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TV Rundown: June 21 | Sir Malcolm Faces his Deamons on 'Penny Dreadful'

With Ethan and Vanessa absent for an entire episode, "Penny Dreadful" shifted its focus to Sir Malcolm and the problematic situation of his enchantment. Thankfully, he was able to shake it off and share a chilling showdown with his crazy, presumably-ex paramour. Timothy Dalton’s performance was commanding, effectively oscillating between fear, inner torment and finally, defiance.

The strong writing gave him a chance to truly shine in a role that he’s recently been getting a greater opportunity to flesh out. Why Sir M decided to confront Madame Kali on his own, without any back up, was hard to decipher. However their face off was well worth the wait and ended with a beyond creepy cliffhanger.

The hour’s most shocking development came when Lily launched into an arduous diatribe that revealed her current state of mind with lurid clarity. The recipient of her rant was The Creature, who’d come by to let her know that she was “his” and she quickly set him straight on that belief. Following her train of thought required a lot of mental whiplash and quite frankly, a few giant leaps.

For instance, where is all of her hatred for men coming from? She was spewing a vein with her outspoken detest of them and there is nothing that’s happened in her life to explain her newfound fervent disdain of them. The major question swirling amidst her tirade was why she had manifested any of these feelings to begin with. 

All of the men she’s known as Lily have only treated her with kindness. The same applies to her past life as Brona, where she was shown a great deal of affection by Ethan. The audience was never privy to any particular cruelty that she endured, though there were hints she might not have always been treated so well before the show started.

Still, the source of her rampage was difficult to ascertain. Not to mention her frenetic ramblings about rejecting The Creature’s affection, only to have her turn around and start coming onto him, saying they were made for each other. It was all dizzyingly confusing. To her credit, Billie Piper gave the scene its heft with a dazzling execution of Lily’s extensive monologue; turning in an overall vivid performance.

Another shocker came towards the end of the episode as Angelique unmasked Dorian’s portrait and with it, the decrepit reality of who he truly is. Even though Angelique seemed ready to accept him warts and all, Dorian made a lethal move that served as a grave turn of events. It’s the first time Gray’s true nature has been completely unveiled and it’s a grim one. 

Side Notes / Burning Questions: Did anyone else catch the mention of a hell hound? Ethan certainly meets that description. It was nice to finally get some clarity as to the significance of the breadcrumb of relics' account of the fallen angels’ rebellion. When it first came about as a plot point, it was drastically unclear why the series was spending so much time rehashing a well-known story.

Now we know the answer. According to their mythos there’s more to it. Victor’s heart has been broken for the first time and it’s hard not to feel sorry for the guy. What does Lily have in store for him? Lyle is quickly becoming one of the best characters on the show.

Photo Credit: Penny Dreadful/Showtime