Sunday, June 19, 2016

TV Show Review: Penny Dreadful Season 3

The third season of Showtime's horror series began with the main characters spread out across the world. Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) remained in London where she suffers a psychological breakdown after the events of season two. Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton) ventures to Africa to lay to rest the remains of his friend and servant. Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) is captured and taken by to the American West to confront his father Jared Talbot (Brian Cox). John Clare (Rory Kinnear) sails to the North Pole as Frankenstein's monster.

There are new characters from legendary fiction like Dr. Henry Jekyll (Shazad Latif) who assist Dr. Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway) capture his even deadlier creation, the venomous Lily (Billie Piper). Lily has teamed up with Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney) to wreak havoc on the city of London's wealthier residents. Pattie Lupone reappears as a different character, Dr. Seward, to help Ms. Ives with her issues.

Dracula serves as the villain for this round stalking Ms. Ives. She can only be helped by the return of her friends orchestrated by the Native American Kaetenay (Wes Studi). Dr. Alexander Sweet (Christian Carmago) is the mysterious taxidermist at the British Museum. As the stories progress, the characters spread out to deal with their individual traumas only  to snap back together for a climactic finale. 

The season moved along a bit slowly focusing on developing characters while juggling multiple settings. One exceptional episode in the middle of the season consisted of three characters in a cell as Ms. Ives reflects back on her history and source of her torment. Penny Dreadful has been one of my favorite shows to appear on television despite tough competition in the horror genre.

I've always enjoyed Eva Green in her role as Ms. Ives and hope she receives recognition for her talent and amazing performance. This season revealed Ethan Chandler's werewolf form a lot more, and it didn't look terrible. I wish they could have stuck around to explore Mr. Hyde and further Frankenstein experiments, but it looks like this is the final conclusion. It had some of the best acting on the screen, and I'm not sure how Showtime will replace it.

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