It’s difficult for a series to find its footing. Typically, a series first season is its make or break, the moment when the series will either fall into the pit of one-season failures or rise above and join the ranks of the other greats. In some cases, those that rise above earn a spinoff.
This can be said for the horror-fantasy series Penny Dreadful, a series that was canceled after just three terrifyingly good seasons full of great episodes, a series hailed as being one of the best despite some questionable love interests for some characters. Luckily, the series was granted a spinoff, Penny Dreadful: City Of Angels. Despite the spinoff becoming a single-season series, it has a few decent episodes worth mentioning.
10 Dead People Lie Down (6.8)
The problem with the pilot episode is always what comes after. Typically, a pilot episode can be mindblowing and awe-inspiring to the audience, whereas the following episode can take things down a notch sometimes, as is the case with “Dead People Lie Down.”
Not only is the title just kind of… well, basic, but the episode is also slower than the first, just sort of going through the motions of setting up the season’s overall plot and villains much like the first episode while not doing much with the characters.
9 Wicked Old World (7.0)
For argument’s sake, it could be said that one of the reasons why the Penny Dreadful spinoff didn’t work was simply because it didn’t have the same feel or scary moments as the original, even though it doesn’t meet standards set by IMBd for best scary tv shows. The original show had witches, vampires, monsters, and iconic gothic creatures such as one of Tv’s best versions of Dracula haunting each episode shown in a new light.
City Of Angels had a demon, the deity Santa Muerte, and… Nazi’s. This shows through in “Wicked Old World” where the demon, a shapeshifter, is pushed to the background as the series explores much more political themes rather than spooky ones.
8 Day Of The Dead (7.1)
When a season ends, it comes to a thunderous end, typically setting things up for another season. As with “Day Of The Dead”, everything was set up for a new season, with the heroes vowing revenge on the villains… only to go out all too fast.
Why? Because the series was canceled, halting the acts of vengeance before they even began. All things considered, it may have been for the best. While Penny Dreadful did a great job of blending reality with monsters, the spin-off struggled to do the same and like with the original series, ended up with some unresolved storylines.
7 Children of the Royal Sun (7.1)
Ah, nothing quite spices up a tv series like the idea and showing off some good old sex. Some could argue that Game Of Thrones set the trend by putting in some steamy scenes (that and jumping the shark in some big ways) in order to keep audiences interested in the episode, “Children of the Royal Sun” replicates.
However, while three of the characters have some happy times, it did kind of take away from the rest of the episode, which did have some interesting beats and moments to it, from good acting to plotlines being and carried out.
6 Maria And The Beast (7.1)
Climax. There’s always a point in a series where things start to heat up, where the plot slowly begins to reach a boiling point right before it erupts. Depending on the season length, this can vary on the episode number but for City Of Angels, the seventh episode “Maria And The Beast” was the boiling point.
With plot points converging and gives fans a cool confrontation between Santa Muerte and Magda, “Maria And The Beast”, while not the best episode, starts the series on the path to the climax.
5 Santa Muerte (7.2)
Ok, so not every pilot episode is going to be the best of the series. For some, this may not be the case but for others, the pilots can struggle with boatloads of exposition and the beginnings of plot details that will shape the overall season.
That being said, “Santa Muerte” does have some strong moments to it, letting the audience get a feel for the main characters, introducing the big bad, and establishing the main conflict for the episodes to come. As pilots go, it’s not half bad.
4 How it is With Brothers (7.2)
It’s always interesting to see just how far the main character will go for someone that they care for, even if it goes against what they stand for and the very principles that make the characters the upstanding citizens that they are for the story.
In the case of Tiago Vega, a key character who tries their best to be an upstanding officer of the law. Yet, in “How it is with brothers”, the audience sees Tiago forced to make a decision that goes against what he stands for.
3 Josefina And The Holy Spirit (7.3)
There are some moments when an episode is really just meant to be an information fille ep, oftentimes full of exposition and storytelling properties that are only really meant to push the story forward instead of just push in cool details.
In “Josefina And The Holy Spirit”, this can be said. The episode has a couple of good performances, a few cool moments involving Santa Muerte and others and overall just pushes the story forward instead of being a typical filler episode that benefits the season as a whole.
2 Hide And Seek (7.3)
Every now and then, an episode, even if it’s not a climactic episode, can go off like a firecracker with action and story points. When these kinds of episodes happen, the action can be a welcome sight for the show and the story as a whole can benefit from the firey moments.
From gun-toting Nazis to Magda’s plans movie ahead and a guy burying a hamster and vowing revenge(no that really happens) the episode manages to be one of the seasons and as such series best and even strangest.
1 Sing, Sing, Sing (7.4)
The second to last episode can always be a worthwhile episode for the fans and audience to enjoy and look forward to. Sometimes, they can be better than the season finale as a whole, and sometimes, it doesn’t always have to do with the material in the episode.
With “Sing, Sing, Sing”, the series starts going towards the end, with characters coming together and the series as a whole beginning to connect. What also makes the episode good is a memorial at the end to a guest actor, Brian Dennehy.