Without four episodes left in its third season, Showtime’s ‘Penny Dreadful’ delivers a sensationally solid episode, ‘No Beast So Fierce’, which really begins to shape the rest of the show’s third year, heading to a finale that should be great.
The following review of No Beast So Fierce contains minor spoilers. You’ll be fine to ingest it, even in the past with no antibiotics.
Oh Penny Dreadful, what a cruel bastard you can be. With your elegant set design, pitch perfect production values, and atmospheric tone drenched in dread (No pun intended, but I’ll take it), you always bring me to mu knees. While I simply love the things you’re good at, I just can’t get over your show’s biggest weakness: the hyper-active story thread jumping.
I Don’t Wish To Find Him In History. I Wish To Find Him Now. In London.-Vanessa Ives
Look, I get that this is Penny Dreadful’s cinematic Mo. Before everyone starts saying I don’t get the show; I get Penny Dreadful. The show is telling many different stories at one time, jugging the narratives like a New York side-show act performing for money in hopes of a meal, connecting to one another in such a minuscule way that to call the show connected would be almost be insulting to the word itself .
In No Beast So Fierce, the sixth episode of the Gothic drama’s third season, we get a bumpy outing in the Dreadful canon but one that still delivers. While Fierce does hop, skip, and jump around story threads with frequency, the outing puts enough focus on two pieces of the Dreadful pie to make the episode a needed entry in the season: Ethan Chandler‘s gun slinging saga and, most importantly, Vanessa Ives‘ dance with the one they call Dracula.
In a script by creator John Logan, No Beast So Fierce leans on these two threads to a successful result. In Ives’ case, we get well-executed scenes that pushes Penny Dreadful’s A story, Ives Vs. Dracula, which helps give the show a sense of urgency that it sometimes otherwise lacks. Ives has never been closer to Dr. Sweet here. The closer she gets to the blood hungry beast, the further she gets from safety.
Sarah Greene and Josh Hartnett in ‘Penny Dreadful’-Courtesy of Showtime
In Chandler’s case, his story line always tends to define itself by highly entertaining action-sequences or moments of bloody bluster. It’s this that helps make Ethan’s thread, for my money, one of the more entertaining aspects of Penny Dreadful’s latest.
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With No Beast So Fierce, the show continues the Chandler story line, which was well established in last week’s This World Is Our Hell, and grants us with an on-the-edge-of-your-seat scene in the final moments of Fierce that will both surprise and leave fans hungry for more.
Moreover, the direction is also serviceable in No Beast So Fierce . Directed by Paco Cabezas, It’s not mind-blowing direction throughout, but just when you think No Beast So Fierce is a little formulaic, we get some visual deliriousness. The episode opens with a great shot, the ending showcases great shots and editing, and there’s decent camera-work throughout.
The acting is also stellar and the entire cast brings the goods, with Eva Green standing out,
So, will Ethan make things right with his father? Will Vanessa get closer to finding the true identity of Dracula? Will Dr. Sweet finally get closer to Ives? You’ll have to head over to Showtime to find out.
Paco Cabezas’ No Beast So Fierce is an above average episode of Showtime’s Penny Dreadful. With only three episodes left in Season 3, Fierce begins to nourish the most important parts of Dreadful’s narrative with focus on Ethan Chandler and Vanessa Ives. It’s sure to be one hell to a ride to the bloody end, which will come in the form of the finale, The Blessed Dark.
THE GRADE: B+
Check out a preview of next week’s episode, Ebb Tide, courtesy of Showtime:
Love Penny Dreadful? Did or didn’t enjoy what No Beast So Fierce had to offer? Don’t forget to let us know in the comment section below and remember to tune into Penny Dreadful, every Sunday at 10 pm ET/PT, only on Showtime.