If one had any doubts that Showtime wouldn’t deliver with the Season 3 premiere of “Penny Dreadful,” let us be the first to assure you all that Sunday’s (May 1) episode, titled “The Day Tennyson Died,” brought the goods … and then some!
Season 2 ended with our band of unlikely heroes going their separate ways, leaving Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) depressed and all alone in that giant house.
Sure, her surrogate father Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton) is off in Zanzibar on a mission to bury his longtime confidant Sembene (Danny Sapani) and the devil is no longer attempting to make her his eternal bride, but still … Miss Ives has to go out once in a while!
Oh, and while we’re speaking of abandonment issues, let’s not forget Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett). The romantic chemistry between the two, along with Vanessa’s attempt at getting him to run away with her in the end of Season 2, has made his absence even more difficult for her. But that’s not to say that Chandler is merely galavanting about town enjoying his wolfy ways. After admitting to the grisly murders at the end of last season, Ethan has found himself extradited to New Mexico.
This is bad news for the sharpshooting werewolf, but great news for fans of cowboy-themed entertainment because it looks like Ethan has literally found himself in his own personal hell on wheels! As one may expect, he doesn’t remain in custody for long as a group of ruffians — or, “Liberators,” as they call themselves — rescue Chandler on orders from his father.
Wait, Ethan Chandler’s dear old dad was behind this slaughter? The apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree, huh? This all leads us to the question: who exactly is Ethan Chandlers father? Because it looks like the show has presented us with a biological one and a spiritual one. The plot, it thickens.
While Vanessa seeks therapy in London and Ethan is extracted from his extradition, Sir Malcolm finds himself in a bit of a pickle down in Africa. Almost immediately after penning a letter to Miss Ives announcing his retirement from the monster hunting business, he’s ambushed in an alley.
Coming to his rescue is, what looks like, a new (possible) confidant who quickly identifies himself as Kaetenay (Wes Studi), Ethan Chandler’s spiritual father. Beckoning for Malcolm to join him on a rescue mission to New Mexico, it seems that we’ve got a real Old West story about to play out on this gothic supernatural series … and that’s fine by us!
With so many questions left to be answered, as well as new classic genre characters joining the show — Dr. Jekyll, Renfield and … holy crap, Dracula! — it looks like “Penny Dreadful” is setting itself up for a top notch season. As for Ethan’s father … we have a sneaking suspicion there’s going to be some shoot-em-up family drama going down in New Mexico soon enough.
“Penny Dreadful” airs Sundays at 10 p.m. PT/ET on Showtime.