Previously in Penny Dreadful: The Awakening #2.7
We left last issue with the Dreadfuls—or at least Ethan, Victor, Catriona, and their captive Renfield—plummeting off the bridge in a carriage. While they try to get out of the sinking carriage, the winged demon grabs Catriona and Ethan struggles to save her. He’s shocked to see Malcolm’s shade rescue her, manhandling the demon temporarily into chains (it escapes later). Once on land, Catriona declines to explain to the WEREWOLF that ghosts exist as well as Lucifer, demons, and Dracula, even after he has seen all of the above with his own eyeballs. I guess that would just be a step too far. As for Malcolm’s ghost swimming to the depths and detaining a demon with chains, you may be wondering if I literally can’t even, and in that case you will be pleased to know that I cannot.
Dorian had previously run off with Lily from the hospital. Back at his estate, he uses their alone time to lament his immortality and shows her the painting, explaining his pact with the devil. He wants her help in ending his suffering. Dancing with her a final time in his portrait hall, he relates an allegory called de tribus regibus mortuis (“the three living and the three dead”) often depicted in murals, essentially all must die, except him, until now. He thanks her, and both Dorian and the painting go up in flames. Other than accompanying him to play hooky from Lucifer’s commands, it’s unclear how Lily “helped” him reach such a momentous event, so this is one of my least favorite parts of this issue—a fairly unceremonious end for Dorian Gray. However, it was beautiful and very show-like for him to refer to the danse macabre and to have achieved a kind of peace by repenting his collusion with the devil. At the least, it is an interesting twist on his literary death.
Renfield credits Hyde for curing his bloodthirst and blames Catriona for Dracula abandoning him so he refuses to help, citing his treatment by the world as enough for it to deserve eternal punishment. Victor almost reaches him, offering membership in the Dreadfuls as a touchstone to humanity, but they’re interrupted by more demons and witches, igniting a battle while Victor extracts Dracula’s current locale, a Scottish island named Marbh Beo. After that, Renfield sacrifices himself so Victor can escape, but he and Catriona are overwhelmed. Luckily, Kaetenay’s werewolves appear to save the day.
Ethan transforms to destroy all but one witch, who promises to take him to Vanessa. She emerges from a mirror and begs him to be with her. He thinks about this zero seconds, nor does he ever consider this might be a trap. After they make love, she thanks him for making her the Mother of Evil, because now she can give birth to the Anti-Christ. Talk about morning after regrets. The Lucifer art is kind of amazing, no?