Penny Dreadful continues along a gothically freaky path this week, giving us more of what I love about the show so far, and less of what I don’t (namely, Dorian Gray). “Resurrection” leaves us with almost as many questions as answers, but we do know one thing for sure: Josh Harnett’s butt needs as much air-time as possible.
The episode opens on a young Victor, morbidly fascinated by mortality since the loss of his mother in his youth, contemplating the brutality of death while fittingly quoting lines from Wordsworth’s Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood. But Victor’s attempts to cheat death haven’t been going super well for him as of late – his first Creature has returned, leaving the body of the adorable Proteus ripped apart at their feet. RIP Proteus. You were a good monster for a quick second there.
But “Resurrection” lives up to its title; the episode is very much about Victor’s creation, Caliban, and the way modernity has re-defined (or perhaps corrupted) the Romantic ideal of beauty. Caliban himself puts it best when he equates himself with the rapidly-changing age of industry:
“I am not a creation of the antique pastoral world. I am modernity personified. Did you not know that’s what you were creating? The modern age? Did you really imagine that your modern creation would hold to the values of Keats and Wordsworth? We are men of iron and mechanization now. We are steam engines and turbines. Were you really so naïve to imagine that we’d see eternity in a daffodil?”
Now, I’m not going to get in the habit of posting whole chunks of dialogue in the middle of my reviews, but that speech was just so on-point that I just needed to immortalize it on the internet forever. Beyond his elegant speeches, Rory Kinnear’s Caliban is just a wonderful representation of Frankenstein’s Creature in so many ways; he’s got the physicality, right down to the glowing eyes, and his well-spoken, calm demeanor makes him immediately sympathetic.
Read the rest over at Geekosystem.