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Penny Dreadful 2×7 “Little Scorpion” Photo Recap

Hello my dear Dreadfuls,

Penny Dreadful is finally coming back so let’s remember the last episodes of season 2 together (before I recap the season premiere).

To me, every episode of this show feels like a love letter to the audience, it’s often heartbreaking but so damn beautiful and alluring at the same time. It takes your breath away, moves you like no other and then leaves you with so much hope even after you feel submerged in its darkness. You might feel like the show gets you, reaches out to you in certain moments like a gentle hand and consoles you constantly with loving words. The message is clear: You’re not alone, you’re not unworthy, you’re not unlovable, you belong with us.

This episode opens with Sembene talking to Ethan the same way.

“Things become other things. The leopard consumes the monkey and becomes leopard and monkey. The crocodile consumes the leopard and becomes crocodile and leopard… and monkey. I have seen this. The shamans in my mountains call it Uchawi Mabadiliko… the changing from one skin into another. The ones so cursed do not always fully remember it, this… becoming. Is it a sickness… or is it something else? Is it a blessing, the purpose of which we cannot yet see? I say this is what it is. For I know you, my friend, Ethan Chandler. I see inside you, past the crocodile… and the leopard… and the monkey. And the wolf.”
Wise words, as always.
Then our squad discusses their next move after Vanessa fainted at Dorian’s ball.
Remember, Malcolm is under a spell that makes him douchier than usual so he suspects it’s female hysteria. *facepalm*
Victor:Hold on. You don’t credit Miss Ives’ ability to sense things?”
Bless Victor for speaking the truth.
Vanessa is reasonably worried.

She decides to leave.


Of course you did. Ethan’s ready to go and Mr. Lyle agrees.

Look at Malcolm’s scandalized face.

He’s seriously offended. What do you mean he can’t protect you from nekkid witches?

Good point, Victor.

Vanessa tells Victor where she’s going and reminds him to be patient with Lily.


I love these two.

Later Ethan and Vanessa arrive at the cottage.

They talk about the ghosts that haunt them.

Vanessa: Do you believe a place can be haunted?
Ethan: Yes.
Vanessa: Have you been in such a place?
Ethan: Indian graveyard in Arizona. Indians I killed.
Vanessa: Were you frightened?
Ethan: I felt I belonged there.
Vanessa: Perhaps I belong here.

Vanessa sees the book Joan Clayton warned her about.
The next day, Vanessa talks about her relationship with Malcolm and how Evelyn Poole’s ruining everything. (Girl, you just wait.)
And Ethan opens up about his feelings for Brona:
“When I was with Miss Croft, I was more content than I ever thought I could be. For once in my life, I didn’t feel like running away. I felt I had a place to belong… Sir Malcolm’s just looking for where he belongs now. Without Mina. Without you, even. But when he settles down, he’ll come around.”
This episode brought out the hidden parts of them, making them share more of themselves in completely different terms than before, which was nice to see.
Ethan: Are you making a rabbit snare?
Vanessa: Surprised?
Ethan: Who knew you were so handy?
Vanessa: Life isn’t all tarot cards and pagan blood glyphs, you know.
I simply love that the last line is an actual line from the show. I adored that. Also, look at these cuties.
So many floating hearts this episode.
That night, they tell childhood stories about their fears and it’s all a bit too cute.
He’s an overgrown puppy.
Vanessa’s face.

You might be wondering why it’s so fluffy but no worries, we’ll get there.
Then it gets dark and deep again.
Ethan: They just wait, don’t they?
Vanessa: What?
Ethan: The monsters inside us.
Vanessa: Monsters?
Ethan: What would you call them?
Vanessa: For me… demons. But one word is much like another.
Ethan: And when they’re released?
Vanessa: We’re most who we are. Unrestrained. Ourselves.
Suddenly, Ethan gets moody and has to leave:
Uh oh.
I’d like to think Ethan gets a sudden craving for sweets so he runs out to eat some gummy bears under the moonlight but no, he prefers sheeps.
The next morning he’s burning those calories.
Vanessa knows something’s up.

She did.

Nervous smile.




Well, that’s the end of a relationship.
Vanessa: Tell me. We’re alone. Speak quietly, but tell me. We can whisper about those things that hurt us.
Of course, Ethan only tells her she needs to learn to protect herself instead. It’s really hard to tell someone you love you’re a werewolf. Not that I know from personal experience. I’m not a werewolf, though I do like gummy bears… they’re soft and sweet.
He teaches her how to shoot.

Ethan: Don’t look in your opponent’s eyes. That’ll stop you every time. You think for one minute about what you’re doing, and you won’t do it. Stop being human. Become something else. An animal that has to survive. A predator. No emotion. Survival.

Ethan gives her tips in survival but Vanessa’s distracted.

Later this happens.
I insert hearts when I can’t come up with jokes but just noticed it’s mostly with Ethan/Vanessa scenes, so that’s okay.
Vanessa teaches him to dance and this beautiful piece by Abel Korzeniowski plays.

The cuteness doesn’t stop there, no.

The dance of The Wolf and The Scorpion.

Vanessa: I love storms. Primordial. Every bit of civilization gone. Everything true coming out.
Ethan: Let it.
Vanessa: You don’t fear it?
Ethan: Not now.
Vanessa: This must have been how the world was created.

Ethan: Or how it ends.

This dialogue is everything.


I love storms too, Vanessa. We have so much in common. You know, aside from being hunted by the Devil. *brushes away the little scorpions on her shoulder*
I feel like this is the moment Ethan wants to be free of every last bit of pretense that’s clinging onto them but for Vanessa it’s too much of a risk.

Then of course the cottage gets struck by lightning and everything’s on fire.


After they take care of it they end up kissing like it’s a Nicholas Sparks movie.


Vanessa breaks the kiss to tell him they’re “dangerous”.


I mean, considering he’s The Hound of God, she has a bigger chance of remaining safe with him than without him but I guess their connection doesn’t have to be romantic for that.

In the meantime, Ferdinand Lyle and Victor are trying to find what The Devil wants from Vanessa.

If you forgot what the whole thing was about, here’s a little reminder:

Lyle: They called it the “Scorpion’s sting,” a kind of eternal infection that had no end, not in time or death. The gods Amunet and Amun-Ra were immortal and their love was without end as well. According to the myth, if they were to become conjoined, “All light would end and the world would live in darkness. The Hidden Ones would emerge and rule.”
Lyle: The Fallen Angel seeks his bride. He believes this to be Miss Ives, and she loves him in her way. They are aligned, these two. He tries to lure her, seduce her, attack her if he must. But he must have her.
Victor: Why?
Lyle: Why does the Scorpion sting?
Victor: To protect itself.
Lyle: To kill its enemies.
Victor: And the Demon’s enemy?
Lyle: God.
Victor: And if I don’t believe in God?
Lyle: The Scorpion will still strike, whether you believe in him or not.
Victor: We have to help her.
Lyle: I’m onto something new here, something I didn’t expect. I need a few more days. But I don’t think she’s entirely without protection in the meantime. One phrase, “The Hound of God.” Like a musical refrain sounding over and over in our otherwise chronological narrative. Why?
Victor: A bit of poetry, a flourish. I don’t know.
Lyle: No, no, no. Think how your mind works, Doctor. When you can’t settle something in peace you return to it again and again. It obsesses you.
Victor: Becomes a neurosis.
Lyle: Precisely. And it’s repeated neurotically here. Like the Demon chewing on a bone it couldn’t swallow. It can’t make peace with it.
Victor: It’s a danger to him.

Lyle: Yes! Yes, the Demon, the Hound, the Scorpion. Endlessly circling one another.

These two are the best. This squad really bring out the best in each other. I have feelings. *Wipes away the tears*

The reason my Penny Dreadful recaps take forever is because I want to talk about each moment and every single line. The show is written so beautifully, I just have to. Here is another one of those moments.


Vanessa: Sometimes… Sometimes I just want to let it take me. Put an end to it.
Ethan: And then?
Vanessa: Then I would know why. Why this unending torment. I can’t live forever violated. When I sleep, when I wake, when I pray, those demons tearing into me. I once begged you to put a bullet through my heart, but you thought it kindness to spare me. It was cruelty!
Ethan: You will not die while I’m here. You will not surrender while I live. If I have one goddamn purpose in my cursed life, it’s that.
Vanessa: You are one man.
Ethan: More than that and you know it. We are not like others. We have claws for a reason.
I’ll get serious for a moment because this scene is really important to me. Vanessa saying she thinks about giving up is what makes her character real. We often see her fearful even though she’s amazingly brave but she’s not magically strong all the time. This can apply to anyone battling anything in life. We all have our demons, we all have moments where we might feel like we want to stop fighting or we might even find comfort in the thought of death in our darkest moments. It’s not because we’re a failure. Everyone goes through something different. There might be days we feel like it’s just not worth the effort. Especially if you’re struggling with mental illness it can happen on a daily basis. That’s why I found this scene really relatable and comforting in a way. You don’t always have to be “okay”. I’ll also say it’s surprising to me how this show helped me. So, here’s a little sappy thank you to John Logan, if you’re reading this. *HUGS* *whispers “I love you” in a non-creepy way*
ANYWAY, *clears throat*





It’s that bastard again. You know the kind of guy who just has to drop by and say hello after killing your best friend?


Eat him all you want Vanessa. I’m with you.


It’s hilarious to me how he’s such a dad.

“No murders or eating souls anymore, young lady. Go to your room!”

Speaking of dads and murders:


Victor’s trying not to be a jerk to Lily


Really trying.


He kinda fakes it till he makes it.


It’s a night of flirtation and weirdness with Dorian as he subtly reminds her they’ve seen each other before and he’s onto her.


They visit the wax museum and come across a scene of body snatchers.



They say goodnight and Lily is clearly impressed.


In the meantime, someone’s being naughty.


Ethan’s trying to get there first.


It’s basically a race of who kills the douchebag first.


Vanessa wins and kills him with a dark spell which ends up with his dogs eating him.


Twist: Lily decides to sex a random guy.


Twist: MURDER.

Okay, I guess that clears some questions we had about Lily before.

Did Victor’s little resurrection mess her up? Yup.

The people he brings back transform into a more intense version of their former selves. All the abuse Lily had to put up with in her previous life is manifesting itself in an urge to kill the dudes she couldn’t possibly kill before.

Vanessa and Lily murdering people out of anger is clearly a parallel here. If we find one of those acts fair and the other one cruel, I guess that’s something to think about.

Ethan has something to say about it too.


And the worst of all…


That’s too much disappointment for Ethan to take.


Ethan: Do you feel better now? Now that you’re a murderess? I suppose that’s what you learned here, isn’t it? From your nice old lady friend. How to kill babies. How to kill men? You do belong here. I know what I’ve done. Do you? Do you know what it is… to walk with someone’s body tied around your neck for the rest of your goddamn life? Do you know what that is, little girl? Let me tell you about it. First time is hard. I’m sure you cried a bit, didn’t you? Don’t worry, that’ll pass. Second time is easier. Third time, you don’t blink. Then it’s all just repetition. You don’t cry anymore. You don’t even remember when you used to cry. You’re alive and they’re dead. f*ck ’em. You’ll never get your soul back. Not ever. Do you understand that? Welcome to the night, Vanessa.

Okay, I know he’s just really really upset because he wanted Vanessa to be this pure, good person who had no murder experience and I get that. But come on, Ethan. I mean, I totally get he’s always put on a smile and pretended to be more casual about murder but in fact he’s always felt like he was a part of the darkness Vanessa runs away from. He’s angry at her for not letting him protect her. I just don’t like it when mommy and daddy fight.

See you next recap. Tell me what you think and don’t forget to leave me some love in the comments!

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23 thoughts on “Penny Dreadful 2×7 “Little Scorpion” Photo Recap

  1. Yay, you’re recapping Penny Dreadful again!
    Also, that first line of Sembene’s the one about “becoming”… Sounds like something straight out of Hannibal!

    1. Exactly! I do love finding little parallels between the shows because Hannibal’s about darkness and monsters like Penny Dreadful. Both poetic and beautiful.

    2. Exactly! I do love finding little parallels between the shows because Hannibal’s about darkness and monsters like Penny Dreadful. Both poetic and beautiful.

  2. Ozge is in the house! O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’
    A terrific recap. I was fastening my imaginary seat belt as I sat at my computer screen and before the click I gave out a hearty laugh at just the first panels! “goddammit i’m simba” indeed!
    Oh, this is a beautiful episode and you did great justice to the acting and script. Kudos to the whole Penny Dreadful team. The cinematography is awesome. I try not to get distracted by the technical bits but that fire scene was spectacular and lord knows how they accomplished that whole scene, storm and all. Game of Thrones is always killing off characters so I’ve stopped getting closely attached to many in shows now. But Penny Dreadful has kept our gang around so long I am almost devastated at a loss. I won’t reveal a spoiler here but the first huge causality after Proteus and Van Helsing was traumatic. I’m still reeling.
    I am soooo grateful you are back on Penny Dreadful. I swoon at every frame of the show. And your recaps just emphasize all the profound, special moments that fly by all too quickly. Here’s looking to the next recap. Season Premier tonight!

    1. Thank you so much! So happy you liked it. I can’t watch Game of thrones for the same reason, it gives me anxiety.
      I love the characters on PD so I was heartbroken after the loss of that character. It was simply tragic.

      I’ve missed the show so much. I remembered how much I love it while I was doing this recap. So many emotions, so much beauty, it makes me happy to share it with you all.

    2. Thank you so much! So happy you liked it. I can’t watch Game of thrones for the same reason, it gives me anxiety.
      I love the characters on PD so I was heartbroken after the loss of that character. It was simply tragic.

      I’ve missed the show so much. I remembered how much I love it while I was doing this recap. So many emotions, so much beauty, it makes me happy to share it with you all.

  3. Ahh yay more recapping! Can I just say, it’s obvious from the effort it takes to create this that you love Penny Dreadful – and it’s so delicious that you love it as much or more than me! I love the setting (*drools*those dresses! those coats! horsies!) and the characters are such a delight, subtle and intense AT THE SAME TIME, and the language… ahhh. So nice to keep up with someone who relishes this stuff so much!


  4. Thank you thank you so much for doing this! I was so sad when I didn’t see recaps for the rest of the season. I look forward to your recaps almost as much as the show itself =D

    1. Thank you! I’ll recap the remaining three episodes from season 2 and continue with season 3

    2. Thank you! I’ll recap the remaining three episodes from season 2 and continue with season 3

  5. Thank you for these recaps. I so adore them. So much that tears of helpless laughter are rolling down my face.

  6. Oh, and I just love the scenes you choose to photo recap. You pick out just that right moment of expression in the eyes of the cast members.
    “OK, bye”
    “Yeah, right. Who would do such a thing?”
    “she’s touching me”
    “aww, what a dork” (this should be Vanessa’s signature face whenever she is referenced with Ethan)
    So many, so many moments.
    I do have a favorite. I must have re-watched this episode a dozen times for this one moment. (Thank you hi-def) It is the scene when Ethan comes in for the big smooch with Vanessa. His lips actually QUIVER with excitement. It’s erotic in the moment. Damn, I’m holding my own award show and the only winners are the cast members of this show.

  7. Your recaps are the best. They’re insightful, and also they make me cackle with delight.

    Can’t wait til you get around to the next episode, in particular Lily’s big speech. Probably the best thing I’ve seen on television in a long time.

    1. Agreed. Lily’s speech, and Billie Piper’s extraordinary delivery, go down as one of cable’s finest monologues. The part of Lily/Brona is a dream role Piper.

  8. When you said the show “feels like a love letter to the audience… heartbreaking… beautiful… alluring… hope… darkness…” it resonated with me as this is exactly how I feel about Penny Dreadful too, put into words perfectly.

    I love your PD recaps and enjoy them immensely, thank-you!

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