Guilt-ridden for reanimating a corpse that degenerates into a monster, Dr. Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway) bares his troubled soul on Showtime’s “Penny Dreadful.”
The title of Episode 106, “What Death Can Join Together,” refers to Percy Shelley’s “Adonais” and its contemplation of the Great Beyond. The elegy haunts Victor, who fears his macabre medical experiments produced “a sin that is everlasting.”
“Do you believe in fate?” Victor asks Prof. Abraham Van Helsing (David Warner), an expert on rare blood diseases. “I don’t mean justice. I mean retribution. I mean facing the consequences of your actions that have produced a catastrophe!”
Van Helsing tries to comfort and encourage the young scientist, saying he should find love and live a long life, for his discoveries “could yet astonish the world.”
The hematologist also enlightens Victor about the existence of blood-thirsty vampires that travel in packs like wolves and prey on the innocent.
He urges Victor, however, to withhold this arcane knowledge from Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton), whose daughter Mina Harker (Olivia Llewellyn) is trapped in a horrifying netherworld.
The truth about vampires is “unendurable,” warns Abraham, who surely knows of what he speaks. When his beloved wife turned into one of the fanged creatures, he reluctantly drove a stake through her heart and lopped off her head.
While walking down the street, Abraham is grabbed by Caliban (Rory Kinnear), the hideously scarred monster Victor created in his laboratory. Caliban cruelly snaps the professor’s neck to punish Victor for stalling.
“I’m tired of your temporizing, demon,” Caliban angrily says. “Do what you have promised me!” That would be transforming a woman into Caliban’s immortal mate.
Seems his preferred choice for a bride is Maud Gunneson (Hannah Tointon), a lovely and compassionate actress Caliban ogles from behind the scenes at the infamous Theatre du Grand Guignol.
Meanwhile, the desperate search for Mina draws Malcolm, his African companion Sembene (Danny Sapani) and American gunslinger Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) to a “plague ship” docked at the Port of London.
Below deck the trio encounter red-eyed she devils that viciously attack when awakened. Malcolm spots terrified Mina in the chaos, but it’s impossible to reach her as fire engulfs the ship.
“We’ll find her again,” Ethan promises after escaping to safety.
“Will we?” Malcolm bitterly responds.
Then Ethan points out that there are “things you can’t control” and “battles you lose.”
“At the end of the day, the only thing we have is the people we trust,” Ethan says. “Like Miss Ives” (Eva Green). And Malcolm better start trusting Vanessa and her psychic powers, “or we’re going to lose a lot of battles,” Ethan predicts.
As for Vanessa, she’s on a dinner date with libertine Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney), whose portrait bears the ravages of his decadent lifestyle while he remains untouched by time.
While showing off his art collection by candlelight, Dorian comments on Vanessa’s “exceptional composure.”
“There are things within us that can never be unleashed,” Vanessa says just before Dorian kisses her neck. “They would consume us!”
But during their intense sexual encounter — in which the new lovers taste each other’s blood — Vanessa lets loose her pent-up emotions. And an ominous voice calls out inside her head.
“Hello, my child,” the supernatural being says. “I’ll be waiting.”
Crazed with fear, Vanessa abandons Dorian’s bed and rushes to Malcolm. The African explorer starts to apologize when he sees Vanessa, admitting he hasn’t been completely honest with her and has much to tell.
But Malcolm abruptly halts his confession when Vanessa eerily levitates and slowly spins round. Once again she’s in the grip of demonic possession!