IR TV Review: PENNY DREADFUL – CITY OF ANGELS – EPISODE 7 (“Maria And The Beast”) [Showtime]

The attentiveness of temptation but also resolve plays heavily into Episode 7 of “Penny Dreadful: City Of Angels” entitled “Maria And The Beast”. The idea that plays is whether one gives into temptation and follows its path or rebels against it in terms of a sense of self. After the progression of self hatred overtakes Tiago (played by Daniel Zuvatto), he realizes that he is encompassed in sin. However he might not see Sister Molly as a transgression but rather a haven. The focus of this episode as an epicenter is rather in certain way is Maria, the mother of all the boys at a cross roads who seems interconnected to all the stories. It is almost as if they are the disciples in many ways whether it be Paul or Peter or even Judas. The daughter is an interesting addition as he is neither Mary Magndalene or the Virgin Mary but somewhee in between. The build contines to work in the Goddess Of Darkness. What is interesting to see as the series goes on is the modulation of Dormer in her different roles and to which point it has to be used. Every one of the characters she plays has such a distinctly different ideas but with the same MO: destruction. Maria’s visions and an eventual reckoning at times with “The Beast” speaks again to religioius iconography: what is for the greater good. With Tiago especially with the actions of his partner (played by Nathan Lane) in the last episode, the narrative shows that there is almost no line when it comes to survival between teh two sides of the coin. The question becomes one of loss of the soul for Tiago which is an abstract concept anyway. Is there redemption?

What is interesting specifically is a scene with Mateo as it almost needs to work the way he sees it and, as a result,e he loses. Some of these characters are looking for escape or redemption but they seem to think it has to look one specific way and therefore are not open to compromise or the coast is too high. As a result they go further down that hole. The story that Lane tells in the car to Tiago is powerful and works because we can see the structure and strategy that is going on just off screen. There is a path from which there is no return. Now whether this plays into an idea in the series of an alternate reality or simply a story of caution remains to be seen. The subtle dagger especially in the house of the German doctor is disconcerting since it is not clear what the game plan is or if it is simply to incite to riot in the guise of comfort. All the characters Dormer plays seem to e aware of slight chinks where she could be defeated. The question becomes is she looking for the good in humanity where she could be proven wrong or counting on that fact that her sister Sante Muerte has lost her ability to be compassionate completely in the face of death. Time shall show.


By Tim Wassberg

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