Sunday, 2 November 2014

Penny Dreadful: Season One, Episode 7 (Possession)

"Do you value cleanliness?"

"Yes, I suppose so."

"That's why you're a virgin!"

This is a very claustrophobic episode, set entirely in Sir Malcolm's house as he, Victor and Ethan debate what to do with Vanessa's increasingly horrible possession. Above all, though, it's a tour de force of acting from Eva Green, who out-Exorcists The Exorcist. It seem that the Earth did indeed move for her after last episode.

This causes friction amongst the gang; Vanessa wants to die, but should they let her live? For Sir Malcolm there is but one answer; he needs her alive to find Mina, and that is all that matters. This claustrophobic episode is talky yet gripping, depending entirely on its subtle and brilliantly crafted characterisation.

Ethan is himself briefly possessed but, in being the one who quietly cures Vanesda in the end, he hints at yet more hidden depths. There's quite a cliffhanger too, pointing towards the imminent finale, from the cured Vanessa: "I know where Mina is..."

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