Love Is in the Air Tonight (or Not): Penny Dreadful 2×06

Warnings: spoilers and inappropriate comments alerts!!

01

… in which Dorian throws a ball on a whim, inviting “anyone who’s everyone” (basically people he slept/ wants to sleep with), Ethan tours a horror museum, Lily gets a chance to meet men other than Victor, Victor gets jealous, Vanessa gets a public panic attack and Ethan wolfs out (again!).

One of my friend said that he didn’t like waiting for one episode a week so he’d rather wait for the entire season to be out and watch. But to me there’s exquisite fun in anticipating for each new episode and guessing what’s gonna happen next. And of course, there’s also the fun in discussing the episode’s details with fellow viewers and hopefully increasing my blog’s traffic with half-assed review (or weekly rant, if you prefer). So here I’m going to express my opinions on episode 2×06: Glorious Horrors.

After a glorious ‘bang night’ in 2×05: Above the Vaulted Sky, the morning after is mostly sweet for the three couples: Lily makes delicious breakfast for Victor and he kisses her right after waking up (never mind morning breath – it’s non-existent in fiction); Evelyn Poole and Sir Malcolm snuggles in bed (but not before our witch lady has stolen some hair from her lover to do some yucky witchy magic tricks later); and Angelique decides to move in with Dorian while the latter casually announces that he’s going to throw a ball for her. Kinda sweet, right, if you ignore all the crazy things that happen at Dorian’s ball. Maybe, just maybe Dorian should be more selective of his guests. But the boy doesn’t really care, does he? I’m inclined to believe that if Lucifer showed up he might not even bat an eye (provided he’s not Lucifer himself).

03

Bits and bobs of the episode…

Like I’ve perhaps a hundred times before that I’m no serious reviewer, I just jot down whatever strikes my mind at the moment. And my post, as the result, can be quite a jumbled mess. Bear with me or click back, OK?

  • “When he found his son dead, I was there. This is not him.”

…And the prize for ‘The Most Sensible Guy in the House’ goes toSembene. So we have Sir Malcolm returning home after a wild night with Madame Kali, humming a joyous tune and giving a lot more shit for the floor carpet than his estranged wife’s gruesome suicide (by the hand of his witch girlfriend, in case you’ve forgotten last episode). Obvious Sir Malcolm’s notoriety for being a prick is serious enough to immediately drown out Ethan’s suspicion that there’s something very wrong with him. While Vanessa’s torn between deciding if Sir Malcolm is a certified d-bag (to be fair, she’s had a lot of his dickiness) or he’s being hexed, Sembene is quick to point out that the man is not being himself because 1. I was with him when his son died and 2. I’ve been living together with him for only-John-Logan-knows-how-long. Kudos for Sembene. Unfortunately, since our man has a dreadful habit of never saying more than 20 words, coupled with a patch-faced man’s untimely visit, the matter of whether Sir Malcolm is hexed or not is postponed to episode 7.

  • “I just needed to finish the story in my own way.”

Always trust a cop to suspect a werewolf as the culprit… Kudos for Inspector Bartholomew Rusk for being genuinely brainy in this bizarre world full of vampires, witches, demons and many things that fall in between. From my experience of years of watching movies and TV series, I’ve come to a conclusion that the police force in most TV series/ movies whose focus is not on the police force is pretty useless (yeah, I’m talking about you, The Originals). But no, not in Penny Dreadful. Inspector Rusk deserves a gold medal for suspecting that Ethan is the culprit behind the massacre at the inn (and a few more before it). It’s refreshing to see that in a bizarre and chaotic setting like Penny Dreadful’s, there’s at least a person who still values law and order.

  • “You tell me, where is He… in this city of perpetual suffering?”

06

If you haven’t taken a liking to the enigmatic villain Evelyn Poole, than again the show and its writers are telling you to like her. Here she shares with Professor Lyle a glimpse of her view on beauty, youth and the price she (all of them witches actually) has to pay to maintain them, which is suspiciously a foreshadowing to Dorian Gray. And of course, she reveals to Lyle, and us viewers, that she was once a believer, until God turned from her (flashback episode, anyone?). I was surprised to find that her view about the All-Mighty shares similarities with mine: if God really exists, where is He when the world suffers? And if He fails his devoted believers, the question is, is He worth worshipping?

  • “I like your flower.”

It’s quite funny to think that fangirls have been shipping Dorian Gray and Victor Frankenstein even before the two have the chance to officially meet. Reeve Carney (Dorian Gray) even joked about the possibility of Victor’s being the next lover on Dorian’s list. So, to satisfy the female audience who likes pretty men on pretty men, the first thing Dorian does after meeting Victor is flirting with the good doctor, who is too social awkward to realize the immortal’s intention. Again, at the ball, Dorian recognizes Victor immediately, before his eyes lay on Victor’s date, which leads to…

  • “Is it not ‘Dorian’?”

05

Seems to me Vanessa may not so nonchalant about her short-lived romance with Dorian as she believes. The same goes for Dorian: just when we all think he has moved on from his breakup with Vanessa in the last season, he shows signs that he’s still upset about the whole first-time-rejection thing. Vanessa, on the other hand, sports a mildly surprised, mildly bitter look upon hearing that Dorian wants her to meet his new girlfriend. Jeez, my suspicious sense is tingling: please DO NOT let it be that Dorian only uses Angelique to make Vanessa jealous and hopefully gets her back. Much as I love seeing Miss Ives and Mr. Gray together, I also adore Dorian x Angelique ship and I do not wish to see it go horribly Titanic.

  • “It seems the world is filled with romance these days.”

04

That could be Vanessa’s summary of the ball in this episode, except that it isn’t the least true. What we viewers are treated instead is a crumbling of romance with special thanks to blatant flirtation, bitter jealousy and possibly domestic abuse. Am I to believe I’m not the only one who puts Dorian’s words that he doesn’t recognize Lily as his trick to find more about her? Vanessa might be excused for not remembering a woman she only met for five minutes but if Dorian does forget a person who coughed up blood all over his face during sex than he must have the memory of a goldfish. Seriously. I’d love to watch him trying to explore and put an end to Victor’s dysfunctional little ‘family’. Someone needs to teach the good doctor that a romance built on lies can never last too long.

07

Also, I find many viewers’ anger towards Dorian somewhat exaggerated. They call him ‘d-bag’ and ‘dick’ for his negligence of Angelique. True, he has forgotten for awhile that this ball he’s hosting is a coming out for her, that he should treat her as the sole center of his attention instead of heaping compliments on Lily. To be honest, I was a bit put back by his behaviors tonight but does he deserve all the chastises? This is a ball that lasts for hours and you can’t expect him to talk and dance with a single woman the entire time! In the bedroom he’s wholly hers; still, outside the bedroom and in a social event no less, it’s courtesy to interact with other people. And flirting is Dorian’s nature (he basically flirts with every good-looking one he meets) so does it make him less in our eyes when he does it with one woman in the entire night? He does dance with Angelique again, doesn’t he?

08

Instead can we talk about how Victor is being a possessive jerk towards Lily, scolding her for ‘embarrassing’ him and because she enjoys Dorian’s company? That’s over the top – another reason for me to despise this ship. There’s a possibility that the only reason Lily falls for him is simply because she has had only two limited choices – between her good-looking ‘cousin’ and the less attractive Creature. His jealousy only further proves his insecurity – that he is afraid to have to compete with other men to win her affection. Let’s face it, Victor, handsome as you are, you’re certainly not the most charming man on Earth. It almost gives me goose bumps to think how Victor will react when Lily does go out with Dorian in the next episode.

Imagine Dorian’s singing Justin Timberlake’s Sexy Back to Victor as I’m typing this entry.

I’m bringing sexy back…

Before ending this weekly rant and going for some Penny Dreadful slash fics, can I just say that the blood rain at the episode’s ending is very well be a metaphor of unexpected period???

09

10

Am I the only one who doesn’t ship Vanethan aka Vanessa x Ethan? Not that I despise them being together or something but I don’t muster enough passion for this ship to board it.

Kudos for Dorian for bringing his old flame, his new flame, his possible flame and his one night stand all together in the same place? We only an Ethan to complete the list.

And Angelique is simply beautiful.

02

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