Rage is a powerful emotion but unchecked it simply becomes utterly destructive. Revenge also filters within this structure. Jealousy as a factor also integrates. But these emotions can cloud facts by simply the changing the words that need to be heard, beyond actually said. Some have clarity. Others want to be led down a different path that perhaps holds a greater light or a sense of satisfaction. While the most previous episode worked to portray a sense of tendency on the part of the series that with would-be bad guys, it is all about opportunity. The battleground as LA in a way as Tiago (as played by Daniel Zuvatto) points to is a breakdown in structure based on those in power and how they are steering their agenda. Everyone wants a piece of the pie. What is important for Tiago versus Sister Molly? is it as simple as happiness? Nothing is because that construct can change over time or in an instant.
In Episode 8 of “Penny Dreadful: City Of Angels” entitled “Hide and Seek,” the more esoteric or existential battle is taking place with Maria, the mother of Tiago in her work as the maid at the house of a German doctor infiltrated by the goddess of darkness in sheep’s clothing. The undeniable fact is that Maria cannot see the devil that is in front of her. It begins to show itself in the spawn of the devil as a metaphor in a rather oblique way. That tendency bathed in a sense of dread can be scarier and watching how it affects another character is quite intense. The burying of a beloved pet is particularly poignant in its silent power. What is interesting in this episode is showing previously almost passive characters changing their angles although one ( the goddess) is just telling someone what they want to hear by slightly changing the facts.
Masks are simply placed on to protect a person from the moment before their true self is revealed. This is shown fairly literally in a diametrically staged alternative club (much different from the earlier swing dancing club). The series has the ability to subvert itself in many ways without showing its hand too much or relying on mythology or the supernatural. There is enough magic in play in real life. The underlying structure is that the goddess is always in control even when she wants people to think that she isn’t. “City Of Angels” is about that balance and the choices that propels the characters either way.
By Tim Wassberg