Above the Vaulted Sky starts with Mrs. Poole magically torturing Mrs. Murray, doing what she does best.
Which results in this gross scene:
Mrs Murray seems to be badly affected by this, honestly this woman has been through so much. I feel for her.
Her daughter Hecate is worse in my opinion because she always has this impatient look on her face like:
“Can we torture all the people already and not just dolls?”
Evelyn thinks it’s cute.
It’s typical mother daughter bonding times.
Back with our babies, Ethan’s got a story to tell as he tries to convince/motivate the squad to be cautious against the witches.
Ethan: “We were in the southern part of the Arizona Territory and there’s one little tribe we’re supposed to send to the reservation or murder, didn’t matter. They were dug in on a Cliffside. We moved in at night, with our horses’ hooves wrapped in burlap. We surrounded them very slowly. Hours of getting into position. Some of us lucky ones who spoke Chiricahua infiltrated the village. We stood in the darkness 20 feet away while they talked and smoked and made dinner. They had no idea. They thought they were safe. They had underestimated the ruthlessness of their enemies. Sound familiar? One bugle call and we attacked. We didn’t talk. We didn’t negotiate. My squad worked from the inside out. They had nowhere to run. In 15 minutes… that tribe had ceased to exist. They were wiped from history. We can’t let ourselves be infiltrated and surrounded. We defend our cliff.”
Ethan says they need to use every sort of spell, prayer and protection they know.
I love them and the way they cutely do these things to protect the house:
Fun fact: According to google search stats, some viewers actually found my recaps with the key words “nekkid witches penny dreadful”.
Yes, we all need some nekkid witches sometimes.
Ferdinand Lyle prays.
Vanessa as usual:
Ethan’s face when he sees Vanessa’s fingerpainting skills:
And of course Sembene’s best defense:
They’re defending their cliff with love and I love them for it.
Later in Vanessa’s room:
No and please put a shirt on.
I truly believe that what makes Vanessa vulnerable is her own sense of guilt and shame. A part of her thinks she deserves to be haunted and like the cute priest in the first season finale suggested, she might also feel like she’s being touched by the backhand of God. But she also seems to have had enough of these witches, so she runs for the best bodyguard there is, who’s right next door.
It’s an emergency.
She tells him she saw the nekkid witches in her room.
There’ll be no opening of veins.
I shouldn’t be laughing but I am.
Kidding aside, Lily/Brona shouldn’t be going through any of this. These two dudebros (I love them but they are dudebros) just keep adding to all the crap she had to put up with in her previous life and she doesn’t owe any of them anything.
Okay, here is a scene I really like. I love how these two interact with each other. Josh Hartnett and Douglas Hodge have an interesting dynamic on screen.
It goes like this:
He calmly questions Ethan, who is just an adorable sassball.
Vanessa has a lovely lunch with Victor and Lily, acting as the only female role model Victor knows, probably.
Lily shows her manners and gains Victor’s approval as she talks to Vanessa.
Vanessa looks happy for Victor.
I thought she’d understand their monster/doctor relationship when she shook hands with them (remember how she gains information through touch because of her special possession gifts) but she didn’t seem to sense anything extraordinary. Then again, she’s been kind of stressed and she might ignore the intuitive information she receives, I guess.
But look how cute she is:
I love her.
They perform whatever they rehearsed at Victor’s place.
Vanessa tells Victor to visit the Murray Residence because they miss him.
Then she leaves.
But no, she’s watching them.
Then we see Rusk and Ethan talk as they walk together. Ethan is quick to leave but Rusk sends his men after him.
We’re all looking for Ethan Chandler, buddy.
Later Vanessa and John run into each other.
“I am” by John Clare
I am yet what I am none cares or knows;My friends forsake me like a memory lost:I am the self-consumer of my woesThey rise and vanish in oblivious host,Like shadows in love’s frenzied stifled throesAnd yet I am, and live like vapours tossedInto the nothingness of scorn and noise,Into the living sea of waking dreams,Where there is neither sense of life or joys,But the vast shipwreck of my life’s esteems;Even the dearest that I loved the bestAre strange nay, rather, stranger than the rest.I long for scenes where man hath never trodA place where woman never smiled or weptThere to abide with my Creator, God,And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept,Untroubling and untroubled where I lieThe grass below ‘n above the vaulted sky.
It’s believed that John Clare wrote this poem during his second stay at an asylum, where his state of mind and his isolation from his friends and family might have influenced it. It’s truly heartbreaking declaration of his existence when he must have felt utterly alone. It saddens me every time I read or hear it and I was pleasantly surprised to hear it on Penny Dreadful. The scene is even more beautiful with the poem, especially when Vanessa joins John.
John would be like: K SEE U LATER GOTTA KILL MY DAD.
Later he says he doesn’t know how to act around a lady and Vanessa decides to help with dance lessons.
Ethan returns to the Murray Residence.
Then we see Dorian and Angelique who are just having some classy fun.
But some dudebros of the worst kind approach them to humiliate her.
Of course he spits on her face and Dorian wipes it, kissing her hand.
Dorian seems to really care for her, doesn’t he?
There’s actually a gross couple nearby and they’re gross simply because it’s too much dark magic and satanic rituals for my taste:
She pricks him with her ring to do whatever magic she needs to seduce him.
Then he and Mr. Lyle try to make sense of Satan’s diary.
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