Sin. So much of Penny Dreadful, the original recipe version anyway, was about sin. Vanessa Ives felt she was damned for her indulgence in sin, which was partially because she was the object of affection by the actual Devil, and it was also partially because of her Catholic guilt. City of Angels has yet to marinate too much on sin, but it seemed inevitable that we would return to the theme at some point, and that point was the third episode. In the very busy “Wicked Old World,” some sins were revealed, some sins were indulged, and some characters had to find a way to make peace with that.
It was an especially big week for Magda who appeared in all three of her previously revealed personalities, and she added a fourth. This week we met Rio, a Spanish woman born in Mexico City but raised in L.A. who is still somehow the leader of the Latino gangs in the city. Typical Magda though, she’s using her position to promote strife and chaos by getting young Mateo Vega and his new friend Rico riled up about their treatment after the police broke up what looked like a fun night of dancing at the Crimson Cat. With the Latino kids, Magda/Rio sows pride, envy, and wrath.
“In the very busy “Wicked Old World,” some sins were revealed, some sins were indulged, and some characters had to find a way to make peace with that.”
Meanwhile, Magda in the form of Elsa continues to sow lust with Dr. Craft, who cancels all his appointments when Elsa doesn’t show up for hers so that he can go to her house to find her. Not much happens with the Craft story this week aside the fact that he makes a move on Elsa, and she seems willing, but this is such a weird piece to Magda‘s plan, isn’t it? So far there’s been no tie between Craft and the Vegas, and aside from the fact that Craft is an obvious Nazi enthusiast, he seems to have no role with the actual Nazis turning political wheels in L.A.
Speaking of political wheels, Councillor Townsend continues to try and get his political ambitions back on track with Magda’s help in her Alex form. She tries to rein in the councillor’s gluttony with a reminder to eat healthy at his dinner with the Nazis, and she advises him to lose his pride by not getting smart with the people generously offering to fund his mayoral run under the table. When things go bad with the Nazis, Townsend tries to soothe himself by indulging in lust with a male street hustler, while Magda marches off in wrath knowing her boss might have screwed up her plans and he doesn’t seem to care.
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Detective Michener also indulged in a bit of wrath as he tried to get answers about what happened to his two friends who were following Nazi officials into the L.A. hills when they were shot and forced off a cliff face in their car. Picking up where they left off, Michener took a young Nazi collaborator, a student at CalTech, for a ride to get some dirt on what the Third Reich is up to in Los Angeles, and after a broken nose, some missing teeth, and a threat to go over the cliff, Michener got a pretty famous name: Wernher von Braun.
Of course, von Braun wouldn’t be well known until years after the war as one of the key scientists responsible for the U.S. space program, but during the war he was the leader of the team that developed Hitler’s “vengeance weapons”, also known as the V1 and V2 rockets that leveled London. It’s hard to imagine a more important scientist to the Nazis’ strategic goals, and there was an American scientist named Robert Goddard who accused von Braun of using his research to develop the German rockets. Might spying on American scientists at CalTech be part of the Nazis California plan?
Somehow, Michener even had time to find a break in the original case, the murder of the Haslet family. In one of the ledgers he took from the church, our veteran detective discovers that while Mr. Haslet didn’t steal funds per se (greed), he was keeping a lover’s nest (lust again) with none other than Sister Molly. It will be up to Detective Vega to follow-up as Michener takes time off to bury his friends, which puts Tiago in a difficult position because he’s seriously fallen under Molly‘s spell after spending a day with her at the pier.
Sister Molly doesn’t naturally come across as a serial philanderer, but she does seem to have an overwhelming need to escape her mother, and the various demands of being a religious cash cow. Perhaps she attaches herself to anyone that can offer her a way out, and who can blame her when she comes back from a day at the pier to find her mother waiting for her, sitting in the dark, and singing the Popeye theme song. It’s clear that Molly lives in some kind of fear of her mother, but is her mother bad enough to kill a man’s entire family for having an affair with her daughter? Now that’s wrath!
“The biggest mystery not answered this week is what fate awaits Raul Vega?”
The biggest mystery not answered this week is what fate awaits Raul Vega? Santa Muerte brought him back from the brink of death, and he seems unchanged, and somehow understanding of the fact that his brother shot him even though he doesn’t remember why or anything else from the riot. There’s no way that’s going to keep, and you know that he was brought back for a reason, but is it possible that seeing as how Magda is recruiting one Vega brother, might Santa Muerte be claiming the other? And if that’s so, where does that leave Tiago, aside from being in the middle as always?
What are your thoughts on Penny Dreadful: City of Angels? Excited to see where the rest of this season is going to take you? Revisit your favourite moments of the new season, or refresh yourself on recent episodes HERE and be sure to let us know all your thoughts on the glitz, the glamour, and the gods of Penny Dreadful: City of Angels over on Twitter, in the Nightmare on Film Street Subreddit, and on Facebook in the Horror Movie Fiend Club.