Well, that was a season of television, wasn’t it? (It actually felt like two seasons of television deeply condensed, but that’s part of the thrill.) And among all the big reveals that we all knew were coming but they managed to just portent about until the eighth episode because why wouldn’t you, we got some amazing parallels that paid off all the loaded aesthetics that had come before:

Finale, “Grand Guignol”:

Pilot, “Night Work”:

Perfectly evocative of the changes in each of them and their relationship since the beginning of this whole mess.

And speaking of a whole mess!

Finale, “Grand Guignol”:

Episode 4, “Deimonde”:

One of my favorite things about Penny Dreadful forever is its wholehearted embrace of the meta-theatricality of it all. “Where could we create a stage for all this?” “A literal theater of horrorshows.” “DONE.” (I hope it’s still here next season; the damsel/werewolf hinting and over the top couplets was a favorite bit of season one.)

But there was so much going on that we have no shortage of things to look forward to next year. The show, always aware of its own ridiculousness, used this hero shot basically as a promise of the messes still to come.

I mean, Vanessa has made out with the demon in the form of two of these guys (and never told them), sort of hit on another one while possessed herself (and he never told her), Malcolm’s admitted to one of them that he named a mountain after himself rather than the son he practically killed, and one of them has the other’s recently-deceased girlfriend on a slab at home and is pretending nothing is wrong. Also, one of these people is definitely just a normal human man, so everybody in this picture can just stop asking.

I am probably not done talking about Penny Dreadful yet, because we’ve barely scraped the surface of the actual ties between penny dreadfuls and this delightful tropesack of a show, but for now, we’ll just have to sit tight and dream of how many hundreds of bullets Ethan will put in Victor next season when he sees Brona again for the first time. And Vanessa doing whatever she wants all the time and maybe achieving some moments of happiness just to surprise us, because she’s got suffering pretty much covered. (On the other hand, every other dude in the show could still take their turn as the demon, that would be a nice Bingo card.)

The official recap, including the end-of-season relationship chart, can be read at io9!