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BWW Spoiler Alert!: PENNY DREADFUL Elegantly Concludes a Bloody First Season

Related: PENNY DREADFUL

However, the storylines were far more elegantly resolved than they were constructed. Though many of the resolutions were easily foreseen, they nevertheless thrilled upon completion. Below is a short list of reactions, observations, and questions related to tonight's Season 1 Finale of PENNY DREADFUL. If you plan on watching it, and do not want to know any of the episode's details, stop reading now:


  • If you would have told me that Dr. Frankenstein's original monster would become the season's most sympathetic creature when he came bursting through the sternum of sweet, newly reborn Proteus, I would have thought you were crazy. While he often walked on the tortured side of good and evil, in the end, we felt his loneliness; we felt his abandonment, his need for companionship. How heartbreaking was it when Caliban told his creator, "I would rather be the corpse I was, than the man I am,"?
  • I was really surprised that we didn't get more of a conclusion with Dorian Gray. I fully expected that after his rejection by Ms. Ives, we would see him back in front of his portrait, and the camera would circle around, finally exposing Dorian's true visage.
  • I still don't think that they ever adequately explained why every evil spirit (the Devil, the Master, Amunet, whomever) wants to make Vanessa his mistress, or did I miss that reveal while I was previously distracted?
  • I think it is safe to assume that the group's moral compass, Ethan Chandler, in the form of a werewolf, is responsible for the brutal murders that opened the season. This BWW Spoiler Alert!: PENNY DREADFUL Elegantly Concludes a Bloody First Seasonwas one of the no-brainers I mentioned coming into the finale; from his ability to commune with the Master's wolves in the zoo, and his uncomfortableness at the werewolf in the play he saw with Brona, this one was telegraphed, the clues were all there, but I will admit, I missed them the first time through because I was too busy on Twitter. Despite seeing it coming, it was still satisfying to see Ethan transform and quickly dispatch of Mr. Numbers and Mr. Wrench... wait...
  • When Sir Malcolm tells his daughter Mina that, "I already have a daughter," was he speaking metaphorically or literally? We do know that he had an affair with Vanessa's mother... It is also interesting to me that Vanessa is essentially this story's version of the literary Mina.
  • I'm really glad that they didn't give Billie Piper a black and white beehive in her final scene.
  • When Vanessa entered the church at the end of the episode to ask the priest to perform an exorcism on her, did she not look like a Victorian Tim Burton character? Then, the long pause to close out the episode was masterfully played by Green. However, the abrupt cut-off felt anticlimactic. It seems obvious that when the show returns, her answer to the question of whether or not she truly wants to become normal will be handled in-depth, but how much more satisfying would it have been if right before the screen turned to black, an ever-so-slight wry smile began to form on Vanessa's lips?

What did you think of the first season of Penny Dreadful? Were you satisfied with the finale? Where do tonight's revelations leave the group heading into next year's Season 2? You can let me know what you think in the comments below, or on Twitter (you already know I'm a bit obsessed) @BWWMatt.

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Matt Tamanini Matt is BroadwayWorld's Chief TV and Film critic. He also writes across other BWW sites, including BWW Orlando, and serves as BWW's Database Manager. He received a BA in Journalism/Communications from The Ohio State University and has worked in sports broadcasting, media relations, and journalism. He also has directed and/or produced over 30 plays and musicals, and is currently writing two plays of his own. You can connect with Matt through Twitter: @BWWMatt.



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