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Penny Dreadful - S01E05

Horror . Fantasy . Drama

Vanessa recalls her past and the events that ultimately lead to Mina's disappearance.

Episode Title: Closer Than Sisters
Airs: 2014-06-08 at 22:00
  • Hank Stuever

    It’s rare to see a show get its style so right and its story so backwards.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Matt Roush

    Atmospheric and overheated, it's often as lurid and messy as American Horror Story and almost as indulgent and incoherent, with characters from Dracula, Frankenstein, The Picture of Dorian Gray and assorted other legends of yore intersecting in an occultist brew.

    TV Guide Magazine Full Review
  • Willa Paskin

    The results are scattershot. A few of the storylines work beautifully.... But Dorian Gray’s tryst with a tubercular prostitute (Billie Piper) reaches no such heights, delivering the nudity that pay cable customers apparently require, but not much else.

    Slate Full Review
  • Chuck Bowen

    Penny Dreadful is too neat, too tasteful and narcotizing, for a work that's full of diseases and serial killers and classist atrocity; not a single monster, lantern, fog cloud, cobblestone, corset or candle is out of place. This kitsch leaves no marks.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • David Hinckley

    If you enjoy the challenge of doing complex jigsaw puzzles in low light, Penny Dreadful will be your cup of tea. Just make sure it really is tea in the cup.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Tom Gliatto

    As the season goes on, the narrative grip will (one hopes) tighten and grow as richly decadent as the surrounding production--or Eva Green. [26 May 2014, p.39]

    People Weekly Full Review
  • Ellen Gray

    A Victorian monster mash-up that swirls the stories of Frankenstein, Dracula, Dorian Gray and Jack the Ripper into an unsavory, intermittently intriguing stew.

    Philadelphia Daily News Full Review
  • David Hiltbrand

    The production and period values are outstanding, as is the cast, especially Timothy Dalton as famed African explorer Sir Malcolm Murray.... As creator John Logan moves away from the horror by the Thames and more toward the internal demons that haunt his protagonists, Penny veers toward the overwritten and overwrought. But by then, you may well be in for a pound.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Brian Lowry

    Solidly entertaining, well cast and oozing with atmosphere, it’s a shrewd genre stab for the network, albeit by hewing closer to the sort of pulpy terrain to which Starz has, er, staked a claim.

    Variety Full Review
  • James Poniewozik

    Penny Dreadful is, in a good way, reminiscent of a genre-bending graphic novel.

    Time Full Review
  • Matthew Gilbert

    For fans of expertly hammy acting and heated-up supernatural doings, it’s a lot of fun. But if Logan wants to elevate Penny Dreadful from an entertaining and overdone lark to something richer and more thematic, he will need to keep changing things up.... With a bit of clever revisionism and an infusion of our current anxieties into these dated tropes, the show could become something a bit more interesting and dread-filled.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Brian Tallerico

    There’s style, B-movie charm, and a few great performances to be found in the bloody heart of Penny Dreadful. Full Review
  • Rob Owen

    It's weird and different enough to stick with for a little while to see how it develops.

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review
  • Bruce Miller

    Logan has the skills to make it anything but cheap. With a respectful eye on some of the public domain classics, he’s primed for a convention of forces that do more than just go bump in the night.

    Sioux City Journal Full Review
  • David Wiegand

    Even a TV take on the classic Victorian-era penny dreadful has to work to suspend our disbelief, and Showtime's series does that through solid performances by most of the cast, appropriately lurid special effects and a competent, albeit humorless, script.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Jeff Jensen

    It's a Frankenstory made with borrowed bits and recycled parts that could evolve into its own vibrant creation.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Robert Bianco

    Green and Dalton are incredibly entertaining, their world feels fully created, and in Logan, their show is in the hands of a great writer. It's not quite clear yet where he's leading us, but for awhile, at least, consider following.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Alan Sepinwall

    The plot is mostly gibberish.... But the language is wonderful, the performances excellent, and the direction by Bayona so fluid and gorgeous that I found the whole thing a treat even as I quickly lost interest in whatever it is all these people are working together to accomplish.

    Hitfix Full Review
  • Gail Pennington

    Penny Dreadful is great at what it does, and hard-core fans of the genre, those who dismissed “American Horror Story” as too lighthearted, will probably love it.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Mark A. Perigard

    There were moments when I wanted to give up on Penny Dreadful. Then there is the ending of the second episode--a horrific jolt that changes everything you thought you knew about one character--and, well, I can’t wait to see what happens next.

    Boston Herald Full Review
  • Maureen Ryan

    Penny Dreadful's gory moments are deployed strategically, and the adjective that best describes this show is not "bloody" but "soulful."

    The Huffington Post Full Review
  • Tim Goodman

    Logan, who has written each of the eight episodes, and director J.A. Bayona (who cements the overall look and feel of the series) keep things intriguing and fresh, fearful and entertaining. The characters are so vastly different from one another but mix well.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Nancy DeWolf Smith

    Fantastic (as in crazy) though much of this may be, so danger-laden is the misty, smoky air and so claustrophobic are the richly detailed sets that it is difficult to look away.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Mark Dawidziak

    The result is a delightful horror hodgepodge packed with eerie surprises, colorful characters and Gothic plot twists.

    Cleveland Plain Dealer Full Review
  • Tim Molloy

    This is, like Alan Moore's “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” a clever exploitation of characters in the public domain. But creator John Logan's story also thrives on its own. Penny Dreadful is a beguiling examination of that space between life and death.

    The Wrap Full Review
  • Sara Smith

    Penny Dreadful is a smart, self-referential Dracula vs. the Wolf-Man vs. Frankenstein concept delivering the scares, chills and laughs that summer TV needs.

    Kansas City Star Full Review
  • Neil Genzlinger

    Staking out a distinctive place within the genre isn’t easy. Penny Dreadful tries to do so with a combination of literary allusion, fine acting, patience and fearlessness, which, at least for the first two episodes, clicks deliciously.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Matt Zoller Seitz

    This is also a lovingly wrought series. Every frame is intelligently composed, lit, and decorated, every camera move is purposeful and sometimes startling.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Robert Lloyd

    The elegance of its production and mostly measured pace, though it may confound those who prefer the supernatural served fast and furious, keeps the drama persuasive.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Verne Gay

    This John Logan creation promises an intriguing summer pastime, for an eight-week run anyway.

    Newsday Full Review
  • Ed Bark

    Some of its mumbo jumbo may hurt your head, but the last words of Episode 2 are precisely on point. They whet the appetite for more, more.

    Uncle Barky Full Review
  • Vicki Hyman

    The macabre, marvelous Penny Dreadful does nothing halfway. As the saying goes, in for a penny, in for a pound.

    Newark Star-Ledger Full Review
  • Sonia Saraiya

    Penny Dreadful is a surprising show, one that offers both some putrid rotting at the core of London’s soul and a way of going about excavating humanity’s inherent darkness in a different and unexpected way. That is easily worth a penny, and maybe more.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Jeff Korbelik

    What makes Penny click is the chemistry among the characters, especially the psychic and the gunslinger, who end up seducing the viewer with their seductive encounters. They make you forget this is an action show

    The Lincoln Journal Star Full Review
  • Lori Rackl

    The series is artfully shot, superbly acted by Eva Green (“Casino Royale”) and boasts an impressive pedigree (producer Sam Mendes of “Skyfall” and “American Beauty”), but it lacks the compelling quality of the pulpy fiction that spawned its pejorative name.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Tom Long

    For those who crave monsters and gore at any cost, this may do. All others beware.

    The Detroit News Full Review
  • Lily Moayeri

    Overall, it took Once Upon a Time a season to fall flat; Penny Dreadful does that immediately.

    Under The Radar Full Review