‘Penny Dreadful’ Review: Little Scorpion

Vanessa was Joan Clayton's Little Scorpion.
Vanessa was Joan Clayton’s Little Scorpion.

Vanessa has a very interesting past. We got to learn a little bit more about it along with Chandler.

I was wondering what that blood scorpion on the floor meant and this week we found out.

Before she came to London she went to a witch known as The Cut-Wife of Ballentree Moor. She got this name because she gives girls abortions. She is also a witch and sister of  Madame Kali, but she’s the good witch. Her real name is Joan Clayton.

Vanessa has known these witches are after her a long time, it just took time for them to find her again.

Vanessa has been an impressive woman since we met her in season one, but she learned all of this from Joan. And I knew she was gifted, but I didn’t know she was a witch or day walker as Joan called her, and a powerful one at that. The explains a few things.

It sounds like it’s very easy for her to turn evil. I’m guessing the devil wants her because she’s very powerful and the evil are all about their power.

I enjoyed this episode because we not only learned more about Vanessa, we learned more about her enemy, Kali. We learned early on that Kali branded her own sister, but she went to great lengths to kill her sister when she was already dying.

Kali was presumably married to the lord of the town and she turned him and everyone else against her sister. No one actually knew this was her sister though. Kali is young and beautiful, while Joan has aged.

Joan had a very cruel and brutal death. She was first beaten, then tarred and then burned. The young girl she helped was the one that set the fire. All Vanessa could do was watch. Then Vanessa was branded with a cross.

It had all the creepiness of a ‘Penny Dreadful’ episode, but it also felt very personal. Vanessa is in a lot of danger. It feels scarier than season one. These witches will stop at nothing to get to her, but is she in danger of turning evil herself? Will she use the dark book of spells to protect herself and turn on her god forever?

I’m very happy we got Vanessa’s backstory about the witches, but I also want one of these episodes for Chandler. A whole episode devoted to how he became a wolf would be very nice.

Everyone is back next week and so are the night comers. Take a look at the promo:


Mandy Carr

Editor and Founder, Primetime Addiction

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