Penny Dreadful: S1E4, “Demimonde” Photo Recap
Warning for spoilers!
The episode starts with Dorian having an ordinary day with random naked people partying in his house.
He doesn’t even look slightly interested in what’s going on around him and when the party’s over he seems displeased with how messy the place is.
We sense (we know) that something isn’t quite right with Dorian. (And if you don’t know what is wrong with him maybe you shouldn’t keep reading because there will be spoilers)
The show has managed to surprise us so far but for now we assume the show Dorian is also suffering from the same condition as his book counterpart: he is living as an immortal with his soul trapped in a painting.
We don’t see the painting but his expression says enough.
Later we see Vanessa sitting in front of a church where a young girl named Lucy comes up and they have a weird conversation involving Lucy’s dead mother and that she won’t stay in the ground.
We freak out just like Vanessa who asks “Where will she go?”
and Lucy answers “To heaven”
…well that was a nice build up for nothing…?
Then we see Dorian and Vanessa follows him to see that he’s having some private moments with several flowers.
(Yes, I’m voicing the flower.)
I don’t blame the flower. We all have our weaknesses.
Dorian is happy to see Vanessa stalking him. He makes her smell the flowers.
Surprise: It’s poisonous.
Vanessa is impressed with the amount of “useful” information he has.
They joke and flirt.
Then he shows her the Rothschild’s Slipper Orchid that can take up to 15 years to bloom for a moment.
And it’s poisonous. Or at least Dorian hopes so, because “it’s beautiful”. (I know… *sigh*)
Vanessa is visibly influenced by and drawn to Dorian.
In the meantime we have Victor and VAN HELSING study Fenton’s blood in a very short scene.
Van Helsing tells Victor about “blood eating” but before they can discuss further, Victor is distracted by other things.
Victor hurries outside and scolds Caliban
Caliban reminds him of his request (a lady friend)
Needless to say, things get heated very quickly
Caliban reminds Victor what he’s looking for in a life partner.
Victor decides to insult his immortal and incredibly strong creature because that’s the smart thing to do.
Caliban tells him humans are merely “skin and air” and the future belongs to immortal race.
Yup, thank you for that Victor.
We see Brona and Ethan cuddling and bonding.
Brona shares some traumatic events from her past.
Ethan comforts her by telling her that he has terrible sins as well. By that we assume he’s a werewolf or something that rips people apart. We still don’t know. But it’s comforting anyway.
Things seem to be getting serious with this couple.
In the Murray Residence Fenton is still obsessed with Vanessa.
Ethan is extremely bothered by their treatment of the young vampire
Victor tells Ethan to be the blood donor to heal Fenton of the “blood eating” disease but Ethan says that’s a baaad idea.
They give him strange looks but he doesn’t explain what he means and Malcolm Murray becomes the donor instead.
Later, Victor decides to cheer them up with the ripper/monster murder news.
But Ethan suddenly reacts VERY strongly and just throws the newspaper away.
Then they just go at it.
The scene gets better and better.
Ethan accuses Victor of basically being an arrogant, cold-blooded, soulless, horrible person and Victor insults his intelligence.
Malcolm Murray tells them there’s enough tension in the house without theirs adding to it.
The best part is that when Vanessa shows up Victor actually complains about what Ethan said to her. (He’s also jealous that Sir Malcolm would take Ethan with him to an adventure to Africa instead.)
Vanessa Ives: Possessed by an Ancient Egypt Goddess, part time counselor.
She quickly reminds Victor that he’s valued for being cold-blooded.
Victor and Vanessa have this sibling vibe I am fond of. But you never know with this show.
You never know.
Our gang confronts Fenton.
Victor and Sir Malcolm hilariously try to come up with a food solution.
But then Sembene just shows up and takes care of it while they’re talking. (not showing the cap because poor kitty)
Vanessa is once more exposed to Ethan’s self-deprecating guilt.
She is like “and you’ll get over this when?” But I also feel that she appreciates his compassion.
Ethan takes Brona out to have some normal fun for once in her life.
Surprisingly we see Caliban working in the theater even though I personally assumed that he’d killed the old man and the actress he liked and maybe burned down the theater.
Brona is just as excited as he is and Ethan is excited for her.
Back in the Murray’s Sir Malcolm tells Victor he shouldn’t be jealous of Ethan and that Victor reminds him of his son.
Though unexpected, the father and son love suddenly fills our hearts and we don’t know what to do with ourselves.
Personally I had to make these:
(Don’t ask me why.)
Then back at the theater Ethan adorably bought an orange for Brona (Can you imagine how annoying it would be at the theater those days though? Everyone loudly eating oranges with juice running down their necks? I’m glad I live in the modern day with popcorn chomping youth.)
Ethan had heart eyes during the whole time. He was watching her reactions to every thing maybe because she gives him a sense of normalcy.
Then we saw Dorian enjoying the play by himself.
But then he sensed someone.
He was visibly happy to see Vanessa. Maybe because their demons play well together.
Now, I know many people assume Ethan is a werewolf but he seemed disturbingly relaxed and happy about the play so maybe not?
Vanessa was very pleased with the production.
For some reason Sembene was stalking/protecting Vanessa and he was deep in thought?
Also why don’t they give this guy some backstory and more lines? I have a feeling he is a bamf.
Just keep him away from cats.
At the Murray Residence Victor and Sir Malcolm decided to check the creepy noises in the house.
Everything seemed normal.
They were shocked because they weren’t expecting a visitor at that hour.
Okay, I don’t mean to be picky but please tell me that’s not Dracula. I expected a well-spoken gentleman with not so many cracks on his face. But then again, I’m hard to please.
Olly Alexander’s performance as the young vampire Fenton was remarkable. He will be missed.
I expected him to tell everyone how they met considering how chill he is but Brona ignored him completely.
Which amused Dorian and he was hilariously cheerful about this coincidence.
Brona couldn’t handle the pressure and left the theater with Ethan running after her. I’m gonna be serious for a moment here because they had a heartbreaking argument about Brona’s illness and inevitable death as well as her insecurity about Ethan’s obvious admiration of Vanessa. She also seemed to resent the fact that she was dying and who can blame her for that?
So she slapped Ethan (ouch) and told him they were done.
But her face didn’t agree.
What I realized in this scene was that even though Ethan cares for her, this is the moment Brona is reminding him that he can’t actually save her. Maybe she’s right and he’s trying too hard.
Then Dorian came to check on his new buddy.
Ethan watched his last hope for a normal human relationship walk away and hated himself for whatever he’s done and for what he can’t do.
That really spoke to Dorian on a spiritual level.
Ethan asked him if Vanessa will be there.
But Dorian said Vanessa loves herself so she can’t join their secret club.
I didn’t understand why Dorian was so interested in Ethan other than the fact that he suddenly found self hatred really charming but you could actually see the moment he turned his charm on. (Which is always on but he turned the volume up basically)
He was like:
They went to some secret club where I expected something other than animal violence to be honest. But that’s Dorian for you.
There was this random gentleman who probably still lived with his mother and drank milk every night before he went to bed.
He really seemed to enjoy himself.
Seeing a dog killing rats was traumatizing for Ethan and seemed to be reminding him of something?
We really want to know what that is but we’re still waiting for the revelation, show.
Then some members of the loser-dude club started to pick on our rugged gentleman because they were jealous.
Ethan tried very hard to keep it together.
But enough was enough when this guy had the audacity to touch his face/head without permission.
Ethan started to beat up the guys because they really wanted him to.
And then we were invited to Dorian’s bathroom where he was washing his face and seemed definitely more relaxed now.
Dorian just kept giving him these looks and I wondered where was this going or if it was going anywhere.
Maybe they’d be good mates???
Yeah. Good mates.
Dorian told him he won the horrible bet at the animal violence club.
But then he said he always won and that wasn’t really fair.
Ethan just wanted to talk about his perfumes.
Dorian was, as always, incredibly poetic and eloquent about his feelings on the subject.
And Ethan approved of it.
He appreciated Dorian’s passionate nature because you know, he likes that in people.Back at the theater Vanessa realized the boys had left but she stayed and enjoyed the rest of the show.
When she came home Sir Malcolm told her the creature was looking for her and what was she doing so late and keeping the creature waiting? Vanessa suspected Mina was helping the creature instead of her. Sir Malcolm said he deserved a cruel daughter like Vanessa.
Honestly, their conversations are so cryptic and weird I don’t even need to write funny captions for them.
Back at the party mansion Ethan and Dorian started to drink absinthe (always a good sign) and Dorian laughed at how Ethan pretended to be an unsophisticated person. Ethan didn’t deny it.
Ethan asked Dorian what he pretended to be.
And Dorian downright admitted to being something other than human.
But you know this show. People just accept that as the norm if not a requirement in a friend.
Dorian had his best shirt on and he was going full force now.
They toasted to their mutual admiration of Vanessa as the most mysterious one of them all.
Which made Ethan realize they had many things in common.
They spent some time talking about portraits and how it wasn’t creepy to sit in a room with faces looking at you ALL THE DAMN TIME.
Ethan just seemed to let go and tell Dorian what touched his heart was honesty and people caring about animals and nature.
Maybe it will remind Dorian to tone it down a little bit with the animal fights?
Dorian decided that since Ethan was in a really emotional state, making him listen to soul wrenching music would be a good idea in terms of getting him to just confront the feelings inside him. (Which is a lot of feelings)
We got a flash of memories full of emotion and the result would surely be a violent transformation of some kind.
Ethan rushed to Dorian and grabbed his neck. I assume Dorian can’t be killed because he looked a little vulnerable and curious at best.
And then this happened:
I didn’t expect it you guys. I did not expect that at all.
I mean Ethan dealt with a lot of feelings for sure but I guess the only thing he was repressing about himself wasn’t the secret why he can’t donate blood or feels moody around slaughtered animals. (Honestly though, maybe stay away from people who don’t)
We can’t know for sure what this connection will bring in the future, but I appreciate the show making Ethan Chandler possibly attracted to men as well. We can assume it’s just Dorian’s charm working but I think the connection was more about Ethan trying so hard to to hold on to being a “normal” guy. He tried to hold on to Brona and it didn’t work. Maybe accepting this part of himself (if it’s intended to be a part of him, that is) will be a step forward to his character finally accepting his place in this world and being a badass hunter who is also possibly a monster himself. His character definitely gained more depth this episode and the show hopefully will elaborate on what this means for Ethan as a person.
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