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Penny Dreadful – Predators Far and Near – Advance Preview

I have to say that this second episode of Penny Dreadful captivated me far greater than the premiere. All of the new plots set up in the season opener were wonderfully expanded upon, giving us more information, but not overwhelming the audience to the point of confusion. Without protagonists split up as they are it would be difficult to keep track of so many separate stories if they all began rocketing forward. However, the third season of Penny Dreadful appears to be taking a slower pace than the second, which is not a bad thing as the ever-present internal demons that plague out cast take the forefront in place of outside threats.

While I’m still not entirely sold on the idea of Penny Dreadful taking so much time and focus on the Old West, I found myself growing more interested in Ethan’s story as we will definitely be delving into his past. The idea of American mysticism along with the Native American tales of “skinwalkers” pairs better in this episode than in the premiere. Still though, I find myself more greatly drawn to the unfurling story surrounding Doctors Jekyll and Frankenstein. Jekyll in particular will prove to be an interesting character and I look forward to seeing how Penny Dreadful will play out regarding the monstrous nature he is known for, both from a writing and screen effect stand point. Doctor Jekyll’s lab reminded me this week of how sumptuous the sets are on this show. His lab is a new location, one that I couldn’t take my eyes off of.

Dr. Seward’s sessions with Vanessa continue to be a high point for me this season, simply because I can’t wholly get a read on this new character. Patti LuPone’s portrayal is subtle, layered, and mysterious; you can’t look away from the screen for fear of missing a telling expression, and then you wonder what exactly that expression means. I enough how straightforward Dr. Seward is with Vanessa. Within the world of Penny Dreadful there is a tendency for characters to be verbose, weaving words into beautiful pictures for the mind. Dr. Seward’s severity and clipped tone are as jarring in universe and they are for the audience, which makes her character stand out.

We see the return of Dorian and Lily in this episode and get a glimpse into what wild machinations they are plotting. The union of these two was a surprise for me back in season two and I find myself mostly intrigued with them since I can’t predict what either will do.

Normally I don’t enjoy when characters on any TV show are separated and usually I feel this same way with Penny Dreadful. I always believe that ensemble casts work best when they are assembled. However, there is something about letting these individual plots all run parallel that I find is working so far this season. Eventually, I would like to see everyone reunite, to see how all these plots could converge. But for now, exploring each character’s current life like a separate vignette and absorbing the revelations, shocking or mundane, that come with each story in this episode is enjoyable. “Predators Far and Near” enriches the framework set out by the season premiere and does well to further draw the audience back into the world of Penny Dreadful.

Tune in for “Predators Near and Far” this Sunday!

About the Author – Ashley B
Ashley is as serious as a sleeping curse when she says television is her life. Professional event planner, avid movie viewer, convention enthusiast, and resident sass master, Ashley writes reviews for ABC's Once Upon a Time, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, and Galavant, as well as Showtime’s Penny Dreadful. She looks forward each week to the weird and wonderful world her favorite television programs provide.
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