Another fantastic episode of Penny Dreadful: City of Angels. This episode seemed a little toned down in some ways compared to the previous two episodes. No one shot their brother, no one was killed by Nazis, no one was brought back to like by the Holy Angel Sante Muerte, but there was character development! Seriously, while there were no major shock and awe moments, there were some great scenes.
Let’s Keep This Quiet
So, since the last episode ended with the Nazi’s taking out Michener’s friends, I think I will start here. Lewis finds out about their death at the coroner’s office. Not only are they just burnt to a crisp, but the coroner also found the bullets in their head. Lewis doesn’t take their death well. I imagine finding friends that go on Nazi stakeouts are hard to come by, plus he most likely feels responsible since they were only follow Goss because he told them to.
He asks the Coroner to go slow on filling out the report just as a favor. This is likely so he can investigate it before things like politics get involved like we have seen over on the Hazlett case. Luckily, he has a good starting point, Caltech. The kid that Goss was meeting with the night that Anton and Sam. I think the idea here is that a kid form Caltech is going to be easier to get information from then full fledge Nazi’s like Goss.
While waiting for the kid, Michener looks through Hazlett’s books from the church hoping to find something. He does, but we learn about it later and I want to talk about that with the Tiago stuff this episode. Anyway, eventually the kid comes out, Lewis takes him for a ride out to a similar looking hill from last episode and threatens the kid until he finally talks. Now, we don’t get to hear what he says now, other than the name Wernher von Braun. but we know that Michener is tells Tiago at the end of the episode that he is going to be taking time off to bury his friends. Obviously, I think there will be funerals in the next episode, but I think he is also going digging with the information he learned from the kid and whatever this plan is that involves explosives.
Oh, btw, Wernher Von Braun was a German turned American aerospace engineer and space architect. He is one of the men responsible for the development of rocket tech in Nazi Germany. This most likely goes hand in hand with what the kid is working on.
It’s My Motorway!
While we are on the subjects of Nazi’s, Councilmen Townsend is flying high after his positive publicity from the press conference he held last episode. We see him first with Alex working on slimming his figure and just overall making him a more likable looking person. It’s going to take more than a Mueller Exerciser Belt. They make the arrangement for his later meeting with Goss, but is actually approached by another member of Council, Councilwoman Beck. She not only doesn’t want the motorway, but she makes comments about his involvement with the Third Reich. Over her dead body is she going to let him build this road on the backs of dead cops and Mexicans. Yes, she said, “Over my dead body”. This lady is dying.
Later Townsend meets with Goss for what is essentially a pissing contest. The arguments start when Townsend wants details about how money is going to be funneled to his campaign, but then only escalated when he asks them to kill Councilwoman Beck. Townsend has been so fluffed up by Alex that he thinks he is in charge. This is his motorway after all. This causes Goss to flex his muscles and remind him that the Nazi’s are coming to American and they will own Los Angeles. Either they can step on his or he can be on their side. Townsend then leaves the meeting while Alex tries to smooth is over. Obviously by her transformation into Magda and the window shattering, she isn’t happy.
Townsend blows off steam by finding a young hot man and…blowing off steam.
Not in Mr. Brenson’s House
Then for our last Nazi friend, Doctor Craft. We have seen him becoming increasingly close to his patient Frank’s mother, Elsa, over the last two episodes. This version of Magda is from Germany but married to an American that abuses her. She has been innocently seducing Craft by playing the victim with her really going for the kill shot this episode. As mentioned, Frank had another upcoming appointment which Elsa and Frank miss. Worried, Craft cancels his appointment for the day and heads to the Brenson house. There he finds Frank outside upset and Elsa bloody and bruised.
He fixes her up while she tells him a story of Frank being bullied in school by some ‘Jew kids. To help her, Craft invites Elsa and Frank to an upcoming birthday party for his son as a way for Frank to make German friends. As he is leaving Craft moves in for a kiss but Elsa stops him and says not in her husband’s house. She is playing the long game.
Another big part of last weeks ending was Raul being brought back from the brink of death by Sante Muerte. He is now home recouping. When we first see him, Mateo is with him and they talk about the fight. Raul admits that it is really all fuzzy and Mateo decides to tell him that it was Tiago that shot him. However, he also includes that Raul was also killing every officer he saw. When Mateo speaks against Tiago, Raul aggressively stops him. He knows that Tiago is trapped between being an officer and being a Mexican American. I liked how he said something like, if you want to see hell, look in his eyes. They also briefly talk about Mateo’s encounter with Officer Riley and Fly Rico, but I’m going to talk more about Mateo in a moment.
When Tiago comes in to see Raul, Raul knows that it was Tiago that shot him. Mateo just told him. However, he forgives Tiago simply by putting Tiago’s hand on his own heart to just say, I’m alive.
The Crimson Cat
After talking with Raul, we next see Mateo heading into The Cat where Fly Rico invited him. I really loved the vibe of this place with the dancing. These were probably my favorite scenes of this episode. After dancing with Rico, he is taken to meet the Queen of the Cat, Rio. Rio is Magda. They talk for a short moment about it taking Mateo so long to show up and then he dances with Rio. After the sing ends The Cat is then swarmed with police led by Officer Riley. They are enforcing a new curfew that just went into effect 10 minutes ago and are now here to arrest everyone. Rio punches Riley in the face which causes the whole place to erupt in fighting. She then grabs Mateo and they head out to the back.
This conversation is really where we see Mateo’s place take shape and we get backstory on this version of Magda. She calls herself ‘Dego’ which is used in this context like we have seen Chicano used to describe Mexican Americans. This comes up when Mateo is confused because he thinks she is white. She explains that she was born in Mexico and typically this term means that they are either of Spanish, Portuguese, or Italian descent. She is asserting herself in this fight none the less.
Rio rants about pushing back at the cops, that this part of California was originally Mexico and they need to take it back. Mateo is inspired and really into this even though Rico doesn’t seem to want to be involved in a war. Rico then tells his story about being a boy no one wanted until he was brought in by Papa Pachuco. He even has a tattoo to represent this and he says that it makes him more than the color of his skin. At the end of the episode we see Mateo with Rio and Rico at the tattoo shop getting a tattoo of his own. This tattoo in real life means that they are not just Mexican Americans or delinquents, they are Pachucos. Yes, I do like that they are pulling things directly from history.
Popeye the Sailorman
Now to Tiago. After seeing Raul, he heads into work to continue investigating the Hazlett case, however, Vanderhoff sends him home. Time off is important and you must be able to separate yourself from the work. Meanwhile, Sister Molly is also separating herself from her work (and her mother) when she leaves rehearsal under the guise that she is seeing the costume designer. She also insists on going alone.
Instead of seeing the costume designer, she dresses in a wardrobe you wouldn’t see her wear in church. She then meets Tiago as he is about to board the bus to his apartment. I didn’t notice until now that the bus system is called Townsend, yes, after Councilman Townsend. Anyway, she flags down Tiago and they talk on the bench causing him to miss the bus. The conversation mostly just talks about Raul getting better and their lack of time away from work. This inspires Tiago to take Molly out for a good time.
This good time is the fair where Tiago wins Molly a really cute Popeye the Sailorman toy. After playing games they walk around and talk. He tells her about coming here as a kid with their father and siblings that passed when they were younger. He says that it was the best day of his life.
As the day dwindles down Molly must leave and asks for Tiago to take Popeye, it’s not something she can take home. She makes a sad joke about making sure he gets the spinach he needs leading into Tiago kissing her. It was all incredibly sad and cute and Tiago’s second-best day ever. Of course, it was also being watched by Rudolph.
Molly then returns home to the creepiest shit I have seen in a while. Her mother turns on the light as Molly enters, she then sings the theme song to Popeye and then shuts the light off. Like, wtf? Molly runs to get room and locks herself in..
As for Tiago, he has that meeting with Michener I mentioned earlier. Not only does he tell him he is taking time off, but that he looked the books and is sure that Sister Molly and Hazlett were having an affair. Obviously, Tiago is a little surprised but Michener gives him the books to verify the information himself and I guess from the doomed look on Tiago’s face that he believes Michener after investigating himself. I’m not sure what I think. I want to believe that Molly is the sad girl afraid of her mother… but who knows at this point.