U know what still bothers me about the penny dreadful finale is they turned Vanessa into a helpless damsel all the way to her grave. That gave into the darkness after fighting so damn hard, she just gives in? Why? Cos Ethan isn't there to stop her? She went to confirm Dracula she was angry, she was going to fight and then nothing. Same with Lilly, Frankenstein changes her by kidnapping her and Dorian helps not just that but kills her friend and she did nothing? Why? Because Frankenstein (1/2)
(2/2) helped her see her violence and anger was pointless? Idk, the show runners made these strong women all of a sudden dependent on the men when they weren’t before. Yes, Ethan helped Vanessa the first time but the rest was all her helping herself. So how do they justify it? Sorry, that made me angry, eneveryone had closure except Vanessa & Lilly. Even John had some kind of closure. They did them truly truly wrong. If she was gonna die all along why couldn’t she die fighting? :/
Hey, I completely understand your anger and i agree with you. But consider this, maybe the answer to all of your questions is because the show was written by a man. I know this may sound harsh but i always end up in the same exact conclusion which makes me really sad.
You would say, 2016 male writers would know how to write female characters but i guess, in most cases, this is very difficult. Yes, in PD case they have created some powerful women (i was so happy seeing them!), women who can hold their own but at the final season we end up seeing a very familiar pattern. As powerful as a woman can be, as free in many ways as she wants to be, she will always have to be around men to save her, fix her, control her. Because the power, the independence, the freedom of the body and soul women want (you know the things most men have given!!) is something a man will never understand.
Gothic literature** at its birth shows us exactly this. Women created by men are mostly naive, powerless, pure in body and soul. The “perfect woman” for a close-minded, mysogynist society.
After Vanessa gave in to Dracula and into the dark side, i felt a bit betrayed mostly because i sat down and watched for 3 years a tortured woman who was only looking for salvation, a liberated, good soul who was ready to help everyone, being dragged into darkness so willingly and easy that’d made me question a lot things. Did her previous torments meant nothing? Did her momentarily reliefs from her pain made her forget her demons? Why after all the fighting she gave up so easily? Maybe the show had more levels that i am not aware of… Maybe her end was after all her happy ending…
Maybe the writers wanted yet an other tragic female figure to sacrifice. Τhe end aside for making me cry my eyes out, made me also very angry for many reasons. One of them was seeing a very testosteron-y funeral for Vanessa. Everyone was there, damaged from her lose, sure, but alive and yet Vanessa after all the struggle and the pain, she was lying there free (i suppose!) but dead. To me, season 3 seemed so rushed.. So rushed to end soo many potentials… Or maybe i have very high expectations from everything i invest on…
But in general and for me, Penny Dreadful had it all. It took major taboos from the human history and made them normal, it created so many beautiful characters and so many different roles. The darkness and the macabre, the sexuality and the romance, the science and the religion!!! It was such a promising show.
** Now, i am not an expert on Gothic literature but let’s take this a few centuries back since i’ve mentioned that above.
Women seem to always take a backseat when men receive the front role into a story. Women end up being the holy trophy, the tragic figure, the maiden, the dream, the virgin, the ideal, pure, untouched woman for the main character, for the man. We read classic gothic literature and we can somehow understand the times these pieces were written - at least at its earliest beginnings as a literature genre. Then as years go by, we read novels with more liberated women embracing their sexuality and then we understand that a literature genre can not stay still while centuries and ideas move forward. You know who created these women? Women writers.. That is why maybe a well written woman can only stand if she comes from a woman writer… But of course, that is only my opinion!! :)