'Penny Dreadful' S2E4: Evil Spirits in Heavenly Places

★ ★ ★ ★


A change of pace in the season, "Evil Spirits in Heavenly Places" was a happy break following that fantastic flashback. While the quirkiness of the episode did have a couple faults, there were lots of nice bonding moments between characters that overcame those.

First off, the Viktor/Vanessa scene played really nicely, on Vanessa’s end. As they went shopping for women’s clothing for Viktor’s "cousin", Vanessa eased her way back into her charming ol’ self and had several quips to make about Viktor’s new experience. Whilst Viktor was a stuttering mess, so much so that he zapped some of the comedic energy out of the scene by being so. It makes sense for him to be so uncomfortable, but his lines especially were stale. The scene itself was a funny bonding moment between the two of them and is just an example of how well this show pairs characters. It’s interesting to note that Vanessa and Co. still don’t have any knowledge of Viktor’s extracurricular reanimation (and groping) of corpses. Like Dorian Gray, it will be nice to see how everything slides into place and connects back to the main story.

The witches are having quite some difficulty finding footing within the show as their side of the story (particularly Poole’s scenes with the coven in her home) adds too much information to their schemes than necessary. The Poole/Hecate relationship is interesting, but it could probably be explored in better ways than just when giving out orders. The Nightcomer attacks are feeling repetitive and are losing what impact that they had in the season premiere. The attack in tonight’s episode was no different from the carriage ride, even down to the point to where Parseltongue Vanessa used the Verbis Diablo to ward them off. Gaining Vanessa’s hair seemed to be the main priority for the Nightcomers. Unless it was a failure, we don’t really know yet.

Penny Dreadful S2E4

Evelyn Poole’s effects are also unknown. So far, we have the manipulation of Sir Malcolm and that creepy Vanessa doll, but neither have demonstrated any damage towards either of them yet. Likewise, the giant jigsaw puzzle, that was revealed to be Lucifer’s autobiography, has yet to be completed. Of course, that didn’t stop Malcolm from insinuating that it could be referring to Vanessa, much to her dismay. Lyle’s reaction to Malcolm seeing Poole was a nice touch.

With the witches not being the best aspect of the season, what does shine are the new character relationships being built and how they will affect the outcome of the main story. The Viktor/Lily and John/Lavinia scenes were both great at developing what relationship was already there. It’s possible that Lavinia could become a love interest for John, but his relationship with Lily may strain that. Viktor’s feelings for Lily will be noticed by John and easily too. Judging by how hot-headed John usually is, things are not going to fare well.

Along with that, there was a good Ethan/Hecate scene. It was nice that Ethan was not so easily fooled by her, like Malcolm is by Poole, and tore her story apart. Afterwards he had a nice jab about her "unsuitable" shoes. Ouch. Both of them learned something about the other in the episode. Apparently Ethan’s lycanthropy is detectable.

"Evil Spirits in Heavenly Places" was a nice getaway from the drama so far and gave a good opportunity for characters to build upon existing relationships. With Dorian and Angelique doing stuff, the cop investigating all of the murders, and more to come on Lucifer’s diary, it’ll be nice to see all of the show perspectives collide into the main story arc.

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