creature’s hope came from his past. From reading Mary Shelley‘s book, the knowledgeable reader (and fan of Penny Dreadful) can project how a segment of the story from that book will be retrofitted onto the story-line and family presented in Good and Evil Braided Be. The knowledgeable reader can’t help but be happy for The Creature and sad as well at this turn of events.
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