“This World Is Our Hell” spends more time with Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) who to viewers and Universal Monsters fans is The Wolf Man, with the family name of Talbot. (wink wink to you Lon Chaney Jr. fans)
“This World Is Our Hell” – aired 5/29/2016
Written by Andrew Hinderaker
Directed by Paco Cabezas
*Spoilers are contained within*
In “This World Is Our Hell”, the storyline for Ethan Chandler is playing out like a reverse romantic comedy. Like a determined suitor in any modern rom-com, Hecate doggedly pursues Ethan, trailing him across continents in order to win his confidence and prove her devotion. As the viewer, we know that no good can come from a Ethan/Hecate ‘ship but in this episode Hecate’s tireless wooing appears to have finally broken through to Ethan. So in the vein of one of my favorite rom-coms, How to Lose a Boyfriend in 10 Days, let’s explore how Ethan’s poor soul was corrupted in 5 simple steps.
How to lose your soul in 5 easy steps:
Step 1 – An overbearing parent must set you on the wrong path
Jared Talbot (Brian Cox), a terribly overbearing father, enlists Ethan, his kindhearted son into the army in a dimwitted attempt to “make a man out of him.” In an equally dimwitted attempt to make his father proud, Ethan suffers trauma at the truly wicked things that he was forced to do while in service to his country.
Step 2 – After suffering unimaginable emotional trauma you sink into suicidal despair
Wracked with guilt and unable to forgive himself for the slaughter of the innocent Apache band, Ethan turns himself in to the Apache leader, Kaetenay, hoping that he will seek vengeance and murder him.
Step 3 – Hoping to redeem yourself, you align yourself with the party you’ve previously brutalized.
Having no intentions of giving him the quick release that he seeks, Kaetenay mindf***s Ethan into helping his warriors fight off the invading US soldiers. He makes Ethan believe that he can make amends by taking up arms with the Apache warriors and using all of his/his father’s resources to aid in their fight.
Step 4 – You suffer a devastating betrayal at the hands of your new allies
Kaetenay orchestrates a devastating betrayal when he and his soldiers burgle Ethan’s father’s compound. Kaetenay completes two objectives that night, the first, replenishing his warrior chest and the second, exacting revenge on Ethan when he unknowingly ushers in the very men who would savagely murder his family.
Step 5 – You cross paths with a true predator and as they do with any other vulnerable, they sniff out your weaknesses and make easy prey of you.
After fleeing to Europe, Ethan finds refugee among a small group of fellow outcasts who like him, feel compelled to fight against the darkness. There he meets Hecate. She, seeing a flickering darkness within him, becomes instantly smitten with him and is determined to coax the beast that dwells within him out to the surface. Hecate makes it her mission to get him to stop wallowing in guilt, to stop struggling to earn the forgiveness and grace of God, to stop fighting to be good. She makes it her mission to make him see that his true salvation will only come when he destroys his father and he proclaims to be the animal of Lucifer.
“This World Is Our Hell” gave us the complete back story for what happened between Ethan, Kaetenay and Jared. We uncovered how Ethan’s father’s failed him and sent him down this dark path. We discovered how Kaetenay exploited him and ripped away what little good he had left in his life at that time. Now that Hecate has Ethan in her clutches, ready to forsake God and claim Lucifer as his Lord, will Malcolm be able to rescue him and restore his faith in himself and in God?
Penny Dreadful airs on SHOWTIME, Sunday nights at 10 PM ET. Check your local listings.