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Penny Dreadful 1×03 “Resurrection” Recap

“Dr. Frankenstein is confronted by the consequences of his past. Vanessa has a vision of Mina, which leads her, Sir Malcolm, Ethan and Sembene to a strange discovery at the London Zoo.”

Frankenstein’s Monster

As poor Proteus’ body lies ripped apart on the floor, Frankenstein’s Monster launches into a tale about what he’s been up to since he was “born.” Much of Victor’s motivation/obsession in bridging life and death came from watching his mother die painfully when he was young, and he’d come to romanticize what it might be like to create life. F.M.’s birth was not the poetry he imagined it to be, so Victor fled.

Rejected by his creator, F.M. eventually taught himself about the human world. By the time he ventured out into it, he knew how to read and speak, and managed to befriend a stage actor who gives him a job, a place to stay, and a name: Caliban. This is where the story gets a little too Phantom of The Opera-y for me; Caliban is shown always working in the shadows, covering his resurrection scars with his jacket, and giving longing glances at the theater’s lead actress.

Caliban stops detailing his story here, but I can’t imagine it ended well for that woman. My suspicions are strengthened when Caliban explains to Victor what he wants from him: an immortal bride. The Bride of Frankenstein! Victor is reluctant, but Caliban threatens to kill everyone Victor loves if he refuses.

The League of Extraordinary…Vampire Hunters: Vanessa, Ethan, Malcolm and Sembene

Vanessa is contacted by Mina’s spirit begging her to save her from “hungry creatures all around.” Using the clues in Mina’s message and the animal sounds she heard in her vision, Vanessa figures out that Mina is being held at the London Zoo. She, Malcolm, Sembene, and Ethan – who offers to go along as muscle because he needs money for Brona’s medicine – enter the zoo at night to find Mina.

They’re wandering around searching when the group gets surrounded by several wolves. Vanessa, Sembene, and Malcolm are (rightfully) about to freak the fuck out, but Ethan seems to know just what to do – ordering Vanessa to stay perfectly still as he calmly strolls up to one of the wolves and sticks his hand in its teeth. Whatever silent message Ethan sends them during this process, the wolves are satisfied and leave the group alone. I’m just gonna say it again: weerewoolf.

Now unencumbered by scary wolves with huge teeth, the group continues their search for Mina, but instead stumble across a feral young man (vampire?) chomping at a dead animal. They capture him and bring him back to a handy dandy dungeon in Malcolm’s place, where it’s established that the man is named Fenton, and he’s a servant of The Dark Lord the vampire who kidnapped Mina. Malcolm is all for beating the man to death to find out where Mina is. Ethan, however, refuses to be party to torture and stops him just as Victor arrives to round out the vampire hunting crew.

Everyone returns upstairs to discuss their next move. Victor believes they can cure Fenton of his feralness and hopefully break the vampire’s hold on him by using blood transfusions. As reluctant as Ethan is to be party to such experimental treatments, he and the rest of the people in the room – Sembene, Vanessa, Malcolm, and Victor – swear loyalty to each other and to the cause, pledging to “go as far as their souls will allow,” whatever the hell that means.

Vanessa figures out that the vision she had that brought them to the zoo was a trap, and asks Malcolm why. Recalling the Egyptologist’s warning in episode 2, Malcolm tells her the trap was meant for her but denies knowing what the Master of Darkness wants from her. “Who wants to know they are hunted by the Devil?” Um, me. I would want to know. Malcolm needs to let Vanessa in on this immediately.

Rating: B

Memorable Quotes

Victor: You seek to threaten me with death? If you seek to threaten me, threaten me with life.

Vanessa: We here have been brutalized with loss. It has made us brutal in return.

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