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  1x05 - Closer Than Sisters
 Posted: 06/11/14 06:13
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SIR MALCOLM: Previously on Penny Dreadful Her gifts make her vulnerable.

They also make her desirable.

MINA: Vanessa (GASPS) Help me.

ETHAN: What happened to Mina? She became embroiled with a creature.

Now she has become his slave, hovering between our world and his.

They are all about me.

And what's your part in all this? My part is my own.

SIR MALCOLM: I lost a son in Africa.

VANESSA: (IN BOY'S VOICE) Father mine, let me come with you.

I'll prove myself a proper explorer.

Peter loves you, Father.

(GLASS CRACKS) - (GASPS) VANESSA: Amunet, girl? No, much older.

LYLE: Amunet was the consort of Amun-Ra, the original serpent prince.

He was sustained by feeding on the souls of others.

I would not tell Miss Ives this.

Who wants to know they're hunted by the devil? (SNARLS) VANESSA: What's happened? SIR MALCOLM: It came after you.

I think it was all a ploy.

But it was Mina who led me to him.

That she may be your enemy.

Can you blame her? Where's Vanessa? I want Mother.

Why do you want her? Why does everyone want her? (SCREECHING) But for my transgression, would any of this have occurred? We cannot unmake the past.

We shall live with our guilt, you and I.

VANESSA: My dearest Mina, my darling friend.

I began these letters when I recovered from my illness.

At first, I composed them perhaps every month.

Then weekly and now daily.

Soon I will, no doubt, give up all other occupation and simply write.

The ending of one letter becoming the beginning of the next, an endless ribbon of words.

I write in hope that one day you will answer me and that everything can again be like it was Though I know that can never be.

(WAVES CRASHING) (GIGGLING) I don't remember clouds when we were young.

Were there any, my dearest Mina? Just beyond the horizon, perhaps? Or was it all seashore and sandcastles? Such a thought is naive, I know.

But aren't memories always that? Let's go in and go terribly far out.

We mustn't.

We'll get in trouble.

You're afraid.

No, I'm not.

Then come in with me.

How far do you think we could swim? Far as we want.

Everywhere.

And what would we do when we got there? Everything.

I think we should go in and go as far out as we can see.

No, we shouldn't.

Will you always be afraid, Mina mine? VANESSA: Were ever two families closer than ours? I don't remember a day that gate between our homes was closed.

Until the day it closed forever.

Hello, Mrs.

Murray.

Gorgeous day for the homecoming.

We're all at sixes and sevens.

Children are in the solarium.

Good morning, Mr.

Andrews.

Good morning.

YOUNG VANESSA: Good morning.

Good morning, Peter.

God, still at that monkey? As much as I try, it just looks - Dead.

He's not an "it," he's a "he.

" Give him a name.

Van, he's a stupid dead monkey.

You have to give them names or they'll never come to life.

It's like a witch's spell.

(GIGGLES) This is Ariel from the Shakespeare.

YOUNG MINA: You're forever working on things that eat other things.

I think you're bloodthirsty.

I'm bloodthirsty.

She's just ghoulish.

I think Mr.

Andrews has the most luxurious mustaches.

I know, he's gorgeous.

And so tall.

I'm sure I'll marry a tall man.

I couldn't love someone stunted, it'd be too embarrassing at balls.

What sort of man will he be? - Hmm Over 6 feet at least.

With mustaches he waxes daily and tiny feet for dancing.

What about you? Anything but one of father's dreadful solicitors.

(BOTH LAUGHING) Then, of course, you're going to marry Peter.

Everyone says so.

I shan't be here to marry you, Van.

Where will you be? In Africa with father.

Are you sure you want to be an explorer? Well, I can't be making stuffed monkeys my whole life.

(CHUCKLES) - (BELL RINGING) (ALL GASPING) (INDISTINCT TALKING OUTSIDE) (DOOR OPENING) - (DOOR CLOSING) - MAN: Be careful with those bags.

Father! - Hello, Peter.

Father! - And there's my girl.

(GIGGLES) Hello! You're so thin.

I can feel your ribs this time.

(LAUGHS) And you haven't worn your hat.

Oh, you've caught me out.

That was the first thing I lost.

YOUNG VANESSA: What was the second? - My way.

(ALL LAUGHING) Hello, Gladys.

(SOBBING) None of that, dear.

What did you bring me? Well, let's see What have we got here? Now Ugh.

What is it? - It's a serval.

Genus Leptailurus from the shores of Lake Tanganyika.

How gorgeous.

Thank you, Father.

Now, I'm as hungry as a crocodile.

(GIRLS GIGGLING) Have you put on a proper feast? (INDISTINCT CONVERSATIONS) Excuse me? VANESSA: Those festive homecomings I remember most.

They were our true holidays.

My mother and father were always welcome company at your table.

Your father would return to us with rare gifts and a sunburn.

Now, would anyone like to hear about my encounter with the cannibals? - (ALL EXCLAIMING) - Yes? Good.

VANESSA: But rarest of all were his tales of adventure, I'm sure much edited for our ears.

SIR MALCOLM: when we suddenly heard a cry Nyame.

VANESSA: Peter's eyes would light up.

Such a marvelous future he imagined alongside his father.

SIR MALCOLM: Before we knew it we were tangled up in ropes and nets, and there they were.

Shouting, waving their spears, chanting, "Nyame! Nyame! Nyame!" - Nyame means "meat.

" - Oh! - Flesh.

Food.

Us.

(ALL LAUGHING) WOMAN: That's just awful.

Shall we begin? VANESSA: But for all our kinship, my Mina, we were not completely alike.

The mysteries of my Catholic church were alien to you and your family.

Had I been older, I would have seen more.

Beneath the laughter, beneath that great, easy outpouring of conversation, it wasn't tension exactly, was it? Not amongst two such congenial families.

No.

It was more a tremor of something.

Like words hollered down a bottomless pit that come back occluded and more complex.

Adulthood, maybe.

And on that terrible night, that night it happened, did anything particularly important happen at the dinner? No, not that I recall.

(WOMAN LAUGHING) Honestly, I thought I was going to find you and Peter around the next corner, playing some trick on me.

(WOMAN BREATHING HEAVILY) (MOANING) My mother.

Your father.

More than the shock, the sinfulness, the forbidden act, there was this.

I enjoyed it.

Something whispered.

I listened.

Perhaps it has always been there, this thing, this demon inside me.

Or behind my back, waiting for me to turn around.

(DEMONIC VOICE WHISPERING) (SHUDDERING) (PRAYING SOFTLY) VANESSA: I didn't tell you what I saw.

How could I? There was no need for you to grow up so fast.

Tomorrow, we should go into town.

Yes.

You could not have endured it.

Or so I told myself.

Perhaps I was just cherishing the secrecy of it as a hidden sin.

But in me, there was a change.

I marked it from that night in the hedge maze.

Perhaps it was always there.

Little acts of wickedness.

Harmless, of course.

Something any girl would do.

I told myself it was no more than mischief.

But I knew it was more.

Of course I did.

Cold blows the wind To my true love And gently drops the rain I have never had but one true love And in Greenwood he lies slain VANESSA: And as we grew up, and you grew lovelier, it was no wonder to me that you met your gentleman first.

Or that he had luxurious mustaches.

Such a gallant young officer.

What a handsome couple you were.

Found you.

(BOTH GIGGLING) (SPEAKING INDISTINCTLY) Thank you.

VANESSA: It was the season of Peter's inadequate beard, I watched your courtship with Captain Branson flourish.

All the stratagems of advance and retreat.

I always thought of myself as the stronger one.

But here, you were so valiant.

How could he not be conquered? I think you set your future at that table.

He spoke of India and suddenly I saw you going.

When would I see you again? Isn't India so terribly far away? What would I do? Marry Peter? God, how I envied you.

Perhaps I even hated you.

How was it possible that you, always so meek and obliging, were to have this greatest of adventures before me? You would know love, you would know a man's touch, while I, the courageous one, knew nothing of life.

Mina, my dear.

(SPEAKING INDISTINCTLY) Of course, he's a fine man.

I've no doubt of that.

He'll make a proper husband.

But I hate to think of her out in India with all that heat and those filthy wogs.

What do you think Africa will be like? Oh, God, Van.

Don't mention that.

Every time I try and talk with father about it, he shies away.

Maybe you shouldn't ask anymore.

It's all I've ever dreamed about.

You know that.

My father and I off on an adventure, blazing some daring new trail.

Perhaps What? Perhaps then, I wouldn't be such a disappointment to him.

I was never the son he wanted.

Always ill, never good at games.

A disappointment.

He needed someone more like Me? (CHUCKLES) You'll be all alone when I go.

Mina in India, me with Father.

That'll be sad for you.

But I suppose (MUFFLED GASPING) (GRUNTS) The minister's coming at seven and mother wants us there.

You know how she is about time.

(SIGHS) VANESSA: If I could only go back now, I would run after him and say, "Don't go.

Don't go to Africa.

"You'll never survive, you're too weak.

"You're beautifully weak, Peter.

"I love you for your weakness.

" For at that moment, Mina, I saw the future crystal clear.

(PRAYING IN LATIN) (SOBBING) I tried to pray that night.

God didn't answer me.

But another did.

DEMONIC VOICE: Soon, child.

What games we will have.

(INDISTINCT CONVERSATIONS) VANESSA: You were never happier than that weekend.

On the following morning you would be married.

One more night as Miss Mina Murray before you became Mrs.

Charles Branson.

All right.

Bye-bye.

VANESSA: You didn't seem to mind this loss of self.

Perhaps I minded it for you.

(LIGHTNING CRACKLING) (CHUCKLES) You've found me out.

Last night of freedom, eh? Would you like to see something interesting? No.

My Mina? Your Mina.

Although you'll be relieved to know she only worked with the most pacific of animals.

This is her squirrel.

(BRANSON SCOFFS) Which are yours? Not the docile ones.

That doesn't surprise me.

I've always felt you have to name a thing before it comes to life, like a witch's spell.

His name is Ariel.

The most challenging bit is the eyes.

They're glass, of course, so by nature are dead and dull.

But that wouldn't do for my great predator.

So I put mirrors behind the glass eyes, so they would spark.

You see? It's like they're alive.

They are.

I would put mirrors behind the entire world if I could.

(CLATTERING) - (MOANING) (BREATHING HEAVILY) (BOTH GRUNTING) (MOANING) (GRUNTING) (NEIGHING) (SOBBING) There, there.

Vanessa! Vanessa, come back! - This is obscene! You mustn't! - How can I not? Have you no shame? Get upstairs this instant! How dare you speak to me of shame? Get upstairs yourself and make amends to my father.

I have to see her.

To do what? Make this right.

I always thought my traveling would kill my family.

Being away so long.

My thoughtlessness I never imagined it would be a cruel little girl.

VANESSA: When the illness came, it was absolute.

I was aware of almost nothing.

The doctors were at a loss to explain it.

Because, you see, it was inexplicable.

(GRUNTING) (GAGGING) Thank you.

Thank you.

I I have her.

I have her.

(GAGGING) You must eat.

(SIGHS) They don't think it's epilepsy anymore.

Did I tell you that? Dr.

Kingston doesn't know what to think.

Ridiculous little man.

They fear They fear that, perhaps, it's your brain Something inside you.

What else (SNIFFLES) What else? Um, Mina's gone.

She didn't want to stay here.

Should we not talk of Mina? I don't know.

I don't know.

We don't talk to the Murrays, or they to us.

I tried going over there.

I was not welcome.

Sir Mal Sir Malcolm They don't know what's wrong with you, darling.

(SNIFFLES) The seizures The seizures are so terrible.

We shall be consulting a specialist in London.

(CHUCKLES) You always liked London.

So, perhaps the change (SIGHS) We've booked rooms at the Strand.

There's a There's a clinic nearby that are well known for treating women's disorders.

An asylum.

I am not mad, Mother.

I am not unhappy.

You should let me die.

(SOBBING) Vanessa, do you understand what I've said? I think it best if you stepped outside, Mrs.

Ives.

I'll stay.

I must speak frankly to your husband.

I'd like to stay.

This form of catatonia is not unknown to me.

The unusual physical exertions are manifestations of They were not exertions.

She was being tormented.

I have seen epileptic seizures that have broken bones, Mrs.

Ives.

None of this impossible, just rare.

Hysteria of a psychosexual nature can be treated.

The treatments involve narcotics and escalating hydrotherapy.

Cold water reduces circulation to the brain, thereby reducing the metabolism and motor activity.

The agitation and mental trauma will slow and then cease.

I've seen it work, Mr.

Ives, you can have no doubt.

MRS.

IVES: And what if it doesn't work? DR.

BANNING: If we see no improvement, there are surgical options open to us.

Yes.

Let's do that.

Mr.

and Mrs.

Ives, please leave the room immediately.

(DOOR CLOSES) It is very good to hear your voice, Vanessa.

I'm Dr.

Christopher Banning and I hope to help you.

Your parents have I want to be out there.

You will be.

We have a lovely garden that I prefer the ocean.

Have you seen someone who's drowned? (EXHALING) I have.

Not a dog or a cat.

Not enough soul in a dog or a cat.

I mean a man.

A hundred men.

A slave ship.

Yes.

More than anything.

Pulled right down, with the men still chained.

Souls in torment who now find themselves in greater torment.

Have you seen that, Dr.

Christopher Matthew Banning? (BELL RINGING) Vanessa, it's very important to me that you sit down now.

Who's Vanessa? (SNARLING) (SHOUTING IN OTHER LANGUAGE) (WHIMPERING) (SCREAMING) (SCREAMING GIBBERISH) (TALKING GIBBERISH) (SYRINGE CLATTERS) (SCREAMING IN DISTANCE) (SIGHS) (SCISSORS SNIPPING) (TIGHTENING) (GRUNTS) (BELL RINGING) (FOOTSTEPS APPROACHING) (DOOR OPENING) (DOOR CLOSING) Mrs.

Ives, may I step in? Of course.

Mr.

Ives.

Peter.

I've come to say goodbye.

I'm, um, off to Africa with my father.

May I see her? - MR.

IVES: I - Yes.

don't think Stay here.

You You mustn't be shocked.

She's much changed.

(BREATHING RAGGEDLY) Van Oh, Van Will she die? If there is a God.

Is she always like this? No.

There are episodes of activity.

May I sit with her? Yes.

Of course.

(BREATHING HEAVILY) Does she know me? We don't know.

But talk to her, it's meant to help.

Hello, Van.

It's Peter.

Closer, I'm afraid.

It's Peter.

I'm off to Africa.

Can you believe it? Finally having that adventure we talked about.

(BREATHING DEEPLY) Very excited.

I walked by the shore yesterday where we used to swim.

(WHISPERING) You should have kissed me.

Will you kiss me now? (BREATHING HEAVILY) (WHEEZING) You're going to die there.

You're going to die there.

(INHALING RAGGEDLY) (BREATHING HEAVILY) MRS.

IVES: Peter.

Good luck on your trip.

And thank you for coming.

Of course.

(SOBBING) Peter, what did she say to you? I couldn't make her out.

(SNORING) SIR MALCOLM: Do you know Keats? The poet, I mean, Keats, the poet.

I can't speak.

I'm too weak.

No, you're not.

You are not here.

And yet (BREATHING RAGGEDLY) Who are you? You are not Sir Malcolm.

You have to name a thing to make it live, don't you? And shall I name you? Only if you want me to live.

Serpent.

Is that what you mean? Enchanter, Deceiver, Prince of Darkness, Devil of the Pit? Have you such contempt for your old friend? So, the Keats Four lines from Ode to a Nightingale have always struck a chord with me.

Keats was dying when he wrote them, and he knew he was dying, which adds to the piquancy, don't you think? Would you like to hear them? Do I have a choice? Vanessa, please.

You've always had a choice.

You allowed all this to happen.

Hell, you sought it out and fucked it.

You could have shut the door at any time.

You still can.

Right now.

Will you? Yes.

And give up everything we could have together? The true knowledge of man's virtue, as well as his sin.

The power.

The sight beyond this world.

I want nothing beyond this world.

Don't lie to me.

You've always been drawn to the deep ocean, to the dark whisper, a mirror behind the glass eyes.

To life at its fullest.

Will you close that door now? So, the Keats.

The lines from Keats.

Yes.

"Darkling, I listen "and, for many a time I have been half in love with easeful Death, "Call'd him soft names in many a mused rhyme "To take into the air my quiet breath.

" (MOANS) So the darkness spoke.

Yes.

But you listened.

(CLATTERING) (VANESSA MOANING) (GRUNTING) PRIEST: May the soul of Claire Ives and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.

Amen.

ALL: Amen.

(WAVES CRASHING) (WIND WHOOSHING) Sister.

I do not blame you.

Whatever sin, it has been forgiven in your suffering.

So much suffering.

It is more than I deserve, but I can't forgive myself.

There's so much to say.

Or so little.

I'm married now.

Can you imagine that? He's a lawyer, in the employ of Mr.

Hawkins of Essex.

He doesn't have a mustache like my gallant Captain Branson, but Mr.

Harker's a good man and he loves me.

I'm happy for you.

And our poor Peter.

I'm so sorry.

If only you had run after him that day in the maze, and held him tight, and told him not to go and that you loved him for his weakness.

How do you know about that? I know about many things now, Vanessa.

The master has taught me much.

Things no one should ever know.

Help me.

Save me from him.

Please.

(SCREAMING) (THUNDER RUMBLING) (FOOTSTEPS APPROACHING) (SPEAKING OTHER LANGUAGE) (SPEAKING OTHER LANGUAGE) (CHAIR CREAKS) Mina needs our help.

Will you let me in? SIR MALCOLM: And there's nothing more? No.

You believe you can reach out to her again? VANESSA: Or she to me.

I know you do not credit it.

You know nothing of me.

Do you know how many men I've killed? In Africa we walked in blood every step.

There was a time I would gladly have killed you.

There may come a time when I gladly shall.

But for now, I can make use of you.

And no more? - What else? Forgiveness? Go to your Roman church for that, you'll find none here.

Have you imagined for one moment what this has been for me? An unforgivable transgression that has marked me for life.

You think you've suffered.

You think you know blood.

You think you've walked on corpses.

Spread them from here to the horizon and I have walked further! You weak, foul, lustful, vainglorious man.

How dare you presume to speak to me of death? Then we shall speak of it together.

Yes.

We will follow it to Mina.

Yes.

And then? You will be done.

I will walk on.

I'll have Sembene prepare a room.

This is your home now.

VANESSA: There is no exculpation I expect of you.

My guilt is my own and that I carry with me.

It is my present and my future.

It has damned me well beyond this short life of mine.

(SNIFFLES) But I will not rest until you are safe.

There is no other purpose in my life.

I shall love you always.

Your dearest friend, Vanessa.

(SNIFFLES) Postscript.

Your father loves you very much and would do anything to save you.

But I love you in a different way.

(WAVES CRASHING) I love you enough to kill you.

(GIGGLING)


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