Niviene (niviene) wrote,

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Penny Dreadful series finale

I finally got around to watching the Penny Dreadful series finale which I'd been procrastinating on for many reasons!

So much was said and left unsaid in the finale. It was emotional & heartbreaking. Each character must now find their way after the death (or loss) of someone or something they cared about deeply. Even the Monster cannot avoid this. His is the most tragic yet beautiful story of them all.

The poignant monologue ODE: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood recited by Rory Kinnear who plays John/The Monter at the end said volumes not only in William Wordsworth's words but in the visuals and filming of the scenes accompanying it.

There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparelled in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it hath been of yore;—
Turn wheresoe'er I may,
By night or day.
The things which I have seen I now can see no more

—But there's a Tree, of many, one,
A single field which I have looked upon,
Both of them speak of something that is gone;
The Pansy at my feet
Doth the same tale repeat
Whither is fled the visionary gleam?
Where is it now, the glory and the dream?

This poem alone sums up the entire Penny Dreadful series in its simplicity.

The very last scenes, while the poem is being recited, shows the Monster watching from a distance as Sir Malcolm Murray, Ethan Chandler, Dr. Victor Frankenstein, Dr. Seward, Kaetenay, and Catriona Hartidgen pay their last respects at Vanessa's grave after the funeral then one by one leave. Notably absent is Dorian Gray whose scene prior showed him alone in his mansion after Lily aka Brona leaves him permanently due to the death of Justine.

The last scene we are left with is the the Monster/John alone kneeling at Vanessa's grave. The scene's devoid of vibrant colour, brown decaying leaves scattered about the graveyard, grey tombstones, and crumbling walls surround the cemetery. A bouquet of white calla lilies lay on her grave of freshly dug black earth. Here the symbolism is bountiful in itself. Even the Calla Lilies speak volumes. They are native to South Africa which is where Sir Malcolm spent most of his time prior to returning to London.The flowers represent Vanessa in many ways. Calla Lily means beauty in Greek, it survives frost, is associated with the Virgin Mary, holiness, purity & faith. It also symbolizes youth, resurrection and rebirth, innocence, divinity & devotion. Vanessa has a hard time with her faith and what was happening to her in terms of battling the dark forces and the Calla Lilies represent overcoming challenges which her character constantly faced.

The Monster lays his hand on her grave,his white face and hands in stark contrast are reminiscent of a angel watching over her in many ways. You realize how truly alone he is now - the anguish in his face is almost unbearable. The bowing of his head as he accepts Vanessa's death. Overwhelming painful finale. Standing ovation to the cast, writers & crew! "Both of them speak of something that is gone" truly says it all.
Tags: penny_dreadful, tv
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