They didn't waste any time getting new characters into the show this season.
When we ended last season, the main group of hardy evil fighters were scattered almost to the four corners of the globe. We find the sultry Miss Ives languishing in Sir Malcolm's mansion, now covered in dust and spiderwebs, living like an animal -- unwashed, eating off the floor, piles of filthy dishes piled around the kitchen and such. She is visited by the extravagant Ferdinand Lyle, who entreats her to visit a psychologist who had helped him in his own time of darkness. The appointment is made with Dr. Seward, yes that Dr. Seward, except the good doctor is now a woman played with butchy severity by Patti LuPone.
Miss Ives arrives at the office and is greeted by the doctor's receptionist, wait for it . . . Mr. Renfield. So I think you know where all this will be headed.
I've said before that I prefer when Miss Ives is a dominant, powerful entity, but Eva Green has a wonderful ability to play the tragic, haunted look to perfection and she's on full point here. Her mousey quivering is quickly upbraded by Dr. Seward and after another instance of current cinematic and literary laziness where the Dr. instantly and without any prior knowledge of the subject displays searing insight and deduction into the minutia of Miss Ives situation. That dressing down brings out a bit of the old Miss Ives and she responds with a bit of jarring insight about the doctor as well. They agree to begin regular visits to probe Miss Ives situation.
Sir Malcolm, meanwhile, is in Africa returning the body of his slain man servant Sembene to his native homeland. Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton), having lost his family and all around him whom he cares for is exhausted with life and finds that the romance of the so-called undiscovered continent to be long gone. Replaced by a filthy dirty land filled with corrupt foreigners and savage locals. He has nothing left to motivate him. Leaving a tavern, Sir Malcolm is attacked by some locals and during the brawl, he is aided by a mysterious man. Kaetenay, played by Wes Studi, is an American Indian and needs Sir Malcolm's help.
Kaeteney is Ethan Chandler's father, not perhaps his biological father, more likely a spirit father. But Chandler is currently being returned to somewhere in the American west to stand trial for a series of murders he committed that caused him to flee to England in the first place.
After a bit of soul searching and convincing, the men depart for the U.S. to rescue Ethan who's having a bit of a time himself.
Ethan (Josh Hartnett) is in chains and riding on a train full of private detectives as the annoyingly smug Inspector Rusk returns him to hang for his crimes. But the rest of the train appears to be full of men hired by Ethan's real father to return him to his home. And there's also one of the witches from last season who apparently escaped the slaughter that ended last season's storylines.
The hired men kill most of the detectives, not the inspector of course and drag Ethan off to meet his father. In the previews for next week's (this Sunday's actually) episode, Chandler's father looks to be played by Brian Cox, so this could get fun.
And speaking of Indians, we find Dr. Frankenstein is also living low, tormented by what's become of his creations. Mainlining narcotics, the doctor is a jittery filthy mess when he is visited by a stunningly handsome Indian (as in India) man. The man is Victor's friend from their med school days and desperate to stop Brona Croft and Dorian Grey from unleashing some sort of immortal reign of terror upon London, Dr. Frankenstein has reached to his old friend who had murderous impulses of his own back in the day.
But his talented chemist friend has conquered his demons, maybe, and is not willing to just kill to help his old school chum. Victor's friend, now a doctor himself, offers another kind of help. Dr. Jekyl (dragged that out as long as I could) promises that he can tame the beast, so to speak, within Brona (Lily) and give Victor the compliant love interest that he had hoped for when he created her. The entire sequence where Jekyl convinces Frankenstein to let him help is seductive on multiple levels. And given the current state of these cable television series, I won't be surprised if we get a little man-on-man action between these two or at least as close as they can take it since it doesn't appear Dr. Frankenstein leans that way. I, personally, could do without it, but I'm not writing the show.
Anything else? Oh yeah . . . Frankenstein's original monster, John Clare, has had a glimpse of his prior life -- seeing himself with wife and child and leaves the ice bound ship in the arctic to return to London, I'm assuming to try and find his old life. I doubt that will go well.
With the introduction of Dr. Seward and Renfield, it was obvious that Dracula would come into the storyline this season. Indeed, we hear the voice of Dracula as he introduces himself to a a frightened Renfield, but we don't see him. They did reference a point made last season about how the war in Heaven had two angels cast down -- one to Hell and the other to the Earth. If the demon chasing Miss Ives last season was Satan, then I guess we're working on the premise that Dracula is the other angel cast out of Heaven rather than a Carpathian lord who sold his soul out of anguish and renounced God to turn himself into the monster. We'll see how that plays out this season I suppose.
As in previous season's the show's sets and the production values are deliciously lurid and dark, setting the perfect mood for a period scary story. I'm still wondering if somewhere along the line we get a Sherlock Holmes appearance. This particular episode was timed around the death of Tennyson. There's a wealth of historical fun stuff to play with here and still plenty more characters to mine too.
Looking forward to this season as much as the previous two.