Penny Dreadful Review : Closer Than Sisters
Being obvious is easy and at time the best we can hope for on crowded and over saturated TV. It is often easier to capture a viewer in a moment if it is in ones face and familiar then is it to do something more subtle. This is unfortunately, what happened last week when the episode was mainly focused on the Gray’s character. It was clichéd, brash and did little but provided the prerequisite amount of skin and a pensively trying to hard Gray lamenting how bored he is with life. It was a big yawn. However, we come to this week’s episode and find a much different and supremely better character centered episode built around Vanessa.
If nothing else can be said about this episode, we can firmly state see why Eva Green took the role and how, without much argument, she is the focal point of the series. What last week failed to do this episode did in a superbly great and delicate fashion. That without all the blatant and at times juvenile gore this show can do a wonderfully creepy, taut and interesting story.
This episode takes us through Vanessa and Mina’s lives from adolescence to adulthood and finally shows the “sin” that her (Vanessa) and Sir Malcolm have often alluded to over the intervening episodes. We get to meet Sir Malcolm’s “frail” son and see how he, Mina and Vanessa were growing up but more importantly, what set Vanessa on her path of clairvoyance and eventually back to Sir Malcolm’s door.While anyone familiar with Dracula and the Mina character could see what was coming a mile away, Vanessa sleeping with Mina’s fiancé, it was still the tipping point that started Vanessa on her decent downward and into a “pact” with what may be the devil himself.
Following Vanessa through this “inexplicable” (the manifestation of her clairvoyance) aliment via an asylum to crude brain surgery and eventual recovery not only showed us the layers this character has but the extent to which she and by extension the others have gone down the paths of darkness. For we see that her “gift” and that of the others was born out of a price and one which is not on the side of anything we could considered “good”. Moreover, while they have all managed to thus far, save for Gray and Brona, to find solemnity in searching for Mina and stopping this “great evil”, they are doing so from the standpoint of a mired existence and maybe, as we seen with Vanessa when she prays, a hopeful repentance and salvation.
– Vanessa’s letter writing
– The haircutting/asylum scenes (rather accurate)
– The bedroom scene (for the creep and holy crap factor)