The latest episode of “Penny Dreadful” continued to prove the show is at its very best when focused on a singular storyline. Like with “Closer Than Sisters,” “Possession” focused on Vanessa Ives, though this time it wasn’t a flash back.
With the return of whatever is possessing her in the last episode, Sir Malcolm Murray has to call in all of the reinforcements to exorcise the demon. In this case, that means Victor, Ethan and Sembene.
Unfortunately for Murray, they also realize hat his number one priority is and it’s not Vanessa’s well-being. She wants to die, to finally be rid of the thing that’s been tormenting her for years. Ethan agrees to do that for her should things go to far and even teaches Victor to shoot a gun in case he needs to put an end to her.
It’s that scene that provided one of the few moments of levity in the series, as the two goof off in Murray’s basement, shooting at bottles. There was also an interesting moment when Vanessa quoted Mary Shelley to Victor, when she says, ” “No more let life divide what death can join together.”
The fact that she’s quoting Shelley to a character Shelley created is pretty funny. During her possession she also lets slip that both Ethan and Brona have slept with Dorian Grey, which goes over like a lead balloon in the room.
Things just get worse as the episode continues, with the demon taking more and more control. Finally, a priest is called in to perform Vanessa’s last rites, much to the dismay of Murray.
Even that doesn’t go well, though. Vanessa breaks the chains that have her strapped to the bed, bites off the priest’s cheek and does some serious Spider-Man movies, jumping around the room. She also uses the demon powers to clear the room of everyone except Ethan.
In a shocking moment, he performs the exorcism while speaking perfect Latin. Chances are you didn’t see that coming. Luckily for everyone it works. When all is said and done, a wordless Ethan grabs his hat and walks out the door with Vanessa in peace once again. In the final few seconds of the episode, she even sets the table for the Season 1 finale, telling Murray she now knows where Mina is.
Like with “Closer Than Sisters,” this episode is made great by an amazing performance from Eva Green. However, the added bonus this time was Josh Hartnett. This was easily his best work of the season. The two of them together, focused on a singular goal, turns out to be a recipe for success.
There’s only one episode of Season 1 left. Are you ready to see hows they’re going to end this thing?