Saturday, 14 June 2014

TV Recap: Penny Dreadful--Closer Than Sisters

Week 5, you guys! Wow, this show is just flying by, innit?! Okay, let’s get right to it!

Oh ho! Looks like we’re finally going to get a Mina/Vanessa backstory through a letter Vanessa writes to Mina! Sweet!

In a flashback, we see that the girls were two peas in a pod. Their families lived next to each other, and the girls were as close as sisters. Mina’s brother, Peter, was also close to Vanessa…as he, um, stuffed dead animals that Vanessa had to give names to, I guess?

Still in the flashback, Malcolm returns home from exploring Africa, and aside from the skin of some animal, he almost ignores Peter and gives all of his attention and affection to the two girls.

As a child, Vanessa says she’d felt an odd distance between the families. We see that one reason is her family’s Catholic faith. The other reason is that Malcolm was sleeping with Vanessa’s mother. Yep, that’ll definitely make people distant!

As she grew up, Vanessa came to envy Mina. Mina had a handsome, adventurist boyfriend, she was beautiful, exotic. All Vanessa had was potentially marrying boring old Peter. Yeah, sucks to be Vanessa, right?!

So Vanessa takes a walk in the weird maze (I mean, seriously, who has a hedge maze?! The Shining, much?!) with Peter, and she tries to seduce him. That goes horribly wrong. It’s actually pretty embarrassing for her. What the heck was she doing with her boobs there anyway?! Peter pretty much sprints away, leaving Vanessa alone and sad.

Vanessa tries to pray that night, but instead she’s possessed. So, y’know, be careful when you pray, I guess? You never know who will answer you! Dun dun DUN.

The night before her best friend’s wedding, Vanessa shows Mina’s fiancé the animal death room, and also they have sex. Among the dead animals. SEXY.

Oh, and then Mina walks in and sees the sex happening. And Vanessa doesn’t stop the sex. She just stares at her friend as her friend’s fiancé continues to boink her. THAT’S NOT AT ALL COOL, VANESSA YOU TROLLOP.

Needless to say, Mina doesn’t get married, and Malcolm slams the garden gate in Vanessa’s face when she tries to cross over to apologize to her friend.

Then Vanessa gets sick, but really not because it’s the whole possession thing. It’s a lot like the Exorcist, but with less pea soup and head turning.

But because the doctors don’t know what’s wrong with her—she’s having seizures and stuff—they stick her in an asylum with a diagnosis of psycho-sexual hysteria. Yay, fun because way back then they used vibrators as a treatment for hysteria and sexual disorders! Vanessa is gonna be the most relaxed and happy possessed woman, EVER.

…except apparently this asylum is WAY BEHIND THE TIMES AND OH MY GOD POOR VANESSA WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY DOING. Okay, so that was really hard to watch. Jeez.

Also, can we just split all of the Emmy’s between Eva Green and Tatiana Maslany now, please? Because holy shit, Eva Green is effing brilliant.

Vanessa is released from the asylum one effed up girl. She’s catatonic, and appears to be near death. Surprisingly, Peter, who’s off to the wilds of Africa with his father (we all know how THAT goes), comes to say goodbye.  Peter’s visit livens Vanessa up a bit, and the two share a weird kiss. And then she tells him he’s going to die over there. Aw, that Vanessa! Always the positive one, ain’t she?!

Later that night, she’s visited by the devil himself, her old friend Amun-Ra! Hey, bud, it’s good to see you! Amun-Ra takes on the form of Sir Malcolm, but our Vanessa isn’t fooled. She calls him out, and he’s all, “Haha, you got me, homey!”

In the creepiest scene I’ve ever seen, Vanessa and the devil do the deed. And it’s CREEPY, guys. Like, nightmare-creepy!

Vanessa’s mother walks in, sees what’s going on, and drops dead. See, it’s was THAT creepy!

Months (years?) later, Mina finds Vanessa on a beach. The two make amends, and then Vanessa realizes that the thing in front of her is only a vision. Vanessa leaves to find Malcolm, now in his new home, and tells him what she saw in her vision of Mina. And now we know how the two come to be together in their search for Mina.  Cool story, bro!

In the end, as Vanessa finishes her letter to Mina, Vanessa tells her friend that she loves her enough to kill her. Foreshadowing? I think so!

Well, this was a slow, but much-needed episode. Considering we’re now just over the halfway point of season one, this was a good place for a backstory/non-action episode. I really enjoyed it!

I still have so many questions that need answers, but learning about Mina and Vanessa’s relationship, as well as Vanessa’s history and relationship with Malcolm was incredibly helpful. Man, that poor girl has been through hell!

Just three episode left, everyone! I expect them to be insane! I can’t wait! Until next week, y’all!

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