Genevieve Valentine (glvalentine) wrote,
Genevieve Valentine

Penny Dreadful: "Night Work"

My Penny Dreadful watch has begun over at io9! The recap of "Night Work" is up now for everyone who wants to talk about how little anyone cares about Ethan Chandler, how much everyone has committed to their portentous foreshadowing, how many gallons of syrup blood and fake corpse parts are scattered across the land, and how much the last few minutes were startlingly, effectively earnest.

It was interesting, on a rewatch, what's established when and how it all unfolds over the course of the episode. And more than just dialogue (the dialogue doesn't reveal much in this episode except that vampires exist and some of them have hieroglyphics inside, which is not a lot, empirically speaking). There are almost always tidy visual cues going on to enhance mood and character. Some work very well; we meet Vanessa as she's creepy-praying, and one of our immediate questions is how she looks out in the world.

Answered. Poised, but still just as uncanny as we already know she is. (I'm so glad Eva Green has found the right home for her laser eyes.)

Some visual cues are...less subtle.

SEE THE COW HORNS? HE'S AMERICAN. I do like the mirror on the left, though; his reflection is nicely warped.

It's also a pretty obvious declaration of the power dynamic at play. She has all of it, and is the unknown quantity. He's reluctant and hiding something. (Stoically reluctant but frownily unconvinced is always the thing Josh Hartnett has been best at, and I'm glad he's found a home as suited for it as Eva Green's laser eyes are suited for her. Casting a show like this has to be a bear, and so far everyone has been on point even though casting Supercampy Museum Guy and casting Victor Frankenstein might as well be casting two different shows. Well done, show.)

And while we're at it, even the credits are pretty nice. (We're living in a Golden Age of credit sequences. Their relative series are of dubious merit, but there are some lovely credits floating around these days.)

Next week: Séance! Uncomfortable chairs for everybody!
Tags: io9, penny dreadful, recaps, tv
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