That last subplot actually gave me one of my favorite images of the series so far:
It feels like shouting "VICTORIANS" just to look at that screencap, doesn't it? That lady in black up front is me during jump scares; the lady on the far left is me when there are bugs.
However, as extras go, they still came in second place to this lady, who was told to sit very still and look downtrodden, and during the entire tracking shot she didn't so much as blink.
That's some excellent backgrounding, madam.
This is all part of the theater subplot that Frankenstein's creature finds himself in, and while at the time it felt much slower than the first two episodes, it's clear we're introducing not only four more subplots, but the themes of reality/unreality, what people see/what they want to see, and all the other things theater subplots provide, and I'm interested to see where the show takes it.
(Right now, those actors are talking about a house party to which backstage crew will not be invited.)
And really (and I'll probably talk about this on io9 some more next week, probably, so bear with me), the slower structure of this week was actually a very Victorian construct in itself. "Let me tell you about my childhood," said the monster, and it was off to a lengthy flashback! Frankenstein got a flashback that explains his fixation on thwarting death but does nothing to excuse the way he treated Caliban, though he continues to feel aggrieved by it in a very Victorian way! (Yes, this particular story pre-dates the Victorian era, but we all know the Victorians love a lengthy flashback.) Ethan finds himself filled with heroic compunction to save the dying Brona from her life on the streets and from consumption! "We must do some seeking," said Vanessa, and boom! Trip to the very Victorian zoo. It's everything the Penny Dreadful title promises, except this week was a break from the gore (unless you count the torn-up corpse of Proteus in Really, the most startling thing about the episode was that someone actually explained something to Josh Hartnett, which I knew had to happen eventually but am still sad to see.
Something I am not sad to see:
Eva Green is side-eyeing Timothy Dalton in this cap; that's some A-level side-eye given her eyes are barely open, but if anyone can do it, she's the one. Someday soon I will have to sit down and map the orbital distance of how much her Over It actually ranges. It's some serious numbers.
Their relationship is so fascinating. Recently-released, spoilery episode photos that suggest certain things about their relationship honestly only ask more questions than they answer, which tends to be a sign of a nicely twisted pair of people:
Surrogate father? Ex husband? Badminton partner? We may never know.
They have exchanged all of a few dozen words, but they are constantly glancing at each other to assess things, and I love it. Whether it was the intention from the outset or Eva Green and Timothy Dalton got together and decided they were going to make eye contact every seventeen seconds no matter what, it's working out.
Of course, this is barely scratching the surface of Dr. Frankenstein and the No-Good Very Bad Day, so for the whole thing, head over to io9!