By Brian Ives
So, who are those witches anyway? You know, the ones who have been haunting, and hunting, Miss Vanessa Ives on Penny Dreadful this season? And what’s the deal with Evelyn Poole? Who is she really? You know, other than someone who holds seances, gives people their walking papers via throat slitting, bathes in blood, and puts the innards of dead infants into creepy looking puppets (including one that looks just like Miss Ives).
This week’s episode starts with Mr. Ethan Chandler in Miss Ives’ room, without her. He can’t help but to notice the rendering of a scorpion on the floor. And also, it’s drawn in blood. So, when Miss Ives walks in, he’s all, “Hey…. what’s that about?”
Miss Ives, still in “This is a battle I must fight alone” mode, says, “It’s no concern of yours.” Of course, she soon changes her tune.
She notes that she’s never told anyone this story. “It all began, several years ago…” she says. “And far from here, in the moors of the west country. She was the first witch I ever met.”
We see Miss Ives waiting to enter the front yard of a creepy looking house in the middle of nowhere. The woman who lives there (played by guest star Patti LuPone) watches her, and taunts her, but doesn’t invite her in for hours, or maybe days; an invisible force seems to prevent Miss Ives from walking through the front gate. Eventually the woman lets Miss Ives in, and expects that she is there for an abortion; Miss Ives replies that she’s not.
“You’re strong willed and agile,” the woman tells her. “Like the scorpion.” She knows that Miss Ives is something more than human, and soon lets her into her abode. “Leave everything you were outside this door. Everything you are, bring with you.”