Love is in the air on Penny Dreadful with “Above the Vaulted Sky.” The love is unlike anything you’ll find on a Hallmark card, though. There are some genuinely sweet moments, but it is mostly weird, dark and nauseatingly horrifying, much like Penny Dreadful itself.

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The Aftermath of the Attack

One insanely creepy doll sequence wasn’t enough for Penny Dreadful and “Above the Vaulted Sky” opens on another. It is revealed that the hair the witches stole from Vanessa was to be weaved into their terrifying Vanessa voodoo doll. While Hecate performs the spell on the Vanessa doll, Evelyn is working on her own doll, which is made in the image of Malcolm’s wife, Gladys. Evelyn cracks the doll’s head open, revealing a very real brain. She proceeds to stick hot knitting needles into it. Gladys is seen waking up in extreme pain, clutching her head.

At the manor, no one knows of Gladys yet and they are still recovering from their attack. Ethan calms everyone down with a “lovely” story about the time he annihilated a tribe of Native Americans. He tells everyone they need to prepare for next time and they can’t be so easily overtaken.

While the house appears to be adequately protected, there’s nothing to save Vanessa from her nightmares. All this while being chased by vampires and the Devil is taking an emotional toll. She sleeps in Ethan’s room to feel safer. 

Lily Denies John

While Vanessa and Ethan are continuing to develop their bond, the relationship between Frankenstein and monster is continuing to be complicated. Caliban, or John as he now goes by, wants to see Lily. Lily is less than enthused about the meeting. John tries to tell her a sweet story about their non-existent former relationship, but Lily tells him she can’t be anything more than friends. Victor, who is listening just out of sight, is pleased by the information.

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Awkward Meetings

Ethan runs into the detective that’s been investigating the inn massacre. The detective introduces himself as Bartholomew Rusk. So there goes the Holmes theory, but he is from Scotland Yard. Rusk suspects that Ethan is responsible because who wouldn’t? But he has nothing other than reckless speculation to base it on. After they part ways, Rusk’s lackey tries to tail Ethan back to the manor, but he ducks them.

Vanessa has lunch with Victor and Lily until it becomes painfully obvious she is the third wheel. She graciously excuses herself. She watches with a hint of a smile as the former corpse and her creator make googly eyes at each other. It’s almost sweet, if it wasn’t so messed-up. 

Vanessa goes to the cholera clinic where she first met John and sees him again. They talk about love and poetry. John tells Vanessa about how hopeless he is in trying to win the affections of a woman he just met. He doesn’t even know how to dance. Vanessa tells him that she can help there and teaches him. There is no qualification needed here; this is absolutely adorable. 

Can You See the Love Tonight?

Angelique and Dorian are out at an opera and she is confronted by a former acquaintance who was not too happy when he discovered that she’s transgender. He spits on her and Dorian rushes Angelique out of harm’s way. At the same opera house, Malcolm is attending with Evelyn. She pricks his finger with her evil ring and it causes an uncontrollable passion within him. It’s like Sleeping Beauty but with a lot of sex.

And there’s a lot of sex in the final moments of this episode. Malcolm and Evelyn, Dorian and Angelique, and even Victor and Lily make that sweet, sweet love together. Though sweetness is in the eye of the beholder because Victor and Lily are Victor and Lily and Evelyn is every kind of evil. So I guess only Dorian and Angelique are making that sweet, sweet love.

Don’t feel too go about that because while this is all going down, Gladys is losing her mind because of the intense pain. She begins to see the bodies of her children rising from the grave ready to claim her. As they get nearer, Gladys slits her throat, killing herself. 

Let’s not forget the other moment involving Ethan. Ethan meets Vanessa — or, at the very least, someone who looks like Vanessa — in the stairway of the manor. They have an intense moment of eye contact before Vanessa, or “Vanessa,” silently walks away. This all begs an obvious question.

Penny Dreadful airs Sundays at 10pm on Showtime.

(Image courtesy of Showtime)

Derek Stauffer

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Derek is a Philadelphia based writer and unabashed TV and comic book junkie. The time he doesn’t spend over analyzing all things nerdy he is working on his resume to be the liaison to the Justice League.