Penny Dreadful – Season 2 Trailer Analysis

The first full trailer for Penny Dreadful ’s second season has been released, and judging by the sneak peak this season will be a bloodbath – literally. From new and returning characters to unsettling themes and foreshadowing, here’s a closer look at this dreadfully revealing trailer.

Madame Calli Returns:

So let’s answer the big question right off the bat: the woman in the bath tub. As for where all that blood came from, I don’t nor do I want to; but the woman in the tub is Madame Kali (Helen McCroy) – whom you might remember from Season 1. That’s right, the creepy lady who ran the séance – before Vanessa went all demonic – this is the same woman. We don’t really know much about her aside from her interest in all things dark and spiritual. Though this might be enough information if we take it alongside the first major theme of this trailer: The Past.

You Can’t Escape Your Past:

As the trailer opens, we find Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) asking if the past ever returns, only to get the answer “it never leaves”. Whether it’s Vanessa, Sir Malcolm, Ethan, or any of the other main characters on this show, everyone has done something horrible in their past and are desperately trying to escape it. Last season might have left off with Vanessa and Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton) seemingly putting their pasts behind them; but you can be sure it – or some new transgressions – will return to haunt them some more.

Ethan awakens Penny Dreadful

Picking up almost immediately after Season 1 left off, Ethan awakens from his transformation to see the entire bar slaughtered

Let’s take Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) for example. We never knew what exactly happened back in the Americas that caused him to leave; but just as the Season 1 finale came to a close, he transformed into a vicious werewolf and slaughtered and entire bar full of people. Ethan’s transformation will of course factor a lot into this season, but even Vanessa herself has cause for concern as she refrained from an exorcism feeling that her connection to darkness ‘makes her special’.

These are both serious gambles; but again they’re not alone. Dr Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway) is finding himself back in his workshop trying to revive Brona Croft (Billie Piper) for Caliban/ The Creature (Rory Kinnear). Add in Dorian Gray’s (Reeve Carney) mysterious past and the ever enigmatic yet faithful Sembene (Danny Sapani), and we have an entire cast of people who are coming to terms with their past and trying to walk that line between humanity and monstrosity. Though if one were to fall, would they all?

The Fall:

The closing words of this trailer reveal the second theme as Vanessa says “When Lucifer fell, he did not fall alone”. This is of course a reference to Paradise Lost and when taken with the spiritual hymn the trailer is set to, you can see why this season will focus a lot upon theology and what comes after this life. If there is, are our heroes deserving of such an afterlife? What if one should fall?

Brona Lives!!!!!!!

Brona Lives!!!!!!! I guess Victor’s still got it.

Though Vanessa’s words do more than just suggestion a theological theme for the season, but also a theme of ‘the fall’ and how it applies to the characters. Whether each character will have their own fall or one character’s fall causes the others to follow – however you wish to read that line about Lucifer – we’ll have to wait to see. Though with Madame Kali’s extreme interest in the dark, it’s not too outlandish to think that she could perhaps be the one trying to bring out the hidden darkness in these characters.

New Characters & Interactions:

It’s not a new season without new faces, and this trailer gave us a glimpse at two such new characters. The first is a strange man with part of his face covered burning what appears to be a slash mark. Is this a bounty hunter who’s had a previous run in with were-Ethan? Either that or it’s the Phantom of the Opera . . . okay that could be a possibility as well *sarcasm withdrawn*

We also get a look at a girl feeling Caliban’s face and then painting a scorpion with blood. Judging by her movements it’s a safe assumption that she is blind, which could explain her more receiving tone with Caliban. For all we know this could lead to another romance – though that would cause some problems for the Caliban and revive Brona idea. Additionally, the fact that she’s painting with blood doesn’t tell us much; but considering Madame Kali was literally in a turn of it, PERHAPS there is a connection there – or Victorian London has a Costco for blood.

Penny Dreadful masked

Though it’s not just some new faces this season will bring us, but also interactions between existing characters we’ve yet to see. Despite this being a unified cast, everyone hasn’t actually met each other. In fact, even in the episode “Demimonde“ where all central characters were located within the same theater, not all were actually introduced or visible to the other. In one scene we can just make out what appears to be Vanessa and Caliban dancing – so I guess they’re about to meet.

Though what do you all think about the new trailer? What are you excited to see, and how have you been getting your horror fix these past few months? Sound off in the comments below as we expect the season two premier. Though before that, check out my Season 1 Review with all the character arch and recurring themes explained in full.

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