‘Penny Dreadful’: ‘The Blessed Dark’ Is True Blessing To Fans


After an above average first part, Showtime concludes Penny Dreadful’s two-part third season finale in epic fashion with a jaw-dropping episode that every ‘Dreadful’ fan will devour like flesh to Dracula in ‘The Blessed Dark’.

The following review of The Blessed Dark contains major spoilers. Do not read, I repeat do not read, before you check out Penny Dreadful’s final episode. Enjoy you Gothic Gremlins.


So it all comes down to this Penny Posse. The fight for existence will be waged on the street of London.

If you’ve been keeping up with Showtime’s arguably uneven Penny Dreadful, you’ll no doubt know Dracula now has his leading lady, Vanessa Ives, and that Ethan Chandler is howling to save her. In The Blessed Dark, it all comes to a head. After the first part of the two-part finale, the stage was set for the epic showdown. And boy is that what we get.

So he comes for me…The Wolf of God-Dracula

Written by series creator John Logan, who wrote every episode of the Showtime Gothic drama, The Blessed Dark is so freaking stellar when it works.

Featuring more plot scenes than in any other episode of Season 3 (ones involving Dracula/Ives), the moments which involve plot are so good they make the character-driven scenes laughable (The Monster specifically, the Gray stuff is way better though it’s also character-driven ). This is how Penny Dreadful should’ve been all along. This is why plot-driven storytelling is truly the only kind that works.

Not only is The Blessed Dark sharply written, showcasing amazing dialog throughout and giving almost each character both more singular personalities and relatable qualities, it’s an action pack thrill ride.

What helps put you on the edge of you seat, other than the great direction, is Logan’s organic way in which he begins to fuse other characters into the Dracula plot. Now Dr.Seward is with the gang, and with Dr. Frankenstien also joining in on the fun, we get an absolutely amazing last 20 minutes of Penny Dreadful. When the gang is fighting Dracula, it’s the best the Gothic drama has ever been.

Josh Hartnett and Eva Green in ‘Penny Dreadful’-Courtesy of Showtime

Also, it must be said, the last moments of the The Blessed Dark are emotional, chilling, and mind bowling. The scene between Ethan and Vanessa, a touching reunion which will bring you close to tears, is so amazing that it’s almost too hard to put into words. The outcome is insane, and through the great key strokes of John Logan, we get a symbolic message about the needed balences between good and evil. Sacrifice is both the ultimate gift and the most noble of actions

Furthermore, the direction is great in The Blessed Dark. Directed by Paco Cabezas, who also directed three other episodes in Dreadful’s third season, The Blessed Dark features better direction than Perpetual Night and stands as the second best directed episode of the season. No joke, this stuff is truly beautiful.

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The great direction includes, but isn’t limited to, a great establishing shot featuring Dracula (starting on a crawling creature and moving up to Dracula), an amazingly composed shot with Dorian Gray in the foreground and Lily in the background, a nice pullback also featuring Gray (camera pulling through the door frame), another background/foreground shot featuring Hyde and Frankenstein, and a brilliant ceiling shot featuring Dracula fighting our rag tag group of Fear Fighters. There are many more examples and you’ll no doubt be impressed with the direction by Cabezas.

As for the acting, The Blessed Dark is a magnificently performed entry in the Penny Dreadful canon.

Without a doubt, Josh Hartnett is the standout actor in the last-ever episode of Penny Dreadful. The actor, who got his screen start in Steve Miner’s Halloween: H20  staring opposite Jamie Lee Curtis, Hartnett has many scenes any actor would be proud of here. He’s best in the scene where he finds out the origin of his illness and in the moments with Ives. I loved seeing the often over-looked actor doing what he does.

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In fact, every actor is doing amazing work in The Blessed Dark. Eva Green has little screen time, but makes the most of it with a touching moment with Ethan. Christian Camargo is as great as ever as Dracula with a poised, ever so disciplined, performance.


Paco Cabezas’ The Blessed Dark is a brilliant last entry of Penny Dreadful. Featuring few character moments than in any other episode of Season 3, Dark works extremely well when it works. It’s an episode the Penny Posse deserved and a remarkable sent off for the Gothic drama. I for one am not only proud to have reviewed it, but also to just have seen it as well. It’s one of the best finales ever and I’m more than happy to report, we’ll be talking about it for years to come.


Check out a behind the scenes look at Penny Dreadful and let’s all keep the series alive:

Love Penny Dreadful? Did or didn’t enjoy what Perpetual Night had to offer? Don’t forget to let us know in the comment section below what you thought of Dreadful’s last ever episode.