Can Penny Dreadful Season 3 surpass Season 2’s fright meter? If the Season 3 premiere is any indication, the answer is “yes,” suggests Cleveland.com. Some hardcore fans not willing to wait until show time have already seen the first episode of the horror drama courtesy of Showtime, Hulu, YouTube, Facebook, and Amazon. If Showtime was trying to get a buzz going, good job. As one who has already opened their present before Christmas (purely for research purposes), there was a huge “didn’t see that coming” that really should have been expected, but wasn’t.
Season 2 was bittersweet and heart-wrenching: Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) grieving over the friend he accidentally killed and having to walk away from a relationship with Vanessa Ives (Eva Green), Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway) losing his homemade love, Lily (Billie Piper), to Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney). It was pretty evident from the beginning that Vanessa and Ethan would become close, and on some level, a sustainable relationship was doomed to fail. Just watching her slowly close herself up in Sir Malcolm Murray’s (Timothy Dalton) home after defeating her enemies was both agonizing and beautifully creepy.
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The Season 3 opener immediately presented some answers to a mystery that has been hovering since the beginning of the series — who is Ethan? We learn his moniker (Ethan Lawrence Talbot), but still have no idea why his father is so willing to move heaven and earth to get him back, and why he is so determined to stay away. There is a serious pile of bodies building between the two of them, and it’s only going to get much higher.
The team is scattered and licking their wounds. Chandler has been extradited to America, Frankenstein’s monster is in the North Pole, Vanessa is on a downward spiral in London, and Sir Malcolm is back in Africa laying Sembene (Danny Sapani) to rest and attracting trouble.
Vanessa is having a personal crisis, and Egyptologist Ferdinand Lyle (Simon Russell Beale) encourages her to seek professional help from Dr. Seward (Patti Lupone), an American psychologist. Lupone played the Cut-Wife in Season 2, so this can’t be a coincidence, there has to be a method to this madness. Was she recast or reincarnated?
“I love what you’ve done with the place.”
Vanessa is getting a new man, a zoologist named Alexander Sweet (Christian Camargo), and there wasn’t much of a reveal except that he is creepy enough to be attractive to Vanessa. It’s doubtful that Chandler is out of the picture completely.
The most brilliant thing about the Penny Dreadful Season 3 premiere was the arrival of Victor Frankenstein’s friend, Dr. Henry Jekyll (Shazad Latif), who arrives to find Frankenstein sinking in self-pity and drug addiction.
Murray brings Sembene’s body back to Africa and immediately runs into a Native American by the name of Kaetenay (Wes Studi), who knows a great deal about him and is looking to bond.
John Logan has truly created a masterpiece with this monster mashup, and Penny Dreadful is the most imaginative and lyrical drama on television. Everything about it — the writing, costuming, acting, and atmosphere — is a work of art. The show has become a haven for Victorian literature and Gothic horror fans, and will make you want to know more about the genres if you aren’t.
Instead of asking what is in store for Vanessa, the real question is: what does she have in store for the vampires, witches, werewolves, zombies, and any other beings lurking around that are up to no good? Although the Penny Dreadful Season 3 premiere isn’t especially bloody or terrifying, it still sends chills through the body, especially the last minute or so.
Penny Dreadful Season 3 starts on May 1, on Showtime at 10 p.m. (Eastern time) and the first episode can be seen on various platforms before the show airs.
[Image via Showtime]