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Penny Dreadful 2×05 “Above the Vaulted Sky” Photo Recap

Hello Dreadfuls!

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?”

She asks if she can take care of whatever satanic weirdness has to be done with Vanessa’s hair.

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.”

That’s right.

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.

Then she asks if she can stay in his room.

Vanessa: I wish I were going mad. Then the doctors could lock me away and cut out the madness. Anything to make it end. You know the true path to freedom? Open any vein.
Ethan: That you can’t do.
Vanessa: No. God has a plan.

There’ll be no opening of veins.

Vanessa: You think me foolish, I know.
Ethan: No. No such thing. I know what it is to be scared of the dark.
I really want to know more about Ethan’s past and family. When Vanessa says she saw him praying, Ethan tells her it’s an old habit but she doesn’t believe him.
Remember exorcising her that one time, Ethan?
Vanessa: I know you believe in the word of God.
Ethan: I believe we make ourselves who we are. The blood’s on our hands, not God’s.
Vanessa: And did you make yourself into who you are?
Ethan: The first time I picked up a gun and decided my life was more important than anyone else’s. You never go back from that.
Vanessa: And are you sure that wasn’t part of His plan?
Ethan: You’ve never killed anyone. Talk to me then.
These two have another thing in common: guilt.
Let’s play a game called “How many times can I make Ethan call Vanessa ‘precious’?”)
Vanessa: Whatever you have done. Whoever you have made yourself. I’m here to accept you. We’re together for a reason.
Ethan: God’s plan?
Vanessa: Yes.
Bear with me and the hearts.

Ah, guess who’s getting impatient to meet his potential girlfriend.

I shouldn’t be laughing but I am.

 

 

“Whatever power you held over me at the moment of my bestial creation is gone.”

 

Victor’s amused. He really can be a bastard sometimes. (Okay, most of the time)
Lily seems excited for a second there.

Victor leaves so they can talk.

Poor Lily.

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.

*Sigh*
Victor listens to them while John comes up with a story.

John: “I remember, one night, we were walking through the village… and we came across some men outside a tavern, drunken they were. And they saw me with you… and they laughed and pointed and said, ‘How could the likes of her be with the likes of him?’ […] You took my hand… and you held it. And you looked at them. Then you raised my hand to your lips… and you held it there.”
I know he’s not doing it on purpose and he truly wishes someone would love him as he is but this is simply a manipulation trick.
Lily kindly rejects him.

Oh, well.

In the meantime, Mrs. Murray’s not feeling so good.
 
 Then we see Ethan and the Inspector.
 
Inspector Rusk: Perhaps my office would be more comfortable?
Ethan: For whom?
Ethan, I love you so.
In the meantime, Vanessa is staring into space.
 
But then Victor and Lily come and her mood changes.
 
That’s a lovely start if you want to be friends.

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.

Ethan: I’ve given up the theatrical profession.
Rusk: Oh, why?
Ethan: It didn’t suit my character.
Rusk: Yes… I see you don’t seem made for the limelight.
Ethan: Then again, we’ve just met.
Just loving how Ethan never really answers his questions and he says he should leave because he doesn’t know anything about anything.

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.

Vanessa:Do you know you share your name with a dead poet?
John:Yes. Do you like poetry?
Vanessa:All sad people like poetry. Happy people like songs.
John:I’ve always been moved by John Clare’s story. By all accounts he was only five feet tall, so… considered freakish. Perhaps due to this, he felt a singular affinity with… the outcasts and the unloved… the ugly animals… the broken things.
Then he recites one of my favorite poems, one I’ve also translated to my native language for a book.
The scene:

“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 woes
They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
Like shadows in love’s frenzied stifled throes
And yet I am, and live like vapours tossed
Into 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 best
Are strange nay, rather, stranger than the rest.
I long for scenes where man hath never trod
A place where woman never smiled or wept
There to abide with my Creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept,
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie
The 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.

 

Vanessa: I wonder if he ever found it… his silent place with God.
John: Oh, the poem tells me that he did. As you will one day.
Vanessa: Peace.
John: Is that the goal of religion?
Vanessa: Isn’t it?
John: That can be found in the smallest details of life. The kind touch of a hand.
Vanessa: I saw it earlier. I was having coffee with a friend. He’s in love with someone, though I don’t know he knows it. But… she touched his hand. And on his face… something I’d never seen before. A kind of peace, anyway.
John: The cruelest kind. It’s lethal, that touch… for it leaves your heart at the mercy of another. You’re so unprotected.
Vanessa: We’re all awkward in love.

I totally had a tiny heart attack when Vanessa mentioned Victor, thank God she didn’t give his name. Can you imagine?

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.

 

pd1 (1786)

pd1 (1797)

 

pd1 (1788)

Of course he spits on her face and Dorian wipes it, kissing her hand.

pd1 (1808)

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.

 

 

We find Ethan staring at the moon.

 

 

Then he and Mr. Lyle try to make sense of Satan’s diary.

 

Ferdinand Lyle: A phrase, repeated in a variety of languages, seemingly at random, like a poetic repetition I can’t make fit anywhere.
At Dorian’s place:
Dorian: Why are you doing this?
Angelique: Being what I am?
Dorian: That’s not what you are.
Angelique: You prefer the freak. It adds spice for you, doesn’t it? From the moment I was born, I was not as I was meant to be. No one spoke of it. My parents ignored me as best they could. So I came to London and created Angelique… leaving me fit for no trade but whoring… and myself fit for nothing but degradation and ridicule. Have you ever known that?
Dorian: No.
Angelique: You’ve led a charmed life here. We’re not all so lucky… or so normal.
She asks him if he’d care for her when she’s dressed like this and he says he cares for who she is, not what she wears.
Malcolm and Evelyn have some fun in the rain.
Dorian and Angelique:
Ethan and Vanessa:
But then she leaves.
What is happening to everybody?
In the meantime, Mrs Murray:
This poor woman just can’t catch a break, everyone’s getting laid and she’s being haunted.
Lily goes to Victor’s bed because she’s afraid of the storm (which is actually what gave birth to her in a way).
What did you like about the episode (and the recap)? Let me know in the comments!

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9 thoughts on “Penny Dreadful 2×05 “Above the Vaulted Sky” Photo Recap

  1. Must be the full moon working some magic because I just rewatched the second season this week and last night saw the season finale.
    Now here you go and crack me up with ‘sassball ‘ and ‘my little muffin’. Reading your work is like watching an alternate universe of comic relief, which I desperately need especially after watching that heart wrenching scene between Clare & Vanessa. I cried, for real, the first AND second time I viewed that scene. I believe no one can not be moved by the depth of Eva Green’s performance. And she elevates every other actors performance around her. Not that they are slouches on their own, but she has a way of cutting through the bs like no other. ( am I crushing much?)
    Oh, as far as her not picking up on dead girl…Bronalil was wearing gloves so maybe that hid those clammy hand vibes and more. Thanks for this exceptional recap. Penny Dreadful Forever!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, as always.
      Eva is completely worth crushing on by the way and you’re probably right about Lily’s gloves.
      The poetry scene was one of the most beautiful moments in the whole show, especially considering how PD has always been about the isolation of those who are different.
      What I love about recapping this show is actually feeling love for the characters. Even when they do horrible things there’s truth and grace in their faults. For a show about monsters, it’s one of the rare ones that really express what being human is like.

    2. Thank you so much for your kind words, as always.
      Eva is completely worth crushing on by the way and you’re probably right about Lily’s gloves.
      The poetry scene was one of the most beautiful moments in the whole show, especially considering how PD has always been about the isolation of those who are different.
      What I love about recapping this show is actually feeling love for the characters. Even when they do horrible things there’s truth and grace in their faults. For a show about monsters, it’s one of the rare ones that really express what being human is like.

  2. Hi!
    I love your recaps, especially Penny Dreadful ones that had me in tears.
    it’s kinda off topic of what I will right now, but… can you do more AHS: Hotel recaps? I loved your one of Checking In, so I hope there will be more :>

    1. Hi! Thank you so much, glad you ejoyed the recaps. I’d like to do more but I have other requests piled up now, so maybe after I finish them I’ll see if can do another AHS recap. =)

    2. Hi! Thank you so much, glad you ejoyed the recaps. I’d like to do more but I have other requests piled up now, so maybe after I finish them I’ll see if can do another AHS recap. =)

  3. OMG, I totally stalk your recaps at TV.com because you’re hilarious. I mentally add flower crowns to Ethan and Vanessa always now. Thanks for your amazing recaps!

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