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Penny Dreadful: Season Three

Review by CJ

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Director:
Damon Thomas, Toa Fraser, Paco Cabezas

Writer:
John Logan, Andrew Hinderaker, Krysty Wilson-Cairns

Starring:
Timothy Dalton, Eva Green, Josh Hartnett, Harry Treadaway, Reeve Carney, Rory Kinnear, Billie Piper, Christian Camargo, Wes Studi

Other notable appearances:
Sarah Greene, Patti LuPone, Shazad Latif, Samuel Barnett, Perdita Weeks, Jessica Barden

Running time:
44-60 minutes

Number of episodes:
9

 

After their final encounter with the witches last season, this season — the last in the series — sees Vanessa Ives’ (Green) band of misfits scattered. Sir Malcolm Murray (Dalton) travels to Africa to return Sambene’s body to his homeland. Ethan Chandler (Hartnett) returns to America to face the consequences of the as yet unmentioned actions he made there. Lily Frankenstein (Piper) and Dorian Gray (Carney) plan world domination. Victor Frankenstein (Treadaway) nurses his broken heart with the help of an old friend (Latif). When darkness once again descends on Vanessa in London, will her friends be able to help her or will she succumb to the night?

As much as it pains me to say it, there was no other way Penny Dreadful could have ended. Since it was announced that season three would be the last season, I have seen fans demanding Netflix take up season four or do a spin-off. As much as I would love to see more of all the beloved characters, I feel that anything further would be detrimental to the established plot arcs and characters. As it stands, Penny Dreadful is three seasons of great character development and a handful of related arcs that form a succinct overall story. There is a start, a middle and an end.

I did feel that, considering writer John Logan says he knew Penny Dreadful would always be a three season show, a character left rather abruptly and was replaced by another character to fill the void in the group. The replacement character could have been incredible if they were introduced earlier. Instead they felt crammed in with no story or development.

A complaint I had throughout season one and season two was the overwhelming use of poetry. Season three cut back significantly on the long winded poetry recitations and is far better for it.

Overall, I feel that season three was the perfect conclusion to a series that has been strange, delightful and macabre. As a viewer and fan I was left satisfied (if sometimes devastated) with where each of the primary characters were left by the series finale. If you are a fan of classic horror, I cannot recommend Penny Dreadful enough.

Rating:
4 Stars

“You think you’re bold? You think you know sin? You’re still learning the language. I wrote the bloody book.”

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