New Show Recap: Penny Dreadful 2×02, “Verbis Diablo”

Vanessa is alone in her room after the witches appear to her. After some time, she goes to Sir Malcolm to tell him about what happened. Vanessa is upset because she believes the witches are threatening not only her, but the people she loves. Sir Malcolm assures her he will help her fight whatever opponent they are facing.

Caliban is trying to start a conversation with the newly resurrected Brona. He is overcome with emotion because now he finally has a bride and someone with whom he can share his life. Victor warns him that he will need to teach Brona everything about being human all over again and that Brona might begin to remember bits and pieces of her last life. Caliban leaves the laboratory and Victor is alone with Brona. Victor tells her his name, but his touches linger too much. Brona now speaks with the accent of an educated woman and she has no memory of her previous life. Victor tells her that she is his cousin and that her name is Lily. As Lily weeps in his arms, he promises to show her the world. As he dyes Brona’s hair, he fabricates stories about their childhood together, which are reminiscent of Victor’s relationship with his cousin Elizabeth in Shelley’s novel. Lily asks about Caliban, and Victor tells her that she is to marry Caliban, but he won’t give an answer when she asks him whether or not she loves Caliban.

Malcolm takes Vanessa to a charity hospital where many of the patients, who are poor, are dying of cholera. He hopes that the work Vanessa does there alongside him will help her to find a kind of peace. Vanessa finds Caliban in the hospital reading poetry and, thinking he is a patient, offers him some soup. The two bond over their love of poetry, especially Wordsworth, and their struggles with faith. Caliban, speaking much like the romantic poets, sees the wonders of heaven in the world around him and urges Vanessa to do the same. Before Vanessa leaves to tend to other patients, she tells Caliban he has beautiful eyes.

Inspector Rusk visits the survivor of the massacre at the inn in the hospital. The survivor’s body has more or less been torn to shreds and he is covered in bandages. Inspector Rusk tells the survivor, Mr. Roper, that he wishes to help find who assaulted him.

Dorian is sitting in a cafe, mulling over Vanessa’s picture. A young woman approaches him and asks who the woman in the picture is. He is intrigued by her boldness, and she introduces herself as Angelique. She propositions Dorian, but he declines, and she gives him the address of where she works should he change his mind. It seems that Angelique is a prostitute in a brothel. And that is indeed the case, as we see when Dorian takes Angelique up on her offer of company! And there’s more to Angelique than meets the eye, as she’s really a he.

Malcolm sees Evelyn Poole (Madame Kali) in a local shop while looking for a gift for Vanessa. Evelyn herself is looking for a gift. Evelyn asks for his help in looking for perfume, and they smell several scents. She is able to get close enough to him to whisper an incantation into his ear. What has she done?

Professor Lyle comes to dine at Sir Malcolm’s. Malcolm seeks Professor Lyle’s help as an expert in the field of dead languages. Professor Lyle states that the Verbis Diablo is a language older than Aramaic and that it has not been spoken in some time. There are relics with writing in the language in the British Museum, recorded by a medieval monk who was possessed by demons. Vanessa asks what happened to the monk. Professor Lyle replied that the monk was locked away as a madman, but was later burned at the stake because the Church figured out that he was possessed by the devil.

Malcolm and Evelyn go shooting together, and they are both crack shots. Evelyn pumps Malcolm for information about his personal life, and he confides to her that he and his wife are estranged.

A young woman appears to be waiting for someone in the street. When a young couple with a baby passes her, she follows them to the train station. She boards the train at the same time they do, and she makes sure to be alone in one of the cars with them. It turns out that it’s Hecate, one of Evelyn’s acolytes, and she kills both of the parents and looms menacingly over the screaming baby.

Ethan and Professor Lyle go to the British Museum to get the relics. Ethan finds an old wooden shield with a Latin saying: the wolves will protect. Professor Lyle explains that it is most likely a reference to wolves as spiritual totems. Once they return to the Murray house, they inspect the relics. There’s not only inscriptions in the Verbis Diablo language on the relics, but also Latin, which Ethan is able to translate.

Caliban returns to the laboratory to find Victor and Lily there. Lily’s hair is now dyed blonde so that no one from her previous life will recognize her. She doesn’t remember Caliban, and Victor introduces them.

Later, we see Professor Lyle at Evelyn Poole’s manor house. It turns out that Professor Lyle became involved with the witches because he was an amateur occultist. Professor Lyle insists that Malcolm and the others know nothing. He doesn’t have much information about Ethan; he assumes that Ethan is an uncomplicated man. Hecate returns with a carpetbag in her hand, and Evelyn takes it to a chamber in the cellar. The chamber is filled with hundreds of life-size doll figures, no doubt used in Evelyn’s spells. The dead baby is an ingredient in the spell. Evelyn is making a life-size doll in Vanessa’s likeness. She casts a spell to injure the doll, and we see Vanessa gasp in pain.

And that’s it for Penny Dreadful this week! Just what exactly is the nature of Ethan’s werewolf curse? What does Madame Kali/Evelyn Poole have in mind for Vanessa? And what will come of the whole Victor/Lily/Caliban triangle?

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