Penny Dreadful’s second season draws to a close on Sunday, and it’s not going out with a whimper. After converging on the home of powerful witch Evelyn Poole (Helen McCrory) to save Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton) in the penultimate episode, our heroes’ rescue mission has hit a few snags — like the devil himself. As werewolf Ethan (Josh Hartnett) contends with the full moon, Vanessa (Eva Green) faces the devil in her own guise. EW caught up with showrunner John Logan, who writes every episode of the gothic horror, to get his view on the season so far and talk about what lies ahead. (Check back after the finale airs for his complete thoughts. UPDATE: Read Logan’s postmortem interview here.)
“I’m exceptionally proud of the season finale,” says Logan, “because I do think it delivers something very surprising.” Far be it from us to spoil that surprise just yet, but Logan does tease this: “A lot of characters and a lot of plot strands are in function in season 2, and in the finale, they all come together — sort of come crashing together — and in a way, the family that we built so carefully over two seasons is really challenged and begins to fracture in what I think are interesting ways.”
Some of those fractures might be self-induced. Though Penny Dreadful isn’t lacking for vampires and resurrected creatures, Logan says that the real monster is the reality “that all of us are flawed, and you can either embrace your flaws and let them empower you, or you can let them cripple you.”
That’s certainly the monster Vanessa faced in the third episode of the season, which explored her past with the Cut-Wife (Patti LuPone). Logan points to the episode as a highlight for him: “It was such an intense episode, because it was really almost just those two actors [Green and LuPone] for an hour, and it relied on the text; it relied on their performance; it relied on a sensitive director.”
Despite the intensity of that story, Logan also enjoyed the opportunity to shake up the tone from week to week. Compared to the first season, he says, “I was more confident writing lighter moments for the characters, and the actors were more confident embracing those, so I think in the second season we were more romantic—we were certainly more musical, more choreographic—and funnier.”
“There’s only so much melancholy brooding you can do in Victorian fog.”
The season 2 finale of Penny Dreadful airs Sunday, July 5 on Showtime.