In Review: Penny Dreadful – A Blade Of Grass

Vanessa convinces Dr. Seward to use hypnosis to take her back in time.

Synopsis: In this weeks ‘Penny Dreadful’ Vanessa convinces Dr. Seward to use hypnosis to take her back in time.

Review: This episode of ‘Penny Dreadful’ focuses mostly on Vanessa’s back story and takes place in the insane asylum where she met Dracula.

The story sees Vanessa hypnotized to a point where she has gone into a fugue state so she can traverse through her time in the asylum and connect to when she first encountered both Dracula and Lucifer.

Vanessa forms a beautiful relationship with the orderly (John Clare) who helps her through some of the dreadful treatment she is subjected to. But both Lucifer and Dracula use the orderly in order to manifest themselves.

Throughout the story the orderly brushes Vanessa’s hair and talks with her, which keeps her grounded and reminds her of her humanity. It’s both beautiful and sad and extremely well acted.

Dr. Seward also steps in and out of Vanessa’s hypnotic state in order to help her through certain parts, but it’s mostly Vanessa and the orderly.

The acting in this episode was superb. Both Eva Green and Rory Kinnear bring their best performances to the table. If this episode of ‘Penny Dreadful’ were a movie. I’d be nominating both Green and Kinnear for academy awards. Their performances were so good. Vanessa’s monologue, which banishes the demons was fantastic. 

Even when the orderly was trying to warn Vanessa about the dreadful treatment that lays ahead you were gripped. Also Kinnear handling the task of technically playing three roles as the orderly, Dracula and Lucifer was very very well done.

Special mention should also go to composer Abel Korzeniowski whose musical choices for the story beats throughout were really well done.

For my money this has to be the best episode of the season thus far. I can’t wait until next weeks instalment to see where all this is going to go. I also can’t wait to see what event will reunite Vanessa with the rest of the main cast.



Penny Dreadful - A Blade Of Grass
  • Story
  • Acting
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
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