On Sunday (June 19), Showtime ended Season 3 of “Penny Dreadful” with two back-to-back episodes, titled “Perpetual Night” and “The Blessed Dark.” This may have been a shorter season than what fans of the series have been used to — a total of nine episodes, to be exact — but what showrunner John Logan was able to accomplish with these episodes, successfully tied the promising storyline from Season 1 to the plot that played out this year.
Be warned, if you are not yet caught up on the the final Season 3 episodes of “Penny Dreadful,” tread lightly as there are spoilers below.
Some epic bombshells were dropped in these final episodes. Kaetenay (Wes Studi) was not simply Ethan Chandler’s (Josh Hartnett) Cheyenne father, it turns out he was his wolf father as well. Watching the two take on Dracula’s (Christian Camargo) night creatures was a pretty awesome sight to behold. The majority of “Perpetual Night” acted as setup to the finale as Renfield pointed the team towards Dracula’s lair — that is, after he got a little mental coaxing from Dr. Seward (Patti Lupone).
Logan — he does write every episode — was able to tie up all those crazy loose ends he presented throughout the season. Victor (Harry Treadaway) and Dr. Jekyll (Shazad Latiff) went their separate ways after he set Lily (Billie Piper) free, John Clare’s (Rory Kinnear) attempt at reconnecting with his family led to his sick son’s death and an unreasonable plea from his wife and Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney) once again found himself alone … cursed by immortality. Yet, with all these stories brought to an end, all eyes were on Ethan Chandler as he set out to rescue Vanessa (Eva Green) from the clutches of Dracula.
Kaetenay’s vision told him that Ethan would be the one to save the world from complete darkness. Yet, once that moment came, it came with more of a sympathetic whimper than an explosive climax. Yes, seeing the team back together fighting the night creatures provided a nice sense of “Dreadful” nostalgia. And we must give a shout out to the newest addition to the monster fighting team. Hello there, Cat.
In the end, Mr. Chandler easily defeated Dracula by simply murdering Vanessa Ives. It was per her request, mind you. All it took was a gun shot to the gut and she left this world with more peace than we’ve ever seen in the three seasons we’ve followed this character.
This leaves us with many questions. It feels like all signs have pointed to “The Blessed Dark” being the show’s final episode. From the opening credits to the final “The End” text on the screen, the Season 3 finale was presented in a starkly different manner than every other episode of the series.
With Vanessa Ives dead, it’s hard to imagine how the show can move forward. Could a Season 4 exist with Cat taking the lead? Is it possible that Dr. Frankenstein would decide to resurrect Vanessa from the dead? Both are options that could lead the series in new and intriguing directions. But alas, we feel that those ideas could also diminish the real spirit behind the show.
Showtime has yet to officially announce the renewal or cancelation of “Penny Dreadful.” However, the below video shows John Logan referring to the episode as the “series finale.” So, we guess that pretty much clinches it. At least, by all accounts, it looks like the series went out on its own darkly poetic terms.
What do you think? Should “Penny Dreadful” get another season? Or was that a satisfying way to end the series?