‘Penny Dreadful’ recap: ‘Abomination’ puts demand on Frankenstein
An “abomination” brought back from the dead tracks down and places a demand upon his horrified creator in “Resurrection,” Episode 103 of Showtime’s supernatural thriller “Penny Dreadful.”
Flashbacks show how Dr. Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway) reanimates a corpse (Rory Kinnear), witnesses the ghastly consequences and flees in terror.
Alone in the world, Frankenstein’s “monster” is befriended by Vincent Brand (Alun Armstrong), an oh-so-dramatic actor with the infamous Theatre du Grand Guignol.
Frightening audiences with plays full of “mayhem and malice,” Vincent and his troupe require a “stage rat” for behind-the-scenes work. And the grotesquely scarred creature fits the bill.
“There is a place where the malformed find grace, where the hideous can be beautiful, where strangeness is not shunned but celebrated,” Vincent declares. “This place is the theater!”
Then Vincent gives the monster a stage name, “Caliban,” referring to a subhuman character in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.”
“Could there have been a more appropriate place for me,” Caliban says of the Grand Guignol. “Night after night the players died gruesomely and they came back to life again for the next show. They were undying, like me. Creatures of perpetual resurrection!”
Caliban’s new livelihood provides food and shelter. But there’s one need only Victor can fulfill.
“I seek a companion,” Caliban tells the anatomist after invading his secret laboratory. “You will make me an immortal mate. A woman.”
And if Victor refuses?
“I will strike down all those you love and render your brightest day your darkest night,” Caliban threatens. “Do not test me, Frankenstein. You have not known horror until I have shown it to you!”
Meanwhile, psychic Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) has a vision of Mina Harker (Olivia Llewellyn), a lost soul trapped in a netherworld.
“They are all about me — the beasts that feed at night,” Mina breathlessly exclaims. “And they are hungry!”
Mina’s father, Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton), is determined to slay the vampire enslaving his daughter. To that end, he makes a nocturnal visit to the London Zoo with Vanessa, mysterious African Sembene (Danny Sapani) and American sharpshooter Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett).
After surviving an encounter with snarling wolves, the party subdues Fenton (Olly Alexander), a vampire’s servant feeding on animal blood. Malcolm now has a prisoner for interrogation and experimentation.
“Tell me of your master,” Malcolm demands as he whips Fenton in a basement.
“Do you not feel it? You soon will,” Fenton haughtily replies. “And then all light will end and the world will lie in darkness. The hidden ones will emerge and rule!”
When Ethan objects to Fenton’s cruel treatment, Vanessa reacts angrily.
“We here have been brutalized with loss,” she states. “It has made us brutal in return!”
Now Ethan is at a crossroads. Will he “leave this company and its mysteries” behind? Or will he unite with Malcolm, Vanessa, Victor and Sembene in attempting to rescue Mina?
“It’s not for the weak or the kind,” Malcolm says of their quest. “No one in this room is kind.”
“I’m with you,” Ethan announces. No doubt his fateful decision hinged on the need for money and the desire to remain in London with his sexy girlfriend, consumptive Brona Croft (Billie Piper).
As for Victor, he hopes to cure Fenton of a “rare blood disorder” that renders him less than human. Perhaps transfusions will work, Victor speculates, by removing toxins from the body.
Then the doctor warns Malcom about what lay ahead.
“When you transform a life, you’re making it anew,” says Victor, who knows this all too well from resurrecting the dead.
“Whatever happens to that creature downstairs, we are responsible for it!”
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