Theories on Penny Dreadful

Warning: spoilers alert!!

Penny Dreadful is getting better and better – an episode full of precious gems: Vanessa and Victor being cute siblings while shopping for dresses and… underwear, Ethan showing that he’s far sharper than most give him credits for, Victor and Lily discussing feminism, Sembene being mysterious, quiet and frankly… Sembene while making dessert for everyone and of course, Dorian and Angelique showing the world their own version ‘Victorian Romance’ (really, the music, the cinematographic effect and the kiss are killing me – never quite turned on by such a kiss onscreen).

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And so the awesomeness and cuteness of episode 4 have prompted me to a few theories regarding The Devil/Lucifer/whatever demon that Evelyn Poole & co. are worshipping. I’m gonna list them here in this post; some of them are pretty logical and sound (according to my friend) and are backed up with evidence while some are just plain wacky, so bear with me please. Here we go.

#1: Dorian Gray is The Devil aka Lucifer

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I’ve never bought the idea that the show is going to stick to the book and at some point will give us an old, hideous and mean-looking photoshoped version of Reeve Carney on a huge canvas – as far as I know, Penny Dreadful loves to play with those well-known literary figures. So by the end of season 1, I have come up with a theory of my own regarding Dorian Gray’s secret, which can be read in my previous post. In short, I’m quite convinced that our pretty faced immortal is either the host of Amun-Ra (as Vanessa is Amunet’s) or the Egyptian God himself.

Then season 2 has been airing and viewers find all the Egyptian reference pushed back to a corner, replaced by a threat from The Devil, aka the Fallen Angel Lucifer in Christianity. So far, little connection has been made between Dorian and the main plot as his storyline, combined with the new enigmatic Angelique’s, while intriguing and pleasant, is still hovering somewhere else (if this continued the two of them might as well start their own series). In an attempt to try to include Dorian and Angelique in the main story, I’d like to believe Dorian Gray’s true identity is Lucifer and while the witches of Evelyn’s coven are doing the dirty work for him, the Great Master himself is on a date, playing ping-pong, stunning ordinary people with fearless public display of affection and generally having fun. Well, it’s good to be the King and have minions working for you so that you can enjoy yourself, right?

One more clue: remember how Vanessa described ‘The Devil’ to Joan Clayton in “Nightcomers”. That sounds suspiciously like Dorian Gray to me.

Does this mean I forfeit the theory that Dorian is related to Amun-Ra. Actually no. I’m still holding to it as I believe Amun-Ra and Lucifer, in spite of names, are actually one entity that is the embodiment of the evils in this world. I don’t know the exact term for the process but in my own words I will call it ‘merging’ – that is when beliefs, religions, deities etc. have been affected by one another because of wars, invasions, merging of cultures, etc. and thus share similar traits. One example I can think of is when the Romans conquered Greece and adopted the Greek pantheon – pretty much the same gods and goddesses except for the names (Zeus to Jupier, Hades to Pluto, Poseidon to Neptune and such). So, it’s quite possible that Amun-Ra and Lucifer are one and the same. Besides, I don’t think John Logan and team would make create an elaborate storyline with all the myths and prophecies in season 1 only to throw it out of the window in favor of something new. Would be a total waste.

If Dorian Gray is indeed Lucifer then his relationship with Angelique may take a very twisty turn, which is my second theory.

#2: Angelique is either A) a Servant of God aka Not-Evil Angel or B) a fallen angel like Lucifer

Based on her name which is very likely an alias and her special condition, I’m inclined to believe this new, interesting and charismatic transgender character may not be a mere prostitute; instead, she may be an angel! Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong (I’m not Christian) but I remember reading from some source that angels are supposed to be sexless/ non-gender (can’t pinpoint the exact word), thus it makes some sense that an angel masquerading as a human would choose to represent themself as a transgender person – neither man nor woman. If in this season our heroes are fighting the Servants of Devil then presenting a Servant of God would be a nice way to balance the scale.

But why would a Servant of God appear as a prostitute? Surely there’re a lot more places other than a brothel. And why would s/he approach and apparently seduce the Devil? That leads me to wonder whether Angelique is not a ‘good’ angel, but rather a fallen one. “When Lucifer fell, he did not fall alone” will be our mantra till the end of the season and may even continue in the next and episode 4 also fortifies the fact that many other ‘Evil’ angels fell with Lucifer and may be scattering all over the planet, corrupting humans or simply chilling out. So, after eons, at least one of them has found their way back to ‘reunite’ with Lucifer, right? Hell, that’d take ‘kindred spirits’ and ‘partners in crime’ to a whole new different level!

 #3: Dorian Gray is a fallen angel and it’s Angelique that is Lucifer/The Devil/Amun-Ra, etc.

So this is a reverse of my #1 and #2. Dorian Gray is one of the many that fell with Lucifer to earth and he was lost to his ‘friends’, hence he’s bored, lonely and always seeking new sensations, pushing against boundaries. Now his ‘Lord’ has come to him to take him ‘home’. Their exchanges at the ping-pong table serve as way for them to test each other in order to recognize their true faces. Once they do, what’s better way to seal the deal with a passionate kiss?

Beside, remember the little hint at the beginning of their scene? There’s a puppet box that is playing something related to Lucifer and then Dorian and Angelique walk out, arm in arm. Judging how John Logan likes to scatter hints to characters’ identities, this may qualify as an important one that indicates either of them is the Big Bad Boss of this season (if the Big Bad Boss does show up).

Still, why the Prince of Darkness would choose a transgender prostitute as his guise is quite beyond me.

#4: Dorian Gray is the son of Lucifer/Amun-Ra

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It’s getting wacky from here. You’ve been warned.

OK, so most of us viewers agree that Dorian Gray is immortal, he lives one hell of a long life and most importantly, he may have sold his soul in exchange for eternal youth and beauty, with his sins continously demonstrated on a huge canvas. But, what if the truth behind his immortality is none of this trading-soul business? What if he was born supernatural and was sent to earth by his father (whisper: Lucifer) to do his bidding? However, instead of focusing on his mission, he dumps all the work on the witches’ and takes time to enjoy himself? And every time his vessel suffers any damages he has to heal himself via a magical object in the form of a huge canvas, which also serves as an ‘Internet phone’ between him and Daddy. And every such time he has to listen to Lucifer’s reprimands until he can take it no more and decides to team up with the heroes to unsurp his Daddy. That’d be one hell of a family drama!

Blame The Originals series and their family drama for this crazy theory.

#5: Lucifer is actually Vanessa Ives

OK, I know this is crazy but let’s give it a thought.

Let’s suppose Vanessa Ives were Lucifer and somehow The mighty Devil had suffered an amnesiac which led to the emergence of ‘Vanessa Ives’ while the true Lucifer was confined/pushed back to a corner of her psyche. In order to get out and regain full control, Lucifer had to make Vanessa know who she really was and accepted him. So, he enlisted the help of his devoted servants (Evelyn Poole & co.) to mess up with Vanessa until she realized the truth. Would she be able to make peace and embrace him once she found out? That’s one major question awaiting an answer.

By the way, if this turns out to be true, I still have to wonder where Dorian Gray and Angelique would fit into the plot.

#6: Victor Frankenstein is actually an immortal

Unlike his fellow immortal Dorian Gray, our cute doctor, Victor, though lives long and stays young, doesn’t know much about how to enjoy himself and his immortality (or how to accumulate wealth for that matter). He devotes his endless years for science and thus suffers loneliness a great deal. He pities humans for their very limited life span and at the same time finds himself unable to see them as his equal and love them. So he seeks to create another life form that can endure time to be his ‘perfect companion’. So far he has managed to made 3.

But what about his flashback and childhood in season 1’s episode 3? It can be a false memory, created with a purpose to fool the audience until the big revelation later. Or, like Vanessa’s case in #5, Victor might have had amnesia and even now he still does not know of his immortality. Nevertheless, he has not forgotten his obsession with creating life.

I just realize this will make a good idea for an AU fanfiction where Victor Frankenstein finally gets a chance to meet Dorian Gray, someone he can call his equal and hence the budding of a romance.

Just my non-sorry attempt to ship ‘the good doctor’ and ‘the beautiful boy’.

So, my theories may or may not be true. In order to find out, we have to be patient and wait for the next episode, scheduled to air on May 31.

2 thoughts on “Theories on Penny Dreadful

    1. I’ve heard some fans complaining about Dorian’s lack of relevance to the main plot and I myself feel a little impatient too. But I’m hoping for a big, shocking revelation (hopefully this season), one that’s worth the wait. I’m inclined to believe John Logan has a lot in store Dorian Gray; after all he didn’t re-invent Dorian Gray just so Dorian will be the same as his literary counterpart.

      Liked by 1 person

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