And if you kiss my cold clay lips, your days they won’t be long…
The last time we saw Penny Dreadful a lot happened to make us wait with bathed breath for the second season of this dark and gory TV show. Just to twist the knife and make us jump from our seats, the producers had unleashed a trailer with the haunting voice of Helen McCrory singing the ballad, “The Unquiet Grave”. The fact that she was giving the tune a sinister feeling was only the tip of the bloody iceberg. Madame Kali was making us think if she really is Elizabeth Bathory and Vanessa Ives announced the viewers that “when Lucifer fell, he did not fall alone. At least we had an inkling of what was waiting for us.
The second season begins with Miss Ives feeling a brand new evil force lurking around her and bidding its time to strike. The episode fittingly named “Fresh Hell” brings back old friends and opens the door to a new lot of foes for Sir Malcom Murray and Miss Ives to fight.
Sir Malcom (Timothy Dalton) is away from London, having taken Mina to her final resting place. We knew from previous season one episodes that the Murray couple wasn’t one without marriage problems, the fact one possessed Vanessa was mocking Lady Murray forms wasn’t a compliment either. Sir Malcom has cheated his wife and at this point the two of them have nothing more in common, two buried children, a facade marriage which will only exist to avoid gossip spreading against Lady Murray. The loss of his beloved daughter it’s only another reminder to Sir Malcolm of the family he no longer has, the hardships ahead, the choice he has made and are yet to be made.
Back in London, we find Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway) and Canibal trying to reanimate Brona Croft (Billie Piper). However the price requested by Cannibal (Rory Kinnear) is a high bargain and it seems Victor won’t be freed by his creation; he is trapped in the process of bringing across a consort for his fallen child, a creature we do not know how she will interact with her future mate and her creator.
Miss Yves (Eva Green) and Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) are facing a new evil. In the first season, we’ve learned of the fate awaiting Vanessa or the reincarnation of the Goddess Amunet, the Mother of Evil coveted by Lucifer himself. It seems that vampires and demonic possessions aren’t Vanessa only woes. A coven of satanic witches lead by Madame Kali also known as Evelyn Poole (Helen McCrory) are unleashing their forces in order to torment and bring Vanessa to the edge and in the arms of evil.
Let’s face it, we’ve been mesmerized by the song “The Unquiet Grave”, the dark and eerie feeling matched with the image of McCrory bathing in blood and smoking while humming the lyrics. Well, brace yourselves, that wasn’t the only moment Madam Kali has left her mark in this episode – beside the demonic chanting. No, it was also the scary way in which she demonstrated her power over her minions while reminding the audience the origins of “memento mori”.
“Respice post te! Hominem te esse memento! Memento mori… Look behind you, remember that you are a man. Remember that you will die.”
The first episode of the second season has given us new foes and new worries for the league of not so merry gentlemen and one struggling lady. Each of them is facing the consequences of past and recent actions. No one is safe.