By Brian Ives
“My cousin and I, it’s not without its complications,” Dr. Victor Frankenstein tells Miss Vanessa Ives in this week’s episode of Penny Dreadful, with quite a bit of understatement. What he could have said is: “She’s not my cousin. In fact, she’s the reincarnated prostitute Brona Croft, who Mr. Chandler was in love with. Well, he was in love with her while she was alive. Thing is, I killed her prematurely to turn her into a re-animated creature, whom I promised to my first re-animated creature who now calls himself John Clare, after a poet, of all things. Did you say you’ve met him? [more on that in a minute] And so yeah, anyway, I’m totally in love with her. Mr. Chandler might be mad about it when he finds out, by the way. And so will Mr. Clare.”
So yeah, life has it’s complications. And it’s not about to get any neater for our characters.
Although Sir Malcolm seems to think his life is getting simpler; his wife, who he wouldn’t divorce, committed suicide in last week’s episode. Now he doesn’t have to worry about her anymore, as he courts Ms. Poole. And so he seems shockingly unbothered by her death, which worries Miss Ives and Sembene. When told of how she died, i.e. slashing her throat, he says, “I shall have to have the carpet replaced then.”
Earlier, we saw him in full-on morning-after glory, waking up with Ms. Poole. But before he awakes, she cuts a lock of his hair. “Sleep tight dear. You’re going to have a challenging day.” We know what that lock of hair is for. We soon see Ms. Poole adding it to her Sir Malcolm voodoo doll.
Also enjoying the afterglow of the prior evening: the good Doctor and Cousin Lily. She’s risen before him, and asks him how he likes his eggs. Which leads to the question: how has she acclimated to being human so quickly? In physical and behavioral appearance, she’s way more human than Mr. Clare. And she seems to be figuring out her humanity much more quickly than the Doctor’s last creation, the late Mr. Proteus, did.