Penny Dreadful S1E8 “Grand Guignol” Photo Recap
Warning for spoilers!
The episode began with Malcolm and Vanessa discussing her dream about Mina and how she could be in the theater.
Malcolm said he wanted to save Mina even if it meant killing her to end her suffering.
She asks him if that will bring him peace, he basically tells her not to ask stupid questions and leaves to contact the rest of the group to meet that night.
As always, Vanessa senses a special someone at the door before Sembene comes in.
Dorian is adorably eager to see her.
Vanessa on the other hand seems to be distancing herself from him.
Dorian tells her he came by while she was eating people’s cheeks and they told him she was sick.
Vanessa keeps looking at him as if he’s a little kid as he keeps talking nervously. He says he had to travel to keep himself busy while waiting for her to recover. And he wants to do stuff together now that she’s okay.
Vanessa reacts like:
Which confuses Dorian: (lmao his face)
He keeps pushing:
Ahaha oh poor Dorian. He just keeps talking faster and faster and suggesting different plans.
Vanessa just gets up and starts to leave while he continues talking and simply not understanding her rejection.
I’m pretty sure he just stood there until Sembene walked in and cleared his throat like “Boy you pretty but you gotta go home.”
Then we were back with the Sadness and her pretty, goodhearted, part time shooter, part time exorcist, full time bamf, bisexual + possibly supernatural boyfriend. (I love Ethan, okay)
In the meantime Malcolm was making sure he had the necessary equipment for vampire hunting.
He got his gun and as he was walking out he saw Madame Kali from the séance.
Their whole interaction was like
Malcolm showed signs of actual interest in her. He seemed excited to have feelings.
Basically they flirted like whoa and then he left, telling her they’d see each other later. Madame Kali smiled until he walked out and then just gave him a weird stare so I’m thinking there’ll be some ploy there. But we’ll have to wait and see.
Then we were with our tragic baby.
Something didn’t work out properly and that douche was angry with Caliban.
Maude felt pretty bad about it so she went to Caliban and brought him an orange.
I’m pretty convinced that Maude thought of him like a weird little kid who needed to be shown kindness and compassion. After telling him about her brother it was clear to me that he reminded her of him but well, Caliban probably hasn’t read a book about friendships between women and men. As far as we know, Maude is the only girl he’s ever interacted with and well, an orange and a kiss lead to different hopes for him.
Back at the most normal house in the city:
Malcolm admitted that seeing his children’s photos broke his heart and for some reason he felt the need to remind Vanessa that his heart was a man’s heart, not a young girl’s. I guess which means they’re super valid and real compared to silly girl feelings. (I want someone to slap Malcolm so bad. Can’t Sembene just walk in and do that every time he does and says something douchey? Oh okay. That would take all the screentime.)
He proceeded to tell her that he didn’t mind feeling bad about all the things he did while she seeked to rid herself of guilt and that he’d sacrifice her anytime for Vanessa.
Vanessa told him not to hide the photos and let them break his heart if he liked his guilt so much.
And that was an efficient burn.
Caliban was uh… he wanted to look his best for Maude.
He understandably freaked her out when he refused to leave.
He stopped himself before things got uglier.
Then he had to leave the theater.
Later we were back with our favorite mystical couple.
Actually they talked about how the flower died and it would take fifty years for it to bloom again. Vanessa called it a lifetime but Dorian casually said it would take an instant.
Dorian baby, why so subtle? Thank god no one actually listens to him.
Vanessa asked him if he wanted an explanation for running out.
When he didn’t she said he never risked anything. He suddenly got passionate and told her he’d risk everything for her. She said no.
Ah you guys. It was sad. I know Dorian doesn’t make everyone feel all the things yet but he will probably have a bigger part to play in the second season when his immortality can prove to be useful. I think Vanessa will need a lot of help with her exorcism and the vampire master and everything else, so their connection and his feelings for her might even save her somehow, who knows?
I also suspect his story will start to unfold next season so we will hopefully see more depth and more of the tragic parts of him.
What I love is that Reeve’s portrayal of Dorian is so eerie sometimes. He looks like he is actually an immortal little boy and it’s creepy and charming and that’s Dorian in a nutshell.
Moving on, Caliban went to his daddy.
Caliban: “The monster is not in my face but in my soul. I once thought that if I was like other men, I would be happy and loved. The malignance has grown, you see. From the outside in. And this… shattered visage merely reflects the abomination that is my heart. Oh, my creator, why, why did you not make me of steel and stone? Why did you allow me to feel? I would rather be the corpse I was then the man I am. Go ahead. Pull the trigger. It would be a blessing.”
Victor was deeply moved by how much they had in common. He felt just alone and monstrous. I think he also thinks that he could be loved if he were normal.
Let’s cry together because this scene was very sad. Actually this whole show is very sad.
Speaking of sadness:
Brona was dying and Ethan’s face speaks for my feelings here.
Victor was very nice and he told her how she was just going to walk through a door.
Then he told Ethan to get lost.
Victor was talking to her about this place between death and life: Caliban’s arms?
I don’t think she knew what she was getting into. I don’t even think she understood half of the stuff he was talking about. Oh well.
I honestly think that for Ethan, Brona was mostly about his humanity. He wanted so much to have a normal connection to someone decent and lively like her, someone he wanted to be more like. She represented his goodness in a way. Reminded him there was hope. If he could save her or ease her pain, he’d also ease his own.
And now she was gone and he seemed pretty mad at himself as if it was him who let it happen.
His reflection was right in my opinion.
They had the nerve to tell him to come with them nicely or they’d use handcuffs.
I think Ethan is a very very very patient man. But he was already having a bad day, you know.
So he just kicked their noisy butts.
Yes. That’s smart.
Later, Ethan was feeling bad.
They basically smoked weed and shared looks about their future romance. (We all know it will happen)
Also notice how Vanessa always receives information through touch? She held his hand and suddenly knew about Brona (unless Victor found the time to tell her about it. )
Then Malcolm, Victor and Sembene showed up.
Victor didn’t seem so sure.
They began looking for the vampires in the theatre.
The Master woke up.
Then the love hungry vampires attacked our precious gang.
I don’t know why they always sing Lady Gaga in my head.
Victor joined Ethan and Sembene to fight off the white haired vampires. In the meantime Malcolm killed the Master.
When he died the others also died (or fainted I don’t know). Which was good news.
Poor Sembene and Ethan. Just look at their faces.
Then Vanessa came out of the darkness and looked super creepy.
OF COURSE NOT! I TOLD YOU GUYS! I TOLD YOU IT WAS A TRAP! AND YOU DIDN’T LISTEN!
So we either have another one of those bald dudes or finally we’re gonna get a decent Dracula who properly seduced Mina to get to Vanessa instead of sleeping all day.
I’m voting for the latter.
Mina wanted a quick bite.
So was Vanessa but she also seemed touched because of what he did to save her.
I might express conflicted feelings about Malcolm but I LOVE Timothy Dalton.
He is so good at every single scene, he made me love Malcolm too.
He told her they’d get a christmas tree and Vanessa said they’d have “the boys” decorate.
I love that they see themselves as a family in a way. A weird, lovely family.
Speaking of weird families.
Victor felt responsible for Caliban’s loneliness. So he started working on Brona.
This storyline actually physically hurts.
I am curious but also I don’t want Victor to go through with it. It’s complicated.
Ethan was mourning.
I don’t know about you but I was very happy with the scene. We already expected him to be a werewolf so it was a surprise that he didn’t turn out to be anything else. And it was so much fun to just wait for him to transform. I cheered as he ripped people apart!
That’s normal, right?
The next day:
Vanessa went to church after what seemed to be a long time and talked to this cute, friendly priest.
He asked her if he believed in being forgiven and Vanessa said yes. She also believed in monsters and biting off people’s cheeks.
She asked him if he believed in souls being taken over and exorcism.
He told her a story about how an exorcism cost the possessed and everyone else’s death. He seemed to be the only survivor which is interesting. I mean, did the demon or the devil or whatever let him go because he was a cute person? “You, you can go, you’re adorable.”
I don’t know. Weirder things have happened.
He told her exorcism could take forever or maybe it wouldn’t work at all.
And he finally asked Vanessa what we’ve been suspecting all season. Remember when she talked about being unique with Dorian? She also believed she deserved to suffer in a way because she felt so much guilt for Mina and also possibly her mother’s death. She also loved being in Amun Ra/The Devil’s arms while he whispered dark promises.
So this question was very meaningful.
Her pause which seemed to go on forever answered for her.
I know it took me forever to recap the finale but I hope there are still people who see this???
Anyway, what a season. I know many people are underwhelmed by the show, it’s not the fast moving, tell-not-show production we’re all used to by now. It’s more like a long, beautiful book and it may not be for everyone. But I enjoyed how slow and careful the show was with every detail. I actually felt the love that was put into every single scene and the story as well as the characters.
To be honest, I love everyone in this bar and I can’t wait for the next season because I care about them like they’re my weird family now.
What do you think?
Also I bear bonus gifts: ( I already put them on my tumblr but adding here for you as well)
I had to do the priest as well because he’s adorbs.
I’ll also recap the first three episodes. They will be spoiler free for the rest of the season. (I will pretend I have no idea what’s going on, which is still partly true.)
But let’s pretend this is goodbye until next season. Thanks for being lovely and kind and awesome!
You can make a one-time donation with an amount of your choosing through Paypal to support me and my writing.